Free

No one saw me
head to the ground,
feet to the sky,
pretending to fly.
It would have made you cry
hilarity.

A grown woman such as me
behaving as if three.
But just maybe,
you would have joined
the jocularity.
Felt free
to again be three.

Sometimes I take myself too seriously. This is just self reminder that it’s okay, and good to be ridiculously sometimes. Yes, the cover image is of my actual feet. I thought it was cute.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Lava Worm

Was it a shriek of delight or fear? She didn’t know as it forced its way from her chest to the cavity of her mouth. A little heart pounded the rhythm of it as it bubbled into an audible note.

“Stay back. You can’t catch me.”

The floor moved. The carpet rippling right before her eyes. Its colours swimming and shifted, a living thing.

“Hurry!” the others yelled at her as they bounced up and down in excitement. “Its rising!”

She stood on her pillow, feet sinking into its marshmallow softness.
She danced like a cat.

“Now, May!”

Her body moved before her mind, responding to the call. The marshmallow softness was her downfall. Toes slid, the truth of its betrayal apparent in a second that stretched to an hour in a single heartbeat.

“No.”

White sock stained brown on the bottom touched carpet. Hands held before her broke the fall, and she giggled with gleeful horror as the waves of colour splashed.

“She’s done for.” The pain in Carter’s voice rocked her back to reality. His terror was exaggerated, but real.

Another scream bubbled out as her ankles were grabbed and the friction of carpet on prone stomach threatened a burn.

“I’ve EATEN you May!”

The blanket muffled the voice, rainbow patterns shifting with movement.

“You have to join me.”
“I know, I know.”

Her breathless reply held only a mite of disapproval. Her chest still rose and fell with heavy adrenaline induced gasps. She grasped the offered corner of his blanket, eyes sparking.

“The worm GROWS!”

They yell the words together. The trumpet of doom.

“RUN!”

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (27)

I have always loved the simple things in life. A nice sharp crayon. A heavily weighted paper.

Yet the latter never belonged wrapped around the other, even in my child mind. I would unwrap each individual crayon so that the whole could be used for making my pictures.

As an adult, I am learning how to unwrap my own label and use all of me.

I would also look for the darkest part of the driveway, or church parking lot to scribble out my creations in calk. They just never looked as good on the light gray of normal cement slabs.

Contrast is still important. It helps us see details we would otherwise miss.

The way you look at things makes all the difference. It’s not about changing truths, but seeing what God really intents for each of us. If I believe he has had a plan for me since the dawn of time, then every mark, stain, and wrinkle has been accounted for. He WILL use all of them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Self Control

To have control
or persevere?
Sometimes the difference isn’t clear.

Intertwined
as braided strands,
taking turns on who commands.

Stand in check,
Is this the way?
Will this, a bit of self betray?

Know the road,
make a goal,
continue on in self-control.

Or hold a line,
say not today,
anger will not have its prey.

Wisdom wields
both as a team,
for neither is the one supreme.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Gentleness

Whispers that linger
in the cup of hand to heart.

Feathers that flutter
on words that lilt and dart.
Leaving presence behind like art.

Strength that guards
in silken threads of web.

Holding back sharp edges
with softest flow and ebb,
minding what is said.

Unrelenting,
unmovable gentleness.

How can one possess
this uncommonness,
that embodies love’s caress?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Life Saving Poetry

Bypass lips, and tongue, to ask a soul a question. The answer you will get is a journey.

My friend John at Thoughts, Dreams and Enigmatic Things blog asked me to write something he could share on his own blog. I was honored when he asked, and had to take a good long think about what I would write. After I started writing I had to stop, and think again…

I am not sure why, but an episode from my favorite TV show, MASH, kept coming back to me. In this episode, Father John Mulcahy takes a trip up to the front line with Radar to pick up a wounded soldier. On the way back, the injured man chocks and stops breathing. The Father has to perform a tracheotomy on the side of the road, with the surgeons from the MASH unit guiding him over the radio. The procedure is a success.

