November #OpenWrite

Today’s prompt, “Heal” included the invitation to go back to another prompt I didn’t write before. I went back to April 1, 2019, both prompts from Sarah Donovan.

What is Good?”

Good Work

Good work–
Work, purposeful work,
Work that builds,
Not diminishes
I work with all I am–
Never just punching a clock
But I pour myself into the work

Good work–
Work, created especially for me
Good work assigned
Work and care for Eden, Adam
That was God’s directive
That is God’s directive to me

Good work–
Work, more than you did
Yesterday
Take care of the earth
Work to heal
To bring Her
Back from defilement
Take care of people
Work for justice
Repent
Plant peace–
Seeds of peace, that have
Not been planted–
Yet

Good work–
Work good
Get ready
Do good work
And get into
Good trouble

breath with Sarah Donovan

Brokenness and heartbreak, loss of job
Bickering teachers overwhelmed
Safety protocol mistakes
Covid deaths and counting
White House renegade
Friend triangles
Knotted neck
Breathe out
Breathe
Breathe in
Peace and hope
Healthy dinner
Thanksgiving (really)
Strolling along the shore
Cooperating with Truth
Foaming bubble bath to my neck
Leaning on the everlasting arms

receiving with Sarah Donovan

I couldn’t seem to do this prompt today, so I will use my Death poem I wrote this morning for The Isolation Journals.

giving with Sarah Donovan

Giving Learning

What I say to students:

Yes, yes you can!
I love your work.
I’m such a fan.

Do you know?
I don’t.
Let’s give it a go.

Please do.
I am not sure.
Yes to you
and you
and you.

thanks with Sarah Donovan

thanks

seeing my phone
slip from my hands into
the hearty
tomato saucy
goodness of
Amy’s Organic
Vegetarian
Baked Beans
in the microwavable
bowl

Was like watching
a phone
tumble over the railing
on the upper floor
at the mall but
Instead of smashing
on the tile
below, it
slipped
sidled
slunk
slithered
stole
shrinkingly
into the sauce
so smoothly
so stealthily

My first reaction
was to pull it up from
its shallow bath
It only took a half-inch dip
My phone barely waded in
Hardly got its feet wet
I don’t know beans about
how to save a phone
in a cooking calamity

So
It will be fine
I told myself
I took a quick lick
across the bottom
where the speaker
and charge port sit
because the slits were
looking crimson
and congested

I gave the whole phone
a once-over with the dish cloth
I sucked on the end to
extract more tomato sauce
Just to be sure
Then I promptly forgot about it

The phone worked fine all day
But on seeing the
15% battery warning.
I went to plug it in

Nothing
No power
No lightning bolt
I checked the plug for
electricity
I wiggled the cords
Beans!
Oh yeah, the beans

As my husband and I sat
through the rest of the Zoom
meeting, I thought about telling
him. (Our mic was muted.)
No, I better wait.

When we finished, I nonchalantly said,
I dropped my phone into the beans at lunch.
He said, You need a new phone anyway.
What? I said. No I don’t. THIS is my phone.
I just need it to charge.
He plugged it in and
I switched the cord
to a different outlet.
It worked.
It’s up to 83% now,
so I think the beans are history.

#Gratiku

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org

Last Tuesday I read about #gratiku poetry on Erika Victor’s blog.

Gratitude + haiku = gratiku. I thought gratitude was an important thing to have these days. Take time to be grateful. That’s what I will be doing each day in November.

30

Always just on-time
Now God arrives again–though
Waiting’s not easy

29

Spicy karak chai
Rich milky goodness for me
Grace in a teapot

28

Mashed potatoes and
Gravy for dinner will do
Tasty comfort food

27

Petrichor sweetness
Rains have arrived in Bahrain
Greetings, third water

26

25

Early Thanksgiving
Fried chicken and pumpkin bread
Welcome gifts from friends

24

I thank you God for
the dancing tingly cool breeze
and green that bests gray

23

Welcome breath of God
swelling our sails to get us
to the other shore

22

Yes, leadership and
learning are vitally joined
How else can one lead?

#gratiku #JFK #berlinwall

21

Heaven comes to earth
Go further up, further in
Renewing this world

20

Mr. President,
Full of gratitude today
Love, the U.S.A.

@JoeBiden @POTUS

19

all are created
equal–great task remaining
before us–new birth

#GettysburgAddress

18

17

16
clicking send before
sleep causes me to wonder
how will you reply?

