light in another form

Oh hey, it’s been a minute

I forgot you for a minute

I didn’t forget you because of you

I forget because of me

Remembering you comes naturally

 

When I remember you I remember

Thinking about you existing

In the same world at the same time as me

It makes me feel the same things I feel

Leaving the house on a crisp morning in late October

Hearing the leaves crunch beneath my feet

Watching my breath in front of me

You’re the feeling of possibility

 

Thinking about you

Not that far from where I am now

Makes me feel the same things I feel

In the first few seconds of that song by The Cranberries

-the one from You’ve Got Mail

 

This feeling is nearing certainty

Are your lights on

Is your car running

Does your car have heat

Are you using it or are you still caught in that space between heat and air conditioning

Summer and fall

Possibility and uncertainty

 

Are you thinking about driving toward me

Or are you already doing it?

Rounding the corner onto my block

The streetlights illuminating the fear, the anticipation, the turmoil, the everything else trying to hide in the shadows covering your face

 

I know it’s late but that doesn’t mean something new can’t start right now

Morning isn’t the only time for things to begin

Some of my best beginnings have been soaked in October moonlight

 

I know you know some nights I can’t settle down

And I can’t go home

I know you know some nights I drive around listening to song after song after song

Looking for the right one to take me home

I do it with more than just songs

 

Drive toward me

I’ve been working on my certainty

Starting with being certain of you

 

Drive toward me

I’ll meet you where the streetlights fade into moon

Which one am I?

Which one are you?

 

Headlights fade into headlights

And I’m still not sure

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awed

awed

 

I am in awe of You

Enthralled by You

Fascinated by You

Undeserving of a moment of You

 

Out of all the things You could’ve made –

You picked me to make?

You picked me to create?

You picked me.

 

You fashioned me, carefully

Every inch of the space inside my brain

You designed me, gracefully

Every bit of me pointing back to You

 

You took your time with me –

Making sure You added all the things I’d need

My intricacies, my eccentricities… my flaws, too

Can there be a flaw in a piece designed by You?

 

You hang onto my every word

But I should be hanging onto Yours

I spend days seeking the sound of You

Then I hear You whisper, “I want to know YOU more”

 

Your attention stuns me

“I am the artist and you are my magnum opus”

Your intention stuns me into silence

I am the artist, trying to capture a tiny inch of Your glory and reflect it onto my scraps of blood and bone and paper

 

I am in awe of You

I am in awe of every moment spent with You

In awe of the time and space You give me, selflessly

In awe of the notion that You are a little in awe of me too

Creative Block

This weekend has brought me my first creative block since I started writing poetry again.

The last few weeks I found myself waking up early because there were lines bouncing around in my head, or pulling over to the side of the road to jot something down on paper. My journals and my notes app are full of single lines that I’ll fit into a poem or right a poem around. Most of the poems I’ve been writing have been mostly automatic and fully emotional, although I’m learning the importance of going back and editing them a few days later. Time brings clarity.

If you’ve read any of my poems you can tell I’m not a big fan of cutesy rhyming or just rhyming for the hell of it. If I am going to rhyme it’s going to be for a reason. But I do want to challenge myself with more rhymes. I’m having fun with form and technique, too. What happens if I rhyme here but not here? What happens inside the reader if I make every stanza 3 lines except for this one? Poetry is fun became of all the subtle choices I get to make that can change the tone of the poem and what it means to someone else.

For the past couple weeks, I’d been finding it easy to write out the entirety of every poem I wrote in 10 minutes or so, as long as I had some starting point, feeling I wanted to encapsulate, or line I knew I wanted to start or end the poem.

Then, nothing. Inspiration dried up. I swear, this weekend, I wrote 20+ poems that are worthless and nothing and make you feel nothing except for maybe discomfort and the same 3 things over and over.

But I kept writing. And as much as I want to, I didn’t rip the last 20 pages out of my notebook. One thing I’ve learned over the years is NEVER throw out your writing. Keep it, even if it’s embarrassing. You might come back later and think “This is brilliant!” You might come back later and find a few key phrases or paragraphs to pull out and use for something better. You might come back later and find that it is still terrible, too. But then you can see how far your writing has come.

My biggest block with poetry is a lack of inspiration. In prose, my biggest block is time and avoidance and just refusing to sit down and actually write. When writing fiction, I don’t need to feel every word. So much of it is plot and dialogue, and the emotion is hidden in chapters on chapters on chapters. I don’t want my prose to be ALL emotion, because life isn’t all emotion. So much of life is finding our way to the things that make us feel.

