Excerpt from the Preface

"This little book of poems and photographs was commissioned by a fence!

Yes, it’s true; it was commissioned by an old fence that has become my friend. I’ll explain here, briefly, how this happened. Most days, for a dozen or more years, I have taken an early morning walk down the street from my house in Watsonville, California. I go through a gate, walk alongside an apple orchard, and then I circle around fields where strawberries and raspberries are grown. Beside the dirt road I follow is an ancient fence. Its original posts, from the beginning of the last century, were all of redwood. Over years it has been added to, made higher, fallen down, been repaired. But it continues to steadfastly do its work of fencing these fields and the orchard.

...One morning, as I was walking beside this ancient fence, I was saying aloud these words from Rilke’s Ninth Duino Elegy: “...Perhaps we are here in order to say: house, bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window—At most: column, tower… But to say them, you must understand, Oh to say them more intensely than the Things themselves ever dreamed of existing...” And then it seemed to me that a fence post right beside me chimed in with the word “fence” as an addition to Rilke’s list. “How about praising us? How about noticing us?”

...One day, I pulled a fence photo out of this box and thought I’d see if it would like its own, personal journal page. I wondered what it might tell me if I listened carefully. I did listen, and I was well rewarded. Every post in every picture was eager to speak. Gradually, over months and years, each photo came to have a journal page clipped to it, and on that page were many dated journal entries. I imagined the image on the photo speaking to me in the first person, telling me its name and its story, its hopes, its worries, its wisdom. Eventually these journal entries became the foundation for the poems in this book. Each poem is placed alongside the photo of its original fence author.

...Projection? Admittedly. Imagination? Absolutely. Imagination is one of the greatest gifts we humans have been given by our Creator. With it we can converse directly with the living nature, not only of beings, but of all Things. Using imagination we can discover how all Things are alive and all Things are holy. We have a living community around us at all times. With imagination we can reach out and touch it."


I am really very beautiful.
Can you see it?
Are you even looking?

You stand in awe at birthing;
Now, for one moment, stand in awe at aging.
Birth gives a bright, white, empty canvas
While I’m a nearly finished masterpiece.
My beauty lives in layer upon layer
Of tiny growing cells,
Hills and valleys of vitality.
Ancient nails give texture to my face,
Adding depth, as wounds will do, with time.
Small creatures hide in crevices of soul,
Feeding their young on bits of my decay;
They weave and sing their spider songs
While I keep still, so very still,
And listen.

Author's Bio: 

Seena B. Frost, M. Div., M.A. studied theology at Yale Divinity School, married, raised four children, and then received a Master's degree in psychology from Santa Clara University. She is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Special trainings with Jean Houston and Robin Van Doren inspired the combining of three of her life passions: spirituality, psychotherapy, and creativity. Seena is the founder of a world-wide, rapidly growing, intuitive collage movement called SoulCollage®, a collage process incorporating images, imagination, and intuition.The author of the SoulCollage® book, Seena leads SoulCollage® Facilitator Trainings and offers workshops in the Santa Cruz, CA area.

Learn more about Seena's books at www.hanfordmead.com/

Read about the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training at www.soulcollage.com/facilitator-training/about-the-training