A Soul’s Dawn

Those expansive desolate saturated monoculture February fields Might tempt me towards gray and soggy. That dissonant electric guitar wail  Could draw me closer to fear or discomfort or distrust. But I know what’s above the clouds and beneath the surface.  There’s plenty of evidence of what’s not seen too.  A smidgen of belief catalyzes right […]

Blessedly Forced Reckoning

  
Shhhh…. He whispers.

With so many words

This breeze

Ailments-forcing-downtime

A rocked-jacked-up-unexpected-turn-of-events

Forced inactivity

This fragility I’m tempted to begrudge

My greatest asset

As it makes room

For all His goodness

That I temporarily forgot

In all my (quite temporary) capability

Oh, Lord,

How majestic is

– Not just Your Name –

But Your way

You

Light as a feather

Heavy as a mountain

More besides and all the in betweens

Wild 

Sweet

Huge

Complete

Staggered, lonely, and full am I

With such a God as You

You Are

And Everywhere

Help us see YOU

Reclamation

The fullness and

Scope of this

Gulf Stream life

And I’m right saturated

Even bogged down while moved along

Regardless of my desire for calmer (stagnant?) waters
I’m the mom

For all practical purposes

But all I feel is to be like

“Butter spread over too much bread”*

*Bilbo Baggins

 

All these children’s questions

Charge the particles

In my like-an-old-school-tv’s

Snowy insides
Instead of jolting to life

Every audible word

Zaps already taut and sensitive fibers

And this tired old battery sparks only to grinding
Proof again

That mere machinations

Aren’t the source of life and

Just-function won’t sustain any of us
Without the proper mechanic’s lifeblood to

Recalibrate all these lifeless moving parts we’re all just

Bound for the junk heap
Overdue

I wheel myself in for inspection

Open the hood

Expose the innards

Wait for His assessment
It took me way longer to get here than it takes for Him to look

Surprisingly gentle, thorough, and quick

He fusses with something (I don’t see what) and
I expect the damage report – as ever –

To be that this time I’ve ridden too far, too long

Without this scrutiny, this help, this exposure
He bids me turn the ignition and

Expecting dead space

A deep resonant purr sounds instead.

Instead of more static misfires and sparks

A healthy hum of life and connection fires full and throaty.
Smiling

I shake my head in wonder and thanks and

Roll forward back into the stream

Anticipating a new horizon and steady current to

Carry me along
Thank You, Lord.

A Middle Finger to the False Self

 

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It’s weird. Probably not uncommon, but still weird.
This being compelled towards a certain way of expression and feeling so utterly self conscious about said expression. Part of me thinks that real artists don’t question their artistry, at least in as far as the doing. Most of us measure the product and its worth, of course. Wonder about, assess, measure. Maybe it’s naive to think that no one else thinks this much about the process. The just “doin’ the thing” part. But I just can’t help but think that if I could just settle into the thing that my battles with self expression (with self?) would be largely (or just more) over. The weirdness that I not only wrangle with, but frankly am totally sick of, is weird. I feel compelled to write a certain way while being totally and completely uncertain about it.
When (and how? How, I ask you?) does a person Just Do It. (If only there was a t-shirt to remind me.) By what miracle of changed thinking and upside down modus operandi (how? How, I ask you?) does someone suddenly just stop all the years of shame and doubt and ridiculous indoctrination and start living fully into his/her self? And THEN create something authentic and real and of value?
New Year review and reflection stipulated honesty as my “word of the year.” Sounds good. Good like all those other words that find their way colorfully and persistently into the margins of journals and legal pads in various pen colors in order to (hopefully) then find their way into my psyche and then (hopefully) eke into my living. And I’ll stay open to that notion. Honesty sounds right, if even ever so slightly loaded and terribly tenuous (for me anyway. See elephants in the room, “social graces,” and skeletons in the closet [wow. Even the references don’t tell you anything.] and you have a terrible battle with what being true to yourself means. True to myself? Heck. I’d just love to wake up with any sense of self. A true sense unfettered and/or unmarred by loads of proverbial baggage.).
Which brings me to my point. (Maybe.)
After being figuratively smacked into an uncomfortable oblivion yesterday, I had to take another uncomfortable but much needed look at my difficulty with transparency and vulnerability. I’m tempted to delve in here about the bummer-of-a-disagreement my husband and I had because of my seeming inability to be emotionally intimate due to years and years of self destructive behavior but I worry that I’ll lose you. I’m assuming you’ll understand without being privy to details. Wait for the book. Because, you know, a book about addiction, promiscuity, victimization and the like would be so read-worthy. It would, you say? Only if it didn’t stop there but continued on to the happy ending of redemption and healing and rescue, which is where my story ends, er, will end once I get to the bottom of this vulnerability thing.

