September272014

lol (word doodle)

Hm. This is stupid, 
but when you do your nails 
you have to wait. 
For a long time 
for your nails to dry. 
Like, really a long time
and you can try 
to speed up the process
but you’ll be filled with regret 
and may even cry
(if you’re having a bad day)
if you mess them up
because of your own lack
of patience

I can’t tell you how much 
polish I’ve wasted 
putting on 
then taking off 
putting on 
then taking off 
(and how much time is wasted too) 

and I wonder why I did them in the first place 
because inside I always knew 
I would mess them up 
and if I didn’t 
they’d chip the next day anyways. 

this is a metaphor
and it’s not a very good one, 
but even still, when I’m done
maybe you’ll see the connection 

when I start these things 
I have a clear direction 
and a deep affection
for the one the Lord has brought me 
(don’t misunderstand me here, I’m talking 
about friends)
and at the start of every friendship 
there is the period 
where I forgot the 
things that have happened before 
with past friendships 
and I ignore the things 
that will bother me later 

my point is this, 
every time I get into it, 
I think about the days when
my nails look good 
and I think of how much better 
I could 
feel if I do it again. 
that’s all I think about
and it’s worth the risk 
and this is why I begin 

so I start, 
and it really is worth it, mind you
to know in my heart 
that everything will work out
that every outfit I put on 
will be tied together 
and look better than it would without 
just the same as 
(and I know this link is weak)
when you start the friendships 
knowing it will be worth it 
for those moments 
of deep connection
when everything works 
and your affection is reciprocated completely 
and however discreetly 
the Lord is whispering to you to not 
put yourself and your feelings 
into the pot 
to simmer and boil 
and be poured out on 
the altar of this friend
you still find yourself working toward that end
(or, at least I do)

I guess this is a twofold metaphor
(wow, I’m so deep)
because in keeping with this 
requires a whole lot of patience 
and there is a pay off in the end
but it’s not with this friend
or that friend
but with our Lord in heaven 
(this is really a stretch)
when on the seventh day
after six days of patience 
and six days of work 
we can enter the rest 
and our nail polish will be eternal. 
I mean, forever! 
We will never have to worry
about them chipping or smudging 
or fudging up the thing
we put so much effort into. 

(This is ridiculous, 
and I want you to know 
that I know it too)

But my point is this
(Rachel, I thought you said your point was that) 
(Whatever)
that those moments of good 
are worth the moments of bad
but only if the moments you had
were in thanks to God

My point is not clear…
(maybe cos you don’t have one)
I just mean to say 
that the Lord will reward our efforts 
but He doesn’t ever want us 
to just seek the reward,
but to seek Him 
and to trust in Him to provide
that when we’ve denied our “right” 
to have good nails 
we’ll see that we’ve always had them in Him. 

What in the world…
Quite honestly, 
I am just writing this
because my nails are drying 
and I was trying
to find something to do…

September262014

I’m so grateful for this hymn: 

"Be Still, My Soul"

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn 

September62014

James 3:1-12

let me release this slowly and steadily…
so my thoughts aren’t readily available
to all who read them.

I thought I could see them, but I can’t
and I thought I would do it, but I shan’t

it’s frustrating how big my mouth is
really, I could swallow the world
with a mouth so wide as mine
my mind can’t keep up with it
and neither can my logic
so I just gab and gab,
and there’s no way to stop it,
do I think it through? Hardly.
No, I just talk and talk
regarding very little else
but the sound of my own voice,
my mind is screaming NOOO
(like it ever had a choice)

it’s true what they say,
(and by “they” I mean God)
that, however odd,
the tongue can’t be tamed
it’s a vicious sword that’s maimed
more people than I can count
or recount because it’s busy
talking about other things,
stupid, inconsequential things
tearing down the walls my hands
worked to erect
ripping apart the things my mind
tried to correct
without so much as second glance
and if it ever had the chance
to apologize?
It wouldn’t do it sincerely.
It very nearly gets me killed
on a daily basis
and every day I face this
wickedness lurking
and working inside of my mouth.

