Tears Of Grace

This time of day…“l’heure bleue.”
I know it as “the gloaming” and was conceived
in it’s glimmer glisten and was born
in its radiant dark glitter-glamouring.

It’s the glamouring that the earth casts
when she hides from the hunters who roam the world
and gobble up the quiet dark and then rough-belch
their choking smothering counterfeit-communion

*non-light*tumblr_ns40g3DiCp1qas1mto3_1280Outside her glamouring, round about
shuttering houses and shuddering hearts,
gardens darken and grow quiet within
while the ravenous rave and wander wild

and hunt,
brandishing their bluebeards
and pulling
stars from the air.

Gardens crouch and sing silent
dirges to sounds of hunter-horns
and thunderous hooves, clatter-hoards
who ride and murder

*the tender sable satin night*.tumblr_ns5yflHIfR1t8tvpvo1_500But inside,
safe in L’heure Bleue
I wander, and
I think of you

*not-lost*

I slide thru grey grass
lining the sinewy river,
I slip thru shadows like
a cat rubbing against

*your limber long lingering legs*

The gloaming dark,
the never ending
extension of a day
that never ends

*and never arrives*tumblr_nrcag3O1421tp8egbo1_1280 but instead just stretches in this endless summer hour,
this full blue one full of blue light
dark and thick and more potent in its indigo flourish
than any wagging threatening bluebeard.

It’s the hour when the earth tries to hide her sorrow,
hold back her tears and so I slide down her face
instead, quiet like a swan upon the surface
of a silent-blue snow rimmed lake

while she glows in the dark-blue
light and gloams, she lets me
fall upon herself blue, like
tears of grace.
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The Gospel of Snark: An Invitation to Die

The Gospel of Snark: An Invitation to Die.

Constance, I want to introduce you to an old friend…one of my very first in fact.  She is in the same litter of puppies that I was born in…and we snuffled at Mama’s side for milk with our lil shut up eyes and hungry bellies…tumblr_nrsfa9f3E71sqhql9o1_1280…our noses worked better than our brains and we snuffled each other’s scents…and Mama’s…and our puppy selves curled around each other when our bellies were swollen and full with the good milk of the Word…the same Word…the same Mama, that “El-Shaddai” many-breasted God that we grew to love and serve and follow all the days of our lives.

I have never actually met this old friend in the body…yet.  That is coming.tumblr_ncu67zXaa41rylzllo1_1280But it was only a few weeks ago that we encountered one another and the elevator just zoomed us back to the place we were born and bred.  It was a reunion of great joy, for we had both spent many a year thinking ourselves alone in the wilderness.

Her blog is a great read…and I am linking to this post because of when I was little, and I had a prayer I prayed of 3 prongs (read Jennifer’s post and you can see how we are litter-mates):

I prayed that I would be a real christian…and by that I mean real.
I prayed that I would be known as a friend of God.
I prayed that I would truly embrace death to self.

In someways the very best prayer I ever prayed…in every way the most painful one.

But I am under the Mercy…and I am okay…and now I finally found JD…my littermate.tumblr_nrn1gdf0bL1r7fsa9o1_540Hay Grl!  Let’s go run with the Big Doggies!!!tumblr_n8jk953KK21rpd8pjo1_1280

The Poem You Write

It’s in the spaces between the words,
in the moments you do not do,
it hides in the silent sound of what you say
*that would be what you utter not*

When I describe it, it twists a bit
and stands akimbo and aloof
and sings of itself above your ears
it’s there…the poem you write yourself.

To set your pen to page and speak
your “Let There Be”, it gives a shape
but that leaves so much shaped behind
*the space your body takes in water*

when you dive in and swim, and the space moves and disappears

Tomorrow I will write again
and let the vision in my pen
pull apples from the very air
and sprinkle heaven in your hair

but today, it’s the poem you write
in what you don’t say, don’t do, that kite
invisible and flying high…
your poem surrounds my heavy sigh
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For Lynda Carter’s Birthday

Auuugghhh!!!! I LOVE THIS!!!

buildingapoem

wwlc

And for That Writer Fellow, I give you a portion of a poem from the upcoming book:

Postcards from the Amazon

a celebrity correspondence

I.

My exercise routine?

I practice on

the parallel bars of I am

woman and hear

my golden lasso roar.

I beat Superman

at arm-wrestling, every time.

II.

And oh, the boys,

my colleagues: tights

bulging, faces half-hidden,

capes cracking in the breeze.

Their voices deep as a well.

Their jaws so straight and sharp

you could shave with them.

VI.

All women are gymnasts,

swinging

themselves from one necessity

to the next,

swinging, like Jane, from vines,

like me

from golden lassoes. Women hurtle

themselves

over every obstacle made by nature

or man,

break free from steel-forged chains

or do not.

This last is why women have

sisters.

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Precious Time

All the places of the world
that call and beckon me,
the wander lust and longing heart
to travel there and be.

Be rooted in such rare terroir
and taste of precious life
unfurling right before my eyes…
but Time…that silver knife

has cut me off from my own heart
you there, and me out here
I’d trade the world and all its wonder
just to have you near.

