Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the Window Seat

Sitting in a window seat built with me in mind, fingers chalky with dust from beautiful old books, barometers and leaking roofs: this is my grandfather's house.

Stillness, silence: praise the Lord.  This is the peace I've been waiting for - where you can hear yourself think, where the loudest sound is the creaking of your box spring each time you breathe, where it is enough to drink tea and listen to Bon Iver and watch the rain.

We are well balanced, the three of us.  We all have our little quirks and oddities, but we make each other laugh.  And we live in love - that is what matters.

This house seems huge for three people and then I remember that only one lives here, and that makes me sad.  Empty spaces filled up by books and music and baskets and pictures, but still empty.

I think about my life, my future life, and how I think I could be fine living on my own.  But I don't think I would, for two reasons: 1) the boredom and 2) the loneliness.  No one to laugh with,  No one to share thoughts and life with.  No one to curl up with and be held when the demons come too close.  No one to encourage.  No one to softly touch so they know you're there.  No one to blame.  No one to go on walks with down the grey beach on cold and cloudy late spring days.  No one to keep the sanity in check.  No one to make certain that you sleep and eat.  No one to sing along with the piano.  No one to call home to.  No one to dry the dishes.  No one to love.

No, I don't want to live alone: not for the whole of my life, at least.  I want someone to care for, and to cared for by someone.

The future is coming too fast that I am struck by these types of thoughts.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm looking at this sideways

I can't decide if I like this.
I'm in a funk.
That's all.
[Words screamed through megaphones]; whistle a weak harmony
Of pay phone calls and homes, stomach churns from bad coffee,
Fictitious world in mind (more real than these places).
Bright colors, sharper lines: I live in [made up] spaces.

Dreams of boys and buses plummeting down fatal hills,
And a man who cusses under influence of pills.

Run from reality into these characters’ minds;
Testing morality, mortality of new kinds:
Tortured situations of freezing, bleeding, falling;
Facing fierce temptation and to redemption crawling.
Living through these falsehoods with a bravery not mine,
The ‘evil’ fights off good and toes a dangerous line.

I love these ones in all of their unreality.
Lined up against the wall, sacrificed mentality.

My ultimate escape when bitterness takes shape.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On Dreams of Summer

I've been on a ridiculous poetry kick lately.  I don't even know what to blame it on.  But as I was walking down the sidewalk to Bertona a few hours ago, I took in a delicious breath of air, and out came this:
I dared you [yesterday] to taste the air:
The smoke of cigarettes and fresh cut grass.
You laid down in the grass right there to stare
As clouds with cotton faces slowly passed.
We stared together at the sun, lids closed,
Both blinded by the brightest blood red glare
And as we stared, you snuggled close and dozed,
And while you slept, I stole breaths of your hair.
Now, summer in this damp green city means...
Means hours spent with beauty in brown eyes:
Your freckles pop on knees, with grass stains' green,
Eternal scent of sunscreen recognized.
Leave lectures about holiness and sin
And hide away in grass that patterns skin.
I'm ready for summer.  Who's with me?

On Willingness

There's a great possibility that I have fallen completely in love with you at some point in my life. 
It's like my heart can't be tamed: I fall in love every day.  And I feel like a fool.
This weekend was exhausting.  Show at the Q.  Time with friends (from two worlds; I love it when they mix).  Sleeping in a bed not my own.  Bus riding, sun burning, hippy-kid watching, mac'n'cheese eating, photo snapping. [I love my Jilly].  Melancholy.  Thanks be to God.  Snacks.  Warm fuzzies.  Running, screaming intimidations, posing, laughing, cupcake eating, playground playing, finding true love.  LOST.

Today is Monday.  Today begins week number nine of this quarter.  This is ridiculous.  This year has turned out so much differently than I ever could have imagined.  While I never would have wished for about 90% of the things that went down, I have grown so much and it's been so completely worth it.

