borrowed time

//

time aches and haunts and fills and empties all at the same time.

it all seems as stolen moments, the unending pull and tug forward. 

the madness of the days as they circle on and on with a momentum we cannot ease up or lessen. 

we are all on borrowed time.

the days rush past and slow for noone or anything.

there is a frenzy to take it all in before it’s our curtain call.

chaotic beauty.

a love forever chasing us as we chase it.

human to human.

here we are.

we have now.

{zt}

truth in the corners

//

grieving without god

it’s a new kind of horrible

another world of cognitive dissonance to find my way through

i used to tell myself i would see them again

get to know them, be reunited, that the ache would one day be resolved

there is no day down the road that will fix things, no pie in the sky, no god to make it all better in the end

coming to terms with this new kind of grief is its own flavor of cruel

what do i comfort myself with now?

no platitudes suffice

there is no pretty bow to wrap it all up with and sit it up on a shelf to wait for in the end

grief is so much messier now

so much the more incomplete, with missing parts and lost pieces

all the unravelled edges can’t be sewn back together again

there is much that has to be left hanging, left undone, left un-figured-out

what now?

how does one come to terms with the comfort becoming empty, tattered, and torn?

that the thing which was the healing balm, that which held it all together, is simply gone with no coming back?

now the glue isn’t holding anymore, it wasn’t ever really glue to begin with

i will never see my child again

i will never hold her again, never get to know her, never hear her laughter or see the twinkle in her eyes

she is really and actually simply and complicated-ly gone, just gone, out of my grasp forever, and there is no bandage for it, nothing is good enough, nothing works

and her too, the one gone even sooner that i never held or laid eyes on

what does one do with this ugly kind of grief, the kind my former theology shielded me from

even in the grief before i knew something was off about the comfort, it felt like pseudo-comfort even then, now i can no longer lie to my heart, to the grief

it’s time for truth-telling in the farthest darkest corners of myself

no more hiding

my godless manifesto

“I’m in a field

A war zone

Catastrophe of the soul

A spiritual apocalypse

Bodies everywhere

Strewn mercilessly

Devastation as far as the eye can see

A wasteland of religion

But I’m alive

I run back and forth between bodies

Is there anyone still pulsing with life?

Will I find him here?

I turn bodies over one by one

Frantic gaze cutting across their lifeless expressions

I know some of these lines, these eyes, mouths and noses.

Air knocked viciously from my chest as though I fled unknowingly into an invisible wall

How can this all be?

How did it all come to be?

How did I get here?

How did it come to this?

It’s too much to take in

I steel my will and steady my breathing

I squeeze my eyes to keep the tears at bay

There is no time to grieve now

I must keep looking from one body to the next

None of the faces are the one I’m looking for

Where has he gone?

Where does he lay dying?

So much has died around me

So many good things

Helpful things

Comforting things

Double-edged things

Masqueraded things

Hidden things

Ugly yet seemingly beautiful things

Death envelopes me on every side”

{written by yours truly in 2014}

::

I didn’t lose my religion, I didn’t misplace God, I didn’t walk away, I didn’t even run away. This is not where I wanted to end up, nor where I tried to end up. I was hurled here not of my own volition. Like a warzone where a bomb went off and I wake up in the aftermath, unsure of where I am and how in the heck I ever got here in the first place. But truth was chosen. I have always been a truth seeker, always unsatiated with trite and neatly packaged hollow answers. Coming to grips with the reality that there was no higher being coming to rescue me. The salvation I had been taught all my life and clung to, built my life around, none of it was coming true. Because it wasn’t truth to begin with. No one was waiting for me, no one was coming for me, no one was going to make it all right in the end. No one but me. Me.

People seem to think people always choose unbelief. I don’t believe this about unbelief. I certainly didn’t choose it, it came for me. Unbelief is what was waiting for me. Unbelief took my hand, lifted my head, and said there is another way underneath all the lies, all the manipulated comfort, all the age old traditions we bury ourselves in because we are afraid, just afraid down to the bone; and we see no other alternative to be and feel okay in a very confusing world other than to blindly accept and never question below the surface. Speaking of bones, it is in mine to question. I ask what others don’t want to ask. I say what others don’t want to give voice to. I lose friends, I don’t sugarcoat my truth as I see it.

No longer having God has been devastating. Peace is coming slowly. Having my faith completely fall apart has been a shattering not dissimilar to a war torn country. The fallout, it is still falling, still settling, pieces still yet to hit the ground. I am not out, as they say. I feel like an imposter around most of the people in my world. Most probably view me as a disenfranchised christian who got sick of church or who is blaming all her problems on God and imperfect people in the church. Not true, absolutely not true. People often think I just haven’t wrestled with the truth enough, that I have settled for easy answers to assuage my pain. In fact, the complete opposite is true. I am where I am today because I didn’t stop wrestling, I didn’t accept settling, I pushed through the pain because to not do so would have been more painful in the long run, and I knew that instinctively.

