Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding Mine in Yours

At the Door

Art engenders art. Or it can... if it has been deep and true... opened itself, invited, "take me."

Says Lewis Hyde in his chapter on Whitman, "A work of art that enters us to feed the soul offers to initiate in us the process of the gifted self which some antecedent gift initiated in the poet. Reading the work, we feel gifted for a while, and to the degree that we are able, we respond by creating a new work (not art perhaps, but with the artist's work at hand we suddenly find we can make sense of our own experience). The greatest art offers us images by which to imagine our lives."

That is what Ann's art did for me. "Come in," her words invited. I went inside, put my hands against the walls, lay on the floor and stared at the ceiling. Quieted there, I remembered my own discoveries, made while writing God in the Yard...

I stand as a bridge between perceived gaps. I learned this as a young child of divorce, watching dad throw a mop across the kitchen floor, shout at mom and leave... and she fuming... and me standing by, wide-eyed, shaking. Hold on, I learned. Hold on tight. See what happened when you fell asleep? The world as you knew it crumbled. Child, do not sleep. Stand. Stand as a bridge. Hold the world together, even if it breaks you.

This discovery reemerged while I lay there, motionless, in Ann's words. She had said, "this is the reason why you never leave home." And her words worked themselves into a poem, as I sat beside the pool watching my girls. Art engendered art...


Why do we not
leave home?
Is it really for fear
of what lies
beyond, or rather
for fear that the
roof will abscond
with the doors
and the shutters
we've always known.
And who would they
blame if it happened
just so? If the whole
curtained place simply
picked up its stakes,
disappeared on the wind
in our absence. What
are we really afraid
of? Why do we not
leave home?

I think this is a fitting ending for my house poems. You'll be writing about the closet this week, and I look forward to your offerings. I look forward to finding myself in you.

Girl at the Door photo, by L.L. Barkat. Hyde quote is from Chapter 9.

High Calling Blogs The Gift: Surprise

Beauty is Way to Play, Not Compete at High Calling Blogs
Divide Wisdom, MT by Dave
Quick Clips from the Slippery Issue of Geez magazine
I Am [color] series at Love Notes to Yahweh
I do in sickness by Fred Sprinkle
The other girl by Fred Sprinkle
On nights like this by Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Psalm 66: Black Water and Crimson by Richard j
Justice Exposed by Cindy Hanson
Magical Realms by Cindy Hanson
Skeletons in the Closet by Laura
Creative Writing Challenge Justice Edition at Bible Dude
Renewed by Nancy Kourmoulis
t h e . c l o s e t by nancy
spring cleaning by kelly
something less than purple by bkmackenzie
routine is good by redorgray
Closet by Yvette Massey
Testimony (in the closet) by Glynn Young
I am a rag doll by Claire
Fragrance by Monica Sharman
Comfort in the Rough by Monica Sharman
A short review of Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach by Byron Borger
Eve’s Second Garden by Marcus Goodyear
Superman by John Poch
Thanks for waiting by Jim Schmotzer
Teachable Moments by James C. Schaap
Back Porch Refuge and Basement Closet Pirates by deb

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Blogger Linda said...

This is so touching - made me want to weep a little for that small girl.
I was thinking this morning how grateful I am that He is a master artist - that He wants to birth something creative in each of us. It will look different in each of us - just as individual as so much of creation.
I am enjoying this lovely place.

2:03 PM  
Blogger mom2six said...

Amazed and pondering...thankful for your art.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I cannot say it enough: your poems speak, give words to deep wells within.

This one could leave me gasping if I so allowed.

But I think I'll stay here--this bridge--find comfort where I am today instead.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Monica @Know-Love-Obey God said...

I have spent a good part of this past week confronting my fears. Thank you for this poem.

"Closet" RAP here:

8:16 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

the closet

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Geotacs said...

"The greatest art offers us images by which to imagine our lives."

and may i add to also reflect upon too...

and your linguistic and photographic art has certainly provided wonerful imagery to reflect and examine our live...

"What are we really afraid of? Why do we not leave home?"

thanks for sharing

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Amber@theRunaMuck said...

L.L., Ann's work made me want to stick my spiritual arm deep inside and pull out a whole lot of ugly. You should have seen the awful cry face. I don't know what that is of art, except that it made me want for real HOME, and that's what art does for me - I think.

Poetry is always a relay of some sort. Well done.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Deep...thought provoking...Blessings~Sharon

10:30 AM  
Blogger deb said...

Strange, how there can be a healing and yet things never recovered. That the scars can be faint but nevertheless.
And I was shocked to the core these last few days at how much I am still confused and bitter.
But as Laura so wisely said, I can wake up and write up and live up, rising to the top of it , the better self that needs to go help someone left behind.

12:34 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

These prompts and Stone Crossings seemed to have caused some scares to itch a bit. I'm still carrying some of your stones in my pocket for pondering and perculating a written response. I just posted my response to your closet challenge. I couldn't resist another villanelle - hope I formed it correctly - it wasn't easy!

4:44 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

I forgot to leave my response to your post. This poem fits well with my current life. I'm a homebody and I think it is because of my past. This line made me smile because it captured my feelings exactly:

"for fear that the
roof will abscond
with the doors
and the shutters
we've always known."

I really liked the photo is she one of your daughters?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've opened the closet door...mine needs some cleaning out!

6:32 AM  
Blogger deb said...

sorry if you already got this, I was "multitasking"

here is the link again for my poetry , both the porch, and closet


10:29 AM  
Blogger e.o.w. said...

Love hearing about the poems roots, and the poem itself stirs deep... Has me thinking about home, what it is in memory and now... If you have a moment, check out John Berger's "And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos."

5:54 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

its been awhile since I've tried my poetry legs out, so here I am again

my legs have been a bit tied up with all the trudging they've been doing ... coming here always lightens the load a bit

it's just so, .... full



6:10 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

there is fear there. one would be of not returning again. or at least not the way it once was and never will be again.

walking out of the door and having something change our whole world in an instant.

the thing is, it all changes every instant, no matter what we do, or where we go. everyday is something that will never be the same again, and we never go out of a day just the same as when we came into it.

12:37 AM  
OpenID cindyhan111 said...

do we ever leave home??
loved your poem.

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Bradley J. Moore said...

LL - Always enjoy reading your poetry. You are a couple chapters ahead of me in Hyde's book, so I keep getting little previews of what's to come. This actually is the part I've been waiting for him to get to - actually discussing art itself as a gift, rather than the gift. I love the idea of art engendering more art because it allows us to recognize something in ourselves. An uplifting circle of creating, giving, receiving.

Thanks for this.

5:56 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

heads up....
a poet to add to the list next week!

ed blog friend

1:21 PM  
Blogger Sam Van Eman said...

Good stuff, LL (and Ann).

8:42 AM  

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