a need for butterfly wings. . .
i’ve thought long and hard about what i was going to write here today, and i’ve decided to lower my voice to a whisper and let you all in on what’s stirring in my heart. after all, even if this table is more cyber than maple, and even if the chairs we pull up are virtual, it’s all very real, and utterly fulsome to me: the love and the kindness and the tenderness, and all the shared wisdoms and laughters and tears, as deep and human––and often divine––as they could possibly be.
and what sort of hearts would we be if we didn’t share some especially tender threads every once in a while? so here’s what i want to tell you, though i really truly don’t want anyone worrying: i’m having a little surgery next week. a little something is stirring in one of my lungs and they need to take it out. there, now you know. i’ve been in something of a medical mystery tour these past many weeks, some of them bumpier than others, and all of them pointing toward the date i now have with a wonderful surgeon who has a habit of making me laugh out loud.
the timing, of course, is something of a bummer. not in any marketing plan in publishing land is there a clause that suggests the author duck out for a while to have scalpels taken to her chest. so i’ve had to cancel a swath of bookish adventures for the next few weeks. or, “postpone” them, as sweet blair keeps correcting me. and since brand new books have only so wide a window for birthings, i feel a bit as if i’ve slammed the sash on my very own thumb.
but maybe you can help keep the flutter in my butterfly wings. maybe for the next few weeks, while i get the wobble out of my knees, i can imagine you afluttering for me. any simple thing: maybe a few words on that ol’ amazon reader review (my publisher keeps reminding me); maybe ask your local librarian if they’ve a copy on their shelves; maybe you simply send me a picture of a page you’ve found yourself reading. (i melt every time anyone does that.) or, maybe, whatever stirs you.
i promise you i need not one other anything. i am abundantly wrapped in the tenderest care by my beloved, blessed dear hearts and souls. my blair has been nothing short of a saint. and one of my boys will be here all week. and the other has sworn not to give it a worry. (an emphatic answer to this mama’s prayer; more than anything i did not want that kid to give it one shred of a worry.)
because i’m a quirky iteration of shy, and because i’m mostly allergic to SocialMediaLand, i am not saying a word about this out in the public sphere (i don’t think of the chair as anything close to public; it all feels very sacred and safe here to me), as i don’t want it to prompt any worries or wild-eyed questions. (trust me, the things people ask!!!) i’ve kept it all exceedingly quiet because i can’t bear the thought of worrying the ones i love (or anyone else) and, until i had more than an inkling of what was going on, i didn’t want to utter a word.
so know only this: that little fluttering, however you flutter, is more than aplenty; it will keep me afloat and awaft, and soon as i can, i’ll pick up the winging all on my own. xoxox, and thank you.
p.s. i think by now you’ve figured out that i love to respond to your comments whenever you leave one at the table, but i might not be able to check the chair too much in the week ahead. and i want to apologize in advance.
and speaking of the public square, how’s this for the perfect antidote?
Remedy for Social Overexposure
by Sandra Cisneros
Seek a pirul tree and sit
ears and tongue,
Fast from same.
Soak in a tub of seclusion.
Rinse face with wind.
In extreme cases, douse
oneself with sky. Then,
swab gently with clouds.
Dress in clean, pressed pajamas.
Hold close to the heart,
chihuahuas. Kiss and
be kissed by same.
Consume a cool glass of night.
Read poetry that inspires poetry.
Write until temperament
returns to calm.
Place moonlight in a bowl.
Sleep beside and
dream of white flowers.
or this one stanza from celtic mystic christine valters paintner’s poem, “origins,” especially the first stanza, about peering into a robin’s throat, an image i envision again and again every time i see the robins plucking for a worm in my newly-verdant grasses…
If I could peer far enough down
a robin’s pulsing throat, would I see
notes piled there waiting to be flung
into freshness of morning?
If I close my eyes and burrow
my face into peony’s petals,
would I discover the source
of its scent, a sacred offering?
Can I plunge inside
and find a lifetime of words
spooled tightly inside my heart
ready for a tug?
If I dig beneath the bedrock
will I find love there,
solid like iron or does it flow like magma
filling in all of the empty spaces?
–christine valters paintner
and i’ll sashay off into the sunset with this psalm from dorianne laux…
by Dorianne Laux
Lord, there are creatures in the understory,
snails with whorled backs and silver boots,
trails beetles weave in grass, black rivers
of ants, unbound ladybugs opening their wings,
spotted veils and flame, untamed choirs
of banjo-colored crickets and stained-glass cicadas.
Lord, how shall we count the snakes and frogs
and moths? How shall we love the hidden
and small? Mushrooms beneath leaves
constructing their death domes in silence,
their silken gills and mycelial threads, cap scales
and patches, their warts and pores. And the buried
bulbs that will bloom in spring, pregnant with flower
and leaf, sing Prepare for My Radiance, Prepare
for the Pageantry of My Inevitable Surprise.
These are the queendoms, the spines and horns,
the clustered hearts beating beneath our feet. Lord
though the earth is locked in irons of ice and snow
there are angels in the undergrowth, praise them.
“how shall we love the hidden and small?” that’s a question to ponder in the blessed, blessed unfurling days ahead….
p.s.s happy blessed birthday to my beloved ella bella beautiful, who is turning 14 today, her goldenest birthday. xoxox
Sending prayers and love to you as you await your surgery. And those prayers will continue for a quick recovery. . . Take care of YOU!
thanks, gorgeous! i promise to do just that. xoxox
I want to say something profound, but I’m just not that good at it. Please know that we empty-nesters are thinking about you, and not at all worried! Go get fixed and we’ll see you soon. ❤️
that is more than profound and plenty for me. hug from my kitchen table to yours, gorgeous! xox
Thankful you are taking care of this right away. Lifting you, your family, and your entire medical team up in prayer! 🙏🏻❤️ Your book will just have to patiently wait until you are ready.
thank you, thank you, dear P. xox and, yup, it’ll wait….
