Tuesday, October 21, 2014

breaths and sighing

It is quite possible to go through life with ease.
Put simply: shut your heart off.
Detatch. Ignore. Run swiftly, strongly, to elusive horizons.
Grow wings. Fly away.

I've tried so hard to resist the tumult and as it turns out, it's irresistible. It's impossible to ignore. It creeps up and snatches the best and slaps you in the face and shakes you by the shoulders and says HEY, LIFE IS DIFFICULT. As a response, finally, I let go of my grip on the situation. I took that cliff dive and landed on what felt like rocks. I spoke truth into my heart when I couldn't hear it from anyone else, and I clung to my lifeline instead.

Peace is a funny thing. Like Grace, it shows up at the oddest moments. When I expected most to experience emotional demise, I was enveloped instead by a strange calm. Perhaps it was passivity, masquerading as peace, but it felt releasing nonetheless. You see, I think I've finally given up. Maybe I've settled on hope without fruition and work without pause.

There was a day quite some time ago, I took a walk in the Farmer's fields, along the dusted road and outward skirts of golden yellow. There, waiting for me, with my name on it, was a satchel. Rough fabric, loosely tied; full of seeds. Instinctively, I knew what each one was for. Though there were thousands of these tiny presents, my soul labelled each one with a specific purpose. Sow these, came a voice. Sow these.

So I did. I came back home from my walk, feeling quite hemmed in. My hands and heart were fresh and ready to plant. I'd been given a purpose, you see. When I looked, soil.

Sadly, some dirt isn't ready to be planted, and sometimes there are snakes in the garden. Many of those seeds, God-breathed, have dried up where I left them. Someone else stayed the water away from them so they'd die, and they died. My callouses are all for seeming naught.

I took another walk since then, and posted a sign where I first found promise. In that Farmer's field, a marker: these seeds didn't work.

A hand, then, pulling mine back open. Another satchel. Rough fabric, loosely tied, and full of seeds. As it turns out, there's more to be done.

song of the moment: up we go, by Lights.
stunning photography by journeyseye

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

what it feels like to forgive

Terrible, if we're honest. Before it's done, most certainly, and oft' times during. Awful. Not-human. Against the instincts. But, as it turns out, it's necessary - like birth, perhaps. It's a string-cut. Forgiveness is a dark-blind, hand-tied cliff jump into brilliant abyss and cool water. Forgiveness is an outside force that moves in when we let it. Though it is for others, it is for me; to be released, to experience freedom, to be healed. Healing requires pain, or do you really think that freefall and smack into water (no matter how cool) will feel good on the open wounds? No no. It's terrible. It's awful. It splits you up, into pieces sometimes. But it's necessary. And once that water sews you, keeps you liquid, quenches your thirst for righteousness - though there's been no righteous act but the one you've just agreed to -  the pain begins to subside. Slowly, of course; water takes its time to run deep. But, go away it does, in chunks, day by day, bit by conversational bit. Nothing outside has changed at all, but my heart has joined up with itself again, stretched & breathed after a long nap, re-appeared from it's hibernative state. My cheeks have color and food has appeal. Baby-steps have regained my admiration. Here we go, again.

ARTWORK: Obsolete World. "Flight of the Recently Departed." Sourced HERE.

Friday, October 3, 2014

step-mothering and sacrifice: a post I wasn't expecting so soon.

Is it any wonder that birth requires unspeakable pain? It's meant to be. It's inevitable. Some die from the experience, and yet we do it. We look at new life and think, I want that, no matter the cost.

Don't kid yourself. Step-mothering requires it's own special kind of birthing pains. You carry a child in your heart who will fall her loyalty elsewhere. No matter how many times her mother calls her fat. It doesn't matter that you would never do that. She will love that woman. She will prefer that woman. That woman will snake herself in and make sure the child knows veto power, manipulative gestures that undermine love. I'm not sure what you've been told, but love isn't enough. Not when it comes to being a stepmother.

You must choose grace and silence, even when your tongue is bleeding from the chew. You must choose a humble bow when your character is thwarted. You must open your gates to the one who will seed her bitterness into your living room. When the little one, for whom you would die, cuts your heart with the betrayal of her birthright, you must remember: this is all acceptable. You did not become a stepmother to make yourself a replacement. You are, instead, a renewal and a support.

She may never love me like I love her. I took her on not because she is my own, but because I vowed to love her like she is. This means I don't tear down her character, even though I know now that she is hearing, on the off-weeks, how to tear down mine. This means I don't twist her words, though she is learning by wrote to twist mine. This means I will stand firmly with my husband, rattle the gates with him, until she hears the truth, sees who she is, stands on her own. No matter how many times I die in the process. Because none of this, none of this, is her fault.

Dear daughter, 
May you one day recognize that we don't tear you down
or tell you to diet
or remove your loyalty by force
or take advantage of your good heart
or get jealous of your loveliness.
We love you.

Enough with the counterfeit. Take our hands, darling. Let's fly through the debris together.