My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for November 2008

By Your Side: Tenth Avenue North

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Chorus 2x

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go

Chorus 2x

Natalie wakes up around 4 sometimes and wants me to sleep on the floor beside her bed, and I oblige. She listens to the radio when she sleeps and it’s usually on 91.9 the Christian Station, or 89.9 the Classical Station because I feel like those are probably the best to sleep to.  One night, on 91.9 I heard this song and it grabbed me (honestly doesn’t happen too much on that station).

It echoed and once I looked it up and listened to it again I just cried.  It was like altar call time at summer camp.  It was like small group.  It was like a lock in.  Regardless of how I feel or what I think about organized religion, the state of the church, or anything along those lines, there are some intense and pure experiences I’ve had as a result of being part of church, of Dulin’s Grove, of the Advent Christian General Conference, as a member of Alpha Omega, a participant in Hiyoca, Camp Dixie, and G.A. There’s an honesty and brokeness that children, teens, and adults ministering these youths allow themselves that people don’t often give way to on Sunday mornings.  And music moved through most of those expereiences.

I want, so much, for people to see me.  For people to allow me in their life, for people to accept me and fold me in.  This was never a worry in these places.  I have never once felt I didn’t have full acceptance and love.  I never once felt I would be pushed away. And not because I hid anything, or only acted or dressed a certain way, not at all. The suffocation, the weight, the ill fit was not in these places, it was not in these things.  And I know that one of the most important developments in my faith was stepping away.  But that fellowship, that friendship, that burning honest allowance has no doubt been another.  And I think I almost forgot that and that those people, those places are right there.  I am decisively and eternally grateful for those people and places and experiences.  I crave them again.  I am possibly close to full circle?  Odysseus or Dorothy or Alice?

If my depth or intricasies are glossed over or put in a box by anyone, it’s neither my fault nor responsibility.  I don’t need to cater my image so I can be accepted.  If there’s anything I feel I do well, it’s that I do my very best to live authentically and if you want to know me, if you want to see me, if you want to identify with me, then you will talk to me and look at me and ask me and learn me. I am here, I am open, I am willing.

There’s a bravery in doing or saying anything that will get you pigeonholed.  Strength of character is not needing to be a different person anywhere. I am a lot of things and generally apply to a situation or context the most applicable part of me.  This is not a statement that this is the only part of me, just that this is the part of me that works best here, now.  Labels can be useful(and are inevitable), as long as we know how many labels we all hold and how many nuances each label contains.

The other thing is realizing and accepting all the aspects of our selves.  All of them.  The girl who looked so forward to camp that she measured years by camp and retreats and wrote poetry on the on the message walls after night service. The girl who debated and questioned and otherwise argued any point she could with anything in Alpha Omega (bible verses, dress codes for mission trips, if V8 was allowed during fasting…). The girl who held hands and prayed with people she saw a few times a year, praying sincerely for grandmas and boyfriends and dogs and bad decisions and sick cousins and whatever else we brought to the circle.  The girl who sang in the choir and taught Sunday School (the word taught being used very loosely here), who looked forward to Christmas plays and Easter Egg hunts and Cantatas, who sang in the choir, sang trios and solos, who knows that church inside out, who knows that Blowing Rock campground up and down, The girl who attended countless fundraising famines, lock ins, and VBS’s, corralling friends to come whenever she could.  The girl who hauled old wood out of the basement till she was spitting dust to make the Solid Rock out of the old church. The girl who helped with BBQ’s and dinner theaters and murder mystery lock ins, who played ridiculous games like shooting fruit loops out of your nose or reenacting the laser sequence from Entrapment with elaborate string maze, Mission Impossible, Batman.  The girl who took more trips in that church van than I have probably ever taken personal or family trips. The girl who really felt loved and accepted and connected within this web of people and God.  That girl is still this girl.  And everything else I am.

I sincerely love all of the people part of these expereiences.  Where ever they are now, because I know, with a sureness that they love me right now, where ever I am.  I guess, just like with so many other things, it’s really not so much what it is you’re part of, but how you’re part of it.  Not so much what you’re looking at, but how you’re looking at it.

I’m hopeful about this development and the possibilities just in my acknowledgment of it and interest in further delving into this.  I’ve been seeking flesh and blood embodiments. We find what we seek.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

I’m about to start my 2nd glass of $4.49 sparkling white wine in hopes that I will feel like cleaning the kitchen AGAIN.  I have been baking and baking today.  That is so funny if anyone reads this and knows my level of domesticity.  Anyways, you know, you get to the point where you kind of want to have stuff at your house instead of hoping your mom or MIL will have it at their house.  And it’s kind of fun (when it’s voluntary and not necessary). Not the cleaning up though, not at all. So, one more glass of wine, some music, some writing, and then maybe I’ll drag my ass in there.

I have signed up for Contemporary International Poetry in Translation for next semester. Ah.  And one book of poetry to buy, $17.95. Ahhh. Sweet blessed wonderful thing.

This is my motivation for doing that 12 page bibliographic essay. And the paper revision. If I can do those things and make a decent grade in that class, then I can move on. 🙂 To poetry 🙂 (as long as it’s not cancelled – there are only 3 people signed up so far)

And get a decent rec for grad school application as I am not an offical grad student yet.

And take the MAT.

But first, the papers.

You are just as taken care of as you always were.  That has not changed.  God is no smaller just because you got bigger.