Well anyway, that bit of remembering prompted this reflection.

Like a tracheotomy, the writing of poetry lets me breath while I choke.

It’s an invasive cutting, digging and searching through self.

Often its prayers whispered in pain, or shouted silently inside my brain.

Always, it’s a breathing out of questions.

I strive to make poetry, all that is worship. Not worship of self, but of the one who does the cutting and inserting of my breathing straw. The one who hears the silent words, the whispers. The one who writes the poem of me, for His, the author’s glory.

Thank you for asking me to think, John.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Author’s Interview/BY Kirsten McNeill

I was recently the subject of my first author’s interview with Kirsten McNeill. Kirsten is a fellow writer, as well as an editor for self-published authors. It was a great experience. You can read the interview by following the link provided. Don’t forget to check out Kirsten’s other posts, and all she has to offer the self-publishing world.

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Six Word Stories (25)

Learning to grow in silence can be hard. Sometimes we think all the action happens when our lives are spinning at a crazy pace. But we still grow in silence. It’s like a child doing most of his growing while asleep.

Or a brain learning when it’s allowed to be bored.

When WE are silent, the world doesn’t stop its own babbling. In the echoes of our human noise, we often miss how our world speaks to us, sings to us, even prays with us.

Maybe it’s because I am getting old, but I breathe better in the quiet.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (24)

The Mourning Dove is not a creature I ever thought about before our first homeschool unit last September. There are several pairs that call our neighborhood home, and a few of them even wintered here instead of flying south. Our feeder was a welcome buffet.

Their call is a haunting song of love.

I was captured by the beauty of the European starling in our lessons. Aggressive, invasive in North America, and so aware of its own striking appearance.

I do not need to hide, I am emperor of the skies.

They exude confidence, wrapped in shimmering tones.

The European Robin is much smaller than its cousin from North American. This little guy is fragile and lively.

Curiosity becomes a common trait in generation that live around people, but experience little danger.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Cherishing People While Creating

It’s thrilling, letting yourself get swept away in the moment of creation… Then someone interrupts you. A child tugs on your sleeve, or the phone rings. A spouse calls from down the hall, “Are you done yet?”

Do you shake off that tug on your arm, mute the phone, and ignore the calling? Can you? Should you?

Creativity is precious, we should cultivate and protect it. Having a space for this is ideal, having a time when distractions and interruptions are at a minimum is important. But there are people in our lives that can’t, and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s a balancing act.

The people in our lives are important. They support our creativity in ways we often take for granted. We shouldn’t ignore them. Not only shouldn’t we ignore them, but they are a pivotal part of our creation process.

In many cases they are directly, or indirectly, our inspiration. We get many of our ideas from watching them, talking with them, living with them, and all the ups and downs that go with that.

As a mother and wife, I sacrifice my creative life to care for and nurture my family. I have obligations, expectations and jobs I can NOT ignore. Families need attention, children need nurturing. But is it ever okay to say, “No, not right now, I need this time?”

Yes. Sometimes it’s healthy, and even important, to set boundaries around our creative endeavors. They are a part of us. When humans walk in their creative abilities, positivity flows out into the world. Finding the right place and time for that pulling away is the hard part, and the key to a thriving creative life amid people.

When I first became a mother, my kids became my entire world. But I let go of something that I never should have lost. My creativity. I stopped drawing, except doodles for the kids to color. I stopped learning and pushing myself artistically. I even stop writing, only picking it up once or twice a year when a fleeting spark touched my life. Because I let this part of me go, my soul suffered.

I didn’t know how to balance my creativity around the people important to me. But now that I have found my creative spark again, it’s a learning process. Like learning to juggle. But it’s one of the most important lessons of my life.

Do not lessen your light in this world by letting God given trats or abilities die. Instead, seek to learn how to incorporate new people, places, and responsibilities into your creativity.

Who are the people in your daily life that inspire you? Who are the ones that test you? Who adds flavor to your hours?

Cherish them, friends, family, and prickly people alike. I look forward to seeing them represented in your creative works.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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