Being Here

What Gardener is it that fills his plot with weeds?
What Author is it that builds his stories on weak words?
What Potter cherishes the broken shards of his work?
What Shepherd chooses ailing lambs?

A scandalous love indeed.
A love for stories
And for songs;
A love that breaks curses,
Saves lives.
A love eternal.

I am learning to follow a leader who goes to dark places to make light.
I am learning to trust a physician who breaks bones to heal wounds.
I am learning to to obey a King who takes lives to save them.
I am learning to serve a master who’s unkindness is love.
I am learning to love a God who is good, but not safe.

I am learning as I run home
To Him.

Cynefin

Why is it that Mondays can never decide exactly what they want to be?

For instance: my morning started very unwillingly with a heavy-handed tap on the snooze button, my stomach upbraiding me  (probably for last night’s red curry), and several attempted excuses to justify skipping my run. However, logic, guilt (and habit) rolled me onto my feet and to the treadmill where I eked out an unhappy two miles, then into the first articles of clothing- slightly rumpled but otherwise clean- that came to hand. But somewhere between the scrambled eggs and the last-minute assignments (and in spite of a stunted attention span) the day has already improved vastly.

Perhaps it’s the earl-grey tea, Max Richter’s score from Testament of Youth, or the happy atmosphere of the Grind–the volume;s steady swells with the arrival of each smiling face. Maybe it’s the pride of completing work I enjoy, or merely completing anything. Then again it could be each of these, indelibly intermixed by the sunlight that comes slanting through the windows throwing shadows across the floor in some sort of elysian perfection whispering “Peace, be still.”

I’m perfectly cognisant of the fact that this could all dissolve again into the foul funk that initiated my day, but I’m also aware of the human capacity to remain content and joyful despite circumstantial temptations to do otherwise, as well as its power to change and control thought patterns.

Happy Monday, all.

Abditory

There are mornings when the stirring seems as hard as the rise, and there isn’t enough caffeine in the world to tempt any amount of “shine;” it’s so cold that the ink in your pen doesn’t run, but the words won’t come anyway. There are the mornings where you find you must lock yourself in the lav, sit on the floor, and pray for the grace to even start the day.

Conversations drag like weary feet that march their way to class; rooms full of potential negated by dissipated minds more inclined to sleep than to learn.

To sleep, perchance to dream.

But there is also a strange joy to be found in these mornings as well, when the strength to move, to think, to speak must be begged from its true source, and can only be attributed to above. When the “How long?”s are resolved by the bounty and its memory.

Learn to rest here, to eat the food of fiery trail, the bread of tired sorrow. Learn to find strength in the provided bounty of the Lord, and the many ways it is already apparent all around you.

Heliophilic

Heliophilia

The open window beside me is nothing but inviting.

The drifting smell of wet earth and the way the sunlight plays across the brick patio outside and here, across my table, reminds me of reasons to live. It’s easy to forget in the midst of winter’s darkness that life and light exist, and that they are worth fighting for; it’s easy to allow the overshadowing gloom to trick us into believing that it can extinguish our little candle flames.

But darkness is merely absence of light, and no matter how threatening it may seem, as long as that candle burns the darkness cannot completely overpower, cannot entirely win.

We are children of the light sent to dark places for the purpose of glimmering faintly, exiling the gloomy night however minutely with the single, eternal ember of the salvation we carry. We bear the symbol of hope in that dark world, and it is to this unconquerable light that the lost are inevitably drawn.

So shine on, dear ones, with the little lights you carry.
Shine and remember that the darkness cannot win, that somewhere there are still waters and sunshine, grassy slopes, fields of peace, and vaultless skies of perfect blue. And when the misty shades of night seem endless and bleak, hold fast to the hope that those fields are our home, and that eternity there will be so much sweeter, so much longer.

Shine on.

Scripturient

Stirring
A sense of turmoil in the gut,
A knotting of the heart,
And a sense that this too is
Beautiful.

A room,
A window,
A desk,
A chair,
A page,
A pen;
The world.

To write is
A paper cut,
Bleeding ink.

Kintsukuroi

I wish I could make you see that
Even in silence
You are a music
Lovely to hear.

May I apologise for my blindness?
For my failure to hear?
For the irrevocable redness of your (forever lidded) eyes?

For the ache I failed to fix.
For the wounds I can’t stitch.
For the stains that will not wash.
For the final, heady rush.
For the voices dying with a dying fall
And the silence in between.

For lingering,
Arriving late,
And only knowing
Secondhand
How much you craved your sleep.

An anchor at work is rarely seen,
But always felt.

When I open my eyes
Screwed tight against the blackness of the dark night
I see you there-
A table and a feast-
In the shadow of the rift,
At the enemy gates,
At the end of myself,
At the foot of the cross.

In the shadow of the valley
Broken bones may still rejoice.

I want to be the rain;
Impartial,
On just and unjust alike,
Loved by some,
Not by others,
And yet
A sign of life,
A source of renewal,
A mark of hope,
A promise of love.

How strange a thing it is to be broken,
And better for it.

To The Days Receeding

Dear 2014,

As we both know, I love notes-either writing or receiving- and feel I best express myself therein. So it seems only fair to write a letter to you expressing my overwhelming joy, disappointment, confusion, sadness, and hope towards you.

The joy you have borne me takes form in the many lessons and moments of laughter experienced throughout your 365 days. What those lessons are I cannot definitively nor exhaustively explain but for the few distinct examples that have already formed direct impressions- learning how to navigate sadness (more on that later) and move on from it, how to love others, how to do what is best for me and how to honour God in doing so. The points of laughter need no explanation-laughter is one of the few things in life that does not.

You disappointed me through promises that I or others did not keep, and goals we did not reach together. For this I blame myself– you are a creature of time and I am a creature subject to you. I am responsible for my own actions and reactions. This too was a lesson.

You confused me, and still do. How do you march so tenaciously, mercilessly forward? What watch do you keep, what beat guards your steps? Perhaps if I understood how you move (besides the obvious direction forward) I would be content to not understand you yourself. But then again, you are your movement, and therein lies the paradox of relativity and how we -I- relate to it.

You bore much sadness. I have cried hardly at all and that, I think, is the greatest sign of sorrow. It is to be so full of emptiness that it pours out of you in ceaseless, blank nothing. You take away dear loved ones with you as you leave, and I must remind myself that it is no ones’ fault as God is not surprised by the timing of death, and neither should we be. To sit in consternation would be to embrace bitterness.

And then there is hope. How hope for something in the past, you ask? It is because the past bears heavily on the future. The laws of physics apply to life in more ways than I like to acknowledge, but I am bound to point out that Newton’s third law works with choices too- there is an equal and opposite reaction for each selection I make, consciously or otherwise, and I am certain to see those reactions throughout the coming days of this bright new beast of 2015. I hope that the things I learned educate and shape my decisions in the now- this tiny, fleeting moment touching eternity that we call The Present.

So there you have it. I am allowing you to be 365 days of life and lessons, and no more. Not a grey dog of grief to haunt me nor a snowglobe of nostalgia to be turned upside down whenever I want to feel sorry for myself. You are the past, and I am ready to say hello to the future.

Goodbye 2014.
It’s been grand.