So, I am NO expert at Paint. In fact, I barely know how to OPEN Paint. Therefore, this little creation is somewhat of a miracle, and I shall go and celebrate myself… Oh, by the way….that’s a new poem (Evolution) and I hope you like it.
I had the BIGGEST IMAGINATION when I was a child. One recurring dream I had was that our house was full of water and I could swim all around in it like a big aquarium. Now, I am sure there are all kinds of interpretations of this, but for me…it sparked this lovely piece of prose. Enjoy!
Of Water and Other Dreamy Things
I used to dream of water. Not the kind of water that winds down hills, shifting itself, a great endless slinky stepping across land to a vast and hungry sea, but a strange, floating, weightless water that filled our tiny house from wall to wall, window to door, toy box to floor. Iridescent blue, glowing, breathing, holding great bouncing bubbles in its belly, it welcomed me. Moonlight crept in the windows, wrapped its arms around each bubble, and danced a quiet waltz down my arms, across my back, and into my floating brunette spirals.
I swam from room to room. From my bedroom I swam, down the quiet hall past my brother’s room with the great clown walls, past my parents ’room with the drawers of pencils and paper and the gray flat table where Daddy drew lines that made buildings grow up, to our white-flushed simple bathroom. There I’d float before the mirror, a tiny princess. I’d brush my teeth and get ready for school; my jeans legs pulling on easily without the usual tug and jerk. Jeans weren’t heavy in liquid dream. Mom didn’t have to shove her arm up the pant legs to tuck in the extra length., knuckles scraping knobby bone. My sleeves hung like moss, a velvet hug on cool skin.
I used to dream a lot of things and not always in my sleep. I used to hear monkeys in the woods. They sang to me as I sailed on wooden swing, feet stretched toward sky, waiting for the night to bring its firefly dreams. A crimson sky would yield once more while toads tucked themselves safely under stone.
I used to dream. I was a magical child.
If you enjoyed this, please like and comment, and check out these prose pieces as well:
We’ve all had to attend a funeral. It is a difficult thing to do, especially when the person we love has died suddenly or at a young age or both. When I found out that my Aunt Donnise was ill and in the hospital, I went to see her. My Uncle was understandably distraught. She died a day or two later and I am told she was reaching out her hand into the air and speaking of Jesus.
During the time that this was happening in my life, a song was very popular and getting a lot of airtime on mainstream radio. This song, Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, gave me great comfort in an odd way. The poem I wrote of attending my Aunt’s funeral was greatly influenced by this song, and also by another song by my FAVORITE band of ALL TIME, Rain King by the Counting Crows. You will see in the poem a line in quotes from the My Chemical Romance song and a reference to black-winged birds from the Counting Crows song. I hope you will check out these two brilliantly written songs, and I hope you will read the following poem that I wrote about my Aunt Donnise’s funeral.
Giant pillars stood there
rooted in their weaknesses,
wearing their faces of sin.
Tears like ashes
spread across their cheeks.
Smiles, no one wanted
Pillars wrapped in cloaks
of brick and color and voice.
Their stained-glass faces
depict gifts I still
(“Paint it black and take it back.”)
I walked in, crows on my shoulders feathers in my skin dust pouring out of my eyes and watched them speak of you.
I wish I had been there to see you reaching out wooden fingers An empty casket arm trying to bridge the space Between your brokenness and His glory.
I am glad He took your hand.
Your dust swept away…
may black-winged birds be light
and quick with your soul!
He’s been waiting for you.
If you enjoyed this original poem by Christina Ward, please leave a like and/or comment and check out these that you may enjoy:
Green Lacewings are a delicate insect with intricate lacy veining on their wings. You may have never noticed them before. If you see them, be happy! They are a very beneficial insect to have around your garden because of the garden pests (insects and larvae) that they predate. So munch away at those pests dear Lacewings…today we celebrate you through this whimsical poem…
The delicate smile Of a green lacewing Landing there, on An aster reaching Toward Heaven.
A union made By chance of the breeze, Nature’s own, entwined, Tickled with the soft, Cool dews of April.
If I could become so small As to land upon flowers! To flit about in that freedom!
If I could climb into your copper eyes, Would I remember How it tickled me so?
If you could please, I’d like to visit the garden. I need to feel the whisper Of your wings As we dance among The bees.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoy the poetry here at Fiddleheads & Floss, please be sure to like and follow. Have a wonderful day!
