The Missing Note (Fairy Tale Fortnight)

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In the spirit of Fairy Tale Fortnight (brought to you by The Book Rat and A Backwards Story) and in anticipation of the June release of my fourth Wilderhark Tale, “The Song Caster”, I’m sharing excerpts from a never-before-released (and not entirely finished, yet) story chronicling the life of our minstrel in blue prior to his introduction in Wilderhark Tale #3. Part 1 is linked here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 is below. Enjoy!

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Like many a man before him who’d laid eyes on Wendara, Jeromey Gant found himself utterly infatuated – a fact which Wendara’s practiced eye noted at once. But, unlike those many men before him, when coyly invited to act upon this infatuation in the usual style, he evenly refused. Wendara, unused to the word “no”, was taken aback, and wondered if she had been mistaken in thinking he desired her.

But, “No,” he said again, “my desire is irrefutably for you. And when you have grown weary of your wandering, you have only to return to me, and I will have you, and no other.”

Wendara scarcely knew what to think. But following the meeting, as the traveling band put weeks and miles between themselves and that otherwise inconsequential stop in modest Emmett Down, kingdom of Anuranda, her thoughts turned with increasing frequency to Jeromey; to the man who had seemed to want her more than any man had before, and had yet refused to claim her. …And by so doing, Wendara realized, had quietly claimed her heart.

Jackillen was surprised by Wendara’s sudden insistence that the two of them leave the caravan and retrace their steps to Emmett Down. In all the fourteen years of his life, his mother had never expressed an interest in going back to any of her men friends before – for that matter, from what he understood, this man and his mother had never gotten very well acquainted at all. What, then, Jackillen asked himself, when he first saw the man for himself, was so special about this Jeromey Gant?

He was not especially handsome, Jackillen thought critically. He was not wealthy or important; like almost every other resident of the Down, he was naught but a simple farmer. And yet the look the man and his mother shared when they were reunited was unmistakably one of love.

Jackillen wasn’t altogether sure that he approved of any of this.

He turned his back on the courtship, focusing all of his attention on using a whittling knife to try to coax a lute out of a piece of wood. Frustratingly, Jackillen’s many talents did not include handicrafts; and between his lamentable lack of lute and the peculiar behavior of his mother and her new reason for living, Jackillen’s mood darkened by the day.

Then came the morning that Jeromey presented Jackillen with an exquisitely-wrought lute, shining with newness, almost audibly calling to Jackillen to be played.

“There’s sure to have been a less expensive way to buy my affection,” Jackillen said brusquely, for if the price of a well-made lute were in any way attainable, he would have purchased his own long ago.

“That may well be,” Jeromey said, expression placid behind his cover of close-trimmed brown beard. “But I did not set out to buy your affection. I set out to buy you a lute. As for your good favor, you may continue to bestow or withhold it as you choose. It will not cause me to love your mother or you any less.”

“Love me?” said Jackillen, looking at Jeromey in sharp surprise. “Why should you love me?” Why should this stranger care for him when no one else would bother?

“Because I will soon marry your mother, making you my son.”

“Stepson,” Jackillen corrected.

“Son,” Jeromey repeated gently. “I mean to adopt you as my own, Jackillen. I will be your father, and you will have my name.”

“Gant…” Jackillen murmured. “Jackillen Gant…” His eyes widened, mouth drawn into a brilliant smile. That was it! – the missing note in the melody of his name! And this man had given it to him – given him a name complete, and a lute dearly-bought, and a third thing unasked for: Love.

Jackillen regarded the man before him with a new curiosity. He didn’t understand this Jeromey Gant, not one little bit. But, he reasoned, he now had a family name and a lute and a father; wanting understanding on top of all of that would just be greedy.

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More of the pre-“Song Caster” tale to come as Fairy Tale Fortnight continues!

And two things to remember: One, I’ve got a giveaway going on! Check out my feature on A Backwards Story and/or my interview with The Book Rat and enter to win a free paperback of Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales, “The Seventh Spell!

Two, I’m looking for advance readers! If you’re willing to read and review “The Song Caster (Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales)” ahead of its scheduled release on June 24th, drop me a line via my contact page and I’ll send you a PDF of the tale in all its practically completed glory!

Song Caster Cover, resize

In Which I Tell “The Parable of the Cookies”

A father stepped out of the house, for a time. He’d not been gone long before his son headed straight for the kitchen and the jar full of cookies therein.

