A Week After my Grandfather’s Passing

I don’t remember us meeting;

I guess I always knew you.

I don’t remember ever having an easy conversation with you –

I guess I never got to know you.

 

You scared me –

That’s why.

You scared me the way a mountain scares someone who wishes they could climb one but never will.

You were larger than life,

And I didn’t know how to bring you into mine.

 

I shook your hand, though.

 

You wrote so many stories down,

But I wish I’d asked you to tell me just one.

When people hear my grandpa was a writer,

They smile and say, “That’s where you get it!”

 

Is that true, Daudy?

Did you send a trickle of ink in the flow of crimson you passed to me?

Does talent fit into a Punnett square?

Were you even talented, or just determined?

 

Am I?

Is it in my genes or is it the only thing I know how to do?

Is it in my genes or is it the only way I can search for what’s missing?

Something the others seem to have already found

Something I can’t quite put my finger on

Something I can see as Black or White as you saw things

 

Your absence has been a presence in my life for my whole life.

I wish I’d written to you then,

When you could’ve written back.

 

I wonder if you’ll read what I have to say.

Mine and your heavens seem like they’ll have books in them –

Don’t they?

Maybe somehow, up there, you can read what I’ll write before I’ve written it.

Maybe we can read each other,

And talk about it,

Not just shake each other’s hands.

 

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processing

My mind has been clear – clearer than before. My thoughts have been coming fast – faster than before. It’s inspiring how much you can take in from this cold, cold, world, and how much you can put out into the cold, cold, world to make it slightly warmer, if you just allow your mind to be quiet.

I’m sitting on an eastbound train, and I’m thinking about the process. How do I start a poem, how do I write a song, how do I get ideas for stories and books that one day, might be good enough for people to buy them with real money?

Often, a line will pop into my head at the most ordinary time. I’m at Whole Foods getting a little too up close and personal with the cheeses, or I’m at my desk at work getting a quote together, or, most often, I’m driving home late at night, when it pops into my head.

Then I have to decide how I want to use it. Do I want to build a poem around it? Or do I want to insert it into my current fiction project? Or do I want it to be just a line in my notes app?

The process of writing a poem is different every time, just as the inspiration is different every time.

The other night I was supernaturally healed of back pain! It was awesome. It felt almost… too easy. It felt like God truly cared about me – remembered not to forget me.

The doubts in my mind began even as thankfulness poured out of my mouth. The next morning I woke up, and I felt pain again. Not as much as I had been experiencing in days prior, but more than I felt the night before. I felt all of it leave my body. I felt it slipping up and out, in a matter of seconds!

I spent the morning grappling with God, asking questions like: “Why was I healed last night, but not now?” and saying things like: “I still trust you. What I feel now doesn’t negate what I felt last night.”

A phrase, “if I were You, I would’ve given up on me by now,” popped into my head. If I were Him, I’d be frustrated by my lack of faith. I’d have moved on by now. But He doesn’t and He won’t. Coming out of a season of the big D’s (Doubt & Depression) He’s as kind, as present, as much a Healer, as He’d be if I were coming out of a season of Peace & Praise.

This is the current progress of that one line. I might end up throwing everything away but that one line, or I might end up not even using that line. Who knows?

I’m processing; give me just a minute.

anticipation/dread

anticipation/dread

 

is it more frightening that no one has ever fully known me,

or that I can never fully know another person?

 

is it more frightening that no one has ever fully known me,

or that no one has ever fully tried?

 

is it more frightening that no one has ever fully known me,

or that I don’t fully know myself?

 

is it more frightening or exciting?

 

bb

 

(Photos are from Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam, currently at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Specifically from the painting, Achaeans in Battle.)

three winds

three winds

 

The winter wind mounts its attack

Chilling me from the outside in

Some days I wonder to myself

“How much am I just like this wind?”

 

Fall and spring are my favorite winds

They sing melodies of newness and change

I want to hear myself in them

But I’ve been told I don’t have their range.

 

The summer wind is soft and sweet

I miss it before it before it has even gone

A welcome escape from the blistering heat

It’s refreshing in ways I think I could be.

 

 

(Photo is from Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam, currently at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Center painting is Shades of Achilles, Patroclus, and Hector. I highly recommend going to see this exhibit.)

11.2.18

i will make you my most prized possession

if i can be yours

i will hide you away

if you will hide me away, too

i will open the world up to you,

and you to the world

it’s such a pretty world when you’re in it