girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Monday, July 30, 2007

my politik

tonight is one of those nights i know i should be sleeping.
instead, i'm up.
listening to the gritty sound of amy whinehouse...
wondering how i too can be as self-destructive as she.
it must be a gift, i've concluded,
to simply not care.
and tonight i really wish i could write...
write something profound,
something beautiful,
something that would settle the crashing in my head.
a crashing similar to chris martin's fingers slamming on the keys of a piano in a great crescendo within one of coldplay's songs that makes you lose yourself,
lose feeling,
lose reality.
head spinning until finally the crescendo slows...
painfully slows,
and you're left with the ringing in your ears.
wishing it would go away long enough so that you might be able to sleep.
it's a beautiful crashing, i suppose.
in recent days i've felt myself and my current reality
begin to spin drastically off course.
much like the clicking of a roller coaster up a steep hill...
i'm gripping the seat tightly-knuckles white-
heart pounding,
eyes and teeth clenched shut,
wondering, if but only for a moment, if this could be the end.
and then the free fall.
the weightlessness.
suddenly my future plans-
school, work, family,
are flying by me.
what i thought was rock and stone,
is now air rushing past me.
the things i thought i had figured out
are now just blurs of color and shape.
it's an amazing feeling to know that the world, quite literally, is at your feet,
and is perhaps rushing up to meet me a bit quicker than i might like.
but things are becoming real.
objects have form,
and true color.
lenses are being removed
that i might truly seem them
as if with new eyes,
for the first time
in my whole life.
how can i sleep,
how can i shut my eyes,
how can i blink, or breathe, or speak,
now that i might finally be seeing?

i can try

who's to say
what's impossible
but they forgot
this world keeps spinning and with each new day
i can feel a change in everything
and as the surface breaks reflections fade
but in some ways they remain the same
and as my mind begins to spread its wings
theres no stopping curiosity
i want to turn the whole thing upside down
i'll find the things they say just can't be found
i'll share this love i find with everyone
we'll sing and dance to mother natures songs
i don't want this feeling to go away
who's to say
i can't do everything
well i can try
and as i roll along i begin to find
things aren't always just what they seem
-jack johnson

Sunday, July 29, 2007

gaining 'eternal life'

blessings as you search for the narrow way
the road less travelled
the beauty and fullness of a life spent connected with the divine.
as you tread a path, constantly having to choose,
between the flowing seas of humanity,
some along a road that offers
and stability
and a plan.
a plan to get from here to there...
choosing the struggle.
feet worn and calloused,
hands torn and bleeding from pushing through the thickness.
your heart, soul, mind, and strength exhausted from the trip.
and yet, you choose to carry on...
serving, loving, with an unfailing energy and fulfillment-
because you have chosen wisely.
open your heart to love those that stumble along your path.
open your soul to the presence of peace.
open your mind to the questions, to an awareness, to the choices.
open your hands with an inexhaustible strength
that can help you build something much bigger than yourself...


perhaps the hebrews stood, face turned toward the clouds...
dusty, sore, and broken from their travels,
tears running down their faces, and their lungs exhausted.
perhaps they were crying out
to be saved,
to be rescued,
to be delivered.
to feel themselves held and washed back into a place of wholeness-
no longer heartbroken and estranged.
and perhaps now we stand, hands outstreched,
desperately wanting to be redeemed-
like a child wanting out of punishment-
and to be held and loved once more...
having the chance to try again another day.
perhaps we do not stand alone.
you may not be the only one.
if God so loved the cosmos...
then perhaps the whole universe yearns for peace.
perhaps there is a new way to live,
a new heart to have,
a new way to think that can bring us out of the chaos surrounding us,
and into a wonderful shalom.
perhaps it is real,
and perhaps we can continue to find it everday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

