What if I have written it all away?

All those important things I had to say,

And my creative mind fades in aging?


Should this old woman sit silent?

Observing only, as life’s passions relent?

And ambitions fray beyond assuaging?


Is this the day I’ve become irrelevant?

A life of experience now, an impediment?

As youths fires of souls in mind raging!


Old marries alone; aging artist is eccentric.

Cutting edge technique, an olden-day trick!

Museum dust, archived tomes arranging.


Inside this graying head ideas still burn!

Refined, honed, tested, polished; Taciturn,

Waiting for perfect moment, right paging.


Old woman’s color fades into the background…

Expert hand trembles to write words profound.

Perfect gems require no salacious packaging.


Does age purify the art of the creative?

Or does it stagnate, cease; become vegetative?

Like me, is my art from life now, disengaging?










The Recluse (Part XII)

Estelle wakes suddenly and finds herself on her stomach with her head turned sideways staring at bread crumbs scattered over the sheets. “Where am…oh, yeah…” she mumbles as she lifts up to a sitting position and then notices Caravanna sitting at the foot of the bed, looking at her expectantly. “I completely forgot about you didn’t I? You must be starving.” She reaches for her old friend, pulls him close, and looks around the room. “I’m sorry for yesterday but one thing is for certain, I’m going to make some changes around here. It’s time for me to make this house ours, Caravanna. We deserve a home of our own.” Estelle remembers that Alisha will soon arrive and decides she will have her help re-do her mother’s bedroom. She lifts Caravanna and in bare feet, pads toward the kitchen.

The early morning sun streams through the kitchen windows in shafts of pure, golden illumination. The morning sunlight reminds Estelle of her dream on the previous night. She is flooded with conflicting emotions. “What does that old, repeating dream mean? Why is it changing now?” On a deeper level, when she listens to herself, she understands that the house in her dream represents her person and her life. “It’s changing because I’m changing. I’m going to start directing some of that change!” Estelle feels the anger from yesterday begin to rise again but then remembers the icy wind and the darkness that filled her house-dream just before the light appeared. The feeling that came with that powerful negative force was a feeling of hopelessness and death. “I don’t want to become a part of that…whatever it is. I don’t want to hate you, Emma…or you either, Dad…I want to get better. I want that light…” Estelle decides to turn away from her anger and not let it take hold of her as it had yesterday. However, it doesn’t dissipate but is simply, pushed to the side and will have to be reckoned with at a later date. She feeds Caravanna, finishes her breakfast, and then goes to dress and prepare for Alisha’s arrival.

“Hi, Ms. Williams! How are you, today?” Alisha rushes in the door with a big hug for her mentor. Estelle warmly accepts Alisha’s offering of love and is grateful. “Good morning, sweet Alisha. I’m so glad you’re here.” Alisha baths in Estelle’s approval and asks, “What are we doing today, Ms. Williams?” Estelle lightly strokes Alisha’s hair back from her face and answers, “Today, we are going to remove the decorations from my mother’s room so that I can re-decorate it and use it as my room.” “Oh…” Alisha doesn’t know how she should respond so, she stops. “Follow me and we’ll get started.” Estelle takes Alisha’s hand in hers and leads the way to the end of the hall.

“It’s so beautiful in here, Ms. Williams. Why do you want to change everything?” Alisha asks as she gently touches various fabrics and enjoys their textures. Estelle’s immediate reflex is to freeze. She’s responded in this fashion, to questions about her mother for her entire life. Immobilization works well in helping her take time to formulate the right answer (the answer that best deflects from painful family secrets) but this time, Estelle decides to simply tell the truth. “I’ve been very sad since my mother died, lost really. I spent my whole life taking care of her and when she died I lost my purpose. I tried to hang onto her, to my reason for living, by turning this house into a kind of shrine to my mother. Now, it’s time for me to put the shrine away and make this house my own.” That truth tore from a deep place at the center of Estelle and once spoken, left her so drained that her legs buckled and she had to sit down. “Are you okay, Ms. Williams? I didn’t mean to upset you!” “I’m fine, Alisha. None of this is your fault. It’s just how I am right now.” Alisha runs to the kitchen and returns with a glass of water, relishing in the opportunity of being needed. “Oh! Thank you, Alisha! You are a sweet, good girl!” Alisha beams in response as the cool water returns color to Estelle’s face. “I’m better now. Let’s get started. There are some boxes in the closet. First, we will get rid of some of the froo-froo and pack it away. After that, we’ll take down the drapes.” Estelle is motivated by the desire to begin a life of her own as Alisha relishes helping this woman she admires. Their combined energies make quick work of creating an austere space from decadent opulence. “Are you going to leave the furniture?” Alisha asks. “Some of it but most of it is too fancy for me. I like simple beauty.” Alisha doesn’t know what that means but likes the way it sounds. Alisha decides in this moment that she will be an artist when she grows up and will surround herself with ‘simple beauty’. “I can’t wait to see what it will look like!” Alisha exclaims. “Well, we still have some things to get rid of first, like the bedding and all these frilly pillows. After lunch, we’ll look at some charts and you can help me pick paint colors. Or maybe, some wall-paper…it will be fun!” Estelle is elated by the movement of action based on a sense of claiming her life as the result. Though this search will prove harder than redecorating the only house she’s ever lived in, there is no other action for her to engage in at this moment and being engaged is exhilarating. Movement is a relief from the stagnation holding her in its grip for so long.

