I am shaking

Constance, I am sitting, stunned!
I have been editing Spitting Bones and I am trembling at the emotions it has evoked within me.
Waves of tears well up from my gut, and overflow in fear, and then in anger…

and then finally tears that turn to tears of joy.

I do not really know where this poem came from.  I awoke on Sunday morning with that phrase

…spitting bones…

ringing in my ears and I was all discombobulated, but I knew it was a phrase of power and portent and would grow into a poem.
I think this poem will unfold itself to me for a long season.  For now, it shimmers as something hard-won and safe,
but glitters as something glinty-eyed and still not tame!

What the heck is going on with this one, Constance?  I like it…I fear it…I treasure it.

Spitting Bones

I remember the bones…smooth
with the thick patina of reverence and religion.
Pushed thru the bars of my crib, one by one,
proffered by priests and priestesses
frantic in the grip of their god.
Their god of two faces, only two…
and bones, always endless bones.
I cried fearful and turned away from
the face their god thrust into mine,
wrathful and hungry to eat me,
and spit me out as bones.

I remember the birth of days, endless continuum
of spitting bones (they fed) forced into my heart
by fingers of dread and violation.
Their food was wormwood, was fungal,
was necrotic and charnel charcuterie,
it was bones thrown, divining that
never-never-land, that future of failure
and folly-laced affliction offered
as communion that roundabout me
all partook of, eating the body and drinking the blood
of a god breaking them all for itself!
Wretch that I was, east of Eden and hungry,
alone and spitting bones.

But the days when my cradle concealed
only an ash heap desolate and bleak in the wind,
and the nights where my bars branded themselves
into my soul to make me their always-prisoner,
began to be cracked by winds, by tremors, by thunders
and by storms, always storms railing,
leaving me soaked to my bones
and raw from my bars,
but slick and wet, ready for birth.

And even as I had spit the bones of that god
bitter from my velvet mouth, I reached,
and gripped hard, and wrenched in desperate anguish
until at last those sharp teeth
(that hungry god’s unwisdom teeth)…
those brands burnt sizzling into my heart tore loose!
Bloody and gore spattered, glistening
with dread power draining, diminishing.
I welled up my outrage, my despair,
my affliction and conjured from them
alchemal ancient power and found my niche,
found my mission spitting bones!

And now?
I sit on downy green mounds,
on high hills become mountains!
I forage in fields of gold, omnivore
and gleaning food from gods forgotten,
gods ignored, from Grace Herself
Who is bounty and variegated victory!
And I eat, freely, with no fear or terror
of the old god who died and cannot rise again!
I draw strength from the meat of complicated cuts
that must be cured and marinated and braised off
until they loose their grip on gore and their poison is annulled.
For all my days, I will be one who can consume all things
and grow to grace others and thrive,

eating the food… and spitting bones.Luna

Renewing an old acquaintance with a new friend

I had the most blessed opportunity over the weekend (I want to write about that, perhaps later).

I was at a wine event.  Now Constance, as you know if you have read from the beginning, Wine is the central metaphor in life for me.  And if you are a new Constance, I am considering posting about that metaphor again, as every time I write on that topic, I learn more and grow.

Anyway, what a wonderful time, and lo and behold I saw a winemaker whom I had been out of touch with for a couple years, primarily because of the wrenching and wrestling that I was undergoing as the Lord and Lady brought me back to myself and began to restore me to wholeness.  They used work as their huge demolition tool, and what with all that coupled with my friend’s own business and some significant changes in her own life, we simply paddled down the river of life best we could with eyes only on the impending rapids seemingly always ahead.

We were happy to see each other, and as she is perceptive and highly intelligent, she figured out right away that I was very different.  And, I admit that I was just a bit less veiled in my word choices as I spoke with her.  The upshot is that we reconnected which is always good, but here is something that is great!

In email exchange, I finally had the chance to tell her how much I had esteemed her in my heart of hearts!

I had just written of friendship, and particularly how I had felt so cut off from female friends due to the gender binary enforcing upon me the role of my genetic sex (male).  All interactions were laden with these directives, expectations, dictates and requirements!  I could never just be myself and LIKE someone, lest confusion set in, or accusation rail down, or things be taken wrong…it was a mess!

And then after I got married, and most of that was laid to rest, there was then the so-called “problem of morality” of being perceived as a married “man” who was overly-friendly to women not his wife!  The fear of being a creeper, or a horn-dog, or a rounder bound me up horribly and my heart ached.

And then worst of all, the women I esteemed the most tended to be within 10 years of the age of my mid-twenties daughters!  Of course now I understand that, as I am emotionally around that age in my own truncated growth as a woman.  But physically???  Well the permutations of creepy grew so quickly that I was nauseated at the very prospect of what others would think, and horrified that the girls I wanted to draw close to and imitate and learn from and hang out with and look up to would see some old letch!

