Today I’m writing, channeling really, the style and likes of author and poet, Ross Gay, who without hesitation fashions sentences as long as his arms (he’s lanky and his arms go on a bit) or as long as his legs (even longer).
I’m writing as him today, because I adore his writing and if you don’t mind, I want to be him for a little while, and besides, his “The Book of Delights” delights me, but also hopefully, given his personal propensity for delight, he might find it delightful that someone would go — not to the trouble of — but rather to the all-out-delight of attempting to imitate him. Which is, of course, impossible.
I’m so happy to let you know that I’ll be partnering with local poet and photographer Tracey Schmidt to present an evening of Mystical Poetry. Tracey and I were introduced to each other by Jean Cassidy of www.SheVille.org. She thought we might enjoy working together — and we do!
Date and Time: September 20, Friday evening, 7:30 to 9:30 pm. $15 love offering.
Location: Unity of The Blue Ridge, 2041 Fanning Bridge Rd, Mills River, NC 28759. 828-891-8700. email@example.com.
You’re writing me texts and emails saying the dearest things about 100 WORDS: SMALL SERVINGS OF WHIMSY AND WISDOM TO CALM THE MIND AND NOURISH THE HEART.
What I love about what you’re saying is that the words move you in some way — they speak to you, they matter. Because you took to heart the message from “As Above, So Below” you’re now “spilling shakers of light over stray concerns of the day.”
You mention how the little black sandals on page seventeen make you smile and give you hope for getting through a monumental change. Or that you appreciate the conciseness and brevity of each piece, or how a photograph took you by the hand into a poem.
One person said the last two lines of “On Love” became her mantra one day when she needed it most. “Love breathes you, moves you. It’s what built your heart.”
One person let me know she kept 100 WORDS on her nightstand to read a small sampling each night because, as she put it, “These are poems to be savored.” She appreciated the small bites.
One of my editor’s favorite poems is “How To Realize Your Beauty.” She tucked 100 WORDS into her traveling bag and read it aloud to a couple of groups she belongs to, and the sharing was well-received. The poem even prompted a discussion with her son. My daughter especially loved “Pearls in the Morning,” a poem about creativity.
My mother (who is 92) called me shortly after receiving her copy. She was smiling over the phone and said with a lilt in her voice, “I read your book last night. I noticed there’s a mention of a 92-year-old.”
I said, “Yes, Mom, I wanted to let you know I’m always thinking of you.”
What a sweet moment with my mother!
This week, a woman sent a text from the waiting room of her doctor’s office. She was reading (and crying about) “No Longer Here,” one hundred words about golf and love. The poem reminded her of her father, who passed years ago. He was a golfer, too, and she was missing the aspects of their relationship she loved most.
Another reader sent an evening email and I happened to see it as I was pulling back the heavenly comforter on my (heavenly) bed. She wrote, “I got my books. Read three pages. Found myself breathless. Just sitting here feeling thankful for the gift of you. And my books.”
I doubt if there’s anything more wonderful for a writer to hear than “your writing left me breathless.”
From your responses it appears that the words are swimming into the warmth of your hearts and resting there. I love that. I’m so thankful for that.
Thank you for your ongoing feedback. Thank you for reaching out to tell me what 100 WORDS means to you.
You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise
I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again
During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.