Let Your Voice Ring Out

To have the sense of one’s intrinsic worth …
is potentially to have everything.
~ Joan Didion

Insight is nurtured within quiet souls. When released, it has the power to change lives. Many of my writing students have been quiet, hardworking people all their lives, devoting themselves to their families and their jobs. Many of them tell me they loved writing in high school or college, but they stopped afterwards. I encourage them to tell their stories in their own words. Today, I asked them to let their voices ring out.

Let My Voice Ring Out and Over the Earth

Let my voice ring out and over the earth,
Through all the grief and strife,
With a golden joy in a silver mirth:
Thank God for Life! 

Let my voice swell out through the great abyss
To the azure dome above,
With a chord of faith in the harp of bliss:
Thank God for Love!

Let my voice thrill out beneath and above,
The whole world through:
O my Love and Life, 0 my Life and Love,
Thank God for you!

 – James Tomson (1834-1882, only 48 years old…)

They do not voice complaints, and instead share their stories with trepidation, some afraid to be considered complaining or unfortunate. I don’t perceive telling the truth as complaining. I don’t greet their words with pity, but with joy. Joy to hear how strong and thoughtful they are. And joy that I have contributed in some small way to helping them find their voices.

From your well-spring of self-worth, from the source of your voice, comes all the things that make life worth living, despite the hardships, the mishaps and the worries.

let your voice ring out
let the birds startle and fly,
into the trees

Blue sky and a tree in the shape of a heart.

Do you see the heart?

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Haibun Thinking Week 10, Quote Week. Thanks to the people volunteering their time to help motivate others to write.

Birthday Parties

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
– Mae West

IMG_5950

We’ve had big parties, and we’ve had small. We’ve had tea parties, tumbling, laser tag, jungle gyms, hikes, fairies, butterflies, sleepovers and even a party bus that pulled up out front. One thing I’ve learned from having parties for my kids: they all make me smile, and are moments to remember.

Candles on cupcakes,
Lungs filled with air,
Wishes outnumber
Cares, on kids’ birthdays.

As the number of kids we have increases, and the number of kids’ birthdays celebrated has passed twenty, I look back with most appreciation on the smaller parties. The greater intimacy allows for capturing more of that reflected joy, bottled forever in my memory. (And fewer numbers of presents to find places for.)

For me, March is the month of spring and birthdays (two of my kids and my dad).

packages wrapped
explosions of colorful paper
expressions of love

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Ligo Haibun Challenge (Quote week) and Paint the World with Words (Naani poetry prompt). Thanks to the talented people volunteering their time to help motivate complete strangers to write.

Fairie Dance

I hope you have a moment to visit High Five and Raspberries, who’s written a fabulous tale for her grandson, Finnegan Owen. I’m related to the Hatfield’s by marriage, but I still honor this magical moment in the day of a McCoy. May you see fairies dancing! Warmly, Brenda