entering the vastness

so i took the 4 day trip with my family to attend my grandmother's funeral.
by the time i arrived back in houston, it had felt more like a pilgrimage.
sometimes i like to think of God as more of 'the big irony'.
i suppose it's hard to admit that all of my coincidences go back to something divine and aren't just due to the ebb and flow of existence.
it was ironic that after just starting therapy, after just getting in a fight with both siblings, and after just deciding that i needed a vacation...that i would find myself in the car with the whole family.
sometimes i think we need vacations from our vacations,
and perhaps my friend deanna was right...
that trip may have been the last time the whole family would be together in one car.
and so we made the trip to lubbock, texas.
i made sure to have plenty of reading material in effort to avoid my family at all costs...
and for the most part i did.
i tucked myself deep into the back of my father's tahoe,
and i read.
i read donald miller's 'through painted deserts' that i'd promised to read a year ago,
i read vanity fair's coverage of AIDS,
i read cosmo,
i read time,
and when night came, i tried my best to read the stars within the west texas sky.
somewhere in all that reading...
i found myself in an existential breakdown.
why did i not cry at the funeral?
how would i feel about my father and mother at their death?
how would my potential children feel about me?
why did i want to grow my hair out and look like one of those long-haired pretty girls?
what did it matter what clothes i bought?
why did it matter if i got my car washed regularly?
what in the world was i going to do with a degree in christianity and sociology?
why was i trying to secure a job with the Y that forced me to jump through hoops (particularly religious ones)-where people stress over budgets and staff cuts, and then smile while they let people go and do under-the-table dirty work?
it kind of reminds me of some churches.
why was i doing anything besides helping these people starving and suffering of AIDS?
why are my brother and sister such jerks sometimes?
why do i leave the water running while i brush my teeth if people in africa attempt survival with that same amount of water?
what should my new tattoo be?
why could i not be at home watching al gore's 'live earth' concert so that i could join the fight to save the planet?
and in the end...which deserves to come first:
do we save the planet so that people can have a place to live?
or do we save people in order to save the planet?
and is the depravity of man so deep that it doesn't matter if we're not giving them something to live for?
if you're still reading this...i commend you.
in frustration, i dropped my book to the floor.
i gazed out upon the huge west texas landscape,
and despite all the energy in my head and in that tahoe,
the expanse outside was huge enough for it all.
i was able to breathe.
whatever weight was upon me...
there was room enough outside for my thoughts and for my quiet, existential breakdown.
and then i fell asleep.
when i woke, i lifted my eyes to stare at west texas wind turbines.
they were huge.
they were white.
they were beautiful.
if you look hard, you can see them behind me in the picture above.
once while i was in destin, florida i found myself out on the ocean at night.
a storm was rolling in and actually came close enough to where we could all see the lightning strike in the ocean and the water around glow with electricity.
further down the beach stood a white crane.
it must have been at least 4 feet tall.
it stood, motionless, at the edge of the beach...waves crashing at it's feet.
my friends stood watching, silent.
to speak would have been irreverent.
i felt the same way standing beneath those turbines.
miller echoed some of my own thoughts that i've been having over the past year...
i'd like to stand above the grand canyon so that i might feel small again.
like in the breadth of west texas...
like in the glory of a crane...
like in the presence of air turned to energy...
i want to remember that there is something out there much bigger than me,
that i don't have to plague myself with so many questions,
and that in the end,
i should just try my hardest to love people.
yes, it was a pilgrimage.
it took 4 days to realize some things about myself...
(the first chance i got i went and cut my hair off-
i'm just not the kind of girl to worry about blow-drying and curling irons)
and some things...sigh...are yet to be realized.
and...i suppose i'm glad there's a 'big irony' out there...
to push me along,
to keep me on my toes,
and to show me beautiful things
that i might breathe again.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

one of those days

i've been wanting to blog all summer...
there isn't a day that i don't come home and want to do it,
but i just haven't had the energy.
i'm working back at the YMCA with 12-16 year olds...
trying to help them grow up and teach them about the world.
we've helped at assisted living centers, read to elementary school kids, gone to a farmer's market, and will soon help at interfaith ministries by packing pet food for senior citizens and then to the food bank.
we have a little fun along the way, but for the most part they'd rather play with their ipods and oogle the opposite sex.
i suppose i did at that age too.
i'm also trying to teach them about politics and get them interested in what's going on in the world.
once a week we pull out a newspaper and find one thing that's important to us...
that's a trip...
and recently john edwards (who's vying for the presidency in case some of you adults don't know) visited houston and we got to hear what he's planning for the US.
we're out in the hot sun most days...and half the time they hate me for making them work.
ohhhh i love my job.
but then there are days where the kids actually make me beam with joy.
i've never beamed before, and it's a great feeling.
and just like that it's over and they're back to driving my crazy.
i do it alone too...which means no vacation.
i'm the only one with up to 12 kids at a time.
it can get pretty daunting sometimes.
i've also started therapy.
i'm learning a lot about myself...i wish i didn't have to go see a doctor to do it...but nonetheless i'm there and i'm learning.
there's really too much to unpack at the present moment...but i'm there, working it all out.
and then there's today...
my father just came upstairs to tell me that my grandmother died today.
he said it very matter-of-factly.
my father had a pretty twisted upbringing, so i don't really expect much else, but still...
my brother and i just kind of sat there, emotionless.
even now, i don't really know how i feel.
i'm sure my therapist will love that.
then earlier today i found out my brother and sister have been keeping some pretty big secrets and have been telling some pretty big lies to me.
i feel deceived, and a little scared for them.
i suppose that the big sister can't continue taking responsibility forever.
i suppose.
and then later i had a messy blow out with someone from church.
community is ugly sometimes, and i don't intend upon bringing it into the blog,
just know it sucked.
i wish it didn't take a shitty day like this to get me to blog,
but it did.
days like today make your foundation rumble and for a control freak like me...
that doesn't sit well.
so what does one do when they feel as if they're splitting down the middle...
as if they're falling apart...
very helpless, very hurt, very alone?
maybe they pray...
if you know me, you know that's the last thing on earth i want to do.
as i said in church a few weeks ago...i hate praying. i really, really do.
but i'm hoping that something much bigger than myself can get a grip on all this...
can settle my nerves and at least get me to sleep tonight.