My mouth is so wide it could swallow the world
but that won’t do, so it swallows this girl
and anyone else who crosses her path
what I lack in stature, (which really isn’t much)
my mouth makes up for with sucker punches
it goes above and beyond
to tell you what you want to hear
and tell you of the fears
I NEVER GAVE IT PERMISSION TO BROADCAST
like, did you know I was afraid of ants?
well sometimes my mouth likes to rant about it
and guess what?
I’m lonely and impatient
and greedy and ineloquent
(and my mouth wants you to know about it)
and if you weren’t aware
I hate feeling like the air is leaving the room
or when I look ahead I feel doomed
by the future and haunted by the past
and last tuesday I passed gas
when I didn’t mean to

whoops, I didn’t mean to say that
or that, or any of this for that matter
ah, the more I talk the fatter my tongue gets
and the more its appetite increases
aaaand the more it releases the foul stench
that haunts my every move

You know how the Bible says
if your right hand causes you to stumble
you ought to remove it?
Well I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth
and never mumbling or stuttering
but screaming, deep-throated and gutturally
at anyone who will listen
(but what can I do?)

I say “I” but it’s my tongue
but still it’s me,
since I was young my mom has been teaching
me to control it, (or trying)
and I’m dying because
even if I had people to patrol it,
it would find its way out,
it would cause me to doubt all that I’ve become
and all the battles I’ve won
it would turn me toward Sodom
and before they said “RUN”
I’d be a pillar of salt

I almost wish I was already
because maybe, just maybe
then the steady flow of bile
might actually finally stop

but still I try
I pile high the boxes and furniture
in front of the door of my mouth
I wrap chains upon chains
and even a tourniquet
to stop the blood flow
that allows such regrettable
words to be said

but it’ll never stop until I’m dead
and even now it infects my head
and I’m frustrated…

Anyways… I’m sorry for this rant
and the words I say
unless they come from things I’ve prayed
but even still I’m sorry.
because I know I’m wicked
and weird and lame
but my tongue can still express my pain
and I’m at least thankful for that.

August122014

Hunger

I WANT ATTENTION
like, I really really want it
I want it, I want it,
did I forget to mention?
pay attention to me
please, puh-lease
PLEASE?

ah, finally
affirmation, adoration
truth?
well, I guess this’ll do
I mean, I’m looking at you
looking at me
like, you’re reflecting
I guess it’s hard to see
but whatever, it’s worth it

tell me i’m beautiful
go on tell me
please?
I mean, I know that I am
but I like when you say it
(sometimes I pray it)
sorry, what?
i didn’t hear you the first time
no, it’s fine you can say it again
and again and again
hey, I’m funny too
did you know that?
well, you forgot to say it
go ahead, I forgive you
(say it again)
please? (two, three, four)
sorry, I didn’t hear you
once more?
yes, you can look at me
I don’t mind if you do
and, hey, did you know that I know
the things that I knew?
Because it’s really quite incredible
I mean, I’m really quite edible
go ahead, you can adore me,
I don’t mind.
Okay, wow,

I am so frustrated
with the desperation I’ve created
feeding the attention
I want inside
I am SO attentive now
to what I’ve denied for so long
and I feel it
i know how wrong it is
to the feed the beast
but the beast must feast
on all the attention you’re giving me.

It’s ridiculous
because I’m so angry
when you won’t look at me
I’m so angry when you leave
because I want to be seen
man, I want to be seen so badly
by everyone
but especially you
or someone like you
I guess anyone’ll do
as long as they’ll look at me

Every laugh you give to me
pour it out on the altar I’m erecting
to my glory (give me more and more)
see, every word’s a demonstration
for my desired recognition
of the ever increasingly
insatiable me

wow, I can’t believe how much I want it
i can’t believe how much I’m longing for it
ugh, belonging to someone
(or worshipped by them)
but, oh, the applause I am receiving
(the person I’m deceiving)
to receive the feeling I think I’m needing
is like water to my soul
or better yet, drink
to my already drunken mind
stupid and slow
and unwinding
fuzzy and unable to concentrate
(on anything other than the greatness of me)
well I don’t, but I know
how to stop
but to want to?
I don’t

