Aside 8 Dec

There’s a knife in my back
because we used to be friends
but aren’t any more

There’s a knife in my back
once in a while my back a small ache
Instead I focus on my working lungs and sturdy joints,
and take vitamins and drink water and sleep enough
sometimes it goes away for awhile

That knife in my back:
I remember all the times you poked at it,
already imbedded in my spine
I maybe cry trying to remember before

There’s a knife in my back
that will forever hurt a little,
but right now it hurts a lot

because you just gave it a twist

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Regret

5 Dec

I regret ever liking that one band that you also liked
I regret sitting by you in eighth grade, in history class and letting you borrow all my pens
I regret our summer days and winter nights and all those other seasons we spent together
I regret calling you just to say goodnight and thinking of you first thing in the morning
I regret letting you hold me and kiss me and tell me you love me, before either of us was anywhere was close to meaning it
I regret all those broken friendships because I got too close to you and too far from them
I regret being a kid that didn’t know any better, a kid that just wanted a best friend
I regret trying so hard to keep something that wasn’t meant for keeping
I regret the fierce hurt, and the tears, and the hate that won’t get out of my heart
No matter my tears, no matter my prayers
And most of all I regret my regret
I wish it wasn’t so

 

Aside 16 Nov

anger is a fire
burning strong and hot
kinetic heat
jammed into flickering color
lovely and frightening
destroys and deforms
warps unrecognizable
to what was at the start
charrs the dead
bringing what is new

anger is a fire

and fire causes pain

Big Deal

7 Nov

When I was 10, everything was a such a big deal.  Told to empty the dishwasher…tantrum in kitchen.  Didn’t get invited to neighbor’s birthday party…silent treatment for at least a week and ya, she didn’t get invited to mine.  Ballet canceled…whole day ruined.  Swim team not cancelled…whole day ruined.  Didn’t get to go to the Tucson Dachshund Race…sobbing for hours (it’s real and it was TRAGIC).

14, and everything was still such a big deal.  Unrequited affection from a shaggy haired 9th grader.  Didn’t make the basketball team (why did I ever even want to try out!?).  Mean freshman girls with visible boobs.  Big nose, big ears, cankles.

19, and everything’s still a big deal.  Take tests, write papers.  Wake up for cross country before 10AM and run til you almost pass out.  Attempt to avoid high school boyfriend as he makes passes at other, prettier girls.  Failure at everything I’m slightly responsible for.  $100 for a parking pass.  Out of coffee.  Not who I wanna be.

There’s always been something to make a big deal about, and I’m entirely convinced there always will be.  These big deals keep increasing in significance, and if I think enough about it, I can really frighten myself imagining the big deals I’ll have to face someday.  There is some comfort in the knowledge that my current big deal situation is truly, honestly, absolutely nothing compared to the future big deals I’ll probably have to deal with.

Here’s what I tell myself to hypothetically make me feel better about my current deal:
One day at a time. Don’t dwell on the things that suck. Delight in the things that don’t.  Find good company that you trust, that you have fun with, that you can talk with freely about the secret places in your soul.  Eat froyo with good company.  Eat pie with good company.  Don’t eat alone.  Know that the joy of the Lord is real, and it’s promised to find you if you only seek it.  Don’t make a big deal out of things that aren’t, and when things that are sincerely big deals come, cry, lay in bed for a while, then get back up and do things that matter. Take deep breaths, listen to great jams, and read good books.  Pray.

Sufficiency

21 May

There are times when life is good, but there are times when those good times are also just really weird. I’m currently  in that in-between time…I know life is so good, but everything feels so peculiar.
Time flies at an alarming rate. Only in looking back at those zooming moments do I grasp their meaning, though not fully, never fully.  Reflection is a treasure, one that so often is lost in the passing of time.
In reflecting on my recent moments I have learned many things, but of those many things, here’s the focus of 2:
1) The eternal weight of glory, and 2) the absolute sufficiency of the Lord’s grace
Ecclesiastes speaks of the meaningless of life – “vanity of vanities” – describing this earthly existence as “a chasing after the wind.” Only with the existence and eternal nature of God that this life has any meaning.  Though life is super weird, the eternal perspective of the weight of glory to come allows every passing moment to have meaning.
Self-reflection has taught me that though while in the moment, the meaning that moment contains can feel so faraway, the meaning of life is outside of my ability to feel that meaning.  In a sense, much of the meaning I gather out of life is fabricated – a chasing after the wind – posessing meaning only because I provide it, but it another, more true sense, everything can and does have meaning, with the hope of that weight of glory.
With this information, I can find sufficiency in those good, but weird times, and heck, in all times, ugly or beautiful, and the strange mix of the two that makes up this human life, with the beauty always edging out the ugliness.

