Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Forgetting

Remember?  What an odd request I make to myself.
Every day offers a million new images
Most of which slip past, in one ear...
Even the most special moments
Memories completely irreplaceable,
But still they slip [slip] away.  Is it
Enough to snap a picture, scribble a
Riddle and pray to remember?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Iona




Kenneth C. Steven
grass blown grey
fields of yellow [seas]
sea glass and green stones
hiking the hermit's cell
three dog brothers
matt constantly curled up with a book
the island as therapy
red skin and aloe
ten mile days
please shut the gate
ceilidh and tom
abbey worship
cloistered shadows
gates open to gardens
puffins and echoes in fingal's cave
deb, holly, megan, misty anne, sarah, anna
O God, the journey has been so long.
I've taken every side road along the way.
I've explored all the hidden places.
As your prodigal daughter,
I've felt that I could find the way myself.
Even so, You, as loving parent, were beside me
same when my strength was gone
nurturing me when I was helpless.
And when I was exhausted
ready to give up.
You touched me with Your grace,
And I felt Your abundant love.
We walked back home together...
hand in hand.

Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Note to Self

On Wednesday, my beloved PA handed me a folded half sheet of pink cardstock with "Anna" written on the outside.  "Your note from yourself," she reminded me as I opened it.  I read it silently to myself while standing in my empty but full room (empty of possessions, but full of Holly, Jill, Candice, Paul, Lauren, Sarah, and my mom).  I almost cried as I read these words, as I thought about how my fears had come true, but God remained the same.  He is so good.
Hi friend,
This one time, it was fall quarter of sophomore year.  Amazing.  Things are full of love: living with Holly is an absolute joy, time on the floor is full of laughter, and being with Ben... makes me smile more than most other things.  And I want to hang out with Jesus always.  Times are so busy and the swine flu is near and I'm scared about being able to balance everything.  I'm worried that things will start collapsing, I'm scared I won't still be with Ben, I'm anxious that living with Holly won't stay the perfection it's been.
But, God is good.  And I know He is holding me and loves me more than anyone ever could.  And it is my desperate hope that my love for Him and for everyone around me does nothing but increase this year.
Please, Lord, hold us through it all.  Allow us a glance of Your goodness, help us grow in your love, let us be striving toward your will.  Always.
Postscript: Hopefully Holly and I get nicer.
I don't remember why Holly and I needed to be nicer, and I'd forgotten about the obsession over swine flu that was the beginning of this year.  It's too funny to think about the passage of time, and how much things have changed since a year ago, since nine months ago, since six months ago.  Too funny, too odd.

Now it's the summer, and it feels like a weekend.  I keep being gripped by the terror that I've forgotten to work on my paper, or missed a quiz deadline, or should be reading all the time.  But there's nothing to do.  I can't fully process that in three days I'll be on a plane above the Atlantic.

I feel like I'm in shock.  I'm just trying to sleep, get over the sick that decided to attack me on Wednesday, and breathe for a few days before the pilgramage.  I'm just trying to recover.  To keep living.

This year... novels will be written about it.  Literally.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Hands

I took a small break.  But I'm addicted: I readily admit this.  The rain, the piano music, the fact that tomorrow is the end.  Something sparked, and I got two in a row.
Static rain-
Tomorrow promises a different view.
Shadowed eyes-
Tomorrow threatens schism from you.

Trembling prints,
Aching with use;
Too young to be
Struck with abuse.
Aged by the eyes
Crinkled in breaking,
Shaken by tears,
Sorrows ripe for the taking.


Take those hands,
[Yes, yours that are shaking],
And just give them here,
Holden safe from all breaking.
I know I can’t fix you
And that nothing is well;
But open your hands
And reach out of your hell.

Cracked palms-
Today is the day before room rearranges.
Enfolded arms-
Today is the day before everything changes.
Will you play me lullabies, softly stroking the keys?
Will you sing next to me, twisting our voices?
Will you care when I’m sick, and bring soups and teas?
Will you listen even when I’m insane in my choices?
Will you put up with voices I hear in my head?
Will you let me be quiet, and crabby, and mean?
Will you let me curl up beside you in bed?
Will you cradle me when demons will scream?

Will you affirm, encourage, and love to no end?
Will you discuss theology and books that we love?
Will you carry a passion for words and for friends?
Will you never grow tired of laughter and hugs?

Will you walk in the rain while holding my hand?
Will you remind me you’re there with a small touch?
Will you follow your calling, whether humble or grand?
Will you love me and love Him? Am I asking too much?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm asking you

How long has it been since
You cried yourself to sleep?
How long has it been since
You sat in silence deep?
How long has it been since
You laughed until you ached?
How long has it been since
You made your worst mistake?
How long has it been since
You were crippled with regret?
How long has it been since
You’ve wanted to forget?
How long has it been since
You’ve really enjoyed prayer?
How long has it been since
You’ve thought that life’s unfair?
How long has it been since
You’ve bitched about your day?
How long has it been since
You’ve looked the other way?
How long has it been since
You’ve overflowed with joy?
How long has it been since
You’ve attempted to destroy?

How long will it be until
You see that you have worth?
How long will it be until
You heed your call on earth?
How long will it be until
You let go of your plans?
How long will it be until
You’ll be His feet and hands?
How long will it be until
You listen to her speak?
How long will it be until
You admit that you are weak?
How long will it be until
You crumple and collapse?
How long will it be until
You face up to your relapse?
How long will it be until
You learn to just move on?
How long will it be until
You can’t change what is gone?
How long will it be until
You stand before the King?
How long will it be until
You break the fast and sing?



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On кофе

I hate you.
I shake at the very thought of you.
Bitter blackness.
I want to abandon you forever.
My stomach churns, turns.
You are disgusting.

I love you.
I endure at the very thought of you.
Warm familiarity.
I want to spend every day with you.
My head clears, cheers.
You are delicious.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the Last Chapel

This morning, 9:30-10:20 as usual.  Standing beside Alec, exchanging "Good mornings!" for smiles.  But today is different.  It's the last chapel.  And this, for some reason, made me so sad.

Chapel is the best part of my week, hands down.  From turning on the lights in the office, to buying water at Noah's, to blue tape and red signs, to Bob and Alec and the whole gang, to greeting people as they walk in the door, to singing in the lobby.  I love it to no end.  It is such joy to see the same faces come through those doors, week after week; these hundred or so willing to sacrifice precious sleep to start their Tuesday with the Word.  They bless me with their willingness, with their smiles, with their hands raised in worship, with their hugs and familiarity with each other.

Chapel, chapel, chapel: how I love you.  Your intimacy, your sincerity, your simplicity.

My 'sermon notes':

"Good morning!"
The last service -
My heart is breaking.

[that's you]
Shines from within
Even when "I'm fine."
You rock!
I love you;
I'll miss greeting together.

Fracture -
I forgot:
You are broken.
I need to remember.
Sprints past,
Not quickly enough.
Se paciente, por favor.
By darkness;
I need you.
Please don't abandon me.

Means unity:
See the embrace
That cannot be broken.
This brokenness;
Learn to listen
And know the other.
Can escape
The redemptive work
Of our Jesus Christ."
Breathe deep,
Calm your heart,
Be still and know.