Assignment # 10_The Lesson

The Lesson: “When My Daughter Cuts the Roses”

Writing Assignment #10 – The Lesson


I had some great news today!  The editor of “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine”  notified me that one of my two poems to be published in the forthcoming Spring/Summer issue has received a 2nd place PRIZE for Poetry.

The title of the poem is:

“When My Daughter Cuts the Roses.”

Here’s the BACK STORY to the Poem:

Our daughter, Ilsa Barry, visited us last November. I had a bouquet of fresh flowers on the dining room table. She glanced at the bouquet of roses  and said, “The water in the vase is cloudy. I will change the water for you.”   We walked out to the kitchen sink with the bouquet, and she began teaching me how to take proper care of a fresh bouquet of flowers.  She emphasized how to keep the water fresh and how to cut the stems of the flowers so that they would last long in the vase.

As I watched her going through the process, she explained what she was doing.  I took mental notes.  Later, my memories of that afternoon lesson came flooding into my thoughts as I wrote a poem.

The POINT here is this:

The most basic and mundane activity can be transformed into a poem. 




“When My Daughter Cuts the Roses”

My daughter looked

at the bouquet of fresh roses

noticed two of them were drooping.

“Let me show you how to trim the roses

so they stay fresh and strong.” she said.

Her hands held the roses tenderly

one-by-one, trimmed off extra  leaves

“These will make the water stink,” she said.

She  found  scissors  in the drawer

put the roses in a bowl of tepid water

held each stem under water

sliced  them all, diagonally –

“As I cut the rose under the water,

little bubbles of air come to the surface.

Now, when the rose inhales

it will only breathe water into it,

it won’t fill up with air.

The living water inside the stems

gives longer life to each rose.”

She carried the freshened flowers

In the tall glass vase

back to the center of the dining room table

darkest  crimson buds, sunny yellow petals,

deep green fern leaves

and a frilly white carnation.


by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved..

Published: “Magnets and Ladders Literay Magazine” Spring/Summer Issue, 2015.

Won 2nd Prize for Poetry.

Visit this link to read the latest issue of “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine.”   www.magnetsandladders.or


Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #10:

Think about something you learned how to do. Did someone teach it to you?

In your journal, I want you to record every aspect of how you learned to do something. As you see in my poem, it can be a very simple task.  Perhaps you learned something recently – or – maybe it was a lesson learned a long time ago. Spend some time today thinking about it.

What was the occasion for the lesson?

Who was teaching it to you?

Where were you at the time?

What was significant enough for you to remember it?

Add any other information that comes to your mind.

Write your poem in free verse.

Speak it out loud as you write – and several times during the writing process.

Listen carefully to the sounds you have made.

Make the changes you need to make to allow the voice of the poem to relate the lesson and the experience of that special time.

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Spring Haiku: Writing Assignment #9




I know that SPRING is on the way because we already turned our clocks FORWARD  here in western Pennsylvania.


Turning the clock forward by one hour gives us such a different perception of the time and the shift we are experiencing  into a different season.  I can FEEL it in the AIR ~  Spring is nearly here!  The layers of crusty, slippery snow are quickly melting  into the muddy earth.  The all-day rains have moved into our area and that signals that VERY  SOON little flowers will pop up as the Earth warms.

This is the best time to take a walk around your neighborhood and look for the signs of Spring that are all around you.

Have you done that yet? Even in the rain, you can take a little “WALKABOUT” to see what is happening.  I do it every day because I have a dog who needs to be walked a few times a day.

That is my excuse for being “out there” in every kind of weather.








There is a poetic form called a “Haiku.”

It is a Japanese form that is elegant and so much fun to write.

There are just a few rules for the Haiku and here they are.

One_The Haiku will have just 3 lines

Two_The meter of the lines will be:  5, 7, 5 (Just count the syllables out for each line.)

Three_ Your Haiku needs to focus on a season. In our case, we will focus on Spring. You need not name the season in your poem, but you can give information and words that make the reader think of spring.

Let’s try writing a Haiku..  I would LOVE to have you send yours to me so I can rejoice with you in creating your first Haiku poem. I warn you, they are ADDICTIVE, and you will want to do lots more.  You can contact me by sending your poem to me at:


Writing Assignment #9:  Write a Haiku to Spring.


This poem is written in the Japanese  Haiku form. A Haiku has three lines, and traditionally it will have a reference to a season.


Spring Haiku

Bright saffron flowers

disrupted crystal blankets

to announce, “It’s Spring!”



Lynda McKinney Lambert.Poem Copyright, 2004.

Blog Essay and poem, Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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Morning Hour – Journal Writing Assignment #8

Morning Hour

First Published on: January 1, 2013

 Revised and re-blogged for March 5, 2015

As our WINTER SEASON in Western Pennsylvania begins moving  SLOWLY towards the coming of SPRING this month, I am sending YOU this LATE WINTER article with a POEM!

