as the song goes: would you lie with me and just forget the world? (maybe this post is all over the place but it’s kay)

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMom and I traveled down to Athens this week to stay with my great aunt for a few days. She’s 84 and life isn’t really too kind to those whose age is a high number.

Three days, no wifi. Ooph, it was hard! My millennial self struggled. I can’t say I was missed but being online is a daily routine my habitual self didn’t know how to live without. I mean, obviously, I cheated a couple times! I went to a nearby coffee shop to check my social media and put in a couple job applications. Satisfying that compulsion to feel connected through the interwebs.

I discovered there are benefits to this disconnect though…

My great aunt, Irene, reminds me of my grandma. They’re sisters (after all), three years apart, both relatively short women who married tall men. They share a similar spunkiness, a tendency to keep their fridges full, and both very kind hearted. Their commonalities are strong, and sometimes I wonder if when I get older people will say the same for me and my sisters.

But, grandma passed away 10 years ago… and aunt Irene has been not a substitute but a nice reminder of her sister.

Anyways, yesterday, as aunt Irene woke up from her nap, I ended up getting in bed with her to snuggle. It was an action that ended up surprising us both. We enjoyed it a lot and each time I got up for a moment, she’d call for me to come back. We spent a good hour and half laying there as she shared stories about when she was my age, about her sister, and about her late husband, Harris.

It was so neat to feel the world drift away and hear her talk. She told me about Harris and how he wanted to marry her from the moment he set his eyes on her. She lost him over 20 years ago and her heart still aches for him.

Love is this wild thing that I don’t know much about it. At least, not the “in love” part. I know about loving people and I try very hard to love people well, even if I don’t always succeed. But lately, I’ve thought about love a lot and about loving someone deeply and losing that person… and then what’s left?

A heart that’s broken, lost, and confused?

How do you ever move forward

How do you let go

The Christian answer in my head is: God will heal those wounds. And the thing is, he does… sure, but sometimes, I don’t think the whole pain ever leaves. Not really. It’s a thorn that remains in your heart, right? Or so it feels. A thorn that stabs you every day, even if its hollow and faint.

I just don’t think such a pain can ever truly, completely stop.

Perhaps because hearts are made to break. They are fragile and marked by their ability to feel – everything. So, sometimes, when they are shattered… those pieces can only attempt to recreate what they once were. It’s like when you break your ribs, right? Those bones can never heal as they were before but mend within their brokenness. They will create something new of which you are forever reminded that they were once deformed and now changed.

I don’t know, loving is hard but as I laid there listening to my aunt tell me story after story and share her hurt, here’s one thing I know: I’d lay on a damn bed any day with a person I care for and love, just to spend a few moments forgetting about the world.

Maybe that’s selfish, but maybe it’s not… Yet, maybe it’s just savoring those quiet moments that tend to be far and wide apart.

excerpt from sarah bessey’s book: jesus feminist

“Lean into the pain.
Stay there in the questions, in the doubts, in the wonderings and loneliness, the tension of living in the Now and the Not Yet of the Kingdom of God, your wounds and hurts and aches, until you are satisfied that Abba is there too. You will not find your answers by ingoring the cry of your heart or by living a life of intellectual and siritual dishonesty. Your fear will hold you back, your tension will increase, the pain will become intense, and it will be tempting to keep clinging tight to the old life; the cycle is true. So be gentle with yourself. Be gentle when you first release. Talk to people you trust. Pray. Lean into the pain. Stay there. And the release will come.”

you are good

in every season

when my heart breaks
when i can’t breathe because my chest feels tight
when the stars in the sky shine so bright
when the wind blows hard
when the rain pours down
when the storm is strong and i’m afraid i’ll get lost in the night
when the whispers of a man’s promise are broken
when i’m drowning in my own sorrow
when tomorrow seems so far away
when i say goodbye
when i won’t ever say hello to you again
when life doesn’t go as planned
when people steal, cheat, and lie
when people die
when people leave
when people break my heart
when people love me
when people hug me
when people remind me you are good
when the wait seems too long and too hard and too far away
when tears fill my eyes
when i lay awake at night and my thoughts flood my mind
when i’m happy
when i’m sad
when the sun shines through my window blinds
when the morning birds sing
when the train shares its loud deep try
when i lose what i want to keep
when i don’t get what i want
when he looks at me but nothing changes
when i feel alone and lost
when hopelessness pinches at my heart
when my mind can’t figure out how to let go
when my heart doesn’t want to let go of him
when i write and try to find my voice
when i find my voice
when i lose my voice
when the past haunts my mind and scares my future
when i don’t know who i am
when i don’t know what i want
when i don’t know how to move on
when i don’t love you well
when i’m mean, hurtful, hateful to those i love
when i don’t love well
when others don’t love me well
when i’m judgemental
when my insecurities take over
when the darkness falls around me and i decide i want to stay in its shadow
when you pull me out
when tomorrow’s promise is everything begins again but it all still feels the same
when i wake up and decide to be good, kind, loving to myself
when i learn how to love well
when i find the peace that passes all understanding
when i realize life may not be about being happy

but about your goodness.

a thirst to know

In less than a day, I read a 525 page book.

