Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BlogBlast For Peace ~ The Tablecloth

Welcome to the tenth year of BlogBlast For Peace aka Blog4Peace. We speak Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us Peace) all over the Blogosphere today.
 I hope you have a wonderful Blog4Peace. Please visit each other on your blogs and see all the beautiful new peace globes flying around. 
Don't forget to sign the Mr. Linky below! We want to read your posts!
This is my peace story for NOV 4.


The Tablecloth


I never know how the story will end once it begins.
I only know it begins.
I get one sentence at a time.
The muse said, "Get your grandmother's tablecloth, Mimi. It's time to set the table."
Set the table?
Yes, said the muse, set the table.
I never argue with the Muse.
 There was something in the way the cloth hit the table as soon as it was laid....

My Papa would come home everyday for lunch from the furniture plant.  We could hear the whistle blow and we'd have exactly five minutes to finish the biscuits in the oven. If my grandmother ever burned the bread (which wasn't often) she'd throw them away and start all over. I saw her do that once and remarked what a waste it was to throw food away. But I knew from the look on her face that perfectly cooked flaky biscuits for Papa with melted butter was more important than spilled flour in the trash can. I remember watching him walk in the door, down the little hall toward the kitchen and being so proud that the biscuits were steaming hot and perfect, brown milk gravy in the bowl, crispy fried chicken, cheese, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe and iced tea. Sometimes we'd have vinegar pie.

  
From Maya Angelou's kitchen

Do you see this serving spoon?

It belonged to Dr. Maya Angelou. A wordsmith capable of stirring up change in a young girl's heart and one of my heroes.  She dedicated her life to the magic and power of words. When I was a young girl she reeled me in with "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings." I've hung on every word she said ever since. 
Sometime after she passed away, I had the privilege of being able to walk through her estate which was being sold at auction. Being in her home among her books, furniture, paintings and the many rooms and grounds in which she lived was an amazing glimpse into her life. I sat in her den in front of a small bust of Gandhi which was also for sale. A woman of  powerful words and influence whose possessions reflected what she valued most. Peace. Love. The power of words.

But it was her kitchen that drew me in. Opening cabinets (soft yellow paint) and being able to choose a few utensils she'd used on a daily basis was even more important to me than the hundreds of books in the downstairs library.
I chose the serving spoon, a pressed cut glass serving tray, and a whimsical green flower vase sitting on the kitchen island top.  I use the spoon every single day. Each time I use it I'm reminded of the power of words. Her words. My words. Our words.  I explored the greenhouse and found a beautiful tall fluted rose vase.

Outside the potting shed door underneath the garage I found a footed topaz fruit bowl from Poland. I have no idea why it was outside or who might have left it there. It now graces the coffee table in my den. A few other small Christmas items came home with me. I treasure them because they were hers and because her words resonate with me, in the same way I treasure my grandmother's cloth and her white porcelain dishes. Each piece laced with remembrance you see, and meant to be used, not stored away in a display cabinet. 

 My grandmother knew how to set a table. She cooked by instinct, not recipe. She would have the dishes washed before the last tea glass was poured.  She knew what it meant to serve her family. White linen laid lovingly for Papa's lunch. 
White linen laid boldly with love. 


My two favorite quotes of Dr. Angelou's reflect our theme.  She said, "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
 I would argue that peace follows.


Maybe it's the place I find myself at this stage of my life. I know I don't have time to waste being cautious to love; I only waste love being cautious.



The past year of my life has been interesting. I had to knock down some walls.
It started way back in the spring of the year. Something inside me wanted to clear things out and make open spaces. In the yard, in the house, in my soul. I raked. I cleaned. I sorted. I prayed. I threw out piles of regret. Cried over things and people one more time for the sole purpose of being done with the crying. It was a silent and fierce  rearranging of me.
Then the joy came.
 I threw open the shutters. I stood with my arms wide open and asked the Universe to notice. I no longer prayed that God would send the "right one" or even resurrect the wrong ones. I started to pray that He would grace me with love - wherever that love came from. That he would mend my relationships. That He would give me chances to settle my scores and dig deep into the reasons I'm still walking solo in a world full of couplings. That He would show me what it is I keep doing to keep it at bay, why I reserve a little corner for doubt and end up unconsciously sabotaging imperfect relationships for the sake of some high-end unattainable perfection. He knew I meant it this time.
And that's when the easiness came.

Some sure kind of surrender happened in me.   I wasn't even aware of the moment it came. But suddenly a long line of wrongs began to right, an unruly crowd of bygones begged one more reflection, and people I never thought I'd see or hear from again in this lifetime began to trip over my corner of the universe and demand my attention.
And Lo and Behold the most holy and unexpected peace swiftly followed.

When you choose to be vulnerable, you choose courage.  You stand in your truth and you own. Whatever that brings to my life is enough.  Enough!  Not good enough, not settled-for-enough, not hammered-out-and-negotiated enough, not just enough, but ENOUGH....as in twice-baked biscuits good.  
That good.

I'd been holding onto a whole batch of burnt biscuits you see...not wanting to waste what I'd put into them. I had my reasons. I thought if I held onto them long enough and stared at their imperfections, it would remind me that I didn't need them after all. They would serve as a warning that scorched manna is painful to the touch, therefore, I'd never want to make another batch. That's a nice safe way to live, isn't it?


 But love cannot abide in the same kitchen as fear. 
Fear will choke the life right out of every biscuit you try to make.