Sigh.  Sigh.  Sob.

Thankfully, I am finally being restored to wholeness, and the timing of the opportunity to reconnect with my friend was brialliant!  And I was so blessed with her words back to me, of acceptance (thanks for stressing that word dozens of times! LOL), affirmation, and vulnerability.  This young lady is vibrant, visionary and valiant!  She works closely with her father and also works on the side professionally.  She is thoughtful and intelligent, considerate and strongly confident.  She is sometimes sad and lonely inside, but finds strength and commitment to press on, knowing that tough times don’t last but tough people do.

She is just one of those people you want to hang out with…she cool!

Look around you today…there may be shy ones who long to leave the shadows and walk in the light…all they need is someone to hold their hand until they get their balance.

 

Blessings and Joy,

Charissa

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A wonderful amazing new follower, and a comment

Constance, I got an email this morning that I had a new follower.  This always results in my giving a squeal of delight, and yes I will admit…disbelief!  LOL!

Even now I find it unbelievable that anyone wants to read what I have to say!

Anyway, it is happening, and as with so many other miracles happening in this time, I am just accepting it and saying THANKS LG!!

So my new follower has a blog where she expresses herself, and it is creative and unusual, unique and precious.  I was absolutely riveted by a post she made, and I want to re-post it here for you all to read.  I could have written that post!!  I am continually amazed as I read story after story after story, from all different cultures and eras and epochs that mirror my own story and echo my own sorrows.

But I think I have been receiving some insight, some instruction, and I think that I have been given the faith to insist that

THIS. EXISTENCE. IS. NOT. A. DEAD-END!!

NO!!  I think we can blow that back wall apart with joy and kindness and mercy and surrender.  Like water we can flow around, over, through, until that hated mortar dissolves and the walls do the Jericho dance!

On to her post:

THE SADDEST PEOPLE

“I think the saddest people always try to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that.”

(Source: Tumblr – blissfulxparadise)

This. This. This is exactly what i wanted to say to people or friends who just laughed when I told them I was depressed. They laughed because they thought it was not possible for me to be depressed because I was always there to make them happy, make everyone laugh, make their day, and help then every time I could. They laughed because they often see me smile and laugh. What they don’t know is that at night, when I am alone, I am a different person. I am the saddest being you would ever see. As ladies remove their makeup before sleep, I remove the smile that I painted earlier in the morning. I know how it feels to be miserable and underappreciated… I don’t want anyone to feel that way… That is why I try my best to make others happy. I make them feel good and appreciated. I never show my own wounds because it can make them sad, too. However, here’s is the price I pay: no one believes me when I say I am exceedingly sad.

Oh, dear Yi, you said it so very well!!

I think that the beginnings of true joy are always found in seed form in the deepest aches and sorrows.  I think of the examples of redemption stories from around the world that always involve the Redeemer who has to descend to the deepest and darkest depths of despair and doom in order to transcend them in resurrection, rising to victory over them and living in a new creation.

Certainly in my faith and redemption story, Precious Jesus went to the very bowels of hell and to the absolute bottom of the bottom, underneath all things before rising, and leading a host of captives to liberty with Him.

Lately, I have been finding that the goal of helping others to be happy, to be joyful and edified is remaining with me, in me as a state of being!  I am thrilled, of course, because as Yi so tenderly puts it, night used to have the power to unleash the hounds of hellish anxieties, fear, and dread.  Those demon dogs would ravage my heart and rip it to shreds, and I would lose anything I gained.

How did I get there? HA!  In a way that made no sense!  Well, no sense by the upside down logic of our world…I simply gave up!

Yep, surrendered, yielded and said kaput!

But the secret is this:  I didn’t give up to the nothing, I gave up to Someone!  Lady Grace had made promises, to other people in other lands and other times, and She said that these promises were for all peoples in all lands and all time…and I realized that I literally had nothing to lose.

I had nothing.  Nothing could be lost, finally.

And Someone would find me, and She was faithful to what She said She would do, and so She brought me a mighty long way.

Consider:  was I not as hypocritical, incongruent as the very ones I sought to help?  For I was telling them that joy, happiness, gladness and gratitude was the state of being which would yield the greatest fruitfulness…and yet I myself was using those very qualities to cover up that gaping gash in my very own heart!  I felt lost because I knew it was impossible to conjure them out of the awful stuff inside me.

Thanks be to God, for being those very things in me…for being present to fill me with joy, and peace, and clean contentment.

I want to echo Yi’s poignant post, and remind you to be aware as you walk each day, there are those all around you who may be teetering on the brink of despair…and just one touch, one smile, one compassionate hug may be the grain of sand that starts an avalanche of change for them.  And I also want to exhort us all…let us look beyond, to the time and place of transcendence, and to the One Who transcends all things and has overcome the world!

Love, Charissa

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