Friday, December 12, 2008

Yank. back. Those curtains.

I went outside to find you in the stars, but it was raining. The dense, black night swallows my dreams- and I am left feeling inadequate and dull. I know the fact that I don't feel alive doesn't mean a thing. I am, to the core, in all of the shadows and swept-up cavernous places, covered by Your love. Right now the wind through my curtains is cold, damp, and uncertain. I need something to grip, something to illuminate the truth and fill me with confidence in You. The truth is as follows: I am your creation, founded by You and grounded deep in Your love for me. I am royalty, Your child, held still in Your everlasting arms. I am favored, and Your purpose is established in my life. I am Your window. 

Sometimes the world is just an open plain, and I am a stupid stone buried in centuries of rock-hard mud. 
Sometimes a jagged crack in the pavement of a brand-new winding road to no where.
Sometimes a lifted layer of leaves in the vast canopy of a tangled wood, waiting on the air, still and lifeless.
Sometimes an empty silence- the questions on soundless faces.
Sometimes an ocean, while the mind is back and forth like a wave caught on the tide of pulsing throats and dripping, hanging daggers of ice on rooftops. 
Sometimes I am parting the hours with smooth, open-handed dancing. The moon as my partner, the open plain as my foothold.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The difference is that I don't walk at night anymore just to listen. Now my walking is flavored with all sorts of riffraff and emotional upheaval. It isn't really my fault- After all, isn't it the distractor who commits the crime, not the distracted? Yes. I admit it to myself now. The grounded, dead-set in all of her ways, student with at least a smidgen of initiative...has grown distracted. When I walk at night now I feel distanced from my three stars and the dark clouds that billow around my moon's burning halo. It's a wonder I even notice the wind these days. In fact, and to my utter shame and dismay, I listen to the voices on the wind rather than the wind itself. I am missing pieces of myself. Pieces I believe I left with the words I inscribed on my closet walls at home on 8 Birchwood Drive. I am like our creek in the heat of August, dried up, it's course completely redirected, every crack laid bare and only growing deeper with every noonday sun. I am like the spiny silhouette of the tallest tree in our wood. The dead one, the oldest one with thick, aged branches. As the wind howls in my windows, I know those branches are falling, and I can sense the pain of that tearing, even in death. The sound that tree must make when it loses a limb, and the echo when it hits the weeds and lies still at once. I am at 3901 Granny White Pike, and I have that sound inside of me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We are all waiting--living in the space between the BIG moments. I spend most of my days dreaming about the THESE colorful instances. They are between the times I'm waiting around for something utterly wonderful to sweep me off into another world. FANTASTICTHINGS make me press onward for even more FANTASTICTHINGS. This space between is like a Wednesday at 2:34 beneath an overcast sky. A sandwich.


And the big moments are in the fine cuisine or a talk with God beneath a tree or the way birds explode from the top of buildings as the bell tower peals in the distance or in clean socks and deep conversations or leaves falling weightless on the wind or crying so hard you can't breathe or recognizing yourself in a mirror and smiling because you are still you in there.
take a breath.

And the waiting is positioned in mid-air on a swing when you are neither back nor forth yet pumpingpumpingpumping your legs in the motion of falling head first into a cold pool or in a striving you can't name or understand yet it defines the way you smile at people as you walk along parting the golden sun-soaked air with your body and stretching your hands out and trying to feel that God is in fact not so far away as He seems.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Monday

The times I used to dance across the kitchen floor were all provoked by afternoon light- The piercing, clear shimmer of momentous joy. 

I remember it well. Blue sky, billowing clouds tracing each other...So high. We picked apples up out of the grass, the too-sweet end of summer making us lazy. Dad would pass by on the lawnmower, urging us on, beckoning with one finger for us to move to a forgotten patch of cool grass. The light was hazy, and the apples were soft beneath our fingers. Pale green, brushed by deep red - an autumn color. 

I've come to another beginning. Ironically, this will take the same sort of bravery I needed on the first day of fifth grade. I was late and ridiculous in my Mickey Mouse skort, approaching my classmates in the gym and then sitting off to the side like an outcast as mom and dad peered in the doorway waving. I cannot remember that evening, or any other day of school as well as I recall that moment. A heavy outside door was propped open, and as I watched my parents disappear, the leaves of a new tree shook violently with a sudden blast of late August wind. Maybe that same wind moved the hair from my eyes. Maybe it touched only me, sitting so far from the others. Maybe I was instantly comforted, and did not look out the open door again that day. Maybe...Suddenly alone, I became brave. Since that day I have not needed that wind so much as I need it now. 

I look at my hands, thinking that they hold the secret to understanding myself. Every time, and just so long as I start to even think that I may be completely, finally, totally right, I realize that in fact I am still ineffably undone- a constant whirring of brokenness that is incomplete or made up of disappointments-piles of them. And every time I begin to believe that I may be finally wise-finally righteous in a right, Godly frame of mind, I am bombarded by great fancies that float around me like thick smoke. Intoxicating reminders that I am weak, and I am a fool, and all of this world's pleasures are crumbling beneath my feet. 

Only God stands perfectly still. Only He can cover my eyes and turn my face from the commotion around me- This hapless, spinning drunkenness in the worked up dust around my feet. Only He can fill me with the strength and impenetrable hardness towards the things of this world. It whispers to me and craves my attention. It's begging, pleading for my soul-my mind. Always gripping at the seams of my emotions, toying with my weaknesses and laughing when I stumble- blinded and confused, the noise around me a great and ceaseless siren. 

But when I call... When I open my mouth and with a panicked breath cry out to be saved- the wailing, the whispers and the mocking, the raucous, horrible laughter is killed. Quiet. 

These days are dotted with sweet, unforgettable moments that I can't shake away.  And He remains. 

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Be still.

Are you ever too young to worry whether the days of your life are numbered? I am a counter of minutes, and so I cannot humanly bear a waste of time, yet I love to listen. Just to listen, just that and only that as long as my mind can separate itself from the world and it’s details. I lie here listening now. The window is thrown open, and my curtains blow faintly, soundlessly. It seems a listless motion. The day is overcast, but as five o’clock looms closer, I can hear the sounds of summer spilling over the neighborhood.

It would seem that wind is meaningless.

What remains unseen is capable of disaster. In fact, I think the worst harm is done by the invisible. Anger, pride, lust, confusion, hopelessness – all of them like gale force winds. The wind now is so gentle that the silky little blooms of my geraniums stand shivering. But I can hear it in our old cottonwood tree. The leaves take turns hushing the world, and carrying on lively conversations in whispers. When stiff branches blow, the tree takes on another shape altogether, a living, breathing amoeba against the sky. I feel like I’m wasting time, though it was me yesterday who watched the grass, eye level with the ground for so long, concentrating. The little, worthless blades were moving in unison and I just knew that God took each one seriously. I just knew He was right there directing my lawn with both hands. A symphony. Saying, “Bend Northward. Tremble. Bend back now. Be still.”