bloom | five minute friday

bloom, darling.

you were not made to be kept in the shadows. hidden in the darkness. you are not made for small places and small things and people that keep you small.

whatever keeps you from coming alive, darling, it is too small for you.

you are meant to stretch wide your arms and your heart and your soul and your dreams.

hold out your hands and offer the beauty you contain.

come alive.

oh, come alive. come alive in a million ways, bring your beauty to the table. bring yourself to the table.

there’s a seat. right here, right next to me.

we can bloom together.

it’s okay. i’m still learning too.

learning how to unfold. how to be gentle. how to soften. how to let there be curves coexisting with the edges. how to thrive. how to abandon. how to delight. how to cry. how to let go. how to hold on. how to decide. how to say no. how to say yes. how to claim. how to open up. how to speak up. how to stand up. how to declare.

i’m learning. step by step. petal by petal.

because i want to come alive. i want more than this. more than smallness.

stretch wide your arms.

can you feel it? can you feel yourself coming alive? stirring? reaching up towards the light? unfolding? finding your wings? standing tall?

can you feel it?

come. sit next to me.

we’ll learn together. i will never keep you small.

——

at five minute friday, we gather to write for five minutes on a one word prompt. just writing. join us over at Lisa-Jo’s?

belong | five minute friday

oh won’t you stay with me

cause you’re all I need

isn’t that all

we long for sometimes?

stay with me.

someone to ask, stay.

you’re all

I need

please, darling, stay.

I crave a place

of belonging

a place that knows

my curves

knows the way I walk

a place that welcomes

all my faults and all my failures

a place that celebrates

all that is good in me

and glosses over the ugly

loving me still.

I just want to belong somewhere.

don’t you?

you must.

I want a place

that whispers,

here, darling.

curl up and call me home.

and I’m searching

I’ve been searching

still hoping

and learning how

to settle into my own skin

to belong right here

right where my feet are.

still learning how to

belong

how to root myself

I can carve out a place

and call it home.

and while I find

myself here

I will open my arms

because you, darling,

you belong here.

with me.

we can make a home here.

make a space that knows

the way we walk.

belong with me.

you belong.

you do.

if you need a place

come round

come find me.

come sit next to me.

and tell your stories.

I’ll make space for you to belong.

won’t you

stay with me?

———

this week, we’re linking up with Chrystal Stine to gather to write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. no editing, no deleting, just words.

exhale | five minute friday

exhale.

breathe out, sister.

breathe in.

and breathe out.

there is rest here. rest, and calm,

and infinite space in the shallow between breaths.

find it. stretch out your arms and touch it.

you’ve been holding tight.

too tight.

exhale.

listen to your breathe, like the waves that kiss the shore

and recede

to rise again.

steady.

root yourself in the rhythm.

do you remember how to breathe deep?

so deep, you think your lungs

might burst?

that feeling, that filled feeling –

that is how you should feel.

full.

because there is goodness here.

and rest.

and steadiness.

and rhythm.

and beauty.

find it

in the inhale

and in the exhale

find it

in the second between

find it

fill your hands

and lungs

and heart

breathe deep.

so, so deep.

let yourself be filled.

look at your hands, darling.

do you see how much you can hold?

so much is given.

inhale.

exhale.

————–

and I’m back, linking up with Lisa-Jo for five minute friday. five minutes, one word, no backspacing.

write | five minute friday

the world will keep on spinning.

the sun will shine silver beams through leaves, raindrops will fall down to kiss the dry ground, hummingbirds will beat their wings, and on the other side of the world, a thunderstorm will rumble into being.

it will all keep happening, dearheart, if you never pick up a pen.

if you keep your words inside, if you let them simmer quietly and never boil over, never flow out. if you do not write.

the world will keep going, day by day by day. the world is a large place, and it does not often take the time to recognize you.

but, darling – will you keep on?

I’m sure you will. I’m sure the sun will draw patterns on your hair and the raindrops will wet your skin whether or not you have ink smudged on your fingertips and on your heart.

but these words you write, they are the beat of a hummingbird’s wings. you, dearheart, you could start a thunderstorm.

—————-

it’s five minute friday, where we join over at Lisa-Jo‘s place. one word, five minutes, no editing. just hearts and thoughts and words. 

 

hero | five minute friday

“I wanna be a hero,” she says, looking up at the teacher.

Second grade, career day.

“That’s nice, honey,” her teacher responds. “But what about a real job? What about a nurse, or a teacher, or an astronaut?”

“I wanna be a hero.”