I know, everyone is longing for sunshine and flowers, but looking out my window today it is not realistic.  We have deep snow, and right now some icy cold rain and temperatures plunging DOWN! Not yet, my friends, not yet.  Winter is still with us!  Let’s not waste time wishing away our days. Don’t long for the days to pass quickly, it is your life you are wishing away if you do that.  Learn to enjoy every day, just as it comes, and be thankful for that day!

This morning I read a verse in Psalms 118.  Here is what I found there:

“This is the DAY the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Here is a GREAT LINK that will give you TWENTY-FIVE Bible verses about SNOW and WINTER.


Walking by Inner Vision  Journal – Writing Assignment #8:

A couple of years ago, on a day just like this one, I wrote a poem about winter.  I was seated at my computer, that day, and looking outside my window as I wrote this poem.  What do you think I saw that morning?  What did I feel?

Spend a little bit of time today outside. No matter what the weather is, you will have an experience with nature.  Maybe you want to take your camera along, or a note pad, to record what you are experiencing.  Now, if you want to do it, you can take your photo and/or your notes, and create a FREE FORM POEM from them.  No need to worry about rhyming ends of lines, no meed to think much about formal poetry forms. Just have some fun today with what you see and feel, smell, touch, taste, etc.  OH, and be SURE to use your IMAGINATION and let a few pieces of information from your mind and spirit enter into your poem, too!


Here is the Free Form POEM I wrote while peering out the Winter Window in my home one morning:


Morning Hour

In the early morning hour

a nippy breeze

wrapped  around my bare feet

like  soft gray cashmere clouds.

My own reflection

slowly materialized-

I was exposed, naked,

on a clear icy glass


Outside the frozen windowpane

an icicle boundary

surrounded my view

of the aging Douglas Fir.

I turned for a closer look

through the silent porthole

Quick movements

in the shadow


one tiny  ruffled bird,

a solo performer

hunkered down


on snow-clogged branches.

Inside this room,

a blizzard

a scattering of words still lingered

Waited  to be gathered,

In a winter bouquet-written on a page,

in spite of the bitter cold

We have been here

for a thousand years

In the early morning hour.


P.S.: I would LOVE to read your poem. If you email it to me, I will read it and send you my response to it.  I am always here to cheer you on in your Walking by Inner Vision Journal.  Any time!


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Essay and Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Poem Copyright 2013. Lynda  McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Essay and photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert, Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Christianity, Literature, Lynda McKinney Lambert, Nature, Seasons, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Journal Writing Assignment #7: Love…or Fear?

This is  Article Number 91 on Walking by Inner Vision. Thank you, dear readers for your encouragement and for walking with me on our Divine Journey with God this year!



Bob and Lynda Lambert

April  2012:  We paused for a photo this very hot April afternoon in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Love…or Fear: a Choice

~A Lenten Meditation by Lynda McKinney Lambert~

Walking by Inner Vision Journal Assignment #7



Last April my husband learned he had  Acute Myeloid Leukemia, aka AML.  Prior to this date, we never heard of AML but quickly learned about this disease when Bob received a phone call to give him the biopsy results from a bone marrow test.  The hematologist repeated several times…



“This is a very aggressive blood cancer. We  must treat it aggressively. You have to get to the hospital in Pittsburgh immediately. They have a room ready for you right now and do not stop at the admissions office. Go directly to the 7th floor – T-7 – and they will have your room ready when you arrive.”

We stood there listening to the doctor; we were numb. The doctor went on to tell Bob,

“You will stay at West Penn Hospital for a month.  Intensive chemo therapy will begin today!. There is no time to waste. Get there as fast as you can!”


Bob hung up the phone; we grasped each other in an embrace and cried together. How could this be happening?

We called our daughter at work, and between the sobs and tears, we conveyed that we needed her to come and get us and take us to the hospital.  The three of us arrived at T-7 that evening. Our new journey into the unknown world of AML was now underway. Bob’s life had taken a shift that was unimaginable, and I was fill with fear as my daughter and I said “good bye” to Bob, and we  departed the hospital that night to return back home.

Bob_April27_withMachineOnce back home, I felt like I could barely breathe with the realization that I was alone in the house and would be for an entire month. The greatest fear that gripped me was the fear of what might happen when people began to hear this news.


Would I be a target for a robbery or some terrifying event because people would know I have profound low vision? Would I be a victim? These questions pounded my brain, and the more I considered the possibilities of what could happen to me, the more anxious I became.

“But wait just a second,”  my spirit whispered.  Is fear how you plan to live your life? Will it be fear that propels you to make decisions?  Will you choose, today, to walk in fear?