I want this so badly
so how can I turn it down?
there’s the pathetic attempts
that come regularly
but with very little integrity
or CHUTZPAH
because I don’t really
at all
want to give up this feeling
of being adored

oh, how i have ignored it in the past
how long I have suppressed it
and at last, AT LAST
look at me
LOOK AT ME PLEASE
oh, don’t go away
my flesh is seizing up
because WHAT WILL I DO?
where will I go?
who will I be?

No, I can’t hear God
not over the sounds of them praising me
not until they stop.
and I look around
and i’m lost.

Oh my gosh.
i want attention so badly.
did I mention it? like, madly
Like, I really really want it
and I don’t know what to do.
(well, I do, but I don’t want to do it.)
and, I’m afraid, I knew it would come to this

Poetry 

August102014

The Plague

I’m going to post some quotes from the book “The Plague” by Albert Camus, since it is a library book and I have to return it tomorrow. This will be a long one, but it’s mostly for my benefit (but all who read it will benefit too!). 

"At such moments the collapse of their courage, willpower, and endurance was so abrupt that they felt they could never drag themselves out of the pit of despond into which they had fallen. Therefore they forced themselves never to think about the problematic day of escape, to cease looking to the future, and always keep, so to speak, their eyes fixed on the ground at their feet. But, naturally enough, this prudence, this habit of feinting with their predicament and refusing to put up a fight, was ill rewarded. For, while averting that revulsion which they found so unbearable, they also deprived themselves of those redeeming moments, frequent enough when all is told, when by conjuring up pictures of a reunion to be, they could forget about the plague. Thus, in the middle course between these heights and depths, they drifted through life rather than lived, the prey of aimless days and sterile memories, like wandering shadows that could have acquired substance only by consenting to root themselves in the solid earth of their distress." 

"In this respect they had adapted themselves to the very condition of the plague, all the more potent for its mediocrity. None of us was capable any longer of an exalted emotion; all had trite, monotonous feelings. "It’s high time it stopped," people would say, because in time of calamity the obvious thing is to desire its end, and in fact they wanted it to end. But when making such remarks, we felt none of the passionate yearning or fierce resentment of the early phase; we merely voiced one of the few clear ideas that lingered in the twilight of our minds. The furious revolt of the first weeks had given place to a vast despondency, not to be taken for resignation, though it was none the less a sort of passive and provisional acquiescence.
"Our fellow citizens had fallen into line, adapted themselves, as people say, to the situation, because there was no way of doing otherwise. Naturally they retained the attitudes of sadness and suffering, but they had ceased to feel their sting. Indeed, to some, Dr. Rieux among them, this precisely was the most disheartening thing: that the habit of despair is worse than despair itself."

"Obviously all this meant giving up what was most personal in their lives. Whereas in the early days of the plague they had been struck by the host of small details that, while meaning absolutely nothing to others, meant so much to them personally, and thus had realized, perhaps for the first time, the uniqueness of each man’s life; now, on the other hand, they took an interest only in what interested everyone else, they had only general ideas, and even their tenderest affections now seemed abstract, items of common stock. So completely were they dominated by the plague that sometimes the one thing they aspired to was the long sleep it brought, and they caught themselves thinking: "A good thing if I get plague and have done with it!" But really they were asleep already; this whole period was for them no more than a long night’s slumber. The town was peopled with sleepwalkers, whose trance was broken only on the rare occasions when at night their wounds, to all appearances closed, suddenly reopened. Then, waking with a start, they would run their fingers over their wounds with a sort of absentminded curiosity, twisting their lips, and in a flash their grief blazed up again, and abruptly there rose before them the mournful visage of their love. And in the morning they harked back to normal conditions—in other words, the plague."

