Poetry

Wild and Precious Life

sometimes, I wake up already feeling behind.
when this happens, I let the wisdom in my pen speak truth.
What will you do with your one wild and precious life?
You woke up this morning already listing the ways you will fail – the tasks that will meet resistance and never reach the finish line. You lay, covered in clean sheets and painless skin, and yet you felt strangling discomfort in your soul.
Why, Darling?
Why have you forgotten your place? You are a child – a wild, lovely, free child – living in the world run by the most loving and responsible Parent in the world.
So, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?
or rather
What ARE YOU DOING with it? You can only live right now.
Landsliding to-do lists and performance reviews care for the future, but what are you doing to care for right now? Set time aside to tend the future – a set time to let your mind wander into next month and next year and even this afternoon. Carve out time-travel appointments, but do not forget to come back to this time and this place…this is where you actually live, My Love.
You are a flower, growing for such a short time. Be here. Growth and beauty and achievement will come as you soak up sun, water, and nutrients. Feel the strain and sensation of now – know that it is leading somewhere but that “somewhere” is none of your concern. Take each next step.
The act of attention is a form of prayer.
You’ll be surprised to find that as you witness the universe, the universe notices you right back. This is the glory of a loving Creator.
*****

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
[…]

Hello Monsters, Poem

When I was small
even smaller than this
all smiles, fine hair, and freckles.
I lived in a room with my little sis.
 
In that room was a window
looking out on an old maple tree bigger than God
whose leaves made me feel free enough to sing
at the top of my lungs.
 
But on the opposite side of my room hung a door
a wooden shutter, slatted and white
and that door haunted us every single night.
 
You remember those cracked closet doors,
that fear of childhood, right?
Well, mine was more evil than most
a shutter-door with one missing shingle
a pitch black rectangle of terror
waiting to host the glowing eyes of some child-eating monster
with a taste for freckles.
 
And with these thoughts, came FEAR.
Fear that freezes your bones
that makes your body turn to stone
on the inside but never enough on the outside.
Fear that takes today as ransom
for a kidnapped tomorrow that will never come home.
 
So after months of sleepless nights
I could not hide any longer.
I did the most courageous thing of my little life
I moved in with my monsters.
 
In a flurry of determination
I grabbed my pillows and blankets and books
a flashlight and my sister
and we moved into that dark closet.
 
Slept there every single night
and not ONE monster was ever brave enough to show His face.
 
This is when I learned:
Fear is a lion
that only backs down
when we stop acting like prey
and stand our ground.
 
But we do grow up
and the monsters
get darker and smarter
and the next thing we know
we are running much harder.
No longer daring to face down our fears but away
from the beasts who will swallow us whole
who make closets that scare our very souls.

Monsters: like betrayal, hair loss, loneliness, and grief
failure, sprained ankles, botched interviews, and spinach in our teeth
at just the worst times.
 
I am afraid […]

By |September 11th, 2013|How Can I Help, Poetry|1 Comment|

Courage and a Poem

What have you done in your life that took courage?
This is what my boss asked us all in our staff meeting: What have you done that took courage?
Sitting there quietly, hands knitted together, making eye-contact so as not to seem distracted or weak; I let him finish and I listened as my friends and coworkers stood up to speak about skydiving, surviving strokes, having kids, traveling on missions trips, going to college… so many amazing things.
And while I can remember doing individually impressive things that took courage, the truth is… for me…
 
EVERYTHING TAKES COURAGE
Getting out of bed
Answering the phone
Calling AT&T
Singing when you can hear me
Talking to my neighbors
Admitting to really liking something
Going after my dreams
Parenting my girls
Creating from my heart
Everything

Calling AT&T takes as much courage as skydiving, for me.
But now, I have come to a place in life where I realize, I cannot take fear into consideration anymore – at least not anxiety, worry, insecurity. FEAR in it’s purest, most primal force, can save our lives. I am not talking about that kind of fear… I am talking about the insidious kind that takes us captive, binds us, so that we never grow in the direction of the sun.  We bend and warp to it’s controls. We never grow straight and strong. I don’t want that for me and I surely don’t want that for You or my daughters.
So remember today; the day this very scared person told you to be brave. DO IT AFRAID.
So remember today; the day this very courageous person told you to be brave. DO IT AFRAID.
This is why I wrote this poem, “Hello, Monsters”

 
“Tell fearful souls,
    “Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here.”
Isaiah 35:3