Present and Uncontained

It feels so fiercely good
to be free, to be found
in the reds and swirls
and sweats of my sisters
wise and strong
and wild and welded together
in the midst of bare trees
and empty pots
and dusty dirt.

We are living flesh,
we are alive and well!
We send the puppets of clay
back to the pile
from which they fell,
and now so impotently they yell.

My sisters strong
receive me, brood over me,
warm me, inspire and inform me,
challenge, elevate me!

Here
in the dust
in the wind
present and uncontained
by anything
except living flesh.

Pastor, Be Brave.

This is, quite literally, the very best account and explanation of why I avoided paid ministry like the plague.

It also can really help you be more tender in your view and perception of christian leaders and pastors and help you get past shoulds and oughts into the world of IS.

Quite a bit of the awful gordian knot of church leadership and ministry could be disposed of if “lay christians” would take hold of the sword of the spirit and start swinging like Alexander the Great!

Cut that thing! Quit fiddling with it! Quit trying to pay others to walk your walk and talk your talk.

Get after it, the work of the ministry, in the simple, immediate and obvious ways.

Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly

john pavlovitz

BibleReading

Pastor, be brave.

Believe me, I know it isn’t easy.

I never wanted to be a pastor myself. Eighteen years ago I was drafted, pulled into ministry later in life while in the middle of a successful career as an Art Director. What started out as a few seemingly harmless hours a week volunteering with students has led to nearly two decades in full-time service in the Church.

I’ve been where you are. I’m still there now.

One of the things I remember early on, was how strange it felt the first time I got paid to be a pastor. It made me feel legitimized for sure and it was certainly greatly appreciated, but I also realized that things had changed. I was no longer a free-lance believer. I was no longer autonomous. My spiritual life had been leased out and appropriated by a crowd. There was now an ever-growing, ever-changing list…

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We Are Come At Last

Marshal your forces, you protectors of the crown,
send your dogs running, your dogs of dreams,
your dogs howling, full noses of my fur, my pelt!

Bring on your hunt, your horses in full gallop
and chase for all you’re worth, your lust and fear
of free blood running red, and full, liberty’s blood!

Your coats, scarlet!  Your smirks, affixed with tax,
and become terrible twisted rictus in your sweaty efforts
to hunt this free fox leaping, yipping, dancing on the dawn!
Image result for foxhunting
They shall come to me, your dogs, and wriggle ‘neath my touch!
They shall hear my dog-whistle words, too high for your dull ears
but so keenly attuned and pitched to their own straining hearts!

And they shall call to their comrades, your horses, who will alert and thrill
and leap into the air to gallop freely there…and you unhorsed…you laying there
upon the blood-stained grass of yesteryear…

Your time is up, for we are come to hunt you down
and tear that red coat straight away right off your back
and tossed into the sky, our banner free unfurled and our war cry…

No Longer!  Not Anymore!
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Don’t Worry…

…in truth people are far too preoccupied with themselves to ever truly be interested to really know others.

Don’t let people know too much about you.”  (found online).

It is the rare human being who is free enough from self to even want to know the empathic experience of another’s life.

Just think:  so many ills that plague us would simply fall by the wayside…

Oh wait.  I guess there was a very wise and kind person who walked the planet a couple of eras ago who said that all the teachings and commandments of all the religions and all the prophets and laws were summed up thus:

“The greatest commandment is to love God, with all your heart and soul, strength and mind…and the second commandment is just like the first one.  Love your neighbor as yourself, and do to others only those things that you want others to do to you”.

Like I said…you don’t need to worry about letting people know too much about you…they are not really interested compared to how much they are focused and obsessed with themselves.
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Woman Under The Smiling Moon

I finally did it,
worked my hungry nails
underneath that hidden edge
along the ridges of my heart

and got a grip
on the flesh of my face
and ripped it clean off
and heedless of the cost
though I had counted carefully
as I knew how to count.

Everyone says I wore a mask,
was a mask, and I just shake my head
and laugh, because they live out there
and they know nothing (what a pit to know).

That face?  It was me so not me
and it held me in its grip so fiercely
and so furious in its keening hunger
to fit me to itself and find its being finally in me

But when I tore it from me
and snapped its parasitic drain
I saw the moon above me
and knew its secret then and there:
there is no man in the moon!

I am woman and I am free…
the moon is gentle in the night,
swimming ever above me.

Shadows and Silences

you consign me to shadows and silences
when you look away from wonder
when you sit and ignore joy
when you know what you don’t know

you put me behind panes
separate even though somewhat visible
I can see them there in front of me
by the dew of the morning fresh

you will always think you have measured me
but you have never really bothered
you dodge every questing tentative hello
and your twisting just says goodbye

but light is a funny thing, it changes
when you think it’s rays, it is drops
and when you see drops it is beams
light is never shining as it seems

you know i will sit here, still
because I do not go away
but I hunger in shadows and silences
just stuck here by your faint halfway
Image 006

Intention

“People show their true colors,
unintentionally. Pay attention”
*Quote found online*

in what they do?
in what they don’t do?
in what they speak?
in the spaces between those words?
in what they do not say?

what are colors, true?
what are these intentions?

