I don’t want to be just another person you have to take care of.
my hair is fluffy.
I cannot say it as well as you. Why do I keep trying? Eloquence escapes me. Flightiness is more my game and what was profound and touching just a moment ago becomes blasé and immature.
But I keep writing. Because these words are me. They are my body. They are my fingers, my elbows, my legs. They move me just as much as I move and shape them. I form sentences and sentences form me. Words keep me alive.
I’ll let you speak beautifully. I’ll read your words and your beauty will make me feel beautiful too. And I’ll let this mishmash pour from my hands and walk away. Its cleansing.
More details to come, but this week has been one of luck, fortune, blessings, whatever you want to call it. Fortune favours the young? Casey Elliot would say so. This week, I went to deKalb, stressed and nervous. Beyond stressed and nervous. But I left deKalb with two very livable places to potentially rent (need to call landlords back with a decision, check), the internship I was hoping for (DeKalb, no commute, thank God), and a good feeling about my program (which I was starting to worry about). Then I got a phone call today from a couple in my church saying they’d take care of the rest of the cost of my trip to Leone. I was shocked. Beyond shocked. Overwhelmed. One of my best friends found out last minute (on Friday) that she was accepted into a great grad program. I’m so proud of her and totally not surprised. She deserves to be there and will thrive in academia. This mess of my life is starting to look more like a braid.
Things won’t be perfect. I’m not naive. I’ve seen suffering. I’ve felt pain. But its nice, from time to time, to have a reminder that hope doesn’t disappoint.
Today I have clean air to breathe and sunshine on my already sun-kissed skin. Today my niece kissed my cheek and blew bubbles my way. Today I drank a good beer and got a pedicure. Today I remembered my friends’ accomplishments and I felt proud. Today I read beauty out of the Odyssey and I felt hopeful. Today I felt like I could capture forever in a photograph. Or maybe a tall bottle.
Today I remembered that the world is a mess. And that there is something beautiful about that. That when we paint in the dark blues and blood reds, it brings depth and passion and makes the oranges, yellows, and pinks more meaningful. I remembered that pain doesn’t break love and that neither the past nor the future mean anything. Today I remembered today.
Today I remembered that we’re not alone. I remembered that we’re all screwed up. We’re all afraid. We’re all trying to find something. And we’re all doing it together. So don’t judge, don’t hate, and don’t fear. Stop trying to fix everything. Because maybe that brokenness is beautiful. Just be. And I’ll be too. And we’ll be together.
Today I remembered life is not a dinner party. We’re not going to retire to the study for brandy and cigars. Life is a rainy day and you left your umbrella on the opposite side of campus. Life is getting messy and wet and tousled. Life is lying naked on the roof while your clothes dry in the sun. Life is walking through a corn field. Life is paper cuts and broken toes and dehydration. Life is what happens when you let go of the need to try so damn hard.
Today, you provided for me. Today, your words were my breath and your sunshine was my blanket. So I didn’t take that photograph. And I didn’t stopper that bottle. Because I’m hoping tomorrow will be another today.
You are Helen
Cursed with a beauty that men will blame
You are so far from home
You are Cassandra
Rejected by gods and men
You silently scream your warning
You are Briseis
Traded, flaunted, jaded
You are a spoil of war, unspoilt
You are Hecuba
Crying for your children and yourself
You are the only one who sees the cost
You are Adromache
Forced to sacrifice and prayer
You could love and fight as passionately
You are the women of Ilium. Not the goddesses of Olympus. Not the powers, the fates, cold, removed, and callous. Just women. Caught up in a story you did not write. Woven into patterns you did not design. Locked in a war you did not make.
But you will survive to watch the devastation. And you will be the ones to rebuild.
This week is busy.
I head to Illinois on Tuesday for my Intern Placement Event and come back late Thursday night. I’ll then leave early Saturday morning to travel down to the Lou and see my sister. I’ll be [hopefully] finding some housing for next year. [Hopefully] getting a good internship. And getting to explore the town I’ll [hopefully] be loving for the next two years.
Also, I need to keep working on stuff for Sierra Leone. Fundraising. Bible studies. Meds. Paying for vaccinations [remind me to check on that]. Emotional prep.
I’m excited for all these things. But the summer is just flying by.
Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
i’m an isrealite wandering in the desert. you saved me from a life of slavery, and lord, i’m grateful. but i’m still not sure i can trust you yet. because in the past, you know i’ve been burned and you’re a pillar of fire. you can’t blame me for being nervous, right? its not that i’m ungrateful, its just that i don’t know. eden was a long time ago and frankly, i’ve forgotten how to garden. you might have to wait a while for this cynical heart to grow again.
but i’m beginning to see there might be something to this freedom thing you keep talking about. maybe canaan is waiting at the end of this desert road. and if so, i want to get there some day. you know i’m longing for that promised land. but this desert is hiding wells and that makes it beautiful. i’m enjoying the mystery and the surprise. a green lush garden is lovely but have you seen the sunrise over the sand dunes? i can’t speak for the manna or the milk, but you’ve brought a lot of honey into my life lately. and i sure as hell won’t complain.
My hair is sticking straight out on one side.
I’m enveloped in an oversize sweatshirt. It reaches nearly to my knees and is fraying at the sleeves.
I’m a little too chubby and a little too pretentious.
I’m just smart enough to never know when to keep my mouth shut.
I dream of beauty but I always sleep through my alarm.
My eyes may shine, but God knows, gold investments are volatile.
I am picture perfect imperfection.
And I wonder, if you really did come back today…would you be coming back for me?
Would you take my hand and say, baby girl, we’re in this together?
Would you kiss my forehead, laugh as you spun me around? Would we act like reunited lovers?
Or would you pass me by?
Would you stop to criticize my bare feet and my off pitch singing?
Would you tell me to get back in the game and try harder? Would you hand me a map and walk away?
Maybe you came back for perfection. If so, sir, pass me by.
I am not afraid
This doesn’t mean I’m going to jump
But it does mean I might.
And if I do, I’m going to find that I can fly. And no matter how the wind blows, it will only aid my flight.
The sunlight might burn me if I rise too high, but I’d rather blaze out than live in darkness.
I could fall, but if I do, I’ll crash into the caress of the soft brown dirt. Despite the winter’s chill, it brings forth growth and life each spring. If I crash, I will find my roots. And I will grow.
I’m not afraid.
Stormy and wild aren’t so bad after all.
It doesn’t mean I’ll jump
But it does mean I might.