I don’t know about you but when I was a child the summers were magnificent. Long hot days spent out in the yard, playing in our sand box and on the swing set my daddy built. He also built our sandbox which had a second floor with a tire ladder to climb up. There was also a circular arrangement of logs he stood up on end and held together with a chain that made a spiral staircase. He painted the tops of them different colors. We’d play “Cops n Robbers,” chasing each other through the tall grass, June bugs slapping against our shirts. We drove our Hotwheels in the sandbox, wetting the sand with the garden hose so we could build things out of the wet sand. We chased butterflies, followed ants, captured caterpillars and begged mom for a Styrofoam cup or a jar to put them in. We rode our Big Wheels, our bikes, and our scooters. The sun set late. If we were playing down the street, we’d come home when the street lights came on. This later time of the day was the perfect time to find what we called hoppy-toads. If you’ve never gone hoppy-toad huntin’ in the waning of a summer day, then I implore you to take up your bucket and give it a try. Enjoy this ode to the hoppy-toads that lived in our yard and brought me great joy as a child.
Hoppy-Toads in the Summer
Hoppy-toads grow fat tucked behind cool gray stones and fragments of brick. A yellow bucket nestles there, waiting.
Determined, I take up my bucket The white plastic handle Digging into my arm. I set out.
I lift each rock carefully Disturbing the grass Unveiling worm and cricket. I search for them In the cool, dark places.
The edge of the driveway No stone unturned But to no avail. I set my eyes on the Row of bricks beside our house.
Finally, a fat one leaps But I am fast. I scoop him up and Plop! He squats into The corner of my bucket.
Hoppy-toads like friends, I think, and search for him A mate. A companion. The third brick hides her. Plop! Into the bucket she goes.
To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the “what is next”, of our lives. Without dreams and goals
there is no living, only merely existing,
and that is not why we are here.
– Mark Twain
We all want to be a part of something BIG, to do something special and unique with our lives. It is just human nature to want to leave a legacy. Cross stitchers are no different, stitching and crafting carefully, patiently, and producing finished pieces for themselves or loved ones. These works of art take hours, weeks, months, YEARS of time to complete. Let me introduce you to one of those projects that takes years… a venture that is a collaboration of 112 stitchers from all over the United States.
THE George Washington project.
Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, oil on canvas, 378.5 x 647.7 cm, by Emanuel Leutze, now featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The George Washington Project is a coming-together of 112 US stitchers, The United Stitchers of America, who will join their talents together to stitch the famous Washington Crossing the Delaware painting. This grand undertaking is the brain-child of Heather Russell of McAlester, Oklahoma. Heather has spent countless hours organizing, planning, creating the charts and kitting up the supplies for each stitcher. Her vision for this project is immeasurable. We thank you deeply Heather for your commitment to making this project happen!
Facebook pages were created for the project and several admin were added: Heather Russell, Lisa Kirk, DeNitaAnn DeValcourt, and Margie Herreres. They worked very hard to organize our group, to answer questions for us as we work along, to provide guidance or files that we need, etc. and for their assistance we issue them a hearty THANK YOU!
Our WHY, if you will, is varied amongst our stitchers but the primary reasons I understand after interviewing some of them and by following along with our Facebook groups is that we want to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cross stitch. We want to be involved with a PATRIOTIC project that, when completed, could be featured here in the US (we hope to be in a museum, when completed.) And, it’s just COOL. Most of our stitchers just have the general feeling that we are doing some thing AWESOME.
The George Washington Project, being done by the group called United Stitchers of America, is a 5 year project. This project will be an estimated finished size of 333 inches by 213 inches, that is an estimated 28 by 18 feet. Our work is being stitched on 18 ct Aida fabric which was donated by our sponsor Wichelt. Sullivans is sponsoring us by providing the floss for all our stitchers. There are 233 colors used and 9446 PAGES of cross stitch pattern, divided into grid squares (see pic. Below) between the 112 stitchers. The grid squares are counted horizontally, left to right, and each stitcher has a grid square. Most grid squares involve a 100 page cross stitch pattern, although there are some smaller panels, as you can see in the picture. For example, if you count over to panel 77, which is my panel, there are 100 pages of pattern and 37 colors for this panel. When it is completed, it will be sent back to Heather who will collect all panels and stitch them together into one grand final piece
*OUR SPONSORS – I have to thank our sponsors who helped to make this project possible. Wichelt who provided the fabric for all of our stitchers to use. And Sullivans who provided all of the embroidery floss. Thank you for your gracious donations and support for this project—you will forever have my business!!!
** The current Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Cross Stitch is held by The Battle of Grunwald, by a group of Polish stitchers, and measuring 32.38 x 13.97 feet.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
We have a blog and a Facebook group and would LOVE to have your support for our efforts. What YOU can do to show your support…
SHARE this article on all of your social media platforms (links at the bottom of the page)
Now, let me introduce you to a few of our stitchers!
Rebecca Hill Fredericksburg,VA
Project Manager, Army Veteran Panel #110
“I stumbled on the project for Stitching George a little by accident. I was looking through a group and saw it and went… YES! As a Army veteran, and American history instructor, this project just called to me! I was excited to be accepted into the project, and feel history being stitched under my fingers. It has been fun to give little tidbits of information to my kids as I work on the project and watch their interest in history grow as well.”
