cronechronicler

You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Dungeon Prompt: GPS Directions For My Happy Place

Streak of pink in a leaden sky
Birdsong begins before I wake
Smell of coffee rouses me.
I desire to taste and touch
New-minted wonders of the day.

Written in response to Dungeon Prompt: Getting To Our Happy Place

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Dungeon Prompt – Why do You Blog? A Gift Beyond Measure

It began Mother’s Day 2014.
One son suggested out of the blue
Why not blog? Just the thing for you
Collector of stories and a writer to boot.

Another son offered his gift to me
Put me in touch with his pre-teenage son
New WordPress blogger and ready to teach
Showed me the ropes and Cronechronicler was born.

The very first gift begat many more.
Writing 101 turned a golden key
Opened a well and a geyser poured forth
Words, stories, feelings filling up posts.

My third son was first to read and comment
Mom, you’re a writer – you’ve got good stuff
Just do your homework and you’ll make the grade.
Little did we four know where this would lead.

As I continued to write day by day
Words shaping images marched on the page
Meters the drumbeat gave old stories new form
Something else was afoot, a poet was born.

Mysterious gift heartfelt thanks I do owe
Seeds of words planted a lifetime ago
Blossoms exotic, some quite common-place
Given to me to abundantly share.

You ask why I blog?
Simple reply.
I write out of joy
Expect nothing less.

Written in response to Dungeon Prompt: Why Do You blog?

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Summer at Aunt Mamie’s

The summer I was seven I was sent to stay with Aunt Mamie in a small town in Alabama. She lived in the house where she and my mother, along with five siblings, were born. I had severe asthma and the doctor thought it would build up my resistance to gain about ten pounds. My mother thought her sister’s fried chicken and beaten biscuits spread with butter churned from the milk of the cow across the street would accomplish that.

To me, a city child, that summer was magical. My education was profound. I learned important things like if the sun shone while it was raining it would rain at the same time the next day. A rainbow would have the same effect. With other uncles and aunts gathered on the wide screen porch of my aunt’s house I listened to a Joe Louis prize-fight on the radio. I didn’t learn until much later that most of America was glued to their radios that night, too. I learned how to make tiny scissors from two crossed straight-pins laid on the train track before the train whistled its way through town. I was initiated into the rhythm of Southern small-town life. I had almost forgotten how to live that way.

The cycle began with dinner in the middle of the day. We had chicken and biscuits along with vegetables from the garden and pie and ice cream for dessert, all accompanied by glasses of ice tea with mint, lemon and sugar. It’s no wonder that I did gain my ten pounds. After dinner it was nap time. I thought sleeping in the middle of the day was for babies and I resisted. Aunt Mamie read to me from the Raggedy Ann stories, identifying herself as the “Tired Old Horse” and me as the “Camel With the Wrinkly Knees”. When naps were over it was time for a bath and putting on freshly ironed clothes – a pinafore for me. Finally we got in the old maroon car and drove around the mile-square town to sit on other people’s front porches in rocking chairs and tell stories of what was going on at the moment or fifty years ago. I listened and received my most important lesson – to love and to tell stories of my own.

Mornings were a child’s dream. I got up early before anyone else was awake, put on yesterday’s pinafore and went outside to play in the sand box filled with cool sand from a nearby riverbank. The birds were up and sun beams were casting shadows of tree leaves barely moving in the morning breeze. I had the world to myself. Those mornings gave breath to my present life.

I was not thinking of the summer at Aunt Mamie’s when I was hunting for an apartment three summers ago. I had moved to be near family and wanted a small place of my own. As I looked out the window of this fourth-floor apartment I knew it was a space I could inhabit. The tall trees, the birds, the flowers on the garden patio below spoke to a well-remembered yet almost forgotten part of me. The arc of time had come full circle.

Written in response to Seeker Dungeon’s Prompt: What did you forget after growing up?

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Space Odyssey

An August visit with my two sisters and brother was another step on my path homeward. We are all in our seventies and decided it was time we got together by ourselves – no children or grandchildren. It was a revelation hearing old family stories told from new perspectives as we shared memories. It was a loving and fun occasion. We began laying a foundation for sharing our remaining years as we had shared our early ones. And then I returned home. I turned the key in the door of my apartment and was instantly enveloped by my dearest, splendidly solitary space. I finally get it!