In moments, my thoughts settled down as I began remembering promises in the Bible that spoke about fear and every one of them gave me encouragement, assurance, and a deep sense of peace. Yes! My husband was facing all the terrors associated with a dreaded disease;  I was blind and unable to drive a car any longer. How would I get him to appointments in the future? How would I be able to visit him in the hospital which was an hour’s drive from our home? How would I manage to take care of the dogs and cats at home? How would I get groceries, and other necessary things we needed?

Every time a frightening possibility tried to give me fear, I immediately turned that thought off, and instead, spoke a true thought from my Christian worldview.  No matter what life was bringing to us,  Bob and I would be provided for and we would be safe. We have found that God, Himself, takes care of all our needs. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have brought us loaves of freshly baked bread and jellies; shoveled out or driveway after a snow storm; brought our mail to our doorstep every day since Bob’s illness began; sent us cards and special messages of love and encouragement; provided us with transportation to scores of trips to doctors and to the hospital; bought us food; given us monetary gifts to help with gas and parking garage expenses; sent us books; walked and fed our dogs; visited us; brought us medications from the pharmacy; and so much more.

We need to act on our faith in a crisis. I decided to do two things as an act of faith so that I would not walk in fear.

First, I found an AML Facebook Page that is a closed group for patients and their families. It’s private so that we can honestly speak of the challenges of AML and ask others how they are doing things – this all helps so much. I am not alone in dealing with Bob’s disease and his difficult days. I can go to the FB group and ask questions and get answers. This has been so helpful and I became  a much better care giver to Bob because of this group. I have gained insight and good information there which has been helpful and healing for us both.

If you need more information on AML for yourself or a family member, you can request permission into this group. ~ find this group at:


Second, instead of keeping Bob’s condition a secret and allowing misinformation to circulate around our little town, I decided to put out the word in a very public forum.  I created a community page called, Bob Lambert Diary, in which I post photos of Bob and others who are with him on this journey. We provide a photo-diary type of page where anyone can visit Bob, see photos of him periodically, and we give out information on AML and blood cancer to help other people be informed. We desire to give a correct image of Bob’s journey, and keep it forefront on the page to keep incorrect and misleading gossip or information from taking root. Most of all, we want to provide positive and truthful facts on Bob and on AML.   Instead of walking in fear, and keeping Bob’s journey a secret, we publicly put it out for anyone to read. You can visit Bob’s page by clicking on:


 Blog_Bob_CompressedNearly a year later, we can say for certain there has been no crisis, no pain, no uncertainties, and no imaginations that have not been met by Jesus. He comes to meet us at exactly the center of every need – Jesus, “God with us,” is ever-present. He comes through with us, from one situation to the next, with his grace to move on in spite of the fears the enemy throws at us.  Our risen Lord, has been faithful and we walk in peace.


I’d like to share a few Bible verses with you today. I want to let you know, for sure, we are always surrounded by promises of peace.


John 14:27 – English Standard Version (ESV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

You will find many other quotes that will help you overcome fear and be victorious through God’s word. Here is a link that will provide you with understanding of who you are in Christ, and how you are protected every day.  You will  face challenges because that is part of being a human being. We are fragile. . God will meet you where you are, and in whatever fearful situation you are facing now or in the future.  Go ahead, step forward, and take hold of the PEACE He will give you.

For additional WORDS from God, Click on:



Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #7

 Today, I want you to think about the times you were overcome by fears.  Describe the circumstances, how you felt, and what the feelings of fear did  to you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The opposite of LOVE, is FEAR. It is not hate or envy or anger. It is FEAR.  Fear obliterates love if we are not aware of what it does to us.

Do you have favorite Bible verses that have helped you pass from fear to love?

Can you describe how you chose to love instead of fear?


Note: You may contact me personally by email at any time.  My blogs are my gift to the world, and I am here to help YOU –

Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.


You can sign up to FOLLOW all my posts. Thank you for visiting with me today.

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Journal Writing Assignment #6: Walking

artist, educator, author

Lynda McKinney Lambert

Walking by Inner Vision, my new blog will discuss issues of sight loss and blindness as I am experiencing them daily.  Life as an artist and author, changed for me in October 2007 when I lost my sight due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.

I am a retired  Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities,  Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA.  My life purpose is in teaching and sharing the gifts I posses. In this blog, we will  meet together and explore topics in Fine Arts, Humanities, Christian Faith, Blindness, and more. Thank you for joining in this journey with me today!

I began to learn how to walk using the inner vision that we all have. It has been an interesting journey over the past two years. I will write this blog to share my journey,  Walking by Inner Vision.


I am passionate about everything I loved  before sight loss. I’m crazy about visual art, poetry, literature,  philosophy, history, and music.

.Nothing is more delightful to me as traveling and meeting exciting new people whom I encounter.

Most of all, I find that I love hearing the stories of others who have had vision loss and learning how they do things and how they now see the world. I will share my vision through this blog.

