Your words

Standard

DSC_0328Thank you for your words. You are a mirror, a reflection, a ripple of what I do. To write is one thing, to touch a life is much more. Thank you for gracing me with love through your encouraging words.

Here are just some you shared recently. Beautiful.

It was getting dark and colder when I hurried my way into the Orchard Mall last week. Mentally, I was already inside thinking about my to do list, when these beautiful dancing flames in lanterns made me stop in my tracks. I stood there, reading the Properties of Light, moved beyond words and thankful for the gentle nudge to return to the present. Later, that night when my hand found the tea light in my coat pocket, I remembered the words on the side without even seeing them. Shine On …and it made me giddy.
I am sending your poem, along with a winter candle, to my sister in Ottawa. I miss her the most at this time of year, and I know your poem will light up her day like it did mine.
Thank you for sharing your joy, Leslie. I loved it more than you know, and I am grateful for you! Carolyn

“Thank you so much for clipping your poems at the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna, on Sunday !! Several of us read your poems, including a passer-by, and we love them & you ! This is a fabulous practice!!!” Bonnie

A morning walk, a dog on leash,
quick unthinking steps, mind far away.
Stop. What is this?
A note clipped to a bramble of blackberries.
Enticing, inviting, encouraging
Be here now.
Observe, enjoy, smile.
And 2 million neurons surge endorphins
A walk home with open eyes and lightened heart.
Thank you. Nancy

I’ve been writing for about eight years (not that long really). I still find myself holding tender in trembling hands this gift of words I received, and unwrapped, and now extend to you. To write is a gift. And each time you write back to me is a gift and an affirmation that what I’m doing matters. So I thank YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Here in the Winter’s early dark I am humbled with the knowledge that, “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” EVERY thing. EVERY gift. In EVERY season. And how much more in this season when we consider God’s love gift to us in the form of a baby ~ born in a stable, raised in a village, rebel preacher to a nation, sacrificial Savior to the world. Jesus is still light and love.

I trust you hear in my writing an echo of a loving Father, always light giver and illuminator of lives like yours and mine. I trust you know you are loved.

Comfort and joy,

Lesley-Anne

Advertisements

My love language is bread and butter…

Standard

DSC_0190

This letter is meant as a reminder, first to me, then to anyone like me, who questions the validity and impact of their life purpose. Choosing the poets way is not often in the spotlight, but rather in half light and shadow. Yet it brings me alive, somehow I know I’m about what I should be about, and God is gracious enough to offer me bread crumbs along the way that affirm my heading. Not everyday, but often, and just when I’m wondering why I’m bothering, someone shows up, says something, confirms the way for me.

Here’s a note for those other days;

Dear Lesley-Anne, dear one,

So don’t be discouraged. You may not be the up front mass appeal type. Don’t feel insignificant. Every thing you do, counts. You have to press in to what you know, do what you have been given to do, with passion, just do it. While you waste time and look at others and tally how many they have impacted, instead just say, good for them. And continue to do what you know YOU are to DO. Walk the dog. Send the email. Say hello. Say thank you. Bake the cookies. Help the helpless. Smile. Hug. Listen. Speak. Take a photo. Paint something. Write something. Post something. Sew something. Ask God to increase your opportunity, your creativity, your energy, your love. Nothing, no NOTHING is wasted.

Live like you believe what you have to do counts. Because it does. Nobody else is going to convince you of this. You have to tell yourself. There may be affirmations from time to time, there may be verses in the Good Book that buoy your spirits and set you going, but for the most part, you have to get going.

Sometimes, when you feel what you are doing counts for nothing (no matter how hard you try to not feel this way), you will be given a gift of knowing it does matter, to someone. Someone will tell you so. Be grateful, be oh so grateful to hear. Tuck these words away for the days you aren’t certain. Because the days will come.

Believe anyway. Every life you touch matters.

SDG

p.s. Yesterday I received a loaf of bread. A lovely homemade, salt topped rye dropped off at my door by a neighbour in thanks for my neighbourhood illumination installation ~ and the poem that touched her heart. Unexpected joy, my love language happens to be bread. How did she know this, I wonder? So I slice off a big chunk, butter it, taste the joy of the moment, the love.

