I Burn So Free

Unmoored in the white expanse
chained by air and frozen flats
white as far as eye can see
and just one speck revealed there…me

Photo Credit: After Exposure Studio

red on white, no blue in sight
carmine bold against the night
a blood smear there upon that face
so cold, so neutral…blooming grace
I burn there in this gelid place
and nothing here to burn but ice
that smothers every spark and glow
and so I turn my heat high…slow
and steady, burning every flake
and fleck of frozen haughty glance
I use as fuel your silences
and melt the emptiness of chance
that random stark coincidence
of when you turn and look my way
but lend me not even a branch
to burn, just more cold arctic grey
It matters not, I burn my me
I choose to be a fire hot
and brighter than the silent white
I burn the ice…I burn so free

On Restoration and Wholesomeness

Constance, I recently read something online that perturbed me greatly.

“I firmly believe what someone in one of the posts above has said- a human being can never be wholesome again after an experience of this sort. My grandfather, a resilient, hard-working man who faced adversity and difficult migrations more times than most, was never truly whole; he was bitter, angry, mad. He succeeded in life by cheating and deceiving others much like what had been done to him. He was not a caring husband or father and left many questions unanswered. I sometimes wonder if one can really cleanse oneself of evil. In the words of Primo Levi’s ‘Shema’…

Consider that such horrors have been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them in your hearts
when you lounge in your house,
when you walk outside,
when you go to bed,
when you rise.
Repeat them to your children,
or may your house crumble
and disease render you helpless
so that even your offspring avert their faces from you.”

WOW…powerful writing, no?  Moving, rending in the soul…tumblr_nlfdl6quMU1rel1ijo1_540

…and yet.  And yet…REALLY?

Is it true that one can never be whole after an experience of this sort?  A person was bitter, angry, mad, and “succeeded” in life by doing to others what was done to him.

Here is what is disturbing:  what this person chose to do, based on what happened, is the root of the bitterness, anger and madness.

There is never a point where we cease to be culpable for what we choose…because we are always choosers.

Otherwise, explain to me how other human beings who suffered identical horrors and worse emerged and became whole again and wholesome in life…Victor Frankl, Corrie Ten Boom are two that come to mind.

You are not in control of what happens to you…you are in control of how you choose to happen in return to it!tumblr_mxg4a0SSTf1shqs68o1_500

Otherwise, here is your alternative:

At what point do you cease to be responsible?  Like for instance, you are beaten up in the body, but not hit in the face…are you culpable for what you choose, or are you now not responsible, being beyond the pale of wholesomeness?

If you suffer the loss of a parent but not a child, does that make you not responsible?  Or more responsible?

It’s a sliding scale and no one knows where to draw the line…because the fact is there is no line!

There is only you…and your choice in who you want to be, live to be.

I am gonna tell you sumfin:  no one can sully me by doing evil to me.  Oh, they can beat me, they can rape me, they can hurt me with words…but I am a strong tower inviolate, so long as I know that I am a chooser and this is mine forever.

A diamond covered in bull shit does not cease to be a diamond…and a person buried in horror can still choose to be shining and human.tumblr_nmhqwiXuLT1rebxsto1_1280

Do not seduce yourself with some rinky dinky scale of wrong, and pick a point somewhere on it that says “on this side of the scale, I am responsible, but because of these other things, I am no longer responsible because I cannot ever cleanse myself of evil”…

…cleanse yourself, no…but be cleansed?  Yes.

Are we not humans?  Are we not free?  Even midst the horrors shall we sing of our love.


PS:  My dear Dani over at Blooming Spiders writes an article about a person who experienced lots of hard and horrible things, and what happened as a result of choices:  made and unmade.  Go check her out…you won’t be sorry!

❤ you, DDH!!tumblr_nmynbt9rGm1u19ezpo1_400


I Choose…


I Choose…
To live by choice, not by chance;
To make changes, not excuses;
To be motivated, not manipulated;
To be useful, not used;
To excel, not compete.
I Choose self~esteem, not self~pity.
I Choose to listen to my inner voice,
not the random opinion of others.



On the notion that everything happens for a reason…

We have all heard it, have we not?

“It’s all good…everything happens for a reason.”

That line is used as a salve and as a panacea to any and all things not understood or sensible to us.  And the implication is that we are supposed to just go with the flow and let this reason manifest.  Far too often, this results in a sort of hollow fatalism which results in our justifying any action that we wish to pursue after we stamp our experience with that cliché.

But let’s stop a minute…what is the reason everything happens??? 

Is it always the same reason that everything happens?  Does each thing happen for a different reason?

What if the reason is evil?  Meaningless?  Absurd?  What then?

When atrocities occur, are those happenings for a reason, and if so, is there a reason to stop them?  To let them continue?

See…it is the vague pithiness of that assumption that deeply disturbs me in my core.  I think that it is a modern quan cribbed (as so much of our law, morality and guidelines for living in our culture are) from the remains of foundational bedrock spirituality bequeathed to us by Christendom, when it was vital, alive, and dangerous.  I think that it comes from this truth, penned by the great thinker Paul of Tarsus:  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose“.

Do you see that?  There is a condition!  Similar to our own experience when we wish to help someone mired in something bad for them–a habit, an addiction, a bad relationship, bad choices–it is impossible to truly help someone who refuses to embrace and receive that help!

Free will is a bitch!  And it is the fulcrum that pivots our lives from one side of the truth that everything happens for a reason to the other side of it, which is God involving Himself in our lives and changing what is happening into something that ultimately is for our good.

Right now, it is true indeed that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is that this world is deeply broken and wounded by sin and death.  No, not just the countless acts, great and small, which are mean, evil, venal, and self serving…sin and death are powers that have entered in and taken us hostage to their icy and implacable hold.

But it is also true that God has loved, does love, and will love us enough to get Himself dirty and covered in filth on our behalf, and through His involvement transform and resurrect our purpose and destiny into one that fills us with life, love and hope.

For those reading who already know that I urge you to comb back thru the recent events in your life and recalibrate…root out the sloppy thinking and fatalistic resignation to the happy illusion that it will all just work itself out…it won’t!

For those reading to whom the concept of loving God and choosing to be called according to His purpose is new:  I invite you to consider asking God first of all what His purpose might be…what Love is…and for Him to begin to dialogue with you regarding the possibility of choosing to love Him.

Everything happens for a reason, and God, who loves us, cares enough to cause all things to work together for good if we let Him, if we open the door to Him by our free will and choice to love Him.

Pedantic words perhaps to some…but no less true for it.


Charissa Grace