I haven’t immersed myself in books for a while.  Lately, the pegging desire to read has grown stronger.  I like this feeling.  I think, I’ve always liked the burning sensation I feel when I’m lost in a book.  When I was younger, my family and I would travel often – going from state to state, church to church, house to house – luckily, reading in the car never made me sick.  I remember, the void I’d create between myself and everything around.  Each time I started a book, I lost the sense of reality and crossed a barrier into this new world.

To tell you the truth, this state of being reminds me of intoxication.  I’ve drunk alcohol a little too much (in this recent year) to know the feeling of intoxication.  Normally, I feel very relaxed and get extremely tired way too soon – also, I have a case of giggles.  Each time alcohol has dominated my body, I’ve felt my mind break into two understandings.  It’s like one of me sits backs and watches.  It sees everything happening and knows what I should and shouldn’t be doing, but doesn’t feel complied to act.  Meanwhile, the other me acts.

I feel this way when I read.  I feel my mind get lost in this story and is aware of my withdraw from the world around.  My mind knows it, sees it and feels it but willingly stays in this state of detachment.  The growing need to know the end of the story overrules everything else.  I simply don’t care if I’ll miss something happening around me.  Maybe this will be the last time I’ll see someone for a while.  Well, during my time lost in a book, I don’t care.  My greed only wants to know the end.

I give up one thing to have another.  Perhaps, this loss is different to my loss with intoxication, but somehow in my brain the two are similar.  In both cases, I am both the observer and the participant.

And so, as I came to the end of my reading, I realized the hunger rising in my stomach.  My greediness to know the end.  I’m five pages from the last words and I know, in my mind, I know this book will not end here.  I hope and expect the ending to satisfy me but as I read the end, I am not.  I want to wail because how can the second book of a trilogy bring any satisfaction, when the third book will probably still leave me unsatisfied?

Then as my heart slows and I understand (by remembering) this was all but a story, I relax.  Perhaps, I am unsatisfied because this world is unsatisfying.

Never mind, I decided – in awe – how beautiful, that one should write a story, another should find such undying delight in.

a night of fighting a battle for truth

My nights work in cycles.

Cycles of sleep.  Cycles of forced sleep.

Cycles when my eyes close and don’t open till morning.  Cycles when my eyes take many hours to finally close.  Cycles when my eyes close but then open in the middle of the night for two or three hours.  Cycles of closing and opening and opening and closing.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get up and eat something and then find sleep sweet again.

On nights when my eyes are open for hours – my mind spins.

And spins and spins and spins.

I can’t make it stop.  Thoughts linger like pestering reminders of what I haven’t allowed myself to think about during the day.  They creep in when night falls and doom me to a sleepless night.

Even if I’m not thinking of something, it’s still working.  Restlessly against me.  As a poison to an exposed wound.  Only difference, I can’t cut off part of my body to stop the poison from spreading.  At least, not always since the cut off can be quite painful.

It’s easier to let poison run than find a way to stop it.

Until the last-minute, until I’m desperate enough to finally grasp to the truth laying within my soul.

i go back to may 1937 by sharon olds

I want to write like this – so bad.

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

Sharon Olds is my favorite poet writer.  I love the way in which she writes.  The way her words flow – as if telling a story with mystery.  She does not shy away from taboo subjects nor lessens the language needed to be used.  She’s honest and brutal.  Maybe I can’t say for sure that she’s bold, but she seems bold.  I want my words to reflect things I am not ashamed to confess I have thought and written.

Her poetry has a sense of a story without outstanding confusing detail.  She chooses words wisely and allows them to move the reader.

I haven’t written poetry in a long time, but when I do so again, I want to copy her model.  I’ve always have.  Currently, thanks to my sister, I have one book of hers, but I think it’s  in the states.  One more book one day, would be lovely.  Maybe more.

She and Hemingway are my favorites.  I think I need more of those.