I am always open to hearing from others. You may have sight loss, or you may have a friend of family member who has sight loss. Please write to me at my email address if you have questions, comments, or just want to chat with me. Let’s keep in touch. PLEASE, take a moment to send me a COMMENT after you read my post today. I look forward to meeting new friends here.


This was the FIRST post I wrote when I launched WALING B”Y INNER VISION.  Everything I wrote then, in 2009, remains the same today – over five years later.  I have published – NINETY Articles – This post is number 90! I am celebrating and so happy to still be here and talking to YOU after five years. THANK YOU!

This year, I introduced a new project for this blog.  The Walking by Inner Vision Journal. After each post, I will give you a short journal assignment to help you get started in writing your own personal  journal.  You can join in at any time and choose any of the Walking by Inner Vision Journal Writing Assignments you like. This is my GIFT to my readers this year. I PLAN to write 50  short essays with assignments for you as we go through the year together.


Most of all, I am a woman of FAITH, and I encourage you to think about your own faith life with me as we write and visit together

***  Walking by Inner Vision, Journal Writing Assignment #6:

When did you begin walking by the Inner Vision that god gives to everyone who asks him for it? What was the circumstance in your life that brought you to seek out God’s leading for all of your days?  How long ago did you begin your personal walk with God as your friend? What was the ONE moment when you knew HE was with you and that you would never be walking alone again?









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Journal Assignment #5_ Reading the Stuff of Life: Year 5

Reading the Stuff of Life:  Year 5

Walking by Inner Vision Journal  Assignment #5


by Lynda McKinney Lambert

21 February 2015

 Shelves of BooksI wrote the original essay for publication on “Walking by Inner Vision” in 2010. I revised and updated and published it on 21 February 2015.

In the winter of 2010, I wrote,

“What a delightful time I am having as I read  The Power of Myth  by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. This  massive book was on my library shelves for a number of years. It is a larger book that stands out because of its size.  I often picked it up and looked through it, used it in references for papers, but had never read it from front to back. There it was, still  waiting for a time when I could sit down and really learn what is between the covers by reading it completely. ”


Today, five years later, I am reading a different sort of literature, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, by Tony Judt  – published in 2005.  It enlightens me into the history and political struggles of some of the countries where I took students every summer for about twelve years.  I taught a course called “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg” every July until I retired in 2008. As I read this well researched historical tome, I envision each of the cities and countries I am familiar with from my own travels.


As a Professor of Fine Art and Humanities, it was always my intention to read a number of literary works “when I retire.” My profession required extensive, close reading. I loved to read and I devoured books and periodicals as I researched my focused topics for my courses.  However, the reading and research was specific and targeted for classes I taught. I longed  to have time to read outside my course materials and requirements. I dreamed of the day, someday in the future, when I would be able to spend quiet hours in my home library reading across disciplines  with no thoughts beyond the joy of days with no deadlines and unlimited reading time. I considered how I would spend those delightful days after I retired from my demanding teaching schedule.  I kept this future goal in mind; I began collecting all sorts of books I would read in the future after my envisioned retirement.


My shelves bulged with the array of collected literary treasures!  I gathered them, placed them on shelves in my cozy home office and had no idea when the day would come when I could read books instead of driving through snow storms like the ones we have been having this past couple of weeks. Today, I reminisced on how I traveled back and forth to the college every day.


At times, I used to muse:

 “Someday I can just read all the books I desire and I will have time to do it. I won’t be tied to my office any more. I won’t be grading papers on weekends and late into the nights. I won’t be spending so much of my life organizing classes, taking students on international trips, writing conference presentations and professional development projects. I often envisioned ideal winter days in my cozy library. I’d be reading, and I would still be writing more essays, articles, books and poems…”

Of course, I thought of retirement but I did not know just when I would retire because I really loved all the hard work I was doing as a professor.  My profession was my life-long goal – it was my Plan A for my life. I had no Plan B!  Each year, I waited patiently for summer when I took  students to Europe for a month of studies.  In the winter, I had additional opportunities and took my students  on trips to Puerto Rico every March. I was part of a special team of professors who developed a course in Puerto Rico Culture and we took our students there every year.


Sometimes I even reflected on the idea that   I might retire when I turned sixty-five years old. In my heart I knew that when I would be sixty-four years old I would think, “well, I probably will work until I am seventy.”  I had no idea exactly when this book reading project would begin. I continued to gather the literature and lined my shelves in anticipation for that day.


What did I collect? What is on my shelves? Primarily, the shelves hold volumes of poetry.  I have collected poetry  anthologies and other books on poetry; many are about the process and craft of writing poetry; but mostly the books are by favorite poets and authors.  There is something about a book of poetry that is intimate to me.   I can hold a much-loved book in my hands; feel the cool heft of that book. The pages feel smooth. The texture of the cover intrigues me. Art work is usually on the cover. But, the book itself is a work of art, an object I admired. I see the life form that is akin to a sculpture because it exists in a three dimensional space. The book is tactile, physical, fragrant, and symbolic.