It’s a hot, muggy afternoon in Greenwood but Estelle and Alisha seem oblivious as they sit on the back deck and pour over paint charts. The roses are in full bloom now, red, pink, yellow, and Estelle’s favorite, peach. Their perfume permeates the back-yard and subliminally, affects the color choices the two friends are making. Together, they decide on a warm, peachy beige trimmed in cream. Estelle also, chooses tea-stained-rose wallpaper for an accent wall behind her bed. Somehow, it seems to her to pay a tribute to her mother but is also, subtle and sophisticated and more in line with Estelle’s tastes. She touches the sample gently and allows herself a moment to feel the emotion of longing it evokes. She says within herself, “I’m not ready to completely rid myself of you, Mamma.” As if reading Estelle’s mind, Alisha asks, “What was your mother like, Ms. Williams?” Estelle startles and then stiffens into the habitual freeze-response, “Well…she was very pretty and she wanted beautiful things.” Alisha’s head tilts to one side in puzzlement, “Did she do all kinds of things for you, like Mamma? Did you bake cookies together? My momma lives for me you know. Was your mom like that?” Estelle is too uncomfortable to contain herself and suddenly, stands straight up, wanting to run, “No, Alisha. My mother was nothing like Maria. My mother didn’t take care of people. My dad and I took care of her. In some ways, my mother remained a little girl for her entire life. Forgive me Alisha, but I can’t talk about this anymore today. I’m exhausted. Why don’t we just relax and watch a movie or something, until it’s time for you to go home.” The idea of a mom who needed to be cared for was stunning to Alisha and it filled her with questions she couldn’t ask but she filed them away for later. “Okay…I’m tired too. I’m sorry I made you sad.” Estelle is emotionally drained and can only respond by hugging Alisha to her side and leading her to the front room. The usually, perfect room is still in disarray from the afternoon before; they kick of their sandals and make a cozy seat as Estelle clicks on the television. They find “Little Women” playing on Netflix and lose themselves in the intricacies of relationships, as this lonely woman and little girl grow a deeper bond in the silence between them.

“That was an interesting, olden-time movie, Ms. Williams. Thank you for watching it with me and for everything. I think I’m late. I’d better go.” Alisha declares. Estelle has difficulty extracting herself from the movie and her thoughts but silently, rises to escort Alisha to the front door. “Did you forget anything, honey?” she asks while opening the portal to the outside world. “No…oh! I did forget something! My mom wants to know if you can come over for dinner on Friday! She will call you but I’m supposed to tell you now, so you can think about it. I hope you will come!” Estelle is too worn down to commit either way, “Yes, Alisha. I will think about it and wait for your mother’s call.” Alisha gives Estelle a quick hug and runs toward her house. Estelle watches until she reaches the front porch and then closes the door.

Estelle leans back against the door with her eyes closed, hearing the familiar silence; as she contemplates the utter black hopelessness of her dream and how it was invaded by that light. “I am so confused right now but I know I want that light!”

To be continued.


For previous posts in this series go to where posts are listed in ascending order.