My poetry is my feelings. It is an emotional experience to write it and, I hope, an emotional experience to read it, as well. Poetry and prose are different ballgames. Poetry has been a form of therapy for me, whereas prose tends to drain me, and even though I love it, it is work. My prose is direct and to the point (because Stephen King taught me) but in my poetry I can say whatever silly, overly romantic, overly adverb-y, overly dramatic thing I want.

I am learning more about myself through these poems. I’m also starting to suspect that I’m using poetry as a way to avoid writing fiction (my truest love). But I’ve decided that is okay. I’m giving myself grace this month to write whatever I please, as long as I’m writing. I’ll get back to a stricter writing schedule in October.

Also, this morning I wrote some poems that didn’t suck. Hopefully I’ll post some of them over the next few days. So here’s hoping the creative block is coming to an end.

Much love,

Carrie Sue

you were never mine to turn into a poem

you were never mine to turn into a poem

 

i’m sorry for all the poems i wrote you

i see now they were never mine to write

 

every single word was true,

but none of it was mine to say

 

i wish you’d told me sooner

i wish i’d known from the first day,

 

that you’d never write a poem for me

i wish you’d told me right away

 

but i think maybe it’s fine

i’ve checked and i’m okay – besides

 

no matter what you should’ve could’ve would’ve said

i would’ve written them anyway

 

change, pain, and some other things 23 taught me

change, pain, and some other things 23 taught me

I used to believe that no one every really changed.

I guess I didn’t understand Jesus then. I didn’t understand the way He can come into a life, overhaul it, start at the roots, and heal every single broken part.

He changes everything.

Last night someone called out positive change in me, and it felt good because I knew it was true. I knew he was right-that I have grown in my leadership skills and in the way I lead myself. It felt weird and strange to accept the compliment and basically say, “Thank you. I know. Thank you for seeing it too.”

God has overhauled me this year. Year 23. (Year 24 actually, but I was 23 so it just makes more sense to call it year 23.) I was numb for part of it. I chased things at 22 that would make me numb, and it worked. It worked for a long time. I didn’t even realize numbness was what I was chasing. I thought I was just having fun.

For the LONGEST time I didn’t realize I was numb.

Then one day I thought about how long it had been since I had cried. I thought about how long it had been since I experienced life in a visceral way. Since I’d experienced strong emotions of any kind. I was talking about feelings and I was feeling for other people and being kind and being empathetic. But I forgot to feel for me.

I began to retrace my steps. I began searching for the source of the shutdown.

God met me when I started asking Him to. He revealed to me that one of my biggest issues is running from my feelings. (I’m basically Chandler Bing except not as funny, k?) I’d rather make a joke than face my pain, and I’m perfectly comfortable doing that.

I took the enneagram, and I found that I was a type 7. Social. Life of the party. Go, go, go! Runs from pain by finding the silver lining. Struggles with anxiety and depression. Prone to burn out. Overstimulated. Scattered.

I was blown away. Because I thought happy-go-lucky people like me couldn’t also have that flip side. I didn’t think people would believe or understand the pain I felt because it didn’t make sense with my personality. For the first time, I realized I could be both. Heavy and light. Darkness and bright. For years I’d run away from being labeled an extrovert because I wanted to be viewed as someone who has depth, and isn’t a moody introvert deeper than a flashy extrovert? (And okay, I FOR SURE have my moody introverted times, too.)

The enneagram was important. It revealed so much to me and led me to a deeper awareness of who God made me to be, and why He made me this way. It pointed out my weak spots and my strong spots. I flipping love the enneagram. I wasn’t even going to get into it in this post, but I can’t talk about the last year without talking about the enneagram.

I’ve been getting more and more in touch with my emotions. I’ve been writing poetry for the first time in a long time, and it’s been really fun. I’ve been reading Psalms and sending them up to God in my prayers.

I’m still not the kind of person who will cry at the drop of a hat, but I’m becoming the kind of person who allows herself to feel. And it’s good. And I’m excited. Pain is hard and stretching, but it’s part of what makes us human. It’s part of what connects us and makes us authentic.

So if you need me to come cry with you, hit me up. Even if the tears don’t come for me, I’ll hand you tissues and I won’t run away.

The picture above is authentic Carrie. She is happy and free a lot of the time. She will try any food, any adventure, anything that promises an adrenaline rush, and she will be the first to say yes. She’s usually smiling and laughing because it comes naturally to her. But she’s also learning to be still, to not need to be stimulated ALL THE TIME, to dig deeper, to face things instead of hide them away, and she’s learning who she is and how to share that.

Okay, she’s going to stop talking in the third person now.

 

Xoxo,

Carrie Sue