Monday, May 29, 2017

again

The dreams are happening again. More of them -- short, subtle, and lovely just the same.


The first is of a wedding. Not ours, but someone close to us. Someone I don't yet know, but will someday know in great depth. A song comes on. One we really love. I can hear the beat begin, and you look to me. And by that point, I have learned to accept the inevitability of dancing at these sorts of things. You pull me from my seat, a smile smeared across your handsome face, and we're off.  My feet don't move as smoothly as yours, but you pull me close continually and I'll follow you to the ends of the earth and to the middle of a dance floor.



The second is of a Sunday afternoon. And we're at Costco. I have the list and you push the cart, and I still follow your lead. And there is something incredibly mundane about shopping on a Sunday, but I reach for your arm, and I find warmth and security even within these millions of mundane moments and the afternoon is one of life's precious gifts.



The third is in a living room. It's late morning and we have nowhere to be. A movie is on, and we're both paying attention to it. Yet we exist, constantly aware of the other even when our focus shifts to something like a film. But you're there, every single day. And I am grounded where I lay along your side, and near your hands that seem to always find mine.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

my definitions of love lost:

Losing love is the feeling of torn skin, pulling back, back, back -- thick, jarring--even if numb at first--and guaranteed to heal into a surface that not even the cleanest tear can salvage.

It is the cool valley of a mattress that one rolls into like a landslide -- one minute, tossing and turning in sleep; the next, face down in a crevice created by the wholeness of a body. A singular inhabitant of a once sacred place.

It is one less cup of coffee poured behind a counter, in a kitchen, sipped with legs crossed over legs on a couch.

It is a heavy heart -- dead weight in one's arms, slipping with gravity, and leaking at each seam.

It is a hand left hanging in mid-air, or grasping at nothing amongst a crowd.

It is a book in place of a person at a restaurant table.

It is half a load of laundry; half the quarters, half the weight in fabric and all the weight of the world.

It is one less pair of eyes absorbing a moving picture in a dark room.

It is a car losing control on a desolate road.

It is the habitual act of looking back, the disbelief of looking forward, the eyes sealed shut within the present.

It is one breath in, and a delayed breath out.

It is a story that, at first, feels completely undone; but in retrospect is a page turned.

It is breathing on one's own. Delay and all. A hollow lung that's forgotten it's capacity to give life.

It's learning to sit in silence, and learning to sing a new song.

It is asking for help, and building new boundaries.

It is a fresh coat of paint, even if over a beautiful color.

It is a charged credit card and not enough closet space.

It is learning a new face.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

thursday thoughts + my ongoing lesson with vulnerability

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path."

-Brene Brown

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one. Lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." 


-C.S. Lewis


"It's the in between that drives us mad...the days of walking lifeless, the years calloused and simply going through the hollow motions, the self-protecting by self-distracting, the body never waking, that's lost all capacity to fully feel."

-Ann Voskamp


Not seeking a single one of these words out today, I came across each quote.
I'm a bit superstitious (although I don't really believe in jinxes), so writing what I'm about to write makes me nervous. 

But here it goes -- because I'm beginning to believe far more in declaring truth, rather than speaking lies about myself to myself.

+++

Something is at work in my life. 

Or, rather, God is. I go through seasons. We all do. He's working something out as always, and yet I am just beginning to skim the surface of the immeasurable depths of what His plan even entails. 



I'm learning how to trust. I have a handful of desires at the moment. The controller in me wants to take charge and worry. Per usual. I sense my inability to control any and all outcomes, and I grip tighter to what cannot be grasped

All day, I am called back to the truth.

That all things work together for what is good -- even if goodness tends to come in shapes and sizes and seasons that we cannot foresee. 

That my choices, which exist in the future, are already fully known. They are already set in coming to pass, therefore, I cannot ruin the path that God has foreseen.

I am learning that Hollywood may appear to be an industry run by men, but that it is yet another facet of God's kingdom. I answer only to those who God has placed above me. I am loved regardless of who has gone before me. 

I am learning to release the anxiety that rivets me in regards to inevitable mistakes that loom in the future. I trust that with each flaw comes forgiveness, that with each overstepped boundary comes a blessed lesson, that with each foul word spoken comes a door for grace, because deconstruction can either lead to a dismantled ruin or a new structure entirely. 


For years people have commented on my ability to be an open book. Yet, it has been those who know me deepest that follow the description with a yet, you're so inaccessible. So private. 

I haven't been vulnerable. Not in a humble way.

And if vulnerability doesn't come with humility, can one even claim to be raw? I don't believe so. Not in the contexts that count, at least.

I have spent years assuming my heart to be out on a line in a multitude of situations. It doesn't have to concern only love. It has been in the past month that I'm coming to know true vulnerability. The sort that keeps you up at night deep in prayer. The sort that strips you of comfort and garners you in reflections of the most honest parts of yourself. It leads you to feel like a purposeless wanderer as you take each day as an individual rather than as a piece of an eternal timeline. I wonder why we take so much comfort in "knowing" that there is a tomorrow, rather than truly knowing the limited certainty of today and treating it as a period to its own sentence. It's the sort that comes in only after you've learned who deserves to be opened up to. 

