Untitled Poem the fourth.

Music to accompany your thoughts – most poetic journeys are best taken with a melodious companion, be it music or a friend or God or an imaginary fairie.

 

Do you feel the drum beat in your soul?
Deep, full waters quiver, moan
It’s undeniable –
Oh you’re refinable-
Fire burns bright
Waiting so eager to swallow the night,
Devour all that is not gold,
Dig deeper than the fears that coax –
Ground can shift,
Oceans fade,
The sea is well contained,
But your soul,
it’s unrestrained
You know its chains are cast away,
Farther than your mind can stray,
Why do you seek them?
You are no caged bird,
Not even in a caged world –
You’re sitting idle in the land of open skies,
Life drifts by –
Oh you will be shaped – refined,
No matter how very hard you try,
To stay the same –
Your wings are well-defined,
Why waste them?

Untitled Poem the Third.

Why do you hide?
Why do you put on
That lovely face
Laughing and smirking
As if all is well
And yet boiling inside
Is a storm
And writhing deep down
Is a beast
You’ve forgotten how to tame –
You’ve forgotten your own name,
We could help you remember.
We could help you walk home
To the place you belong
The place whose deep call
Drives you mad
Because you’re stuck
Run flat
Run out
Run through
By the enemy’s sword,
The one you ignore –
The one that I weep over often.
We’re waiting right here,
To walk with you dear,
So come out,
Come out,
Wherever you are.

Adventures

I think my heart and soul had a conversation in the middle of the night and came to the consensus that they needed adventure. I think that when I woke up this morning, I knew I would not be content to sit at home or even to sit in a coffee shop. I was antsy all day – dancing around on my toes as I stumbled through the school work that was far from my mind though it was right in front of my face. I knew I there was a car waiting in the garage, its keys on my key chain. I made a CD for today – 21 songs, 1.2 hours total – I knew that the short jaunt to the grocery store and Karen’s Book Barn would not take long enough to listen to more than a few songs, but I put 21 on it anyway. I think I decided with every song after four or five that I would, in fact, listen to the whole thing – be gone long enough to listen to the whole thing.

So, I left. Gathered up my poems and other various things to occupy my time and left. It’s been London-raining all day for those of you who didn’t know. London-raining, Maggie, that’s not really a word. Ah, but it’s a Maggie word. London-raining is when the rain doesn’t fall, it just is – a continual mist that settles over everything and and makes the brown grass and grey sky deliciously sad and eerie. It’s been London-raining all day and London-rain is best enjoyed outside, where you can really take it in – London-rain is not to be observed, it is to be experienced. So, I parked purposefully far away from the coffeeshop so as to experience, not merely observe. And I half-danced, like a very little girl, with my hands in my pockets and my feet wet from the puddle I’d managed to not-avoid in a glorious, messy splash all the way to the door of LaGrange Roasters, which was locked, because they were closed. They have odd hours, no one’s sure why, I don’t really care why, aside from the natural curiosity, but I can’t ever figure out how to arrive when they’re open. So, I got back in the car and sat in something of a conundrum.

There is a point in every typical novel or movie called (by myself and probably a few other people) “the point of no return.” It is the point at which the hero fully, finally embraces the story – leaving all cares, concerns, and cacidrosis by the wayside. I’m not really sure that last word is used in the proper context, but I found it and it completed the alliteration and it sounded cool, so it’s there. Go ahead, look it up, you know you have to now. Anyway, I turned the car on, pulled (expertly) out into the street and drove to the grocery store. That – that was my point of no return – my abandon to the story. It wasn’t really that big of a deal, I had to go the grocery anyway, but the original plan was to sit for hours in a coffeeshop and then go to the store on my way home (technically, out of my way home, but you get the idea.) I decided as I muddled my way through a four-way stop and turned left, not right, that today was not going to go as planned in the most marvelous of ways. The Roasters being closed confirmed what my heart had known since this morning – sitting still for an hour would not satisfy the restless that settled in myself, I needed – not wanted – adventure.

