come with me…I shall give you something and take you somewhere

The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell


Is there anything so nice 
As curling up 
With a lovely book
A cup of tea
And something sweet…
*
Seven chapters long,
Reminds me of a week of days
How much longer it must have taken than that to create the tale,
To watch it become more than mere words
Illustration by Maurice Sendak

The mother, the father and the boy
Were shipwrecked on a deserted island
Time passed
As time does,
Whether there are clocks to mark it or not.
The mother passed
The father passed 
And, the boy was alone
But, he was no longer the boy
He was the hunter now

*
Evening after evening 
Her soft voice 
Called him to the shore
And to her song
Where the alone of him
Met the sea of her
And 
Lapped at his heart
As waves that wet the sand
And make it their very own

So, the mermaid 
Who had spent her whole life 
Swimming away from things
Left her watery world
To be with the hunter
In their island home
Now, they were two

*
Time passed 
As time does
And the hunter found the cub
The baby who would grow to be the brown bear
The hunter brought him home
The sticky honey loving bear 
Who curled up by the fire to sleep
Now, they were three
*
Time passed 
As time does
And the hunter found the kitten
The baby who would grow to be the lynx
The hunter brought him home
The playful purring lynx 
Who loved to give you somethings 
And get you to go to somewheres 
Now, they were four


Time passed 
As time does
And the lynx found a boy  
Who would become The boy
*
But, for now 
He was a crying baby in a shipwreck,
On that self same shore
Where the hunter had once been the boy in the shipwreck 
Where the calling song was sung
Where the mermaid left the sea
And the hunter had carried her home
Yes, that self same shore
With the heart-lapping waves


So with the help of the bear,
The lynx brought the boy to their home 
The one overlooking the sea
The hunter, the mermaid, the bear, the lynx and the boy
Now, were five
Just as one head, two hands and two feet
Are five
Held together by home and by heart
*
Time passed 
As time does..
…in every line of the tale
There was the whisper of the waves
On the shipwrecked island shore
Singing the song of belonging
Of
The boy, the lynx, the bear, the mermaid and the hunter
Who lived and loved
Who loved and lived
As time passed
As time does
For now and for evermore…


There were no a’s in this tale 
As an a could be anyone
Any hunter, any mermaid, any bear, any lynx, any boy
And there were no anyones in this tale
There were only someones
*
There were no names in this tale
But, names were not needed
Nor were they missed
I knew each someone well
As well as they knew each other
*
The hunter only ever hunted for one thing really,
What do You think it was…
And which The are You…

*

I recently read The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell.   This is my own retelling of it and how it came to find a home in the heart of me. It’s a charming story written in 1965 with a few very sweet illustrations by Maurice Sendak.  At the library it is shelved in the children’s section, and that is where it found me…

****
ellie894 October 14, 2019
Jarrell, Randall. The Animal Family. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965





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Scene Cuts – Comedy

Scene Cuts Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Thank you Rory for inviting me to share funny moments from movies I love in this premiere of Scene Cuts! We could all do with more laughter in our lives and this is wonderful way to begin. 

Once a week, Rory will pick a Film Genre, post three film clips and tag three readers who in turn will post three film clips on the chosen film genre and tag 3 of their own. 

In Rory’s own words – So what’s Scene Cuts? Fair question … and answered very simply – everyone love movies and films and everyone loves ‘ snippets’ from their favourites … those funny scenes, those moments which just captivated you!

This week’s theme is Comedy! 

My three clips are…

 

 

 

I invite anyone who would like to share funny movie moments to pause their giggles and do so! 