There is a precious glory in weakness. It is in my insufficiency that I find sufficiency.  When you can realize you are nothing alone – that your own might means absolutely nothing – it is there where you can lean on the grace of God.  Even in my feelings of peculiarity, I feel weak. Everything is going to the dogs under my feet, and though I recognize the beauty surrounding me and rejoice in it, that feeling of chaos just outside my reach continues to haunt me.  It is in that feeling of chaos just beyond my fingertips, that I feel the steady hand of God holding back that chaos, allowing me to feel it just enough to trust him to sustain me, and fulfill me.

Being in control may be the most frightening place to be, because in reality, there is nothing in your control.  Realizing this is also frightening, but at the same time the most perfect thing.
Nothing is in my control.  The freedom this brings – to live as if nothing is in my control – is freedom at its finest.  With that freedom comes the peace and joy of the eternal weight of glory.  The weight that far outweighs any of life’s seeming insufficiencies.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, he is strong”

His grace is sufficient for me, for when I am weak, he is strong.

Potter Sentimentality.

11 Jul

Tearing up at the realization that the world of Harry Potter is almost done and gone.

To say that Harry Potter is ‘just a story,’ may be true…

It is a story – a book, words recorded with paper and ink – but for me, and so many others, it is a story parallel to our own world, wrought with good and evil, love and fear, and the pains and struggles of just growing up, which makes it remarkable.

The characters in Harry Potter are sort of kindred spirits to me, and I don’t use those ‘Anne’ terms lightly.

I went to school when they did. I had a raging, impossible crush when they did.  I argued with my friends when they did.

As Harry, Ron, and Herminone’s journey of growing up is ending. so is mine.

I’m leaving my home and family of 18 years, and they are leaving theirs,

And as I connect the two,

I realize how very sentimental I really am.

Goodbye wonderful, magical, fantastical lovely world of Harry Potter.

You helped me grow up, and I am forever grateful.

LostAngeles

29 Jun

Just got home from a weeklong trip to the city of Los Angeles, working in the kitchen at the Union Rescue Mission.

I slept on a roof in the midst of skid row.  My night-lights were the lights of Los Angeles.

In going to L.A., I vaguely imagined a cute little ‘soup kitchen’ kinda deal, where we would all stand behind big pots of steaming stew and ladle it out, and the homeless would smile at us, somewhat forlornly, and say grateful things like, ‘Bless you children.’ Now, maybe this is taking my imagination too far – I did know that I’d be sleeping on a roof in the middle of Skid Row – but I imagined everything to be less hectic, less tiring, and that I’d be more ‘important to the process.’  What I found though was not the little soup kitchen of my imagination – it was something much greater  – An efficient, smooth-running operation, where homeless men, woman, and children leave reinvented individuals and families.

The Union Rescue Mission was not a place that desperately needed our presence to function, the place is huge, and they sure have things figured out, but they said they could use the help – so we worked hard.  Instead of us giving something great to the institution – they gave us something – A picture of the real life needs in L.A., and a practical way to help out.  It may have not been a chicken-soup-for-the-soul week, but Jesus did always feed people with tangible food before He shared with them the bread of life.  I was challenged, exhausted, encouraged, inspired, and humbled.  No one was spiritually enlightened by my presence, but I knew that my presence was to the glory of God.  In no way was this an easy trip, but it was a good one.  God showed my the simple joy of serving, and that His glory can be found anywhere.   From the shy smiles of a little black girl, to an unshaved gentle old man saying “Thank you” for his food, I saw the beauty of grace, and it was indeed beautiful, in a way I had never experience before.

Sunday, I went to  church service in Santa Monica, and this enchanting girl with an enchanting voice sang a song she wrote, that I will never forget.

May Your voice cry bodily outta my chest,
May Your tears fill my eyes for Your children oppressed,
May Your feet carry me ’till I come to Your rest,
May Your light illumine my inky darkness.

Everything seems to matter right now.