soil / soul

what do i feel when there’s nothing left to feel

what do i know for sure, for certain, for real

how do i sort

through the swirling twirling ball of emotions inside and surrounding me

 

walking in the garden in late september

i grab onto life before it goes

i feel the soil start to gasp for breath

and breath comes

 

it’s february now

and my soul gasps for breath, for anything at all

my lungs fill with the cold

harsher than any smoke they’ve known

 

they say midwinter is the worst time of year

why, out of all the seasonal options, do i feel most at home here

in the stillness and the chill

my heart feels at home in the numbness

why do we assume the hard times are also the bad times

 

walking in the garden in February

i press my ear to the soil, searching for breath or for life or for anything at all

my search comes up empty

but april will be here soon and the warmth will come back too

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

9.14.18

i’ve been getting up early

looking for God in the morning mist

when the world is emptier, easier

 

I thought He’d hear my prayers more clearly

than at 3 am when they’re more cries than prayers

 

raspy whispers chasing the moon toward its setting

 

 

i’ve been getting up earlier than is easy

trying to decipher the messages You left for me

disconnecting Your voice from my desires

 

i heard it’s easier now than at 3 am

when my prayers are too desperate for any answer to be enough

 

the sun chasing me toward my rising

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

Another poem I wrote on an airplane, August 22

My Eyes

 

I see you

 

Do you see me

My eyes find you and move away seamlessly

And then back

And then away, and then back, and away

Away

 

I wonder if you notice

I wonder if your eyes are doing the same thing

 

Away, and then back

 

Do you see me

Do you want me to think you’re not staring

What if you’re not staring?

Do you hope I don’t notice you

What if there’s nothing to notice?

I’m staring and it’s rude and I know

I should say something

 

But saying is scary

Doing is scary

Staying is scary

What if you turn out to be different than I think

Saying and doing are scary

And looking is easy

 

I hope my eyes keep meeting yours and looking away

For a long time

 

I know you feel the electricity in the air

It’s not just me

Why don’t you say something then

Why don’t you do something then

Why don’t you reach out and touch me

Then –

Electrocute us both

Why do you stay in a place only my eyes can reach

 

I hope my eyes keep meeting yours for a long time

I hope one day they learn to stay