Pearl

You are my most precious of pearls,

yet I am to release you unto the world.

I don’t want to trap you in the confines of childhood–

no, I want you to run and be free–

or to use your innocent gaze to fill my own heart–

not display your love for all to see.

 

But do you see this marked and hardened shell?

I want only to protect you from all that would scar and mar,

from all that would tear apart your heart.

I would keep you here but you have cracked open

my life and all that was hidden there–

revealing the deeper pain beneath those outward marks.

How am I to teach you to be free when all in this world scares me?

The Lost Reflection

I am not looking for a lover.

Simply someone who understands what it is like to have these deep passions and dark moods coupled with an unchanging heart. You know who you are. We cannot find ourselves mirrored in art for we are not the sort of people about whom books are written. If we appear at all, we are in the background, hidden and haunted. Perhaps haunting is the better word. We are a sort of grey lady of life. Our passionate feelings are locked away behind our sense of ourselves.

We are emotional exiles living on the island of our mind. Our own body feels foreign to us. Not because it is the wrong body. But because every ache or pain, every sensation from it invades our mind.

The safekeep, the fortress, the prison of our mind.

If we hide within it we are deemed shy at best, cold or even haughty at worst. And if we seek solace beyond ourselves, seek to somehow share the intensity of our feelings, we risk being perceived as attracted to the one we turn to.

It would be deemed a choked and awkward, juvenile attempt by our stuttering and stumbling and (lack of) eye contact. If we could be looked upon as a whole being, then those judging us would see that our bumbling intensity is simply how we interact with a world outside of ourselves, a world that seems much too complicated to us who are overwhelmed by the internal.

Lonely exiles in self-imposed captivity.

let’s stop

(after listening for angst-laden indie rock for a couple weeks, this is all I’ve got)

 

You are backing

you’re backing

you’re backing

away

but I need you

I want you

so please just

stay

 

Oh we go ’round

we go ’round and around we go

You step forward — I shut down

You move back — I reach out

I wasn’t made for shameless bliss

I shouldn’t want what I shouldn’t have so I have to turn around

But then you reach out…

 

just let this go

let’s stop pretending

let the sun set on this foolishness

let’s stop pretending

either way we won’t find rest

 

the sweet in-between

The sweet in-between of losing sleep and chasing dreams.

Heedless passion stirs the soul fire while relentless pursuit draws out the desire.

free this love then

 

out flows the

fear that was locked away

and gaining interest

 

I don’t know if I have any fight left in me — it feels as if I’m

still locked inside this room &

I don’t know how to get out because when I look down,

the hands gripping the doorknob tight are my own.

I can’t give him an answer.

I had opened the door but now

I’ve locked myself back inside,

exchanging the key for cheap releases

Do I love him?

 

Forever I’ve lived as if

I believed I wasn’t human.

I don’t know…

 

the earth is breathing

time is beating

much older than the waves of life

wiser still than the hearts of humanity marching forward

How long do we carry the sins of our fathers?

How far before we’re crushed under the weight we’ve borne?

 

the sweet in-between intensity

of losing sleep

and chasing dreams

 

The Invisible Heart

I backed away because I didn’t want to hurt you, yet again.

Nights upon nights I cried and prayed over your pain.

Can I say this?

Can I tell you how my times I held the phone in my shaking hands, your number queued, willing myself to press the button?

I remember so clearly the moment I knew… the blazing morning sun reflected into my tear-filled eyes. I set aside the phone. I knew. I knew that this thing would be the only straw. Something mostly beyond my control in either of our lives would be the nail that split the beam, but how could I ask you to hold it with me?

Can I tell you now, how at the same time I let go of you, that all aspects of my life were crumbling? Work, family, my faith, and my sanity…

Can I tell you that I could barely hide the hormone-induced near-psychosis I clutched so tightly to my chest? I don’t know who I was. I’m barely back to who I should be. The pendulum still swings between “fine” and failing most weeks.

How could I tell you then of my sorrows or my joys? I let you go because I couldn’t hold the weight of wanting. Another crushing weight bearing down on my heart because my joys would add to your sorrows.

My mother told me to never shine too brightly so I locked all the fire away with cold apathy. An ice queen still wears her heart on her sleeve, even if her emotions pass by unseen.

Voided Life

Drink with me tonight for the stars remind me of a starless life.

 

i am nothing

Nothing,

too much trouble in the phrase “not a thing,”

I am nothing.

I would that it were true.

The waves of nothing have weathered my heart from the beginning of me.

I learned to be nothing–the absence left where a child should have been.

So now when others ask and depend, when they require of me… I falter under the pressure.

I want to be useful, to be helpful and not in the way, but for them to ask me to lead them…

in those moments I see only my weakness–I was nothing–my inability to be what they need me to be.

Expectations, presumably unmet, bare teeth at my sanity, which was already brined in self-aware insufficiency since infancy.

Patterns and tendencies pulsed before me, leading away from stifling darkness to crystallized light and, just beyond down that star-lined path, a world unseen…. to have taken just one breath of it’s open air

No. Too precocious, too much intensity. The only solution to decimate, cancel out, declare void, cut ties to destiny.

Survival depended on the ability to create deliberate deficiencies to hide away the swirling complexities–suppress the memory, push away before comprehending, skip a beat before responding.

I’ve always been acutely aware of the weight bearing down upon me, of my shortcomings,

and of the struggle to cling to the vestiges of me.

