Saturday, October 26, 2013

why forgiveness is necessary




Every pain,
every hurt:
a tie from limb
to earth.
Where the heart is,
there the roots
quick plant.
I am stuck until
the gardener's gracious hand
appears.

What's this?
My choice?
Oh, use those scissors wisely,
snip now the things that
tie me
limb to earth.






©afterthoughtcomposer
photo credit:
emyah (via pinterestall rights reserved

Friday, October 25, 2013

why forgiveness hurts

If I'm not listening to music, I feel like my heart won't beat. Not now, at least. There's too much muddling the signal - I'm afraid the organ will fail. Forgiveness hurts because to do it, to do it well, you have to unplug the stereo, hope you'll survive without the aid of another rhythm.

Forgiveness is not addition, it's removal. You take that shaking thing out of your chest, that heaving pile of hurt, and you leave it out on the cutting block. You can have this. You might cut me again and again, but I can't hold on to this any more. Forgiveness hurts because some will relish in the opportunity to cut you every time you sew the wound.

If I'm not rushing around with my hands full, I feel like I'll drop everything. It's too much to carry, but I try anyway. Targets hold still, so I run. Forgiveness hurts, because if I'm not running, I can't breathe.


I do stop, place hands upon the counter, and unplug the music from time to time. I wonder when good will win. Pause to consider how long it will take for the bad to be called to account. Set off again, knowing the Lord hates pride and loves to break it; he'd probably call my account first. Forgiveness hurts, because the boundaryless refuse to give it (but oh, how they take it for themselves).


Forgiveness hurts, because it isn't justice.






photo source: unknown. Found on pinterest.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

work and results

 
When I get lost in my search for the fruits of my labour, and get depressed as a result,
I stop and focus instead on the labour – because if I love what I do, the results won’t matter.
And if I don’t know myself before my work I will know myself a little better because of it.

 

when the night comes, be afraid of me
Manuel Rebollo

Thursday, October 17, 2013

every bad day has a little bit of sunshine


I've made a huge mistake. In my attempt to surprise boyfriend with my super awesome ability to get things that are otherwise unavailable (it happens, sometimes), I scoured craigslist and picked what I thought was the best ad: Pearl Jam Tickets - FLOOR! It's a sold out show, and boyfriend really wants to go, so I write my email with urgency. He was asking face value, mentioned family issues as his reason for missing the show, and his love of the band...so of course he's legit, right? I sent him money via the interwebs and have watched him wisp away into oblivion as the money left my account and I realized, hey, I'm not actually getting any tickets out of this, am I. I am angry, at myself. I am upset that some people choose to live off of stolen money, while honest people work for it.

I am being very, very diplomatic in that paragraph (one day you can ask Jesus about all the thoughts I've had today and what happened to me as a result, and he will shake his head in disappointment and point to the fiery depths of hell).

The day has to get better, right?

Maybe I'll walk across the street and buy a big ol' box of halloween candy. "For the kids." I tell myself, knowing full well I don't mean it. I look both ways before I cross. Seeing only one vehicle -- a van that needed to drive half a block, come to a stop sign, stop, and then drive another half block to reach me, on a street with a speed limit of 50 k -- I had plenty of time. I step off the curb. I hear an engine revving. I see the van has blown right through the stop sign and is speeding up toward me. I run, they slow. They smile. Like threatening death is funny.

I made it to the candy, and back to work, rattled by all the bad. Sad that the highlight of today is a packet (ahem...multiple packets) of sugary treats.

And then, about 6 mini treats in (that's an estimated number), I get a message from my mom: "Here are the illustrations I've been working on!" For my silly little children's book. My mom is drawing the pictures for me. I get a little teary, and I bend a thankful knee: the illustrations are beautiful. They're exactly what I've imagined since I was a tiny human. When we finish, and we print it, I'll let you see them. Until then, I'm keeping them to myself. Today's no-good-very-bad-day-remedy, a childhood dream complete. My mom is drawing for me. You can take my money, but you can't take that.

mama and me



Friday, October 11, 2013

the third side





I hope when heaven comes,
if it does,
that our answers
(if heaven lowers itself as such)
are explanations
of that great mystery,
for every situation in which I've been,
of what they say there is to every story:

the third side



©afterthoughtcomposer
darling photo credit: unknown

Thursday, October 10, 2013

fta: letting go


What life takes: patience though the nerves are shaking, hope when the horizon's breaking, and calm eyes to see that all the quakes are merely acts of Creation. Though it might be easier to cling to the edge of a world you've known until yesterday, this morning requires something New, something braver, so let your fingers loose. Better holds are coming for your hands.


i'm letting go
another dream; all dreamed up big and planned
all wrapped up, another plan
one more wind through minding my own
and then
the letting go.

one more plan; full planned up and now gone
all gone now; one more dream
one more stumbling trip through mud thick
and then
the letting go.

dreaming still; this mind ceases to reprieve
all wrapped up; another dream
one more ache to peace to freedom journey
and then
the letting go.