Restless comes on purpose. It comes so we don’t forget what it’s like to do something for no reason at all, so we don’t forget what it’s like to have the music too loud, to roll down the windows even though it’s ridiculously cold, so we don’t forget laughing until it hurts just because, don’t forget being a little girl or little boy playing games of pretend, running for your life from an imaginary don’t forget running through puddles, walking intentionally through the rain, walking barefoot through field that could potentially injure you uncaring of the burs and briers, don’t forget the excitement of taking a road that leads no one knows where, of jumping off the roof, of throwing aside grammatical rules and writing a grotesquely long run-on sentence. Restless made its fitful home in me today and that is why I went to kroger first and bought Mary’s Gone Crackers and began eating them as I drove back to mainstreet and parked too far away yet again and walked to Karen’s Book Barn, which has normal hours. My heart raced as I bought waited for my latte, anticipation and excitement bubbling delightfully within me. “I’m in love,” I thought as the feeling rose and a smile would not leave my face, “I’m in love with God and adventure.” I laughed. Out loud. For no apparent reason. In the coffeeshop. Then I took my latte and left, skipping now, through the London-rain, to the car. Into the driver’s seat (still an odd concept for me)shoes off, music on, engine on, back up, pull out, turn right, drive. I took at least four roads I’ve never driven, going as far on them as I dared, then turning around and going back, singing loudly and sipping my latte (technically against the “drive cautiously so you don’t kill yourself” rules, but I was still careful.) I’m not rebellious, not the kind of person who breaks rules like ‘don’t drink (any beverage) and drive’ and ‘drive the speed limit,’ I am, however, the kind of person that knows driving a small bit over the speed limit on a country road as long as you feel entirely in control of the vehicle will not kill you – and will rarely get you a ticket because how the heck is a police man supposed to patrol a ‘holler.’ I am cautious, I am, however, fast. Nothing spectacular happened (aside from my nearly hitting a mail box) – I simply drove for miles down unfamiliar roads and relished the London-rain and sang loudly and carelessly and drank coffee. There were no revelations – just doing unexpected things, flying by the seat of my pants, enjoying music and driving fast and not knowing what’s around the next bend – delighting in creation and thus in its Creator. Adventure. For no reason other than I needed to.

I ended my trip by driving in a very large unnecessary loop that took my past my Grammy and Pa’s old house. I was very proud of the fact that I made the loop seamlessly (I know my sister is now laughing at my extensive directional dysfunction.) As I came to the entrance of the subdivision where this home resides, I decided I was not yet done being so full I could burst and drove right passed my turn, taking the same exact loop again. The restless has gone for now, but I almost await its return because it calls for new adventure.

Gone with the Wind and an Australian Boy

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write until I finished my school work. Making promises to myself is generally a pretty pointless idea. I sometimes literally cannot wait to write. This is one of those sometimes.

I’m sitting in an outside room. Why, Maggie, it’s 36 measly degrees outside, aren’t you completely frozen? Yes. I am. Surely you’re wearing a coat and hat and gloves, that must help. Dear parents (and any other sane human being), please don’t be alarmed when you read this, but I’m not wearing a coat, or a hat, or gloves. I am wearing flannel pajamas and slippers and my writing sweater. You’re an idiot. I know. I am, however, an idiot wrapped up in a down comforter – I took it from the closet with a slightly mischievous smile on my face because I knew as I wrapped it haphazardly around myself that were my Grammy, to whom it belongs, to see that I was a) sitting in the outside room without a coat and b) using her nice down comforter as a substitute, she would make sure I didn’t have hypothermia and then have my hide. But, since she’s not here to be worried about me getting hypothermia and since I won’t get hypothermia and since when she gets home, the comforter will be safely in the its place in the closet, no worse for the short outing, I can sit, wrapped in the blanket, not getting hypothermia, in the outside room – just because. And it really is just because. It’s just so that I can say I spent the morning deliciously cold and warm all at once in an outside room listening to, and occasionally watching, birds. I know. I know I could’ve watched birds from inside the warm house, but this somehow feels more cozy and adventurous. Warm is exponentially warmer when your face and hands are fully aware of cold. And it feels like a lake-side cottage or cabin-in-the-woods a million miles away in this outside room – enveloped by cold and submerged in the monotone world of birds and wooden fences and empty trees. And I can’t hear the bird songs from inside. A woodpecker is drumming  a hollow rhythm for my fingers to follow as I type. Were I inside, that rhythm would fall to the ground unheard. So, I’m outside, captivated by simplicity and by the stunning red of a cardinal against that lovely winter dreary, wishing desperately to be able to fly or jump from the highest branch of a tree and be unafraid of the fall.

