Siggie

Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer,
in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather,
rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?”
Sigmund Freud

SIGGIE

Siggie created the world in new way, which pleased her. Every day.

In the summer she would get up before the sun. She wouldn’t take the scissors with her. She felt scissors were too cruel, snipping stems with lethal blades. Bending and snapping was much more humane. Her gentle touch and gracious thank you to each stem was more kind. Siggie knew flowers would be pickable only if they were ready. Mrs. Parson’s flowers were generous and no one would know that Siggie took them. She would never take more than needed, just a small bouquet that would fit perfectly into her slender hand.

In the dark she could never really tell what color the flowers were unless the moon was full, so Siggie’s bouquet was always a rainbow. Except once when all the colors were blue. That was a sign. The blue flowers were gathered the morning after the night Alfred left without telling her.

Siggie allowed the bouquet to dry out completely with no water in the vase because there was nothing left to water between Alfred and herself. Once they were dry and faded to a light yellow ocher with a hint of baby blue, she took the bouquet to the park on top of Smoky Hill and let the wind blow away each petal, one by one. And with each loss of a petal she remembered and then thanked Alfred for what he had given her. It was her way of saying good-by.

Every day Siggie would play. Today she sat in her chair by the window overlooking the alley. She was on a corner of the building and could see both the street and the alley, if she crooked her head out the window. Today she chose not the street with people emerging from their morning routines, but it was the alley she looked down.

Opening the window she felt the icy bite of wintered air. Early morning light didn’t shine all the way down to the end. Not just yet. It would take a few more minutes before the sun was high enough to make its crossing to illuminate the entire alley. Siggie knew this. She liked to watch the sun’s path over hers. Today it wasn’t the sun she wanted to play with though, it was the shadows that pulled her interest.

Darkness, shadows, black holes, fascinated Siggie. She always wanted to step into them to see where they would lead. She knew that they were just regular parts of the world veiled in black. But somehow, somewhere she knew deep down that there was more to shadow.

Siggie re-arranged her chair for a better look. A flash caught her eye. It wasn’t big. It was almost as if someone was lighting a match and then blowing it out immediately. Siggie didn’t move. She held her breath. Just as she was about to exhale, it happened again. This time it was more defined. It was a bigger flame. And just as soon as she realized it, again it was swallowed by the blackness.

Siggie decided three was the lucky number, the sign that she needed to investigate further. It took only another moment and there it was. The flame was bright blue, about the shape of a hand, fingers closed, palm flat facing her. It burned and flared. When it went out, it didn’t just vanish. It was as if it had been pulled away, sucked into the deep dark, black hole.

She had to hurry if she was going to find out what it was. She didn’t worry about shoes. Siggie knew she had to get down three flights of stairs, out the door, and through the alley before more sun threw its light to dissipate the secret.

It was cold, but that didn’t matter. She was in her pjs. That didn’t matter. Something inside Siggie told her that this was important. Something would be re-arranged when she found out what the light was.

“Good morning, Siggie.” Old Mrs. Crane peeked out of her door, always nosy as to what was happening in the building.

“Morning.” Siggie flew down the stairs.

“Ouch!” She slid in her socks and hit the front door too fast not getting it opened quickly enough. She bumped her elbow and forehead against it. Siggie never considered herself graceful.

As Siggie headed down the front steps, the sun was getting higher. She had to hurry.

A quick right turn and she bumped into a man with a backpack looking at his phone.

“Sorry.” Siggie spun him around. He paused and watched her disappear down the alley.

All she could think of was the sun. She could feel starting to cross the back of her head. And it was getting higher.

Just as Siggie’s feet came to edge of the darkness, the sun positioned itself just right to extinguish the last bit of shadow. Everything that was once in blackness shined as if it was taking a curtain call. Laying at her feet were three spent matches. The number three was a lucky number, a sign.

Siggie picked up the burnt sticks and walked back to her apartment.