I think people mostly don’t,

intention

gosh it’s lonely sometimes
mine-field1

A Hot Summer Day And A Deck

a hot summer day and a deck
the sun it glints off of my glass
the sweet-tea ginger peach muddle
the mint wafting from sweaty ice cubes
floating, melting, disappearing

my peach is sweet, tart, it’s just right
fuzzy-firm against longing loved lips
I turn perfumed pages so eager
the story unfolds right before me
on a hot summer day and a deck

the book of you writes itself page at a time
it expands in my hands and the cover wanes old/new
it waxes familiar to my touch then *gasp*

“I never knew you”

every turning page snatches my breath

because I’m not quite sure if the next one
will be there, it could be blank or worse
it might write itself while I am reading
words forming from nowhere, just scrawling
in the high summer light on that deck

I can’t put it down for the life of me
I smell you in air as I fan those thin pages,
flip backwards but not ever reading ahead
(there is no ahead to be read in this book)
I miss you this hot summer day…

Constance, I am pasting this article in it’s entirety…on Faith.  Faith is such a misunderstood thing in our world, primarily because it has been polluted by the deeds of those who profess it most vociferously.

I like how this author speaks of “faith” as the actions of one’s life based on a particular kind of knowing.  Paul the Apostle speaks openly of faith being “in vain” if it is misplaced or simply unreasonable.  This has heavy implications for those whose actions are hateful and destructive and who then refer to them as “faith”.

Give it a whirl, and mull it over a bit.

Charissa

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

Faith and the Whole Picture

Posted by Tom Price on July 23, 2015

I’ve been trying to avoid using the word ‘faith’ recently. It just doesn’t get the message across. ‘Faith’ is a word that’s now misused and twisted. ‘Faith’ today is what you try to use when the reasons are stacking up against what you think you ought to believe.

Greg Koukl sums up the popular view of faith, “It’s religious wishful thinking, in which one squeezes out spiritual hope by intense acts of sheer will. People of ‘faith’ believe the impossible. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to fact. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of ‘faith’ ignore reality.”

It shouldn’t therefore come as a great surprise to us, that people raise their eyebrows when ‘faith’ in Christ is mentioned. Is it strange that they seem to prefer what seems like reason over insanity?

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It’s interesting that the Bible doesn’t overemphasize the individual elements of the whole picture of faith, like we so often do. But what does the Bible say about faith? Is it what Simon Peter demonstrates when he climbs out of the boat and walks over the water towards Jesus? Or is it what Thomas has after he has put his hand in Jesus’s side? Interestingly, biblical faith isn’t believing against the evidence.

Instead, faith is a kind of knowing that results in action.

The clearest definition comes from Hebrews 11:1. This verse says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In fact, when the New Testament talks about faith positively it only uses words derived from the Greek root [pistis], which means ‘to be persuaded.’ In those verses from Hebrews, we find the words, “hope,” “assurance,” “conviction” that is, confidence. Now, what gives us this confidence?

Christian faith is not belief in the absence of evidence. It is the proper response to the evidence. Koukl explains that, “Christian faith cares about the evidence…the facts matter. You can’t have assurance for something you don’t know you’re going to get. You can only hope for it. This is why the resurrection of Jesus is so important. It gives assurance to the hope.

Because of a Christian view of faith, Paul is able to say in 1 Corinthians 15 that when it comes to the resurrection, if we have only hope, but no assurance—if Jesus didn’t indeed rise from the dead in time/space history—then we are of most men to be pitied. This confidence Paul is talking about is not a confidence in a mere ‘faith’ resurrection, a mythical resurrection, a story-telling resurrection. Instead, it’s a belief in a real resurrection. If the real resurrection didn’t happen, then we’re in trouble.

The Bible knows nothing of a bold leap-in-the-dark faith, a hope-against-hope faith, a faith with no evidence. Rather, if the evidence doesn’t correspond to the hope, then the faith is in vain, as even Paul has said.”

So in conclusion, faith is not a kind of religious hoping that you do in spite of the facts. In fact, faith is a kind of knowing that results in doing, a knowing that is so passionately and intelligently faithful to Jesus Christ that it will not submit to fideism, scientism, nor any other secularist attempt to divert and cauterize the human soul by hijacking knowledge.

 

Tom Price is an academic tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.

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Kind, Beautiful, and Foolish

 

“beauty will save the world.”tumblr_n8ifvafz7z1tqm397o1_1280I read that and went on tilt
tilt permanently.

And when I repeated it?
I discovered this:

“beauty is an incommunicable mystery”Abstract-Illustrations1we worship Her simulacrum
in fashion/beauty businesses
we dissect Her til She’s become
a body flayed and labeled, neat
or purely abstract notion sweet
or distinct but distant divine Tweet.

Beauty, oh Beauty,
my blood and bones
inescapable essence
of my inmost being!7d72d822f5ac322c9286b2d3af488ca5-d8z8ojpYour hand gives help not harm,
mercy sweet for malice-charm,
forgiveness never ending
in the midst of endless non-forgivings
who think me idiotic because
I will not join in the feast
disparaging, destructive
and ugly in the noggins
and practice of those thoughts!