I’m reading Gone with the Wind and I very much like it. I knew I’d like it because I can’t stand the movie. Illogical, yes. I watched it for the first time last night and the entire time my mind was consumed with my dislike of Scarlett, a wondering at why this is a classic, and the deep longing to re-make it with good actors and scripting so that the beautiful story that’s buried somewhere between the bustles and the overdramatic acting and overemphasized music can be seen in its true glory. I couldn’t stand the movie because I could see that it wasn’t even remotely doing the story justice – I hadn’t picked up the book until after it was over, but I knew, I knew there was a deep beauty and pain that was lost amid the movie style of the late 1930’s. I found myself as I watched wanting to cry, not for the vile that is war or the misfortune that it Scarlett, but for the fact that I could not feel either of these things the way I knew I should. I could almost feel Margaret Mitchell’s sorrow at her complex Scarlett turned into the simple, breathy, nearly bipolar thing of the movie. I longed for that deeper thing from which this movie had come – I longed for the original beauty, the original intent.

I found it. I found it in the book. And it was all I had longed and more.

We know. We know when there is more – when there is a deeper beauty, a deeper pain, a more complex story, a richer color, a more resonate note, it’s written on our souls. Even when it’s not a blatant “ah-ha!” moment, or even a cock-your-head-to-the-side-and-furrow-your-brow-at-what-you-just-felt-or-missed moment – we know. Something in us stops in its tracks and remembers.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – ecclesiastes 3:11

Eternity is written on our hearts. So, when we’re watching Gone with the Wind, we know there’s a book somewhere infinitely more alluring – that it’s okay that the movie exists because the book is waiting on the shelf to be plunged into so that its beauty can be seen for what it is. Eternity is written on our hearts so that when we sit in an outside room on a ridiculously cold day just to hear the birds sing, we’re captured by their song, not worried about the fact that our hands are turning odd colors and not functioning quite as well as they did ten minutes ago. Eternity is written on our hearts because God is watching us live through the movie, waiting for the day to shove us headlong into the book where everything is its infinite self, and he wanted us to know his excitement.

Not-Technically-Road-Trip

I adore stories. I adore that my Pa is somewhat of a Matthew Cuthbert and that he tells stories. We took a smallish road trip, he and I, yesterday night – we took it to get me here, to his and my Grammy’s house. Does that count as a road trip? Are there rules somewhere that say road trips don’t count unless they are longer than an hour and are not to a known or frequently visited destination? If those rules exist, we as a society are really stupid. Actually, we as a society are really stupid regardless of our rules on the technical requirements of road trips. That, however, is not today’s rant. Today is not a day for rants at all, I’ve found that ranting takes a ridiculous amount of energy that I have decided would often be better spent on other things – so, I’m spending it on other things.

So, we were on this not-technically-road-trip in his pick up truck. Pa has always, always (and by always, I mean as long as I can remember) had a pick up truck. A company truck that he would occasionally let me drive in spite of the fact that if I ruined it, he was in some sort of trouble. Always, I had to literally climb into the front seat. Even now that I am a towering 5’6″, it takes a fair amount of effort to get into that front seat. (To all of you who think I’m delusional about my height – towering was a joke.) I love that I have to heft myself into that seat. And I love that there is room enough for me to curl up in that seat without crossing the middle barrier that is and always has been covered by a white towel to save it from mud and cow manure. I love that as I am curled up in that seat, I feel like I can take in everything because the truck sits high enough that you feel nearly on top of the world. And I love that I can be on top of the world taking everything in and still be the little girl that has to climb to get into the front seat and can fit her awkward legs beside her and feels safe and loved in the simple, quiet, pondering presence of her Pa who hums or whistles and drums on the steering wheel as we drift along, unobtrusively on top of the world.

We talk now and then – filling, for a short while, the humming quiet. I wish, most of the time, that I had more stories to tell. My words are generally few because the only stories that come to mind are silly ones that have nothing to do with anything and aren’t really worth the breath. He, on the other hand, tells stories about how his friend Popsicle taught him how to parallel park by drawing it in the sidewalk. How the guy that took his driver’s test before him backed right into a trashcan and the test administrator told the guy just to pull back into the parking space and come back next week. About the job he had in highschool and how he would meet his quota two hours early and go home, but still get paid for the whole four hours because his night guard friend would clock out at 8 for him. Or how he once took a history test and copied off of the smart girl in front of him until he got down to the last few questions, at which point he guessed at the answers because he didn’t want to raise any suspicion and how she got a 98 and he got 100. He tells them well, too – inserting just the right amount of details at just the right times and not really making anything sound more important than it really is. He lets the story speak for itself instead of trying to make it grand with the way he tells it – an art so very many have forgotten and so very few have learned.

I admire that. Adore it. And I treasure our not-technically-road-trips with their quiet and their simple and their stories.