Writing

I am finding repeatedly that there are not words for the things I so desperately want to put into words and I feel as if I am incompetent. I feel as if there are so very many words, surely some can be found… and yet, I return to the ones I use daily and they are not suitable, not broad enough, or narrow enough, high enough, or deep enough – and my heart sighs. I try sometimes to fill the void of words with the language of poetry, because it truly is a beast and tongue all its own. There are times, however, that even poetry will not encompass what needs to be encompassed, though, it may fail with more grace.

I once wrote a small something to a friend of mine in regard to one of their poems: Do you have a translator to cross for us the ground between that languid land of poetry and the usual one of simple English? I’d very much like to meet him. – I have no such translator. And really, most times, I need a translator for my soul – changing that complicated, interwoven language into some understandable, heart-breaking, and beautiful English. I cannot find one. I don’t know that anyone can. God. God I’m sure has such a translator as he lent it to David for the Psalms and King Solomon for his song of love and passion and Andrew Osenga for his songs of loneliness and whisperings and glimpses of the answer, the answer, the answer.

I sometimes want to give up – just stop trying to put into words what cannot stand to be contained. Oh, but I long so to capture it! So I keep trying, and I pray for God to lend me his translator – the one he lent to David, to King Solomon, to Andrew Osenga, to my momma, to authors – Ann Voskamp, C.S. Lewis, Donald Miller – to songbirds, to poets.  Sometimes, when I cannot stand the things pent up inside of myself, when I can hardly breathe or think because they have wrapped themselves so around me, I open my mouth and release a mournful, joyful, complicated, interwoven note. It’s rarely followed by another, rarely filled with words, but it’s an utterance of the soul and it feels free and it feels like the translator has come and gone in the seconds that the note lasts and my heart leaps at his brief presence and aches that it was, indeed, brief. That’s how it feels though, I know, when the soul is allowed to speak. Writing for hours on end when words flow like honey and emotions like milk – that’s the soul being allowed to speak. Listening to other people who have managed to contact that translator – that’s the soul fluttering in its space, bursting with things to be released and no way to release them. I can speak only the language of the three-dimensional world I know – and even that to only a certain extent – and so the four, five, six, seven dimension of the soul and its ponderings and longings are lost in translation, even if you do have a translator. So, I write what I can, how I can. Sing what I can, how I can. Become lost in a music as well as I can, however I can. Open the cage, let that fluttering bird fly beautifully and sing its song, even if I cannot see every dip and glide, even if I cannot hear every note.

I realize now that writing is not a struggle to capture what is somehow floating in the air as I often feel. Rather, it is a release of something deep inside of oneself. Writing is an utterance of the soul.

Kick off your shoes, open your eyes

I’m not entirely sure of where this is going. So, today, dear readers, you must kick off your shoes, open your eyes wide, and run with me. Grey has settled again over the whole of my home and all of its surroundings. There have been very few days in the past several months graced with the golden warmth of sunshine. Everything is foggy and even the colors have faded and the story-creator in me wants somehow to turn this into a some dreaming state in which the dismal only adds to everything -making life more cozy and so on, I can only do that for so many days in a row. I’m not complaining persay (I have never, ever known how to spell that word) though, it wouldn’t surprise me if I were. I have discovered that as of late, I am somewhat of a complainy complainer face – I complain all. of. the. time. About the fact that our rental car smells like smoke, about the fact that I’ve been sick, about the fact that Aidan ate my granola bar, about the fact that I feel like other people are complaining a lot, about how I’m so often misunderstood, about the lack of qwerty keyboard on the phone that friends of ours were so gracious to give me, about the fact that my own phone was stolen, about the fridge in our bedroom, about the grey, about the smell of our towels, the list really could go on some ridiculous amount – not that it hasn’t already. My family is kind of sick of my complainy complainerness and have kindly (and progressively less kindly) pointed out that I should probably stop – do whatever I have to really, but stop. I, being me, have shrugged most of it off because somewhere in my conceited little mind, I have told myself that I am a peacemaker and bridge builder often enough in my house that I should be allowed to mess up and be self centered from time to time, and besides, don’t they see that it’s not really me at the root, that I’m reacting to what so-and-so said or did? Pathetic, sinful, self-centered, prideful, yes – and more, but that’s the fantastic part about being human and being loved by humans – we are pathetic, prideful, fearful, very self-centered, even hurtful, down-right annoying… for days and weeks and years on end, and we’re still loved. We still belong. We still, at the core of us, are reconciled with God – we still, at the core of us, are glorious and desperately loved. That’s enough to turn my heart – after a two hour nap – to ask forgiveness. I ache when I am not living freely (when I’m living into things that bind me, that keep me from all of the good things sitting at my fingertips – pride, fear, defensive actions, depending on human approval, shutting down, closing off) because that glory inside of me – that knows it’s truly free, that it’s being unnecessarily bound – is crying out fiercely for me to stop putting it in chains. I ache when I’m not free because my soul knows I am more. “Untitled Poem the Fourth” is what I do to myself – what we all do to ourselves.

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?

Why waste them?

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?