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Listen To Joanie Read it Live!

First Flight: Snapped this photo while taking off from the Jackson Hole Airport. I loved listening to the way this mother talked to her baby as she showed him the sunrise from the warm safety of her lap.


On Love

Love is lopsided, unbalanced, engorged.

Both the relief and ache, a dichotomy.

Love is the white hot stab of a still full breast, while that perfect piece of you and me 

sleeps untethered, content.

Rose bud lips sucking air while he dreams.

Love is a staggering drunk, a designated driver, a saint.

The steady voice of reason, the low guttural howl of distress.

Love is born gleaming, untaxed.

Pulls you into it’s coruscating arms with the tension of gravity, 

jumps an electrical jolt in your pulse.

And insatiable, you swallow it whole, drink it in like a sunset

until you are brimming, consumed,

while love becomes the planet you revolve around,

leaves it’s relucent mark fused to the back of your lids; 

a blind spot growing, until it becomes the only thing you see.

And buoyant with the airy weightlessness of undiluted joy,

you don’t care that you live in an eclipse, you spoon the damp dark like a lover, 

pay homage to the dense nighttime shadows for hiding the greasy mess of love.

But light cannot be kept a prisoner in your ribcage, 

like yeast it rises, bathes everything it touches with warm, unpolished truth.

In the early morning dawn,

you notice smudges on the rose tinted glasses you’ve been looking through.

You take them off, rub the lenses clean with the soft cotton of your shirt.

And it’s then that you see love is not what you thought it was;

tidy, evenly distributed, symmetrical, polite.

Not a parchment heart, crimson halves unfolding like wet wings of a butterfly, 

snowy pinions unfurled to catch the current and be lifted higher.

Love is not just glitter and paste.

No. Love breathes, a warrior roaring. 

And like all living things,  you can’t ignore love if you want it to thrive,

or weigh it down prematurely with the bulk of adult responsibility.

Because love is a toddler exploring, and will trip already.

Be kind when he does.

Don’t pounce on love like a lioness hunting,

tear the flesh of devotion to shreds, admiring the curve of your sharp claws.

No. Help love up, brush the gravel off love’s knees.

Gather her carefully in your arms, cradle her as a newborn.

Whisper into the creamy crease of her neck, “I know how it feels to fall.”

I know. You wanted love in it’s original wrapper,

pristine, pure, unquestionable new. Never stained or bruised or lived within. 

But time wears away the thin venear of all living things, until you can see what they’re

made of; The pressed wood, the flaws, the rings of growth.

And only once you get past the aftertaste of disappointment, accept that love is not

plastic, or posable as a ken doll,

but an oxymoron; vulnerable and strong simultaneously,

will you start to understand the transformative power of love.

Beaten, battered, ugly love that heals the broken bones of hurt. 

Love, the unyielding plaster of faith wrapped around you

as soft as cotton as you mend.

And when you at last, open your arms with unabashed acceptance to the raw mess of

love, the lambent brilliance of ripped seams, and stretch marks,

will you realize the breathtaking beauty of creation,

looks a lot like you.

                                            -Joanie Tidwell

Sunset selfie in Madrid #mylovelanguage #thesunsetnottheselfie


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