// i know what it feels like…

written: 11 December 2012; based upon a dream i had had that previous night. posting it now because i had a similar dream the night before last. 

Her knees had healing scrapes and she wore a guarded smile. I don’t know what I said to get her attention, but she sat down on the curb and looked me in the eyes. I am you, at age twenty-two. Her eyes widened, but I could tell that she believed me. Children are impressive that way, at eleven she accepted the statement that I still had trouble believing. But then again, I had just spend time talking to our six year old self so maybe this wasn’t too bizarre. I took my younger self by the hands and asked if everything was okay. My twenty-two year old memory was hazy when it thought back to this eleven year old sitting in front of me. She looked me in the eyes and then down at the pavement. There was a secret too great for words. We let it be a mystery and I felt the words rise up in my throat and come out flowing, “please talk about it darling. It will save you so much heartache if you open yourself up to someone and let this secret out.”

It was a strange thing, these words that seemed to flow from the depths of my heart. The same strange feeling had come through my voice when I told my six year old self that I loved her and let down my hair to let her see that she would be beautiful someday. I whispered that she was loved and treasured.

But back to the eleven year old in front of me. She let her backpack fall over in the grass next to her and studied me carefully. For whatever odd reason she didn’t ask me any questions about her future, but only waiting silently for me to continue. I helped her stand up and led her down the hill to the playground. In my mind I wanted to show her the spinning swing, but I had forgotten that it was a modern design and did not exist for her eleven year old self. But then something magical had occurred and the playground looked like the playground of my college years.

We spun and we laughed and slowly my eleven year old began to blossom. Her smiled stretched across her face and I felt my heart healing inside my own chest. This is what freedom feels like. We nurture the child and tell her that it will be okay. We reach into her and show her that she is beautiful. My eleven year old self looks at me and we are both dizzy as we saunter over to the grass and collapse, staring up at the blue sky and white clouds. She tells me the scientific name for these particular clouds while I point out their shapes. I have long forgotten this middle school knowledge. We laugh and the world spins all around us. Little me looks at me and whispers, “I know what it feels like to be the fly trapped in the spider’s web.”

I whisper back, “I know what it feels like to be the caged bird.”

It’s silly code but we understand each other and I am proud of her for breaking the silence. I take her hand and we lay in the grass until the clouds directly above us move to the corner of the sky. Soon I will have to go, but first I work on middle school math problems and kiss her good-bye with a promise that she is free. Somehow I know she will have a surreal experience very soon of our Creator and his vast love.

you are not worthless

written 09 february 2013.
still one of my favourite pieces written to date.

you are not as worthless as they make you feel. you’re worth is knit into the fibre of your being. it is in every bone, every muscle, every cell, every inch of your parts. your worth is that life was breathed into you by the holy and living God who has drawn you up and mapped out a place for you from the stardust of the universe. the name of God is the sound of our breath and we worship him with every inhalation. you are not worthless. pursue your journey in accord with Him who gives you life, worth, and a capacity for unending love. you are not worthless. you are loved. you are treasured.

you can speak volumes and bring answers to wandering hearts. you read voraciously and you understand. you transcend. you write and it is a healing balm. you knit and craft and make things mirroring your creator. you are a reflection of the living God – live like it – embrace your gifts and marvel at your being. look at the phenomenon of your whole being – soul and body. we are all people, but each are uniquely different.

treasured. beloved. cared for. worth it. fearfully and wonderfully made. set apart. hope. purpose. real.

american gothic [attempt].

it’s been two years. the media crews are long gone. the tweets and hashtags buried under new atrocities and awkward selfies. the debris has been removed and the damages repaired. the building stands upright once more, waiting for the new owners to start painting it with their vision. it’s going to be a bookshop. it’s going to be a place for conversation, for art. it’s going to be a place where all are welcome to sit among the stacks of books and escape. it’s going to be a place where all are welcome and none are judged. a place to listen and share around the stage talking about life. but as construction gets underway and the shop opens, people start noticing that wherever you go, you hear the faint echo of a hundred cellphones ringing. they never stop ringing.

my first attempt at the “american gothic” style of writing. it was inspired by a line a read about the Orlando tragedy where first responders reported being overwhelmed by the sound of so many cellphones continuously ringing.