Thirteen Ways of Looking At Memory

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day 30

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Memory

Stone border wall keeping one
from entering dreamed of place
called Freedom.

Being constantly locked into
space of exhausting

Grains of sand
that linger long
after leaving the beach.

Becoming only an
irritant in need
of being brushed away.

An echo bouncing off
mountain of buried

Ghostly apparitions
come to shatter peace
of present moments.

Dark shadows that swallow
dreams of a distant
but different future.

A light switch
mounted on wall
of remembering.

Poem, like a star, dancing in darkness
waiting for someone to look up
to see.

Greening path of footprints
offering steps toward growth
and healing.

A chance to redo
what has already
been done.

More than fleeting probability
to smash bricks in stone wall
encasing Freedom

Opportunity to live, to breathe
inside wider place
of grace long promised.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/30/2019

Process Notes: This one has been slowly building itself for about two weeks, as I noticed that most of the poems I’ve written this month are about, or based in memory.  And during those daily writings, the phone rings at least once and I always wonder if it is the woman who calls me occasionally to share a Bible verse with me, seemingly forgetting that I told her the first time that I studied the Bible, long ago, taught adult Bible Study classes, and view it very differently than she does. I believe that the Artists, especially the writers of any generation share the same energy as the prophets of old.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her book, “Women Who Run With the Wolves”, tells us that ‘nothing is ever lost from the human psyche’. Think about that for a moment. Our skin holds all that gives us life, and also each moment that we have lived. In this present moment we are the culmination of all of those moments. They hold both purpose and meaning. When we work to heal past moments of wounding, we are freeing our future moments for something better than what came before. Creating that wider place in which to exist.

The image is a photograph taken in my niece’s backyard, then put through the kaleidoscope app. It has long been one of my favorites because the boulders in the original photo, became stone birds flying in the four sacred directions. Creating that wider place in which to breathe, to live.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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6 Responses to Thirteen Ways of Looking At Memory

  1. KT Workman says:

    We can learn from our memories, or wallow in them, fearful of moving forward. The choice is up to us…

    Thank you, KT. Very succinct and I believe true. Far too many people see memories as some sort of nuisance factor, and miss the opportunity to learn from and to heal past moments. And one must wonder how much writing would actually occur without their presence.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the poem, dancing in darkness, waiting for someone to see…..these are wonderful, kiddo.

    Thanks Sherry. That line was actually dancing through my dreams for several nights, until I said yes, I’ll use it. Poems come from so many places, times, and experiences. I think people who write must be people who listen, as well. Listen to all the life that surrounds them and adds to the richness of the words they use to tell its story. I started writing because I was taking notes about things I wished to remember. Sometimes think of my poems as just that, Cliff Notes, I want to keep. It feels really good to have made it to the finish line this month. It has certainly reawakened my own need to continue writing.



  3. Marianne says:

    A gorgeous finale to our long month of writing, Elizabeth! I love #13, the perfect way to look at memory, for it’s positive message and inspiration: “Opportunity to live, to breathe inside wider place of grace long promised.” I cherish my good memories and keep the sad/bad memories around, to remind me of what I have overcome and what I still need to work on. Many thanks for sharing this NaPo with me, and for all of your positive encouragement & support!

    Thank you, Marianne and the same backatcha, my friend. I cherish my memories, both the good and bad. They tell me I am still alive and still breathing. I’ve spent all of my days inside this apartment for the last several months, due to inclement weather. No way I would have made it through NaPo without this store of moments past. My helper, who comes once a week, and I were discussing all the places I want to go in the coming summer months, many of them written about here. She liked that idea almost as much as I did. I do believe I still have a few adventures in me, lol. So glad we took this journey together.


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  4. Pamela says:

    Elizabeth, this poem speaks to me on many levels. Thanks for writing it and there is some sage advice in it for me. I am struggling with my current living situation. I don’t like sharing a house with inconsiderate people. But. Here I am.
    Thanks again for sharing your words this month. Love ya!


    And thank you Pamela, for sharing your words. Glad you found some value in it. Inconsiderate people are always difficult to deal with. Hope you find a solution. Somehow this month flew by and I did enjoy it.



  5. annell4 says:

    Dear Elizabeth, thanks for your comment on my post. Wise as always, and a wonderful poem you have written about memories. You are the best. So glad you also feel the need to write…I think perhaps, for a while this need has been sleeping, in order to allow you time for other work. xoxoxohugs

    Love and hugs backatcha, my friend. I do have to laugh however. I just finished posting a new prose essay on 1sojournal. It opens with a song about being Comfortably Numb. I do believe I was getting way too comfortable in my role as Hermit, forgetting that a trinity of being includes the prophet and the poet. Ahh, how easily we forget, then memory clicks in and reminds us of all those other possibilities. Thank you so much for being in my life.



  6. neil reid says:

    hi Elizabeth. My life hasn’t quite yet ceased quivering after these April thirty days. As oft, learning is a mixed bag of contortion, discomfort and confusion. Looks different now, from the outside in. I never said I was “doing it”, but I did to me. Guess I took me seriously. But in the middle, it was harder then, the experience I mean. Facing every day, “don’t know what to do”, and when something arrived there was always tomorrow to start from unknowing all over again. Maybe I’m out of breath. Haven’t written much for quite a while. Lots of doubts (as is always so, and just something to accept as ever too), but now looking back – I did OK (we all did OK) and yes, my poems fairly spoke my voice (wasn’t so sure at the time). So be it.
    And thank you for the shared company. A good kind audience is appreciated! All CAPS but I don’t wanna shout.

    Your last day poem here is a genuine treat to read. Is it some sage crab or lobster with its many legs? A thoughtful examination of this gravity – memory. It is a clear proclamation standing free and most intimate in how it shares itself. “dancing in darkness waiting for someone to look up and see”, is delightful. Think our last two poems both found their ways back home.

    Writing is what my life is supposed to be. Like being ill when I don’t. Thanks again for being you. Neil

    And thank you for the same Neil. Guess what I did the day after this final poem? I wrote a prose essay at my 1sojournal site about the aftermath of doing this bit of craziness here. For someone who hasn’t written much over the past year, I think I reawakened the giant sleeping at my center. Or maybe a few more dragons? Have at least three more ideas about books I’d like to write before I get too feeble to do such a thing. That’s sheer craziness, but a craziness I’d really like to partake in. And I think you hit the nail on the head. I think we as writer, do get a bit ill when we don’t. It’s a calling as such, a Heroic Journey that must not be denied. When we deny it, the Universe steps in and shanghais us to a place where we can’t say no, even though our strongest urge is to run in the other direction. And that can make us ill on many different levels. I believe because we start asking the wrong questions. We let doubt and fear rule us and those things can cripple us much faster that physical disabilities. I thoroughly enjoyed your poems during the past month. What’s more, they spoke to me of things I’d like to write about. But that would be my voice, not yours. And the world needs your voice. As much as I do. And on a far more personal level, I don’t want to lose contact with you. Are you on Facebook? I am and we could talk on messenger. Or email…My address is At the very least, we can encourage one another. Hold one another up as we limp along into whatever future we have still in front of us. Okay, better quit before I get all soppy. I think I might have done that already. Who cares? It meant so much to me to see you here and I want more of that. Hugs from the Hillbilly,


    Liked by 1 person

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