One Thing That Gets Me Through. How About You?

Creativity…that is one great gift which gets me through this life, my own and the creativity of others. To me, it’s a great human expression of Spirit! As you may know, poetry is one area where I find such sustenance.

I was recently published in a journal with the poem below. Though not my first published poem, the publication party last week was the first time I read any of my poems to a sizable crowd. I was nervous!! Until I began to read. Then the poem took over for me. Funny how that happens, no? Friends who could not attend wanted me to share the poem. I preferred to do it as a blog in order to share it readily on social media, and to add some photos. My WordPress template made it hard to format it just as it should look, but nonetheless…here it is.

 

 

The Beauty You LeftMichelle

for my sister

 

As usual

you were ahead of your time

Now it’s almost fashionable

to die of cancer.

 

Bowl Michelle MadeThough it’s been nearly a decade

I still savor the sight of the heavy thick bowl

you made with your kids at the pottery studio

squiggles painted on bone glaze

 

And the milky glass vase,Vase From Michelle

another gift from you

now holding long sturdy stems sprouting

dried baby roses the size of pennies

 

My enameled purple earrings

replacing the original pair you bought me

which had been lost when that burglar

Earrings from Michellebroke in, stealing only my earrings

 

I wore them at that pricey café, where you insisted

on treating me, for getting your son to his appointment;

you’d been too nauseous from the chemotherapy.

Our final dinner out, we didn’t know your last relapse was near

 

The small green porcelain bull

red surfboard on it’s backMichelle's Cow

tiny yellow lei around the neck

replica of a Chicago cow sculpture

 

you collected them like baseball cards

this one a duplicate

that your husband gave me

after you passed

 

book gift-1The book about health I no longer have

you bought for me in a fit of extra

sweetness, perhaps mixed with pity

for my own lifelong maladies

 

You were so different from me, full of vigor

entertaining scores of friends

cooking for them and

dancing, always dancing

 

It’s the Scorpio mug you brought me from Israel though

with all my astrological traits in a language

I can’t even read

that made me think of you today

 

Most mornings I use it for turmeric tea, its nutrients

meant to bring lighted health to own my cells.

Imbibing, I relish the beauty you left

After, I scrub it to vanquish yellow stains

 

 

© Elizabeth Good

 

Ode To The Overwhelmed

In a (very possibly misguided) effort to bring you, my treasured readers & site visitors, the most juicy, wonderful, inspiring, helpful and hopeful junk I can share, I am going through thousands of my photos attempting to get them pared down, categorized and shared on my site. This project I suspect could take way longer than anticipated…so many unexpected steps, even with the help of my incredible wonderful web master Greg at Sierra Online Services. Occasionally I am sharing a random one in the interim, but my online attention has been burrowed in photos primarily. Thus, the blogging (which was the other half of my Great Intent for this year) has surely greatly suffered, although you probably hadn’t noticed nor mind that there is not one more thing cluttering your inbox, nor vying for you attention online.

The Photographer in his “Studio”

The Photographer in his “Studio”
photo by Elizabeth Good

Given my desire to share at least something today, I am totally swiping content here. I found this poem in an ancient email (somehow in the middle of cleaning out the photos, I wound up cleaning out emails as well).

I am a total novice at using borrowed content, so I hope that adding the link and copyright of the author at the end there is all I need to do! (It’s an honor, I suspect, when one’s work is shared by other bloggers).

This affirming poem has been very well received when I’ve shared through email, although it may appeal more to females. Some men may also relate to much of it, but if you are a male who has a female or females you love…whether lover, spouse, mother, friend, relative, co-worker….they may very well appreciate you sending this to them.

Hope it helps to uplift you, whatever your gender.

Feel free to leave any comments below about how this poem affects you.

 

Off to photoland….take good care of you!

 

AN ODE TO THE OVERWHELMED

And as you stand there
Late again
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you.

You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.

The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and
Forgot.

And that despite your best efforts,
You rarely eat a square meal,
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.

But you are good and brave.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and
I’ll–have-to-call-you-back-on-that-could-you-send-me-an-email-to-remind-me-to-call-you-back-on-that?

As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
You are a fount of good intentions.
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little….funny.

But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.

So much for the overpriced lingerie.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?

But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.

You are beautiful.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.

Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.

© Samantha Bennett

An Exotic Passover

Full Moon in Aptos, California. Photo by Elizabeth Good

Full Moon in Aptos, California. Photo by Elizabeth Good

While this is my first “official” blog for my new updated site (Yes! Blogging capabilities at last!), it’s an oldie but goodie. But I like to re-post it at this time of year.

I hope it stirs memories of your own holiday celebrations, and/or gives you a window to this one that perhaps you’ve never thought about.
~~~~~~~

I’m more the type of gal who is interested in the fact that Passover is on the first full moon after Equinox than I am in traditional Judaism. As with Easter, which was originally held on the first Sunday after the first full moon after Equinox (but became subject to a more complex formula for determination of the date over time), I am drawn to the Earth-based, rhythmic underpinnings of religious holidays, which serve to connect us to our innate spiritual nature.

That being said, growing up Jewish (and appreciating many aspects of Jewish spirituality), it is impossible to not enjoy my fond childhood memories of the traditional Passover ritual meal, the Seder.

The week-long holiday often is celebrated by American Jews with Seders on the first night, and for some also the second. Extended family or friends customarily gather.

While first night was, for me, a fun affair as a child (with us giggling cousins being our usual kid-like selves to endure the semi-serious process), it was probably not unlike many American Seders based in European roots (known as Ashkenazic Judaism) and the common more liberal Reform-style Judaism that most of my friends and family practiced.

Second night, though, was another experience altogether. My very strict uncle, a follower of the most religious form of Judiasm (Orthodox), and hailing from Persia, practiced the—to me—exotic Sephardic style of Judaism, which is the type that those from the Iberian Peninsula practice. Though there was a solemnness to his approach, it was mysterious enough to keep me eager with anticipation every year, when my sister and I would go with my parents and meet up with our two same-aged cousins and their folks.

I was always enthralled; captivated. Not to mention anticipating the meal that came late into the evening, after the first half of the Seder rituals happened. Sure, first night with chicken and matzoh ball soup was a big treat. But… Persian food!! Oh my goodness.

I wrote this short simple poem back when I was in college. It brings me to that feeling of mystery with which my exotic Middle Eastern, Orthodox Jewish uncle was enshrouded. I always feel that his passing brought him closer to the Source he so honored.

Uncle Hoff

When it was still Persia

You and grandpa left

Made a new life here

 

Kept your religion

Never touching lamps

After dark on Sabbath or holidays

 

We four cousins

in awe of you

And you of The Lord.

 

Years later

We burn with memories

Of all that you gave us

 

It has not been the same

Since you left us for your God