this thing called life

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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.

beyond the looking glass

 

{I wrote this in response to a prompt about how we all have different selves that reside inside of us, and sometimes we leave ourselves. So this is me talking to a younger me that left in the midst of personal, spiritual, and relational tragedy.}

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You left when he did
When they said go because someone must

Only a ghost of you was left

Traces of a girl hollowed out by love

Or what she thought was love but ended up being something entirely different

Reaching back through time to find you, chase you down, where are you

When you left where did you run to, where did you hide?

From them? From him? From me?

I cannot fathom the fractures so deep only the heart can feel

There are no words for the deepest of things

You left and I cannot find you

Then she left

Then he left

Then another one, and another one, and another one

All the leaving left me

Left me altered beyond repair

Broken pieces shattered and scattered so far the winds can never return them all

I get glimpses of you sometimes, as though beyond the looking glass

Through water and fog and beauty

You come to me in whispered words

Caresses by a phantom who loves me

I wonder sometimes if you pass between the worlds to come to me

To tell me one day it will be okay

That you are busy gathering up the pieces

And that you will bring them all to me once you have been completely found

You search far and near, here and there to find every last one

You are convinced it is worth the fight to reunite them all

You work to convince me to convince myself

To get me to believe I am worth the trouble

It is not a journey of impossibility, although quite improbable

All the twists and turns, the new devastations that hurl us canyons apart again

And again and again

With each hurling the layers multiply and the pieces scatter again

But you are convinced

And you are not leaving me again, yet you are and i are still standing on separate islands

Together yet apart

One yet separate

Same yet different

And you won’t give up

And you beg me not to either

 

::words to a silent god, 2016::

{written in response to a prompt about how the different selves that live within us intersect. the prompt came from this lovely writer found here: JENA SCHWARTZ}

stillborn jesus

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found
revealed
nurtured
loved
trusted
built my life around
dedicated
believed
integrated
but then…
the miracle didn’t happen
faith unraveled
prayers unanswered
screaming silence
born into death
devastated
manipulated
brutality
nothingness
darkness
bleeding revealed truth
stillborn jesus
yet you were never alive to begin with…

{words to a silent god, c. 2016}

drowning

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grief came too soon

when i noticed they weren’t happy together

no kisses, embraces, affection

the fallout of a marriage bruised and battered and killing itself softly over and over again

the day he gathered us all and asked for the divorce, so quietly and violently

gone were the innocent days

my hero and heroine washed ashore like seaweed and castaways the sea just gave up on and returned to shore, lifeless on the beach of humanity

navigating a crooked chasm ever since

then came the uncharmed love, the great devouring of an unknown and unloved soul who naively opened herself to the mad magic of a lonely soul who belonged to someone else

the giver became the taker, the wise one the senseless, the prophet the pimp, the leader the proverbial bait and switch, the answers for the questions, the goodness for the blame at the cost of her redemption, the truthteller became the liar, she became the lost one, damned to roam in the netherlands of shame because he still had a job to do and she was old news, used and abused and tossed aside

then came marriage and the baby carriage, then came the one born without breath.

the great sadness to unleash all sadnesses was upon me. what was thought to be unconnected was now all mercilessly intertwined. shame had many tethers and many masters now.

hope crashed out of my chest and ran away, wandering, burning into a pile of ashes nowhere to be found.

and so the slow death of god continued, now i knew it was happening, now i could no longer deny the silence, the empty chair, the unanswered cries. In her death all other deaths came to me and i could see them with eyes uncovered and a heart unbound.

the watershed moment when i knew deep down i was in this all by myself, there was no salvation coming for me.

for years i sunk into denial and sadness, i hid in the tears, swimming in the grief and demands of mothering, it wasn’t hard to slip into the shadows unseen, i had help in the bruising and cutting, assistance in the smothering, the drowning had many hands upon it, the pressure building year after year after year

another one came like a thief in the night to prick my heart and then left me bleeding again. this time I was no stranger to the blackness.

now i fight the acceptance, i beat against myself, i don’t want to be where i am, without who i am without, alone in a world not as i thought it was.

what i thought was the greatest has now been trumped, hope continues lost and elusive and i have no idea how to find myself under all the years, all the sizes, all the tightness, all the breaths.

i’m going under. is the answer to keep fighting, stop looking for my ship to come in, to give in and fall under, let the waters cover me and take my breath, what then? what about them, what about me, about us, about him, how will this all play out. will hope meet me at the bottom of the sea?

i’m drowning in a sea of my own tears.

