Thrilling Guest Thursday: Lynn D. Morrissey

 
Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore. 
(Psalm 113:2 NIV)
 
 
Please welcome, my friend and passionate lover of God, Lynn Morrissey. She waltzes through words with ease, always keeping us in step with the tune of God’s gracious invitation to live life fully no matter which season we find ourselves embracing.

(Lynn D. Morrissey, is a Certified Journal Facilitator (CJF), founder of Heartsight Journaling, a ministry for reflective journal-writing, author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer and other books, contributor to numerous bestsellers, an AWSA and CLASS speaker, and professional soloist. She and her beloved husband, Michael, have been married since 1975 and have a college-age daughter, Sheridan. They live in St. Louis, Missouri. You may contact Lynn at words@brick.net.)
 
 
 
Now
(Lynn D. Morrissey)
 
Autumn is the season of urgency, the season that beckons us to behold breathtaking beauty and kaleidoscopic colors—now—before shifting winds and colder climes send leaves shimmying from limbs. They dance with abandon in the breeze before falling to the ground, where they’ll soon decay.
Autumn bespeaks glory, but especially glory that fleets.
Autumn proclaims,
            “Wake up.
Take note.
Time is short.
Life is short.
Live with gusto until a gust of wind blows you, too, to the ground, to your place of final rest.”
Now that my husband Michael and I have begun dipping into a decidedly autumnal decade, I have wondered if, like those vibrant falling leaves, we are dancing too—shimmying and shimmering with glory, relishing every magnificent moment, living colorfully and daringly; or are we clinging tenaciously to the status quo and to stifling stagnation? Our time here, our time together is evanescent. Are we making the most of our days?  Like autumn’s glory, I want us to go out in an audacious glow!
 
 
 
 
So, that brings me to the apple orchard. Two autumns ago, Michael and I were picking apples at a local orchard for luscious pie-baking back home. This has become an annual ritual, and while we could probably buy apples cheaper and certainly easier at the grocery, we love the thrill of driving carefree along the Mississippi River to the orchard and wending our way through a tangle of top-heavy trees, over-bent with bobbing crimson globes.
This time, and I can’t explain it, a sudden urge swept over me. I don’t know if it were the invigorating air, or the apples’ pungent scent, or the rows of trees queued up like a line dance, but I had to enter in. I had to dance—justdance, oblivious to how I looked, unintimidated by who was looking, uninhibited by what I feared. I longed to grab my partner’s hand and weave a waltz through a trellis of trees.
But Michael, my husband, by beloved life-partner through thick and thin, just wouldn’t dance. He wouldn’t enter into the moment, because he thought he couldn’t. And despite my coaxing, and my “It-doesn’t-matter-whether-or-not-you-think-you-can-dance-or-who-might-be-watching” plea, he was immovable.
Mike would. not. budge.
And it’s at that moment, that I knew this was more than an invitation to dance. I was daring him to enter a reckless adventure, to kick up his heels in delight, to abandon rules without thinking, to move without knowing the steps, to risk looking foolish when people gawked, to live far away from the guidelines and sidelines of life.
But Michael said no.
Then he was silent.
And in that pregnant pause, that muted moment, I heard soundless words crescendo like a clarion call from a buried heart-place:
I am your Partner. Will you dance with Me?
                                   
And I knew.
I knew that I had been sitting on the sidelines—at first, because God had called me there, away from a fruitful ministry, when it made absolutely no sense to me. I had obeyed; but at that moment in the orchard, I realized that I had stayed too long—longer than God had intended—and the sidelines had become barricades to growth, adventure, and joy. God had been calling me back into life’s dance some time before, and I was waiting like a wilting wallflower in the shadows. At this moment, He was extending His hand like a lifeline, beckoning me back onto the dance floor before autumn faded to winter. It was time to act now, or miss this opportunity forever.
I also decided to extend the opportunity to Michael one more time, and wrote this poem for him that Christmas.
 
source
Last Dance
“I don’t dance in apple orchards,” you say,
with a straight face, then a smile,
but all the while, my hand extends to yours.
“Come,” I say, “please dance.”
But you won’t bend.
 “I don’t dance in apple orchards,” you stress.
And then, you wink.
But dare I ask again?
I know that you are resolute,
and I know that life will end
in an absolute blink, in the time it takes
for these apples, weighty with August’s wine,
to loosen from limp stems in a gust of ruthless wind
and fall and bruise and roll and roil                                       
into bubbling decay.
“I don’t dance,” you say.
But if not now, then when?
And if not here, between these choreographed rows of
red-lanterned trees, festooned for plein-air dance
(like Sargent’s lanterned garden all aglow with twilight),
then where?
The painter highlights the evanescent hour,
and daily, feverishly dances transient light onto canvas,
knowing magic soon will end.
Is it possible to compress beauty?
Yes.
He does.
We must.                    
I dare to ask again:
Will you thrust yourself into my arms
and commence this pas de deux?
Don’t fret about the steps.                 
Let the magic lead . . .
All life’s a dance
begging you to enter in,
to move in its embrace.
Take your cue:
Trace how the apples dance from breeze-swayed boughs,
before they fall.
They whisper,
            “Now.
Please, now.
Please now.”

 

To what dance is God beckoning you to join Him
now—before it’s too late?
 
