Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An End

I stifled my breath for you,
For a moment,
Until the wind gushed by
And my lungs were opened
Like the understanding held within my eyes.
These silhouetted pictures,
Crafted from the sheepskin
With driftwood frames
Falter in their masking
The walls.

I see now and breathe
And lay in wait
For the stuffy air to
Dissipate. Open the window.
Shut the damn door.
Leave me to lie
And to live.
This dust isn't keeping me;
You're not boxing me in.
I'm gone whether you care
Or notice.

To be cordial would be nice.
To recompense would be better.
But you prefer neither,
So I suppose I'm the same.
I'll see you the other side of never.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Evil hides amid the shade.

They asked me where I kept the vial. I raised my eyes.

"Vile stains the hearts of man. I have no jurisdiction over it."

They asked again, berated again. The lump in my pocket mirrored the lumps in their throats, the apples that stain them forever for their mistake of following the temptress, of heeding the frail voice of woman.They repressed her for it, but she is not the one chastised with each swallow. She is not the one with the bitter token.

I stepped back, my fabrics swaying against my frame, the vial brushing my rib.

"She doesn't have it." He spoke in languor  his dark eyes casting shadows on my own. The others watched him watching me.

They questioned him how he could know. Phantom eyes tell phantom lies, truth is but a smoke we sift.

"I can't." He answered coolly, his eyes tracing my silhouette.

I let him look, exposed and hidden in my skirts. He would see what he wanted. It wouldn't be the vial.

It would be a woman. All men see is what they lost, where they have fallen from, who brought them here in flesh and sin. Woman, keeper of heart and life. Woman, responsible for the creation and the fall.

I wonder how your mind works, like the blind man's dog on the bus.

I wonder if you think about what you do, if your actions are a well crafted design tapestried by the homosapien mind, or if you run off a hunch or initiatory instinct, adhering to guidelines taught you as a pup; a quiet, controlled mannerism that makes you adorable enough to reach out and touch.

I wonder if you remember me when I smile at you from under my bangs when your brown eyes flint at me. I wonder if you see me or the window--the world, the possibilities--beyond me. I wonder why you burrow yourself in a comfortable space, secluded from the wind of the world, far from the reaches of man.

I wonder if it's contemptment, laziness, or fear that blankets your recluse.

I wonder if you plan your moves, or if you run by the dictates of another.

I wonder what it is that's dictating you; who is your blind man?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Don't Ya Dare Fell

It's a good thing I was the most proficient at treading water in the community pool;
it's smart to develop skill in something you think you'll never use.

***

I know what you mean,
At least I keep saying I do.
It hurts more to misinterpret.
I've allowed us to continue
Because it feel so good with you,
But I forget how much it hurts
When you're gone.

I told myself no,
I started bolting the locks
And shutting down shop
And hunkering in for the storm.

Stop doing this to me.
Stop taking 90 and leaving 10,
I go to meet you and you're gone
Again.

***

She remembered it like a painting,
Art crafted out of time
And laced upon a canvas
Sprouting truth and bliss
And unfathomable reason to continue.

***

You keep me from sleeping.
I pushed my chair back from the desk.
It's done. I said it. It's out there.

***

Have enough faith to fall.
I never climbed a rock wall,
I didn't go the extra mile
On that hike in Zions,
I kept both ice skates on the ice.

I've constantly been plagued
By the idea of injury
Induced from falling from some height.
That's how bones are broken,
That's how structure is shattered,
Destruction descends from high up.
I stayed planted to the earth,
Arms and legs in at all times,
Trying to enjoy the ride
That took me nowhere.

I've lived a linear life.
I've gone the mundane route;
I haven't climbed,
Haven't felled,
Haven't experienced the suspense
Of pain
Or the revival of vitals and life.

Life.

I haven't lived life.

But that's more than can be said for you.
As fond you are of painting
These pictures and how-to's
For my inexperienced naive mind,
As thrilled you are at zig-zagging
Through the maze,
You refuse to climb
More often than I do.
Or even worse,
You climb, but not far enough.

I'm tired of all the nothing
The wind blows in my face,
Tired of the specks of frayed leaves
Scattering about my eyes
At the close of their journey from
Up above.
I'm tired of the remnants of
An altitude I refuse to know.

So I started to climb.

I'm ready to fall.
I'm ready to let go and fall.
I've stumbled for this, but
Kept carrying on
Because the bruises and
Scars are better than the unknown;
Better than knowing I could have had
But refrained.
Of knowing it was coming
But I abstained.

Have enough faith to fall.
Have the strength to look at me
And see beyond
What you can't decide;
Stop making mountains
Out of mole-holes
And take your own advice.
Stop telling me I'll scare you off,
I already have.
You're terrified.
Forget it.
Forsake it.

