Pictures and Poems: History Lessons

HistoryLessons

this crazy world
with its mountains and molehills
and butterfly wings
that beat so gently
while I scroll past the latest jarring atrocity
this crazy life
in a whirl of twenty-four-seven
threads and streams
voices speaking that should be
silent
rally cries that go
unheard
I find it hard to remember things like
evening walks
cocoa from scratch
a long, hard run
my feet carry me past burning bushes
where I should stop and rest
and ruminate
on the magnificence of my cells
I contain the universe
billions of years old
in my bones
this crazy world
where both grit and glory
exist in the pause between inhale and exhale
of miraculous air

History Lessons

-Melissa Kircher

In response to the Kaitlin Curtice interview on The Deconstructionists Podcast.

Pictures and Poems: We Are The Committee

Committee

we are
the authors of our own souls
choices pressing
decided at
the whim of a gust of wind
conclusions
crazy
wonderful
the bloom of new life
springing from gray matter
dark energy turned green
we are the committee
the judge and jurors
what glorious freedom
in the creation
of a thousand indispensable breaths

Committee Meeting

-Melissa Kircher

Picture and Poem created in response to the “We Are The Committee” Robcast episode by Rob Bell.

Pictures and Poems: Nora’s Laugh

Laughterthere is this deep laugh you do
when unconcerned with anything but
the absolute delight of the moment
it’s not pink
or sparkly
it doesn’t wear a tiara
or wait for a prince
guttural, from your belly
blue eyes alight
you laugh
like a middle-aged trucker
or a tipsy Irishman finishing his punchline
when you laugh like this
awash in pure essence
fully yourself
not girl
not daughter
just you
I know God exists
and that we are meant to find this world
hilarious.

Nora’s Laugh
-Melissa Kircher

To purchase a print of “Laughter” visit Melissa Kircher Artwork at www.society6.com

Pictures and Poems: Together Live Tour

Two years ago I began sketching in response to podcasts. I had little time for painting then because I had two very little kids who demanded most of my time and attention. Podcasts filled my Enneagram 5 need to learn and use my adult brain, and sketching filled my need to listen deeply and respond visually. Lately, as my kids transition to full-time school and I’m getting back into novel writing (I will be on the New York Times Bestseller List one day, I promise!), I’ve found that as I listen to wise people and great podcasts not only do I need to draw, I also need to write! Poetry is new. Bear with me as I explore it with joy!

A friend gifted me tickets to the Together Live Tour  last night in Philly and so I went. Here are two pictures and two poems in response to the gift of words and wisdom the women on the tour shared.

InTheValley.jpg

stay

anchor in the depths

every drop in the ocean

sings for your presence

here

now

abide in the valley

where the air is thick and the river runs deep

where life and death intermingle

stay

rest

for you will have time on the heights

where the air is thin and the sun hot on your shoulders

the path winding down again before you

as you travel back

to the pain and unknowing and gut-twisting growth

the valley is night

the valley is ocean

the valley invites you to stay, anchor where the grass is green, the dirt, dirty

the water singing your soul home

when you stay

you learn

who you are

-Melissa Kircher

 

img083

I think poetry

might be inside you

I think the words

have always been there

ready to tumble from hesitant lips

I think the stars shine only for you tonight

and the earth turns

to keep you on it

I think I love you

though I don’t

know you half as much as I should

but I have this feeling that there is poetry inside you

the ineffable everlasting

sitting on the cusp of your tongue

and heart

and fingertips

take a chance

on yourself

-Melissa Kircher

 

For Further Reading/Interaction with the tour hosts :

First the Pain, Then the Rising – Glennon Doyle

Abby Wambach

Awesomely Luvvie – Luvvie Ajayi

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh

Jamia Wilson – www.JamiaWilson.com

Own Your GlowLatham Thomas

Elizabeth Lesser 

Commission: Hillary L. McBride: Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image

It was an honor to create this bookmark to celebrate the launch of author Hillary L. McBride’s new book, Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We AreRead about her amazing book below and pre-order a copy on Amazon!