15

14
Prayer freedom washed
Competition relaxes
Fear becomes mercy

13
Open write with friends
Ethical ELA starts
Anticipation!

12

11
Education, yes
Wanted: critical thinking
More education

10

9
Holding your hand at
Night after hearing bad news
Love always trumps fear

8

7

6

5
Knowing life goes on
I’m just one replaceable
Rung in a fine wheel

4
Thankful for counting
Calculate the election
Every single vote

3
Nadia praying
Guiding us through voting day
Centering on God

2
Afternoon naps with
A blanket on my cold feet
After that, iced tea

1
Pausing and thanking
When I forget all the good
Help me refocus

Celebrating democracy when the race was called for Biden on Saturday

Eating Through My Freezer

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org

This past pandemic spring, I experimented with spices and cooking like I never had before. It was delicious and so much fun! I actually lost weight throughout all that cooking and eating, mostly because we were not going to restaurants or enjoying other people’s lovely invitations to eat at their homes. So, I cooked, much of it healthy, but not always.

Then after a few months, my husband had a checkup and discovered he needed to adjust his diet. His menu has since become too bland and too meaty for my tastes. So I adjusted too. I didn’t want to keep cooking because I would was going to be the only one eating some of the dishes. Instead, I decided eat through my freezer, and it’s been quite an adventure. I had a lot of leftovers and ingredients in there from the past few months–sambar, vegetable soup, chili, Thai soup, pesto, vegetable kebab mixture, sweet and sour sauce, and lots of things made with eggplant.

Now, after almost a month, I’m still going strong. The freezer contents seem to be multiplying, though, because it doesn’t really seem like it’s getting emptier.

I wonder what next week will hold. Maybe tomato paste smeared on freezer-burned bread. Not really! I guess I will have to think about cooking again.

P.S. I am trying to breathe deeply throughout this day. If you haven’t already considered all that is at stake today, you might want to review this:

LEST WE FORGET THE HORRORS: A CATALOG OF TRUMP’S WORST CRUELTIES, COLLUSIONS, CORRUPTIONS, AND CRIMES

 

I’ve Looked at Both Sides Now

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Joni Mitchell

Be cute and quiet, Dad’s anger will cease
Go outside, don’t stir up trouble, please
We called peace where there was no peace
I looked at peace that way
But now, “No justice, no peace,” I know
The arc is bending slowly, though
Let justice roll down and freedom flow
I’ve looked at peace from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
Peace’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know peace at all

Husband and wife, the man’s in charge
He brings home the bacon, his power’s large
Patriarchy’s rules discharged
I looked at marriage that way
But now he weds he or she marries she
Marriage is an act of love, I see
It’s not just my experience for love to be
I’ve looked at marriage from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
Marriage’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know marriage at all

God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
Deny the times you’ve been in the pit.
No questions asked, fake it with grit.
I looked at faith that way
But now I have a faith that stays
God’s with me even when I stray
I have the amount I need just for today
I’ve looked at faith from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s faith’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know faith at all

Prompt #115
Write about a time you encountered someone from your past after many years. How did it feel to be suddenly reacquainted with this person? What did it reveal to you–about who you were and who you are now?

The Isolation Journals prompt today is by Alex Gaertner. It inspired my poem in a roundabout way. This Joni Mitchell prompt is one I didn’t write last April when Susan gave us the prompt to use “Both Sides Now.” Alex’s prompt inspired me to consider my developing beliefs and attitudes over decades. I was reminded of my cousin in a same-sex relationship. There were a few years when I didn’t see her and didn’t know. Because I didn’t see her in those young adult years before I read a life-changing book called Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, I don’t have to know what the encounter might have revealed about me.

Sunrise this Morning

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org

I had a lovely God-breathed moment yesterday and today. Someone I know was going to have surgery today, so last evening when we were taking a walk at the mall, I made a phone call to this friend. I was taking a walking break because of a sore foot, while my husband continued.

She lives alone in this country. I asked her about her surgery the next day, When I asked how she was getting to the hospital, she told me she was taking a taxi. Now, I wish I could tell you I said, “No you aren’t” but I took a little longer than that to catch on. When I offered to drive her to the hospital, I could sense the relief. She said she would love a ride to the hospital, and God had answered her unspoken prayer.

What an easy answer to prayer for me to get up a little earlier than usual, see a beautiful sunrise (below), and bless my friend with a ride to the hospital. I wasn’t able to stay because of Covid restrictions, so I was home within an hour.

I’m so glad that voice told me to make a phone call.