****

ellie894  October 6, 2019

faded colors, sweet potatoes and a shower of champagne…

July 14, 2019

Despite the heat,

I have been outdoors

For the last two days

Tending

To roses

And grasses

And trees

The sunny dappled garden of my days

I even dug in the dirt

To plant the already sprouting

Sweet potatoes

I offered them a better home

Than their pantry basket

Did you know

If given the chance

They make a lovely vine

The tendrils are delicate

The leaves decorous

And the green is decidedly delightful

So it was

That I was

Tired and sore

And, I almost did not walk last evening

But,

I changed my mind at the last

And went ahead anyway

How happy I am for it

For whatever carried me to there

Away from my to dos

And into the fields

Tended by their own dear sky

A wind blew cool from the north

A welcome respite in a Texas July

Bringing along

Snowy whites and threatening grays

It surprised me

And caught me

In a bubbly sparkling rain

How still I stood

To listen

To a thousand fairies

Dancing from leaf to leaf

In joyful innocence

Open the eyes of your heart

Their silvery wings whispered to me

And so I turned

From beneath the cover

And protection of the juniper

To see

An enchanting bow of faded colors

Filling the air with hope

And my dreams with surrender

I imagine it to be a circle

And wonder where it travels to

Beyond where I can see

Into a brightest elsewhere

Of love’s eternal hide and seek

How very grateful I am

That wonder called to me

And I listened…

Behind every poem is a fullness of thought. So it is with this one. On a July day, I planted sweet potatoes. I walked to a hilltop where rain caught me. I marveled at a rainbow arching over field, forest and home. And, I listened.

Recently I read a small book about cultivating silence. Thinking about silence suddenly makes you keenly aware of all the sounds that you hear. Silence reminds me to listen.

Even though everyone, including me is bestowing Happy Autumn wishes, it is still summer in Texas. It’s nearly October and this very minute I hear the sound of the sprinkler rhythmically turning under the holly tree, splashing everything in its path.

Hummingbirds are performing a brilliant “cirque de soleil”. I am the lucky soul with a free front row seat! They twitter and hum as they playfully zip-zing and then rest for a time among the prickled leaves. The hummers eat more in September than at any other time of the year. I think it’s because they’ll leave me soon. They’re fattening up before their long journey. I wonder what their tropical getaway looks like and whether they miss the holly tree.

Those sweet potatoes that I planted are so cheerful! If I can keep Jack and Dobby from romping through them they will grow all the way into December. I giggle that I find so much to love about them. You see, I’ve never liked to eat sweet potatoes. When I was a child I couldn’t stand them no matter how deliciously you dressed them up. Even marshmallows made no difference to me.

Gosh Mimi, those sweet potatoes smell good.

Would you like some, suzanne?

No thank you.

In truth I probably made a squinchy face and said Blech as they were heaped on my plate. If only I had had Bo back then. He would have sat blissfully at my elbow scarfing down every yucky bite I snuck to him. But, that’s a story for another day, aptly titled – The Dog Eats Half My Food!

Now, I eat sweet potatoes twice a year. They’re fine. But, I will never be a fan.

However, I do love to watch them grow. They create a twirling elegant vine. In autumn I buy them fresh at farmers’ roadside markets. Some I cook. The rest wait to be planted the following spring. I know, July is nowhere near spring. I was incredibly late this year. Nevertheless, in the ground they went.

I didn’t have very high hopes for them. After all, we were heading into the hottest driest part of the year. Who plants anything in July?! This year, I did. And, you know what? They have grown above and beyond my expectations. They are the happiest little patch of heart shaped leaves and curling tendrils that you can possibly imagine. They have spread like a low lush forest. You never can tell who might be playing in there…

Back to that July afternoon –

There was rain! Fluffy clouds rolled in and surprised me. It hinted of champagne. A cork joyously popped!! Bubbles spilled over the edges and the sky winked at me as if there was something special about this moment. And there I was caught right in the lovely center of it. I can still hear the drops cascading around me in my secluded hilltop waterfall.

There was a rainbow! Have you ever noticed how silent they are. Not a single sound. They come and go without ever crying out or begging to be seen. How many do we miss because we are occupied in thought or in doing. But this one…I heard. In its own gentle voice it rhymed and sang and invited me to dance. The colors gathered me and sailed me to far away places…into enticing dreamscapes as I wondered where its other half might be. I stayed and stayed not wanting to miss a single tender hue or precious step.