Pigtails, Iron Man mask, Thor t-shirt, Spider-Man shoes. She doesn’t care that she’s playing mix-and-match with the Marvel universe, she just wants to be a hero. Arms across her chest, cape at her back.

She wants to be a hero.

———-

“Mama, I want to be a hero.”

She looks down at him, smiles.

“That’s a great thing to be,” she says. She finds a cape for her five-year-old, helps him make a mask.

“What’s your superpower?” she asks. “Do you think you could try and help the world with kindness? You would be a wonderful superhero.”

He throws his fists in the air and zooms around the room, whooshing his cape behind him as he saves stuffed cats from windowsills and Lego men from a burning building.

———-

He sits beside her bed, both his hands clasping hers. Staring down at the shell of the woman who used to be his mother. He knows that he doesn’t have much time, that the cancer has eaten her away, that he needs to say goodbye.

But when her eyes open and she smiles up at him, it’s like she’s never changed. Same mom who cheered him through five-year-old dreams and high school football games and college classes.

And as her eyes slip closed again, he whispers,

“You’ve always been my hero.”

——–

it’s five minute friday, where we write for five minutes, no editing, no second-guessing. maybe a little second guessing. a certain someone keeps telling me to write fiction, so here you go. join us at Lisa-Jo’s, won’t you??

encouragement | five minute friday

If you hear something enough, you start to believe it.

I don’t think that’s a surprise to any of us. We women – and men – we’re living in a world that tells us that we’re not good enough. This world tells us, yells at us, screams it in our faces. Oh, and they whisper it in our ears, too. They hide it in sweet smiles, but those lies still worm in.

You’re not good enough. You’re not enough. You. Are. Not. Enough.

And I start to believe it. I start to tell it to myself.

You’re not good enough.

This is why we need to encourage. We need to shout, yell, scream it out. We need to speak the truth from rooftops (and twitter). We need to drown out the lies.

You told me I was brave when I felt so small. You called me a writer long before I felt that I could claim that word. You said I was beautiful, when I measured beauty in inches and pounds. You said eshet chayil, when I felt the furthest from valor. You told me that I am beloved, redeemed, renewed. You named me courageous, strong, bold, loving.

You told me again and again. And if you hear something enough, you start to believe it.

You told me that I had a voice, a story, words to offer.

I want to find them again.

Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t.

——————-

on Fridays, Lisa-Jo gives us a word and we write for five minutes and talk about words and nutella over at the #fmfparty. (this wasn’t a five minute post. don’t hate.) last night happened to be a #jointhestory twitter party, which I totally crashed, and then a bunch of crazy writing ruffians loved my socks off. basically, what I’m saying is: there’s a lot of grace happening on twitter, if you know where to look.

 

fight | five minute friday

I get tired. Tired of fighting.

(Hey, I’m gonna talk about dance for a second here, kay? Cause you may or may not this, but I’m a dance major and it’s been a huge part of my life since I was like 6 and I generally try not to write about this, because I feel like sentences that say stuff about how dancing is like breathing or something are super cliche, but you know. It’s also kinda real.)

But back to the point: you have to be a fighter, when you’re a dancer.

You have to go into that audition and fight, you have to fight for the job or the college acceptance or the part, you have to fight to be noticed and hired. There’s that, but it’s not that, not all the time.

Every single day, you have to fight. You have to walk into the studio and fight your lack of turn-out or your low extension or the fact that you’re not a natural turner. You have to fight through the pain and tired and sore. You have to fight your way, every minute you’re in the studio and many minutes when you’re outside it, to being the best dancing you that you can possibly be.

And you gotta fight hard. And maybe it’s cliche to say that you leave it all on the dance floor, but that’s how it works. And when you walk away, knowing that you’ve given every single bit of strength in your body and every single emotion running through your veins and you’ve got to get up again tomorrow and do it again, and again, you fight.

I get tired of it. Tired of the fight. Tired of feeling like I fight, so hard, for everything I want. Tired of fighting to be better, to be stronger, to be faster. Tired of fighting so hard and feeling like I’m not getting anywhere.

It’s exhausting, sometimes. Knowing you’ve given every bit of strength and feeling, still, like you’re not giving enough. Like you’re not fighting hard enough. But all you can do is walk out, knowing you’ve given every bit of strength you had, and tomorrow you get to do it again. You can do it again and you can fight a little bit harder.

——-

five minute friday is back, y’all. lisa-jo baker, one word, five minutes, and a twitter party involving fighting wombats. don’t ask. you know to want to join it, though.