slow-building, mundane pressures
push me into a mold I don’t like.
voices, high and low,
talk me into a corner I didn’t choose.
God’s tireless chisel
crumbles me into a shape I don’t understand.
my desires fracture
and fly out from me in all directions.
the path winds, and wanders,
and fades into the blank horizon.
my strength continues to burn.
it burns right through me–
and leaves a charred, crackling hole.
my feet continue on, purposeless,
with a blind, stubborn perseverance.
yet I move along,
tired eyes on top of clumsy feet.
I’ll get where I’m going.
I’ll get somewhere, anyway.
in the blackness
all I have is Your hand
so don’t pat me on the head
and tell me it will all be all right
don’t shrink my head
and tell me to try harder
don’t tell me I’m not enough
don’t tell me I’m just fine
tell me the truth
take me away
lead me to the heart of the matter
tell me who I am
show me Who You are
hack apart the root of my sickness
let me out of this cage
take me somewhere open
help me to breathe
give me back my voice
set me in a safe place
lead me out
hold onto me
don’t let me fade away
please speak to me
because in the blackness
all I have is Your hand
If we are to get along together as roommates, there must be rules in place. First, so long as we abide in this glass house, we shall not cast stones. Second, don’t interrupt me or finish my sentences–it pisses me off. In return, I won’t talk over you, but allow you to speak your piece. Thirdly, let us do our best to stay out one another’s way–I won’t hinder your comings and goings so long as you don’t hinder mine. Fourthly, mind your own fucking business. I don’t need your opinion on every goddamn thing I say and do. And finally, feel free to move out any time. I don’t like you that much.
I carry it with me wherever I go
this heavy, heavy thing
that indebts every breath
demands every waking second
withholds sleep and
denies me all rest
I carry it with me into the quiet places
into the busy peopled places
into the secret places all my own
wherever I am, there it is
this heavy leaden sinker
at the bottom of my heart
simplify me, please.
my heart is a rope knotted and tied tight,
my strength is a pit bull frothing on a choke chain,
my mind is a heavy, ticking machine of unfathomable purpose.
simplify me, please.
gather up these scattered shreds of me and set them alight,
turn them to smoke in the gentle breeze of Your grace,
waft them up into far places I don’t care to ever find.
let me be some still, small thing
at rest in Your presence,
look, i’m real sorry
i can’t hear you over the roar
of my anxieties.
it’s awful crowded here in my head these days
and your voice didn’t quite make the cut
when it came time for the attention triage.
i thought i heard you say something about
peace and quiet,
but i’ve only got so much to give
and i’ve already portioned myself out between
all these greedy fears of mine,
so all i have to offer now is that empty space
those slack points of nothingness and exhaustion.
but i’ve got nothing left.
something about us drives me crazy.
maybe it’s the way I never seem to know what’s going on,
how helpless I feel,
when I’m here and You’re just. . .not,
on days when I can’t seem to find Your hand.
there are times of strength and confidence,
beauty unabashed and fruitfulness,
almost a kind of lawlessness,
when all’s well and everywhere I see Your face.
hours full of risk
and glorious unashamed success
so thorough and heart-deep
that I don’t care if I’m soaring or swimming,
as long as I’m alive and singing
arms swinging to my stride
next to You.
and then there are times of grief,
and a weariness that sinks into my bones so deep
I can’t feel anything else,
of eyes blind to color and brim-full
of grayness and haze,
lips too damn tired to speak comfort and life,
thoughts convoluted and hopeless
and tinny songs of things true
before life’s slow, searing holocaust—
days overflowing with anxiety
and unrest, insecurity and tears,
bills and debts and tense conversations of worry and want—
my heart recedes
beneath a sighing current of fatigue
and sleeps until its winter breaks.
I long for those old times
of fearless walking.
learning new paths, new thoughts and songs,
new truths and ways of moving.
I miss Your voice.
I miss knowing my words mean something
in Your ears.
when I first heard Your true name,
something in me resonated,
answered back to Your deep thrum,
as if You’d run your finger along
some taut chord in me
and the memory of Your touch
leaves an echo that mutters back a melody.
in You, I see not a door opening
into new, undiscovered places,
I find the recognition of things lost,
the chord inside me vibrates
a tentative harmony to Yours,
and I find myself longing for new music.