And, then there were sweet potatoes. They lay quietly in their dark underground cavern listening…to the earth and the rain and the colors of the rainbow telling them All that they would become…in time.

The last few months have been parched. I don’t have an answer. Sometimes life is like that. Dry and dusty. You wait, for rain and for hope to come. In the meantime, you do what you can. Turn on the sprinkler. Enjoy the hummers. Be someone’s rainbow. And, listen to the sweet potatoes grow…

May your spirit find refreshment in listening to the soft and silent things that touch your heart.

Suzanne ❤️

****

ellie894 September 29, 2019

Note there are no photos of actual sweet potatoes or casseroles in this post because…you know, reasons. 😉

321 Quote Me – Gratitude

 

Thank you to Rory for tagging me in 321 Quote Me! His chosen theme of this one is Gratitude. He has a marvelous welcoming site that encourages both thought and community. Please do visit him and enjoy a look around.

**

321 Quote Me Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip

 

Gratitude

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

A.A. Milne

***

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

Aesop

***

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

G.K. Chesterton

How does one sum up gratitude in two quotes? Well, as you can clearly see, I didn’t. I searched and searched for just the right words to say what I felt to be true. I searched and searched for just the right photo. Time and again I found myself back where I began. Quotes about gratitude often end in love. Images that inspire gratitude are of things I love. It would do me no good to try and separate the two. They are as intricately woven together as is the most delicate lace.

I love the way…is where my writing so often begins. It is my heart’s gratitude for the everyday things and the ways of them.

I love..

..the way the breeze picks up the edges of the sheets that are hung on the clothesline to dry

..the way hummingbirds hover in sweet greeting making me feel a part of their tiny world

..the way calves are insatiably curious and begin to follow me

..the way flowers bloom..enough said

..the way autumn colors light everything in a spectacular sunset that lasts beyond nightfall

..the way Dobby looks at me with soulful eyes and waggles his short tail

..the way a crockpot does all the cooking for me on a long day

..the way a song catches in your center and won’t let go and you’re glad for it to be there

..the way Jack reminds me of a muppet

..the way pizza can have any topping you like

..the way the first cool morning after a hot summer excites like love’s first kiss

..the way Bo adores the porch but thinks the yard is made of lava

..the way children giggle..at almost anything

..the way cookies go well with cold milk or hot tea or…come to think of it, cookies go well with everything

..the way clouds make movies in the sky

..the way Ellie snuggles just because

..the way friends encourage each other

..the way a grateful heart makes us mindful of the needs of others

Gratitude is not a thing. It is a way of being. Gratitude is the way you love everything around you…and then it is the way that everything around you loves you back…

Thank you kindly for reading and for being a beautiful part of my days,

Suzanne❤️

321 Quote Me encourages me to tag three people to continue on with sharing their own favorite quotes about gratitude. I invite anyone who is so inspired to participate and link back to Rory at A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on the night swing…

On the night swing

Silence reigns peacefully…

One, two, three…

I begin to count the stars,

Soon, I realize there aren’t nearly enough.

Where did they get away to,

Did they become wishes,

And did they come true…

With an upward gaze and an open heart,

I fly from here to soar the heavens

And tiptoe there among them.

They sparkle with a surety and a grace

That sends me back through time

Into a shining darkness of uncountable nights.

Ones that came before so many counterfeit lights of man.

There was an age

When stars outnumbered the neon glow.

I miss it much…

Do those that are left in the heavens look to us now,

In mystery, as we do them.

Are they intrigued by our sparklers of one kind and another.

Do they surmise that some of their very own

Have fallen into this dusty corner of space…

…to enchant us mere women and men…

…maybe.

Is that how a wish is born,

Does a star choose to fall,

Because it heard the distant whisper of a thought…

It hopes,

And draws close,

Close enough to listen…

To the stories of you and me.

…maybe.