Beauty, let me take what’s cruel,
what’s discarded by the fool
and spin it into treasure bright
and I will caper in the night
become Sweet Beauty’s Ever-Fool!tumblr_nrkyd44pqv1sooy9go1_1280My blood, beautiful foolish flow
spilt from this creamy skin so torn,
stripped away and splattering
upon the dismal dusty ground,
each crimson drop hung glittering
in crystal sun and pregnant with
the chance to drink of God right now
and They imbibe our Grateful Vow!

My face, my bloody hands, my crowns
once mourning, heavy ashes dark
now shining in Her presence sweet,
I cast those crowns down at Her feet
I wash with Oils of Joy and praise
that repair ruined cities there
and step into the gaping breachtumblr_nr0nudVxoI1qas1mto9_r2_1280with cups of cool water sweet
with words like stained glass murals bold
my heart a great cathedral, gold
me with my shards sat at Her feet
my offering of helpless thrall
for She is become all…my all.

And Incarnation sounds that horn
Participate, and come partake!
Imbibe glory, intoxicating!
For it’s Beauty, Beauty saving
all the crushed, cut down, outcast!
Day is come!  Night is passed!!378e8e09c257b65920602dcbf1f17dbc-d8vi64lFor Beauty will push through and soar
high above this broken shore
transcending all our ugliness
in our following, courageous
and pressing thru the mystery
to find the stairs of transcendence
and be reflections of that Beauty

“beauty will save the world.”tumblr_nr8uf1duJA1thfeewo1_500

 

Litter-Mates At Mama’s Side

Laying in yellow squirming straw
covering us, blind and hungry,
comforted by Heat and Smell of Milk,
of Mama-El-Shaddai so calm,
so Placid, nuzzling us
to Her founts of feasting, blessing…
shaping.tumblr_nj8axqwRES1rx3qvso1_500We nursed there, of eternity,
grew fat together, our lean limber bones
learning, knowing, feeling
the shape and form of one another,
in the litter of our Mama
in the straw so dry and sweet
in the straw, that yellow heap…
in the close and quiet dark.tumblr_nnouejdqyt1u9pet5o1_1280Now our open eyes can see!
Can recognize that bonding
that our blindness thus bequeathed us
and our spirits simply understood
so long ago and far away
and leaning against
Mama’s side.Image 002Look at us! We are still just pups!
Still  just blind and hungry lil doggies
crying for Her comfort groans
But now?  We’re cloaked
inside these pink-tongued
long-limbed bodies
that run pastures all day long
and watch so fitful thru the night.tumblr_mvq8fapdjW1qzwnc1o1_1280The sheep think we’re big dogs (HAH!)
but I’m so glad to finally find
my straw sister, my truth untwister
to remember Then together
and to run with to Forever,
and discover that creation
is just Mama’s…tumblr_mlmzwwh6nq1rc8sbto1_1280milky undercarriage
as we howl
at the moon
and call for the Lamb to return
and the feasting Day of Marriagetumblr_ltl2raEOaD1qlmnabo1_1280

I Shocked The Snow

When it fell certain,
so sure in icy curtain
that always found its weighty bosom
enough to smother any flame
and quench any taper burning,

it was shocked to touch my coal,
it recoiled from those embers
and gathered in itself
and gained in substance frozen
and thus renewed its fall.

But when it touched my petals
(those tulips in the snow)
with icy graspy fingers
around my petal’s throat
to choke out warmth and heat?

It found itself diminishing!
It found itself becoming flowery
losing all its crystal majesty
and melting into cool waters
that I drank to slake my thirst

And thus I knew myself, and sure
that I could withstand cold and ice
and still bloom in winter, hang the price!
My roots go deep in fire and joy
amidst the snows so white.tumblr_nylql1rkyd1qat5pio1_1280

On Leaving Behind “Too”

“You are allowed to outgrow people.”

I found that quote this morning…and it startled me, scared me, and then I was quietly excited about its implications.

I have never had any friends in the past.  There are a lot of reasons for this…some are due to me, and my own flaws and stinkeroo heart.  Some are due to others who saw me as a pile of treasure to be used and exploited.tumblr_n6q9lekvjJ1tsgjavo1_500But mostly…I never had any friends because the people I wanted to be friends with were women…and I was stuck inside a biologically male body!  This automatically shifted all friendships into the “potential romantic partner” realm…or the “creepy dude being overly friendly realm” (which I never was but was always terrified that I would be perceived as)…

…or with males, it put me in the realm of absolute befuddlement:  they with me and me with them.

My therapist has helped me to see the ways that males treated me just as they do other women in our culture and this revelation has been key in accepting and forgiving myself.

But in the past 6 months, I have been gaining friends.  Amazing, towering women (who would shout derisively at me that I call them towering lol) who have opened their hearts and spread their wings to me…earthy, rooted women who have twined their roots into mine and have stood with me present…every day.tumblr_nr0nudVxoI1qas1mto6_1280They are teaching me to value myself appropriately and not sell myself so cheaply for bread crusts when there is a whole feast of friendship on the table.

