Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Silence explained.

It is when beauty takes me by storm or by calm,
by the hand or by the throat--
It is when beauty sweeps over like summer lightning,
or settles in like a bird come home--
It is when beauty sneaks up like a birthday surprise,
or hides in my heart like a secret answer to a secret question--
It is when beauty sings to me like a symphony,
or strings words together in constellations of love poems--

This is when I, astonished, conspicuous, have the least to say.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

To all girls.

What can I say to all the young hearts in line, waiting their turn to be broken? I see girls, so young, so lonely, so ready to be flown to the moon. Their lives are so small, their youth is their greatest enemy, their dreams are obsessions, clutched tightly in hopeful, inexperienced hearts. If I could say to myself the things I should have known ten years ago, if I could protect one small life from hurt, if I could show one little girl how beautiful and precious her heart is...I would.

God's protecting hand has covered me all my life. I had no father to protect me, guide me, teach me my worth. And yet, instead of searching for love the way others have, I closeted my fear and loneliness in an attempt to feel like the tragic heroine I hoped to be. I could not have everything I wanted; surely my silent deprivation would be vindicated somehow in this world or the next. This method of survival while less obviously destructive than some, wreaks havoc in a girls mind and heart. I learned to trust in my own (sometimes self-inflicted) suffering as a means of making myself worthy of love. Surely the more I suffered, the more loveable I would become. But I was wrong. I only became more miserable, and more incapable of receiving the love I wanted so badly.

We are not made for isolation. Of any suffering, loneliness is the hardest to bear. It will always be with us, no matter how happy we become, how fulfilled our lives are, no matter who we love, who loves us in return. It curls up, so comfortable in the back of our minds, and spreads its misery like a disease. There are some holes that simply cannot be filled however we try. Like my father--I cannot fill his hole with anything, anyone. But there is comfort in friends after all, if you're willing to have them. When at last I allowed myself to look for help, I found it easily enough. And I found that human comfort--the reaching out of one soul to another is as comforting as it is imperfect. Its very imperfection proves that there is something more, something better. God has given people to love, to show just a glimpse of His love, the love that fills all holes, bridges all chasms, reaches to all depths. Now at last I take comfort in the people I love gladly, as a gift from the one whose love will eclipse loneliness in the end, once and for all.

I hope these ones will always know how much they are loved.

Friday, April 29, 2011

And a princess is made...

I know--didn't take this picture. Wouldn't that have been glorious though?

Yes. I did wake up at five a.m. this morning to watch the Royal Wedding. And...I would gladly give up an hour or two of sleep many, many times over to see it again. I have admired the English monarchy since I was a child--after all, like English children I was raised on Shakespeare and Austen and Dickens and Tennyson. I think, however, that there is a considerable amount of awkwardness about the way we Americans sit here and gaze across the Atlantic pond at the place and the people that make all the legends and the literature seem so real to us. After all, my people have been Americans for at least four generations now and oh dear how we do love our country. We take pride in our independence, in our kingless-ness, in our blessed simplicity.

And yet. And yet we still find ourselves watching the pomp, the traditions, the heraldry across the water and see a picture of something beautiful--something to look up to in respect, and dare I say it; something to remind us of our great King, Jesus Christ and His eternal, glorious reign. Our Lord is a King, not a president. He has taken upon Himself the care and protection and ultimate salvation of His people. He is greater than King Arthur, greater than any of the Edwards, Henrys or Georges. And when we pray, we are like those adoring people outside the gates of Buckingham palace (except incomprhensibly the gates have been opened to us), eyes fixed on the crimson draped balcony, but looking not at the symbols of our King, but at our King Himself. And He is like, but infinitely better than those royals on that balcony, looking down in love and favor on their people. Because where they are living lamp posts, He is the living sun.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The fire burns, the pages turn.