.
.
.

Author’s Note:

Today I was lucky to offer a Creative Arts Gathering at my church. At A Church of the Holy Family, ECC, I am honored to be their Artist-In-Residence this year. I am grateful to have not only the space to create and write, but the people who love doing it alongside me.

The format is open to all, not just for writers. All forms of creators are welcome. I offer a prompt from which we can write, draw, or meditate. Or not. Artists may work on any project of their choice. We do this for a half hour without talking. Then we share, also optional.

I chose our prompt from a site that continually offers me inspiration – Tweetspeak. Take a look at what they do. It is tremendous. Today we used Tweespeak’s current Poetry Prompt – Daydreaming.

For my story, Siggie, I used words from the quote by Sigmund Freud.

Music

 

 

 

“music despite everything”

 

when she died they showed
us her photo, just in case
we didn’t remember

crooked pigtails atop her head
not quite even, and never bows

a scratchy voice through a crooked smile
shouted down the hall

feet tromped crashing
her entrance into quiet study rooms

her laugh, oh, her boisterous belly laugh
that only sings in memory

 

“music despite everything”

 

the batter’s up
the crack and soar
the roar
no longer plays through our house

an empty chair
two ball caps side by side
one for yard work, one for dress
no longer a head to wear them

Girlie, don’t forget to…
I always was, will always be his girlie

 

“music despite everything”

 

silent snownight
coyote chortle
morning bird song
seasons pass as I rise,
my God and my all

“music despite everything”

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

Today was a deep breath in a week that needed a cleansing.

Stephanie Dunlap led a group of us at A Church of the Holy Family,  in a safe and powerful writing retreat. Thank you so very much, Stephanie.

Through quick writes and sharing we grew through the morning, freeing our voices, and sharing our stories.

The prompt that spoke to me – music despite everything –  was from a line in A Brief for the Defense, a poem by Jack Gilbert.

I am continually grateful to have opportunities that gently lead me to explore my life through writing. And today I found a place to include my mantram from St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer – My God and my all.

With much heartfelt peace for this day of wonder,

Lexanne

 

P.S.

We ended with another prompt that caught my heart. Write a letter to God.

Holy One,

I give to you all I am
that which has always
been Yours

I surrender
to the dark unknown
and open my
heart

I place my hand
in Your open palm,
I need no other

With reverence for all,
beings who talk and sing,
crawlers and fliers,
swimmers and those
who simply are

I trust,
no longer forging my way,
in gratitude
I rest, I rest, I rest in You

 

 

Rules

I watch snow begin its fall,bunnyprintsinsnow
lay down this day of chill
on crisp golden locust leaves,
it clutters my path. I know
the price I will pay if
I don’t follow the rules.

I surely must move those
leaves to their proper rest
before flakes, surely not allow
them to stay where footsteps
will grind together snow and
leaves to become a musty cake
making an impossible run.

There are rules I must follow
to keep my path clear, ready
for its pilgrim to walk safe
and true.

Yet, I ask if rules are a good
matter to seek my attention,
give over my time. Rules beget
more rules until rules are all
that cover what was once a
simple way, now made less clear.

Instead I listen, start inside
with a whisper, learn who I am
from the Source. And I see a path,
simple and true, still covered with
leaves and snow. Only then
can my hand stretch to yours.
Together we will divine our way.

.

.

.

Author’s note:

If you would like more on this poem, please visit my page Journey/lex.

 

This week I thank Ryan Taylor of Access Denver for his reflection, in Street Psalms’ Word From Below, on the reading from The Revised Common Lectionary. And a sincere thanks to Fr. Scott Jenkins from a Church of the Holy Family for his prayers and the Beatitudes that will be read in the Celtic Celebration of All Saints this coming Saturday. All are welcome to join us in our celebration.

 

Lady Wisdom

Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748The fog is anxious

but the clearing,

slow may it be,

much patience required,

the opening ravishes.