“What are you doing?” the boy’s sister asked.

The boy rolled his eyes. “What does it look like I’m doing?”

“Disobeying Dad,” the girl answered. “He said we’re not supposed to eat those.”

“But they’re cookies,” said the boy. “I love cookies. I really want cookies right now.”

“That’s too bad, because you’re not allowed to have them.”

The boy turned to look at his sister. “Why do you hate me?”

Cookie Jar

The girl blinked in confusion. “Who says I hate you? I don’t hate you.”

“Obviously you do, because you don’t want me to have any cookies – cookies which, as previously stated, I very much desire. You’ve got some nerve hating me for loving cookies. Isn’t Dad always saying how families are supposed to love each other?”

“Um, I do love you. That’s why I’m trying to keep you from getting in trouble with Dad who, as previously stated, told us we’re not supposed to eat the cookies.”

The boy crossed his arms with a scowl. “I never heard him say any such thing.”

“Well, he said it.”

“Liar. You’re making it up just so I can’t have any cookies.”

“Why in the world would I do that?”

“Duh,” said the boy. “You’re not into cookies. You’re all about, like, applesauce and stuff. Just because you like applesauce, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get cookies. You eat your snacks, I’ll eat mine. What’s it got to do with you, anyway?”

“I just don’t want you to get in trouble,” the girl pleaded.

“I’m not going to get in trouble! Know why? ‘Cause nobody cares whether I eat cookies except you, you sad, hateful little girl. Tell you what: How about instead of trying to dictate my life, you just chill out and accept the fact that I love cookies and I’mma eat ‘em. More than accept it, you should embrace it! My love of cookies is part of what makes me who I am. I am a cookie-lover, and y’know what? That’s awesome. Cookie-lovers unite!”

“Look,” said the girl. “I know you love cookies, okay? I know they’re your favorite, and it’s great to see you as happy as cookies seem to make you. If it were up to me, I’d gladly let you have all the cookies you can eat! But Dad—”

“Would you shut up about Dad?!” the boy exploded. “Stop pretending this is about Dad! Even if Dad said anything about the cookies, which he totally didn’t, he would love me anyway, because parents always love their kids, no matter what.”

“Parents also make rules,” the girl pointed out. “Rules generally prompted by love. Rules with consequences for breaking them.”

“Oh, please, like all of a sudden you care about Dad’s rules? Where was all your ‘Dad says, Dad says’ when you stayed up an hour past bedtime, last week? Or that time when you left the garage door open all night? Or when you ‘forgot’ to feed the dog because you were too busy playing computer games?”

“So, wait,” said the girl. “Because I’m not one hundred percent perfect all the time, I’m not allowed to tell you when I think you’re making a mistake? I’m just supposed to stand back and let you do whatever you want without a word, even if I’m convinced it is a really bad choice that you’ll probably come to regret? That doesn’t sound like love at all.”

“Shows what you know about love,” said the boy, shoving a cookie into his mouth. “Mmm, yum, this right here is love. Have fun being a hater, sis. When you’ve seen the light and are ready to apologize, you know where I’ll be.”

Sighing in sadness and frustration, the girl left her brother in the kitchen, really wishing their Dad would hurry up and come home.

“Alderliefest” or “Alone No More”

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But I figure, hey, with this week’s vignette all pre-written and ready to go, no reason I can’t post it here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day.

The theme: Love.

The word: “Alderliefest”, an adjective meaning “dearest of all”.

The Example:

“Good morning, Allyn-a-Dale,” the sturdy knight of Camelot greeted the minstrel as they met on the road.

Allyn matched the other’s courteous bow. “And to you, Sir Gawain.”

“We have not had the opportunity to speak since the night of your arrival in the Faire. How have you enjoyed your stay among the Merry Men, these few days?”

“It’s been… odd.”

Gawain tipped his head in polite interest. “How so?”

“They are a strangely physical company,” said Allyn, brow furrowed. “They are forever taking hold of me – Robin clasping my shoulder, Marion looping her arm through mine, Will Scarlet clutching my body to his like an overzealous bard with his alderliefest instrument…”

“Ah, yes.” The knight nodded. “I believe it is their way of showing affection.”

Allyn blinked. “What has that to do with me?”

