Broken-down Poetry: September 2010


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, September 24, 2010

Broken-down thoughts.

George MacDonald said, "Poetry is the highest form of the utterance of men's thoughts." Sometimes when I'm thoughtful and pensive and nostalgic and lonely and upset I write poetry.

I told God to sleep
On the couch. Tonight
I'll sleep alone with the comfort
Of my comforter.

I'll let God
Sweat it out
And wonder why
I am so pissed at him.

He'll think
About what he did: did he
Tell a crude joke or say
Something rude about my hair?

When he asks (and
He will ask)
I'll tell him
It's nothing.

And it's nothing. God,
I'm fine. I'm fine,
Really. Just don't
Come back to bed.

*Update 9/29/2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hi, Heart.

I hesitate to blog anymore because my audience has grown so much. I don't mean that to sound like bragging, but since I went overseas and got a boyfriend, more people have been interested in what I say. That scares me. Gulp. Do I want you to read this?

I have one standard for my blog - honesty. I write what I believe (whether it's truth or not is another matter). I write in order to enact change; I write in order for my brothers and sister in Christ to agree, to say "Amen"; I write to vent or rant or ask questions. But I write with the intention of total transparency. I know I'm not always right. I know that what I say is often embarrassing or self-righteous or ignorant. I want this blog to be a testament of my brokenness. As long as it's honest.

(It's odd: I only half-realize that what I write is public. It's not until someone I don't know very well comments on a post that the regret kicks in. Should I have written that?)

But I've been doing this since I was 14, so no use stopping now. Even if this blog gets read by thousands - oh, maybe one day - I can't quit being myself. I can't quit pondering and wrestling and ranting. Am I not Ezekiel, God's mouthpiece?


I've been thinking about my heart a lot, because of this book I read. I finished reading Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith for possibly the fifth time. I lost count. 

The story is about Annie and Carl Brown during their first year of marriage in 1927. Carl is a third year law student and Annie is his 18-year-old bride. It's a rags-to-riches story, a theme popular in its time.

I love the book because I think I'm Annie. Rather, I view myself as someone like her. I know I'm not really that much like her. I either wish I were or I try to be. 

Annie's a writer. She's this quirky girl who gets way too excited about silly little things; she gets absorbed in projects; she wants to fit in; she loves reading; she loves observing people. She's a character.

What I love most about Annie - and how I relate to her the most - is her childlike heart. She seems so very young. She calls herself a dope all the time. Carl calls her his child-bride.

Annie's 18 in the book, 19 by the end, but her heart is still 12.

Her heart is a curious little girl who wants to read and write and play house.

She has conversations like this with Carl:

"Would you love me if I was a factory worker?" [asked Carl.]
"Of course. But you're not a factory worker. You are going to be a lawyer. You got to be a lawyer. I told the children their father's a lawyer."
"What children?"
"The children I'm going to have."
"We're going to have."
"I'm going to have them. You can watch." p.61

When I am confused about something or need to make a decision that my heart has a say in, I compartmentalize my Heart, my Head and sometimes my Body. I give them voices and let them speak.

I did it once for this blog

I let my Head speak for my rationale. I let Heart speak for my, well, heart. And I let Body speak for my impulses.

But I decided a few weeks ago that my Head, my Heart and my Body are different ages. Body is obviously 20. But Head is in grad school - 24, 25 maybe. 

Heart is 12.

I think my Heart's still a baby.

I remember when I first had that realization, when I was 13. When people asked me how old I was, I'd want to say 12. Sometimes I still want to answer 12. 

I don't know what that says about me exactly. I hope it's nothing bad. I hope it doesn't hurt my relationships or cause me to remain naive or pathetic for the rest of my life.

But I think it'll keep me like Annie. I think it'll keep me hopeful when life is stressful. I think it'll keep me writing even if I never get published.


A few years ago I began this quest to find myself. I wanted to know who I am stripped of every relationship, every label or stereotype, every defining quality. I wanted to know who I am via Jesus and no one else. 

Something happened, I think. I had it all figured out sometime last year. I felt cool. I felt confident. But then life happened. I started doubting God. I started doubting that he cared about me at all, that he had a plan for me. Or something. Man, I don't even know what happened.

So I'm back here again. What I started two years ago, I'm starting again. I'm trying to find myself.

Yeah, I know the basics. I know who I am as a writer. I know who I am as a student, as a woman, as a dreamer, as a friend. But I don't know who I am as a girlfriend. I don't know who I am as an adult, a professional. I don't know who I am fully. I only know in part.

I know my Head, but I don't always know my Heart. I never know what she's up to. I have to ask her, and when I do, she starts freaking out. 

I figure life is like this. I wrote a few years ago how my friend Adam told me that you can never fully know who you are, and I said that I didn't believe him. I believe him now. I won't always get myself. I'm peculiar, even to myself. But I can learn. And the learning may never stop.