God is really good.  And He is really big.  And His plans are so much greater than anything I have in mind.  He is teaching me so much about letting go of my plans, of my vision, of my own petty control seeking.  He is teaching me to look to Him first when things start going south.  He is teaching me about hope and joy even when things suck, even when it's been raining for six months, even when everyone is complaining and crying and broken, that He is still good.  He is teaching me about encouragement, and how giving is so much more rewarding than taking ever could be.  He is teaching me about people, and love, and inspiration found in the most unexpected places.  He is teaching me how to break down the walls around my heart again, to be open and genuine in terrifying places.  He is teaching me to be still, to be silent, to be His.
And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.    1 Chronicles 28:9

I am so tired.  It seems as though I've not gotten enough rest since the first of the year.  But I'm learning that love doesn't wait for us to feel better.  Calling doesn't pause until we've had a nap.  Opportunity doesn't stand to the side until we're finished with that paper.  We are called to love, and called to love now.  Even though it's hard and painful and exhausting and unrewarding.

This is my call.  I will not flee from it.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.     Romans 15:7
I think what I'm trying to say is that I've learned that God has work for me to do all the time: in the best moments when it's so much happiness to be doing so, but also in the moments where I want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone ever.  And it's not ok for me to wait until I'm ready to start doing this work; this isn't about me.  God can work through me even when in every sense I have been exhausted: He is bigger than that.  I just need to be open. 

And that is my prayer.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On 5-7-5

Inspired by Liza and dancing, dancing, dancing.

All these bitches crawls-
Hitting a wall of hot air
Coming down the stairs

To the sweat drop down-
Flailing bodies of spudents
Hands up in the air

All skeet skeet mother-
Dancing on a rocking floor
I got a feeling…

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Two Worlds

Screams of insults, haltingly,
Don’t echo like the smack:
Bringing silence, full stop style.
Flesh turns red and blue and black.
And breathe, [sweet Jesus] breathe,
As carpet patterns skin
Of his knees and palms; deafened
By his heartbeat’s din.

And while writing of abuse,
She casts a [fatal] look,
As, with mouth, he cleans his fingers.
What would happen if she took
His hand in both of hers
And, with tongue, licked it clean?
She swallows hard, cheeks turn red;
Thank God thoughts can’t be seen.

And while she lusts, they wander
In meadowed knee-high grass;
Fingers entwined, newness makes
Four eyes shine, clear as glass.
Where the world is silent enough,
Censoring not needed.
But blink and there is only one,
Left lonesome and cheated. 
And while he’s left without his heart
A stranger writes of knees
Burnt by the sun; with swimming thoughts,
On blanket ‘neath the trees,
Dreaming broken lines of prose,
Thoughts from a sun-drenched heart,
He’s unaware that anyone
Falls in love with his art.

I like to play.

In other news, this is my one hundredth post.  Who knew I ever had this much to say?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Sketches

What I do in class instead of taking notes.
You sat by yourself after the worship service had ended, while the buzz of voices drowned Iron & Wine. All of us in our own little personalized, individual bubbles, you were left alone, head bowed, praying hard. The emotions of others helped little. Everyone jumping off their stage to go and greet their friends, leaving you abandoned, without pastoring. You needed more than they could offer. We all did.
These are all about different people.  Except one.
This is not a safe place for you, and I’m sorry about that. It should be. You can’t eve hold hands with your boyfriend while strolling along the canal. You should be able to. What right do we have to suppress any type of love? I’m sorry that you have to live fearfully. I’m sorry that you have been silenced. It isn’t right.
Today was a long day.
You need sleep, love. You need someone to hold you and say, “Everything will be alright.” But instead, everyone is taking from you, being so loud, always speaking and squeaking and drawing every ounce of attention possible. You don’t want attention. Just stillness. Just an acknowledgement of your presence would be nice. But even God knows you’re not going to ask for it. I’m proud of you for that, for not giving in to be like those all around. For not being fake. For having honest and intentional friendships.
I am drained.
Lean against the glassed wall, sealed pint of soup held carefully in thin fingers, along with a solid black plastic spoon. Orange shirt matching ginger hair, listening to speeches, bored out of his mind. She loves watching him. Watching how small he looks compared with those around him. Wanting to hear his thoughts. Wanting to be in close confidence, to have a warm whisper in her ear. Watching him watch the threat warily. Watching him watch the pea-coated blonde subtly. Superimposing meaning on others’ lives for her own sick entertainment.
Negativity kills me.
Today, I fully intended to skip this class. But I got distracted by my blue eyed hipster and followed him all the way from Moyer to Demaray. His classroom is conveniently right next to mine and on the third floor. Rats. Now I’m in class, instead of spending time with God, with Oedipus, with sleep. You are to blame for this.
I'll run away soon.
I wish I had seen you fall on the stairs.  I'm sure it wasn't as graceless as you described.  I would have offered a hand, offered an  'are you ok?', offered my sympathies for a muffin down.  Biffing it doesn't make you any less beautiful.  Just human.  And in some ways, that is even more beautiful.  Don't worry.  I'll still love you no matter how many times you fall down the stairs.  Or up them.  Ok, sunshine?
Any takers?
[I image searched 'dropped muffin' and this came up.  I'm really happy with these results.]