“Perhaps they love you,” Gawain suggested. “You are one of them now, after all.”

“Oh,” said Allyn, voice faint with surprise. He turned toward the Faire’s little Sherwood, an unfamiliar feeling stirring in his lonely heart. “I suppose I am.”

“Thank-You-Ma’am” or “Fan Mail to My Perfect Fan”

Hey, Momma – did you know a “thank-you-ma’am” is defined as “a bump or depression in the road”? “From its causing the head to nod as though in acknowledgment of a favor”, it says. Amazing, the bits of trivia a glance through a dictionary can turn up.

In other news…

"It's your birthday?!"
“It’s your birthday?!”

It’s your birthday! And since I gave Daddy his very own blog post in recognition of his birthday, I can in good conscience do no less for you today. ‘Cause, y’know, you’re just as special. (:

So let’s take a few moments to celebrate the role you’ve played in making me the awesome author gal on the brink of publication we all know and love today, why don’t we?

You gave birth to me. Obvious, but vital.

You treated me like a wordsmith-to-be from day one. No baby talk between you and me, oh no. (Not until these last few years, anyway.) Your one-sided conversation showed Infant Me how English was supposed to sound, and your intolerance for non-words like “lookit” guided my early communication toward a healthy formality. Everyone who compliments me as well-spoken has you to thank.

You taught me that every character has his or her own voice. All your patient repetitions of “Spot” flap-books really drove that lesson home. Turtles advising us to “try the basket” sound different from lions declaring, “No one can see me!” With your example before me – not to mention countless hours of your audio book picks in the kitchen and on the road – I learned how reading aloud can make a story leap off the page, and how crucial it is to let each character I create sound true to their individual selves.

Spot and I share this in common.
Spot and I share this in common.

You let it be okay to treat fiction as reality. If I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes, you handed me a deerstalker cap and set me off on a Birthday Hunt mystery. When my obsessions moved in a more boy band and “Lord of the Rings” direction, you arranged for the Backstreet Boys and some Scottish pirate person growling about Aragorn to leave me a string of touching messages on the phone’s answering machine. And even now, you’ll buddy around with Will Scarlet when he bursts into our conversations, like he does. As interesting an experience as it might have been to get sent to a mental institution, I like the way you deal with me better.

You always supported my creative endeavors. …Even if the endeavor was a big glob of colored glue. You never begrudged my colossal wastes of paper on treasure maps to nowhere, board games with no rules, summonses, ventriloquist dummies, and of course, stories. You gave me pretty much free rein to dabble in artistic media, and when I eventually decided that my strongest passion lay in writing, you rooted for me 100%. You became one of my first critique partners and complaint buddies about writerly pet peeves; a listening ear when I need to talk through story stumbles, and a sometimes surprising source of inspiration; a wall between the world’s bothersome distractions and my writer’s cave; and the first person I want to go to with either hard disappointments or heady victories. I don’t know how authors without amazing mommies do it.

You pretty much did everything there was to do, shy of writing my stories for me. I’m glad you left that part to me. I happen to love my job, more or less as much as I love you.

Thank you, ma’am, Backstreet-style. I luvva you.

Momma and Me, circa her 55th Birthday

“Beautiful” or “What Does Your Character’s Face Say About You, Them, and the World’s Eyesight?”

Prompted, in part, by this blog post I read, today I reflect upon beautiful characters.

Sometimes I look at the collection of people I’ve created and pal around with, and I wonder: Do I write an inordinate number of characters “having qualities that delight the senses, especially the sense of sight”? Are their looks a blatant reflection of what I wish my mind’s eye to shamelessly gaze upon?

To some extent, yeah, probably. But there’s more to the story than that.

Take my tailor / life coach, Edgwyn. I happen to find him unfairly attractive, but I recognize that he may not be everybody’s type. That said, a lot of ladies in his world are attracted to him, too. Part of that is due to his being reasonably handsome – facial symmetry, glow of good health, good hair, that sort of thing.

But what really gets the gals’ attention (and mine) is his smile – twinkly-eyed, friendly, full of genuine warmth and love. It’s a smile that says, “I like you. You’re important to me. I wish you every good thing in the world.” People are drawn to that. That smile is an outward manifestation of his heart. Can I help it if his inner beauty makes his outside all the more beautiful to me? Particularly when he looks an exhausted mess after doing philanthropic things way past his bedtime. (:

The smile, as close as I can sketch it.
The smile, as close as I can sketch it.