So I am gaining in perspective…in experience…in confidence…and in direction.  I don’t think I want to be part of relationships that are not substantive and real.  I don’t want to be in connections where I am thought of as a bother, a chore to be tended to, or a minor annoyance to grasp (like a pineapple).mine-field1I am a very unique person…and I am a force.  I have been called “too” in the past…”too much”…”too intense”…”too passionate”…”too hard on myself”…”too high a standard”…

Well.  Let this be known:  I am not “too”

I am me.

If that is “too” to you, then likely we are not gonna really connect and grow together.  I have tried to slow down, to sit down, to tone down, to quiet down…and I die inside in guilt, doubt and self-judgement.

I am not doing that anymore…taking that label to myself about myself “too”…

and I am knowing that I am simply me.

And that is the best and only thing I can be…

Those who will shall find me and in these new lands I will become even more…and less.  Less that “me” that is self-judging and critical and self-hating…and more in their wonderful offering of themselves to my heart.Image 001But especially less…for it is in the “less becoming” that I truly become.

I have been knowing this for sometime now, without really knowing…
well, I am getting there…

Gosh it feels so good to run barefoot!tumblr_nmxzr28pzd1u38l26o1_500

Shattered

things i thought
held me up
and help me up
i found out are shaky

i am thought odd one
guilty of excellence
called by the many
unreasonable girl

pieces are breaking
from the mosaic
but where they hung
there is nothing but grey

all around me the bricks
that I thought were solid
turn liquid and broken
and leave me hung, shattered

Stepping Into The Minefield (To Those Who Love A Depressed Person)

Totally great article about a hard thing.

Thank you to the one who loved me thru, and the new friends who are present for me to feed the new lil chick within.

john pavlovitz

mine-field1

Life with depression is precarious business.

It’s like living full-time in a minefield.

You never quite get comfortable with your surroundings, even when things seem quiet. You always move gingerly, knowing full well that any step could blow it all up and send you reeling again; a bit of bad news, a difficult moment, or worse seemingly nothing at all. And every single time something triggers the sadness and that inner detonation occurs, parts of you get ripped up and shredded—and losing a bit of yourself in this way never gets easier.

One of the things most people don’t understand is the way mental illness isolates you, how it forces you to the periphery of all of your relationships because you know how unstable the ground you walk on each day is and how quickly everything can get ugly. You desperately want to avoid the collateral damage to people you love, so you learn to keep them…

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A Thunderstorm in Town

I am reblogging this post by a friend of mine…

It’s a brilliant piece of writing in its simplicity and lack of pretension. I love when a really good writer just types her heart and doesn’t try to “write”…in my own writing I have found that some of my best poems are the ones that just scamper out while “I” am not looking.

Be sure to read the Thomas Hardy poem at the end.

It’s enough to make you cry for a year.

Michelle R. Terry

A thunderstorm passed through a few moments ago. My son fell asleep on the couch next to me, but not before he opened the window that sits level with my desk.  The study is filled with the lyrical sound of the last staccato raindrops pinging the gutters. Turns out that Dane loves thunderstorms, too and I treasure this commonality.

iPhone capture of the backside of the July 13, 2015 tornado

The storm is working her magic on me. Coupled with candles, Macy at my feet, and a diet cherry limeade, it’s all I need to get into the mood to write. Not that I have to be in any certain mood to write.

I know, it’s been like crickets in the halls of MamaMick. There are cobwebs in the corners, dust bunnies under the bed, and dried pizza crusts gathering ants in the discarded box. I’ve popped in long enough to say hello and then disappeared again–like Cheshire Cat.

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The Day I Turned To Stone

I remember that hard day,
the day I turned to stone,
how my heart filled with such dismay
horror-struck to the bone.tumblr_nqg8ww6JTv1txrs0no1_1280Words floated in the smoky air
and zeroed in on me
and stung me in my fleshy-chair
word-wasps and angry bee.

I broke out, far down the road
so many years gone by
and there laid down that heavy load
of stone, beneath blue skiestumblr_n6imzhXUXg1qzvg5fo5_1280and put on my warm softest flesh
and bloomed in my true form…
me, grown in stable gender-creche
and at last here…reborn.tumblr_nqj5bvampN1t07z8ao1_1280

Feather and Fur

It’s puzzling…
the sheer effrontery
of those raucous rooks,
those rapacious ravens…

they flock around
(why?  I couldn’t say)
and act all furry and red
and soft and they think
their beady close set eyes
are so foxy…

I act bored and disinterested
but I watch them carefully
with slitted eyes
and coiled muscles
ready to jump away from
blood-thirsty beaks

and harsh cries
that tear the air apart
and leave feather and fur
in their wake.

Fishy Truth Flopping

Fabrefaction can sometimes just be false and fiery
fallaciloquence, and kindness forgotten in that findible
fountain gushing from a feckless friend’s
flosculations…white lies become just lies that fumificate
frenigerant fillies and leave fishy truth flopping…floppingtumblr_nqkaz1RDzt1qat5pio1_500

No one nominated me, but this looked fun…here it is:  The F Word Challenge:
Write a prose of five lines, in which every line should start and end with a word that starts with ‘F’. Keep the link of the original F- Challenge in the post, so that the creator may get a pingback. This challenge is open to anyone who sees it, or reads a F- Challenge post from someone.

here is the original link:

https://erikakind.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/the-f-challenge-2/

 

The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail


The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail
.