But, I ask,

Do they still enchant us,

Or have we replaced them

With something that will never be real.

Desire beckons to me

To find a somewhere

Where once again, the lights of us are few to none,

And the stars are free

To reign in silence

From their own celestial home

Where they belong….

****

ellie894 September 8, 2019

all at once I know…

I cannot yet say that there’s a welcome chill in the air

…but it is finally September…

Could you hear the sigh in me

As I wrote it out full…

September…

Last night a deer felt at home in the field

This morning,

A hawk graces the sky above me

My creek saunters on

As lyrically as always

To wherever it goes

But to my gaze it all seems the tiniest bit different

Far more exquisite than mere words

Can tell

It shimmers from the inside

As though by a faery’s whispered spell

I take a step

And another

…and another still

Gentle ones made carefully

So as not to disturb the tender things

That call the ground home

While I search the pine straw for a feather

…there isn’t one to be found

Perhaps there will be when I return

In time for the sun to wish me goodnight

Oh, eventime…

Will the colors be brilliant in their last hurrah

Or faded and comforting

Like my favorite soft jeans

We’ll see

But I don’t want to miss this moment

In anticipation of that one

And so back to now,

Woodpeckers knocking behind me

And turtles preparing to laze themselves long

Hour after hour

Upon the finest fallen log

I wonder at what they will see

While I am away this day

I breathe deeply in

The sweet air of a new dawn

After all it is September…

Some days there is a peace that comes

That nearly overwhelms me,

As silent as a single feather drifting

As mighty as the golden setting sun

All at once my heart knows

Beyond all knowing

That this…

…this is what love feels like…

****

ellie894 September 4, 2019

I could play with these thoughts a while longer and make them just so. I wonder if I’ve made a mistake somewhere that I’ll discover only after I share. So please forgive any missteps. I want only to give them away before this day gets away from me. They’re yours now and my hope is that you’ll find something lovely in them of your very own to keep. May you all find joy and kindness in the days ahead. ❤️

in the heart of every moment…

The music beckoned to me

To go

So I went

In search of what

I cannot be sure

But, when I came to rest

Deep within the soul

Of my own belonging

I looked down to my feet

Planted firmly upon the sturdy ground

And what to my enchantment

Did I find there….

…but an ancient,

primeval forest…

A wildness beyond my imagining

As near as my touch…

It contained its own bewildering completion

Before it would ever even begin

I am mesmerized

As I leave it behind me

Will it stay there

Where I first found it

Or will it travel farther than far

To become all that it was meant to be

The music beckons to me

To go on

So I go

Wondering as I do

At how many moments in a day

Hold the vast possibility of everything

Yet, we move too quickly

To know they are there

I see a primeval forest

At home in the depths of your gaze

I see an ancient universe

Dance in the sparkle of your smile

In the heart of every moment

Eternity is hoping

To become the love story

That it was always meant to be…

****

ellie894 July 30, 2019

Listening to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

permission granted…

This morning well before six a.m. I read that time is a circus always packing up and moving away, that nursery fare is supreme comfort and that a story has permission to go anywhere it wants to…

I’ve never liked the circus much. While I’m mesmerized by the talent and strength of the human performers, as a whole the circus of my childhood leaves me sad. I don’t mind watching it move away. Time will never be a still thing and I’m good with that.

Oh to have a day of nursery fare! I Love Lucy on tv, pjs and my favorite soup with melty cheese crackers on the side. A Jammy day! Jack is good at those. He curls up nearby and gladly helps me part with my cheesey saltines. I confess he stares a lot until the yummies are gone. But eventually he closes his peepers and we both nap. It reminds me of my Mimi. I would stay with her sometimes when my Papa was away at the farm. She was safe then from his hands that could be hurtful.

