What? Did you think I couldn’t see you? Did you think I’d forgotten about you? I know we used to talk a lot more, back in the days before I ran out of words. But we didn’t stop existing when the words flew away. We kept on breathing. Our eyes still saw the world spin around.
Life marched on. Sometimes it even danced on. Life does that if we’ll let it.
You must wonder if the words are ever going to come back. I wonder that, too.
I am surrounded by a sea of noise. Some days it’s hard work to make sure the noise doesn’t invade me. Truth be told, some days I fail. But I have a very high value for the unshakeable calm that holds steady when the waves of sound begin crashing around me, assaulting my peace. Sometimes it’s an expensive priority.
Right now it’s costing me words.
In the bible there’s a story of a man who was crippled, and every day he laid on his mat by a public bathing pool. Sometimes the waters in the pool would mysteriously get stirred up, and when that happened it was said that an angel was stirring the waters, and the first person who got into them when they were all sloshy like that would get healed. Except the man was crippled and slow, and so he was never able to be first. But then one day Jesus dropped by the pool and noticed him. And instead of scolding the man for not trying harder, Jesus skipped the whole get-in-the-pool part and just healed the man on the spot. Told him to pick up his mat and go home. Which he did. You can bet that was a day life danced for that man. Jesus showed up and did for him what he was unable to do for himself.*
I’m not sure why I’m telling you that, except perhaps to say that maybe my words need a dip in the pool, or maybe they just need Jesus to speak to them and heal whatever it is that makes them decide to stay away. If He can heal lame legs, surely He can heal hiding words.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten you. I see you. You must never permit yourself to believe that my quietness means you have slipped from my sight or lost value in my heart.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
*The bible story of the crippled man can be found in the book of John, chapter 5. It’s a good story. You should check it out.
A deep breath
and then another,
trembling from the power of
the burning in my chest,
caught in the vortex that
transcends heaven and earth
Words birthed in quiet
are released in a roar,
and my bones bear the marks
of a vibration that
is breathtakingly present and alive.
This is not an echo
nor is this a memory,
this is not about what has been said
but about what is still being spoken,
the choice bits of chronos
transformed and translated
into the treasures of eternity.
There is a vicious battle for the safety of this household tonight. I can hear it waging in the next room.
I don’t know exactly when the outlet covers in the house turned against us.
Heck, I didn’t even know we had any outlet covers left around here.
But The Doctor knows. Yes, Dr. Love knows! And while we strongly suspect that cat’s never really been to medical school, there is no denying that he is giving his all in the fight against the Outlet Covers Gone Rogue.
Observe the warrior in his natural habitat! No, really. He lurks under stuff a lot. Weirdo.
I seriously don’t know where he found these rebellious little thingamabobs.. For years we’ve had no outlet covers, because no little kids, and now suddenly Doc is skittering them all over the place.
Perhaps they’re mutants. Maybe this is what happens to dust bunnies that get too much radiation from the microwave. They turn into outlet covers without a cause.
But no fear! While it does sound dreadful, this business of being overrun with criminal gangs of outlet covers that come from nowhere (or maybe Mars or New Jersey or something), we can rest easy knowing Dr. Love has it all under control. He will battle each and every outlet cover until it has been subdued…
…and then he will drown them.
I would like to say there’s some sort of lesson in all this. It is possible that it’s a sign and a wonder:
A sign that cat ain’t right in the head, and a wonder that we keep happily and voluntarily buying him food and scooping his poop.
I sat in the curve of the toenail moon,
my legs dangling over the inky blue and
my feet swinging to the rhythm of a tune
heard only in my head.
As I turned my gaze to the earth below,
I watched the darkness chase the light—
or was it the other way ’round?—
across its bulging belly,
playing hide-and-seek with time.
The lunar daisies nodded in the cello wind
as I swung a straddling leg over the thin blade
of the golden crescent,
settling back into its glowing chaise and
popping glittering stones of green cheese
into my laughing mouth.
I stared at the night sky
waiting for you,
waiting for the moon,
waiting for the stars,
listening to the mockingbird
taunt me with the cheerful songs
of midday warblers.
There were no fireworks
or meteors shooting across the horizon,
no flashing of inspiration
to brighten the inky darkness,
and although I wasn’t afraid,
a shiver ran up my spine
as I shifted in place,
sitting on a cliffside rock.
I’d memorized the note you’d left me
and I recited it to myself
every time I thought I might give up
and go inside where it was warm
and there was laughter and companionship
and a game on the television.
You said you’d come.
You said you’d come and
you’d bring me a jacket
and a canteen
and a treasure map for an adventure.
And so I waited in the damp air
of the wee hours,
my eyes growing sandy
and my stomach growling,
willing myself to stay awake
and listening for the sound
of your footsteps.
She sat quietly
as the shouting swirled around her,
the syllables and decibels
skirmishing and clashing
in a cyclone of fearful words
hiding behind violence,
pretending to be angry.
if she sat very, very still,
nobody would notice her.
But her stillness
only served to incite the
panicked demands of fear.
What have you to say for yourself?
the roar rattling her chest.
She turned a steady eye
to the storm and
realized that the hem of
her robe of peace was wide enough
for any seeking its shelter,
but far too small to suffocate
the enraged screams of a tempest
being terrorized by love.