Robert Rife is the reason I’m hosting this daily poetry party for the month of April. Rob invited me to participate in his NaPoMo blog, and in that I recognized how much I was missing creative community. So, here we are. Thanks, my friend.
Rob lives and works in Yakima, Washington. He is Canadian born, with the soul of a Celt. I’ve known Rob for decades as a talented singer-songwriter, poet, essayist, and I am drawn as he is to the Christian contemplative way. The standout memory I have is of Rob and his wife Rae’s visit one Canada Day not long ago, when Rob serenaded our captivated family and friends as the sun set over Lake Okanagan:
(Unfortunately I’m unable to play this video without upgrading my blog platform…but imagine how hauntingly beautiful this experience was, and then multiply by 10.)
It’s just great having you here, Rob, and I’m excited for those joining us to catch a glimpse of your talent and heart. Thanks so much for being willing to stop by. As per usual, we’re circling around three questions that touch on how we are coping these days.
1. What is this quieter version of life teaching you?
Rob: We must always see silence and solitude as gifts. That is especially so during those times when they’re “imposed.” Oddly, I am less adept now at utilizing this shared solitude, a gift of abundance, as when I stole it from a busy schedule!
2. We often say we wish we had more time for certain things. Having been given this gift of more time, what are you spending it on?
Rob: We are busily trying to prepare a house for the market (such as it is). But, it is becoming an oasis for creativity once again. And art is life. And life steeps art, which itself, is an act of gratitude.
3. What is one surprising thing that happened today?
Rob: I arose to draw breath. The rest? Pure gift.
You can get to know Rob better at his blogs www.innerwoven.me and www.robslitbits.com. Also, his music (so much more than bagpipes) is available on iTunes under Robert Alan Rife and streamable on Spotify.
This has been a great little visit, Rob, and I wish you peace and healthy days ahead. We’ll leave now with your journeying poem:
Look Now, the Bless-ed Road Look now, the bless-ed road rises to meet feet, weary, uncertain, but sure of steps yet untaken that, parting, greet a step, one step, from that step. Intentions pure where hinted there, evidences of worn and bent, slow and plodding with care, the stone-way moss with feet, unshorn. It now draws this one from here to there and back, or not? Perhaps to see once more the trace of place and diligence where friend not seen for to strength restore. Beyond this hill, that rock, another vale, to part from us the sure, the safe, the soft and bring once more the promise of tale, of song, of new and now and hope aloft. As turns the way from risk to gift, she bids one turn and, unflinching, faces the way unmarked by mark-ed feet, swift to lead not ahead or behind, but grace - the name of he who draws, and we who strain the path we sought, and found again.