Untitled Poem the Fifth

My heart stirred,
As if from the call of a lover,
As I watched rain
Fling itself from the sky,
Plummet with excited purpose
Until it hit the earth
And then splashed,
As if trying to reach the clouds again.

My pulse raced,
As if from the thrill of flying,
As clouds ran
Across the grass,
Like fairies
Skipping through the morning dew
Tinkling merrily
And they were gone.

Thunder laughed
Lightening smirked
Fog encroached,
So the end of the world
Was the end of the tree-line.
The sky split in two
Floods rose
The earth sang –
And then it was gone,
Just like it came –

And even as the rain
dwindled to nothing,
A bird stood confident
In the pear tree outside
And trilled an easy song.

“With pen and ink the passages to pass between our souls”

I had planned, when I left, to explain upon my return my reason for leaving. I may still. I’m finding it hard to place into words what my heart is only learning. It reminds me of lyrics from a Ben Shive song,

“I was trying to find with pen and ink the passages to pass between our souls, panning ordinary rivers on rumors of gold.”

That is how I spend my days – trying to place 4 dimensional learnings, emotions, and questions into my 3 dimensional vocabulary. It is no easy task and leaves me more often discouraged and confused than anything else, but success is sweeter than the chocolate, rum, espresso cheesecake eaten and richer than the abundance of coffee I intake in the process of translations. The frustration remains at being unable to put something that you know in the depths of your being onto paper. Sometimes poetry and songs help – sometimes their sweet language can bridge the gap – that’s why I write poems. Sometimes, like this time, things merely have to be part of me for a while longer, engrave themselves into my heart for a while longer, before words can be found for them.

I know that this is a time that this, the new knowledge and freedom and depth I have stumbled upon, must sit before they allow themselves to be contained by words because I’ve tried to put it into words. I tried in the letter I wrote last night and failed in a heap of disjointed language. I tried to explain it to a friend over coffee and found myself lost in my own translation and trying to untangle the winding trail I’d woven as I spoke. I tried writing in my journal and actually brought about some sort of understandable language, but it only scratched the surface. I find that it is being manifested in my life – that my waking, sleeping, dreaming, skipping off into that other world I so often visit, I am living more freely, more joyfully, more fully, more lovingly – and that’s the point: freedom, joy, fullness, and love, selfless love.