So I took Maya's things and put them side-by-side with my grandmother's dishes on my grandmother's tablecloth on my own imperfect table close to the heart of all I am. Beautiful things from a world-renowned poet beside everyday white porcelain tableware from a kitchen of brown chicken gravy stains  spilled on woven cloth that once bore perfectly delicate biscuits. My kitchen merged with Maya's kitchen merged with grandmother's kitchen and before I knew it we were cooking up a storm.


Dr. Angelou leaned into the batter bowl and said,
"Have enough courage to trust love one more time. And always one more time."

So go ahead...
Burn the biscuits, mess up the gravy, tousle your hair in a wild tangled love. Then start all over again.
Be brave in the unraveling and retelling of someone's truth. Be brave and bare in your own. Open yourself to hear forgiveness and then forgive. Because strong love can only rest mightily and sure in the arms of a vulnerable vessel. And don't we all want strong love?

 Walls are built for keeping out.
 Break
them
down.
And I don't mean brick by brick, year by year, tedious by tedious conversation.
Knock them down
all. at. once.
Then stand back and watch what comes to you.


Now serving in the kitchen of Bloggingham. 
A spoonful of peace

Are you hungry?

 
Please sign the Mr. Linky below if you are participating in Blog4Peace! We want to find all peace posts so that we can visit each other.  If you post on Facebook or Twitter, you can still paste the link below.





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6 comments:

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

Every year it's an honor to be part of this worldwide event. Over the years I've discovered friendships, transient and lasting. And I am always grateful. I am grateful too, to you Mimi, and your dad, for manifesting and nurturing this event ~ challenges and all.

Big LoVe to you,
And big PEACE too.

Mimi Lenox said...

Rose - You always inspire me with your woodsy peaceful ways. All I have to do is think of the beautiful environment you've created and how you share that vibe with everyone. You are a gift to all of us! I look forward to reading your peace post today and hearing what the Muse has to say. Thank you for your kind words. BlogBlast would not be the same without you.
Peace and mucho love to you,
Mimi

Susan said...

"My kitchen merged with Maya's kitchen merged with grandmother's kitchen and before I knew it we were cooking up a storm." - How I enjoyed reading this story, how delighted and tranquil I became as it worked on me. I am filled with envy about the spoon from Maya! But I will picture it holding up the world as in your last photo, a task we poets try to do and keep trying. And I will write a peace blog for you later tonight when I'm done reading poems on "tranquility" at Poets United. I had forgotten about this day, so the parallel is pure coincidence--if you believe in such a thing. Thank you, Mimi,for all you do.

Jans Funny Farm said...

Thank you for hosting this each year. It is an enormous amount of work for you and it is greatly appreciated.

For some reason, I have had a hard time leaving a comment on your blog. When I click on Comment, I get a new blank page. It has taken a while to figure how to reach this page. :)

meowmeowmans said...

What an amazing post this is, Mimi. Your reflections, as always, are inspiring and moving! I am so grateful for you, for Blog Blast 4 Peace, and for the goodness and peace it brings to our universe. Thank you.

Kely with One L, Life with a Lovely Lady Cat said...

We haven't been blogging much lately...maybe not at peace with ourselves? But we could not, in good conscience, not be here for the BlogBlast4Peace, we just could not join the world's voices in sharing our desire to have a world of Peace, not a world of strife and war. Mimi, what you do is so important, to give those who's voices may not carry the message...you give us a goal, you give us a place, you give us hope. I started Kely's blog shortly after last year's Blog4Peace and hope you like her very first Peace Globe!

What You Should Know

Your peace globe and post will be assigned a number and placed in the Official Gallery at blogblastforpeace.com. By participating in BlogBlast4Peace you agree that your peace globe and links may be displayed on other social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, wherever peace bloggers are online, and shared across the blogosphere in the name of peace and in the spirit of promoting this work. They may also be used in printed works and publications online and elsewhere by the founder of this movement in creating published works about the Blog4Peace movement. If you do not want your peace globe shared and made accessible to others, let me know. Otherwise, please understand that this movement is all about spreading the message.
Thank you for being part of this incredible community of peace bloggers.

About Sharing and Linking: If there is a share button visible on this site then by all means share the peace! Otherwise, images and links on this website may not be copied, downloaded or redistributed offline in printed works or elsewhere online without express permission of the blog author, Mimi Lenox.


© 2006 Mimi Lenox
All rights reserved

Special Launch Event Thursday, July 12, 2012

We launched the 2012 BlogBlast4Peace season with a trip to the shore (real and virtual). I am already on the Atlantic. If you were here with us July 12 at sunset, even in spirit, then you were a part of the 2012 launch for BlogBlast4Peace. I can think of no better way to announce our November 4th campaign than a designated time for all to bring the same thoughts and vibes to the table....er...ocean. Then it won't be just me making an announcement. It will be all of us. I like it!
Facebook Event page is here. It was a great success. Thank you. Let the peace begin.

Blog Talk Radio Interviews with Mimi

The Doctor Anonymous Show ~November 6, 2008
November 4, 2008
Election Night on The Doctor Blogstein Radio Happy Hour
The Mo Show
November 7, 2007
The Doctor Anonymous Show ~ October 25, 2007
BlogTalkRadio.com
Click to hear the interview below

2011 Official BlogBlast4Peace Video

Professional photographer and poet, Dawn Drover, created this year's video.

Peace Poems & Stories

Inspiring Quotes

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  • Kids, Cats, & Books: What Else Is There?
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  • Mississippizen
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    On The Far Side Of The Sea Luke 2:10-12
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  • Pregnant Pauses
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