Let me just share some favorite poets who reside on my shelves:
Robert Bly beckoned me as an undergraduate. He drew me into the world of nature with images of snow, trees, and a dying seal on a beach. I learned to love and respect mythology and the inner world through reading his poems. I traveled in a world of the mystical that one arrives at through images all around me. Through Bly, I realized the ordinary stuff of life in a new dimension.


Louise Glück takes me to her world of flowers and plants, brings me closer to the illusive and unnamable. I nearly tremble as I encounter her voice in a summer flower in the garden. The iris and the roGE DIGITAL CAMERAse have a voice.  I listen to them speaking.


Some nights I danced with William Carlos Williams. We whirled around the room, making shadows on the window blinds. I entered into his kitchen and saw  the notes left for Flossie when he ate the plums; I felt what it was like to visit the sick in their homes, and ride along the country roads as he jotted poetic notes on his prescription pads.


Walt Whitman waits for me to join him in his walk down a rural road. I want to travel with him, listen to him speaking as we walk together. I can feel the wind at my back or the sun on my face. I want to scream out into the landscape, to be a part of it all.


There are many more poets and books and journeys I will take to  familiar terrain or uncertain new places by the poets. Some stories and epics were sung before the days of recorded time, when everyone knew that the capricious, controlling gods were orchestrating the events and details of all immortal life in the heavens and mortals on earth.

Unlike the informed visitor to a Greek tragedy, I did not know the entire story before I entered  the theater. I could not have known it would take a personal catastrophe to stop me in the midst of my dreams and plans. In my story, I came to a sudden stop, completely shut down in the middle of my dreams, forced to learn how to live my life in a new way in October 2007, when I lost most of my eyesight with no warning.  In a few days, the visual world I had lived in disappeared.

Since that time, I am reading books via a digital cassette player provided from National Library of Congress. Each book, recorded for use by blind and handicapped people, is available through a regional library. We can order the books we want to read. They arrive in our mailbox and are free to those who participate in the program.

On winter days like this one, I am in my library while the world outside my window resembles life as experienced inside a snow globe. It’s beautiful and I am at peace with the world. As I read the history of Europe on my digital payer, I also knit on a project that I am working on.  I   think about the good thoughts and feelings I have while I am reading and knitting.


I sit today, surrounded by many of the books I collected.  But, there are not as many on the shelves because I donated about 400 of them to the local library last year when they needed books to sell for their fall fund-raiser. It made be so happy to share my treasures in that way, and to know that one by one, the treasured volumes are in the hands of new owners.  I even gave away entire collections of particular authors which had taken me years to find.  I have to confess here, I could not give away my books of poetry though.  These remaining books of poetry and some significant, colorful art books remain with me. But, I have no regrets.

In a few more days, most likely, the snow that blankets the  roof of the house will begin to melt; the long silvery crystal icicles. They drip and grow smaller when the sun shines on them.  Much like that melting icicle, the loss of eye sight brings transformation with the changes of time  I, too, feel transformed as the season slowly changes from deep winter into the hope of springtime. Much like the life of nature stirring beneath the deep snow, and stirring up into the bare branches of the trees, something inside of me is moving, too.  Hope is just beneath the surface and it’s just about ready to bloom profusely in the sunshine of a warm spring afternoon.



Walking by Inner Vision Journal Assignment #5:

Do you have a library or personal collection of books?

If so, can you write about how it all started with you?

My own book collecting began when I was a child. How about you?

Describe your books – favorite authors and titles.

How have you collected them?

Why do they hold special meaning for you?

If you are a new collector of books, I suggest you begin with a visit to your local library. Browse the shelves and pull out some books that catch your interest.  Read some of them, and soon, there will be special authors and books you will want to own.  You can search for them at yard sales, book sales by your local library, or on the internet. I have purchased many good books from Ebay – and, of course,  is an excellent source to buy books! Personally, I enjoy owning books. If it is a great book, then I have to have it on my shelves.

Once you begin your private collection, it  will be a life long journey. Have fun.


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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Journal Assignment #4 – A Love Letter _

Blog_2015_WBIV_ValentineHeartFancy In February 2000, I was asked to write a couple of “love poems” by a friend who is a jazz singer. Bettie Douglas, of  Douglas Art Gallery in New Brighton, PA,   was  to give a program on the topic of LOVE  at the Merrick Art Gallery. She wanted me to write a couple of poems she could use as part of her performance. I did write two of them.   Mid-way through the concert she performed the poems. My husband had accompanied me to the concert but he did not know anything about my secret.  You can imagine his surprise when she began to speak the poems to him that night. He was all smiles. I was delighted to give him this Valentine’s gift of love.