For now, I’ll let those words be enough and perhaps take time to understand them in the English language as well as that heavenly tongue of the soul in which they now reside. … See, even that hardly made sense.

~~~

Also, it was such an extravagantly beautiful day. So much so that my heart is soaring and my eyes smiling only at the thought. My heart has been captivated so many times – by the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack I found on Spotify and devoured and delighted in, by the clouds that were like whistling in visual form, by my brother lip-syncing to Kenny Loggin’s “This is it” and making us laugh until we cried, by the wind, always by the wind, by the sun, by the birds that sing an incredibly distinct song – the same birds that always sang as dad and I left for school on early spring mornings, by yet another run-on sentence that I don’t even care about. I hate how corny that sounds, because it’s not. Neither is how lovely I feel when “birthday” comes. Neither is the fact that my brother just came in dressed to the nines and said “not too snazzy for your birthday dinner, am I?” Because every good and perfect gift if from above; coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. That Father who loves selflessly, gives extravagantly, knows our hearts, calls us blessed, and highly favored, smiles that we are alive.

For Brittany

Coffee, cheesecake, two forks –
decedent indulgence,
chapters to read,
chapters to write,
and conversation to fill the gap –
conversation of grandeur
of chocolate and artwork
of traveling and dreams and words
– words to written,
words to be said,
the volumes and volumes
of books to be read,
the miles and miles
of places to go –
of sunsets to see
of people meet,
how every inch of the land
calls to me
and wants to be heard,
to be tasted and seen –
and there’s not
enough time,
enough time,
we decide
and worry wells up
from some deep place inside
for what of adventure?
of far off new places?
of places some yards down the road?
And what of the volumes
and volumes of books!
Rise up! Seize the day!
Run too far! Fly away!
or, just live well today,
be present,
read a word,
write a word,
share cheesecake
and sip coffee,
with a lovely soul –
Take a breath,
in the end
we’ll be fine.

Simon and Garfunkel

Music sometimes makes me feel lost. It most times makes me feel found, but there are times where it comes into me and makes me feel like I never actually knew where I was and makes everything around me feel foreign. It is then that I feel small and incapable and want found music again.

Simon and Garfunkel is my current found music – it rescued me. It rescued me with its fluency and its perfect encapsulation of the weather. That was the problem – the reason music made me feel lost, instead of the usual deeply found and understood it brings – I was trying to make a playlist of songs that were perfect for today – a nearly snowy day – and it was fun and easy for the first three songs, then I got so caught up in the idea I had in my head about how it was supposed to look that it became dreadful. I could hear the airy and warm notes and combinations of instruments and voices that I knew should be on the playlist, I could hear the words about birds and cold air and fire places and wool sweaters and the good longing for sunshine and millions of other things, and I was raking my brain, flipping fervently through every song I knew and thinking surely I was forgetting millions that would be perfect and wondering why my song catalogue was as short as it was and I lost my bearings and slid to the imaginary floor of the imaginary room I’d been ravaging through, my hair wild, my face flushed, papers carpeting the floor and falling from the ceiling onto my distraught head. “Who am I?” I wondered aimlessly – as if the filing room for all music being in such utter disarray had made me forget.

I Googled ‘winter songs’ and browsed through the playlists provided, finding most of them to be entirely the opposite of what I was looking for, it was here, however, that I was brought to Simon and Garfunkel and their travelling, jovial, whimsical music filled me up and found me. It brought warm memories of elementary school and my third and fourth grade teacher who would play their music to us, her students, as we did social studies projects or journaled for the week. She is possibly my favorite teacher ever because she knew that young minds needed to be forced to journal and to be exposed to things as wonderful and pondering as Simon and Garfunkel.

I felt as I let the familiar notes wash over and through me and bring me back to found, that somehow Miss C. must’ve known that Simon and Garfunkel was found music – music that would seep into our wondering, wandering minds and stick somewhere and in the future in some lost kind of day, resurface at their call and speak of home.

It sounds ridiculous, I know, to put such high regards on Simon and Garfunkel, but it’s true. It’s true of lots of “ridiculous” things, but today was Mrs. Robinson and the wondering at what exactly “coo coo ca choo” means, and I am a Rock, which now, and forever will, bring on thoughts of Winnie Cooper because its first 26 notes are her theme on The Wonder Years, and The Dangling Conversation, which makes me smile because it’s so entirely me. It was as if each song, well-known or not, brought back the peace that was so flippantly lost and reminded me that “who I am” is not defined by music – though that may be part of it – who I am is not unraveled because I can’t find the songs I know exist that perfectly capture winter in their few minutes. Who I am is Maggie, daughter of the Father, who I am is the very desire of God’s heart, who I am is Beloved. In light of that, my identity crisis over the music looks more than stupid – it wasn’t though. It was me being so very consumed with Spotify and the fact that everyone can now see what I listen to 24/7 and worrying about what everyone’s opinion of everything that I lost the point of everything. It was me being unable to fill a mold I had created for myself – one that I wasn’t really meant to fill. It was me putting far too much thought and effort and worth into something that was supposed to be enjoyable – because somehow if I couldn’t complete the task exactly as I had planned to, I was a loser. It was me allowing the very powerful, deep-speaking thing that is music to wash over me in confusion and inadequacy. It was me forgetting. It was me forgetting what defines me. It was me forgetting what really fills me. It amazes me, really, how far my mind can stray. It leaves me awestruck, however, the ways in which I am called home – called to found. It leaves me dumbfounded how deeply music speaks – how the thing that had wrecked me, reminded me that I hadn’t strayed that far and there wasn’t really anything wrong and I just had to turn around and walk back to the house with the lighted windows waiting for me in the midst of the snow and the dark and open the door and be home.

It is stupefying to me that I am thanking God for Simon and Garfunkel, but I am, honestly and deeply, because he used their notes, their words, their rhythm to rectify my silly, wandering mind, and he smiled as he did so. Thank you God for Simon and Garfunkel – and for smiling as you did so.