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

The first time I visited San Francisco, we walked the city. We didn’t rent a car but used public transportation. Our first morning out, we took the bus to the bridge.

It was foggy. Just fog and the roar of traffic.

At the visitor center, we asked where the bridge was. From behind the counter came a point to the picture window, “It’s right there.”

My husband and I looked at one another and shrugged.

“Just take the steps up.” The finger returned to the newspaper on the counter turning to the next page.

And an afterthought, “Watch out for traffic. And just keep walking.”

So we walked up the steps and the traffic noise grew, surged through the fog without showing itself.

As we continued, we began to see ghost cars melting into grey. There was one lone figure ahead of us on the wide sidewalk with just enough clarity to make out his form. As we approached, he stopped. The three of us saw only the faintest outline of the bridge, a picture frame flat and almost nondescript.

When we reached him, he turned and handed us his camera. We obliged. He reclaimed it, bowed slightly, and began to walk back to the steps. We shared what we were told: just keep walking. He hesitated and without a reply disappeared down the steps into the soup.

We looked at one another and just continued walking.

It wasn’t long. Rather quickly, as a matter of fact, that as we passed under the first arch we could see the fog clearing. We kept walking. Cars became sharper to match the bluster. I could now see across the traffic to the opposite side of the bridge opening to the ocean and began to distinguish waves roaring in harmony with the rush hour madness.

My husband tapped me on the shoulder in our pause. He whispered, “Turn around.”

There it was, the city of San Francisco, the bay, and the bridge with the fog falling away, candy-colored in the bright morning sun.

Wisdom is there, always.

She waits for me to simply listen, press on in the present moment. There I will meet her.

If I release my worry, my need for control, my fear. If I sit with my choices and understand they are past done, I see her opening the door for me to make new choices to live the life I’ve been given.

I can choose to continue on, or turn back.

I choose Lady Wisdom.
.

.

.

And More:

Thank you, Scott Jenkins, for Celtic Conversations this past year at a Church of the Holy Family, ECC. I have grown and changed and learned to release. You’ve given us time to rest and question in a place of safety filled with compassion. Thank you, Padre.

A bit of synchronicity for this week. Our Celtic Conversations and the Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 11, 2015, from the USCCB.org:

Reading 1 WIS 7:7-11

Reading 2 HEB 4:12-13

San Francisco Bay Bridge Photo courtesy of: Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748

Artist-In-Residence

It is with great gratitude and humility that I am so very happy to announce that I have been named the first Artist-In-Residence by our Parish Leadership Team at A Church of the Holy Family, ECC in Aurora, Colorado. We are a church in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion who truly welcomes all.

I will be be developing ways for our community to share our stories through the arts. I myself am a writer and actor, but we have artisans of all types, ages, and passions within our family. We will be discovering, acknowledging, and sharing them with one another and the world.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Lexanne

11987213_512093022277176_8227185338563207095_n

A recent post from our pastor, Fr. Scott Jenkins:

The passion in your heart will guide you…

That is the answer to several questions I am usually asked over the course of a twelve month period. Somewhere around February or March, juniors and even seniors in high school will begin to verbalize a stirring of the waters in their hearts. “How do I know what I am supposed to do with the rest of my life?” “How do I know what I want to do when I grow up?” These questions carry a lot of energy, they are very important, and the answers seem to be the most elusive thing in the whole world!

Over the years, I have come to believe that God is the best communicator of all time. I believe that when we say, “God has created us in God’s image,” or “God loves us”, we are saying a whole bunch of things that are great to hear and trust. It means God wants us to reflect the awesome, life-changing love we have received and pass it on fully to others.

I have come to believe it means we all have been created with unique gifts to make the world a better place. And…I believe that God has given each of us a holy desire, a flaming passion that matches our giftedness and we are to unite the two in discovering what to do with the life we have been given. Our gifts + our passion = the path to our vocation, what our major will be in college or where do I volunteer now that I am retired? God wants us to know about our life path. There is no game of hide and seek going on here.