"Almost all, indeed, had empty hands and idly dangling arms. Another curious thing about this multitude of derelicts was its silence. 
“‘When they first came there was such a din you couldn’t hear yourself speak,’ Rambert said. ‘But as the days went on they grew quieter and quieter.’ 
"In his notes Tarrou gives what to his mind would explain this change. He pictures them in the early days bundled together in the tents, listening to the buzz of flies, scratching themselves, and, whenever they found an obliging listener, shrilly voicing their fear or indignation. But when the camp grew overcrowded, fewer and fewer people were inclined to play the part of sympathetic listener. So they had no choice but to hold their peace and nurse their mistrust of everything and everyone. One had, indeed, a feeling that suspicion was falling, dewlike, from the grayly shining sky over the brick-red camp.
"Yes, there was suspicion in the eyes of all. Obviously, they were thinking, there must be a good reason for all the isolation inflicted on them, and they had the air of people who were puzzling over their problem and are afraid. Everyone Tarrou set eyes on had that vacant gaze and was visibly suffering from the complete break with all that life had meant to him. And since they could not be thinking of their death all the time, they thought of nothing. They were on vacation. ‘But worst of all,’ Tarrou writes, ‘is that they’re forgotten, and they know it. Their friends have forgotten them because they have other things to think about, naturally enough. And those they love have forgotten them because all their energies are devoted to making schemes and taking steps to get them out of the camp. And by dint of always thinking about these schemes and steps they have ceased thinking about those whose release they’re trying to secure. And that, too, is natural enough. In fact, it comes to this: nobody  is capable of really thinking about anyone, even in the worst calamity. For really to think about someone means thinking about that person every minute of the day, without letting one’s thoughts be diverted by anything—by meals, by a fly that settles on one’s cheek, by household duties, or by a sudden itch somewhere. But there are always flies and itches. That’s why life is difficult to live. And these people know it only too well.’"

"…For even Rambert felt a nervous tremor at the thought that soon he would have to confront a love and a devotion that the plague months had slowly refined to a pale abstraction, with the flesh-and-blood woman who had given rise to them.
"If only he could put the clock back and be once more the man who, at the outbreak of the epidemic, had had only one thought and one desire: to escape and return to the woman he loved! But that, he knew, was out of the question now; he had changed too greatly. The plague had forced on him a detachment which, try as he might, he couldn’t think away, and which like a formless fear haunted his mind. Almost he thought the plague had ended too abruptly, he hadn’t had time to pull himself together. Happiness was bearing down on him full speed, the event outrunning expectation. Rambert understood that all would be restored to him in a flash, and joy break on him like a flame with which there was no dallying."

This is such a good book. 

July312014

Shelter (1)

I have returned 
and i yearn to turn 
back to where 
I can never be.
time is just a memory
already formed
or waiting to be 
and then it’s gone
and cannot be again.
like dreams 
it bends and distorts 
and reports differently
than reality
but can reality ever 
truly
be known? 
if it shows itself 
uniquely
to every me 

(every moment is an elephant
not just God Himself)

moments are relative 
but truth is not 
even if we’ve forgotten
it has existed 
even if we’ve resisted 
it still insisted 
things are 
and are 
no matter how far 
our perception is from the truth

yet still i look back 
into the blue melancholy 
of the rose colored 
melancholy 
and i long to look back

no one can share my point of view 
even if they think they do 
their eyes never saw 
as I did 
their minds never saw 
as mine did 
but still we came together 
and weathered together
and tethered our hearts and memories
and every part 
came together 
like it had never been

and i long to be back there 

June92014
My brother and his son (my nephew!). This is by far my favorite picture I’ve ever taken of the two of them — maybe my favorite picture I’ve ever taken. The intimacy, love, and trust between father and son is palpable… His sweet, gentle little hand on my brother’s cheek, the tenderness of their sharing a first experience… Ah, I love this and them more than I can express. 