Survivor’s Prayer

If I am still alive when the bitter cloud passes, may I not I not be found stubbornly clinging to the storm because I’ve adapted myself to misery. Instead, may I celebrate in sunlight as I embrace the sparkling new day the sun reveals. Let me move forward to clean up the damage left by the storm and not be stuck hanging on for survival long after the storm has passed. A powerful storm forever transforms the landscape and the lives of those who survive but help me, Lord to accept and embrace the transformation. May the storm not live on in me in thoughts that exist in loops and refuse to move forward. Make me mindful of the present and keep me from reliving terrifying moments and even repeating them by my actions. I do not want to be a storm bearer, a manufacturer of the misery I survived. Instead, help me share the hope that enabled me to endure. May I be an image bearer of you, Jesus the one who made my survival possible. It is to you that I cling in the midst of every storm. I cling to you now, even though the sun is breaking through the clouds because I need you in good times as well as in bad. I remain tethered to face new storms that soon will appear on the horizon. Even if one of those storms should take my life, I know my soul is secure in you, Jesus. Though I die, I will live. I should never fear the storm but when I do, Jesus, you are always there to comfort and strengthen me. You are there to lead me forward when danger has passed. In you I have hope even, on those dark days when I can feel no hope, joy, or peace. Even when I let go of you, Jesus, I know you are holding on to me. Thank you, Jesus for this gift of faith by which I endure all things to also, overcome. Amen.

Primrose Dream

Enchanted by a Primrose dream in June…

A perfect dewy morn,

Sun adorns! I awake by Meadowlark tune!

No summer will I scorn!

Take my hand old man, still a honeymoon…

Our old love newly born,

In every passing season and many a moon!

Every wrinkle care-worn,

My dear old man hold me and let’s spoon!

Apart may we not be torn!

Together so long, souls and hearts attune,

Without you I die forlorn…

I will follow you! Even as far as Neptune!

Taken by one blackthorn!

Should our Primrose dream turn maroon…

Hold me! We’ll be reborn!

On an eternal dewy morning forever June!




The Recluse (Part XI)

“Thank you for taking me to church with you, Maria. I enjoyed it very much.” Estelle opens the car door to step out onto the sidewalk in front of her house and Maria gets out of the car too. “You are very welcome, Estelle. We love your company and I so appreciate what you are doing for Alisha.” As if on cue, Alisha jumps out of the car behind Estelle and gives her an unexpected hug. “Thank you for coming to hear me sing Ms. Williams!” Estelle gasps at the surprising embrace but then accepts it and returns the favor. Maria hugs her in turn and Estelle feels an old ache momentarily fade. It’s been a very long time since she’s felt a human embrace. “I will see both of you soon.” Estelle bends to peer into the car where Tony sits behind the wheel, “Thank you, Mr. Hernandez. Have a wonderful afternoon.” Tony nods in ascent and then looks straight ahead, “Come along Maria…Alisha. We need to get going.” Mother and daughter get back into the car as Estelle walks toward her front door.

Estelle opens the door and is enveloped in the isolation she’s sheltered in for such a long time. The emptiness feels safe and familiar but also, frightening and all consuming. She looks around at the immaculate, perfectly decorated house and has a sudden urge to dirty it up and make it look like someone actually, lives here. Determined but not really understanding the force impelling her to action, Estelle defiantly strides into the living room, looks at the portrait of her mother, and begins tossing expensive, artfully placed cushions from the sofa and chairs willy-nilly and even on the floor. Then she kicks off her shoes, lets down her hair and carelessly, flops down on the beautiful blue sofa. She stretches out as for a nap then reaches for a perfect rose pillow to support her head as she stares into the painted eyes of her deceased mother.

Those eyes leave Estelle feeling frozen. “How many times did I reach for you, Emma? How many times did I need a mother and even though I could see you and touch you, my mother was never there?” In a flash, Estelle understood herself as having always been an orphan on the emotional level. In fact, she’d been forced to be a mother to Emma from the time she was a small child. “Was I a good mom, Emma?” Estelle yells at the portrait as tears begin to spill. Then she remembered what the preacher said in church that morning about somehow, being able to have a parent-child relationship with God because of Jesus’ death on the cross. The idea of having such a relationship is very appealing to Estelle but it doesn’t make sense to her. She also, remembers the words of Jesus and the validation she felt upon reading them. “Emma! Do you know or care how much pain your drinking and constant neediness caused me? Do you know how hard Dad and I worked to keep your drinking secret and how much life we lost trying to protect you? Were you ever aware of what people said to me or what our neighbors thought?” With tears streaming, Estelle counted all she’d lost to Emma’s drinking and the black hole that drinking was used to anesthetize. Much of her childhood was consumed in that hole and even more of her adult years after her father passed. “Even now Emma, you steal my life from me because you never had a life! You never became a whole person! You used me to live for you and I’ve never lived for me either…” Estelle fiercely wipes the tears from her eyes, “I’m going to find a way to be more than the arms and legs of Emma Williams! I want to be a whole woman and live my life!” Estelle moves a few more objects out of place, gives Emma’s portrait a hard stare, and leaves the room.