Meanwhile, in a magical Renaissance Faire, you’ve got one of my most physically beautiful characters… no, Will, I’m not talking about you. I’m referring to Allyn-a-Dale. Oddly enough, I didn’t intend to make him extraordinarily good-looking, and didn’t even notice that I had until a couple months after I’d written his first book. How’d that happen?? Well, I blame his childhood.

Allyn wasn’t raised around mirrors. The only face he saw regularly was that of his father, a.k.a. the supreme and unattainable standard for everything. Father’s face was beautiful. Every other face was therefore lesser. Allyn barely knew what he looked like, and he didn’t care. And that attitude subliminally influenced his author’s early perception of him.

Don’t worry, I caught on eventually.
Don’t worry, I caught on eventually.

So, what can we learn from all this? One might think the moral of the story is that characters’ looks don’t matter, since what the character, their fellow characters, and we on the other side of the page will see may not have much to do with their actual faces. Sure, I can concede some partial truth, there.

On the other hand, that very disconnect between what’s really there and what we see can be used to the writer’s advantage. You think I knew the psychology behind the Allyn example all along? Nope! I had to figure it out once I realized, “Hey, wait a minute… he’s gorgeous! How did he and I miss this??” The puzzle of his invisibly beautiful face forced me to root around in his mind and uncover just how badly life had messed him up. And that made really good material for his second book.

And Edgwyn’s just a shining example of what we should all aspire to be, but he doesn’t like it when I talk him up, that way, so we’ll cut this paragraph short.

At the end of the day – or at the beginning of this blog post – when I’m looking around at all my characters, the conclusion I reach is that, yeah, I’ve written some beautiful people. I’ve also written some more mediocre-looking people that still get a good share of my shameless gazing. Why? Because I love them, of course. And what you love is always beautiful, in your eyes.

“HYSRT!” or “Maybe Half Lots Would Actually be Simpler…”

Dear English,

Though I revel in the art to be made with you, I fully acknowledge that you are ridiculous.

(Yes, ridiculous. “Deserving or inspiring ridicule; absurd, preposterous, or silly”, that’s you.)

You contradict your own rules as often as you follow them, as if you’re not even trying to make sense of yourself. Anyone able to read this blog post in the tongue in which I typed it should give themselves a round of applause. I feel I owe myself a treat just for being able to thus convey my ideas. We’re geniuses, all of us! Geniuses with a dum-dum language!

Go Home, English

This truth was driven home to me after reading a post by Ruth Layne on her blog, Misadventures of a Would-Be Writer. Hey, y’know what, English? You Should Read This. Entitled “Lots of English. Whole Lots”, it points out what a troublesome means of communication you are – not just for brave souls attempting to master you as a second language, but even for your native speakers. Even I, who have heard you spoken since my days in the womb; have spoken you myself since my mouth could manage the phonemes; I who have gobbled through books filled cover to cover with your words, and who have written books, poems, articles, essays of my own – even I do not pretend to wholly understand you!

Fortunately, one does not have to wholly understand a thing to love it.

Love you indeed,

Danielle

“Belief” or “Truth”

“So, hey, did you find your phone?”

Evan glanced up from his hand of playing cards. “My…? Oh, no, it’s still missing.” He sighed. “I can’t think where I could have laid it down.”

“Oh.” Oliver frowned. “That’s weird. So who were you talking to?”

“When?”

“A little while ago, when I was grabbing the game from the other room. It sounded like about half a conversation, so…”

“Oh, that.” Evan smiled in remembrance. “I was talking to my Author.”

“Your what?”

“Well,” Evan amended, “your Author, too. Everybody’s Author.”

“You don’t seriously believe in that Author stuff, do you?” Oliver said incredulously.

“Certainly I do. You don’t?”

“Of course not.” Oliver slapped a card on the table and reshuffled the deck. “Some invisible girl in the sky who wrote the world into existence? That’s ridiculous.”

“How so, ridiculous?” Evan asked. “Where do you think we came from, just spontaneously sprung up off the page?”

Oliver shrugged. “Could’a happened. Like, y’know, there’s mysterious imaginative ether, and stuff.”

“Whose imagination?” Evan pressed

“The collective imagination,” Oliver pronounced. “We all imagine ourselves; a basic matter of mass self-belief.”