You don’t have to feel stress about _ you can not feel stress about _, you have that option.  Stress about _ has been weakening you.  Choose. You choose.  Always exercise your right to choose, your ability to choose.  Be careful about your words, words you use to describe, to define.  Words shape thoughts and feelings, make this a careful practice, be aware of what you do with your words, particularly to yourself.

it’s just writing it out is my way of acknowledging, challenging, facing it, for myself, processing always, developing…the more I do this, the easier it gets to put it here instead of in a paper journal, hidden in  drawer, tied with a leather strap, or on scraps that I lose…although, to be fair there are pages upon pages in my work/school notebook. typical me 🙂

I think about how I have such a hard time now getting things done without the connection.  I always craved the connection before, but now it’s possible, though not always happening.  The possibility is enough to eff me up a little.  I was able to conjure the connectivity more before.  I was less needy??  Because there were less possibilities??

i know I have to keep moving forward with this and I’m questioning the best ways to do so.  I don’t want to be overwhelmed.  I don’t want to be rushing.  I don’t want to be waiting.  i always thought how nice it would be to have someone guiding me, a real person.  I think that’s the draw to poetry, in part, coming from lyrics.  Lyrics guided me, lyrics are poems.  I don’t know why poems.  They’re concise (sometimes) they flow they can’t be wrong they can be cryptic?

I don’t know about grad school.  I mean, I kind of do, but I don’t.  I think , sometimes, when you are better than you were but you’re not as good as you once were you start doing the things you used to do and it’s really hard and you get frustrated, but you’re just out of practice.  I am capable.  I sat on my potential for so long, it’s taking some time to reinflate it.  That’s cool, it’s cool.

No one can serve both God and money, that verse came back to me again today.  If my life were sectioned off by faith struggles, this year would be the money one.  Not trusting money over God. Not needing money over God.  Not believing in money over God.  Not depending on money over God.  Not moving for money over God.

The best part of broken is open.  The best part of crying is letting go and the willingness you feel when you are broken to accept help, to give up is sometimes the only thing that saves me, laying out my hands open in defeat and begging, begging. Or better, is resting, just laying, resting in hope and trust and nothing else.  Needing absolutely nothing else.  Doing nothing else.  Asking, trying, nothing else.  Simple communion.

And thank you for answering the phone.  Something is better when you do and that may just be something weird with me, but that’s why I suck it up and ring and ring because I need it.  Maybe you have people in your life that serve the same purpose I do, or I serve no purpose for you per say, but it is not that way for me.  You are not interchangeable, unfortunately, so there you go.  Silly.

I don’t want to miss this, I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to float too far off in my ideals that I forget my grounding.  I like balance, or more, I like tapping into various parts of me simultaneously.  People act like that’s not a possibility, but it is, for everyone. Everyone with dozens of options and aspects available to wear at the same time and intertwine, they serve such good purposes that way.

This is exactly how a journal looks for me, minus handwriting I question upon looking back and some scribbles.  It’s a good thing just writing and writing.  It’s funny to call it writing, when I’m typing.  I should write more writings and stop seeking such immediacy.  I think that would do me some good. Besides I’ve got the schoolwork.  I keep acting like I can’t do it, but I can.  It’s not the last minute at this time, so I could actually do it.

I guess hungry is just a character trait.  Where would I be if I were easily satisfied?  I guess that wouldn’t be me.  But who is it?  Who really is?  Who doesn’t deep down want a little more of something in some form?  Right?  That’s why we keep moving to the next day, there’s something in the next day we deem worthy of because there’s always the option to not.  So, I say, everyone’s believing something.

Stained glass is probably my favorite right now.

I’d love to talk to someone for a really long time about things in my mind.  But I think, that too much talk takes away the writing.  But not enough talk leaves the writing dry and shallow.

I’m going to hate myself and my phone in the morning for what I’m about to do with my alarms so I’ll get up.  🙂

Posted on: November 12, 2008

I don’t think I’m in the right place.

Posted on: November 12, 2008

I wrote a blog last week regarding the attitudes of people following the election. I felt good about it, but as soon as I posted it, I had a million other things to say, ways to wrap it up how I wanted.  I also remembered why I don’t talk about things like that with people, or why I don’t even really think about things like that.  Even in the nicest ways, it divides and I am desperate to be joined.  That permeates.  I don’t want to think about how I’m different from my friends.  I just want to think about how we’re the same.  I have an ache for connectivity that never ceases.

And sometimes, I’m invisible.  People look right through me.  I don’t understand.  How can you not see me look at you, acknowledge you?  Even that is something.  How can you not return genuine efforts, out of the way comments or letters?  I compartmentalize in a fashion that’s typically male, so I get it sometimes, I guess, how you can just not allow it to mean anything, but why?  Why can’t I mean something?  And why do I need to?  And if I do, why don’t you tell me?  I can read a lot of things, but silence I never read well.  And why isn’t it enough the people that do tell me, that do acknowledge me?  Why isn’t that enough?  And do I do this to people?  I hope not.  I really really hope not.

Sometimes, when I write and I let others read it, I actually feel the chasm between us.  Something I did with those words.  I retreat, I retreat.  I think of when I was in middle school, high school, and I would sit in my bedroom with the door locked and I would go over my poetry again and again, memorizing, organizing.  I imagined what it would be like to have someone else read the poems and I would jump at the opportunity in classes to use poetry, or to give it as gifts. So often, as soon as I let it go, I felt embarassed, foolish. Even praise sometimes feels uncomfortable.  I don’t so much want to be heard, I want to be validated, I want it to connect me to someone.  And I know it does sometimes, I know.  But it’s like it’s never enough.  It’s time’s like this it just seems like there’s something wrong with me.