It’s anger that gives Estelle the energy to move despite these new inner revelations. It is also, anger that numbs and gives her the fortitude to fight her excruciating, emotional pain. In the sanctuary of the only bedroom she’s ever known, she removes her church clothes and puts on her favorite pair of yoga pants and a big t-shirt. Then she goes to the bathroom to wash her face and pull herself together. When she catches her eye in the mirror, she gives herself a hard stare much like the one she unleashed on the portrait of Emma. “I-want-more!” she states firmly just below the tone of a shout.

In the kitchen, Estelle makes a sandwich as she recalls the words she heard in church that morning and remembers the warmth of friendship she’d enjoyed with Maria and Alisha. “Relationship. That’s exactly what’s missing in my life.” Estelle counts the relationships she was never able to enjoy, the school-chums that couldn’t come over to play or for sleep-overs; then later, the young men who could never find room in her life because her life belonged to her mother. “Now, I’m left alone and I don’t know how to connect to others because I never learned.” This truth comes down cold and hard but also, clarifies the solution. “I need to learn how to relate to people.”

Estelle takes her sandwich and a glass of milk with her as she goes into her office for her lap-top. Thinking she will lay down on her bed and catch up on some reading, she starts to enter her bedroom but then suddenly turns and decides to use Emma’s room instead. Pushing decorations aside, she puts her things down and rips open the bed. The frilly comforter lands on the floor where it stays and Estelle builds a comfy seat for herself from the pillows. She opens the curtains to let the sunlight in and then settles in bed to finish eating, not caring about the crumbs spilling all over the expensive satin sheets.

“If I want to know who Jesus is, I guess I need to read the Bible.” Estelle doesn’t own a Bible but quickly finds one online. Not knowing where to start, she decides to begin in Matthew, the book from which they’d read that morning. Estelle reads all of the Gospels and is transfixed by the person of Jesus described in those pages. “Such an ancient story that touches my heart in a way I don’t understand.” Estelle whispers to herself but also, to God. “He suffered so much but He stayed true to You and You were always there for Him. What a wonderful relationship. God, I don’t know what I have to do exactly. I don’t really understand but I want that relationship. I want You to be my Father too. I am all alone and I need You!”

Estelle closes her lap-top, pushes it to the other side of the bed, then sinks down off the pillows, and drifts off to sleep. Before long, she is wandering from room to room in her house-dream. She is a little girl to whom the house of her childhood though small, appears very large. The house is cold, empty, and Estelle lost, meanders circling from one silent room to the other, calling for first her mother and then her dad. There is no answer. The house is filled by an arctic wind and then goes black. Little Estelle shivers in the dark fearing she’ll also, disappear in the void; when suddenly, a bright light appears!

To be continued.

For previous posts in this series go to where posts are listed in ascending order.

Twenty-Five Minutes

A lovely little stroll on the edge of consciousness…

Fading out and then fading in…

Gathering memories from dreams of Yester-lore…

Reality blocked seeps back in…

Blend time outside of time, a bit of Heaven’s rest…

Slip away preparing to slip in…

Twenty-five minutes of Paradise others call a nap!



What can be done about THEM? You know who I mean, those people over there who are so different from us and are messing up everything. If we can just control them somehow, or get rid of them, then things will be so much better. They don’t think right, dress right, or act right. Something has to be done about THEM!

It’s true the world is in great turmoil. Corruption abounds in a culture where evil is embraced as good and people are afraid to say anything contrary to the practice. Money rules and the recent bombshell called the Panama Papers bring home how corrupt that rule is at this present time. The world is very tolerant of evil morality and practice but highly intolerant toward human beings. The cruelty of the Narco culture seems to be permeating everything along with their mass amounts of money that fuel the world economy and line the pockets of powerful leaders. People are afraid and their fear causes them to identify with the aggressor in hopes of achieving personal safety and gaining control over others they perceive as a threat. Tribes are forming and battle lines being drawn in preparation to find a solution to THEM by many diverse groups of people. Increasingly, those solutions are violent.

