I got a lovely surprise today when I discovered that Diana Maus at With All My Heart Art had dedicated a new piece of art to me as a thank you for the piece I wrote about exploring the senses in our writing, especially the often underappreciated sense of smell. By discovering our preferred representational system and exploring our underused senses, we can expand our life and improve our creativity. Here’s what Diana wrote over at her blog Mosaic Moods:
[Janice] asks the question “How can you discover what your sensory preferences are?” Good question. It led me to look for my biases towards one sense over another and I noticed that the olfactory is ignored in my art and my writing. So here’s a garden for you, Janice, with hope “that the spices thereof may flow out” and spread throughout these pages.
If you know of anyone who’s looking for a unique wedding gift or a special gift for a loved one, an engagement or a wedding anniversary, this would be very special.
Talking of weddings, I often spookily cross posts with Sean Platt , a gifted ghostwriter from over at Ghostwriter Dad . His post today was about wedding vows. My post was simply going to be dedicated to all the spouses and partners out there who support us while we blog; the dancers, the writers, those who’ve recently lost jobs, those who are scared they may lose the jobs that keep the roof over our heads, those who risk their lives for others, our best editors, our best friends and most patient listeners, lovers and friends.
The poems here are beautiful and can be used anytime, as wedding vows or in anniversary cards, blog posts or presents. Sean, on the other hand, can craft the most beautiful unique wedding vows for you or someone you know. This is what Sean promises:
Your custom wedding vows will be good enough to hang on the wall and remember forever. I will write beautiful prose, perfectly placed between a beginning and end that is guaranteed to fill your wedding aisles with weeping. You are a custom couple, you deserve to exchange a custom promise.
Someone, somewhere, would love to have their unique wedding vows framed in one of Diana’s frames! I don’t really understand Twitter, but if you do, please retweet this post, Sean’s or Diana’s to celebrate and support unique artistry and help people we actually know to make their living online.
Here are the simple poems that were going to form my post today, as a gift for my husband, the person I’m happy, relieved and grateful to have sharing the journey with me. The first is by one of my favourite Scottish poets.
The Confirmation by Edwin Muir
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.
Sonnet from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
And what of Marriage? from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
Together you shall be for evermore.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
And here’s the quote that has kept our marriage strong for nearly a quarter of a century:
Love does not consist of looking into each other’s eyes, but in gazing together in the same direction. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery