Ramblings: Fragments vs Shortlings. Words matter.

A cup of coffee. Honky tonk music. Crab Benedict.

I am at my favorite diner, which is now open only a couple of mornings a week. Like so much of the country, they are having trouble finding enough people. Night shifts are easy, evidently, but mornings, not so much.

I have been sitting at the screen, thinking about what to write. What am I feeling? What is happening around my world? The problem is never too little to write, but about too many choices.much

I checked my email earlier this morning. Half a dozen telling me I have won stuff, for a total of $27M. A few “business propositions”. Women throwing themselves at me. (Have you ever noticed that only happens on the internet. Women never throw themselves at me in real life). Politics and the lies that have become part and parcel of that once almost noble calling. Yeah, there’s quite the essay of lies in today’s world, and the miracle of how well we survive despite it.

I am wired up this morning. Some kind of heart monitor. I’ve evidently had a goofy heartbeat for ages and ages and no one has ever checked to make sure it was not dangerous. I have a cautious young doctor (She looks about 12, but she is really really good) who is determined that I will live in the best condition possible and so she has me wired up to this thing for 48 hours to find out if the issue is mechanical or electrical. Makes me feel like a car on the blink. There’s an essay here too. Maybe a couple of them. Maybe a poem even. About being fragile. About maintenance. About feeling good, but never being sure. Good topics.

The morning glories on my porch steps are in their full glory this morning, tendrils of green and color defying the dry weather that has killed off some of my other flowers this year. I cannot tell the oh so simple but deep joy of seeing them each morning as they climb up my porch. But I could in a poem. But I did that just a day or two ago, with water lilies. Don’t want to get boring.

I am feeling less depressed the last few weeks. Less melancholy in the morning. For someone who has battled that darkness for fifteen plus years, each and every morning, that is both a wonderful and slightly scary thing. Is it gone for good? Is it waiting to ambush me? How do I not be suspicious of my own brain which has lied to me almost every morning? A poem at least.

I have a sermon to write. Tomorrow is my workday in my role as a pastor. Saturday mornings are sermon writing time. I normally pick verses early in the week. Study them through the week. And Saturday put it all together. I have done all that. But I am not feeling it. So here it is, Saturday morning and I am waiting for inspiration. (Did you know the word inspiration means “God-breathed”?). I lean on that waiting for inspiration way too much. Like the Jews waiting for Manna each morning in the desert. There’s a poem in that as well.

It is never too little that holds you back.
It is instead, too much.

There! My poem for the morning. A shorting as my friend and fellow poet Kate Rantilla calls them. A far better word than the one I used to use: fragments. Shortling implies completeness no matter how small. Fragment implies broken, incomplete. Amazing what the right word can do.

I could always write about love. It’s a center point of my life and has come to me late when it was unexpected. I pretty much rejoice every day at that one. But I have learned I can overdo that topic. I hold myself back a lot.

When I have too much on my mind, I write about writing. Like I have done today. It is not a conscious choice. I just write a sentence and let the muse (my monkey mind) take over. Let it do its work and I just come along for the ride. My head is full of words. Always. And when there is a logjam, I pry a couple loose and just let the rest break out and flow down the river.

It is never too little that holds you back.
It is instead, too much.

Have a good weekend. I am going to finish my Crabcake Benedict, sway to some music and wait for my sermon to arrive. Special delivery I hope.

Tom

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