Dear Messy Middler,

This grief path is a bit like being in a fun house of mirrors. At times, reality is reflected accurately and my ability to focus is what I’d call normal and I wonder how that can be? How can a significant death not impact me more?  At other times I’m going in seven different directions at once, which means I’m going no where.  In honor of these two states mixing together, here are a few random updates:


1. For me, the over riding emotion/ sensation is exhaustion. (I’ll admit the Olympics going in the late evening hasn’t helped or my normal inability to sleep through the night.)

2. Would you please tell someone you know about The Messy Middle quarterly newsletter? And ask them to sign up?

3. I’ll be heading this week to Lawrence, Kansas! {A happy Amy, indeed} and if you’re the praying type, would you pray for me as I’m the speaker for a women’s conference, will also speak to college women, and enjoy being with friends.

4. It is poetry week at Velvet Ashes and I had the privilege of writing the kick off post. Here’s a bit of a taste.

Through this exchange (and the subsequent emails) I discovered that Emily has a poetry notebook and often writes poems to process and express her life. That’s right. Poetry. Take that all those who fuss about “the youth of today.”

So, how does this love of poetry become instilled whether young or old? Last week after dinner I asked my mom, sister, and nieces if they’d share their favorite poetry books with us (come back tomorrow). A buzz started to stir. Girls went off in search of books and it was like I was at the most bizarre word party where suddenly everyone became a bit tipsy. Girls returned clutching books to their chests, someone would start to quote a poem and beam at others at the table, squeals of joy at old friends rediscovered. And I thought to myself, Maybe I have misjudged you poetry. Maybe you are not dry and long and dull. Maybe, just maybe, we can be friends.

Lest you think they are just “exceptional” or freaks, and you or your children could never become poetry nuts aficionados, I asked my nieces, ages 12, 10, 8, and 6, what had helped them love poetry — to the point they will memorize them on their own to perform at holidays, memorize a poem as thank you instead of writing a note, choose “poetry” for kindergarten show and tell, or process their experiences in poems. Their responses were poetically simple.

  1. Receiving poetry books each April for Poetry month (insert Grandma’s influence). Read the full post here ….


Grace and peace (and gratitude!),


Photo credit Nick Kenrick via Flickr



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  1. Mark Allman February 24, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

    I love poetry and have written some over the years. I wrote a long poem for each of my three children when they graduated from high school that was their life in poem. One of my most favorite books on poems is Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’neill. It is a book of poems on color. Here is a little from the Purple poem: Time is purple just before night, When most people turn on the light, But if you don’t it’s a beautiful sight, Asters are purple, there’s purple ink, Purple’s more popular than you think… it’s sort of a great Grandmother to pink……

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