Have enough faith to fall.

I'm trying to catch you
-I'm waiting to catch you-
The way I expected you to catch me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Wait

At some point in December I found myself facing this fortune:

For that time to this, the thing that keeps standing out to me is patience. Waiting. That's my answer.

So in the intervening months I've stumbled upon a few scriptures that really hit this point home. Upon hearing another in church today, I decided to do this; to expand the list from the margin of my rainbow marked verses onto the internet.

So here it goes:

Romans 8:25 (pictured above) started it all; it was November, I'd just fallen back into the pattern of daily scripture study, and...it set the precedent for what my life would shortly become: an exercise in patience. The Wait.

Mosiah 24:15   "...and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

Matt 6:34 (pictured above) touches on the whole patience thing, so I'm including it. I found it at this same point of my life, okay?

Doctrine and Covenants 45:62   "For verily I say unto you, that great things await you."

Hebrews 10:36   "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."


And then we'll glance back at the verse I've had logged away since junior high, Philipians 4:11   "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

Monday, April 8, 2013

rats on a conveyor belt

Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

A treadmill.
That's what we are.
Rats on a conveyor belt.
Running from the operant conditioned threat
Dangling metaphorically overhead,
Looming and pressing
When I sometimes wish you'd just forget
And take a moment to breath.
Realize this constant running
Isn't helping,
Isn't healing,
Isn't saving
Hearts from being broken
And attacking.

***

What's the first memory that sneaks up on you
When lay in bed in the dark?
Do you shut down your mind to avoid
Dealing in dreams
And awake the same way you are?
Are you thoughtful and pensive,
Recalling a time when your smile
Met against mine?
Or are memories plagues
Locked tightly away
Where they can't cause any harm.

***

Tomorrow's vacant like the jar
She left
On the counter Wednesday night.
I have reason to fill it,
Space needing spun,
But I seldom perfect the art.

***

There's tantamount of words to say
To illustrate my mind today.
And thus it seems,
My cognition schemes
To put a Silverstein lens
Into play.

For vagueness is a folly girl
Who dances as she may,
Skirting round
The construction of sound,
Keeping words at bay.

So rhyming seems the source
To seek. The usher
To lend his hand
And guide within
The patrons dim
In hopes they understand.

***

Words words words
My heart dries up;
This failure rifts my skin.
Fault fault fault
I drink it up
And let remorse flow in.
Tomorrow's nigh to coming fast
And here we lie in bed,
Staring at the cobwebs long
Ago of spiders fled.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dirt's All The Same

I have a friend who once told me his secret to not judging others. It's an analogy and it goes like this:

Sin is like dirt. Dirt's all the same.

His point, which he elaborated, was that it doesn't matter what a person's done; there's no reason to judge them for their actions. The point is they're dirty. Everyone is dirty in some way.

And dirt's all the same.

I haven't been perfect in my life. I wish I could say I have, but I haven't. Who am I to expect that from someone else? Whether their dirt is the same as mine doesn't matter. The point is we've gotten dirty. We've both walked on a beach and gotten sand in our shoes. We've both spilled food on our shirts; maybe mine's grape juice while theirs is mustard. Neither one is better. Neither stain is preferred, because that's what they are: stains. They both need extra attention and care to be removed.

Dirt's all the same.

I've tried taking this into my heart and acknowledging it in moments where I'm tempted to lessen my view of someone based on my perception of their life, but it's never really stuck. I haven't gotten it to be the thing that pops effortlessly into mind to deter me from passing judgement.

Until the other day when I realized I'd been inwardly chanting something to remove judgmental tendencies, it just wasn't about dirt.

In my mission prep class we're moving into teaching The Plan of Salvation, or Plan of Happiness. My teacher gave an example of an object lesson a young girl in Guatemala (where he served his LDS mission) gave to a group of her peers. She had them write down:

Day-
Week-
Month-
Year-
Life-

And then asked them, next to each 'time,' to write one of the most important choices or decisions they had to make in that instance.

So, for example, maybe your biggest choice today so far has been what to have for breakfast. Last week maybe it was to go to that last-minute audition even though it seemed pretty pointless and when you got there you realized you were right. But the choice to go was important and had impact.

So everyone did it. And for fun, I'll ask you to do it. Right now. One of the most important choices. Write it.

(Please do not read ahead until you've completed the exercise. Thanks.)

When they were done, she said something to the effect of--paraphrased by my mission prep teacher and then scribbled by me in my notes--"I tricked all of you because life didn't start with birth. Life started in the pre-Earth life, and you made a choice to come to Earth. You chose Christ."