For some time now my life has been unfolding in its pattern of rich family moments followed by returning home to  the priceless gift of solitude. I’ve sought warmth in two marriages that ended in divorce. I’ve found warmth in the shared love of three generations of my family.  I would be bereft without them. I am surrounded by good neighbors. I am blessed that my small apartment contains just enough of worldly things for me and the promise of time to write. My computer transports me to blogland. From there I roam the universe of words. My imagination takes wing. I fly with a new name on my passport. I journey deep inside myself and locate my soul in my writing. I am fed by others reading my words and understanding the feelings  embedded there. My “now I get it moment” is a long time coming. It has been a good journey home.

Written response to Dungeon Prompts: That “Now I get it moment”

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Spellbound

Beginning with morning the magic appears
I open my eyes, greet another new day
Outside my window I hear the birds singing
Serenading creation and all it provides.

Checking to be sure my knees are still working
I head to the kitchen for my early pleasure
Smelling and tasting strong coffee restores me
I offer thanksgiving for these simple treasures.

I light a candle whose sweet scent reminds me
I’m only a guest at a banquet of senses
Stroking the wood of my grandmother’s chair I remember
Love is my hostess when I RSVP.

This is written in response to Dungeon Prompts: Our Magical Powers

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Breaking Point: Clouds of Mercy

William Cowper wrote

“Ye fearful saints fresh courage take
The clouds ye so much dread Are filled with mercy
And will break with blessings on your head.”

I wrote before of my redemption and its alchemy.
Moving away after ending an empty marriage
And learning from my scars compassion
For many other wounded ones around.

I thought that I forgave and was forgiven.
My grieving done and quietly put away
Still sadness lingered as I remembered
Dreams of what never came to be.

I was startled when above me broke dark clouds
And drenched me with a precious gift unknown.
I learned to view my memories down-side-up
And found a vein of gold embedded there.

News that former husband and his wife
Were moving worked its way into my heart.
I felt sad because I knew the worth to him
Of life and work that he would leave behind.

I sent an email wishing him success.
He thanked me then wrote words that changed the game
“You are always an important part of life to me”.
And I wrote “Our years are an irreplaceable part of mine”.

That’s all it took. Broken dreams fell away.
I saw rise instead parts I treasured that were “us”
Understood that ours was a marriage all its own.
We have a unique and quirky history.

I sought and framed a photo that I like of him
And placed it among others of my family.
I feel so free and open to include them all.
A gift of pure forgiveness made it so.

Dungeon Prompt: Breaking Point

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Redemption Song: Alchemy

Redemption is a lonely place.
A conqueror bearing scars
Thinking I’m not freed from past
It pulses round me still.

Sadness but no grief abounds
Tinges nights and days
Residue of what could not be
Lingers in my soul.

Let me count my golden coin
How I’ve paid my fare
With wounded heart wide open now
To share another’s pain.

I see a world of suffering
No one is immune
I know that breathes within us all
The power to forgive.

For Dungeon Prompts: We all have a redemption song. What is yours?  The Seekers Dungeon

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Quiet Ferocity Part Two: Lighting a New Candle

Four years ago I traveled to spend Christmas with my three sons and their families, including my six grandchildren. My (second) husband remained in our home to celebrate the holiday with his two daughters and grandchildren who lived in town. This Christmas separation had been occurring annually for a while. I loved my step-grandchildren but even more I longed to live close to my grandchildren on a year-round basis. I wanted to be present for their growing years. I felt trapped in a dilemma between being a wife and being Grandma. I felt that if I got to the end of my life and hadn’t taken the leap of faith to move near my grandchildren and truly get to know them I would turn into a bitter old woman. That was unacceptable to me. Still I remained stuck. Until that Christmas four years ago.

After opening the gifts and eating way too much food we decided to watch old family slides. My first husband, our sons’ father, had joined us for dinner. (He and I had been divorced for twenty-five years and had recently become friends again.) As the family photographer he had brought along nine carousels of slides. They included pictures of the early months of our marriage and the usual much beloved and sometimes pretty awful collection of photos of family events over the years. As I watched, the present fell away and I drifted back to long forgotten memories and feelings. I found myself engulfed by the intangible and unmistakable feeling of FAMILY. Even though I could remember the discord of a not-so-perfect marriage my feelings said we are nevertheless a family. I felt a powerful surge of love and determination. I felt unstoppable. I wasn’t sure how I would proceed but that was not an issue. I would simply make my move happen. I was seventy-four that December when I decided to create a new life for myself. I planned to do it by the time I hit seventy-five. The following August I moved into my own apartment a few blocks from family.

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