The same is true in Community life. People ask, “What are we going to focus on next year?” “Where shall I put my energy?” I love to hear these questions! It leads to a path of listening and eventually to discovery! Tell me…what are you passionate about? When you know this, you will be involved in something that ignites your life. If you have not discovered your passion, I look forward to walking with you so we may prayerfully discover it together.

What will Holy Family do next year? I believe we will bring about a real life engagement of our vision statement which boldly proclaims that we will…”foster a progressive environment that empowers spiritual growth and community service!” I am excited to see how this will show itself through all of us.

In Christ, Father Scott

holyfamily_logo2
A Church of the Holy Family, ECC
16738 E. Iliff Ave
Aurora, CO 80013-1135

 

 

Someone In Your Name

Nibbles here and there avow success.SomeoneInYourName
Seeds quarried, treasure consumed.
Autumn squirrels breach leathery pods,
mine sweet meat encased until
embryos are undone from their womb.
No spring sprouts for my garden.

Unknowing, the vessel has more
than one purpose I demand,
serves to honor more than I accept.
Envy rends, bit by bit,
until Your nucleus is devoured.
Lost in my narrow sight
a dried husk remains.

In release of exclusive eyes
harvest is abundant,
an unceasing yield by Your hand.
Gleaners in union with our Holy One,
regardless of title or status,
all are sanctioned at Your banquet.

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

38 John spoke up, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t in our group.”
                                                               – Mark 9:38-50The Message (MSG)

In Sunday’s reading the disciples are upset that there are others, not within their own special group, who are claiming to do works in the name of Jesus. The disciples only see through their narrow vision, not through the wide berth Jesus offers to all.

Envy gets in my way quite frequently. It takes away my focus, doesn’t let me see the whole picture. My ego is exclusive. Passage meditation is one way that helps me loosen that tight grip.

And the weekly newsletter, Word From Below, by Street Psalms always offers clarity. Thank you.

Filters, Poems by Lexanne Leonard

It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the publication of my first book of poetry at Amazon. com.

51AXbhseg6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

I discovered my love of writing in 2009 at the Colorado Writing Project. For two weeks teachers of elementary school students gathered to expand our skills in the teaching of writing. What we didn’t know was that we were going to be asked to become writers ourselves. The mornings were filled with research and lesson plans and the sharing of ideas. In the afternoons, we wrote. There I discovered I am a writer.

Fast forward a few years and another milestone in my life came as I stepped away from the Roman Catholic Church and found Fr. Scott Jenkins at A Church of the Holy Family. It is a Catholic, but not Roman, church of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. The ECC truly welcomes all.

Here I found a love for the arts – poetry, theatre, music, visual. I also found a place that creates space for Passage Meditation and numerous ways to pray and learn to live a Christ-centered life through a Celtic lens.

Soon I was writing and acting in plays, designing liturgy and liturgical space, composing prayers, and most important to my journey, writing lots of poetry. Filters is an encapsulated account of my faith journey.

During this time my monologues were published in two editions of Audition Monologues for Young Women compiled by Gerald Lee Ratliff. My poetry is included in How To Write A Poem by Tania Runyan, published by T.S. Poetry Press. Two of my poems will be seen in Casual next April 2016 in Tweetspeak Poetry‘s e-book for National Poetry Month.

Finally, my Advent devotional commissioned by A Church of the Holy Family will be available on Amazon.com this coming Advent season.

I thank all of my family at Holy Family, as well as my husband, Leroy Leonard, Fr. Scott Jenkins, and Kathleen Gorman for their unwavering faith me. They gave me the encouragement, the hard-ass-stick-to-it-lady-you-can-d0-its, and led me to discover in myself where the Divine resides. I now realize that I actually do have a ministry – sharing the Word though poetry and theatre.

I am deeply grateful for the harvest of this season.