My brother and his son (my nephew!). This is by far my favorite picture I’ve ever taken of the two of them — maybe my favorite picture I’ve ever taken. The intimacy, love, and trust between father and son is palpable… His sweet, gentle little hand on my brother’s cheek, the tenderness of their sharing a first experience… Ah, I love this and them more than I can express. 

3AM

In dreams

last night i dreamed I could fly
and swim, and never die

it started with a fear of death:
i walked along and my breath
began to quicken
the atmosphere was sickening
as the bad man chased me,
my heart was racing and
i sank beneath the snow bank
guns were shot and i didn’t know
if he saw me
blood was dripping on me
permeating the once white
blanket that held me,
i sank deeper and deeper
into a hidden lake
and i didn’t come up for air
i think i used morse code there
or smoked a cigar
or typed a paper in a car
far beneath
the depths of the surface
but then the dream changed

i was walking through a supermarket,
and i can’t remember why
but we were all afraid to die —
still, i knew i could always fly
away and death would never touch me.
there was a man
who was particularly afraid
and dismayed
over the coming of death, 
and i spoke to him
under my breath
that i could show him what to do,
i grabbed his hand and beat my arms
and urged him to do the same.
i didn’t know his name or his story
but i did know he was bringing me down,
as we took off he started scoffing
and staring at the ground
saying death could get us, 
and the more he doubted
the heavier he became
— i think wild boar were chasing us
and Dear Death was replaced by pigs,
i remember passing pretzels and bulk items
and then i dropped him
and the dream changed

i walked through a town
and passed a church
but the church was a cult and
i had always been curious
so i walked inside. 
i felt afraid that if they denied
the truth of God
I couldn’t help but do the same.
i recognized people
(and felt ashamed that they were here too)

when the service started
i took my place
in the head of the pews
and i and all the others
covered ourselves in blankets
and the preacher
began to “preach”
on whatever he was saying, 
and the others who were praying
echoed back with movements
and gestures
and they all began to pester me
to follow suit —
here again wild boar appeared
and at that time i feared as i noticed
more and more people who knew me

hurriedly i ran outside
and beat my arms once more
the gusting wind sealed the door
and i rose into the sky

i often dream that i can fly
and at this point i was aware i was dreaming
i told myself i was going home
or at least the home i grew up in
but as i rose and saw the world
the girl i thought i was, was lost. 
i flew over playgrounds
and fast food restaurants
and i found myself by the sea —
i never stopped moving
but i grew more afraid
and frantic
and i remember
i was hunching over in the air
and my back began to ache
so i had to make myself straighten up
and carry on
and ignore the pain i felt
though it hadn’t ever left

when i reached the forest,
i told myself to fall
(thinking of the exhilaration
of sinking through the air) 
i told myself it was okay
but as my stomach dropped
and my heart sank
again i was afraid,
i kept falling
and falling
and the trees
were taller
and darker
and the air more freezing
than i’d ever imagined…
when i reached the ground i managed
to open my eyes
in the waking world
but my mind was still
in the dream
and as i saw, it seemed
my hand was bleeding
and a creature was attacking me
as the trees filled my bedroom

i closed my eyes
and slipped back into the forest
and the chorus of creatures
crept closer and closer
and began to reach their
spindly tendrils around me
i remember seeing drawings of madness
somehow among the madness
and blackness
of what was ensuing, 
and i don’t remember when
but the pursuing things fell
and i woke,
and all was well again

i often dream like this
that i can fly 
and sometimes swim
and never die,
but then i wake 
and it takes a moment 
to realize 
that it isn’t always the case

May62014

i guess i ran

i guess it is numbness
that leads to the dumbness
that leads to the silence and tears
i guess that the kindness 
replaces the blindness 
that follows my aching and fears 

i ran through the meadows 
that rippled the shadows 
that led to the desert i’m in 
i ran without thinking
and thought i was sinking 
down into the sadness of sin 

i guess i’m not sinning 
just bearing and grinning 
and hoping temptation will flee 
i guess i am moving
and He is approving 
and through it He’s making me free 

poetry 

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