Precious, Tiny, Little One

Precious tiny little one
When it’s raining, you’re my sun
Your laugh the tinkle of a bell
Bringing heaven, dousing hell

Precious, tiny, little thing
Let me hold you while I sing
Your lashes droop and brush your cheek
I’ll rock you till you fall asleep

Precious tiny little flower
I’ll shield you from the darkest powers
Until you’re old enough to stand
And only need to hold my hand

Precious tiny little dove
Mommy’s heart is full of love
With every kiss and every song
That leaves my lips my whole life long

© Rachel Svendsen 2015

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If You Do Not Go With Me

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If you do not go with me,
Do not send me up from here.
I cannot bear to go alone.
I need your hand to bring me home.

If you do not go with me,
Do not send me from this place.
Be the lamp who guides my feet,
Through laughter and the bittersweet.

If you do not go with me,
Do not send me from your side.
Carry me, or hold my hand.
Be the footprints in the sand.

If you do not go with me,
Do not send me up from here.
I cannot do this on my own.
God, please, don’t make me go alone.

© Rachel Svendsen 2015

“No One Can Stem the Tide” by Jane Tyson Clement: A Book Review

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I received this book of poetry from Plough Publishing. I had never read anything from Jane Tyson Clement before, but I adore poetry so I was super excited for it to come.

When it arrived I immediately started cooing. Just the size and feel of it was enough to get my bookishness tingling. I love paperbacks, and it’s just a touch smaller than usual which appeals to my desire for poetry to be portable. My favorite places to read poetry are usually outside in the sun.

The content was just as perfect as the presentation.

Clement is an amazing poet. Her flow and rhythms are perfect. Her style varies a little throughout the collection, but quality is always immaculate. Her themes, ranging from Art to love to family and loss were written with insight. She often strays to themes of nature, which makes the idea of reading them outside twice as intoxicating.

To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. I adored it, everything about it. I can’t wait for the sun to find me on the beach, reading her poems about the ocean and sky. When I finished it, I did not move it back to my bookshelf but left it beside my bed, because I know that I will want to read it again soon.

Below is a stanza to tantalize you, in hopes that you will get yourself a copy to bask in it’s fluid perfection.

“The birds that fly
in a shifting pattern
over the sea
with their eyes turned downwards –
what do they find in the shining water?”

Imagine reading that, then turning your eyes upwards to watch the birds fly. Absolutely gorgeous!

Here is the link to purchase a copy! http://www.plough.com/en/ebooks/n/no-one-can-stem-the-tide

It’s Getting Real Over Here…

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My first novel is done. Or probably done… I only say probably because of the sleep stealing fear that it’s not ready and I don’t know it. From the things I’ve read by other writers in my situation, this feeling is not uncommon. Regardless, I now stand on the cusp of query and rejection letters…

I. Am. Petrified.

I also have no idea what I’m doing! I’ve been reading a lot of information on the subject yet I still feel like a lost child in the grocery store, too frightened and shocked to begin screaming.

So when my ever first copy of “Writer’s Market” arrived in the mail yesterday… well, I nearly vomited.

I’ve been trying to light a fire under my butt for a while, but I just keep staring at my manuscript. I’ve never dealt well with rejection. Now I have to daily grapple with the thought that it’s inevitable. I WILL be rejected. I MAY be accepted eventually, but the rejection is going to happen.

It’s my baby. Those words are not made up of letters, they’re made up of me, heart, soul, and the cliché sweat, blood, and tears. The Characters are my children. I love them all in a way, even the ones you’re meant to hate. I gave birth to them one night in Lancaster, PA to the glow of my iPad while my husband slept soundly beside me. I’ve nursed them at my bosom. I’ve watched them grow, eat, sleep, fight, love, live, and die, in my sleep, in the shower, in waiting rooms, when I’m at the gym and virtually every random waking hour of my life since that night.

My last step in the nursing process was to hand out several more manuscript copies to trusted beta readers. I’m hoping that if they come back and say, “you need to try” I will have the support I need to go forward. In the end I know it will only be published if God wants it to be, but that unknown future element freaks me out.

