Marie Howe

on fresh air today at lunch, Terry Gross interviewed poet Marie Howe. i was floored – she is thought-provoking, clever and somehow her words reach into your soul and clench hold of an inner ideal of what i have already thought. one poem reminds me of Emily Dickinson‘s poem from Time and Eternity, While I was Fearing it It Came; to me, a gut wrenching portrayal of how fear of anything prevents one from living and only pervades a focus on the fear or fear of that we try to ignore.

Marie Howe

How Some of It Happened

My brother was afraid, even as a boy, of going blind–so deeply that he would turn the dinner knives away from, looking at him, he said, as they lay on the kitchen table. He would throw a sweatshirt over those knobs that lock the car door from the inside, and once, he dismantled a chandelier in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping. We found the pile of sharp shining crystals in the upstairs hall. So you understand, it was terrible when they clamped his one eye open and put the needle in through his cheek and up into his eye from underneath and left it there for a full minute before they drew it slowly out once a week for many weeks. He learned to, lean into it, to settle down he said, and still the eye went dead, ulcerated, breaking up green in his head, as the other eye, still blue and wide open, looked and looked at the clock. My brother promised me he wouldn’t die after our father died. He shook my hand on a train going home one Christmas and gave me five years, as clearly as he promised he’d be home for breakfast when I watched him walk into that New York City autumn night. By nine, I promise, and he was–he did come back. And five years later he promised five years more. So much for the brave pride of premonition, the worry that won’t let it happen. You know, he said, I always knew I would die young. And then I got sober and I thought, OK, I’m not. I’m going to see thirty and live to be an old man. And now it turns out that I am going to die. Isn’t that funny? –One day it happens: what you have feared all your life, the unendurably specific, the exact thing. No matter what you say or do. This is what my brother said: Here, sit closer to the bed so I can see you.

i know that feeling, that total take-over of body and mind, that is ingrained into your soul and every movement and thought of each and every second of each and every day – yet, the focus does not prevent the encounter any more or less than the removal of that fear.

Emily Dickinson
WHILE I was fearing it, it came,
  But came with less of fear,
Because that fearing it so long
  Had almost made it dear.
There is a fitting a dismay,  
  A fitting a despair.
’T is harder knowing it is due,
  Than knowing it is here.
The trying on the utmost,
  The morning it is new,       
Is terribler than wearing it
  A whole existence through.
To me, a huge fan of Emily Dickinson, I thought these two ideas, went hand-in-hand and I found it interesting.

Letter to Those Left Behind…

DEAR my babies, friends, family, relatives, acquaintances,  distant companions, lovers, and loved ones….

first do not fear for the walk was short, the breeze was kind and the way well lit

i know you must be wondering what heaven is like, i was too and i can’t even create the words to speak

Jesus is here, he met me at the door took me in his arms and said “welcome home”

there were no clouds that lead my feet but light that followed us as if it was commanded to do so

the most glorious sounds not from the mouth of angels but the hearts of saints welcoming me back

and praising the King who leads

me into the house, you know that big big house with a “big big yard were we can play football”

oh how i wish you were here, but then i guess you would not be there. and oh, there, how is it there? I almost forgot about ‘there’ i miss them,those little boys that you gave, i miss you and that gentle hand as it squeezes mine and as i look up i see

see him, i see him, God. His arms that are larger than anything I have ever seen, yet small enough to hold my hand, and in his hand, and around me. Oh what a glorious gift this is, this is Love and this is Grace.

i say to God, I miss them, there love and hands, and that little noise they make when they snuggle up against me that smell from there freshly washed hair, the way they run to me when I came home, hearing about their day, sharing their tears, the loud arguments and the whining, can i see them smile, or walk down the isle, give me peace about being in this place with you

please forgive my doubt, my sadness and my fear

can i fear here?

can i hurt?

i am so confused God.

then God said, “Peace my child, let me hold you and wipe your tears, hold you close and let you cry into my hand”

and then he said this “Be Still”

and just as my heart was about to explode with pain from missing you more than i could ever say, i blinked.

“MOMMY. MOMMY!!! i’m home” and i opened my eyes to see you running towards me hand in hand with Jesus and the other arm open as far as the sea.

‘welcome home i said’

Welcome Home…

so do not fear, do not hurt, do not worry, climb into His lap and cry into his hand for i blink and we will be together again.


Give Thanks

Most of the world watched at little Paris Jackson let the world hear her little voice yesterday, and as we were allowed into this little girls broken heart, ours broke along with hers. As a mother, a single mother I wiped away the tears thinking about my kids. I do have a will and my parents have guardianship as well as know my wishes for the boys and for me, but I could not fear that they could be taken from me in a second. I could be taken from them. Then what, I mean I am not afraid of dying, I embrace the idea of sitting with Jesus and just talking about life one day; it is the fear of what is left behind. Them. Suddenly my heart broke again, for the days throughout their life I have taken for granted and gotten mad over for nothing, and wasted worrying about spills on the carpet, for nothing.

My favorite Aunt, Katharina once told me not to let the couch become more important than those who sit on it. I love her. We have the same soul, she is my warmth and compassion, my embrace and my shelter. She is also wise and caring without asking a thing in return. She is the mother I want to be. I say this because throughout my life, I have been told never to slam doors, scratch cars, touch the walls, scour the floors, spill anything and clean up everything. Cars were more important than what I did that day in school, and if I bought home glitter it would not make it into my dads porche that he only brought out on sunny days, and the other time it was under a tarp in the garage. Now I love my dad and understand now why he wanted that golden egg, or porche protected, it took him a lifetime to get it. But in that lifetime he got me, and my brother but somehow forgot, or maybe he never learned how to embrace love instead of loving to embrace things. He is better now, but still when he says not to slam the Hummer doors, my heart clinches and I want to scream really loudly.

I want my boys to know how to respect possessions of others and theirs without embracing them as happiness makers. I want to take in every moment I can, those little boy hands will soon be holding ipods, computers, girls hands and steering wheels; but for now they are mine to hold.

On the way to GLORY!

Larry, who you watch in this video died 2 weeks after this was shown in church.

I ask you what are you doing to leave a legacy, a glory, a life behind that will live on after you go home. What are you chasing that does not matter? What treasures are you storing today that will not matter tomorrow? Are you living so that others may see Christ in your life?


I don’t know any more about theology than a jack rabbit does about ping-pong but I’m on the way to glory” – Billy Sunday