The fear of OTHER and the tolerance of evil is tearing us apart and we seem to be utterly, confused as to how to stop evil without destroying each other. The stand we have to make is within. Giving into the pressure of political correctness can’t completely silence our conscience. Basic right and wrong doesn’t change and each of us must listen to that inner voice and change our personal actions. THEM is US and none of us is free from sin. None of us can control the evil in another but all of us can do something about our own evil. Ending any confusion about what is good and evil is as easy as reading the Ten Commandments. Let me assure you, they have stood the test of time and their validity isn’t likely to vanish in a generation. The generation that ignores them is certain to vanish but their truth will remain.

Old habits are hard to change but bad habits are changeable. To find remedy from sin requires that one see themselves as a sinner. God’s Law is the mirror that reveals every human being as a sinner. None of us measure up. We all break at least, one of those Laws on a regular basis; most of us break more than one. Only, Jesus lived by those Laws perfectly because God’s Law is spiritual and fallen human beings aren’t spiritual. Without Jesus we have no hope and the purpose of the Law is to show us our need for Jesus. Without Him, we stand condemned as dead to God and doomed to die a second time after final judgment. Jesus is the only one who can save us from the penalty of our sin and faith in Him is the only way to receive the Holy Spirit’s help in learning to uphold God’s Law from a heart that’s been changed.

The one thing I know for sure about THEM is that Jesus loves THEM, just as He loves me. Because He loves me so much that He was willing to die for me and save me from the second death, I am also required to love THEM. That doesn’t mean that I must go out and develop a deep, emotional bond with all people but I am to strive to treat others as I want to be treated. Everyone is part of the human family, a sinner in need of God’s grace, just like me. My love may not change anyone I encounter, or be the impetus that leads them to faith in Christ, but learning to love THEM is sure to change me. This is my only true avenue of exacting positive change in the world.

I know many people are burdened with worry and fear as to the condition of society today. Those concerns are well founded. The problems are complex but the answer is simple and power lies in the hands of the people. We can turn things around by choosing to do what we know inside is right. It won’t be easy but we have a powerful ally in Jesus. “If God is for us who can stand against us?” We have to begin by ceasing to stand against God out of fear of peer pressure. We have to cease from standing against ourselves by refusing to hear our conscience. We have to cease to deny our need for Jesus as the remedy for our personal sins.

Please, consider Jesus. Don’t deny true love and the power to become the man or woman God intends for you to be. Let’s not waste our time trying to straighten out THEM when the enemy we can do something about is within.



To My Word Press Angels

I’ve been going through a tough time in my life and one of the reasons I started this blog was to remind myself of joy because at that time, I felt very unhappy. It worked. I did retrieve my joy in Jesus but not in the way I expected. I didn’t expect to be ministered to by angels here on Word Press but dear, loving angels are exactly what God has given me. All my angels have common sounding names: Jim, Maria, Wally, BJS, Patrick, Jacqueline, G.W., D. Wallace Peach, Miguel, amoafowaa of Mum C Writes, Lonely Arthur, Pauline, JacobEmet, Kathy, Robert and many others who pray for me and encourage me through this painful time in my life. I have angels from all over the world who have shown me they care. I know Jesus lives because I see Him living in you.

I’ve spent most of my Christian life as a Baptist but God doesn’t care about that and often speaks to me in my dreams, anyway. As some of you know, I’m going to visit Mayo Clinic soon and there in those expert hands I hope to find the right treatment to put my weird disease back into remission. Last night God sent me a very special, very vivid dream. I opened my eyes and all of my Word Press angels were there to see how I was doing and to give me a hug before I go to Mayo. I know I dreamed this because of all the prayers being said for me by all of you. It was a very sweet, very encouraging dream and I’m sharing it because even though, I will probably never get to give any of you a real hug, I love you all. Thank you. Your kindness has helped me survive some very cold, painful days. I am blessed to have such dear angels. You mean the world to me.

Married to Pain

There are moments during a rare warm Siesta Moon,

When the pain ebbs and my body sings a softer tune.

Sighs of relief! Pain gone brightens usual Agony Moon,

My cruel lover who won’t let go sings besetting croon,

Beastly howling like a lost coyote during a Dusty Moon!

Our relationship began by accident, a trap by the goon!

I married pain in the greenish light of a Ghoulish Moon…

Day, years, decades pass as I take medicine in a spoon.

Divorcing pain I will joyfully dance under a Fiesta Moon!