Vulnerability thing? Oh, right. That’s where I was going with this. I was going to talk about how to get to a place where I stop second guessing every. Single. Thing. I. Do. Say. Write. Think. The place where all this being gets to just be without all the maddening ing-ing. Thinking wondering, second-guessing. That little suffix has added too much extraneous ing-ing on my ability to just be.
Just be, Amy. Just be, you who’s reading. You who’s out there wondering about your inherent value and all its attachments and/or inevitabilities. Not in a mystical touchy feely way, but in a true way. That we might get down to the business of living: comfortable enough in our own skins and comfortable enough with whatever our contribution to the world is ours to give and stop all this ridiculous posturing in order to add what’s ours to add.
Maybe I’m just getting old and tired. Maybe that’s really what wisdom is: getting worn out enough that you stop expending energy (because you no longer have any extra to expend) on posturing and instead concentrate on just be-ing. That ing-ing being the only sort you can muster up enough energy for. No frills, no pretense. Just you and just me with all our wondrous and remarkable magic. ‘Cause it’s in there. And it’s fabulous.
It’s terrifying, but I’m pretty excited to toast to transparency (or maybe I’m just excited to toast. Here’s at least to an enthusiastic and celebratory beginning.). Pretty excited to find out what all this before-now-elusive “be true to yourself” business is all about. Excited to move forward with my eyes wide open instead of frantically darting around trying to read cues about what skin I ought put on to satisfy any onlookers. How are chameleons not completely exhausted? I’ve not learned to adapt so well to this way of being. Or at least not thrive. I’ve maybe learned too well how to adapt. Regardless, I find it leaves me significantly less colorful than more…
So here’s to richer color sourced from an inward treasure instead of environmentally imposed ones. To more transparency and honesty. And though I don’t wish the fiery abyss part on anyone, I do like the spirit of; “ta Hell with all ya’s. I got my own beat and I’m dancin’ to it.” (I don’t usually talk like that, but this finding my voice thing may take some practice…)

……………………
How about you? Do you struggle with “being yourself”? Desire truth in your inmost parts? Or if this isn’t a struggle for you, what has helped you to be a person of integrity/honesty/transparency?

 

Turn (to the light)


What’s all this angst that rises to the surface?

This right to be vexed?

Are they sourced in these irritations that challenge

my (snotty and ridiculous) sensibilities?

No.
These children, these demands, these challenges,

circumstances, inconveniences, or others’ bad behavior

Are not the cause of my reactionary ugliness.
No.
Just the me’s to blame.
But thrillingly, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
In a signature moment of said angst and growing irritation

– just another day together during life and learning –

An unexpected choice was made.

A lightening bolt epiphany supernaturally

(how else would I have chosen well?)

Suggested I laugh instead.
Laugh instead of explode, fume, brood, resent, chafe,

offend.

I could just laugh out loud at that dark power that was

ready to steal our joy and erect more walls.

So I did.

I laughed out loud

At all this wretched humanness.

And then they did.