I  thought today about writing this blog article and wanted to write about Valentine’s Day. I remembered the poems, and looked back into my archives and found them.  I’ll give you just  one  today with this article.


blog_2015_WBIV_Photo_ValentineHeartsWalking by Inner Vision –

Journal Assignment #4:

Write a love letter to someone in your life. It will be  an actual letter, or maybe you want to try your hand at a poetic love letter.  It can be “Free Verse” or any other poetic form you like.  After you create your Valentine verse or letter, give it to the one you wrote if about or for!  Share your love this week during Valentine’s Day celebrations.  Your creative work will be a cherished treasure for someone you love.




It’s a Question of Love


What do I see when I look at my love?

Who is this man I call my best friend?

How many years has it been since he first won my heart?

It was a spring morning when he placed a yellow wild flower in my hand

I was only a high school girl and knew little about life

and had no idea that he was  the special one.


Like that yellow wild  flower, our love was a very fragile one

a delicate struggle to find the path to our love

We had so much energy then, in the youth of our life

we never knew then what it means to be a true friend

some  days it was a difficult task to just reach out my hand

because I wanted to protect my most private and tender heart.


I wondered what he would do if I offered him my heart

would he dash it to pieces and leave me for another one?

or, would he hold me close to his body and reach for my hand?

Would this young smiling  boy become the husband I now love?

or, would this hot-blooded romantic youth only want a short-term friend?

And, what I really longed for then was to share my entire life.


I wanted someone to talk with about my dreams  on the journey of life

and I needed to know when he looked at me he would see my heart

that he would be the special man who would be both lover and friend

to give me strength when I needed it and be the long-term, committed one

who wanted to keep me warm on a frigid winter’s night and surround me with love

when I embraced his comforting body and held his strong hand.


Nearly forty years have passed by since I held the yellow flower in my open hand

How is it that we travel so quickly through the daydreams and night time’s of our life?

And, looking back I don’t quite seem to remember how our friendship turned to love

or the day when I knew for sure he would give me his whole heart

or when exactly it was that I knew  I was his only one

but I do know that I have enjoyed the years I have lived with my best friend.


And, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had never found this dear friend.

Who would have wiped away the tears from my eyes or reached out for my hand?

Would I ever have had  so many days filled with friends and a family like this one?

He has given me all that a man can give a woman – he has given me his entire life.

What would my years  have been like if he had not given me his heart?

And, who would I have become if I had never known his enduring love?



It’s impossible to answer one of these questions about the nature of romance and life

for we can never  know when we stretch out our hand if there will be a lover’s heart

and a lifetime friend when we go on a quest to find answers to explore  the question of  love.


“It’s a Question of Love,” was composed in  2000. today,  fifteen years after I wrote it, I am still in love with my husband, Bob.  Love isn’t magic and we are not soul mates. I think that is a myth. Love and marriage take lots of work, and willing partners to do the work to make it last and become more meaningful through the years.   Like the true meaning of love, we  worked  on making our lives into a a trusting and loving relationship that lasts a lifetime and beyond. That is where God comes in, to help us be the people he made us to be – two loving souls who grow together through the years.


This is a poem written in the SESTINA form.  If you want to learn how to write a SESTINA yourself, you can refer to an earlier post on this blog. Here is the link to another sestina I published in October 2014:


By Lynda J. Lambert, Feb.2000

Copyright 2000 and 2015.   All rights reserved.





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Journal Assignment #3: Paint a Landscape

Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert  


Winter Trees

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Note:  This poem was previously published on “Walking by Inner Vision,” on March 13, 2014.


GE DIGITAL CAMERAWilliam Carlos Williams is one of my favorite modernist poets. He was a family physician who jotted down fragments of his poetry on the pages of prescription pads and in notebooks in  his car when he made his rounds to see patients.  He wrote  poems  in between driving to visit his patients in their homes or at the hospital.  I believe Williams  had a unique perspective on every aspect of life through his profession. He wrote about what he saw as he lived his life of service as a family doctor.  He focused on individuals, objects, buildings,  and nature and celebrated the extraordinary aspects of everyday, mundane  life. In this exquisite  poem, he celebrates winter and gives us the feeling that every living thing anticipates and prepares for  the changing seasons.  In the poem, we begin to see beyond the snowfall, and into the very essence of the  life force in the woods.


GE DIGITAL CAMERAThis morning the words of this poem came back to my mind as I looked out the window at a  pristine, snow covered landscape.
Soon, my two dogs and I walked out into the newly falling snow as we do every morning. I shoveled the sidewalks, then came back into the kitchen to have my morning coffee.
I remember there is glory awaiting me  every moment , each day.


Journal Assignment #3:  Paint a  Landscape

Read the poem, Winter Trees,  by William Carlos Williams over a few times. Allow his words to form a picture in your mind.