{words to a silent god, c.2015}

>>written as an anthology of grief in response to #inherskin, an online class<<

highway of my life

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when will the release come? the peace it alludes me. all the wranglings and tryings and twisting into knots to get it right and finally get the healing haven’t paid off. here i am. i don’t want the pain yet it stays. i feel dead inside today. nothing works to take it away for good. love only a bandaid, laughter and joy only a momentary releasing from the chains. constantly wondering what i am missing, where i went wrong, how can i fix it, fix myself so things would just fall into place like the missing pieces of a puzzle suddenly found just laying somewhere in plain view. if i could’ve changed it all i would’ve. if i could’ve felt your presence, i would’ve. i am weary of the games, so tired of the striving. it has gotten me nowhere good, it has only dug the trench i am laying in deeper. i stink of the earth and the dirt around me. when will this ever end? i have come to the end of what i thought was god and there is nothing there. is there joy and life to be found outside of a god that apparently was never who i thought or where i thought or even anywhere at all? i’m standing in the center of the highway of my life screaming yet no-one hears me. i am loving and i am hoping and i am doing this day to day thing because i refuse to give up. but when? where? how? do i hold the key to what locks me up inside? can the releasing come from my own hand? but when? where? how? even now after letting god go i still feel split wide open, as though the earth underneath my feet opened up to swallow me. am i running from myself, my fears, who i thought god was, what i thought life was all about? i am still looking for the way out, the sliver of light in the dark room, the window in the windowless house, the cup of cool water in a land burning up with flames. is it all due to my picture of the divine? because i didn’t really know him to begin with? or is it that he was never really there at all? now what? where will this road leave me? what is there to put my hope in when the sky has fallen in? is there a new highway i can walk on? a new hope? a new purpose? is there life after faith? life after god? life after religion? is freedom a mirage like god was? is peace a massive cosmic joke of cruel proportions like jesus was? what now?

{copr. Words to a Silent God, September 2015}

truth

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screaming to be seen yet no-one wants to see

speaking to be heard yet no-one wants to hear

pushing to uncover truth yet no-one wants to unveil it

living to make a difference yet no-one wants to let the walls down

speaking loudly in order to be allowed yet no-one wants to pay attention

moving intentionally into certain circles yet no-one wants to grant space

loving to break loose and let freedom flow yet no-one wants to un-clinch their fists

going to bravely rock the boat yet no-one wants change

challenging the status quo yet no-one wants to release and embrace something different

no-one yet maybe,
no-one yet is there someone who will?

the push and pull
the ache and longing
the drive and tenacity
truth steers me
to know truth
to speak truth
to live in truth
to love in truth
to be in truth

{words to a silent god, ©2015}

find my way

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from home to a silent new world

from belief to not knowing what is real and what is not

from solid to a place of shattering, surrounded by the pieces of my former life

from striving to be acceptable to “god” and the powers that be, to now searching to know myself and accept me for me

from learned helplessness, to finding the strength i always had to begin with

from shame based theology, to believing i wasn’t born defective in need of fixing

from there to here

yet i don’t recognize here

residue from a lifetime of beliefs crowd my line of sight

i am blinded by the voices and shoulds

what others will think is a venom all its own, what I think of myself at times is an even stronger poison

how can i learn to be okay with not having it all nailed down?

how can one shed a life of faith and learn to live again?

if there is a higher power how do i connect?

there was no jesus to find for me when the unraveling ended

when I dug deeper he collasped like a wall of mirrors in a magic maze crashing in upon itself

when all the tattered threads unwound upon themselves and left a tangled mess, there wasn’t anyone else at the end of it all but me

all the shreds of a former life came undone, and nothing but love is left.

was it all my imagination? a construct made up to give me a safe place to land?

my psyche now frantically searching for a rope to appear

can the need to cling to something outside myself be released?

can I find my way out of this place?

{words to a silent god, 2015©}