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the love that keeps loving

May 28, 2015

It’s not enough to love. There is no “I love” as a singular declaration. Love is not contained within a moment or a day. Love is threaded with timelessness.

You have to keep loving. Love may involve turning away, accepting, re-creating love’s moment, and then turning towards one another to love again. Do not worry if your love wants to go for a walk. No need to follow it. Love knows the way home.

Do not think your love is lazy. Your love just knows how far it has to go.

Love is dynamic and evolving. Love is a process. Love is a story with a “once upon a time”, but is more “happily ever finding” than “happily ever after”.

It is the heart’s continual decision to keep loving that loves.

flowergirl and mommy

I used to receive moons…

May 25, 2015

People used to send me photos of the Moon. I would write imaginative tweets about riding the Crescent Moon or express my disappointment that a glorious Full Moon was hidden behind clouds. I would smile and smile as lovely moon photos were sent to my timeline. We enjoyed the Moon together, united under the same sky.

Now that my book is out, I receive photos of Moon Full of Moons in people’s homes. I didn’t think anything could be better than receiving a photo of the Moon as a random act of kindness, but this is very special. The book release felt a bit like sending children into the world. The MFOM photos were like postcards home that shared each child’s new life. I’ve collated a few below. Look at the wonderful lives they are leading!

Gratitude to those who are reading the book and those who sent a postcard home! My heart is happy in the completion of the circle. Thank you for completing it!

mfom collage-May2015

 

Acorn haiku / senryu

May 21, 2015

the deception
of sky ceiling…
this nagging self-doubt

-Kat Lehmann

published in Acorn No. 34 (Spring 2015)
This poem has been added to my poetry page

sun breaking through the clouds

unintentional touchstones

May 19, 2015

Certain objects become touchstones of our younger years. Perhaps it’s a small statue or a wall hanging that has come to symbolize childhood for you in some way. I wonder why some objects take on a special meaning and other objects do not carry any particular significance in our memories. The objects that have a sentimental value for me seem rather random and are perhaps significant only for their familiarity. Yet, for some reason, they stood apart from other things in my childhood surroundings. Some day I imagine my children will recollect with fondness a household item I never considered noteworthy.

I possess a few touchstones of my childhood: an old chair, a clock, a bell on a leather cord…

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Some touchstones of my childhood have been lost or destroyed: a wooden squirrel with a chipped foot, a painting of two owls, a victrola, an old washstand…

A year ago, I found a replacement of my old white onyx elephant: an exact replica of my elephant as a child. This elephant was made in Pakistan. In a sense, this elephant IS my elephant. I’ve chosen to consider it so.

onyx elephant

These seemingly random attachments to objects formed when I was quite young. Recently, it occurred to me that my children are the age I was when certain objects found personal meaning for me. That is, my children’s sentimental touchstones of childhood will derive from our somewhat unintentional hodgepodge of items in our home. What are they seeing? Perhaps I should have planned this better, but I doubt many people do. My children will undoubtedly recollect with fondness an item I never considered noteworthy.

So I asked them if there were any objects in the house for which they feel a particular fondness. They looked at me with an odd look (nothing new), then both mentioned the bear photo. It’s a photo that belonged to my husband Orchid before we met. To them, the bear photo has always been there.

Perhaps that is the meaning behind touchstones. For the child, they are not random at all. They are symbols of continuity and orient them to their world. What does a home have within it? In my case, it has bells, elephants, and wooden things. When I lose my elephant, I need another. For my children, home has a bear photo in it.

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Finding others

May 3, 2015

Many times, we know very little about the journey of others. People see me how I am now, and are surprised when they learn about some of the challenges I faced. The surprise is often mutual, and I gain a deeper respect for someone upon hearing their inspiring stories of resiliency and fortitude.

We tend to see each other in the moment, not as the journey that brought us to this moment. This snapshot view of a person is like a filter that makes it difficult to find others who have had similar experiences or walked parallel paths.

Many people are born into difficult situations of varying degrees. Some people are determined to make it out of their situation regardless, while others spend years tracing old circles to try to understand the past. I’ve seen it both ways: people ruminating on circumstances that could never, at this point, be resolved, while others push through to the light.

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On some level, the details aren’t as important as the resolution. That is, it’s not so much what each of us endured, but that we survived it. The skills we gained are transferrable. Perhaps the perspective gained from enduring hard times makes daily challenges seem minor by comparison. Perhaps the confidence in one’s abilities to cope is strengthened during trials. We should all give ourselves a bit more credit.

Somehow in this messy world we find each other. There can be a recognition between certain survivors. Ironically, those who persevere are often happy people. A friend of mine lived a childhood of extreme poverty. “Now when hard times come, I don’t worry at all,” she told me. She often smiles and sings to herself. I identify with her in this way. We are both suns and moons for each other: shining light and reflecting it. Together, we drive back the darkness. This is what we can do when we find each other.

Question: What is in your favor when an impending storm approaches?
Answer: Your survival through previous storms.

I will tell you there is no magic or trait that enables one person to survive and another person to falter. By definition, you are a survivor. We are all survivors, the progeny of generations of survivors who were tenacious, hopeful, adaptable, faithful, and strong. It is in our blood. Believe in it, and feel the power that has brought you to this point in your life.

Survive through the heart, with determination, when you need to. The rest will catch up. Nothing in life stays the same. It is just a matter of riding the wave and having faith in renewal. Do what you can, and leave the rest to God. And along the road to renewal, find those who understand your journey and hold tight.

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published in Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, Vol 20 (2015)

April 29, 2015

I am thrilled to have nine tanka published in Atlas Poetica (ATPO) 20!
The below poems have joined others on my “Poems Published in Poetry Journals” page.

unsleeping toddler
we sing songs
about our love…
the ancient light
is finally home

blessed is the one
who finds
the bottom of the ocean
with nowhere to go
but up

highways of sky
a measureless distance
how far
I have come
the journey ahead

after I trip
on the day
the balm
in looking up –
white poppy

labyrinth of days
stretched cleanly
I wonder
what a sibling
might have said

over the cliff
of clouds
a waterfall begins –
I am a fish
breathing bubbles

evening chill
I walk
a worn path
to the winter side
of the Sun

the time I thought
the emptiness was empty
and dismissed
the air
that lets me breathe

morning house
the cat and I
speak silence
listening
to distant thunder

Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, Vol 20 (2015)

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New Island

April 25, 2015

Mother’s Day is approaching, and once again I am reminded of the incredible blessing of children. Children energize me and sustain me. In this poem, my children save me from becoming a crumbling mountain of exhaustion to something like a volcano of energy. They help me form the new island of myself. I think many parents and caretakers of children will understand this feeling!

“…The avalanche stops slipping
from my rocky ridges. My bones
pivot on gleaming new hinges.
I rise and run with my children. I roll
on the floor laughing with them.

I am a volcano forming an
unexpected new island.”

From Moon Full of Moons (Peaceful Daily, 2015)

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