Do you see the picture he has painted with his words?

Look at how he mingles his imagination with the actual sight of the winter trees in his descriptive poem.

Look out your window.  Imagine the window as the frame around a painting.

Imagine this window view as a painting hanging on your wall.  What room is it in?

Imagine you will be painting this picture.  Describe  what colors  you will put into this painting.

Describe what you see in your window view, and how you will bring it to life on your canvas. Paint your piecture with words.

In your descriptions of this painting/window view ,   use words that evoke  our senses:  touch, smell, taste, sight, sound.

Now, combine the description you have created with a memory from your past.  Weave these two aspects together to complete your writing assignment today.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAPublished by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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Journal Assignment #1_Walking by Inner Vision Journal


Over 5 years ago  I wanted to do something to celebrate an enormous achievement in my life.  That desire  led me to launch my new blog~

Walking by Inner Vision




The first post appeared December 29, 2009.


Blogging was an adventure into a new world at that time. I didn’t know where to begin or how to do it. I decided I could learn  how to share special moments  and encourage others who may come to my blog.  That remains my focus today.  This blog is about positive changes and celebrations.

I write about  life-lessons I learn and I am  passionate about. art , humanities and  faith. That’s because  my  professional background is in Fine Arts and Humanities.

My essays focus on personal experiences woven together

with themes  from

Art, Literature, and Faith

I have published 87 articles to date – on this blog! 

Question:  Why did I start writing a blog”

Me:  I lost most of my sight in October 2007. The sudden sight loss, due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, left me walking through a thick fog, with very little detail or color.  At the time, I was a professor of fine arts and humanities at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA.  As an educator I spoke at academic conferences, taught courses in the arts, English,  and humanities,  and published articles on my expertise.

As a visual artist, I created and exhibited all over the world.

With the loss of sight, comes a whole new world and the first couple of years are difficult.  At the time I wrote the first blog  article, I had been through two years of rehabilitation for personal adjustment to blindness, and after that another year of relearning how to once again use a computer and adaptive technologies for the blind.


Question: Why is this blog titled, Walking by Inner Vision?

Me:  It is because I had to learn to walk by my own inner vision, depend on my intuition and inner feelings since my sight was no longer the primary source of how I understood and maneuvered in my world.  I wanted to give the blog a title that would indicate my writing was about more than superficial things that are viewed quickly, with a glance. My writing would dig deep inside to explore internal elements of who we are and how we understand our world.

Question:  How does it feel, TODAY, to look back on my first blog article?

Me:  I am proud that I took the step in this direction which was unknown to me previously. It put me back “out there” as a professional academic scholar and artist. When I committed to write again and put it out to the public in this forum, I was forced to leave any newly-found small  bit of comfort  and move into unknown territory in front of the whole world.


Question:  What did you write about in your fist blog articles:

Me:  My first blog posts  discussed issues of sight loss and blindness as I experienced  them daily

Since that time, I learned  how to walk using the inner vision that we all have. It has been an interesting journey! I still have a passion for all the wonderful aspects of life that I always had.  My expertise in the Humanities remains my core interest in all I encounter. These are the topics I write about on Walking by Inner Vision.


Question:  What will be see this year?

Me:  Beginning this year, 2015, I will create  a series of short reflections, followed by some prompts  that can be used for writing some journal entries in their own journals.  I’ll give my readers an assignment at the end of each short post.


If you are not currently keeping a Journal, I offer you the opportunity to begin one today. I know you will be so glad you started writing your own  “Walking by Inner Vision Journal” and you will look back on your journal at this time next year and give yourself a pat on the back!  You will say, “I  can see how  my life would change so much! I can see the many challenges I faced, and the times how God led me through tough times, and how He blessed me with  delightful, joyous times during this year.”


Journal Assignment #1:

Have you started your “Walking by Inner Vision Journal” for this year?

Write an entry about the kind of book you selected for your “Walking by Inner Vision Journal”  entries.

How often are you writing?

Set a reasonable goal for your writing. If you start out by writing just 1/2 page to one full page that will be a great beginning. I want you to be able to do this without any stress. This is just for YOU!

Think about this particular day, and write about a  small moment  and how you felt as you wrote in your journal.

Once you have written a short paragraph, look it over and write one more short paragraph or just a sentence or two about what you thought of this project today.  Were you surprised?


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Journal Assignment: #2_Embrace Change and Write

Embrace Change and WRITE… Journal Assignment:  #2


OK, here I am  TODAY, with the FIRST POST on my  ORIGINAL blog, ” Walking by Inner Vision”  which I created in the fall of  2009.

I  plan  to make this a  FRUITFUL year here at  this blog!  I INTEND  to MEET  new readers, make  NEW FRIENDS who will be CHANGING and EMBRACING CHANGE with me this year.

