A fairy princess
in her pinkest
and eyes far
I never had one.
I gazed at
her straw hat
and there first
I knew poor
by a door,
me and queen
of longing and dream.
- Cassandra Frear
Sometimes what we don't have affects us more than what we do have.
I never got a chance to braid Barbie's hair or run the lovely little brush through that long, blonde mane.
I knew we didn't have the money. I'm not sure how, but I knew.
I knew it would pain my parents for me to even ask. So I didn't.
I have no childhood memories of Barbies.
And I can't remember ever asking for a single gift.
There were gifts. My parents did what they could.
But I never asked. It wasn't done.
It's a small thing -- but woven into me like a darker thread against the brighter colors.
It gave me shape.
My imagination became my primary toy.
It grew strong and vibrant with having less.
I had great adventures and traveled to faraway lands on the written word in books from our small town library.
I fancied myself in a thousand lives.
I became a word dreamer, then a word weaver, by training my eyes on the great and timeless classics.
Now I weave stories for you.
Some things remain.
I'm still the small girl looking at Barbie through the glass
and imagining what her hair feels like and wanting to touch her hat.
So I'm weaving stories in my head with the brightly colored threads, and the dark one too,
and I'm making sure to share the joy.
I don't want anyone left out of the longing and the dreaming.
Are you on the outside looking in? Through a glass door?
So was I.
Yet I did not live beyond love and joy.
Joy came to me, as did love, and a thousand delights.
I just needed some time to find them.
And a little imagination.
I don't write much poetry. But when Laura Barkat, Managing Editor at High Calling Blogs, invited me to participate in the Barbies at Communion Giveaway -- celebrating the debut poetry book by Marcus Goodyear -- I agreed to join the fun. Or so I thought.
For what came out on the page seemed to have a life of its own. The words ran away in a little dark sports car with Barbie and Ken towards a sunrise which I had forgotten. I had no idea it would touch a deep part of my soul. I almost didn't post this, because I thought it might be too serious, too sad.
But then, it's real and from the heart. You count on me for that, don't you? The joyful life is found in the shape of the ordinary where God meets us in simple things. He meets us in the dreams come true and in the ones that don't. It's all part of becoming and creating -- which the greatest joy of all.
Have you ever been shaped by something you did not have? By a disappointment? By a longing denied? How has that made a difference for you?