Every year I wait for my Cosmic Valentine. It comes after a summer of getting the harvest ready for another year until spring planting. The summers for me were too long and the winters too short. When winter came it gave the necessary time for me to feed my need for knowledge. It was a time when all things came to a halt that were necessary to survive. It was a time when my Spirit could be fed with days that were long and evenings even longer. It was a time when snow came and covered all the infirmities of the Spirit with a damask linen of white on white. It was then that the world smelled clean and crisp was the air as it slid down dry throats and rusty pipes. This year of all years my Valentine was the most beautiful. Heaven bent down and laid a kiss on my forehead and said, for you I did this. For you. I wish the world would know this magnificent salve for the open wound we know as Mankind.
You stayed the night
while I lumbered my body
through a partition
closing me from life.
While I fought
through a sea of memories
holding me hostage
to long and lonely years.
You saw me
through eyes of tears
reflecting the hardness
mine needed to smelt
with coals being fired
in a heart of no use.
But you stayed, close to my skin
and had you pulled away
I would have understood.
You stalk me yet and I stand.
My eyes have shed their steel casings,
now ground as dust beneath my heel.
I look inward to softer places
and find the world not so hard.
You tell me you need to stay close
because you wish to claim
my strength if only by association.
but I ask,
of what heavenly use is a soft shell crab?
When I was a young girl we moved to The Farm. It was the most beautiful place my eyes had yet seen. The red barn sat on a hill opposite the white house also sitting on an incline. And outside any window were horizons as far as my eyes could see. But the red barn became a focal point of all life lived on The Farm. It was the beginning of the family’s day and the ending of it. It was the home of cows and calves and for some years, horses. The animals lived on the main floor and their food was thrown down from the upper floor. The smell of the place was warm always to the girl that I was. And the upper floor, with some boards always missing, was home to the cats who kept the place free of those who would feast on grains and grow fat. Barns became a favorite haunt of mine. I looked for them when I was traveling somewhere well into my years. By the condition of the barn one could gather what the financial state of the farm was. How well the families were doing or how poorly. It was the last place to get paint because of the priorities of everything else. Hay and grain first for the animals, health care and fences for them and upkeep of everything else which the Inspectors would mark off if your monies depended on outside buyers of your production. Not an easy life but a vastly rewarding one. My most influential years of my life; they critically laid the groundwork for all my years to follow. I am forever grateful. My love of barns and farms has continued to this day.
This wall hanging is now for sale for $200.00. The dimensions are 18″ wide by 27″ long. Paypal is accepted.
I am posting this wall quilt with the hope that it will be purchased for someone who is expecting a child. It has always been mine to know that we come with a sacred permit that says we are chosen as our parents are also chosen. I know this is not a commonly held concept, especially because there are too many who hunger not only for food but for love as well. But it does not prevent me from thinking that one day we will realize this is a world where new concepts can be chosen and new learning will take place.
The quilt is $120.00 with shipping included. I know there is someone special for whom this quilt will have meaning. Contact me with any questions you may have. It was made with love and care from a grateful heart.
In the `90’s, when my world was struggling to find its place after the death of our middle son a few years earlier, the bigger world outside of me seemed only to reflect what I was working on. And in the midst of my struggles, I wrote The Whole World Is Looking For A Mother. I am certain there are others who feel like I did that day when I wrote this poem. Tell me what you think.
Pray to me, Almighty God,
and send a mother to mother
this barren earth,
these orphaned children striving to stand
with no one to lean on.
Pray to me.
For I tire. I tire.
Senseless equations keep pestering me,
seeking sums I cannot decipher,
for too many zeroes I neither
can articulate nor posture.
Debits and assets, we have the former
in trillions but the assets hide
from Thee and Me. I do not see them.
Except hidden in the child’s eyes,
in the smile, in the groping of hands,
trying to find each other.
Except in the autumn I now sit in,
rain saturated, leaves clinging to roads
and sidewalks as slippery as comfrey.
Except in the foaming earth
giving off an elixir to intoxicate me
into still thinking I can make a difference.