©afterthoughtcomposer

photo credits: elpanteranera

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

step

Early in the morning, my thoughts remind me: I'm not cut out for this. Elastics fall into the sink, you reach for them, and hand them to the woman Who Woke You. "I know it's early, sweetie," I say, with one eye on the clock. Mornings are hard enough, impatient hands don't help, and I force my body to match your pace for a moment; you, who have a hard time waking up, who took fifteen minutes to put on pants, four minutes to put on socks, and eight minutes to pick a sweater. After awhile the clock shows new numbers. I don't want to be late, and I want you to be on time, so I ask your feet to move a little faster. They move a little faster.

It's been a hard few days for you and I. These challenging ones are what I've come to call my "Vow Days." I vow to be up early and ready first in the morning, so you can have all of my attention when you get out of bed; whether or not I've had coffee or time to think. I vow to give up my much-to-do list so we can play. I promise I will keep my buttons on full display, even though your current need is to push them. And I'll bury it when you tell me you wish I did this-or-that more like your mommy.

I'll learn you, and we'll learn this thing we have; this thing that's not quite mother-daughter, not quite peer or friend. I'm an authority who's job it is to come alongside...but I'm still figuring out who you are; I don't know how this works, or when it won't. We don't have blood ties, but I love you like we do, and you say that sometimes, too, so I tell myself we don't need blood to be a family.

I'm not cut out for the hard days, but I take them anyway, with gratitude. I know what they produce and who they're for (you). You deserve someone who'll figure out this step-thing.




photo credit

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What it means to turn thirty

Thirty. The number became me recently, or perhaps I became the number (I like to think it's both). It's a year mark I'd been waiting for since I was seventeen. Thirty is hip, thirty is cool, or swag, or whatever it is the kids are calling 'it' these days. Thirty is calling twenty-somethings 'kids.'

Good is as follows: I am exactly where I'm meant to be. Whether its because I'm thirty, or life's events just happen to coincide, is anyone's guess. But I'm happy, and self assured, and in a good spot, and there's not much more I could ask for at the beginning of a decade.

At current, I sit surrounded, by boxes half-unpacked. I moved, and it's been all encompassing in every good way. There's much to be done here, so much work to do. Plans upon plans sit heavy, on eldest intentions. Thirty is giving up the right to perfection and getting shit done anyway. Thirty is saying 'shit' even though I know some will be disappointed to learn I'm part sailor.

I've looked back a lot. I still intend, and don't think I could escape my need, to process life in afterthoughts. But I'm feeling less hesitant, less afraid of going forward heart open. I am meant to write about the grit, am feeling pushed toward the un-diplomatic. Life is not fair and tidy, or neat and holiness-seen. Work isn't always fun, energizing, or safe to complete. I am ok with this, which is very un-me, though perhaps this is thirty.

Maybe it all started when I ate celery for the kid. I hate celery, but had to prove eating a vegetable I hated wouldn't kill me. I chewed that stringy taste-of-bad-breath and swallowed it bravely. See? No death, though it wasn't pleasant. Work is like this, life is too. Pleasantries are lovely, but pleasantries don't put food on the table. Things only grow when we get in the soil and dig around, dirty our hands, bruise our fists, and scrape our knuckles on the seed. There are a million ways I've gotten past my blood's need for perfect conditions.  Only one of them was celery. Only one of them was thirty.

I am afraid of writing terribly and putting it out there for others to read. I am afraid of what people will think when they see me, peeking out the front or back end of an attempt. I am afraid I won't survive the criticism. But, though these insecurities dangle loosely, clang around my rib cage, poke my heart's holes on occasion, they are withered by the biggest fear of all, and the reason I'll never stop working: my life will not be wasted. I am meant to say things on a page. I'm going to live life, and write about it.




photo credits