Oh Constance…oh.  This.  I felt this myself, and I rejoice in the knowledge that this child can benefit from the progress we are making in understanding gender identity and what it is, where it is, and how to live and be fruitful when the body and mind are at opposite ends of this spectrum.

Oh Reader:  the stories like this are multitudinous…how long will you dwell in that territory staked out by your ignorant and obstinate predecessors who labelled the epileptic demon possessed or the sufferer of birth marks on the face as touched by satan?

Reader, how long will you add the talmud of your own carnal mind to the Word of God and then use that as a club on your fellow image-bearers who are different than you?

How long will you continue to push your chips into the middle of the table and bet on a losing hand?

It makes me sad…it makes me glad that I have been delivered from that place, and yes, I have “lost all things” but here is what I have gained:  knowing what it means to walk with Jesus “outside the city”, having counted all things loss for this Honor and Delight.  He cut off all other sources of life, and all the more to His glory that it would be not me who lives but Christ who lives in me.

But keep reading…maybe one of these days it will penetrate your fear that nothing can separate you from the love of God:  not even swimming in rivers that you imagine I have crossed.

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Walking Backwards Thru Snowy Fields

It was a bird’s eye view,
a bride’s eye view,
all in white inside those
clean inviting borders
and me suspended overhead
and anxious in the tale told below.1310a349f850dd15dcb03d256b5d490eI could see the tracks I left
there in your field, small
hot holes in the icy frosting
so beautiful, or buttons black
against that argent wedding cloth
in the pristine cold and dusky dim dark.

I felt shame in their
crooked, casual assumption
that anywhere inside the fence
was safe and I could wander freely.
I saw that my crooked beadwork
detracted from your day’s pure garment.Imagxxe 2But that is why I am here,
whispering down your chimney
in the voice of the wistful winter winds,
soft, mellow, sorrowful and sheepish
and urgent too!  Cus I never meant anything
but a blessing and admiration.tumblr_mykpg4C5Xs1s96knno1_1280I wanted you to know…
I walked backwards tonite
in my snowshoes and those
actually worn backwards
and as I stepped into the telling tracks
one by oneImdage 1they filled themselves in
and I took my birch branch
and waved it gently
across the surface
and thus erase any trace
that I had ever been there.

I shinnied over the fence
and up the roof, and I think
Ima stay here awhile, in this nook
on your roof next to your chimney
where the faint heat speaks of warmth
below and laughs within and a time and place
where all are home and all is well again.tumblr_mev5k5sQ7w1rgrk0bo1_500

If I Could

I would open up the boxes
if I could…

take out all the hurtful things
and replace them with surprises
and treasures and delights.

I would take out death and horror
I would remove all harmful additives
I would open up the cigarettes
and replace them with
the weapons of a happy childhood

If I could
I would

Tripping On Mountains

When I looked upon your
crags and cliffs, their sheer faces,
granite and lacy lined in clouds
and light reflected in the facets
created in the interplay
between ephemeral and substantial…

When my heart rose, unbidden even
and reached for stars those ramparts high
pointed at in joyous and triumphant
anthems of liberty and struggle
to cross the gulfs of space so dark
and find the threshold of that light…tumblr_nr047ah7Bz1qat5pio1_500

When my feet flew, up trails brand new
and yet paths that felt so warm familiar
that I could run with my eyes closed
and have no fear that my mind’s eye
saw clearly every twist and turn
but I failed to see the burn…

When I stumbled, over root and rock
and tumbled right back down the scree
and the scattered talus slope…of me…
in the way again
caught up in delight again
carried in short sight again
feeling foolish and too fast…
again…

When I looked upon your cliffs and crags
so beautiful, so austere,
so far above meVicto-Ngai

As Is

The sounds it made were bold, cavernous,
an opera in a wooden box.
The grown ups said this was an early model
and it was in mint condition.

They spoke in hushed tones.
A perfect treasure, a magnificent and flawless toy.
It was not sold “as is”…dscf4606

“As is” marked the clock that had stopped ticking,
or the rocking horse that had a crack in one of its legs.
That label also conveyed a certain sense of defeat,
a lost cause—a treasure bearing some distinguishable,
irreparable flaw.

I have always felt “As is,”
that label covering over
the tag inside my collar
that says “As I long to be”
and the treasure of me
going awry…in only a matter of time.tumblr_n9r92oy73M1s3tosqo1_r1_1280

Well, thank God
They delight in “As Is”
rather than sacrifice,
They dote on broken spirits
They comfort contrite hearts
and will not despise the humble.212standsforstars

“Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows…
But he was pierced
for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities.”

Isn’t it strange
that we who are saved
by One who was broken
should struggle in the presence
of brokenness at all?

we are never nearer
than when we come
with nothing in
our hands to offer.