In fine, the most important choice you made in your life happened before you remember. You chose Christ. Her follow up point was that, in each instance listed above--day/week/month/year/life--do we continue to choose Christ? Does following Him continue to be our most important choice?

To clarify because I feel I should, in the pre-mortal existence (referred to above as pre-Earth life. We're fans of synonyms in this church), Heavenly Father presented a plan for us, as spirits, to come to Earth and gain a body and experience and live in mortality before returning to His presence. Satan pitched a plan that, in essence, left mankind without agency and gave all the glory and praise to Satan himself, rather than God. Christ stepped forward with the plan that every man may choose his own path, but He would come to Earth in His own time and be a sacrifice for the sake of mankind, that through Him they might repent of any sins or wrongs and return to God of their agency and free will, with His help. And the glory be to God forever.

Satan's plan was rejected and Satan rebelled. There were many that followed Satan's plan, and God cast them and Satan from His presence. Those that remained, those that chose Christ, were sent to Earth to gain a body and experience, and the opportunity to choose Christ again.

(Scripture references for my amateur and brief explanation of the war in Heaven and Satan's fall: 2 Nephi 2:14-27; Alma 42:2-9. And I'm sure there's more but I don't immediately know them. I'm in mission prep. I'm still learning these things.)

Basically, if you have a body, you chose Christ.

Take a moment to look at yourself.

Do you have a body?


When I find myself looking on someone who seems to have left the path, strayed from Christ's plan, I remind myself that they chose Christ once. They chose Christ first. That's the thing I've been chanting. That's my "dirt's all the same."

I have a botany professor who is insistent on his way of life being the right way, and thereby discredits any other source of knowledge or belief. He's yet another admitted liberal professor who strives so strongly for those of us simple-minded conservatives to awaken to the bonds with which we are bound (ie our traditional beliefs and lifestyles) and transfer to their free and easy and non-prejudice way of life that is vastly prejudiced to those not part of it. He tries to get us to understand indigenous people's view of nature and the divine by bashing the concept that some all-seeing God in Genesis "made it that way." To him, in order for me to understand or appreciate another religious belief system, I have to crumple mine up and light it ablaze and send the ashes over the Grand Canyon first. I've often had the impression in his class that a supernatural belief is permissible; unless it's mine. Unless it's an understanding that a Heavenly Father sent His Son to create the Earth and come to the Earth and die for the sins of mankind.

That belief is wrong. He makes no mistake in telling me.

There was an instant last week, as he taught and made some side reference to the fault of Christianity, that I had the distinct thought: "You chose Christ once. You elected to follow Christ once."

My cynical view of the man changed in that moment from indignation that he consistently trample on my religious affiliations as though I'm some mindless lemming, to a sort of warm understanding that he sees the world his way now, but in a time past he understood this supernatural belief he now fondly mocks. He chose to follow that God he discredits, and soon to come he will face Him again.

Not to disrepute my friend; I feel "dirt's all the same" to be very much an accurate perspective, and it correlates with this notion to follow Christ, but at least for me, acknowledging the good they chose once rather than the wrong we've both encountered leads love for them to form in my chest. I've started to see others as siblings and cohorts on the same tract of life, whether they see it or not. They chose Christ once. I chose Him at that same time. I've chosen Him again, and so could they. We are kindred spirits, we both chose Christ. We both have fallen into dirt. Judging them isn't leading them to an understanding of God and the Atonement and His love.

Dirt's all the same. And there's only one way to ever fully be clean.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monologue: Stay

I'm not tethered to this place, freed by the limitation of falling. There is breath that fills my lungs and alleviates my heart, there is a shaking of foundations that oysters up new birth.

I am free, I am calm, I am at ease.

I think I'll write a monologue:



I'm not playing this game anymore. I'm not chasing you like dogs allegedly chase cars. I'm not...wasting that much time on you. The hardest thing about this is that I'm not mad. A little annoyed, but not mad. I wish I was. I wish I could curse your name and fume to my friends. I wish I could despise you. Anger makes it easier to let go. It's easier to overturn tables and bite my thumb at you than it is to stay here.

But that's what I have to do. Stay. There's no one to blame when things simply fall apart. No one was wrong in us not being right. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt... This is the life I get to lead now, watching you roam with that harness on, safe and secure while I fall, watching you live and breath and experience all the things I'd hoped for us...all things I hope for with someone else if someone else would call. If anyone else would call. Because after you, no one's called.

The universe has a system of give and take, and often it all comes at once. One good opportunity is handed over and suddenly dozens more are at the door, but a week before all was nothing. The road led nowhere, all was vain and pointless.

You left and took it all with you. You unstopped the drain and everything the universe could have been handing me swirled into oblivion, vanishing from beneath my feet and between my toes. And I can't hate you for it. And that's the hardest part.