Friday, July 27, 2012

can you hear it?

here i am.
in a white room with four walls...
and i'm scrawling with all of my might
covering every inch with everything that i am
and with everything i can find.
the ink is the blood
blood is the ink.
i'm searching the dictionaries
exhausting the concordances
red-lining the engines
studying the history books
pouring over the greatest poets
in the tongues of men and of angels
fingers fumbling over the keys
chord after chord
inversion after inversion
translation after translation
to explain the depth of sorrow
to explain the measures of my love
to give rhymes and reasons
to throw open the windows on our story
to let the sun warm us again
to hear the ocean roaring freedom
to make you hear my heart sing
to turn your heart back...
crying out till my lungs are sore
releasing all i have and more
to awaken the dawn with all of its hope
to light the stars
to remind you...
can you hear it?
all just to make you feel my love.

come out from your hiding.

sometimes you can't tell the truth,
because you don't know the whole truth.
and after a very long time of blindness...
i saw it.
i told it.
those are the truths that set you free.
their weight is enourmous. and often they cut like a samurai sword.
but that weight leaving your shoulders will make you drop to your knees and weep...
because you've been set free.
but if the timing is perfect, it feels so incredibly wrong.
all of these walls are being demolished.
i can feel all of my bones cracking, just to breathe.
and love filling up the empty spaces.
i don't want to be alone. so i cling to my phone for a voice on the other end to accompany me.
i wish i could turn myself inside out and empty all of the pain
the sadness.
and make me whole again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

psalm 56:8

You've kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

i had every intention of sitting down to write, but realize i have no earthly idea of what exactly i wish to say. i'm exhausted. it's early, and i'm ready to crawl into dreamland. the dogs are sprawled out on the bed, and i wonder if they're absorbing my sadness somehow. or maybe they just really like sleep a lot more than they used to? but i'm pretty sure, they're being awful still... happy to curl up near each other and near me. parker is looking especially pink this evening. i'm wondering if dogs sunburn? and i'm sure it would've happened on a day at the lake, not a drowsy day at home?
i think we've all got some kind of separation anxiety. just wanting to be held. to be near. to hide out and fall asleep. easily tired. content just to lay still and stare off into space.
but it doesn't actually make any of it go away.
i'm just tired.
and the world is full of sad songs and cynicism. why add to it?
i mean, i'll say it when i feel it.
but for now, the dull ache rages on. and if i'm quiet enough, and laying down curled up tight enough, it won't explode into the searing kind of pain that courses through my veins...
just when you think it's feeling a bit better, it will sink in just a bit deeper.
you'll feel the sting of the threads sliding through the walls of your heart.
you'll feel them exit.
it was all so tightly wound in the fabric of my being.
and now it's being unwoven.
just don't fall apart.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

rescue is coming.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

sunset and lunacy.

The sunset was crazy. So red and the sun so incredibly bright. On fire.. like a camp fire sliding down the wall of the sky.

I don't remember what time it was. I'd been off work for hours and I wasn't hungry so it really didn't matter for some reason. Running errands. Trying to go unnoticed. Trying to ignore the glances. Strange how much the tiny heels on these sandals actually cause the legs to wobble. I was waiting in line. Watching the familiar tapping of the palm on the scalp of the customer being served. Girl's got weave. If you didn't know, well, now you know. I miss my long hair. I say that at least twice a day. I wonder if my coworker is right, and I can actually get extensions that look awesome? I'm too low maintenance. I wonder if it would make me feel like a million bucks, though. Like a few inches of hair would make me feel a bit more like myself or something. Silly things girls think. All the conversations were mumbles and hums. I kept catching clips and phrases, something about being able to count, something about switching to self check-out lanes, and employees searching for elusive cigarette brands. Drawers opening and closing. The shelves did look a little barren, this evening. I don't smoke, but I kind of thought about it for the first time. I mean, other than those cloves way back. You know what I mean. I wondered if it would actually take the edge off. I wasn't really going to buy them, though.