I could sleep as late as I wanted to in the coziest bed! Mimi grew up in Chicago. She knew how to layer a bed for warmth and comfort. She let me stay in my jammies and eat breakfast on a TV tray. And she taught me to crochet…hand work…to take a tiny bit of yarn and create something beautiful…

Where will this story go. I’m not sure yet. All of mine seem to wander around. I always wonder if I’m hard to follow. Nevertheless, there I am…

I didn’t sleep especially well. I hope today will be a good one and not just for myself. We often hope that don’t we…for a good one…whatever the One happens to be.

Hoping for clear skies and kindness

For moonbeams and sweet dreams

….to always find us…

We hope for ourselves and for others at the same time. There it is again, that time thing, packing up and moving away.

I hope that you can rest, that your pizza will be full of your favorite toppings, that you had a Mimi whose fridge always had sweet tea in it, and that the music will soothe you…

Hope falls somewhere between desire and wishing. It’s the embodiment of who you are and how you love the world. It knows the longing of your soul and writes the words that make it real. Desire paints the masterpiece in your heart, and wishing lights up not only the night sky but the whole world around you.

Hope sort of takes the two, desire and wishing, and builds a bridge between them…lays the stones for the one to reach the other. Beethoven does that with a brilliance I can hardly imagine. Every note he has left us is a symphony of hope. He created movements of beauty in the emptiness between desire and wishing. ….and floods my soul with hope.

Renoir does it too…such stunning joyful colors! Even with my eyes closed, the rubies and emeralds and sapphires take my breath away. And Van Gogh…with his passion filled brush. He welcomes my tears as well as my dancing. Vincent tells me that both are ok, both have a place and a time….His creations are all about the movement of the soul. I can feel his paintings sweeping straight into the depths of my heart…. moving is a lovely thing, taking one and bringing another

Beauty arrives in many a disguise. We have only to open the door and let it cross the threshold bearing its precious gifts. Perhaps for you it comes as Corey Taylor’s voice or Kavanaugh’s poetry or Kokoschka’s art. And that’s all very good. It is as it should be.

Ellie is a pup again when she hears the tin of oatmeal cookies open. Bo is a speed demon to my side when he hears the toaster pop. Jack only and always wants to be near whether there is a favorite snack or not. And Dobby is a master at waiting for my return…from anywhere…even from just down to the mailbox!

I’m grateful for cloudy skies, morning thoughts, soft flannel sheets in the winter, and learning to crochet. The circus is all packed up now. Scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast are waiting for me. This story, if you can call it that, has ventured to all the places that I guess it wanted to go. Permission granted….I’m grateful for that too…

****

ellie894 July 9, 2019

in a moment of forgetting….

When I look into the sky

I feel the reassuring blue

Embrace me gently

And the softness of the clouds

Settle in my soul

When I look into the water

I feel the sky there too

And for a moment I forget

That it is water and not sky

Until a dragonfly dips for a sip

Or a faery lands unnoticed

Or a silvery fish

Arises from the depths

In much the same ways

As a raindrop rests on the cloud

Or an eagle soars the breeze

Or a wishing star falls

Into an open heart

The two worlds, a mirror of each other

There are ripples then

That make it seem

That the wind blows

Among the reflected trees

But it doesn’t

They are as serene and peaceful

As they were moments ago

When I remember it is water that I see

I lose myself in wonder

At what magic

Falls and flies within it

That is as yet

Quite invisible to me…

****

ellie894 July 2, 2019

wild places and gentle moments…

In East Texas, June air can often be as humid as a rainforest. You pray for it to just let go and rain already. It’s so heavy that I struggle to breathe.

This week hasn’t been that way. The days have had a lovely Novemberish feel to them…inviting me to linger a while…in gentle moments well spent. I have learned much.

Bunnies were born in the yard this week. It began in a frustrating once upon a time, turned into a silly sweet day of caregiving, and finally came to a secure and happy end. I’ll write to you of them soon. Yes, dear Dobby Do was involved.

So, there have been busy hours and not so busy hours, which brings me back to my walking once again….

My breathing changes when I set out to walk each evening. It slows, as do I. To be honest, I don’t walk for exercise. I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere or to do anything in particular.

