. . . For You

L onely . . . in this time  

O f increasing unbelief, looking frantically, hungering,

N ot for miracles, but for signposts that used to be so faith-clear, undisputed—

E ver-present testament, truth, surety,

L ooking for sanctuary, and I guess . . . just lonely for

Y ou.

***************

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” 

~John 14:27

My House Is Haunted

My house is haunted.

I detect the wily ways she uses to move about, subtle but there,

unnerving.

My husband notices dishes that I have previously washed—meticulously, I might add—and they will have miniscule specks of baked on something or other. Not enough to be “dirty,” but just enough to be irritating.

She is saying, “I’m here; get used to it.”

Shoes I have put away appear in walkways so that I almost trip over them if I’m not careful. She sprinkles dust in the night. She leaves the light on in the garage, burning electricity, making me burning mad.

What is probably most disturbing is that every so often she appears in my mirror, her white, disheveled hair, her wrinkled brow,

those staring eyes.

I stare back; I glare back, but

I cannot be too irritated for too long because she does look familiar;

and she looks to have stories to tell; and yet,

she seems trapped, prowling around, haunting my house.

After All This Time

One day slips slowly by, minute by minute, filling up its hours.

One life slips slowly by, hour by hour, day by day, filling up its limits, bounded by health and will and intersection with others on this human path; and

the child’s mind is still there behind the lined skin, the greying strands, thinning. And

the insecure teen is still buried somewhere in those pieces of flesh and neuron, hiding

behind her guitar, trying

to convince the world she is worth something—

trying to convince herself.

And the wandering, wondering minstrel is there with her boundless creativity and her endless insecurity, all muddled into one mass of synapses firing

with the only thing giving weakness away, the red blush that fills her cheeks,

announcing to the world that she is floundering in this finding of her way.

And in a corner is the hesitant bride, sure and unsure,

all the same,

loving and yet not knowing how to love, hoping against hope that she gets it right.

And the mother and the teacher and the artisan and the Christian—jumbles of crisscrossed wires, confident, failing, falling and rising,

sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, now tucking it all in the folds of the grey.

In these slowing days, she can pull out a thread at will and feel what it was like. It’s gone, but not. Each memory has settled into its place.

And there should be a contented sigh to see it shuffled and settled; and yet,

when wisdom should frame it all,

when lessons learned should feel so sure,

she feels she is only beginning this journey.

How can it be that this weighty five pounds of flesh should still be wondering and wandering

after all this time?

I Am Broken

I am broken; I am mended.

I am broken; I am scarred. Lessons learned and some forgotten,

and I say, “Again, Lord, really—again?”

Round and round, my thoughts conflicted, hope and despair in this raw dance,

sure and steady, moments from the fall,

and I am broken; I am mended.

I am broken; I’m dependent, neither seeing nor knowing at all.

Threads

How fragile are these mortal threads that bind us to one another,

friends and family.

That water would be stronger than choices made,

that blood would be thicker than trouble.

But these silken filaments made strong in adversity from without

can easily be stretched and broken in

the calm,

when connection is taken for granted and

peace becomes an excuse for not facing the giants in the room.

Jan. 4? Already?

Well, I am already late.

I thought I would try to write something on my blog this year, if not every day, at least several days a week. I used to be more faithful to do that, but between California and Texas, I lost some of my words. They are still kind of there, but mostly float to a place of capture only as I try to sleep.

I didn’t think moving would be so hard. I knew it would be hard physically, but the grieving–the loss of people and places left behind–has been harder than I imagined. (But I don’t miss Gov. Newsom!)

We have come to a very picturesque place, but we have no friends, just barely a church, no family in this town. We chose it because it is the halfway point between far-flung grandkids. But at our age, setting up a homestead in a new place is challenging, to say the least.

Covid is a factor, I think, in having some people keep their distance, but mainly, being retired means you don’t automatically have a community to plug into. Finding a church where you are not hired to do worship. walking in with a sort of Jesus-pedigree, is challenging for someone like me who is basically shy until you get to know me or unless I am singing to a crowd or doing live television. Just being a plain old parishioner in search of a parish is different and unsettling. And in this process, I have lost some of my words. Life and passion.

I have lost them to exhaustion and worry.

I have lost them to the loneliness and blank-staring, realizing that halfway in-between might just as well be a half continent away.

I have lost them to the stream of dissent and political pundits that crowd the airwaves and my mind waves in this tumultuous time.

But it is high time to fight back. To reclaim the right to think and write and find joy in the middle of all the mess. To create and not destroy.

To be confessional.

To change and be changed.

When I Was Young . . .

When I was young, I dreamed big dreams of earth and sky,

of progress and promise.

Context was safety, and I was so safe as to not know what real danger even looked like.

Though it would not have been right to stay in that cocoon of love and acceptance,

I often wonder

if that young girl had known what was really afoot in the wide, wide world,

the wild, wild real world,

would she have dared to traipse beyond the green fields,

the treehouses, and sandy riverbanks,

the hot-breath Holsteins, the feral cats made tame,

the safety of happiness, of home?

Would she have dared to sling a Harmony archtop guitar over her shoulder and run headlong into the unknown,

to explore the more complicated

and often darker underbelly of the world.

Probably.

But can I go back home now?

Purify

When real life gives you murders, injustice, pain, vigilantism, discrimination, betrayal, and the myriad other destroyers of the human spirit, we rail, we protest, and we grieve . . . and yet,

when we seek some respite from the real world,

when we seek some down time,

we entertain ourselves with fictions than show murders, injustice, pain, vigilantism, discrimination, betrayal, and the myriad other destroyers of the human spirit.

Perhaps it is time, along with seeking to purify society that we purify our hearts and our appetite for films where we live vicariously through such horrors

Doing and Being

If my value is in my doing, not just being,

I will forever be disappointed because

my doing changes with life’s seasons;

and my doing can be done and undone.

My doing is often enabled or

prevented by

factors outside my control; and ultimately,

my doing is never enough to change things,

to shape things,

to mean anything . . . really.

Being—

to be in Christ should be enough.

In my frail and fragile soul, let it be.