So, it was my turn, then. I felt awkward answering the question "How can I help you?" I wanted to use as little words as possible. I don't remember saying anything, actually. If I did, maybe three words. I stood there just watching the wall of Marlboros and it took a moment to realize my vision was blurred and that I'd been staring at the same carton of marlboro reds for at least 30 seconds. A long time, when you're standing on your own, processing. I don't even know what I was feeling, other than weightlessness. Just floating. Half there. Completely sober. Feeling absolutely stoned. Noticing another box on another shelf. What is the rhyme and reason to the stocking here? Back and forth. I wondered if I thought hard enough, if I might see something appear. I could've sworn I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I considered getting food, at this point, but I couldn't fathom anything tasting remotely nice. I didn't notice anyone standing behind me, well except for this woman who was fascinated by the payment fees posted on the desk. She stood next to me and I felt incredibly uncomfortable. I was suddenly aware of space and my personal space being filled up with a stranger. I glanced and saw some men passing, and felt their looks passing, and I didn't want to be alone anymore in the grocery store. Great. This is going to be cake. I felt the dull ache in my chest. Thanks for the reminder. I noticed the girl, working… her facial piercing and faint shadow of a mustache on the upper lip. Or was it just a shadow? Am I drawing mustaches on faces in my mind? That's just weird. Maybe I'm about to go crazy. Like the sunset… just combust into flames like a campfire sliding down the wall of the sky.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

until my heart believes you... [sermon on the mount -rob bell]

Blessed are the losers, those at the end of their rope, the spiritual zeros, the bankrupt, the pathetic, lame, the out of it, those without a trace of good, the morally empty, the pathetic. Blessed are the quiet ones, the shy ones, the unnoticed, the wall flowers, the average. Blessed are those who live with the nagging sense that they aren't getting their slice of the pie, that they aren't in some profound way, keeping up. Blessed are those who can't seem to get it all together, who can't seem to get on top of things, who constantly feel like they fall short, because God's world has plenty of room for them.

Blessed are you when you ache because the world isn’t how its supposed to be. Blessed are you when you come to the end of yourself. Blessed are you when you get frustrated enough to throw up your hands and say “God, I can’t do this.” Blessed are you when you can’t make the tension go away, no matter how hard you try. Blessed are you when you run out of will power, ideas, self-control, hope, fortitude, and energy because it is in that place, in that space, in that pain, in that ache, in that longing, in that desire, in that awareness, in that hunger, and in that thirst, that Jesus announces, God is with you.

Blessed are those who don’t have it all together.

Blessed are those who have run out of strength, ideas, will power, resolve, or energy.

Blessed are those who ache because of how severely out of whack the world is.

Blessed are those stumble, trip, and fall in the same place again and again.

Blessed are those who on a regular basis have a dark day in which despair seems to be a step behind them wherever they go.

Blessed are you, for God is with you, God is on your side, God meets you in that place.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


the truth will set you free. but sometimes it puts you in a cage.
you could lie and put on that face, that fake one.
and those in the know will see through it.
but you care and you spill it all.
you tell the truth.
for love.
for freedom.
and here comes the dead weight.
the shackles.
you'll pay for your honesty pound for pound.
pretty piece of flesh.
all because those eyes could never lie.
all because you think before you speak.
and in this economy of saints and sinners.
well, all sinners, elevated to saints
by bowing low
and telling the truth.
and i'm supposed to be grateful for the lashes
but it's not so simple.
and i'm in too deep.
pretending it will all be ok.
well darling, it won't.
and the madness bristles the hairs on my neck
and darkens the hollows of my eyes.
and mocks the purest of intentions.
all the good that you tasted will be
just to remind you.
the truth will set you free.
whatever in heaven or hell that actually means.

love lamenting.

my peripheral vision isn't all that bad.
and i caught a glimpse of that look
the one where you really see me
the one where you mean it
the one that whispers, you're my one and only
and there's no thread of doubt
no pulls
no tears
i don't have a lot
but my heart is good
i'm helpless here.
the words are ready to pour
but they're stopped like tears against the back of the eyes
the petals tight tight tight in my chest
and all they want to do is unfold
fill the room with fragrance
make the room come alive with color
like the wind blowing the pages of a book
the words begging to become thought
to make a sound
it's like springtime in here
so many beautiful things aching to burst open...
but i'm frozen.
fearful of the onslaught of a relentless heat
or the frost
that i cannot scale the walls
that the hands of rejection will choke out the song
oh my love is wild and reckless
my love is strong
my love is greater than all the fear in the world.
and i have put it in a cage.
i have made a god of the fear in me.
and become a barren creature folding inward
instead of unfolding
and reveling in being the one and only
in your eyes.