And “As Is” gives a certain hope,
for in this recognition of brokenness
we see the promise of
wholeness.tumblr_noi74zupo91qas1mto2_1280

For Jack…whom I love

…sometimes we experience life and it brings us to a place.  A place…not the summation of “things that happened” but to the place of “being happen“…it’s more about our experience of being in the happening, and the way that these happenings pass thru us and are colored by us.

Sometimes that ends up as a “result” where we can hear one thing…and think another thing that is entirely other than the speaker thought, meant, or was even aware.

And time passes…and then we gain a new perspective, like seeing a mountain from a valley, and then seeing the same mountain from a neighboring peak, or looking down from a cliffside into a canyon and then experiencing the canyon from the canyon floor.

Perspective is everything, midst the actual reality of experience.

In the meantime, this quote is a reliable compass as we experience a one direction life in a multi-direction being.

In Flames And Becoming (For Charissa, on her first birthday)

I lit myself on fire last night,
so deep within the forest green,
deep in the dark, and black with night,
this full sloe night of birth and dreams
and true becoming in earth brand new.tumblr_nqm8ejLNZa1t54znqo1_1280I found the heart of that deep secret wood
and there in its tough-tender core that lay
so quiet, t’was forever winter and brilliant
and glad in the glade and the still and the snows
and the frozen mists wreathed round that door       (Her Door)

and crystal light skittered in ice jewels that glittered
on burnished ground gritty, substantive and pebbled
and real…real like me…and that Ancient stone table
awaiting me waiting there, and charred remains…
hinting at that dazzling “forever-more.”winter-houses-11__880There…in the frozen deep heart so pure,
so true and alive in that rooted green wood
that beckoned me step into it with my courage
and my heart, my faith and my love,
my faith…in love and in Grace.

Why, you ask?
Why did I immolate my tender heart,
and my teary soul?

Because…

I’ve grown tired of misuse,
I’ve grown weary being taken
there, for granted and discounted,
not allowed to breathe or be…
and so I lit myself on fire
with the living breathing flames
and unbecoming sticks of me.tumblr_nr4qqmjdh91qat5pio1_500

Why?  Because…

The river called me, bid me come,
the fields wooed me to walk in them
amidst their wheaty woven tresses
and their rustly whisper blessings
words so urgent, speaking of
the needed fires that would burn
deep in the forest, fires of love
and burn me straight down to the ground
where Phoenix waits, my lost and found…

because the stars swam overhead
and flew across unfathomable deeps,
because the fox ran on the night
because its paws tattooed me sweet,
because the fires beckoned me…
I lit me there, me…blazing bright.

tumblr_nr4phfI7yH1qat5pio1_500There, in the flames my starved soul
it did remember its deep song,
words springing full in fiery dance
and I sang there in my one chance

to reclaim me…
and my own knowing of myself
and knowing this Divine Romance…

I came,

ghosty, buried, squirming there
outlawed by law, thus qualified
to call out Law once and for all,
as mere smoke drifting in cool night air
and dissipating…then disappeared!

OH! How I burned!

I danced in red flames fundamental,
so elemental and essential
in the drum beat, and embodied
in the whistle, in the call
and hue and cry, in fragile beauty
and in loss and in the cook-fires
and the dreamtime, when bereft and full of longing

OH…I burned there…
OH…How I burned!

In the forest…
In the snow…
I burned there…
Burned for Her
I burned for me.
Portrait-of-a-HeartI’m not going on without me any longer
and I’m not a mark, or soft sweet honey pot
for strange predacious thrusts of others, NO!
I know when things must die, must die

…and when those things must live.
I’ve learned to walk away,
I’ve learned to stay

as the watcher and the knower,
oracle and visionary and intuitive gold maker,
as creator, quiet listener, inspiratrice, clever inventor,
and a guide to vibrant life that lies so deep in the deep green wood
and that same life it glows in me, it grows in me and goes beyond
me always and no matter what may matter, what may come,
Come what may, come my way…
tumblr_nr3xil51X51slipiho1_500That was last nite…
the fire of my bones
Today I have me risen…
and walk the path of crones
I am centered, un-apolo-getic,
rooted in the truth and all that I am now is…

is raw and wild
with ancient knowing
of the blood
so fiercely flowing
thru the rivers
and the streams
in the creek-beds
of my bones.

Today’s the day
to rise from ruins
(necessary ruins precede my rise).
Today’s the day to burn away,
the old that is just not aligned
with truth that feeds
those fires hot
and fuels transformation.

All of the animals gathered and watched
what they thought was a glorious sunset
on the horizon, that far lost horizon.

But it was just me, burning, on fire,
and all ruins falling and Phoenix arising,
cus I lit myself on fire last nite.

