Singing into the barn the other morning,
Yonder come a Miss Rosie
How in the world do you know?
Well I knows her by her apron, by the dress she wore,
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand,
I’m going to ask the governor to turn a loose my man
The little chorus of chickens, I could almost hear them ringing in behind,
Let the midnight special shine it’s light on me,
The horse out to her pasture and im walking the field hunting for marbles or anything, but nothing,
The world increasing in birdsong and every day more green, the walking path winding and bright, cardinals still red birds in the brown branches of the pecan but the privet is sure-enough coming home from out of the soil,
Thinking I’d drink this well water for the rest of my life,
Went to sleep with the ashes on my forehead last night hoping it’d change my dreams,
Slept hard, dreamless, the sun up earlier, thinly angling through the kitchen window,
stories on the line, silence, too, climbing hills and crossing creeks before 8 am,
didn’t turn the fan on today but thought about it,
Burned things in the pit and the smoke curled all around,
rabbits, rabbits, rabbits,
Wompus steady sleeping,
Looking at all of the paintings for the show and wondering why i insist on putting hearts on the mules for everyone to see, maybe to remind us that they are there, beating, pounding, loving, sacred,
we forget the things we do not see, the way you seem so far from me, the way spring looked like it’d never come again, never lived to start off with,
In service he said, may you know the shape of God’s love in how you give and receive it,
he said, it is no great mystery,
But it is, for someone who quit praying so long ago,
The red box said, please do not ask to borrow my tools, it’s how i make my living,
And i been persistent in thinking about it,
What is missing, what’s been taken, that i been the way i been?
Please do not ask to borrow my heart, it’s how i make my living.
but i would rather lend it out than keep it to myself always,
a cat to the sun, roots to the rain,
in church she read out, sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
the vision of a cloud leading us in the day, fire in the sky above at night,
crowned with mercy and loving-kindness,
Every day more green.
Let the midnight special shine it’s light on me, shine it’s ever-loving light on me
I went to the nation, to the territory, to tell them about the girl I love,
Let the midnight special…
Today i had the distinct pleasure to talk with (talk at) Lauren Rhoades for Mississippi Arts Hour - you can catch it live on Sunday at 5 pm central, or on your favorite podcast player after. http://msartshour.mpbonline.org/
Tomorrow the ‘Mississippi Transplant’ writing i had the chance to do with Rooted (also with Lauren Rhoades!) goes live. The way i love Rooted is hard to explain, but to hear how so many people have experienced and loved/lost the state is fascinating and beautiful and i’m so thankful to add my little quilt-square to it.
Belonging opens on Thursday, March 2nd, from 5:30 - 7pm at the Columbus Arts Council in Columbus, Mississippi. It’ll close on March 28th. Hoping i get to see you at the opening! https://www.columbusartscouncil.com/maingallery
if you live in Mississippi or were born here, consider applying to Greenville Arts Council’s biennial - the EE Bass is such a pretty building to have work in. $35 entry free, purchase award, etc. https://www.greenville-arts-council.com/10th-biennial-invitational
lastly, leastly, prints are always available in myriad forms at www.churchgoinmule.threadless.com.
Thank you so much for your time & kindnesses. Please feel free to write with any questions or anything, anytime. i love hearing from you.
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Love you and I love Jason Williams, too. This was lovely.
Always look forward to your newsletters and I'm so happy they are now on substack. It's such a fantastic platform. Also this, "please don't ask to borrow my heart, it's how I make my living." Such good words. Some times, some people have a tender heart and the way this world is today it's hard to lend that heart out. Keep the mules comin! :)