 
(Copyright 2013. Lynn D. Morrissey. All Rights Reserved.)

 

11 thoughts on “Thrilling Guest Thursday: Lynn D. Morrissey

  1. Kel, It is always such a joy to be invited to post at your beautiful place. You always have such marvelous insights to share, so I feel extremely privileged to be here. And thanks for including Sargent's beautiful painting with my post. It's called "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," and it's housed in the Tate Museum in London, England. I had the pleasure of seeing it for a second time this past summer, and once again, it left me speechless. It's one of the most magnificent paintings I've ever seen. I could stare at it for hours, completely mesmerized by its surreal glow and innocent theme. But this time, having read about it when I wrote my poem, I had a new appreciation of it. Sargent did not paint this from memory, but, rather, he gathered all his supplies, hauled them outdoors, and painted at dusk–that ethereal, twilight hour when sunset melts across the skies, fading quickly to black. He wanted to paint in an Impressionistic "manner," using only natural ligthting, so he had to work feverishly, taking advantage of those fleeting, magical moments. It took two years to complete the painting, but again, he gave his all during those few moments each day. I saw a metaphor in how he worked. I hope your readers enjoy this painting as much as I, and I certainly look forward to their comments!Gratefully,Lynni

  2. My! You have left me still and pondering, pondering, with this magnificent piece of writing and thought and spirit-pouring. I have read parts of it two, three, times, and shall probably read again and again—both the page itself and the comment you added. This, as you might guess, speaks to my heart on many levels. I thank you, Lynn, for sharing it, and Kel, thank you for inviting Lynn to share your podium. I am blessed in many ways, with many thoughts, which I will be sorting through, methinks, for some time. God bless you both.

  3. Wow… There is dialogue, there is writing, then there is art… Your words are like art from the quill of a Hand from heaven. I was with you in spirit in the orchard, I was with Michael, I didn't want to dance, but was overcome with the beauty of the moment and danced within myself along with the bobbing apples. Life is indeed short and we need to act with the freedom our Father has gifted us with for His glory while we can. It might not be pretty, but I'm dancing…

  4. Kel and everyone, I'm having trouble posting the way I normally do, with my name and email, so I'm doing a test to see if I can get in under ANONYMOUS. If this works, and others are having difficulty too, this might be the temporary answer. 🙂 Ok, let's see….. here goes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!Lynn Morrissey

  5. Well, Sylvie, I must tell you that I am taken aback by your lavish comments. Thank you so much. If you have time to share I know that Kel's readers and I would love knowing if you've been moved to dance! 🙂 Gotta tell you: When I told Michael that I was posting this, he said, "Of course, Lynni, you know you can't dance in an apple orchard, because you would be tripping over apples!" He has such a great sense of humor. There is some truth in that. I can't help but live metaphorically though (though I really wanted to dance, literally!), and he gets that too. He is a wonderful life partner, and I do think we complement each other. He grounds me. He may not dance, but he does so much more. I just want people to know he's not a stick-in-the-mud by any means! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. I really appreciate your gracious compliment.FondlyLynn

  6. Hi Floyd,Thanks so much for your gracious words–as always! Floyd, you are such an incredible encourager to me. And I really appreciated that this resonated w/ you and that you are dancing in your heart. And I had to laugh that you understood Mike. And pls. know that he does so much more than not dancing. He's not a stick-in-the-mud by any means! But I found a lesson there. He laughed last night when I told him whwat I was going to post, and said, "Lynni, you can't dance in the orchards or you'd fall all over those apples!" =] He as a point on that, too, but I'm glad you understood the msg. Thx always for your wonderful encouragement!FondlyLynn

  7. I too, love to dance, and lucky for me so does my husband. One evening the urge to dance to some music on TV overtook me. I pulled Charles from the kitchen to the living room–and there we danced and embraced–me in my Ugg boots and Charles with a dishtowel over his shoulder! It was one of the most romantic moments of our thirty-year marriage because it was so spontaneous.

  8. Lynni – such a treasured moment. I too have sensed that I am living in the autumn of life. I want to finish with an "audacious glow" as well. I too am moved to dancing at some of the silliest moments – and there has been after much persistence a hand held with a warm embrace and a waltz about the room. I also loved your poem….You write so beautifully and the picture…wow! I can see why you are mesmerized by it, and it takes you in for hours! Stunning! Hugs to you,Kelly

  9. Karen, I can just picture the two of you. What a beautiful couple you make, and even more beautiful enjoying loving and graceful moments of spontaneity. I'm going to send Michael over right now for Fred-and-Ginger lessons! Well, you know my Mike, and that he is definitely a keeper. But what you and Charles did sound like so much fun. Give him a hug for me!LoveLynni

  10. Kelly, I can just see you dancing with or without STan. You don't let anything hold you back from experiencing uninhibited joy. You are always bubbling over, and I love being in your delightful, joyous presence. You really encourage me in the Lord! Oh yes, you would LOVE this painting. Try googling it to get even more detail. It's truly gorgeous. I've never quite seen anything like it. And the irony is that I don't think it was well-received at the time. That's a whole other subject: What do we do when our work is rejected? Answer? I think we keep on waltzing!Love you, dearest, and I am praying for what I told you I would! God is at work. Never forget that.LoveLynni

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