I lit myself on fire…last nite.tumblr_nr4m20hSZM1qat5pio1_500

I Think It’s Memory (For JP)

There’s deep green truth
in the spectral grey heart
of this ghastly pale notion
haunting our desperate minds:
our own truest blue heart
is most deeply discovered
in desperate ragged edges,
jagged, sharp, contrasted,
in tight precipice moments
(both high, and oh so low).tumblr_nr3s43ffiK1rn12zko1_500It’s on those thresholds,
in those moments
of “life”, of dismal death,
weighted and full moments
where indecision and decision
wrestle for supremacy,
where comfort lulls,
boredom deceives,
and indifference dulls…tumblr_nqy1drd2ru1qc6wuio8_r1_1280Tell me, what’s the essence of a heart
delivered from this life lived badly
to a certain death well-died?
And there and back again
into life lived and risen
from the bony spectral grip
of that small death called
cowardice?

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

I think it’s memory,

(and of course courage
to forget what is dead
and press on in pursuit
of those matters that matter)

to bravely (courage)
recall (re-member)
those things long ago
when first love was
fresh, free, fragrant…
that gives us perspective
to risk a decent death
and choose to lay down all
in hopes that we will rise
before the Great Rising.tumblr_np4plshztV1tv3g49o1_1280It’s when we remember
in poised precipice moments
that we can see most clearly
how our affections flow
and what and who we are…

But:

what we remember deeply,
all that we have ingrained
into identity assumed
(like costumes for the play)
it’s far more likely we’ll recall
when crisis, pain or comfort make it
hard to remember anything,
the deep memory will hold against
temptation of forgetfulness in
“the Forgetful Green.”tumblr_nq9w38M1RM1qat5pio1_500If we refuse to actively remember
the story in which we participate,

(moments where God
has acted mightily,
the times humanity
has learned in tears
of reality and immortality,
of the autonomy of God
even in this)

then in sickness and in health
undoubtedly we will forget
that memory even is a thing
in this world that’s forgotten
and bids us forget as well.tumblr_nmlz7sSJYH1u3o58go1_540Lay aside the panaceas, cure alls,
life supports, and take up courage
to embrace a good death given
Die a Decent Death, in faith
that such thing does exist!

What is a good death?
The question’s asked and answered
by people who mourn and lament,
who weep at gravesides lingering,
who live and die and live as those
who follow That One gone before
in boldness and then risen high
above the false finale of
the gasping gaping grave!

A decent death, a certain hope…

I think it’s memory…
I think it’s memory.tumblr_mnjid9PJp21ry9w1bo1_500

 

It’s An Artform

To practise this quote, and to also be one who extends Grace…it’s an artform.

But I get this now, in ways I never did before, and I have been walking in it…early and often.

It has been a wise move, and I have grown well in it.

Don’t let someone get comfortable with disrespecting you.
tumblr_nop2whGn1p1qc3hxxo1_540

Jokerman

Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

So swiftly the sun sets in the sky
You rise up and say goodbye to no one
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don’t show one
Shedding off one more layer of skin
Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

You’re a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds
Manipulator of crowds, you’re a dream twister
You’re going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care? Ain’t nobody there would want to marry your sister
Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame
You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed
Michelangelo indeed could’ve carved out your features
Resting in the fields, far from the turbulent space
Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

It’s a shadowy world, skies are slippery grey
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
He’ll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot
Oh, Jokerman, you know what he wants
Oh, Jokerman, you don’t show any response

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music

Image 003

The Triune Choice of Transgender Humans in a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissatumblr_npuxgzCrCq1qg4kx9o1_1280

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

Neighborhood Bully (Apologies to Bob Dylan for the Adjustments)

Well, the neighborhood bully, she’s a woman
Her enemies say she’s on their land
They got her outnumbered about a million to one
She got no place to escape to, no place to run
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
She’s criticized and condemned for being alive
She’s not supposed to fight back, she’s supposed to have thick skin
She’s supposed to lay down and die when her door is kicked in
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
She’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen her family scattered, her people hounded and torn
She’s always on trial for just being born
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she knocked out a lynch mob, she was criticized
Old women condemned her, said she should apologize.
Then she destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for her. She was supposed to feel bad
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That she’ll live by the rules that the world makes for her
’Cause there’s a noose at her neck and a gun at her back
And a license to kill her is given out to every maniac
She’s the neighborhood bully

She got no allies to really speak of
What she gets she must pay for, she don’t get it out of love
She buys obsolete weapons and she won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by her side
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
She’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved her is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
She’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
She’s the neighborhood bully

Now her holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract she signed was worth what it was written on
She took the crumbs of the world and she turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and she turned it into health
She’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to her for?
Nothin’, they say. She just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
She’s the neighborhood bully

What has she done to wear so many scars?
Does she change the course of rivers? Does she pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully
tumblr_nnse5t19Z71qat5pio1_500

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music
Lyrical adaptations by Charissa, in honor of courageous women everywhere, especially transwomen

The Triune Choice of Transgender People In a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissa

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

Work In Progress

Found this morning:

“You are in a time of transition, of growth –
of becoming more than you’ve allowed yourself to be.
It’s bittersweet. It’s painful. It’s beautiful and it is so very necessary.
Don’t stop trying. Don’t hesitate to dream big. Don’t give up on yourself.
Don’t give into your doubts. You are a wonderful work in progress.
Day by day you are planting seeds and soon the harvest will come
and you will reap glorious things.”

With love,

Dele

dscf2904