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Thursday, November 22, 2012

the body

in the conflict between head and heart
the head has an ally the heart does not.


if i command my heart to cease its beat
it beats more loudly yet
and if i bid it search itself
most likely, it will proudly set its feet
and, standing fast, boast no regrets...
...and even if it searches,
what truth it finds, it soon forgets

if i beseech my heart, "receive the Word--
and be of heav'n reborn!"
the honorific capital:
ignored, or even scorned, it goes unheard
meanwhile the heart maintains its throne...
...and even it it listened,
would e'er remain a heart of stone

however

if i stretch out my hand, and strike a key
or burn the open book
if fingers grasp the turning wheel,
my heart must yield its pen, its house of leaves
it must give back the prize it took...
...the rudder to my vessel,
the tongue: the charge my mind forsook

if i take steps away from what i crave,
my heart bows to my mind
it could not bear the solitude.
no matter whether master, peer, or slave,
it starves and dies, if left behind...
...so, closely they must travel:
the two that God has intertwined


in the conflict between head and heart
the mind has an ally the heart does not.
it cannot be directed easily
but once it moves, the heart does too...

...eventually.

Monday, November 19, 2012

eisegesis

i really wanted to make a wordplay out of "isaiah" and "eisegesis" (isagesis) but the pronunciation just didn't feel intuitive, and most people don't know the second word anyway. what has the world come to?


i don't think the artist meant it this way originally, but i need this right now, so i'm taking it.

this post's point is not complicated: my kingdom needs to end, in order to flourish. almost no king rules forever, and i have long believed that the best earthly rulers are those who submit to a higher rule. these are also the rulers who rule longest... as they should.

i suppose this post is really just a post-script to the one previous. that's been happening quite a bit lately (in other necks of the isaian woods). that's what comes of not letting things brew long enough. just another area where i need to learn to live in the middle of the spectrum: between impulsivity (it's a word now; anything i say that isn't a word, becomes a word) and caution.

actually, i guess this post and its parent script (scroll down) are not just about abdication and unfitness to rule. they are also about good things coming to an end. every kingdom-- not just every bad kingdom-- comes to an end.

if i can remember this, and act upon it, perhaps my metaphorical subjects will flourish.

~     ~     ~

and the birds still sing outside
these windows where we sat together
like nothing ever happened here
the white house on the hill black clouds of weather

and the church spire over the river
she still sits there warm in the evening glow
but you don't care about these scenes i treasure
about these west winds-- i know, i know
seems everything around here
stays like stone
seems it's about time darling
we let all this go

mmm and everything must start again anew
'cause everything just goes that way my friend
and every king knows it to be true
that every kingdom must one day come to an end

and the sun, she may be long gone
lost to these memories we found
but she'll be here when it's all done
when our bodies are lain beneath the ground

seems that everything that goes around
comes, comes around here
seems that everything that stays
somehow gets me down again

Sunday, November 18, 2012

see me for who i really am.

i get to decide these things. me. i am the one who decides.

people, God, and chance determine my circumstances and offer me choices. i am the one who chooses.

and this is what i have decided: i have decided to be a grown-up. i have decided to stop whining. i have decided i will continue cussing in my free time / alone time, but now the language will be followed by action. i have decided not to complain about something i can change without also doing something about it, or at least making a reasonable and time-stamped plan to do something about it.

i have decided to take responsibility for my perfectionist, idealist attitude, in such a way as to take control over it. i have decided not to use complications as excuses to delay responses. (it is okay to wait and plan carefully; it is not okay to stall in hopes that things will get better on their own.) i have decided to move toward goals and away from selfish desires. i have decided to throw off the things that hinder me, and press on.

i have decided to funnel my less helpful thoughts and energies out into e-space, where they cannot hurt me or others.

i have decided to discipline myself a little bit. and the thing about that is, i used to think discipline had to be an established routine, but i think maybe i don't simply lack discipline. i think i might actually have specific strongholds of laziness and over-indulgence which require more... stringent methods. i think i might have areas in my life that require...... not gradual grass-roots change, but violent revolution.

i think i need to self-impeach. i think i need to give back the eyes i borrowed, so that i can

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

for all who are thirsty

"I don't think anyone will ever be in love with me. It's not that I'm down on myself or that I'm pessimistic. I see myself as a realist. And I truly, really believe that not one person will ever fall in love with me.. Ever."

before i vent, i need you to know that my first reaction to this was, "me too." it's not my intention to invalidate or attack your feelings. i know how this feels... seriously. and i know how it thinks as well. please believe me. i know what it is to be parched; i know it perhaps better than others, because i was for a short time quenched, and that part of my life is now a sharply contrasted & painfully hollow space in me.

but here's the thing: if the kind of falling in love you're talking about is the kind that transcends mere attraction... if it's the kind that looks at your flaws and somehow sees them as part of your beauty... if it's the kind that considers ever-increasing and totally unhindered closeness with you to be the best earthly experience it could ask for... if it's the kind that desires emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy with you so much that it can't contain itself... if it's the kind that takes joy in being gracious and kind toward you when you eff things up... if it's the kind that can't be dissuaded despite all of your arguments against yourself...

