Wednesday, February 16, 2011

another sentence.

In the garden at the beginning, there was a lush, centered tree—a tree containing a serpent, subtle in its reiteration of God’s words to Eve, she, naked and craving an act that would make her more like this God, who kept His eyes away as her teeth split an apple’s skin, passed next to Adam who bit into it also, letting the juice and Eve’s saliva intermingle on his tongue, which fondled the apple’s flesh, signifying a new awareness of their own flesh and their mortality too, the couple now open-eyed and vulnerable to death. The apple was delicious.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I have faith in Christ not for the early Sunday mornings and hand motions of childhood, the smiles from strangers beside the church building, nor my mother's weary voice, tremulous over the phone, straining to push out, "God will take care of you," but rather because of the cigarettes shared on the beach last night, the sound of a banjo with two broken strings, the sweet hesitance in another's tone upon mouthing "fuck" aloud, the way music moved in stillness over traffic lights, relentless in their changing while we watched from the car, parked--my brow furrowed with the fullness and aching of vision and discord and the resilience of tired hearts.

Monday, February 7, 2011

cool and good.

Just wanted to write a quick note (that became not so quick of a note) on lunch today. I was really encouraged by a conversation I had with Shea and Brandon at our informal lunch after-hours. I kind of sidled into a conversation they were having about prayer. They were sharing how they've been changed through opening up to prayer, prayer training, the Holy Spirit's push and call. That's something I haven't done much and listening to both of them made me realize it's an awesome thing to start thinking about.

Secondly, a shout-out to Brandon for voicing and understanding a lot about the changes he's gone through--how his plans have changed and shifted in order to become part of God's plan. I sort of off-handedly and unenthusiastically said something about how I dramatically change my life plan every six months or so and he bursts out, "What do you think your life is about?" Brandon, that was so awesome. You're so right. He said, "You think you're making those decisions?" Ah, how comforting to know that it isn't me, but someone creative and wonderful and powerful enough to give birth to music, to oceans, to hands, and to humankind with all its fullness and complexity. I can put my faith in that. My life is no problem.

I know change is impending now in my life and I feel more willing to be open to the spirit of God in how exactly those changes will look, take shape, branch in and around my life and future. Living with a spirit of accepted uncertainty- hopeful expectation that does not demand specifics- this is how I'm intended to declare trust in and faithfulness to the Lord.

Another conversation Shea and I recently had also played a part in this. She pointed out a verse I've heard a ton of times, but it's also a verse that hasn't ever materialized for me the way it's doing now:

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" James 4:13-15

How often my plans revolve around those exact things: moving locations, spending a year at this or that school, in this or that city, with this or that person, all of which have somehow become half-hearted attempts to obtain financial stability, to get a job someday, carry on business and make money. I don't even want that, yet my whole life is oriented toward it.

I think I'm re-orienting. So wherever I end up- Westmont, Chapman, Orange Coast, jobless, dropped of school, going to grad school, getting married, staying single, traveling the world- I'll be oriented toward Christ. The other things will work out as God works me out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

only the beginning.

I specifically promised myself that I wouldn’t post any of my poems here as soon as I find out we were required to keep a blog for CIRCLES. Never say never, my friends. I write a lot of poetry. I love it so much, but I also deeply fear that it’s hackneyed and silly. We'll get back to that.

Every once in a while (and not often enough) a conversation gets me truly riled up, plucks me out of my apathy into a sort of…holy frustration? I don’t know if that’s the best way to articulate it, but I’m having trouble.

Late night at Del Taco (aka real church) yesterday, I sat with a few people that I would consider part of my new group of friends here at home. I was having trouble figuring out where I was going to land, being back from New Orleans, and these people feel like home to me. We talked about the church, where we find our hopes and frustrations with it, the beauty and ugliness of our hearts and our roles. I almost feel like another something snapped in me. I suddenly felt okay with needing to abandon situations and relationships and plans, in order to pursue Christ. For now, I don’t feel like I need to abandon anything specific, but it’s incredibly liberating to be okay with it.

I honestly don’t know if I’m making any sense right now. I just think there’s a lot going on inside of me, that Christ is remembering me now and weaving in and out of whatever “new thing” He’s doing in my heart.

So anyway, this is a poem that I wrote last night, attempting to articulate the inability to articulate what I’m feeling. Bear with me, circlers. Oh, and it doesn’t have a title for now.

At the entrance to your apartment,
we stand in half-light and talk about God.
Curse a little, and my skin trembles with cold.
I don’t know what to say to you.
It brings my eyebrows in, not to know,
makes my throat ache with wordlessness—
the heavy awareness that there is much to say.
Soundless lips, a weak pen;
I am no worthy vessel.
A brown spider glows behind you,
suspended back-lit in the gate and it exhausts me.
I fall short of language, but words grasp outward,
gnaw at my rib bones in a hunger that harms me.
I crave surrender, do nothing—
drive home crying, singing off-key hymns
of a heaven much too current to bear.