Monday, December 28, 2009

When Women Sing, When Camellias Bloom

If there is one thing about winter here in North Florida which is most amazing, it is the camellia. Look at that- is that perfection or what?

I picked that one today in preparation for Ms. Pam's visit. She had told me how her mama used to pick camellias and float them in crystal bowls. I have no crystal bowls but that's a bowl my Lynn gave me and it was made in France and it is simple and doesn't distract one bit from the pure construct of the flower within it.

Clear glass, clear water, perfect flower of white with two green leaves.

Sometimes that is all we need in life.
In fact, I don't think that we need much more than that to answer our heart's need for beauty.

Today I sat for hours, watching my friend's face as we talked. Her skin is perfect and her eyes show every bit of whatever it is that her heart is leaking. She is beautiful and she smells so good. I can still smell the scent of her on myself from hugging her as I type this. I remember this scent from years ago when we knew each other before. I don't know what all it is made up of and it doesn't matter because no matter how hard I tried to replicate it, it wouldn't work. It is made up of the molecules of Pam and whatever it is that she washes in, puts on her face, her hair, her clothes. But mostly, it is made up of the molecules of Pam.

Right now I am listening to one of the CD's she brought me. It's called Let It Shine. Look- I'm over not naming this woman. Her gift is meant for the world. Her name is Pam Laws. Look her up and order something she's done. She has sung all over the world and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And hell- you know me- Mormons? And yet, somehow when Pam sings, it all makes sense. Her vision of God is so personal and it all adds up to this: God Is Love.

We here at the Church of the Batshit Crazy can believe in that. In fact, that is exactly what we do believe in.

She sings worship, she sings prayer, she sings perfection.

Right now she is singing in my hallway via the magic of modern recording. She is singing Amazing Grace. I remember when Joan Baez came to Tallahassee and sang that song and I'm not taking anything away from Joan but I remember thinking as Joan announced the words of each verse to the audience before she sang it, "Honey, you're in the south. We know the damn words."

Amazing grace.

Thank-you, Pam.

I am so grateful to live in a place where I can walk outside on a winter day and find amazing grace on a camellia bush. Where I can put my hands on the sides of the face of a woman who can sing like an angel and say, "Do you think that the knowledge you get might come from here?" and then place my hand on her breast over her heart and she lets me.

Yes, her voice is amazing and a gift but it is all of her which makes that true.
I hope she knows that. That she is a child of light.

What am I saying? Of course she does. Otherwise she couldn't sing the way she does.

God is Love. I may not know shit but I know that. And Pam makes that audible. And visible. And tactile. My hands are still remembering the way her face felt as I put my hands on them.

Take my hand, precious love, lead me home she sings.

Okay. I can do that.

This little love of mine, let it shine, she sings now.

Oh honey. You do.

Thank you for letting it shine on me today.


  1. I loved your post. I think the flower is gorgeous and the bowl is beautiful. I also really love the tablecloth underneath it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful visit with Pam.

  2. So, so lovely.

    Over the weekend, I took a picture of a cabbage, and it was the most gorgeous shade of violet, with droplets of rain hanging like diamonds on its perfect folds.

    Then I saw that camellia and got impressed all over again.

  3. Love your new header. Perfect.
    And how lovely to have such a friend and such an amazing visit, and her still singing to you after she left. Beautiful.
    My friend Mary once touched my face in that same way, when I was sitting on her steps waiting for her to come home with her husband and child. I was younger, feeling sad. She gave me so much in that gesture. I'll never forget it. Tenderness.

    You ooze it too.

  4. The first time I heard Pam sing I was so awe struck I couldn't speak. Seriously. Her voice is so velvety and yet powerful, it's perfection.

    Glad you two had a good reunion.

  5. My mother had a giant Professor Sargeant on the side of her house... I remember Daddy planting it when I was a kid. By the time she passed away, it was as tall as her 2 story house, and COVERED with flowers. I wanted to dig it up and bring it to Texas, but I would have killed it and myself in the process! I hope whoever has that tree now appreciates it as much as you and I would!

  6. I found a place to listen to your friend sing in little snippets. Not the same, but gave me a nice taste. You're right, so powerful and beautiful:

    And I meant to say your Camillas are gorgeous, esp floating in the bowl.

  7. Lovely post, Ms. M. Glad you had a good time!

    Love you so,


  8. Michele R- Thank-YOU! And the tablecloth is just an old one I've had forever.

    Nancy- And what a gorgeous cabbage it was, too!

    Bethany- Yes, tenderness. Exactly what Pam gave me and what we all crave.

    Ms. Fleur- You described her voice perfectly.

    Ms. Ginger Grant- Yep. That would be a joy to have in my yard. I was so sad to find when I moved here that there was only one camellia in the whole yard. I have planted more but they are slow-growers. An old one is to be treasured.

    Bethany- I'm glad you looked her up. I wish I could send everyone her music.

    DTG- It surely was. And I gave her your love and she sends hers back.

    Ms. Bastard- Love you, too.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.