...if that's the kind of falling in love that you believe you'll never receive, then i call bullshit.

someday, if you make wise decisions, you will befriend someone who desires to truly and deeply know you... someone who can see you for who you really are, even better than you can. right now you look at yourself through the murky lens of despair and fear and harsh critique; but he will look at you and see the most intriguing and complex created beauty that he has ever encountered. and he will find no greater happiness than the happiness he experiences with you nearby. he will consider your love worthy of every effort he could make to inspire it, and more. and he'll be willing to spend his whole life proving that to you. more and more every day, as you treat each other with genuine care, he will satisfy you immeasurably.

it's true that there are obstacles, and that there always will be. you will struggle against your own internal demons/dragons; you'll be hit with tragic life circumstances that make you angry and discouraged. he'll make mistakes that hurt you. but none of that makes any of what i'm saying less true. to your future spouse, you are worth his whole world. don't argue with him!

please do not predestine yourself for that which opposes your design. you are designed to receive these things: affection, trust, admiration, loyalty, and fierce desire. if they arrive in the form of someone Godly whose character, personality, and appearance please you, then please don't turn them down. if it is right, then please accept the love offered to you when it arrives.

i will celebrate with you when this happens. (i will also be immature and say "i told you so" but i think you will forgive me.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

this is how i feel about You

Lord, Christ, Spirit

i am undone yet again. You have done this, not only because of Who You are, but also at my very specific request; therefore, i believe in its rightness and am certain of its gradual success.


however: i am uncertain how others will be affected. i know that my failures disappoint others, and that much of the good i could have done is lost; but i am desperate for You to close the gaps where i have burned bridges. i must believe simultaneously that my actions matter, and also that my failures do not have to thwart Your purposes.

i have prayed as well that You would continue to accomplish much good in those for whom i've cared. i will continue to ask for that, because that's all i can do for now.

but i have another request: one that i believe You would enjoy granting. i want You to use me again, as much and even more than in the past. and i want an opportunity to be used to help those same people who are now noticing my [necessary and helpful?] absence. i don't want to be crippled by the events of this dark chapter; i don't want a drop of poison to remain in my cup. i want to share the cup with those whom i love. i want the people who are already around me to receive blessings from You through me.

it isn't about me being popular or uplifted. i would work invisibly and inaudibly if that were just as effective (though i would certainly miss the encouragement that comes from gratitude and recognition). but the truth is, even though my motivations are human and therefore flawed and impure, that at the core of me, my desire is first for Your work in me for Your sake, and for theirs... not for mine.

so, please hire me? my resume rightly describes me as unqualified, perhaps disqualified... but i have heard that You can wipe slates clean, that You are the master renovator, that You take what the world considers worthless and broken, and cause it to radiate Your love in a way that makes hearts tremble with awe and thankfulness. 

i have heard that a word from You brings the proud to their knees... but that it can also give wings to the lowly. i am surely the lowliest. i ask for wings.

i ask for Your help, that i might consistently please You with my actions. i ask for You to inhabit me, to burn fiercely in me, to sing wildly through me. i ask You to implant in me the word, which has the power to save souls. i ask You not only to convict me when i stray, but to speed my journey on the right path. i ask You to teach me something i don't yet know, that i can use to further Your plans.

i don't want to excuse my complacency by calling it a crisis of faith. i don't want to let my doubts hinder me. i don't want my questions to be answered in a quiet room, as i sit and ponder and journal; i want to wrench the answers free from life's grip on my way to Your finish line. i don't want to simply get by anymore. i don't want to coast. i understand i have the wheel, and You won't drive for me; but i am moving my feet aside to make room for Yours, and i want You to floor it and peel out.



i do not yet believe any of these requests will be granted, because i am still blinded by the ragged and bloody veil before me (all that remains of my worldly garments). but i want to. and i need You to tell me that it is possible.

i need to know that You still want me. without that i would surely drown, and willingly. i will have either Your embrace or that of death. i can't live without You.

please still want me. please don't give up on me... please save me by filling me. please rescue me from this weight that threatens to break me. please let me be Yours, forever; please let me return when i have tired of following some other master. please do not turn away. please grant the audience i request, and please call persistently to me when i am in rebellion.

not all of me pursues You, but the part that does is weeping and mourning because You have humbled me. please invest in me again, even more than before. please cause the implanted word to grow to full strength and beauty in me.

please let that tree bear fruit, that i and others may be nourished by it.

i ask these things with my face in the dirt, and though i constantly doubt, i still choose to place my trust in You.

generous Father, please grant me wisdom that changes my course and propels me forward.
Son of God, please teach me your way of life.
Spirit, please indwell me and direct my thoughts and shape my heart.

thank You for hearing my cries

amen

Friday, November 02, 2012

note to shelf

so it turns out that the reason i couldn't understand why anyone would drink alcoholic beverages for the alcohol, was that i only drank when i was already in a good mood.