Six Word Stories (20)

The presence of light has such power. It can illuminate or bind us.

Darkness shreds in the presence of even a single flame.

It sets a mood and tells a story.

It’s an element that shouts volumes, with just a whispered presence.

Light is energy. Without it, growth is impossible.

Nature has a way of reclaiming what man uses and then forgets.

It doesn’t see our castoffs as no longer needed, it knows that it’s all still a part of the matter making up this world.

We can’t separate it out.

As nature reclaims its own pieces from the aftermath of us, it has its own stories to tell us.

Will we take the time to read them?

Stones remember, even when understanding is lost and history is forgotten.

Stones remember.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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Joy

Found in simple spaces
when lights have dimmed to ease
weariness of day from shoulders prone.

In the morning beams
where radiance sings
reserving stage for feathered accompaniment notes.

Shimmers in the shadows
like the fuzziness of heat,
but greats in bells that chime with chirping mirth.

Often hid amid
wide open space
blending with a magic you can not trace.

Given to the few
who look beyond circumstance
to find the lines God painted beneath.

Even when awash,
paying untold cost,
finding treasure hid and hold relief.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Keeping Creative in Isolation

We often overlook the power of quiet in our world. For many creatives, finding that quiet space can be difficult.

What do you do when the quiet finds you, and won’t leave?

We have been subjected to isolation few have known before. For some, this has created safe spaces to create, even given us a boost. We have taken stock and finish projects. It’s been thrilling!

But, It’s been over a year. How do you keep your creativity thriving when you can’t watch the hustle and bustle of everyday life from your favorite coffee shop window, when trips that feed your inspiration are discouraged? What do you do when it’s been weeks since your last conversation with another adult, and all you hear in your own brain is baby talk and cartoon theme songs? Or even just silence, and the silence is weighting on you, crushing your creativity.

Get basic.

It’s time to remember your ‘why’. What do I mean by that?

Every person engaging in their creativity has a why, an underlying reason they create. What’s yours?

For me, it’s not a choice. I must write or I get sick. It’s how my brain puts pieces together and manages stress. It’s how I entertain and am entertained. I dream, think, and live in a world of words. My why?

I write to understand myself and the word.

What is your why?

Whatever form your creativity takes, revisit your why. After you hold it in my mind and heart again, ask yourself, is it still enough? Has it changed this past year? Should it change?

I can’t answer those questions for you. I will trust you can find the answers. After you remember your why, it’s time to practice.

Practice? Yes, practice.

Sometimes creatives believe the lie that, “We always need to have a project going.” That is not true.

When you are tired, lonely, depressed, give your brain and heart a rest. Revisit things you know best like the beginning strokes of a painting, the simple forms of poetry you played with as a child.

Hop,
mop,
clop!

Let your brain wonder through small things.

What does your coffee smell like?

Is there a word to describe the wind chimes outside on the back porch?

If your art is more physical, return to the exercises your body knows. Muscle memory is powerful.

Pick up your guitar and play Mary Had A little lamb. Let your fingers roam over the strings, finding the notes your heart loves best, a favorite song. Just sing.

Then take a brake.

Put it down, walk away, play with the kids. Phone Mom! Send your girlfriend a hand-written letter.
Let creativity grow. Once you start something, it will call to you. Your heart and mind will tell you when to engage with creativity.

Do you hear her calling you?

When you do, it’s then that your heart is ready to learn from her again. This road of creativity in loneliness is difficult. But if you feed that flame inside, it won’t die. Be kind to yourself.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (19)

Why is spring so fraught with rain?

Why does it pour and spatter and spit?

Dissolving snow and rinsing grime from my window pane, it’s like He knows the earth needs a good morning shower.

Or is it grief, a liquid love?

Does He weep for those who have fallen asleep in the cold shadow of winter’s rest?

Does He weep to awaken those who sleep in Gethsemane?

“Will you pray for me?”

The heavier the pour, the more of His tears I can hold to my heart.

I know He already prays for me.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo’s sourced from unsplash.com

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Love Is

Something felt and
something done.
An action filled emotion.
Understood
by not a one.

Something that was broken.
Something
to fill its cracks.
Something that’s so human
yet everybody lacks.

Something that is given,
flowing free
from Calvary.
Something overlooked
by lost humanity.

Hell is something’s absence,
a solitude of soul.
Hell on earth
refuses
to give something control.

Something
beyond our passions.
It pushes past our fear.
Something so elusive,
yet need is crystal clear.

Something that lingers,
still present
on our world.
Something that is woven,
into every atom curled.

Something is a someone.
He set the world
to spin.
Yet He made my soul,
To him, I am akin.

Someone who is calling,
wooing
humankind.
Back into arms
that are with something lined.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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When the Kids Are Home

  1. Plush rug of red hues
    Toes settle in to fibers
    Food crumbs giggle felt
  2. Satisfying thunk
    As toys tossed in to trunk
    Sound of spill down hall
  3. Peanut butter smile
    Handprints left on window, wall
    Kiss smells of childhood

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (18)

I used to sit in the field making wishes on dandelion fluff.

I once rolled through the tall grasses, collecting the white seeds on my clothes and dark curls. Helping them spread as I ran back to the house, arms outstretched.

“I can fly!” I would cry, and daydream of Peter Pan and Tinkebell.

It was my life’s spring.

Now I watch my own children wading through puddles. The freshness on their cheeks and sweaters always flavored with a hint of damp growth when coming home from an evenings play.

But I still dream of fairy wings and mermaid foam.

My sisters and I used to rub our cheeks yellow with dandelion buds, and weave tiny field daises in to wreathes for our head.

Now I watch my own girls pick wildflowers and supervise as all kinds of pretend soups are mixed in sandbox buckets with sticks that are just as much magic wands as they are spoons.

The right now is there spring.

The scent of fresh tree blossoms might hold different meanings for me then they once did. But it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you listen closely with your heart they will share wisdom with you.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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Tresses

Tips bright with borrowed light.
Soaked every strand,
took command.

Roots show through in ashen huge
whisper of years demands,
open hands.

Wisps array
as standing troops,
gently falling into loops.

Crowning character.
Grounding finger,
through tresses linger.

Catching thoughts
in webs
of morning knots.

Pulled and furled,
twist or braid,
spreading gray is unafraid.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (16)

In the age of information, I have been given the chance to write. The chance to tell my story in my own words. The chance to dream my dreams and share them. What a gift.

I always knew that I would be at least a closet writer. But I never dreamed my form of expression would touch poetry. It has only been three years since I have discovered this gift, within a gift.

Empty auditoriums, silent church buildings, and closed temples. Despite the shutdown, writing has never stopped. We still need the writer. The storyteller is ever vital.

We have again been shown the power of written words.

Be it fiction, poetry, memoir, or essay, written words have sustained many of us this past year. Did we take them for granted?

Today I thank God for this gift in all its forms.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Spring Thaw Collection

  • Once perfect white hills,
    trap particles in spring thaw.
    Speckled remnants glare.

  • Sweat from sun’s new glare.
    Chilled in shade’s guard dome.
    Canada’s spring sings.

  • Muddied crystals strewn,
    rippled ground tormented mix.
    Soon the soak will drain.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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