Today I began the dusty business of packing up my humble belongings. I will be moving to my new home officially on Saturday, but the real work has already started and no doubt will continue all week. This move, as opposed to my last one which took me a distance of three thousand miles from the place of my childhood, is a mere thirty miles--an easy drive for my intrepid Honda, Henry. And yet this move as much as the last, represents the end of an era, the closing of a chapter, the relentless passing of time. I am not afraid. But I am sad.

As I rummaged through the inevitable accumulation of odd things in my drawers and steadily deconstructed my bedroom I could not quite banish the tightness in my chest, the quiet ache in my stomach. I am leaving the place that has been to me a safe harbor, a house of refuge. Here I have found hope when there was only despair, and light when there was only darkness. Here I have been loved.

I realize that it is more than a little silly for me to be sad today. After all, people who love me are close, I have work, a new home, hope for the future. I have all this and more. So I will soon banish the sadness from my heart. But it will have its say--it always does.

As for the people who love me, can my words possibly express them, honor them enough? They have been a true brother, a true sister to me. They have planted me, watered me, shined on me, and waited patiently for the light in my eyes, for the strength in my limbs to return. They have lifted me up with their confidence, and more than anything, they have lifted my face to see God's face shining down on me with such unspeakable love that I can hardly say what I must say without weeping.

Even now as I consider the life I have lived for the past twenty months, and the life I lived all the years before, I cannot understand how I survived without knowing what I know now: that I am loved. I am LOVED. And by the God who spoke light into existence, who governs the entire universe and any worlds beyond, who weeps for me, who is enraged with the cause of all my suffering, who died to right all wrongs, and who rose again to slay death like the foul beast it is.

I will drink deeply the love of my Lord tonight, and I will be at peace.

Pictures of a February sunset at the Oceanside pier in San Diego, California.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I go up.

To be taken slowly, savored like chocolate, enjoyed like wine. Rachmaninoff has provided suitable accompaniment. So read on:

Through the haze I see the most beautiful golden hot air balloon ever made waiting for me in a broad green field.
I run and run until I'm safe inside and then, up, up, up I slowly drift.
The ropes creak in the wind and I feel my heart gently melting till it diffuses into liquid light
and flows, glistening to the furthest extremities of myself. The earth spreads out like an open
story book below me, and I read it lovingly even as I fly slowly away. The sky is mine and I hold it
with both arms and recite sonnets to the sun.

I remember who I am.

I remember who my Father is.

I remember that I am loved.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I throw open my window

I love Spring. I peer at the trees every day searching for new growth, willing them to come alive with new green foliage. The sun is so tantalizing, promising so much, keeping you waiting and waiting. Just a little bit here and there to keep you hoping, believing, breathing.

I am inspired this Spring. New thoughts, ideas, desires come washing into my brain, washing over my senses too quickly for me to process. I am in utter anguish. It is now that I feel the passing of time, the wasted days, months, years. It is now that I want most to LIVE. And yet here I sit, desperate to learn, desperate to create, to feel the thrill of accomplishment. I sit here in my room and I listen to heartrending music, and drum my fingers and wander the echoing halls of my mind, wondering, wondering...

I don't hate you Spring. I'm terribly sorry but you must be conquered. Spring, I will conquer you. The window must be thrown open and I must stand under the deluge. I must let the wind blow through my hair, and scatter my thoughts to the furthest corners of my mind. I must allow desire for a moment to fly in and sing so piercing sweet. I must let it chase me to my purpose and chastise me exquisitely until my work is finished.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dreaming Russia

Someday I shall be seen stepping from a bright yellow taxi, muffled in fur (and maybe a few diamonds), to a waiting doorman, and for one night at least I will pretend to be something special. Maybe I could be one of the lost Russian princesses, corseted, coiffed and awaiting certain doom. I don't know. But what better place to imagine than the Russian Tea Room? Just a few blocks from the Metropolitan Opera and just outside of Central Park, this is the place I am dreaming on these days.