9 days

There has been something quite like a boomerang, relaying an inaudible thirst that I have barely been able to translate. I am 9 days away from moving out. I hate that these feelings of enlightenment coordinate with my leaving; making me doubt the authenticity of these revelations. But nevertheless, their long term presence, however quiet in me, have gained my trust and now, attention.

Most days, it is a bunch of wadded up vessels, constricted and fighting to make their way to my heart and mind. There are pictures and videos of inhumanity that will flood and just as quickly, retreat back into the same blackness from which they came. And there is that flush of guilt that follows and that backboard that forms and then that rebounding sound that echoes this incapacity to be of whole compassion. To be of the distraction-less empathy for which the cry demands. 

Countless times I have tried to sit with these feelings; create a dialogue with them so whatever sickness has implanted itself, I could be of counsel. But I am now understanding their swiftness and how they have conquered my emotional threshold for this long. These defense mechanisms that are so widely a part of psychological conversation today have become a recurrent, working part in my intuitive processing. Yikes. 

Apart from the feelings that are sent to this new emotion-deterring growth I now possess, there is that aforementioned, boomerang-like whisper. I have grown to love it immensely. It is picky and lucid and aware of this live possibility. It has pushed me down 5 mile paths, battled negative self-delusion, and continues to break down bones that cease to function for my benefit. Despite my said repellent to discouragement, this note of resilience and idealism has been the most brilliant consolation for all the ugly bits. It denies me the ease of conforming to failure and demands of me movement; progression ; fight. Therein lies this defiance for rusting what inspires; “everything”, it tells me, “everything which excites your interior must come to life”.

I am united with a zeal for possibility and change now. It has evolved in me and through me and created a basis for an authenticity-sought life. That is why I reflect on the way I return to my faith this upcoming year, having left it for some time. Quite candidly, nothing about the way I attempted to commune with Jesus this year was aligned with the manner I so needed. In that time, I allowed my misapproaching to characterize Him in a way which ceased to reflect the first time I fell in love with being Fathered and ultimately loved. I became tired of my softness which had failed me often, so I built a shell constructed not upon any moral code but more so my own, revised, agenda. There was no capacity, no space for anything but comfortability. I was safe to grow, isolated and apart from the constructs of a false encasing-of-a-faith. Again, that rebounding sound urged me to be without so I could finally be with. 

In this time of apartness, I listened and responded to the loose ends. I read upon my introversion, learning that often the demeanor of my Church was unfit for my needs as an individual. Often the people of the Church criticize others for desiring a more “tailored-to” atmosphere because Jesus calls us to be unified and one and universal. In this moment of conversation I have to stray because I feel that individualism in the faith is indisputably needed for the fullest reception He desires for us to receive. In “Quiet” by Susan Cain, I read many accounts of the wall-flowers, the ones who often feel punished by a culture who places such a high premium on networking and outwardness, even learning of those who struggled with a disconnect at Church. Why? Because in an effort to be one, the Church well meaningly yet consequently divorced those who make up a third of their congregation by emphasizing expression over meditative reflection. One source in particular gifted me the knowledge that there is in fact ” a place in God’s Kingdom for sensitive, reflective types. It’s not easy to claim but it’s there”. Concerning my return to living an active faith, I place a respect for myself and my distinct idiosyncrasies, that in the past I have denied because it was convenient to take what was offered. For the benefit of myself as well as others, I’m deciding to simply seek truth that is discriminative.

In the “without” I also claimed another part of me that presently designs my future intricately. After losing about 22 pounds, I became watered and passionate about my health and that of others. This interest is quickly becoming a treasured variable in my career goals, resulting in constant bouts of my own research. For now and as long as my spirit engages, I plan to subject myself to the fascination and wonder that presents itself in this field. 

Cordially I write : to the spots where love was and the spots where love was not: I am eternally grateful in how everything that has happened lines up in a perfect stitch, ’til it fits exactly as it was supposed to. 

Your fabrics are falling down again,

draping as

sharp cuts against bony back

Sore and gasping for air

Please just knock it in

Remind its lungs how air feels 

Strewn out and scattered

I am recollecting my insides but I 

can’t

these are the pinnacles that orbit and search out

every edge and crevice

until the floor is unfindable

Image

I was content with writing the words for you. I always had too many of them anyway. You had none for me.

And I had plenty for you. I had all the time in the world. And in your silence, I perverted your eyes into poetry. Stanza one; your eyelashes. Stanza two; your confronting corneas. Stanza three; your blink; a passage of time that developed us in the dark room of separation. Polaroids, strewn everywhere and then some; sunken in boxes that you didn’t see; my boxes. And over time you became the art that surrounded me, following me to California, spilling my blood on the sands, hearing the birds rumble and uproot over me. But I am constantly flightless. You left me on this earth with a nagging habit of loving the words that formed you. Poetry has a shaky way of playing keys that sound like you.

“Write hard and clear about what hurts”

Where to start really. My thoughts are pretty smudgy these days… Lately I’ve rarely allowed my words to escape and actually move in this world. I haven’t allowed them the opportunity to make something of themselves. I know they can. They have always have.