And in the end, love is all that matters,

Lesley-Anne

This little light of mine…

Standard

DSC_0001 DSC_0011 DSC_0014So be it, at approximately 4:30 pm yesterday, I embarked on my first illumination installation. A little paper lantern and inside a battery operated tea light turned on, some additional tea lights noted with, “be the light,” and “shine on,” my poem, “The Properties of Light,” and a candy cane, suspended from the trees and porches of my neighbours.

I came home aired out and rosy cheeked and with a giddy feeling of having done something, while only a few hours earlier I was questioning the validity and integrity of my initiative (feeling rather dark in the beginnings of this winter season, feeling rather inadequate). Then I was reminded of a tiny verse that is fixed to the front of my fridge with a magnet, “Go in the strength you have.” Joshua 6:11. So, deep breath, small prayer, winter coat, cozy scarf, flipping stomach, I went out. I hung lanterns. I took photos. I saw the lights twinkle in the dark. And that was enough.

City Light Kelowna, and something inside me flames.

SDG, Lesley-Anne

Illumination…

Standard

Winter is here. Early dark. Cold. Insular and introspective. More difficult to go out and do things. Still, I know I must. I know my health (mental and physical) depends upon it.

I’ve aligned myself over the past 20 years with my faith community, Trinity. Sometimes I participate in event planning, or in prepping for celebrations, or I design and build things, or dig in with study groups, or I share words, or sing, or simply attend a service and listen, soak, learn.

This week I’m aligning myself (and Pop-Up-Poetry) with a Trinity initiative called City Light Kelowna. And I’ve been thinking a lot about illumination, physical and metaphorical, and how each of us can be a part of what another person needs. Tonight I will install my first series of luminaires in my neighbourhood. Each lamp contains a poem and some tea lights noted with, “be the light” and “shine on.” Here is the poem and some pictures prior to installation.

The Properties of Light

by Lesley-Anne Evans

We know forest fires,
how sparks airborne and high
light up neighbourhoods,
candle ponderosa on the ridge.
We know about heat,
how August sun in a bleach blue sky
sends us to beach and lake
and shade of backyard trees.
We know the warmth of a wood fire,
crackle lighting up a room
on a crunch cold January night,
the snow squeak under boots,
then tingle of fingers and toes
as blood rushes them back
from near frozen.
We’ve struck matches to a hundred candles
eyes shut, blown out a hundred wishes
for the spark of new adventure,
for illumination to our questions,
for light in the dark.
And we’ve felt a flicker
of something we witness in passing,
a small child twirling in a pink tutu,
an old couple holding hands.
Double rainbow, ghost trees, dragonfly,
cry of osprey over orchard,
the shadow banishing light of
human kindness, bright heat
of words or gesture, how in these
we are a small flame fanned to life.
How, with open eyes
and open hands, each of us
can be a light, each of us
can blaze.

DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0029 DSC_0030 DSC_0031Shining,

Lesley-Anne, SDG

Brilliant.

Standard

DSC_0700Dearest Bob,

Thank you for your fresh INTERACTIVE POETRY idea. You have an incredible mind, always inviting me outside the box of ordinary. I know you aren’t really a poetry person, you’ve told me that yourself. Still, you tolerate it, add to it, and sometimes find yourself in my poems too. And now this new poetry idea…

When we were chatting a while ago about what makes my work most sweet to me, you heard my desire to connect with people, not just deliver up words. Then you suggested something brilliant. And now that we’ve tried it, have seen the potential, it will be something I repeat. It’s so much fun.

So, here is our first interactive poem, posted here! Brilliant idea, babe. Brilliant.

Thank you for who you are and what you do, and for championing my journey as a poet. Knowing you are for me is what matters most.

 Onward together,

LA

A poem

Standard

The moments when

we sit on the porch and you look
sideways and I lean soft into
your hard and you let me as
clouds gather over top the ridge
and the garbage cans are lined up
back beside our garage door. The tick
clicking of the neighbour trimming his
side of the hedge and our lawn needing
cut and the sun pouring it’s gold onto
our bare toes. The bed rumpled and
the dog sprawled over it snoring and
another clean load wanting out of
the dishwasher. The last fragrant
fifteen minutes before the apricot pie says
it’s done and perches on back burner
stove top until some celebration
of this day occurs after supper and
we join together to open words
and taste day’s end. The parts in
my library novel that keep my throat
full and now prognosis isn’t good so
I cry over the sink while dishes drown
in bubbles. The moments between
until always when I wonder if you
really will come home from work
and say let’s go walk the dog and
we will do things until it’s time
for bed and give our bodies over
to long breaths until morning and
you tell me again how these
moments make a life.

