pull, rally (pregnancy #1)

for a while there

with a pain in my chest

two lines on test

i knew a you was there.

 

i was full once

alive with another life

and my blood pulled and rallied

i wondered in my heart.

 

you do not let us dream

so heart-fully in vain.

there is a place in your room

where blood pulls and rallies

for things such as these.

 

breaking so deep

makes us stronger

and softer

all at once.

Advertisements

House & Home – The Two sided Christmas Tree

I have this thing, this THING for short fat Christmas trees.

It’s a combination of my love for their shape and because I know what my house needs in a tree (and well, maybe I do like them fat and full round the bottom because, well, I can relate!)  We live in a two-bedroom apartment, standard 9-foot speckled ceilings, decorated with love and care for its limited space.  I am happy to have to have less in a world that is always seeking to make you believe you need more.

And sure enough, our short, fat tree looks tall and full in our home.  With lights and glass globes and trinkets hanging beautifully from her limbs, a red burlap skirt surrounding the bottom and a large red and white gingham ribbon bow tied with many loops at the top.

So much of my “taste” or my “style statements” are just sentiments.  In this case, the fact that I did not want to make a huge deal about (or spend much on) finding a tree-topper or skirt, but that I did want to make it special and taken care of for my John.  Last Christmas was our first Christmas being married, with a tight budget and next to no collected Christmas decorations between us.  While my mom’s friend from work made the topper (with matching ribbon-loops to carry throughout the tree), my mom found and purchased the matching Christmas-red burlap to drape as the skirt.  They did it as a surprise and all of a sudden, that was crossed off of my list.  And i loved it!  I will almost always choose a story and a sentiment – others’ care for us – over a perception or opinion of beauty, perfection, or desirability.  That is a precious way to decorate a home, and our house is largely built on them.  Stories, sentiments, even if they are not worth much in the eyes of others.

I look at the tree and I see crocheted snowflakes from my late grandmother, about 7 or 8 of them hanging from the branches, which were given to me by my mother.  And I see my mother’s own gifts, globes that were selected just for John and I, with music notes, piano keys, my college mascot, or even our names carefully Sharpied in along with our wedding date.  Throw in some classic childhood wonders (the set of porcelain baby shoes with the year I was born, a tin can lid hammered in to make the shape of a bear (?), or Michael Jordan himself) and we have our beautiful, precious, room-for-us-as-we-grow Christmas tree.

he reads

my husband reads to me

at night when the house is falling asleep

and his voice is steady and deep

i cannot describe a heavier peace.

he reads about the miraculous

taking grand risks

going on unthinkable adventures wherein

you lose your life to find it.

i have never been so afraid of this

yet it resonates in long, solid notes

with the bold and bright belief of my youth

which feels encased in corridors

in noble glass displays

whispering of the glory days when

i believed without an alternate scenario

playing in my head.

when he reads, and i must listen

and the scared side of me is confronted

with the faith that was authored strong on my behalf

and cannot be undone

i feel i must, without thinking of it much

take up the ax and sword and fist

and crash the glass into bits

spilling on the floor

because faith trumps fear every time.

i forgot the music

i forgot the music

when pulsing under skin and brain currents

there is humming and echoed recallings of words

sung in gentle harmony 

atop a bed of strings playing together.

i forgot what it was like to work with a song

to have life accompanied.

there are many wonders

many aches, many mysteries which can only be touched

in song, and nothing else.

 

ask the bluebird.

tiny me

take a long sip of hot tea.

pause….

and swallow,  closing eyes.

respite for the heart can take many forms.

this morning it is a polka-dotted pencil skirt, acceptance of things i can’t do anything about, and vanilla rooibos.

prayer sometimes looks passive.  to the foolish it looks like laying down your arms and heading straight out of the battle in fear, cowering in the caves to “pray.”

this is how heaven sees prayer:  tiny david taking the stone and sling in confidence.  that investment in the smallest cool stone matched with surrender and full knowledge of Father’s power SLAYS THE MOST FEARED ENEMIES.

it is the tiny boy saying in response to the hungry thousands, “Well, I have this lunch my mom packed me.  Jesus, you can take my lunch!”  huffs and sarcastic chuckles may have come from those few who witnessed the very normal-looking transaction and did not know the potential of small things surrendered and matched with Jesus’ power.