I am hoarding my secrets and dispersing them only to ears paired with minds that know how to discern and mouths that know how to guard and speak life. 



I have misjudged beauty and reached towards standards that are actually much lower than the heights above my head. I have wondered at sin, and greed, and status. Opened my mouth a bit to see what the mirage tastes like. 

It tastes like air. Tinged air. Fleeting, tainted air that sticks to the back of your throat like an evidence-less virus. 

I drown upon surfaces of conversations, not for their depth but because I have jumped with too much velocity into shallow waters. The floor is jarring, and it takes me nowhere else but immediately back to the surface where there is no one to lend a hand. I reach for the ledge and I pull myself out. Soaked. Not quite baptized in renewal, but awake. 


Vulnerability is reconciliation of self and--most especially--with God, even in the filth of life.

God says He is always there, even in the silence, and so I call out -- dirt smudged across my face, hands tired from lifting my body up above the ledge of the shallow pool, mind strewn out on the sin I have witnessed and succumbed to, a heart that has only deceived itself into thinking it's been out on a line of transparency and authenticity.


I can no longer worship the idols on the pillars I have built, because I have grown tired and empty. 

And idols require no vulnerability, only a set of blind eyes and impatient hands. 

Love can become an idol, too.

Depending on it, disobeying because of it, paying it too much emotion, and making one's own feelings at the center rather than the feelings of the lover. 


The same goes for goals --

for expectations,

for the tales we tell ourselves and weave into lies that replace what is truth,

for refraining from what we know to be good, and settling for less because of a lack of trust. 


Or are all of these idols just mine (and more)?


I have always feared the C.S. Lewis heart -- the one that is wrung and broken.

And yet, in the past month, I am learning that my heart can only prove the strength of its pulse if it has a brokenness to beat against. I am learning to fear the impenetrable heart, the one that doesn't come back to the surface, but sinks to any depth. 

Going through the motions seems a safe bet, but this too can cause a heart, a being, to grow unbreakable in callousness. 

And, without vulnerability, birth, love, joy, courage, empathy, creativity, community, communion, grace, selflessness, maturity would certainly cease to exist.



I am usually trying, and constantly failing at a life lived better.

But the word vulnerable, and the reality that I've never truly known it, has me riveted.

It's an epiphany leading me to believe that I am on to something, even if not everything. 



So, I am beginning with loving well --

with not fearing the wrung out heart, 

with being vulnerable enough to seeking raw palms rather than a calloused pair;

with reconstructing the infrastructure of my life, and allowing the head architect to set the ground floor and bring the project to highest completion. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

the rabbit hole

I am a firm believer in second chances.

Like the saying goes, Treat others as you'd like to be treated.

So it goes with second chances.

Because humans are inherently flawed, mistakes are fact,

and second chances, needed.


Pushing aside flaws -- there also exists timing.

Where there exists human flaws, there also exists perfect timing:

a persistent little thing that we humans can't grasp, no matter the effort;

something we chase after and resent; something we count on (some pun intended).



I believe that second chances are just as necessary in light of timing.

The first time around, life orchestrated itself into the song that needed to be sung at that hour.

The second time around, perspective allows us familiarity with the crescendo. We are more inclined to listen (only if we've learned anything). We recall the feeling that fled so easily before, and this time we reach for its curtails and follow it down the rabbit hole as the song continues to build into blaring irony.

And, at the end of the tunnel is the hint of soft light, breaking through the dark unknown. Because isn't that what life is like -- constant trips down rabbit holes? The outside--the ordinary routine--continues on, but within the tunnels underground is a shift that we take part in if only brave enough to follow the curtails and absorb the song.

Sometimes we miss the tunnels, if it's not that we are too fearful to follow one down to a new light.

I have missed tunnels, due to timing, due to ignorance, and mostly due to fear.


I'm putting fear on pause, though, this time around anyway. Because it's the right now that I can attest to. I can't attest to then and when, I'm already losing too much sleep.

I've hopped down a rabbit hole.

Chasing down, down down, numb to the fear of falling if only this instance.


Above the ground, parts of me continue on. I am pursuing the consistency of everyday that adds a core of balance and normalcy.


But there is a tunnel running beneath the Earth. And somewhere not long ago, I found the portal and I deemed it a second chance. A second entrance. There was a hum overhead, a crescendo to a song I figured I'd forgotten. And I must sing along, if only for a short lived time that will surely break my heart when the curtain of the stage is drawn red across.


I didn't ask for the second chance.

I didn't know it was something that had the power to pull me under.



Not me.

No way.

'This is a song for a scribbled down name that I keep writing,

again

and 

again

and

again

and 

again...'


I live such a contrasted life.

And I know the facts.

And I know what I have said, the conditions I have set, and the fears I have planted and grown as a result.




But I've gone down the rabbit hole.

And, it's a bit too late.

I'll let you know when I come crashing down against the ground.

Or, when the soft light becomes blinding --

When the release has been had, and I'm on the opposite side of the Earth.