This entry…and its author…SO beautiful!
To your health…
with heartmates like you, sweet angel, NOTHING could knock me down. you are the ballast at my side, the pillar at my spine. thank you for this note; i was trembling to write the above. but truth is the only path i know. and i was starting to feel a bit cryptic! xoxox
ahh…so many things are hidden and small and then the light of day or starlight of night reveals and heals. May all the heart light pulsing from all the chairs pulled up here and beyond add to that healing. Thank you for trusting us. You have given us all so much and we now get to give back. ♥️ ☀️ 💫 And on another note…how is it possible Ella Bella is 14???!!! Aunting is another one of the gifts of the universe. 👏🏼
how is it possible, indeed! i think i wrote here when ella was born. oh, lordy, so much has unfolded here over the arc of time. 16 years. so so much life. this is from 14 years ago: https://pullupachair.org/2009/04/15/shes-here-a-falling-in-love-story-3/
and as for all the heart light pulsing, thank you. i feel it beat by beat. and am SOOOOOOOOOO grateful for it. believe me, it will be holding me tight when they wheel me down that long bright hall. oy.
How very touching – and typical – that you are more (outwardly) concerned about your readers than yourself. I’m sending prayers for comfort and strength, on wings of eagles (or butterflies), high over the CO Rockies to the city of Big Shoulders. May you and yours be well equipped to shoulder all that lies ahead.
With my love, Joannie
oh, joanie, i feel those wings. and i know you carry a heavy load these days for someone you love dearly. i have been holding you both in my quiet prayers. it’s a lonely road, sometimes, the hours deep in the mystery. your rocky mountain blessings touch my core. xoxox thank you.
Sending love and light and prayers and an Amazon review to keep the flutter in your butterfly wings… and for that little something stirring to be nothing at all to worry about. xo
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…..hopefully no mice in me. i’ve not peeked at those amazon reviews, but soon as i clear the mud off my paws (last minute gardening is the order of the morning!), i shall. and even now i am so grateful. all flutterings matter. xoxox thank you.
walking at the arboretum today I will think of you. sending prayers and healing karma for a swift recovery. thank you for these wonderful poems today– they are magical!
each poem in its own way…..the overexposure poem soooo sooooo perfect. thank you for karma. and for taking time to walk among the trees……
Prayers for complete recovery. God’s got this!
Amen, and thank you!
Holding hands with you and praying night and day for your complete recovery, my sweetest B. These poems are magical… Thank you for sharing them~ xoxoxoxoxoxo
thanks, beautiful. those squeezes from your blessed hand have put the breath back in my lungs more times than i can count. been out in the garden most of the morning, and thinking of you. xoxo
Dearest Barbie, I’m stunned, concerned and ready to help. Thank you so very much for sharing this very personal matter with us, and God be with you as you face this challenge. Having Blair by your side will certainly be of benefit to you, and if cheering up is in order, Ted’s the man! I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you. ❤️
Thank you, sweetheart. I’ve got the boys flanking both sides, and the company of living saints surrounding me. And the earth is bursting forth to ground me in a certain knowledge that all will be well. Even if a little bumpy. And with each chapter in our crazy lives comes the deeper and deeper knowing of what we humans all share. I will forever have a deeper sense of how hard the waiting sometimes is. And how much the smallest kindness matters. Xox big squeeze, sweetheart❤️
Ah what a jolt – followed by three gorgeous poems which speak to the season. I wish that I could think of something helpful but I cannot — just know that I will keep you at the forefront of my mind while you quickly recover. Spring in these parts is always so lovely and uplifting so it will be a good season for rapid healing.
Ohhh, bless you. It’s always so heavenly to find someone here whom I didn’t know was pulling up a chair. It’s a wonder each time. As if the veil is lifted❤️ I’ve been out soaking up the garden and sunshine these past few days. As if to pre-load the healing balms.
Thank you for leaving a note❤️ xo
I’ve enjoyed reading your books, and pulling up a chair at your table every Friday.
This week has been Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox faith, and as we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection tonight, my prayers and thoughts will be with you for a successful surgery, and a quick recovery thereafter.
Sending much love
Bless you so much! And blessed happy Easter! I have been thinking of all my Orthodox friends. I don’t know the words for happy Easter in Greek (I used to know, as my beloved landlady was Greek and taught me to speak and cook Greek!!!)❤️❤️
Praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. I bet your “home team” can’t wait to tend to your every need and want, just as you have done for them. Xoxoxo
xoxox thank you, beautiful denise.
Holding you in my heart, dear Barbara, and whispering prayers of support.
thank you, thank you, beautiful jan. xoxox
Dearest Barbie know that lots of prayers and love are coming your way for a rapid recovery and best possible outcome. ❤️
Ohhhh diane! Bless you, and thank you. Big big hug. Xoxo love, B
Strength and Prayers to cover you and your family for healing. I am thinking of you and hope you are now recovering and surrounded with care and support. I have been dipping into the Book of Nature while recovering myself and it is a balm for my heart and soul. Water’s Edge spoke to me as I found myself also drawn just last week to shore of Lake Michigan as I often do in times of seeking calm. It has been a source of strength and beauty to me my whole life ( just over 6 decades now!)
I will continue savoring your words and envisioning your complete healing. Hope you are able to enjoy the view from the grasses very soon.
oh bless you, this is such a lovely note to find just as the light washes across the morning sky. i am sorry you need to be in a recovery mode yourself. and i am so so grateful that the Water’s Edge spoke to you. i think i might toddle over there today for a big gulp of sky…..thank you for leaving this note here. warms my heart. xox