scrawling madly on the walls

i can't shake the heavy blue
sitting on my chest like an elephant
saying over and over and over again
songs and chants of dread
painting the walls of the padded room red
at least they are in my head.
they'd instruct you to call them quickly
they'd say it's a state of emergency
and so i went to sleep instead
praying the heart would beat dead
oh but i'm wide awake
and the cruelty of memory refuses to break
hold on to the covers as though dangling from a cliff
and just what would happen if i loosened my grip
but all you can feel here is sick
and all of the words like exploding red brick
go back to sleep.
wait for unconsciousness to pounce
wait for the racing heart to slow
slow down, please.
i looked up and watched the clouds merging.
billowing like smoke from some angry volcano
or making shapes for some sweethearted child
i don't know.
it just depends on how you see it, really.
i waited my whole life for this
and it broke me.
it broke me.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hidden in plain sight.

Make your way down the streets that lead to Broadway, and at the same times of the day, you'll see them. Different faces, different stories, different names, but all part of the same sort of brotherhood, if you will. Walking with long strides, content to be outside... content to be moving somewhere. The baggy pant - sometimes solid, sometimes striped, a t-shirt that's been hidden most of the day by the double breasted coat draped over their arm or folded just beneath. The brow a bit more furrowed when on the way to work, from the bus or the commuter parking lot or the ride, cause the parking doesn't come cheap. The demeanor,usually a bit more at ease on their way home from another day...

They were always there before, and I'm sure they'll be there tomorrow and the day after that. Maybe it's just that I fell in love with one, that I see them... the cooks in this music city that loves its food, working to make a living... Working to make a name... Working to make something good... Working, just the same. In bistros, upscale, dive bars, corporate, private owned... in a closed kitchen or open kitchen... hidden in plain sight.

ra ra rocket!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

a storm's-a-brewin.

Leaves are blowing in waves down the sidewalk... undulating like a Chinese dragon. The dust at the construction site is billowing. The front door has just blown open, like an angry ghost has come in to settle some unfinished business here. I can feel all of my nerve endings standing at attention... waiting with some urgency for it all to just break loose. Everything gets so incredibly still inside...

I'm flooded with delicious peace.
If only I'd carry this response with me in all situations.

It was my birthday.
Older than I'd like to be with having only come so far.
But, let's keep in mind that my perceptions are flawed.
Let's also keep in mind that control is an illusion.
I learn so much to find out I know nothing.
You will give all that you have, and sometimes it will seem as though it amounts to nothing. As though every ounce of sacrifice is spat upon and wasted. It will seem as though your heart has been broken, healed and re-broken and wrung of every good thing it can muster... of every courage... and of every facet of a love it isn't capable of, in and of itself. And it will be handed back to you, sentenced to solitude like some ruthless criminal, when in fact, all you did was love... wastefully, extravagantly, with reckless abandonment.
Our greatest fear is being told that the lie is true.
Because it would be better to have never been born.
And then you see that it's all the great liar would want...
for you to stop...
for you to cease to exist...
for you to fall silent...
lay down and die.
but this kind of love... it's got a passion that will chase you to hell and back...
just to show you.
just to let you feel it.
taste it.
see it.
and when everything has fallen... breathed its last breath... and is pronounced dead.
that kind of love is all about resurrection.
And so, let it come for us, and invade the skies of our hearts like an unstoppable storm.

Leaves are blowing in waves down the sidewalk... undulating like a Chinese dragon. The dust at the construction site is billowing. The front door has just blown open, like a holy ghost has come in to settle some unfinished business here. I can feel all of my nerve endings standing at attention... waiting with some urgency for it all to just break loose. And then everything gets so incredibly still inside...