Oct 092009

My friend, Chimmy, is a contemporary poet. She chooses and molds words like a sculptor with clay. She tastes words and adds or omits them, then stirs them up like a master chef. She flings words around violently sometimes and sets them down gently other times, like a dancer uses her arms to translate music. And the reason Chimmy’s brilliant is that she hears the music of life clearly, so she’s able to tell the truth of it, sharply and sweetly. I always think of artists as translators…they observe and experience life first, and then use their medium to try to explain their conclusions. And sometimes we meet an artist, or a dancer, or a writer whose conclusions about life match our own, and our heart beats faster, like a traveler in a foreign land gratefully recognizing her native tongue. Chimmy’s poetry makes my heart race.

Chimmy sent me several of her poems last week. I was honored. I sat at the computer and consumed them slowly, repeatedly, like they were chocolate. The power and depth of her voice overcame me like a wave. And then I got to one poem that I wasn’t sure I loved at all. I read the first two lines and started to feel twitchy, a little paranoid actually. I looked over my shoulder because I had the sensation of being watched. I kept reading the poem faster, frantically, even. I felt like I was reading a secret about myself that I’d never told anyone before, that I didn’t even maybe know myself. It was very, very strange. I considered the possibility that I really needed to start getting more sleep. So I went to bed.

Then, in the morning, I sent Chimmy this message:


i shouldn’t be surprised by your talent, but i am. you are magical.

your words are like a salve but also sort of scary and dangerous too.

i love all the poems, but “where powerful forces scatter”really affected me. i felt that one deep in my bones. i was kind of panicking and tingly as i read it. I felt like I was reading a secret about myself that noone was supposed to know.

don’t ever take me off your list. send me everything, please.

you are gifted.

love, glennon

And Chimmy wrote the following response:

I’m really psyched that you liked the RANT, especially ‘powerful forces’ because it, of all my ramblings was fueled in large part by the community you’ve brought together on your blog. In the only way I know to express it, it is sort of my “Me Too” or where thoughts of my “Me Too” took me. Your blog reaffirmed that connectedness I feel when I “feel” someone else’s words too. Our stories are all different threads of one tapestry generation after generation. So it goes for me anyhow.

And so, of course, when I read this, I cried. I know, I know, I overuse tears almost as much as I overuse italics. But I couldn’t help it, I was moved. Because apparently the poem that I felt was my soul secret, was my soul secret, told to me by a woman to whom I haven’t spoken, other than through writing, for 15 years. She read Momastery and she knew me through it and she knew herself through it, and then she offered me a one of a kind portrait of the two of us standing side by side. And all of you were in the portrait, too.

I just don’t know, friends. There is something to this offering of yourself and being open to the offerings of other women that is so healing.

So I sent this response to my Chimmy, my friend, my contemporary poet:


It’s 6:24 am and I’ve been up for two hours trying to put together this morning’s post. I’m tired…and more than tired, I’m weary. I sometimes feel a little drained by this writing thing, this constant pouring out of myself. And by sometimes I mean always and by a little I mean a lot.

But then I started working on the post about you, and about your “Me Too” and about “where powerful forces scatter” and i just wanted you to know that if it’s okay, i am going to print your poem and keep it next to my computer to spur me on. the poem is just that powerful and inspiring and haunting to me. you are SO gifted chimmy. i don’t know what else to say but thank you.

you have a lovely, lovely day.



Friends, here is the poem that is now taped to the wall next to my computer, so I can see myself and Chimmy, before I write to you each morning.

iii.where powerful forces scatter

you’ve spread your body

across this blaze before

laid upon this stone

laid down in this field

with ghost women

whirling high above

their incantations

whispered over your bones

you’ve already been broken

already healed

your wounds a treasured part

of your body’s story

somethingchased you here

pushed you into this

motionless serene moment

this peculiar pause

a body in motion

won’t collapse

a body at rest

the awkward way

bones gather in stillness

and all else fades to silence

and dark

is breakable

but you’ve nowhere else

to long for

nowhere to go

you collapse back

down into your soul

look at yourself in these words

floating between

breaking and breathing

the echoes of ghost women

in your voice

their haunting sorrow

their enduring joy

their unending stories

and sounds when you speak

Thank you, Chimmy, for the offering.

If you’re new to Momastery and you’re wondering how a few posts about milk and water and pans inspired such intensity, check out THIS or THAT, if you have the time.

Also, if you’d like, check out the foundation that Chimmy and her daddy started at www.walkingwithafricans.org .

Ya’ll have a beautiful weekend. I’ll miss you terribly.

Oct 112009

“To believe in the supernatural is not simply to believe that after living a successful, material, and fairly virtuous life here one will continue to exist in the best-possible substitute for this world, or that after living a starved and stunted life here one will be compensated with all the good things one has gone without: it is to believe that the supernatural is the greatest reality here and now.”
T.S. Eliot

Oct 142009

Recently, many of you have sent emails requesting that I post pictures of my house.

Actually, no one has requested to see pictures of my house. Not one single person.

But that is what I’m going to say on this blog when I want to justify sharing something that’s especially self indulgent. Because last night I realized that you guys will never really know. What are you going to do, make a phone tree to find out if anybody actually made a request?

Nope, you aren’t. You’re busy people. So just play along.

Anyway, before I was interrupted, I was explaining that a lot of you have been emailing and asking me to post pictures of my house.

So for the next few days I’ll honor your requests by offering a tour of my half-a-house.Because even though I complain about it, I love my house. I just love it. I mean, it’s where we live. It’s our hiding place.

Please understand that this is not going to be a typical house tour. I am going to tell you the truth about what goes down here. Be prepared to handle the truth. We’ll start tomorrow. Because I have a whole lot of cleaning up to do first.

And while we’re on the subject of housekeeping….AHEM.

You have a wonderful Wednesday, friends.

If you remember, stop by at 3ish for a late afternoon pick me up. Stop by the blog, I mean. Not my house. We have no food.


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