Storytelling

sunflower crowns

Are you telling the stories I gave to you?
It is a haunting and ever-present question,
buried deep in my heart and pounding the air around my ears –

Are you telling the stories I gave to you?

Does your heart open up,
do you bleed the words and the feelings and the
emptiness,
are you sure that this life is not lived
in silence?

And the fear comes here:
I have become so much and so little of myself in the past two months.
I am ten thousand miles into a journey
that is ten billion miles long,
my life a plain stretched wide across the canvas of
some great celestial painter.

I have lived so much life in the span of two
silent
months –
new job, new house, new life, new people, new ideas, new experiences, new
depths delved deep within.

My heart, harried and tired and raw like new skin,
beating a hundred different rhythms as it once again finds its own,
is bursting with stories that have only unfurled their
delicate
story
wings
before a few.

And that same question,
filled with the guilt and the grace of every god who has offered either:
Are you telling the stories I gave to you?

Because that’s the thing you don’t know about me,
that’s the kicker,
the punch,
the twist in the plot and the slash through the canvas –

There are too many gods asking me for my stories.

They beg of me:
Tell the world the story of the girl who lives to work, who dedicates herself to the job
that she is still making sense of.
Tell the world the story of the student who graduated from the place that taught her all at once
that faith can never be simple or difficult again.
Tell the world the story of the daughter who is struggling to make
her own home.
Tell the world the story of the girlfriend who so desperately longs for
he who makes her more herself.

Tell the world of the anxieties, the fear, the hope, the peace, the racing heart, the fumbling fingers,
the mind
always ten steps ahead
and ten leagues deeper than it should be.

And those gods,
who demand all my energy and my time,
self-created and inundating
my brain and my heart –
The gods who heave
blame and shovel
shame and take back all the

grace that is offered to me –

Those are the gods I deny my stories.

And now,
I will tell the one story that reaches,
words like spindly fingers
and words like sunflower crowns –

Reaches into the sky like bravery made solid:

Give me the breath again, my God who breathes,
to tell the story
that oxygenates all of me.

I am more
than I think I am.

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Convincingly Accurate Portrayals of Sinking and Swimming.

I have only seen beautiful people.
You should sit down for this
because I want you to
understand the gravity of the situation.
We are floating on the surface of an
ocean of possibility.
The probability of dying down there is immense,
and the probability
of finding the pirates’ treasure is not much less.
Still we float,
and we are content to do so.
Do you ever hate that about humanity?
Are you ever ashamed of our irrational fears?
Let us sink like stones to the abandoned sea floor,
once the top of a mountain before the earth turned herself inside out.
If only we could be like the plates,
shifting and breaking,
causing earthquakes and explosions.
I have always lived in the unfulfilled dramas,
praying for a breaking point
but never really expecting one.
Someone once said that the world would fall into anarchy
if we all just said the things we felt
but
I’m not sure if we would really mind that.
We crave that.
Upending the triviality for the reality.
Sometimes I think it’s all in my head,
that I am the only one who sees this.
But they are out there
And they notice things like no one else,
and I think we could change something.
Look!
When you see the ones that mean it,
you believe in your sanity again
and if we just promised one another that there was a point behind the pointlessness
then we could save ourselves a whole lot of wondering.
Let’s fall onto the grass like starfish
left behind after the sea receded into the dirt.
And there,
we will swear to ourselves and the angels that we aren’t going to be hypocrites anymore.
Dance the infinite dance.
It’s not a new line but it’s the truest one I can think of.

A Sonnet

I realize that the last few posts have been poetry, and I sort of apologize for that.  I don’t apologize for the poetry itself, but I do know that sometimes poetry can be sort of confusing and exclusive and I really don’t intend this blog to become a place solely for poems.  But I hope you’ll take it all in stride – my soul has been particularly heavy with words over the last week or so, and I’m glad I have this place to deposit those words.  My poetry is just as important and meaningful to me as my essay-like prose.  It’s another way I figure things out.

I am formulating one of those essay-like things in my head currently, to be up Saturday night at the latest.  My dorm is doing this thing called Confidence Week, where we don’t wear makeup and we cover the mirrors and stuff.  I, however, have taken a slightly different approach to Confidence Week – and the following poem was the start of my discovery as to where my confidence lies.  I wrote this a few days ago, after a couple days of having an artistic cold (as in, it was like my nose was all stuffed up but instead of my nose, my brain and heart were all stuffed up with words and I couldn’t figure out how to get them out).  Then, I had a particularly challenging day on Monday and the result was this poem.  The day wasn’t challenging in that it was a hard day – really, it was just a deep day.  A lot to think about.

Anyway, you’ll see that post soon.  In the meantime, I’m sharing this piece.  I was hesitant to do so – still am – because it sounds sort of dark.  But it’s not.  It’s only honest.  Don’t be afraid of something honest, because the most true stuff is usually also hard to swallow.  It’s meant to be read aloud – preferably by me – but if I’m not around, it might help to read it out loud to yourself.  I wrote it to the song Spiegel Im Spiegel, too.  It’s called A Sonnet, for various reasons.

______________________________________________________________

I am not like everyone else.An enigma but only a shrouded one.
A breath but only a gasped one.
I flirt with this world as though it meant something.
I exist like I’m important but I’m not.
What do you think when you are collapsing?
To whom do you run when no one sees you coming?
They’ve always told me that everyone was special.
So I believed that included me.
With my talents so rare and precious,
my flittering eyes begging to be caught.
You tell me what I do means something.
But I can’t place it anymore.
I thought I was a magnet
but perhaps I’m turned the wrong way.
They called me special but failed to admit that I was only just.
I am enough for my small portion –
Risk a bit, yes.
But a distance is kept that confuses me.
It goes against who I thought I was:
I thought I was a stolen breath,
a wide-eyed blessing.
But what the hell is going on?
Do I trust you all or not?
I want to come into my own.
I want to be magnificent to someone.
Don’t you get it?
There is some blackness living inside me that I don’t understand.
I am convinced both that I am alone
and that I am only one honest with the universe.
How quick broken hearts feign healing.
Are you all as mixed up as I am?
How quickly people are forgotten.
How quick we are to pretend life is normal.
I am not like everyone else,
but only because I’ve admitted it.
Break through my icy veil
so I can glimpse she who hides in the depths of my soul.
If you saw her,
would she be more than special?
Would she be the magnet people call her?
When you find her,
tell her to keep going.
Tell her she is only lost because no one will search hard enough.
She is not like everyone else,
and maybe she doesn’t need to be.