Many in the atheist or agnostic communities at large may think the peace ought to be instantaneous. Those who never claimed Christianity as their lifeblood can’t possibly know what it is to learn to breathe something else when the source is yanked away from them, the oxygen gone. The sky fell. The floor underneath my feet gave way. The scaffolding collapsed. I went under. To say it has been heartbreaking is an understatement on a massive scale. Brutal. Beyond brutal. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the torment, and felt at numerous times it may just simply be best to take my own life and forget it all, because the air in my lungs was almost completely and entirely gone. I was suffocating on the christian faith, it was literally killing me on the inside, yet as it was taken from me I also had to come to a place of releasing and accepting, then I felt as though I wouldn’t survive the deconstruction of it all. Having faith almost killed me, and coming to terms with no longer having faith almost killed me. Multiple experiences with clergy and their churches exacerbated the deconversion, as well as personal trauma and the church’s response, or lack thereof, but what it all really came down to was the absolute silence of God when the metaphorical room had been emptied of all but he and I. He wasn’t answering me or responding to me because ultimately he was never really there in the first place. It hinged on relationship for me, and then all the holes in the doctrine I had been explaining away all my life simply became accessories to the loss.

I am coming up for air now, I have found a new oxygen to breathe. I no longer am bleeding out, the pain coming from every pore like being poked with a million needles simultaneously. I have found a new source of life and it is slowly flowing into every part of me, filling me up. Me. Myself. Beauty. Love. Truth. Integrity. Compassion. Relationship. Life. Peace is slowly arriving and the slow death of God is almost complete, thank god, literally, okay maybe not literally, but you get the drift. Peace feels so good. I can breathe deep now. I look forward to the day I can fully be me with everyone in my life. It is heading that direction, regardless of the additional fallout, because I am a truth teller and a truth seeker, it’s in my bones and in my blood, I can be no other way.

{zt}

:: You can hear more of my overall story from last month on the Everyone’s Agnostic Podcast interview ::

limbo

wp-1477937554594.jpg

//

standing on the edge of a precipice

looking all around me, trying to find my way

everything looks different again

this is another kind of hard

another kind of pain

a pain laced with freedom in its edges

it feels as though an unknown reality is beckoning me forward

telling me this is the way finally

the wall I was bearing against but yet it was always too high to climb

it was because it was unclimb-able no matter how hard I tried

all the beating, black and blue from all the trying

i finally saw the insanity of it all

the dust is beginning to settle

the fog is starting to dissipate

the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer

i’m no longer on the opposite end of it all desperately seeking

now i’m at the end of the tunnel

i’ve left everything i once knew

or i found myself simply gone from it, like a curtain lifted at the end of a play

my reality became fiction

caught in the crossfire

here but not there

no longer standing

i jumped because i had no choice

i caught myself

now suspended

hanging on with all i have

waiting for the fingers to tire of their grip

to become just actually unable to keep holding on any longer

i am hanging here

but what is underneath me?

when i fall, because I will, what will there be?

i know i don’t belong where i have just come out of,

yet i don’t know what the darkness around me holds for me

what is there, who is there, what will it be like?

better, worse, different, all the above

will i survive the falling, the letting go

this in-between place of dangling between two lives

the no of i will not live there anymore

and the no i cannot yet go anywhere else place

the i know this isn’t real

but i don’t know what is real beyond here

the i know he isn’t real

but i don’t know who or what is

this experiential angst of a being caught between death and life

hanging in the balance of terror and freedom

between doubts given credence and the just not knowing

like a rat out of its cage for the very first time

terrified of the unknown, longing for the comfort of the bondage

the horror of what was, the horror of what is to come

the trepidity and bewilderment of a life lived in chains

and the fear and dread of then and now and what is up ahead

frozen in midair, hanging on for dear life

living in oblivion

learning to exist in a space of nothingness

nowhere to go back to and nowhere to run

haunted by a life that is over and scared to death of a life yet to live

when i let go what will happen?

 

 

wondering

wp-1477696359420.jpg

//

Extra strong afternoon coffee

Laying down even after the caffeine, I’m so tired I just can’t stand up anymore

Brain too busy to let sleep come, but this sideways rest is something good anyway

Incessant wondering of what this is all really for

Tickles of anxiety a constant companion

What will happen next, what is it I’m steeling  myself for, why do I live waiting for the  bottom to fall out

This apprehensive edge I stay on of wanting more, but depletion makes my progress forward slow and sluggish

I’m caught in a slow motion life that is passing me by furiously

Time won’t stop for me to catch up, to get my shit together once and for all

The searching is a hunger that drives me, yet somewhere deep down I sense it is right here and right now that the real life really is

Where did I ever get the idea that the best is out there somewhere else beyond me, if only I could get there and not be late

How can I convince myself that the soothing is in the present, with me, in me, all around, right fucking now

I sing sweet inner lullabies on the good days of beauty chasing

But today I’m fighting just to survive to another good day

These are the days when the tiredness almost takes me under, the days that despair pulls on my strings to try and cause an unraveling

How can I keep it all together

What is all this really for again?