People bungee jump all the time. You know that you won’t die from it, but I won’t believe that anyone standing at the edge of the platform about to jump isn’t at least a little nauseated from the view.

“I am cold.”

“I am cold.”
“Let me warm you.”
And he slipped off his jacket

“I am tired.”
“Use my shoulder.”
And she fell comfortably to sleep

“I am sad.”
“Let me hold you.”
And she wept and was comforted

“I am frightened.”
“I’ll protect you.”
And he shielded her from their blows

“I am lost.”
“I am with you.”
And they wandered hand in hand

© Rachel Svendsen 2015

Could I List Your Faults?

Could I list your faults?(Not easily Darling)
You snore(but you’re warm beside me)
You leave your shoes around(but always wash the dishes)
You never put your ties away(but you kiss me while it slips from your hand onto the floor)
You talk in your sleep(but you favourite phrase waking or sleeping is ‘I love you’)
Could I list your faults?(not without your virtues)

© Rachel Svendsen 2015

Closeness In Silence

I had a lot of fears going into Marriage. There was never any question that I loved Timothy. There was never any question that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. But the process of planning, arranging, and waiting for the wedding day was painstakingly horrendous. The day after he proposed we went to visit his family. They were celebrating November birthdays and they all gushed over me when they saw the ring. When we got in the car to leave, I burst into tears. I hate being the center of attention. Tim held me while I trembled and listened to me gasp “I love you but I don’t know if I can do this” whenever I had breath enough to speak through my semi-hyperventilative state. Needless to say, a little over a year later we got married anyway. (I was half a slow breathing exercise away from passing out during the my vows but…)

One of my weird fears going into marriage was this. A lifetime is a long time, what if we run out of things to talk about? I voiced this fear to a lot of people. The our premarital councilor, my mother and father, Timothy, and random people in the supermarket. They all smiled and said the same thing, “that won’t happen.”

I have been married for two years, but Timothy and I have been inseparable for nearly eight years. I believe they were not telling the whole truth.

Life has been consistently difficult since my miscarriage. Not to say I hate my life because there is beauty in the winter of our lives if you stop and look, but some mornings I wake up and wish to be somewhere or someone else. I often feel like a small child at the ocean for the first time. I ran into the waves with wonder, but their unforeseen strength knocked me off my feet. My head bobs to the surface just in time to meet another breaking wave. The tide is dragging me around and all I can do is wonder when Devine Intervention will rescue me.

I tell my husband everything. We’ve rehashed my current issues over and over until I feel bad about repeating myself. I began to talk to others about it. They’ve all be very patient. But I feel more a burden to them than I do even my husband.

I had another sleepless night yesterday. I listened to some sermons which inadvertently picked the scabs off of old wounds. I laid there in bed, miserable, wishing that I had a friend that I knew for certain would understand if I called them at 2:30 in the morning. I looked over at my tired and hardworking husband. He’s been going to bed early a lot lately because he’s so spent. I wanted his touch. His voice. His comfort. But I couldn’t bring myself to wake him. I laid there for a half hour and finally came to this conclusion, if I couldn’t wake him at 3:00 in the morning when I needed someone, than what was the point of being married.

I rolled over and wrapped my arms around him. I pressed my nose to the bottom of his chin. He stirred.

“Are you awake?” I asked.

“A little.”

“I need you.”

“I’m all yours.” His arms closed around me. I didn’t speak for a while. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

“The same stuff.” I began to cry. “Timmy my heart hurts.”

We didn’t talk much after that. We held to each other for over an hour until we both fell back asleep. To me, it feels as though we have actually run out of things to talk about. I don’t need him any less, but I don’t know what to say to him.

When you love a person for a long time you cannot stay stationary. Things must change or you will stagnate and die. To me, saying that you will never run out of things to talk about is like saying your love will always feel like you just met last week and are still sharing your favorite songs and the funniest stories from your childhood. Timothy knows my whole heart. I hold nothing back. So, right now, there are no words. We have to work to find the words or, if the words don’t come, we have to find togetherness in the silence.

That night I found a closeness in silence with Timothy. By the time I fell back asleep, my heart ached a little less, even though we had run out of things to say.