Rebecca is a hard-working woman who wears many “hats,” such as blogging book reviews, project manager, college history adjunct, social media manager, blogger, and mom extraordinaire You may find her at:
Coconut Creek, Florida
“I heard about this from one of the angels working with Rainbows. Thought wow I can be the only boy. Woot woot. Means the world to me to be a part of history and making a legacy with the other angels working on this. Being part of a team of super talented stitchers is a blessing with stitching historical art.”
Timothy is a flight attendant who travels the world. “George,” along with his other cross stitch projects have traveled the world with him. He has entertained all of us so much with his humor, wit, and hysterical pictures. He runs an inspiring charitable Facebook group that you can find here:
Christina Ward Jarrell
Claremont, North Carolina
Freelance writer, Poet, Blogger
“It is a great honor to be a part of this project. I am excited to be a part of history and to honor my love for my country through my craft. It is wonderful to see so many different people coming together and working together to make this project happen. So far I have made some wonderful friends through this experience. I look forward to seeing this project to completion.”
Christina lives in rural North Carolina with her family. She is a writer and poetry blogger who has a great love for nature. She is the author of this Fiddleheads & FLoss blog. You may find her other pages here:
Tupperware Manager, Avon rep.
“When I was a young girl I spent parts of my summer with my grandmother. One summer day 35 years ago I remember her teaching me to cross stitch. My first project was a small motif. However, the memory was something much more and will remain so. I got involved in this project through a friend and then came on board as admin for the Facebook group and our blog. I have a few reasons but the main reason is because Heather’s mom had the vision of this project. Heather started it and then her mom passed away. It’s a great tribute to not only History but her mom.”
Lisa is a manager with Tupperware and an Avon representative. You can find her here:
“I love this project because it is a grand adventure and it depicts a great moment in our history. Being a retired federal government employee just heightens my patriotism.”
Gail is happily retired. She enjoys keeping her family and friends updated on her progress via her personal Facebook page.
Sharon Kay Drake
I love history and cross stitching, it was a great way to combine the two. I also visited Pennsylvania and went to Valley Forge. Got to go inside Washington’s headquarters and walked all around the place. It was a wonderful experience for me.
Sharon is disabled with terminal cancer, Multiple Myeloma, the 2nd leading blood cancer after leukemia. Thanks to stem cell treatment, she is thankfully in remission. Her positive attitude and can-do spirit are inspirational to us all. (I have tears in my eyes while writing this.) Sharon we are so happy to have you with us on our journey and our prayers and well-wishes are with you to REMAIN in remission!
So today, on George Washington’s Birthday, we celebrate the one year anniversary
of this endeavor. We are all at varying levels of completion on our panels. Here are a couple of pictures of my current progress to give you a visual.
Thank you so much for reading about this exciting cross stitching adventure. we hope you will follow along with our progress!!
Never be afraid to chase after
big dreams or big opportunities.
No matter WHAT your talent is…
use it for something great.
This poem is about hope. About reaching into tomorrow and becoming whatever you want to be. It is about connecting with the world around you and truly feeling inspired and blessed by it. What will your tomorrows bring? Will you embrace it? Here is my newest poem:
Here it is.
A new year rising,
a great orange ball
of fire in the sky,
wearing my name
like a smile.
The door behind me
closes so easily,
the dust slipping away,
falling away like ash.
Grays can be
This year I will dig
through colors and words
and paint them out
with a new fury.
Unbound and imperfect
I form and take flight.
towels in the wind, clean,
smelling like summer,
tomorrow peeking through them
smiling at me.
Hope is fresh in the trees.
I am a fiddlehead
Can you see me?
The winds that drive me
I am feathers and fury,
green and growing,
Cirrus and stratus
stretching my arms in the sky.
I release and release
Comments and likes always appreciated. Have a great day everyone! (Note here, if you enjoy my poetry please do share it with others that may enjoy it. My group of readers is slowly growing and I would love to have more readers who can appreciate my work. Thank you so much.)
Ripped from the belly of the sea
pregnant with vowels
our tails slap hard
our eyes are benign, panicked moons,
sitting inside our heads.
They must be plucked out.
We climb outside ourselves,
hold the knife steady,
scrape against the grain,
shedding our silvers
until we are clean,
carve a canoe-slice across our necks
another, neck to belly,
our insides slide free.
It is a great honor to be a writer. Pouring yourself out like we do is both burdensome and liberating. This poem is about the process of self-examination, opening up our authenticity, and putting our inner-most thoughts on display, even if that process can be uncomfortable or revealing.
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Please leave your thoughts, interpretations, and responses to The Poet Cleaning in the comment box below.