a first post (a squeak)

It would be foolish to never blog because you couldn’t choose a title for your blog. Or foolish to set up a blog and spend the next six months trying to write a first blog post that sounded like a fanfare when all you have is a squeak.

So, this is my squeak. I am a blog reader who dreams of being a blog writer and so the blog writing starts here.  There is a bold decision here to choose a title taken from a poem that belongs to someone else.  But I feel a sense of ownership of a poem I know by heart having learnt it thirty years ago I’ve returned to it time and time again. It’s about dappled things and I guess that I am too.

Pied Beauty   

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

                                Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Of all the blogs I read, I favour a small community of women who do not know me.  Mom-blogs, faith-blogs, mainly American, all story makers and tellers of tales, artists, addicts, the broken, crazed and holy. Sometimes they scare me with heresy and humanity, mainly they scare me with their truth. I have been outraged, offended and brought to my knees.  I have laughed tears and wept tears, because the stories have been shared and they broke my weather-beaten heart.

My friends who write for me: I have been Martha to your Mary, Lot walking out into the Jordan Plain, a Pharisee, Herod, Pilate, Peter in denial and Saul watching on.  You have shamed me, scared me and pulled the blanket from me, but mostly you have comforted me with your determined spirituality and honest pursuit of God.

Women of God, we have our own dappled stories, a pied beauty of family life: mum, wife, sister, daughter and curator of memories, sorrows, achievements, loss, gain, frustration and joy.  At night we write freckled, speckled and blotched by our grief and regrets. Then in the morning we wipe away tears and write on fresh pages, in broad letters of bright coloured grace to tell of God’s kindness and his faithfulness. Our stories are plotted and pieced, in plenty and in want, fallow and ploughed, harvest and drought.

We knit and cook, iron and peel potatoes. We curl our hair and write birthday cards, polish shoes and plant seeds.  Some of us are world changes, some of us preach. We rise each day to make our beds, catch the bus and care for our sick.  Sometimes we break china, darn socks and lose keys. We love to see the sky, hear the birds sing and feel the earth solid under our feet.  In spring we watch the winter migrants leave and in autumn count them back again. We hang up advent wreaths, bake and fill the house with spice, check the bulbs on the Christmas tree lights. We are women adazzle with book deals and twins, doctorates and road trips and weekends with in-laws. We join churches, leave churches, plant church, love churches. We read and are read to, we visit galleries and buy music. We care for each other through cancer, childbirth and the common cold.

All things counter, original, spare, strange: beloved, abandoned, disillusioned, forgotten, victim, survivor, addict and saint.

Each of us holds in our words the power of life and death. So let’s write because His Beauty is past change. Praise Him.

This first blog post is dedicated to some inspiration Christian women who write and to a Father God whose beauty and love is past change. 

Three favourite blog writers, for starters…