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.


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.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 23 – May 27, 2013

dusk on highway 58

Wild, Free

Samantha W. C. Ray

(a poem inspired by highway 58)

In the dusk

the world is lit

in an inconceivable hue.

it is magic

enveloping us in it

we drive into it and


to the winds of the roads.

tobacco and corn fields

silhouettes of forest lines

and a sky

so monstrously wide

electric with colors

a spectrum impossible for my hungry eyes.

i am like a child.

a promise, a pulsing

pumping in the scene

streaming past my window

frames of cinematic look-alikes

but I am real, he is real,

and this is real

but only for the coyly passing hour

of twilight.

there is nothing but speeding air between it and me

this world and my world

rushing, cool spring air.

i tilt my head back and draw deeply

of the smell of wet earth

sweet and dark

full of green


setting sun

and cropland.

fields as old as generations

knowing wars & men’s blood,

yielding bread of life

as it is told

by the hand and mouth of God.

I smell Him.

I wash my hair in the wet of the wind

letting it tangle and whip

and my skin, dampen and bathe

until supple in duskened, living air.

I will smell like it.

not clean

but part of this wild earth

this wild world

clearly some enchanted corner

of God’s imagination.