Be brave

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Inside, your voice speaks: You know you can do it. You know you have something to say. You’ve dedicated years of time, talent, and treasure to this, and seen the ripple effects as others receive the gifts. Yes, there is that fine line that you walk between true humility and feeling…joyful and proud to share your poetry…that it is even yours to give. You know the excitement you feel when you get out there, that freaky, wonderful, guerrilla prickling under your skin feeling as you imagine someone finding something you left behind. You know it’s a good thing.  Be brave. 

So I do it. I am brave. I install my “Pop-up” poems in a lavish sprinkling all over the woods. I watch from a distance. I wonder is it good enough, will it touch someone, will someone find it and like it, will someone say something, or will it all remain a mystery to me of what happens next?

Last day at the retreat, one of my new circle of creative sisters says to the gathered group: “so what I want to remember most of all is this…how magical it felt to find this little poem bit in the woods, and so I’m writing it here on my expressive art piece, so I never forget that feeling, and my prayer captured in those beautiful words.”

“Fill me with God scent, Spirit favour, something good.”

Yes, God, yes, yes.

Be of good courage. Be brave.

LAE

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Pop-Up-Story

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DSC_0407_2There’s always cross over… and here is a story I wrote and posted a few minutes ago at my blog, Buddy Breathing. Enjoy. I do believe Spring is poking its head out. Oh how I long for it to come and stay for awhile.

I want to know.

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DSC_0032As much as I spend time alone, create alone, work and think and pour out alone, there’s part of me that wants to know… others, their thoughts, their responses to my words. I create to express, work to sharpen myself as an artist, but also to share. And when I share there’s absolutely nothing more catch-my-breath-in-my-throat, than to really really know I am become a small part in someones life, a link in a chain strung from here to eternity.

Pop-up-poetry may just be a small miracle. I remember reading Stephen Kings book “On Writing” years ago, and resonating with Kings thoughts (I must look at it again!) that writing somehow transcends time and space. He says, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” To be a writer, to commit words to paper/internet, and then moments, days, years from now, someone reads those words, in a connection across time and space… is miraculous! And so I press on and pop up.

Thursday of last week I pinned poems on Cawston Ave. in Kelowna. I imagined how the words might impact… how God might take what I wrote and begin something or heal something or continue a thought process… with someone I didn’t yet know.

That my poem pinned to a gateway would be welcome home. That my poem pinned to a bench would be rest. That my poem pinned to a community garden would be food.

And I went home believing.

I received a comment here at the bottom of my “About” page that quickened my heart upon reading it.  The joy… in knowing… just a glimpse.

Here are some photos of my pop-up-poems, scattered to the wind, looking to land.

All SDG,

Lesley-Anne

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alignments, connections, and collaborations

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Last week I received a huge box at my door, and inside the box was an original piece of art, an unexpected gift of a painting from a talented and kind artist friend whom I collaborated with at Banff Centre. How over the top generous of Lynda Schneider Granatstein. Her gift reminding me of how inspiring to be part of something bigger than myself, to have someone invite me to participate in their process brings life. The painting is now hung in a place of honour, and I am thankful. Thank you again, dear Lynda.

This morning I received an email from a fellow blogger in Kenya, Africa. Kenny is someone I’ve connected with online around poetry. Kenny writes poetry on his blog Kolembo (and elsewhere) that turns me inside out, it’s raw, unique, gutsy, haunting and lyrical. Today Kenny asked if he might include a poem of mine on a blog venture he’s involved with. Of course, I said yes. In a couple of hours you will find ‘Provision’ included  in this months selection over at Ten of the Best (and I say that with my heart in my throat feeling less than worthy of inclusion). Kenny, my friend, thank you. And for the African sunshine you sent me today… double thanks. I can feel the warmth on my shoulders.

God continues to surprise and intrigue me.

SDG,

Lesley-Anne

Oh gosh, that was really awkward…

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Yesterday the sun came out for the first time in… weeks. Well, maybe not weeks, but many days have passed since the clouds have parted and we’ve seen blue and sunlight. It put me in a good place, and as I worked on a writing project at my desk in the morning, the thought began to percolate that it might be time to hit the streets again. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read outside.

So, off I headed, this time with a slight revision to my presentation style: the addition of a stand to place my poems on and a small sign (a precursor to the bigger sign I’ve ordered and which arrived today by mail from Vistaprint). The sign to announce who I am in the hopes of taking away the, “what’s-this-woman-trying-to-sell-me-anyway” aura that is faintly around me out there (my perception anyway). Rather than approach people and ask to read them a poem, I thought I’ll just set up my stand in a likely spot and begin to read. Passersby will see me and stop and listen or continue to pass by… their choice.

Only it was awkward. The walk from my truck, past the coffee shop outdoor tables to the spot I chose with music stand in hand, was awkward. The setting up of the sign and the papers and the putting on of reading glasses was awkward. Clearing my voice and beginning to read to nobody in particular was awkward. And people passing by and not stopping and not smiling was awkward. Sounds of traffic seemed louder. I fought with feelings of low self-worth and foolishness and embarrassment and I questioned my motivation, my intent, my purpose. Yes, all this was awkward. And perhaps a little foolhardy and a little dangerous???

English: Don't stand too close Warning sign ad...

English: Don’t stand too close Warning sign adjacent to gate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Until a fellow with a bike stopped and listened and nodded and carried on when I was done. And another man having a cigarette hung around and asked for my card, and a woman coming out of a store came over and told me she was a poet and then waited to hear an entire poem from beginning to end. She also wanted my card. Then I wandered to another spot, read out loud to pigeons and squirrels and a mobility bus driver who hid in the bus and one lady who kept her head down and eyes averted as she walked by (did she speed up?).

OK, so those encounters were worth it, I think. Usually it’s not really about me at all, but about the bigger picture. Sharing poetry. Sharing beauty. Being open. Returning the gift. Giving thanks.

Like Bill Cosby says above, or one of my favorite old Hebrew quotations that I keep on my fridge;

“… go in the strength you have…” Judges 6:14

Still popping up, next time with my new groovy sign!
Lesley-Anne

SDG

Popping up on “Purpose”

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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