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Smiles

I cannot help but smile.

When I see you at the President's Spring Forum with a huge bouquet for your mother.

When I get to share lunch with you three.

When you are coming to visit so soon.

When I think about our porch.

When the prayer chapel is warm and quiet and still.

When Dewey and I take an extra long walk.

When I see you across the road and there is not one tinge of regret or pain.

When we share a hug on the way to Demaray.

When I know I am loved by the King.


But it's easy to smile in the sun.  You know who's truly making a difference: those dear ones who can be just as excited when the sky is grey and we all need an extra layer.

Stop waiting for the warm weather to be in love with everyone around you.

Stop waiting to change until it feels better.

Be made new.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On Sense Memory

It's funny how certain places make you think of people.

Some ties are obvious, like how walking into SAS makes me think of Jill.  Or walking past the Edmonds Theatre makes me think of Jordan.

But some connections are random, but equally as strong.  While walking up the stairs from Marston toward Martin Square, if [and only if] I'm heading to the third floor of Weter, I always think of Aaron.

Too out of the blue?  I love the way my mind works.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Love, Defined

It's disconcerting to think about.

I don't like it.

Stop dragging me outside my comfort zone.

I'm right.

Aren't I?



You defined love so narrowly, as action.  I agreed, but disagreed, expanding that action can take many different forms.  It was terrifying to me how you kept coming back to the idea that sometimes you have to choose to love one person over another.  I felt like a little kid, wanting to plug my ears and scream in order to not listen.

It's not true.  You don't ever have to stop loving one person in order to protect another.  Love doesn't have to be displayed in such physical forms as spending time, hugs, conversation.  Sometimes it can't.  Love is action through prayer and encouragement and support and good thoughts and prayer and prayer and prayer and smiles.

Isn't it?

And then I started thinking, as I walked down the dark sidewalk: maybe that's my excuse.  Maybe that's what I define love as because that is easy to do.  Maybe because I am so terrified to act, to put myself out there and bare my soul, because rejection stings.

From my journal last night:
It scares me when something I hold in my heart so strongly as truth is questioned by others.  Wait, though, why is your perception of what love is so limited?  But wait, is mine too broad?

Here's the conflict: where do I draw the line?  Here's the problem: there are no absolute answers.  Only this: God is good.

But it scaress me to think that holding you in my heart and my head, lifting you up to God throughout my day, having all the good thoughs in the world for you, giving smiles and silent encouragement is not love.

Then what is it?  Is this whole loving business just nonsense?  Because that's no good.  This is what I base my life around.

But it scares me that maybe this is just what I convince muyself loving is, saying I love [fill in person here] when really it's just a clever substitute for taking action.

Oh, don't say that because you know it's really true, and that is heartbreaking.  You are so good at not taking action, at just watching and thinking good thoughts, because that's the easiest way to protect your heart.