I once heard a poem about shrinking. Most recently I’ve been doing a lot of that. I’ve allowed externalities to hush my cause. I’ve resigned, and allowed people to come in and carve out my voice box.  I’ve forgiven, and then seen honesty take off its mask and underneath; something so disfigured it’s unbelievable. I’ve let vulnerability bleed right out of me, hoping that the people I trusted most with my life would help me clot; would help me heal, but instead my hurts were patronized.

Recently I’ve been broken.

I have yet to find a silver lining that covers all the cracks. But I have found a few things which seem to cradle my eyes as I look upon my damaged condition.

They are the warm flushes of black tea, bathing my insides, reminding me that I am able to receive more than what I have simply been given; I can open the porch door and let cold hand-me-down winds blow somewhere else.

They are laughing over milkshakes and hamburger sliders with two honest people who sit presently with you.

Those tiny things seem to dilute the hurt I have been served. But it is those tiny things that I chose for myself.

I am choosing to be receptive & trusting & insoluble & insightful. I am choosing to be with those who look upon me with grace and excitement because I am messy but I am also filled with springing creation. I am choosing to trust myself because The Lord trusts me with his dreams.

If you can’t se…

If you can’t see the sun, you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning, you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God, you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.

Is your bridge being built, are your hands being filled?

The past few months, I haven’t had the heart to type a word or the strength to induce thought over where I have let Satan lead my heart. I guess I figured that if I let go of the pride I really would have nothing left of me. So if nothing is what I have, I suppose I have lot of room in these weary hands of mine to collect the whispers of hope I have read about, heard about, even spoke about. 

“Is your bridge being built, are your hands being filled?”. I hum along to pretty sound waves in quiet suffering, knowing to the very edge of my being, I have been robbed. By  me, or him, or satan himself,  I’m not exactly sure, but my hopes and my belief in myself had been abraded into this complacent wall that lackadaisically mocks my Eden, vexing this paradise the Lord has handcrafted in my heart, a paradise of fulfillment and joy and complete belief in my own extravagant purpose. I have disposed my worth, I have sat and watched as I allowed one dream’s disappointment to engulf every part of me in flames.

So; what would you call this place? Lost, wilderness, desert land maybe?

I awake defeated before a fight that was never supposed to be fought, that I distinctly told myself I would never fight. The guarded heart is a funny thing. It can be easily guarded ’til you think you found someone who needs no defenses, or maybe even want that person so much that you dismiss danger altogether. 

Most recently I sat down with family, discussing college, mission trips, my future, things of that nature. We sat in my uncle’s kitchen, questions flying, meekly trying to answer them, my heart, shallow,  only capable of describing the dreams for myself I used to think so possible, desperately gasping for the sight of what once colored my life so exquisitely. Conversation furthered and the very soul of me collapsed. I had let the Lord’s dreams drain out of me as if they were the runoff of my own selfish desires, as if they mean nothing. 

My heart was silenced, and my soul was speechless.

And then…. favor.

My uncle saved me that night. With eyes fuller than I thought possible, he looked at me like I was this earth’s last, tender, most promising hope. He saw me as I am.

He reignited a work I had thought was squeezed of its breath by my own hands. He saw my dreams when I couldn’t see them, and ultimately; he delivered Jesus.

I have been raised from the dust, when I was indistinguishable from it. I have raised my hands to my eyes only to understand the emptiness I was responsible of.

Today I rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness to come to me when I would not come to Him, pursuing my dreams, showing me how real and wonderful they are. It is my fervent prayer that He would instill a steadfast, unceasing, tireless urgency in me to chase these visions, running along the lineage of His Kingdom til my last breath. Lord capture my heart in that moment, recraft my tarnished lungs to desire your air; the air which tastes of the heavenly belief you place in each of your children. Be the air supply, help me to cleave to a heartsong so precious.

Instead of sayi…

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently. -unknown

Repost by Ramses

I was recently asked
if I believed in
“love at first sight”
to which my friends
respond jokingly
as heads nod from
from left to right

but, I answered yes

& they soon became adamant
about taking into consideration
the implications
of loving someone
I’ve never met

I’m sorry
but I take my cues from a poor nazarene man
who loved first and asked questions later
who compelled me to
recalibrate my perceptions
redirect my intentions
and view my fellow humans
through wider lenses
deconstructing and redefining
what the culture has so cheaply
packaged and labeled
as love

So excuse me
while I re-adjust my vision
to capture the realities 
of this kingdom
where upside-down
is right-side-up
and we perceive
from the inside-out
where the only identity
you have to believe in
is the image in which
you were created in

I was recently asked if I believed in
“love at first sight”
and it shook me to my core

like a blind man regaining his vision
his pupils adjusting
to the overwhelming
sensory stimulation
of bursting colors and light
only to make out
the rugged facial features

of a middle-aged nazarene man
smiling back at him

I like to think I finally understand
what it means to
“love at first sight”