Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Line 17 - Why, That's My Line!

Before this month's Progressive Poem even began, Heidi gave us an assignment. She asked us to write down our thoughts about the first line, and our predictions for how the poem would go. I have to confess that I didn't write anything down, but I did think about the line, and silently appreciated the fact that our protagonist was a seed. Lately I've been thinking this phrase often, a phrase relevant to more areas of my life than you might expect: Seeds, not switches. I don't know who created this phrase originally but the first person I heard use it was Rob Bell. He was talking about how many processes are slow, organic, unpredictable, not started by flipping a switch but by planting a seed. I've thought about how often, in my teaching, for example, I want results and I want them right now. I'm in a hurry, not wanting to let things take their course. That's what I thought about the line: Let's see what happens. Let's let this little seed grow as it wants to.

And wow, it's really grown!

I started writing my line the way I start a lot of my writing: by looking at pictures. But let me back up a little.

When I woke up on Monday morning, one of the first things I did was upload four photos to Facebook. I've been doing a Photo a Day project; this is the second year that I am posting daily photos responding to prompts I find here. Today's prompt was "Striking." On Sunday I took some photos of a plant I found especially striking. Here are a couple of the photos I shared:
Right after I posted the photos, I clicked on Monday's line of the poem and read it. I thought about it, enjoyed it, reread it, thought some more. I loved the "trellis...made of braided wind and song." Isn't that beautiful?

But I needed some pictures in my head to get me started. I started Googling images. I started with a trellis, and then jasmine. And that second search term brought me a whole bunch of pictures that looked exactly like my striking plant, except they were white. Wait, I thought, is that plant actually jasmine? That would be just too magical to be true.  Or maybe too creepy to be true, with Google spying on what I just posted on Facebook.  Hmmm.....

I typed in "purple jasmine" and found a lot of pictures of a Disney princess in a purple dress, and then some flowers that are purple and in the jasmine family. I don't think my plant is jasmine, but it sure does look a lot like it. I think it's purple wreathIs purple wreath related to jasmine? I inquired earnestly of Google, and again, I don't think it is, but there is such a thing as purple jasmine, I learned, and another name for that is star jasmine.

I wanted so much to write about flowers in my line, but I couldn't. It isn't time yet. The star-shaped flowers hanging out with the wily Moon can't grow until there's a place for them to live. You can't rush seeds.  Seeds, not switches.

I wanted to continue the song that Sarah Grace started. After all, we are at a party. I watched some YouTube videos showing time-lapse photography of plants growing, and finally, after thinking about it all day, I wrote my line, all seven words of it. I hope you like it. I especially hope Christie likes it, since she has to add tomorrow's line.

So here it is, the Progressive Poem, with my line added at the end in bold:

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.

Oh, what wonderful dreams she had!

Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with

the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine

invented a game.

"Moon?" she called across warm honeyed air.

"I'm sad you're alone, come join Owl and me.   

We're feasting on stardrops, we'll share them with you."  

"Come find me,” Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.

Secure in talons' embrace, Jasmine rose

and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale  

moonbeams sliding in between, Whoosh, Jasmine goes.

Owl flew Jasmine between clouds and moon to Lee's party!

Moon, that wily bright balloon, was NOT alone.
                                                      Jas grinned,
                                                               a new
                                    around            tender
a trellis Sky held out to her, made of braided wind and song.
Her green melody line twisted and clung.

Keep following the journey of the Progressive Poem by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I wonder what will happen?

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads


Irene Latham said...

Ruth, so much to love here! "Striking" indeed. I love the pictures. And that green melody... of course of course! Thank you! xo

Linda B said...

I wrote down your words, "seeds, not switches", loved hearing all your own journey to this line, Ruth. It adds to Jasmine's journey, too. I love "green melody". Of course, it should be there.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Loved reading your process, Ruth, and the line you've come up with! ("sand" and "clung" work beautifully together...) And, Yay, Rob Bell! ;0) (We're fans.)

Christie Wyman said...

I couldn't love it more, Ruth! I just hope I can do it justice tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Donna Smith said...

Wonderful journey to this beautiful line! Sweet!

laurasalas said...

Oh, that green melody. What a magical adventure Jasmine is having! Love this, Ruth!

Sarah Grace Tuttle said...

Ruth, I absolutely adore your line. It makes me want to write a whole story about plants whose tendrils are all notes or instruments... which would make a flowerbed a quartet, and a forest an orchestra. If I ever do write the story, I'll send you a copy in thanks for the seed you gave me. :)

Ramona said...

Love the "green melody line," and those verbs twisted and clung. And your explanation of seeds, not switches. Interesting phrase.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Wow, Ruth--that is tremendously lovely, and I appreciate its patience, its pause to get settled and steady. Now I hear the song too. Seeds, not switches. <3

Mary Lee said...

I'm humming along!!

I love how you inquired "earnestly" of Google. (As if that matters!! Heh!!)

Amy LV said...

"green melody"

jan godown annino said...

I am rested in your green melody, Ruth.
Your notes on "seeds, not switches" from Rob Bell, who my friend Kate recently told me about is a visit with you, to savor.
So wonderful, a line.