Forest Bathing is becoming quite a popular thing these days which makes me giggle. It seems I’ve been forest bathing for a long time. Who knew?! I had no fancy name for it or scientific studies to tally up in bar graphs as proof that it was a clever idea. And no, you don’t need soap.

Mostly, it’s about listening…to the trees and the wind…to the birds and the frogs…to the echoes of thoughts in my heart…

In everything there is a longing, to be at peace, to create, to love.

In the wild places everything is a part of the longing and belonging…from the fallen tree to the precious snail. The snail moves as peacefully as a breeze. He pauses often to enjoy the lovely moments…the tiny ones that he knows are worth all the time in the world.

The trees reach ever forth in new creation. Fresh leaves leap into the bluest sky. Fresh roots delve into the deepest earth. Trees create in every which direction from the center of themselves.

And what of love…in the wild places love is everywhere.

Deer keep close to one another in the shade of the sweetgum, listening more carefully than I do for rustling in the leaves. Flowers open in colorful surprise, a gift of last season’s efforts and a whole year’s waiting. Frogs sing to me each afternoon as I blow kisses of goodbye and see ya soon. They probably sing to each other…but it’s nice to imagine it’s for me.

I made cheese ladas this week and had leftover corn tortillas. I shall feed the fish, I thought! No need for waste! The perch were boisterous and seemingly starved! A lone catfish was shy about the whole thing. With time and patience he not only came near but ate straight from my hand. My heart raced in joy!

Then, there was this little turtle. I shall call him Tiny Tim after the turtle in the song that I share with the preschoolers. We giggle and make hand motions and always but always sing it twice…

I have a little turtle

His name is tiny tim

I put him in the bathtub

To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water

Glue glub glub

He ate up all the soap

Nom nom nom

Now he’s home

Sick in bed

With bubbles in his throat

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop!

Again!!

Tim adores corn tortillas! He easily dispersed the perch and even tried to scare off the catfish who is at least three times his size! He grabbed the tortilla bites from my hand and swam far enough away to gobble them down before returning for more. We went on like this until there was no more. Plus, the sun was setting and it was time for me to get home.

Each day I arrived with something to share. Each day the lake dwellers came in their own way…especially Tim.

Last night I was awfully tired and there had been bunnies all day and I had run out of corn tortillas. So it was that I arrived at the lake empty handed…

The perch splashed at me in gleeful anticipation. The catfish floated gently back and forth at the edge of the pier waiting for my hand. But Tim….he really gave me the “what for”!

He swam close to the pier and popped up…

What’d ya bring me?

When I didn’t give him anything he swam off a few inches only to return and pop up…

Seriously, what’d ya bring me?

He began to come up and just stare at me…quietly staring…

Other times it seemed he had a voice –

Hey?

Hey?

Now?

How bout now?

Now?

How bout now?

Tiny Tim was relentless.

I giggled at his eager enthusiasm. I was saddened that I was such a disappointment to him. I never realized that he would invite me into his world. I never thought they would all come up to the surface of the water because of me. Of course I know hunger was involved, a longing for nourishment. But still, there I am, wondering. I have learned my lesson and shall definitely be taking something to share when I head out to walk later. I have no desire to spend my evening being stared at again by Tiny Tim.

I know there will be more days like yesterday when I have nothing to give. The fish and the turtles will come anyway. I’m grateful for that. Love is not always about doing. Nor should it be. Love is about simply being.

Whether one calls it Forest Bathing or Listening doesn’t really matter. It may be a flower coming up through a sidewalk crack that reminds you of that time…or a single pot filled with herbs that you will use to create a luscious meal. It may be an ocean or a mountain top or a forest with a lake. It doesn’t have to be a big place. You only have to feel the gift of it.

When you find the wild places, the simple ones…you discover they are filled with longing for peace and creation…and they sweetly overflow with love and belonging….

****

ellie894 June 15, 2019