raspberry jam on toast

Another smeary week, raspberry jam on toast, except I hardly ate, but for words; I ate word after word after word. Sometimes I swear I’m a piranha. At the very least, one fish swimming in a bowl, year after year. Reckless really.

But there’s a smile in there, a deep, slow soul smile. One that is a direct result from new acquaintances made online – shared interests in word crafting and all that.

And yes, old acquaintances who suddenly re-emerge from their cocoons and leave really insightful, intelligent comments on my work.

Full of startling, vivid and often macabre images–you certainly made every stanza a(series of) visual(s), packed with sutures, sunflowers, self-destruction, and spiritual ambiguity, and each one follows the form and earns its keep. The references to painting and music pull one into a process that pits the creative against itself, yet somehow manages to indicate an embattled survival, and finally at the end, a sort of peace. Or so I read. Really excellent, original and intelligent writing. Glad I found it.

And a follow up to a comment I left for them:

It’s so good to have you back to read. I wish I could remember your former screen name, but I certainly can’t forget your writing or your individual gift. I knew you as soon as I read your poem. Thanks so much for really reading and getting this one.

And no, I’m not tooting my own horn, but these were words I really needed to hear, from a very seasoned and accomplished poet.

And to note: I also enjoy “chogging” – that’s a phrase another “old friend” and I coined for the “comment conversations” that errupt, taking on their own lives on posts, even if “off-topic,” because sometimes, we just need to be having “real conversations,” not just blah blah blahing about how “crafty” and word savvy we are.

And speaking of old friends? A true-blue and deep smile, just because I know I can rant, rave and just blather on, when I need to, via email, to a really amazing friend, and it’s a safe thing, because I’m never judged (insane).

We share all kinds, from the silly and whimsical, to the madness, the melancholy, and all socks and stuff in between. You know who you are – L – you’re priceless! So special. You should know and believe that. And as a new friend wishes, so I wish for you – miracles.

This new person – S – wishes everyone miracles. Those are her parting words (on comments and blog posts): “I wish you miracles” – how lovely and smile worthy is this?

Mega tonnage here. This kind of “bomb” I can champion.
(No, I don’t think you have to be religiously inclined, affiliated or associated, but rather, I believe we’re essentially spiritual beings, and the miraculous isn’t necessarily about some “spontaenous combustion thing.”)
It is extremely generous to wish someone miracles and mean it. So another smile.

And now, if you’re still reading, a story – non-fiction – includes a larger than life smile. A weird smile, an ironic smile. It caps my rough week. Here’s the skinny.

As I mentioned, I was eating words, at all hours, absolutely brain wrecked and mad for it, Poe mad. Eventual overflow. Clogged brain. And naturally, life, in all its stripes and colours, infuses everything and everyone it touches. No exceptions. The only question is: how receptive or aware are you, and how well do you control or manage your reactions and emotional responses?

I admit, I’m pretty volatile at times, sometimes, a paper tiger. Anyhow, after a heavy wording few days and nights, after blowing off steam in an email, I knew I needed to physically move about – so I set off outside to work on cutting back more of the garden.

Hmm – highly sharp secateurs and branch loppers in hand? Could be stupid dangerous. But I kept my anger, frustrations, sorrow, worry and melancholia at bay and just had at it.

Then I came upon the wild rose bushes. Originally 3 shrubs, they’re pretty massive now, years later – filled-in with all kinds of dead wood and suckers etc. I haven’t hard chopped them back for several years, but I was in the mood, and they needed it.

I had been holding off – this year, my lovely ladies flowered profusely – in fact, last week there was just one lonely bud left – so they were chock full of ripening rose hips. I mean about 100 – fat, juicy, luscious, delicious hips. The fruits of such abundance.

So I have waited, wondering if the deer will come for them, thieves in the night. But no. I guess the dogs have kept them away. So time to cut back. And so I did, carefully, for the thorns.

Wild roses, rugosa roses, have an insane number of thorns on their stems. Absolutely slivered, splinters, 1000 times worse than a stab from a grandi, flori or tea rose.

Snip snip snip. Not really minding about “true” pruning etiquette – they will be re-pruned in the Spring, cleared of Winter’s damage. And no, I wasn’t being snarky mad with them. But I guess they thought otherwise, because YowzA!

I was the recipient of two hard bites – mad razor screams (them, not me, I didn’t even swear) – so yeah, it was a “smile moment” – for them, yes, but for me too. It was a reminder that sometimes, drawing blood, really is a gift. Yup, that’s a word craft analogy too. (It was also a high compliment 30 years ago, from one of my Creative Writing Poetry Professors. “You write in blood,” offered with a mysterious and deeply knowing smile, leaving me baffled.)

But getting back to the roses? It made me smile: my blood was drawn, splinter bits and all, but despite it being the season’s end, as I was standing there, tending my wounds, the ladies were emitting their heady, summer soft perfume. It’s an absolutely gorgeous scent: deep, musky, slightly sweet, it carries and travels well, swells the air rich and thick, a dream escape; I love their fragrance.

So yeah, a biting smile – their parting gift, but a “thank you” from me, for mad blooming, and insha Allah – BΕ―h dΓ‘ – Si Dieu le veut – God willing – we will greet each other as old friends next spring.

written for Trent’s The Weekly Smile: πŸ˜… Oct. 11 ’21

6 thoughts on “raspberry jam on toast

  1. Thanks (this is the blushing icon: imagine). I love raspberry jam on toast, and your words, of course.
    The bank of wildish roses always catch me up if I walk near — snagging umbrellas, sleeves, and on occassion, flesh. I can’t stand to wear gloves, (as you know) so my snips are always snapping, leaving blood blisters, especially in that fleshy part between thumb and forefinger.
    Yes, you do “write in blood,” a very perceptive creative writing teacher.
    And although I am an oxymoron (and a maroon ala b.bunny): a jaded cynic who believes in miralcles and whimsy. To me, miracles are part of that larger “if” that is bigger than me. They might be granted by fairies, space aliens or ____________ we fill in our own blanks.
    And, to genuinely wish that for others is truly the sign of a gentle soul — you are well-meet then, and smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • wild roses have quite the bite – this reminds me of when I worked as a “City” gardener, as a student/temp, and we spent several hotter than hell weeks, cleaning up a wild rose hedge border that had been neglected for eons. It was Nasty! I never swore so much in my life, all scraped, cut up, slashed, pinched, snagged, bruised. It was dastardly. Of course, it needed it, and in the end, it was worth it, especially seeing the fruits of the hard work in the following years – but damn! I’ll never forget it. 😠

      My work gloves are close fitting, and absolutely finished, big gaping holes in certain fingers etc. – I keep saying, I’ll finish this season and then toss them (although I probably won’t) – but yeah, I even tried wearing another pair on top, but couldn’t use my snips. Too weird – so small protection – but I fared alright.

      Callouses and blisters. All too familiar with them. In fact, if my long-standing palm callouses start to shrink away, I get antsy, even after all this time. I’m weird like that!

      If I write in blood so much, I think I need a top-up, because Vlad himself couldn’t find a drop in me πŸ˜‚ – it’s exhausting; I need to learn to not give a crap so much.

      I’m an Oxymoron too – so let’s start a club! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      And I’ll wish you smiles and miracles and bright blessings for this coming week – small slices each day my friend, small slices πŸ’–βœŒ


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