do not fear seeming normal.  do not fear seeming small and even insignificant to this world.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

it is our great privilege and our great sword to take our tiny things and offer them in prayer.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven!

birthday weekends & that time in the mountains

we did not take advantage of tax-free weekend.

which probably would have been a grand idea, since we’ve been in the market for a one-for-all, all purpose high-speed laptop for the both of us.  Mission Consolidation.  One machine for music-recording, photo-editing, and most things creative for us to overflow into.

invest in your dreams.  give, and then invest in what you love.  we deserve to believe in ourselves.  we deserve to not compare that to anyone else.  [and we deserve to not let missing the tax-free extravaganza thwart us on investing in the tools that will help our trade!]

i made john drop buscuits, our favorite bacon, and a pancake cake for his birthday morning.  i am a diehard lover of birthdays.  everyone needs a day to be celebrated and encouraged.  we spent the day traveling north to a little town where we got married, and played on the lake with our family.  Carolina is lush green this time of year, and when you travel north you get to see it all.  Creeks and trees drooping from the weight of their full life, their full fruit, happy to be entrusting us with their shade.

we will be traveling most of the coming weekends in august.  twice to the mountains.  i cannot wait.  the mornings here have been whispering of a coming cooler season, thinner air, brisk against your skin.  the Carolina mountains get to experience that change expedited, and i always get jealous come august, when the Piedmont is still melting in her damp slow-cooker.

i remember one autumn in the mountains – it was just for a visit in September.  we rented a cabin up up up a tiny road, a speck on a map of nowhere.  on our last day, we decided to take a back road into town, instead of going backwards towards the highway.  we went winding, exploring down gravel roads folded in fog and secrets.  we passed little wooden houses and single-wides minding their own business, living as part of the scene like a tree or a creek, standing happy on rich soil and land that is their own.  who knows how long they’ve been there, unnoticed and un-bothered except for the occasional car making its way to town the back way.

in the world away

in the world away in my mind

i am careless, even delectably indolent

i walk down the summer street with my head high and free

hair dancing in the breeze of my going

my long steps

one foot opposite pendulum other foot

strolling in musical ritardando.

i tide and sway in rebellion

all of the troublesome things are just

advertisements i am ignoring

small whispers like gnats i can simply

brush away

with the back of my hand

and continue on my way.

 

small, quiet

In the wake of a high and bright Independence Day vacation, the week that followed was long and barren, covered in a misleading thunder cloud.  Day after day, there it was, beautiful and threatening without the fulfillment of a silencing, engulfing storm.  I wanted my breath to be taken away, I wanted to look out and be scared, to be in fear.  Instead I just felt taunted, like the sky knew my feelings and wanted to mirror them back to me, jeering “Look at what’s in you!” Monday through Saturday.  Not one day or hour of sunlight in between.

Every corner I turn in myself, I am faced with a familiar band of misfits –  Comparison, Jealousy, Self-consciousness, and Proving.  Right next to me, walking beside me, is Peace.  What I really get exhausted by is having to constantly make decisions about my thinking, my feelings, and my behavior.  I cannot be trusted to auto-pilot walking around the labyrinths of my heart, the gardens of the day to day in me.  I am in constant need.

Do you think, over time, that I can fully surrender to being piloted by someone other than myself?

My eyes and ears always covered, and hands guiding me wherever I go, gently pulling me along, would I find joy in knowing the extent of my need with every step and turn, because of my complete dependence on Peace?  It is choosing to be stupid to surroundings.  Choosing to be blind and deaf and unknowing of the next steps and turns.  It is completely opposite of what I almost narcissistically prefer.  Control.  I hate not knowing my bearings.  I hate not understanding where I am and making decisions for myself.

One option is exhausting and scary, and one is just scary.  But probably, eventually, miraculously, my not having eyes or ears will become having those of a different kind.

On Saturday the same storm cloud was present, and finally, it rained.  I sat like a little girl, hands crossed over my chest, sitting criss-cross applesauce on the couch, desperate to hold on to my sour attitude.

On Sunday, I walked into church, wet hair, leftover anger (what I have dubbed the “angover”), and I surrendered to Peace.  Melting, letting go, putting things in their place (ie: not with me) felt like a hot, steaming shower in the dead of winter.  I love my little white flag.  It makes my life a monument to something other than myself.