Pray to me, Great God
that I may be ignited
with a fire yet to burn brightly,
that I may see my commitments
straight through to their resurrection
That I may yet see a glorious dawning
of a day where the acts of my days
will prove again the reflected glory
of God in Earth.
I pray, still, send a mother,
fresh from the Cosmic Bosom to lean on,
I see a difference in the eyes of people whose vision is long and far away. These are people whose eyes do not stop at the curb but travel distances to a horizon higher than buildings and junks of every order and even lifting beyond the trees and the mountains.
The difference in these eyes is that they do not stop seeing where I begin. They see beyond my body house and deep into my heart. I find these souls now and again, but not often. They do not linger about. They are not in the malls nor connected to computers all day, nor are they working fingers on text gadgets. They mostly are found in open fields, or working and communicating with animals or plaguing peoples with questions and puzzles to keep people’s minds from atrophying. They are the pied pipers of children who follow them about like puppies.
Children often are the first to find these souls. We must watch our children and to whom they gravitate upon entering a room. We should follow them. Others might consider these souls simple because obviously they are neither fashionable nor particularly charismatic. To engage them in conversation opens worlds alien to us in daylight but familiar in the dark night. But children know them instantly and quickly recognize them from a place they both come from. They know and recognize each other.
I am partial to these souls whose sight . . . inner sight. . . takes them beyond what most consider the here and now, the present. In a heartbeat I would have their thought and company when I walk my fields.
What do they see? Perhaps the ability to step behind our eyes to view the world from our perspective is what separates them from us. Have you not wondered how these souls are able to pick up our thoughts or conversations coming into a room with no introduction? And their ability to sort out our feelings without prior knowledge of our concerns? These are special persons. Special souls who wander among us.
We should grab them by the collar and say with force, halt! I need you here. Right now and right here. They, with innate knowledge would be of immense value because by remembering from where they come and by lifting their eyes to the heavens
they tell us they come with memory.
Yesterday, the day of the opening exhibit and reception was fun and enlightening. Fun because meeting people is just that but enlightening because of the questions asked of me. Comments such as ‘there are no two alike’ and also ‘how do you do it?’ and then ‘where did you train?’ And for me, given to being long winded, (as I am told) means that when I have a captive audience, I love to introduce people to methods of doing. And I told them what I have written in my blog many times. Do and you will be shown how. Depending on your desire and your perseverance, and your abilities to search out, your thoughts will be honed to your project. You will one day find that through these actions, you will do what it is you have wanted to do. And with practice, your work will show your diligence. Do and you will be shown how. Good advice always.
I want to thank all those at Oak Park Arms for hosting my work and me and to let everyone know how professional they are. Do stop by this month for my wall quilts will be there the rest of the month. It is a welcoming place and you will be glad you stopped by. I thank everyone again, the guests as well as the staff. It was a wonderful afternoon.
This is a larger view of The Gallery at Oak Park Arms in Oak Park, IL. There are 22 wall quilts on view and for purchase. Don’t forget my books, Kiss The Moon, The Woman Speaks and Gives Grace, and also The Last Bird Sings will also be for purchase. I am looking forward to meeting all of you who follow fromanupperfloor.com and those who have written and said you love my quilts. The joy will be mine in meeting you.
This is a partial glimpse of the gallery at the Oak Park Arms in Oak Park, IL. The reception will be held on Sunday the 10th of February from 2-5 p.m. We look forward to seeing the followers of fromanupperfloor.com. The quilts and books, Kiss The Moon and The Last Bird Sings can be purchased. Do come. Meeting you will be our pleasure.
When we first received this card I knew I wanted to do my fabric version of it. At the moment it is my favorite. It will be on display for the February 10th exhibit at the Oak Park Arms. There will also be a reception. I hope those in the area will allow time on Sunday to join us. I look forward to meeting you. The quote on the quilt is mine. ‘My heart races to the brink now; to the edge of the winter snows. ‘ Do come. You are cordially invited.