And our communal laughter

Tsunamied over all the filth and

Diffused all that impossible tension and

Revealed a clean place.

A brighter place.

A start-over place.

And the tone and the magic and the potential of an entire day

Re-upped.

Sweet redemption

In its mind blowing everything-changing way

Prodigiously entered the room and

Effortlessly swept away the (now) silly-small vice.

In its wake an entire room’s climate and

all the relationships in proximity to it

Were enabled to shift and turn to a better way.

All ’cause in a solitary moment

One soul turned to the light

Instead of bowing to the dark.

The ripple effect

Enabled us upright and

Drew us together

In light and in love.
Thank You.

The Dark Won’t Hold

  
  All these words have already been used –

I can only hope not used up

Looking back on all this time 

And all these mine-times

Is like looking painfully and unaware 

At someone else’s life

That’s not so bad, I guess;

A long aching road’s

Being replaced by snatches of sunlight

That stretch and change

And quietly brighten all these inner rooms

Simple unexpected joys burn away 

(What I thought were) too many shadows

The light dances

In all these unexpected ways

(But always yearned after)

And the dark can’t hold

Praise His Name

The dark won’t hold

Move

  

When? When’ll it get written ‘cept now?

When? When’ll it get planted and how?

‘Less someone like me cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get done, it’s just not.

‘Cept what happens when caring’s not in the equation

When my mind is so full but so dull

What happens when I’m paralyzed with my self

And I just can’t distinguish my call?

What happens when my brain’s so full of turmoil?

(I’ve been stewing, despondent and down)

Feeling a victim all over the place

Smiles are scarce ’round this face: s’mostly frowns.

See nothing gets done – I just stop and I stare –

Then obsess more with all that’s not done

I am weak, Lord, You know it, wish I had more of a scapegoat

But my self is at fault – I’m the one

That is faulty and sinful and wretched and dumb

Full of Amy and all of her woes

I forget – least don’t act like – all Your goodness is here

That I could myself on Jesus throw

I’m sorry, I am, I’m so sorry ’bout these:

These leanings towards over and whelm 

I don’t know what the cause is, the source or the problem

That threatens my place at the helm

‘Cause it’s that: it’s that feeling that I’m not in control 

Of my destiny, life, or e’en hope

And it leaves me despondent (yes I know it’s redundant)

And I wonder how better to cope

I can’t figure it out (it’s only been 40 years)

So maybe the answer’s not there

Maybe the answer’s in just looking up

To the One Who assures me He’s here

See “what would Jesus do” is slightly off base

It’s “what’s Jesus doing” that’s now

It’s a matter of aligning myself with His Self

(And relaxing these lines on my brow)

I can trust Him (we can!) we can trust Him always

And forever to do what is best

I can trust that my angst, and my self, and these pains

Can be completely shored up in His rest

It’s not a naive sort of trust that I mean

Rather it’s hard and a battle for sure

But it’s all not for naught – there is good purpose here

Makes us loving, gentle, right, and pure

In order to separate the good from the dross

Some fire’s required: heat and light

The yuck must be skimmed from this soul that is His

That His presence is all that’s in sight

See there’s too much of me too much world and distraction

That it muddles one’s right view of Him

So these troubles I feel – though they seem very real –

Must be brought more to Him so to dim

So now on to remember – Lord, help me do better –

Remember Your presence always

Remember what You’ve done, are doing, begun

Fixed-on-Jesus-eyes are what must stay

Thank You, Father, for even now I realize

That You’re helping me this very minute

To remember Your goodness, faithful, gentle leading

Redeeming all that is amiss

That’s the God that You Are, the One who rights all the wrongs

Who brings healing and light to dark places

Turns all things inside out, turns all things upside down

Transforms shame into beautiful spaces

Thank You for help, and thank You for love

And thank You for helping to love

And thanks for redemption, freedom, and reminding

Me blessedly towards You to move.