Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti and Home from Key West

Back from Key West, but it's hard to relay how wonderful a trip it was in light of the tragedy in Haiti. Brandon and I can hardly turn off the TV. We feel so helpless this far away, as I'm sure many people feel. Even before the earthquake, there were 1.6 million orphans in Haiti... now? So heartbreaking. Our prayers are fervent for the nation and people of Haiti.

The vast need, patience and hope of these people is amazing.

I did have a fantastic experience in Key West. I am grateful for the opportunity that was provided for me, both by family and the seminar itself. My workshop with Billy Collins was excellent, my roommate and I had great conversation, the panels and readings were once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and Richard Wilbur was phenomenal. Did I use enough inflated words for you? But really, what an experience. I met a lot of wonderful poets and made several new friendships I hope to continue nurturing in the future. I also savored every minute of solitude and reflection - there were few distractions all week, and while I did miss my family, of course, this retreat was much-needed spiritually and intellectually. I wrote seven poems this week, even!

Now to bring the energy and inspiration back into the "real world," writing when able. When I came home, I was welcomed by a lovely dinner cooked by my husband. Besides dinner, Brandon really took care of things while I was gone - laundry was done, house was clean, all was in order... I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband. Really. And my kids - they were so excited to see me - I'm so glad I took the day off following my trip to fill them back up with attention and love. We must've put together half a dozen puzzles, played five rounds of Candy Land, and imagined Barbie's daily ongoings for several hours.

It's hard to concentrate on this blog right now - we're watching the footage on CNN of the earthquakes - so I'm going to go ahead and sign off. Sleep well, and pray for Haiti!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Key West Bound and Lydia-isms

Happy new year, bloggers! I knew it would be a while before I wrote again, and I don't even have time to do the Christmas roundup, but I just had to blog about Lydia tonight. I told the kids that I would be going out of town for a week - on my way to Key West for the Key West Literary Seminar - and perhaps that means something to Lydia now. After we prayed and sang before bed, Lydia accused me of forgetting more words to Jingle Bells. I don't know the third verse, I admit it, but neither does she. I told her I thought there were more words but I didn't remember them, and she said, "I think God knows the rest of the words!" I said he certainly does, which brought visions of God singing anything -- maybe, "Tonight's gonna be a good night" by Black Eyed Peas, or "I am a man of constant sorrow." I wonder if more than just choirs of angels sing in heaven - maybe God joins in. Maybe he sings his own praise. Why not? If we get so much joy out of singing, couldn't God too?

Anyway, the second Lydia-moment that was just awesome: "I love you SO MUCH. I love you even when you spank me." To which I responded, "I love you SO MUCH too! Even when I have to spank you, I love you." What a moment. I am very blessed to have such amazing kids. Even when I have to spank them.

I have to get up REALLY early, so it is time to sign off, finish packing, make sure the kids are asleep and then go to sleep myself. 2 a.m. is going to come very quickly.