How do I process? How do I adapt, expand beyond the thorny cage that tears at old wounds, making them bleed afresh? How does one rebecome who one once, too briefly, was?

no answer yet, the culmination of feigned indifference

The truth is there was beauty there, in the way the salamanders’ slick skin glistened with sunlight as they scurried through the drainage ditch. There was music in the howling and braying of the dozen dogs. There was a sweetness to the discounted peanut butter and a comfort found in ketchup sandwiches. There was a path of contentment, and I would have shared it had they but let me.

 

To blunt the barbs of reality, to feel a loosening of the ropes binding me, what is it to take a drink, a kiss?

Pour another glass, my love, to wash away the salt of crashing seas.

 

 

To the Soul-mate Seekers

When you date (and marry), let it be to a friend.
Someone who can see all the joy and the laughter you have and just by who they are, help you to find that place within you. Life is too short to live unloved. But you have to be strong so find someone who you can live without but you can’t resist.
Someone who sees all the pain and the scars and your darkness but can stand with you in midst of a storm. Darkness comes from you or him or just from the heartache and unanswered questions of the world so find a man who can overcome his own darkness and hold you when you need to be held. 
Find a man who can forgive because he’s made his own mistakes but who’s not afraid to say he’s sorry.  Marry him only if he drives you pursue greater heights, he makes you crazy, and he ignites all of your passion.
Let your love be a river, steady and calm yet still raging and deep. Then you’ll have found a love that holds true when it breaks upon the rocks, that carries you when you jump from its heights, and that sustains you through the dry lands.

I Can’t Compete

I Can’t Compete

 

He likes how I want him so much,

but all I know is that his apathy feels like rejection.

If only I had the power to make him stay,

to imprint the feel of his skin on mine, the warmth of his kiss.

 

I see my reflection, what everyone sees–

I know I can’t compete with the curve of her lips or the way that she moves her hips.

My hair too frizzled, my teeth unstraight,

no dazzling smiles or tinkling laughter punctuate the bounce of my hair.

Others get annoyed with their own flaws but all I am IS flawed.

He likes how I want him so much as if the shape of my desire outweighs all of this.

 

I am all that I am going to be–

all that I am is contained inside of me.

 

When our eyes met there was this spark recognition that stirred a soulfire.

I want, need, that connection–

something that rips and bleeds when torn.

I’m not a thing that has to be done,

not a chore or a duty or some choice that’s made–

I’m not a moral higher ground, loving me is not an altruistic contribution to the world.

I’m desperately love-lorn…

He says he likes how I want him so much,

as if the force of my affection is enough.

 

Why are Men the Enemy?

Are we not interconnected?

Do pain or sickness or age spare any of us?

None can escape paying the price that the battle of life demands. What if we reconsidered turning on each other?

By exchanging friendly fire, we sap the reserves we must for the trials of life.

If I were a man I wouldn’t have to worry about

  • how the children-should-be-seen-not-heard environment I was raised in is sometimes a detriment, and I would be easily forgiven as a silent and strong type.
  • bantering with men between the ages of 18 and 60 being perceived as flirting.
  • being judged or criticized when the sink was full of dishes or my kid caught a cold.
  • being brainwashed–since birth–to seek out and sexualize male attention.
  • all women’s eyes were on me assessing my competitive prowess for the men in the room.

I’m glad I’m a woman though because

  • my awkward, brooding silence keeps most women at bay so I don’t feel overly inclined to socialize,
  • and since I don’t want to be perceived as flirting with the men, I am free to flit about as I please.
  • the only opinions that matter are of those who live in the house.
  • the environment of my childhood battles against cultural norms and I avoid most people anyway.
  • while I may notice the competitive assessment, I do not feel inhibited by it because the only heart I need is my husband’s.

To put these two lists in perspective, they do not take into account the responsibilities and troubles the typical man faces. They’re written by a typical woman living through the commonplace experiences. Each individual has their own unique perspective, but there tend to be patterns in human behavior. Women and men are who they are–different–there is no doubt about that. That doesn’t mean that we are pitted against each as mortal enemies (“Finish Him!”) or sealed to the tragic fate of Juliette and her Romeo.

It does not mean that one rules over the other because they are stronger, physically or mentally.

No, we are powerful.

Only the weak seek to destroy those who they perceive to be a threat.

We are not enemies but fellow soldiers in this life. If we wound someone in our unit, we hurt ourselves.

If women try diminish the strength of men, they are condemning themselves.

If men try to yield power over women, they are crippling themselves.

Why I Joined a Writers’ Group

Writers spend a lot of time writing, alone. The family members and pets are banished to the bottom floor, messages from friends sometimes ignored. It’s difficult to express to others why imaginary friends and conversations brim over into existence, how unknown worlds unfold before your eyes. How even when I’m not writing, the scenes are being played out over and over again while I’m making the daily commute, cooking dinner, and reading bed time stories. How what’s in my head is sometimes more real than the life being played out before me.

All of that solitude, that internal processing creates a modern-day hermit sans the cabin in the woods. Joining, or creating, a small group who relate can help relieve some of that struggle and make the transition to reality a little less painful.

I believe that the act of creation is inherently an act of worship because God–who created all things from the universe and volcanoes to dragonflies and atoms–made us in His image. If you’re a Christian, find a group of like-minded writers and seek to worship God through writing. When we fellowship with other writers, we can explore ways to improve our craft and share our hearts through writing.

If you haven’t found that right group, don’t give up. If words and writing are your materials and methods, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, songwriting, however you write your worship, there are others out there just like you.