“I see.” Evan fingered his cards, expression thoughtful. “But what about before we have the cognitive function of make-belief? How do infants exist?”

“Easy. The rest of us believe in them for them, until they’re old enough to believe in themselves.”

“Sweet of us. So who was it who believed in the first babies?”

“Their parents, of course.”

“And where did the parents come from? Were they never babies?”

“Uh…” Oliver squinted at the wall, reviewing the math he’d set up for himself. “Well, look, nobody knows how it got started…”

“I do,” said Evan, setting down a pair of cards. “The Author wrote them, just as she wrote you and me.”

Oliver shook his head. “I don’t buy it. There’s just not enough evidence.”

Evan’s eyebrows rose. “You don’t think this is evidence?”

“What?”

“This dialogue. Our words appearing between quotation marks. The narration around them. It all smacks of Authorship!”

“There’s an explanation for that,” Oliver said vaguely.

“Is there likewise an explanation,” said Evan, “for how I’ve met the Author personally? How we’ve talked together, and laughed together, and how wholly adored I feel whenever she speaks my name?”

“Delusion?” Oliver offered.

Evan looked at him. “Why is my belief a delusion, while your belief is all that bars you from nonexistence? How is any one belief better than any other, unless one of those beliefs is truth? And if we’re dealing with a matter of truth, than what difference does anyone’s belief make?”

“Belief in something makes it true,” Oliver insisted.

“You obviously don’t believe that,” said Evan, “or you’d believe that my belief in the Author makes her true.”

“Yeah… well…” Oliver set his cards down in annoyance. “You know, you are really overcomplicating this.”

“I’ve been trying to simplify it. The truth is very simple: The Author wrote us – is writing us right now! – and will continue to do so until story’s end.”

“If the Author’s so all-powerfully awesome, why would she waste her time writing stories about fictional nobodies?” Oliver challenged.

Card Hand

Smiling, Evan answered, “Because she doesn’t count it a waste. This is what she loves. We are what she loves. And it would please her no end to have you love her, too, as I do.”

“Yeah, well,” Oliver grumbled, “she doesn’t talk to me, does she?”

Evan laughed. “She talks to you all the time! She talks to everything – even inanimate objects, to which she’ll temporarily assign personalities. She likes imaginative role-play. But we are more than a game to her. We are her characters. Her children. Her greatest creation, and her heart’s delight.”

“Then why does she let bad things happen to us?” Oliver demanded. “If you’re so much to her, why did she let you lose your phone?”

“I’d wondered that,” Evan admitted. “In my frustration over the loss, I asked her that myself.”

“Yeah? And what was her answer?”

“She wouldn’t tell me.”

“Ha!”

“But from the other room, you heard me asking,” said Evan. “And now here we are. I think that may be my answer: A plot device to bring you nearer to believing the truth.” Evan chuckled, and spoke as if to the air, “Clever Author.”

“Father” or “An Open Letter to Someone’s World”

Honor and gratitude wherever it’s due, I say. Meaning, I suppose, that I ought begin this post with thanks to my author for extending to me the privilege of writing it. There you are, Danielle; consider yourself acknowledged.

With that out of the way, introductions: Grateful greetings, honored readers, from Gant-o’-the-Lute! – king among minstrels, chief among characters and, perhaps highest of all, father of Allyn-a-Dale.

Seems to go rather counter to the foundations of the universe, doesn’t it? Any role greater than that of a minstrel? Surely not! But it’s so, though it took me quite long enough to know it.

The perusal of a number of the stories within my author’s portfolio might lead one to suspect that she’s had rather damaging relations with “the man who child in question did beget; or, sire or nay, did raise or nurture yet”. ‘Twould be a misguided assumption; so far as I know, Danielle and her father have always gotten on fairly well. Why, then, do a generous portion of her plotlines feature father-centric hardship? For the very same reason this third Sunday in June is dedicated far and wide to the celebration of fathers: Because fathers are important.

I didn’t use to think so; or I convinced myself I didn’t, for you see, I didn’t have one. I never met the man who biologically fathered me, and the man who would have been glad to serve as surrogate sire died too soon for me to appreciate him. All of it making for a poor first impression of paternity, as far as I was concerned, I entered the role of father to my own offspring woefully ill-equipped – and, it shames me to say, indifferent. I knew not all that I meant to the little lad ever at my side; knew not I was his world. But too many years of unfair heartache later, that lad has taught me this:

Fathers,

You don’t have to be Gant-o’-the-Lute for your child to believe you are the greatest.

