"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable." - Kahlil Gibran
I discover you in dust Layered on my soul Whispering Of God And how He slips in through Your atheism With narrowed eyes And furled brow And shows you photos of me
At the kitchen table In the setting sun My son sits Hand slowly Carefully Drawing pictures Of the monster trucks and motorcycles He dreams of Interrupted only by My devoted eyes and smiles
There are stars in the sky of my bedroom I've reached I've jumped But I can't get them down When I lay in bed at night Eyes heavy and drifting In the moonlight A giant lifts me up And one arm clings to him As I place the stars Over our heads
I love humans But how could that be For not all humans love me But look at them One foot an animal's One foot God's dream Their words, their actions There's no plot One voice speaking over itself But observe deeper And I believe you'll see Something crying out from invisibility Look in their eyes Listen to their voices Feel and recognize It's you that's hiding
Being before complete love We have no fear For to love completely Is to know we are completely loved Safe Secure Eternally And we will turn And reveal All Before all And find only... We have no fear For to love completely Is to know you are completely loved Safe Secure Eternally You
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19)
The room brightens And that's when I see them The beautiful landscapes The beautiful moments Portraits And then in that light That gentle light They unhinge I run To catch them To hold them And over and over they somehow slip Through my hands Over and over And in that room Of endless shattering I fall to my knees Cover my ears Close my eyes Screaming Feeling each shard Tear me apart A part Apart
I’ve written a lot of poems over the last year. I’d like to share some of them. This one is from May 2021.
To the girl who wrote poetry Preserving me Through the static Thank you. It is time She appears The strength The vividness Of a million colors Before me And within me Floating, touching dancing As one Arising And gliding over nothingness As I collapse before her feet Into our nothingness So she can speak
This poem was inspired by finding my old poetry journals from when I was 13-20 years old. After 20 I largely stopped writing poetry. Until I picked the habit back up within the last year. My emotions seem to compel me to write poems. As I write them it often feels I am both communicating and listening. I am expressing and keeping in touch with myself. I believe writing poetry harmonizes and integrates the emotional and thinking parts into “Me”.
(This post was written early May)
* I struggle a bit in this post to take how my feeling side of the mind envisions things and write it in simple terms. Emotionally everything I share in this post is true. I am only able to express this truth, right now, in a more poetic form. I hope it still has clarity.*
A Heartbreaking and Heartmending Realization
When I first saw The Tree Of Life I found the movie incredibly beautiful. It’s message struck close to my heart, I knew that, but I couldn’t understand it. Though beautiful and good, I couldn’t see how the movie’s message connected to real life.
Near the start of this journey, my mind pulled me back to things I found beautiful, and I searched for clips from this beautiful movie. When I found this clip, I understood it more clearly than I had before. A link to this clip was one of the first things I shared here on my blog. And last week this clip found it’s way back to me. I guess there was another message in it I was finally ready to hear. And it shattered me. It opened my eyes, to my deep failure.
A few days after this realization I wrote this poem. I feel it captures the experience.
Before mortality, full of faith in my love and strength. I made a promise. I remember that now and my heart breaks. I have failed you forgotten you at the first cutting word or cold touch This shattering humbles me and somehow weeping and ashamed I find a final victory I find your arms again and hear your promise "I will be true to you. Whatever comes."
It’s hazy to me, but I do have a sense that there is a truth in this poem. I believe those final words in the Tree of Life scene hit me as a promise I made to God. A promise that I would remember Him and His love and follow His way of Grace and love in this life. A promise I quickly failed, when the “whatever comes” arrived.
After the “Whatever Comes” Arrived
I became distracted by how other’s treated me, judged me, loved me, and I lost touch with God’s love of me. I began trying to assert my will to get other’s to give me the love I believed I deserved. I didn’t consider where they were in life. I blamed them for corrupting me, for making it so I “couldn’t love”.
I walked in the world completely of my own will, seeking to be seen and loved, and hurt and outraged when I felt I didn’t receive it. In that hurt and outrage I would lash out, judge others harshly, give the cold shoulder, or criticize. I didn’t spend much time actively showing love to others, I was too busy trying to figure out whether others were being loving to me or not. And then, when I determined they weren’t being loving (which was the final verdict on pretty much everyone since I struggled to receive love), I spent the rest of my time trying to figure out what to do or say to get them to love me better.
I believe this realization came crashing down because I was ready for it. And I believe I was ready for it because I have been starting to remember and have faith in God. In His love. And in knowing Him, my mind and heart finally felt safe enough to let me shatter. Deep down, though I didn’t consciously know it, I finally felt safe enough to fall into that complete guilt and shame. He would not leave me. He was the only love I ever needed.
He Knows I’m Imperfect
I imagine He knew all along, that though my heart was fully in my words when I promised “I will be true to you. Whatever comes”, that imperfect me would fail. Those words when spoken by me, are merely me expressing my hopes and dreams. To believe I could ever live up to them is delusion.
I imagine the words themselves actually first came from God, and when spoken by Him, they are said with certainty, a declaration of fact ” I will be true to you. Whatever comes”. This dynamic brings to mind the bible verse “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It was His love and His promise I first heard, and my dream is to love like Him. But of course I never will be able too.
Yet I will never give up striving to love like Him. And I feel a huge part of that striving is remembering and experiencing God’s unconditional love for me even through all my continuous falls from showing others grace and love. If I pretend I’m mostly perfect, then it blocks that learning of unconditional love. I feel I cannot show others grace and love if I myself have not experienced that grace and love being shown to my failing self by God.
Mended – Healing And Learning
So though I felt shattered by the realization of my failure, I felt mended by it too. Humbled. More ready to receive and learn from Him instead of thinking I already had things taken care of. More ready to hand Him the reigns of my life. And mended in trusting the security of His love enough to stand before it and admit deep failure, shame, and weakness. And in admitting, allowing myself to experience His true love and grace. And in experiencing His love and grace, healing and learning.
I turn inside with words Asking "Who am I?" I hear ricocheting replies Proclamations of strength Tearful helpless hurting Screams of rage spiraling destroying Whispers of my fears confirmed A panicky flow of words A loud mocking laugh A meek voice promising a flinching kindness A gentle confident voice reassuring love I am all of these I am none of these Besides the one asking "Who am I?" And the reply is - Choose!