Lesley-Anne Evans, SDG, 2012

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Popping up on “Purpose”

Standard
Teenagers

Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday night I was asked to read a Spoken Word piece for the Mosaic group at Trinity. I showed up early for rehearsal, and as I sat waiting for the group to gather I asked, so just how many young adults do you have attending here? Well, around 60, leader Storm Moore told me. Hmmm… that’s quite a few, I thought. And then the inner voices started and the anxiety started and I began to feel like a fish out of water because, really, what does a middle aged poet have to offer to these kids… I mean, really?

Until I started listening to the lyrics of the music set as they did their run through (did I mention Trinity is my local faith community here in Kelowna?). Anyway, turns out Mosaic, a gathering for the 18 to 28 year old set, is about ‘doing old school yet still relevant church’. Supper, conversation, music, learning… them and me. Me, delivering up a spoken word piece on “Purpose” because they asked. Me being scared and full of self-doubt…

And then the words and the music washed over me and I found myself, on the inside of me, on my knees in awe of God. Have a listen to this song… “Awakening” and tell me… does it move you like it moved me? Specifically these words were the ones that put things into perspective for me…

for you and you alone, awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

for the world you love (the young adults at mosaic, each and every one)

…let your will be done in me (in my poem, my voice, my heart)

So, I waited, I breathed in the words of the song, I opened my hands, let go of my fear, and asked God to do what he had to with my small offering, and when the time came for me to share my poem, I walked up to the microphone and spoke;

Purpose

Lesley-Anne Evans, SGD

One thing this poem will NOT do
is answer all your questions
it won’t tie up loose ends in a pretty little bow
and say, “There, there you go.” No.

Truth is, we ALL have questions ~ like
Who is God?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my PURPOSE?
Questions that jam up inside us, stop us
from making a move.
We are immobilized by FEAR
want to get it absolutely RIGHT.

I believe God is less interested in RIGHT
than we are. He’s more interested in
what lies BENEATH our choice ~ our INTENT.
And that’s what PURPOSE is.
PURPOSE is intent.
PURPOSE is the reason why.

The Book says GOD has a PURPOSE.
A John 3:16 purpose to SAVE THE WORLD!
The loving, giving, dying, soul-saving
divine purpose of God
God the SEEKER
God the RESCUER
God the REDEEMER
God the LOVER
God who finds his deepest JOY in WHO we ARE
and WHY we do what we do
more than WHAT we do for him.

And when we choose God, when he saves us
GOD’S PURPOSE becomes OUR PURPOSE
World savers, God lovers, God glorifiers
Witnesses to all humanity
tellers of HIS ~ STORY.

The confusing part for us
where we get twisted up
is in the PRACTICAL
the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW
we live our God purpose out.
We want facts. Details. NOW.
This or that, here or there, where oh where…
We take eyes off GOD, looking for
precisely WHAT to do FOR Him.

What if our PURPOSE is
to choose ~ SOMETHING?
Based on what we know of GOD
Based on what we know of OURSELVES?
Something YOU and GOD decide.
GOD knows YOU best. And you know
what you DREAM about
what makes you ANGRY
what makes your HEART BEAT faster
what is uniquely YOU?
(If you don’t know yet, take time and find out
get away, get quiet, pay attention, ask GOD
and WORK it out.

With God PURPOSE, God INTENT
an ORDINARY life is far from ordinary.
Every act, loving God and others, is SIGNIFICANT.
Like building a house. Feeding the homeless.
Teaching English to new Canadians.
Writing a computer program.  Writing a poem.
Or going for Gold, like this guy who ran, ran fast.
He said God made him to run fast.
He said he felt God’s pleasure when he ran fast.
And he told everyone. When he won the Olympics he said so.
That simple.

THIS is what God wants for YOU, THIS is what gives God PLEASURE
you giving back what He’s given you, WHO YOU ARE
your unique personality, talents, treasures, experiences.

WATCH and SEE what GOD does with a LIFE like that!

And, now there are echos… here in me. Maybe in others. I love how God loves us, so specifically, so bang on personal, right when we need it most.

A purposeful ‘pop-up-poem’… yes.

Lesley-Anne, SDG