Because you are Daddy, you are the strongest.

Because you are Papa, you are the smartest.

Nothing can touch you, for you are invincible.

“With Father” should be the safest place they’ll ever be.

Lute and little Allyn.

You are your child’s first hero, and you will not be worthy of it.

You will be the best that you know how, and you will yet fall short.

You will not give him enough.

You will not guard her enough.

You will not love them enough – and the more, the deeper, the harder you love them, the truer you’ll know this to be.

You will fail your children unforgivably.

And yet will they forgive you.

Or they’ll wish to.

In the innermost chamber of the heart, your child will always love you, always yearn for you, always crave a special heart-space of their own within you.

It cannot be helped.

You’re Father.

Honor that, and they will be forever grateful.

“Valentine” or “To Minstrel, with Love”

Another minstrel/lover pair. Seems the music o' love is in the air!

Don’t look now, but tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. …or Spend Big Money on Your Woman Day, but let us not be jaded. In honor of this celebration of lovers, I’ll share a poem I wrote from the perspective of a minstrel’s hypothetical sweetheart – for few things inspire poetry better than love and minstrelsy. Enjoy, and loving wishes to you all.

* * *

            It was not spring.

Such stories are meant for the spring –

the time of new things stirring…

            and growing…

                        and blooming…

But it was winter yet.

            He was cold.

And he said he would not mind, but for his hands.

They’d gone so white.

They’d lost near all their feeling.

They could not do as he bid them, and his soul was wounded sore;

his song a stream the winter cold had frozen.

            He needed warmth,

and the world had none to give him.

            But I had home and hearth and heat; therefore said I to him:

Come in, and see what I may do

To be the spring for you.

            The fire pulled the blood back to his fingers.

The blood drew back the feeling –

pain, first, but then the springtime stirring…

            awareness growing…

                        ability blooming…

            They moved over his instrument anew –

thick and clumsy still,

but more eloquent all the time.

            He said he wished to thank me for the thaw;

said were it not winter, he would gather blossoms by the armful –

great bouquets from field and garden –

for the fair flower before him.

            But as the ground was barren, it was this he offered me:

Listen, and hear what I may play

To bring you spring today.

            His fingers plucked the strings above his lute’s carven rosette.

The notes fell sweet as gentle rain upon my ear and heart.

Inside, I felt the stirring…

            something growing…

                        his music ended, and it bloomed…!

            He said he felt it, too.

            And outside, the world was winter.

But for us –

for me and Allyn –

it was spring.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 20

Psalm 20. “As Silver Refined” by Kay Arthur, pp. 193-194

            Like Author, like tailor –

Or such is his hope.

His heart holding love enough for all the worlds;

Every deed born of desire to serve;

All actions devoted to the Highest Good.

His deepest regret that he was not found worthy

To be the Messiah, so you would not have to.

That you died for him, not the other way ‘round…

That you moaned in the garden and he couldn’t hug you…

That he wasn’t at least there to carry your cross –

He’d gladly have been your Simon of Cyrene.

He’d gladly be anything you are,

Or anything you wish.

I wish I were more like my tailor.

            Like Author, like outlaw –

Or such is his hope.

His passion to see and to fill every need;

To be Good Shepherd to his flock of a band;

To guide them with tenderness, chastening gently.

The soft side of fair, but the rigid side, too:

For he must have justice; won’t suffer corruption;

Intolerant of anything less than upright.

He faces, unflinching, any consequence

Of doing that to which he knows he’s been called.

He gladly bore darkness to shine with your light.

He’d gladly be anything you are,

Or anything you want.

I want to be more like my outlaw.

            Like Author, like author –

Or such is my hope.

May those who look me-ward see more than a human;

Let God-ness inside of me be evident.

Give me more love – and, with that, much more patience –

Courageous perfection that casts out all fear.

Nudge my desires in line with your own,

And banish ambition that brings you no glory.

Transfer my center from my self to yours

And… could I get some seconds on that fearless love?

Help me to know your will and live it gladly –

To gladly be anything you are,

Or anything you ask.

I ask to be more like my Author.