Today the flowery language of love and hope isn’t cutting it

The bitter cannot find the sweet

I’m just here, wondering if it’s really okay to speak out loud the truth of today and how it feels to cry in the spaces between moments, to hide myself in the cracks of the hours

I’m peeking out and saying this right here, this is real too, that life sucks some days even with the good stuff still here, the heaviness takes over sometimes

The yin and the yang, they are forever trying to find balance

I wonder if I really will survive this when I know I ultimately won’t, yet maybe I will on some level, I want that to be true

How do I keep up a happy face for the little ones under my care, what is it I’m supposed to be telling them to look forward to again?

On days like today I seem to forget, yet maybe it is on these days that I’m truly remembering something else, the pieces of me that are still just as true but harder to reveal

These aren’t happy feel good letters strung together into words to bring a smile

This is me wondering what the hell I’m doing this for day after day after day

Is it for them, for him, for me, for a better world

I ask myself if I’m allowed to even be in this place, to talk about the holes in which I live and breathe

It isn’t all pretty, my eyes are burning and my head is hurting

My limbs are heavy and I feel I need to sleep a thousand years

But somehow, someway, I will keep going on until I can no longer, I will keep holding to the truth that I get to be here, and whatever today looks like or feels like, it is mine, and it’s okay to be here, and it is even good when it isn’t.

love stayed

//

When everything else fell away, love stayed

When consent wasn’t given and my body used and abused, love still was with me

When he gathered us all up to say he wanted out, that he wanted to divorce us all, love still clung on

When he cut me with his sharp words and relentless control, even then I had love

When another love was offered, a forbidden one, one not meant to be, the lasting love caught me as I fell to my knees

When they kicked me out of their midst, like a disease that needed to be gotten rid of, love dug down deeper in me

When they whispered behind my back and plotted against me because they couldn’t bring themselves to line my truth against their versions of reality, love treated me like they should have, love embraced me without shame

When she loved and cut ties with man after man after man, when love couldn’t seem to find her or us with all the imposters, still the love I speak of stayed

When betrayal within your blood ties came and you felt like the breath was knocked out of your lungs, disoriented and confused who really was who they said they were, love coiled vehemently, unwilling to let me go even if she did

When her heart stopped beating and she was born without breath and life, love got wider to encompass all of the broken shards that were left of me

When old friends turned their backs with mumbled excuses and cutting lies, love stood strong in contrast to their weak facades of caring

When those meant to accept me turned on me and instead towards those who really had their allegiance amidst shallow rules and untruths, love told me I could still raise my chin up steady and strong

When another one was here and then gone oh so briefly, it was only love that was able to seep into the bleeding places and offer any comfort

When the house of faith brutally tumbled to the ground, like one which had a faulty foundation that gave way one dark night unexpected, love remained as the dust of a repentant life almost choked me in the releasing of itself

Love surprised me in its loyalty, it was a severe mercy that always held hands and remained, never let go, was present at every turn, even in the dark and in the silence, and now in the light

Love brought me to myself

Love was always what I was looking for

Even now, when the days and months are peppered with anxiety and sadness, the love still mingles in, it still shows up the loudest, is the brightest color

When mothering strong willed kids day in and day out threatens my grip on sanity, love will continue

When I long to find community and my bigger purpose in serving humanity, yet all the valleys I’ve had to travel through have worn me down and shaken up my purposes, love will guide me, this I know now

When my beloved loves me on the many hard days, when his kindness cushions the blows of everyday life, when he loves me so very very well, love is here

When everything else fell away, love stayed

Love won’t let me go

this thing called life

//

I didn’t go outside the other day

Not even a glance at the sky or the sound of a bird

It’s that thing I like to leave unsaid

It stalks me, breathes down my neck

Makes the walls close in and the spaces get smaller and smaller

I don’t think I breathe as deeply on those days of hiding from the sun

Is there someone else I’m hiding from

Or is it that I don’t know how to exist out there anymore after everything changed

No-one knows me, strangers everywhere

A stranger in the mirror staring back at me

I don’t know who I am anymore

And yet sometimes I get glimpses

Some days I don’t avoid the sun or the sea or the birds

Some days I think I can face the world

Those days when the pain isn’t swallowing me whole and I can breathe a little slower

You know what I mean

Like a map whose roads all disappeared

I’m wandering through life trying to convince myself I know the way and that just around the next bend I will come to the clearing

Like a raging storm at sea when your boat sinks and leaves you to fend for yourself

I’m a child learning to walk all over again, except this time there’s no one guiding me, no rules to follow, no straight line to try and stay on, I am the compass now, there’s a new north

Like a mother whose child vanishes, he is simply gone, slipped away in the thin air, no trace of him left lingering

What left was never there, what was lost was never really found, what was gained was never really granted

Like the mirage in the desert, the oasis seems so real, yet the more desperate you become to really drink the water, to feel it on your lips and have it slide down your throat, you go after it, only to find it fades into the scorched earth and you land hard sideways on the scratchy sand, left scraped and bleeding on the unforgiving ground beneath you

This recovery from the land of trick mirrors, from the maze of head games and bitter riddles

I stumbled out alive and went into hiding

Maybe one day I can become me again

Maybe one day I can forgive myself, trust myself, give myself another chance at this thing called life.