Maybe this would be ok if I didn't suffer so much with loving people closest to me.  But when I've been hurt or feel my views or lifestyle being questioned or judged, I don't want to love any more.

It's easy for me to love the quiet ginger who looks like he should live inside my head.  It's easy for me to love the hobbit-obsessed, Jesus-loving, theologically-minded Psychology major.  It's easy for me to love the sensitive and passionate hipster English major wth bright blue eyes.  It's easy for me to love the old roommate of a friend, walking across the loop in a grey cardigan and metallic shoes.

But it's hard for me to love the betrayer.  It's hard to love the legalistic conservative.  It's hard to love the judgmental brother.  It's hard to love the hardass feminist.  It's hard to love the pretentious authority figure.

I judge you for always and only doing the things that make you happy, but I only love the people who make me feel good inside, too.
I don't know what love looks like.  At the Passionate Faith chapel this morning, the speaker defined salvation as true love, and a pure love that only God can provide for us.  That love has three main characteristics: fidelity, transcendence, and communion.  More simply, being there for someone, moving someone, and knowing someone.

Yeah, I don't know.  We can't love people perfectly, because we're not perfect.  If we could love perfetly, salvation would be found within each other, and our need for God would be compromised.

Love is scary, though.  Maybe... maybe.  I'm having too many thoughts right now.

I just, I don't know.  I don't know how to love.  When my heart is full to bursting, but there is no oppotunity to spill this caring... I don't know.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Blue Eyes

I got a glimpse into your mind last night. 

Before, you were just that hipster with the beautiful blue eyes who sat one seat up and one seat over in British Lit.  You were just that random English major that I recognized when you came to chapel and smiled every week as you took a bulletin.  You were just that friend of a friend, one of the hundreds of familiar faces. 

But I got a glimpse into your mind last night.  Do you know how much it made me smile?

Yes, you wear plaid.
Yes, you're an English major.
But you want to write (and do write) beautifully.
And you love the LORD with a heart that stops mine.

And your eyes are still so beautiful.

I just... love people.  Sometimes it's so much easier to love strangers than to love our friends.  Does anyone else think that, or am I just out here in crazy land by my lonesome? 

[Like last night, when Jill was talking about, 'sometimes do you get the realization that you're a person, and you're seeing out of your face from your own perspective, and everyone else is a person, too, and they're all seeing out of their faces?!'  and I said, 'YES!'  Affirmation of sanity is greatly appreciated].

Sometimes, I just get really excited about people I don't know.  I want to be friends!  And it is [so much] joy in my life to talk to God about them.  Seriously.  I just get really excited: who knows why?  I want to think that's it's something placed in my heart on purpose; to be able to love strangers around me even though I don't know them at all.  Maybe they need someone praying for them and thinking they're really great.

Because I think you're really great.  And you are so important to me.  Do not lose heart.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On Ten Reasons Why Today is Great

1. It's Alec's birthday.

2. Tbe president of Walden Media spoke in chapel about the importance of reading, and showed a [not yet released to the public] trailer for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

3. We watched Super Nanny in Child Development.

4. Proof copy.

5. Thai Truck for lunch.

6. Laughing with Em in the papasan for a really long time.

7. Drinking peach tea while rain streaked down my window.

8. Iona Circle meeting.

9. Laughing with Jill while she washed the dishes.

10. Glee.
I feel super legit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

On Sole Holes

My socks are damp from a walk in the rain: 
My shoes have holes in the soles. 
While my jacket kept the rest of me dry,
My feet faced puddle-filled holes.

There's probably something clever
I could say about holes in our souls,
But my mind is cloudy and sleepy,
And thoughts are on other goals.

Three lamps give light to my room as I
Listen to compline on podcast:
I try to be still and quiet my soul
To make this peaceful moment last.

I can't get this rhythm to stick in my head
As I struggle to match the rhymes:
My thoughts are stayed on suffering friends
Who are all being struck with hard times.

Nick's dad is sick.  Michael's in pain.
David's exhausted and weak.
Krista is mourning.  Paul is depressed.
Where is the peace that we seek?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:29