Because  I am a retired Fine Arts and Humanities  Professor,  I want to give you a GIFT for this new year.   let’s begin a Walking by Inner Vision JOURNAL project  together!    When you get to the end of this post, you will find I have included a short  Journal assignment  so you can join in the fun and grow with me.   I will do my best to create fifty (50) assignments for you this coming year – so you can have approximately a year’s worth of suggestions to use in your writing.

You will need to find a book to write in and may I suggest a nice fresh and new book. We’ll be starting on our new journey into journal writing.  I am calling it the Walking by Inner Vision Journal. Let’s go!  Since there are 52 weeks in the year, let’s aim to have 50 writing  assignments – so be sure your new journal book has a minimum of 50 pages.

I will love hearing  MORE from you and by you,  as you, too, are changing and growing. If you send me an email, I will respond to it shortly. I do read every email that is sent to me.

This year my blog posts on _WALKING BY INNER VISION_ will be created from previous essays I wrote from 2009 through 2014.   I’ll pick out the most popular ones that I wrote.  They will be short, and will include a writing assignment to help  YOU get started on your own Journal.

Why would I do this?

My response is, “Very simple! I have changed.  As we learn new things, we all change and grow. At least that is what we hope for, growth and a clearer vision of our life purpose, and what we have to give to others.

This essay is an updated and revised version of the one I published here on January 8, 2010. You can use it to begin your own  personal “Walking by Inner Vision Journal.”


Photo: Lynda McKinney Lambert holds her 2-week old grandchild, Isabella Antoinette. Bella is now 5 years old. We have both changed a lot since this photo was taken by Bella’s mother in September 2010.  We both look different now, 5 years later.

“I wanted a perfect ending… Now, I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. “ ~ Gilda Radner


My essay today is for people who embrace “Delicious Ambiguity.

Is that you? I hope so!
It is an exciting thought that our life has no clear beginning, often times it has no discernible middle part, and the ending is not yet written. There is no expiration date written on us anywhere.
The certainty we have is that we will change.

Change is the one constant in our life.
Therefore, let’s Embrace Change.

If you have not read my blog in the past, you may be unaware that I have profound sight loss, due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. To be clear, my range of vision is only 2/200 in one eye and 3/200 in the other eye. (A person who is “legally blind” can see 20/200 with correction). I am far below the legally blind designation of blindness. That means, I see almost nothing except some shapes if the lighting is right; I require stark contrasts to see just about anything.

But don’t worry, sight loss brought about positive changes, too.

Here are just a few of the positives in my life today:

_new friends I had not known previously
_new information for living a top shelf life
_ new path and a revised  journey for my professional life
_expanded ability to see others who need my help
_new insight into evaluating the life that God has planned for me

What can we do THIS YEAR?

Live a FRUITFUL Life!

FRUITFUL LIFE, did you just say that?  Oh yes, and …and let’s do this together.

You know, we so often have a hard time when it comes to lifting our thoughts higher, think  more intentionally, don’t we! But, we have every reason to set this as a goal for this year, 2015. We have God’s word and He propels us towards excellence in all we do.  It has to do with our inner peace of mind, and how we feel about our life. It’s about what we give to others, not what we take.  That is a FRUITFUL life.

This is now when I sit back for a God Moment; take a deep breath, and then exhale.  Take a little time to really relax right now.

For today, I will think  about writing my two blogs.    That is a good goal for me, to start with, today. (I accomplished this INTENTION and now have anothre blogup and running. It is called SCANdalous.)

What can you do to take a step towards thinking richer and deeper, more fruitful,  today?

How about this for a personal prayer today?  I just read it and I am  INSPIRED.

“God, Your Word says that You are bigger than I could ever imagine, and I thank You for Your bigger plans for me. Give me the strength to trust You and expect You to do great things in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

The scripture passage and prayer are from today’s newsletter from Joel and Victoria Osteen.   I get inspiration every day from the newsletters they send me.

With each new post, I will offer you a small journal assignment to get you started towards our goal of thinking big. Here’s the first  one for 2015.

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Walking by Inner Vision Journal Assignment #2:

Think about what inspires you. What makes you come alive?

Do you have a sense of a “life purpose” and if you do, when was it that you became aware of this calling?
What is the source of your inspirations and thought life?
How does  your source change you?
Write about this in your Walking by Inner Vision Journal  today.

This is our 2nd lesson in developing a Thoughtful and Fruitful life. If you are just now beginning, scroll back to my previous essay where I give you the 1st lesson to begin your own Writing by Inner Vision Journal. Thanks for taking your FIRST STEP!


Photos Below:

Our great grand daughters, Isabella and her sister Ava Sue  show me their paintings, summer of 2013. Both girls have exhibited their art in the Ellwood City (PA) Arts Festival Juried exhibition since they were 1 1/2 years old.


Bella, November 2014, shortly before her 5th birthday. ???????????????????????????????

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