 

“When women are told that what is important about us is how we look, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to feel comfortable with our appearance and how we feel about our bodies. We are told, over and over—if we just lost weight, fit into those old jeans, or into a new smaller pair—we will be happier and feel better about ourselves. The truth is, so many women despise their appearance, weight, and shape, that experts who study women’s body image now consider this feeling to be normal.

But it does not have to be that way. It is possible for us as women to love ourselves, our bodies, as we are. We need a new story about what it means to be a woman in this world. Based on her original research, Hillary L McBride shares the true stories of young women, and their mothers, and provides unique insights into how our relationships with our bodies are shaped by what we see around us and the specific things we can do to have healthier relationships with our appearance, and all the other parts of ourselves that make us women.

In Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image McBride tells her own story of recovery from an eating disorder, and how her struggles led her to dream of a new vision for womanhood—from one without body shame, negative comparisons, or insecurities, to one of freedom, connection, and acceptance.” – Amazon.com 

Follow Hillary on Twitter: @hillarylmcbride  and Instagram: @hillaryliannamcbride

Pictures and Poems: Lioness

Lioness

Lioness
She is standing in front of three hundred people

pure energy zinging through her bones

She ducks her head under the wave of a pain swell

only to be met with a wall of water

on the other side

She is trembling, sweating hearing no

And she takes it

She is what roars from the ashes of an agony-charred heart

Lightning strikes and her muscles coil—taut

ready to warrior spring

She is also learning to pad softly through the thicket

To move in tune with the breath of the air

She is beauty

She is strength

She is a woman finding her voice only to die to it

She is the village elder who has seen a thousand battles

and finally

finally

understands when to fight and when to tread carefully

like a huntress, and listen

-Melissa Kircher

Pictures and Poems: The Lines of the Landscape

TheLinesoftheLandscapeThe lines of the landscape are soft and rounded.

They are the dewdrop dripping gently off a crystal encrusted ruby leaf.

They are the undulating hills of green and cresting white waves.

The lines are sometimes harsh and hard, jagged rock jutting out of earth, dead sticks snapping crisp underfoot.

The lines draw us in.

They ask us to participate in the acknowledgment that all of this, all of us, all of everything is deep, raw, and beautiful.

The lines beckon us inward, to the landscape of our hearts.

Can we find beauty there?

If found, might that rounded, hard, soft, unyielding mishmash of beauty be something powerful?

Could it change things?

Could it change you?

Could it change your friend?

Your enemy?

Could the beautiful, breathtaking landscape of your heart be the key to all?

-Melissa Kircher

 

*Art and writing inspired by the On Being Podcast with the late poet, John O’Donohue

Pictures and Poems: Boundaries

BoundariesThere is me.

It’s a flame. Me is a deep burning fire capable of holding space for great, gulping pain.

It cries out to the night sky with wonder eyes, “Look at all the stars!”

My fire needs a cozy home, one whose walls I’ve built not to keep everyone out, but to protect against sharp gusts of wind.

You know who you are. Or maybe you have no freaking idea.

Either way.

Parts of the walls are hard and unyielding, others soft and porous.

I thought a long time about building my house, until one day there was no other way to live.

My fire was a flicker and to love myself I had to figure out how bricks and stone and leaves and sticks might fit together for a while.

You might never be allowed in.

Or I might invite you for tea sometime. But just for a bit.

Some of you will build your own houses. These are the best kind of people.

Then we can each leave and meet somewhere together, out in the glorious day.

But this is my house. This is me inside. The flame that I won’t let go out.

I’m sorry.

And I’m not.

-Melissa Kircher

 

*Inspired by the Robcast The One About Boundaries by Rob Bell

For further reading:

7 Tips to Create Healthy Boundaries with Others

How to Set Healthy Relationship Boundaries

Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?