dear march // 2018

i. i’m dangling off a cliff, clinging to a rope with both hands. the rope is frayed, unraveling, it won’t last much longer and nor will i. i’ve given it everything i got and now, now maybe it’s time to walk away. walk away before i give up on myself.

ii. telephone pole down. they’re walking. a frigid late winter day and a steep walk uphill. i wish i could run, run and run and run until i got to your workplace and sit on the front porch until you arrived. i wish i could stay outside in the blinding wind and bone-chilling cold. i wish i could do anything, anything to get away from the pain that awaited me in the warmth.

iii. a piano that wasn’t tuned. questions that weren’t completely answered. candles that wouldn’t light. but what the day was was greater than what it wasn’t. feeling the strength rush through my fingertips as i pressed the untuned keys. a long car ride that revolved around teleportation, the future, and being on-time. a day that i will keep beneath my heartstrings forever.

iv. i can’t take this anymore. i’m giving up.

v. my special day. but i don’t feel special anymore, nor do i want to. i just want to disappear beneath the leather seats, away from the love songs that wrenched my heart, away from the cramped weight slowly crushing me, away from somewhere i didn’t belong.

vi. i wished you’d slow down, not because i was afraid to die, but because i was afraid you’d die. my heart fluttered in my throat and i prayed desperately that in case the 84 went to 0 in a split-second, i would be taken, but you, and the girl in the front seat, and the two guys beside me, would make it out alive.

vii. my bandaged wrist. i wish my anxiety would vanish and never come back.

viii. every day spent in that building and that house seems like a nightmare. i want to wake up and see that nothing’s changed, that you still welcome me with a grin and a fun remark instead of drowning me with disregard on your face, that i still pour into the people i love without being caged like a criminal.

ix. thank you for burned ears. the pain will go away but the memories will stay. i felt like a queen, a hobbling queen, but a queen nonetheless. my eyes shone and my heart sang and every time i looked at you, i knew that everything would be alright.

x. you’re a beast. am i a monster, you think? am i who they say i am? a failure, an inept burden, a puppet without a voice of her own? tell me, i beg of you. i need to know the truth and you’re my last grasp at hope.

xi. absolute bliss, absolute freedom, until with a jolt, i went down and the shattering pain snaked through my knees like a million fiery needles.

xii. you’re like a breath of Jesus in the lives of the people you meet. the best day of my life.

xiii. write about me. and i did. you thought those lines funny, but when i sent that poem to you i sent a piece of my soul with it. when you read it aloud the day after, i lost that part of my soul forever. i wish that you, both actually, but especially you, knew the truth about february 21. but i don’t have the courage to tell you.

xiv. when the road gets too difficult for me to navigate, You picked me up with Your nail-pierced hands and carried me. when i wrestled with You, You could’ve knocked me over with just the look of Your eyes, but You chose to lead me out of the swirling darkness and into the blinding light.

xv. amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. i once was lost, but now i’m found, was blind but now i see. my chains are gone, i’ve been set free. my God, my Savior, has ransomed me. and like a flood His mercy rains. unending love, amazing grace.

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dear february // 2018

oh hello there. it’s been so long since i’ve last written and i am so sorry. this will be kind of like a medley of january and february so bear with me through this novel of a post. x

i.  words can’t even encapsulate the pain i feel. a dull, throbbing pain, a pain that sneaks up behind me when i am laughing and having fun and puts me in a chokehold, squeezes the life out of me.

ii.  4 am. a buzz of the phone. three words. and she left this earthly world behind and entered the arms of her Father. a touch from the angel transformed her into an angel. we love you, chandler. i have so many words unsaid and memories unshared but one day, we’ll sit down together in the garden of heaven and catch up.

iii.  i held your little hand and listened to your rolicking laughter as you jumped and danced and had fun. stunted, they said you were, different and incomplete and lacking. but i think you’re the most perfect of little ones. you don’t have developmental issues. you see the world through different eyes. you aren’t physically incapacitated. you are born to mold the world with the strength of your fingertips. i love you, little one.

iv.  i saw all of your beautiful faces from the future, from the light of two phone screens and reflection of perfect faces. but my heart ached, because i’m so far away and i’ve always been so far away and i’ll always be so far away.

v.  i showed you the land of my heritage, but i desperately want to tell you that my heart and my home will always be there, with you, with all of you. i don’t want to be different. listen to my heart’s cry, oh please do, i don’t want to be different, i just want to be like you and be part of all of you.

vi.  i made a mistake, started on the wrong song, couldn’t focus my stupid mind. i can never hold my head again. i made a mistake, i, who should and can and must never make a mistake.

vii.  pain zigzags across my fingers, but i will tie those skates all over again. the pain will go away but the memories will stay.

viii.   everybody’s different. i don’t know why. he’s left his gentle-teasing ways to become someone who’s jokes feel like a stab to the heart. she’s still a sassy and spirited individual, but there’s an edge to her, a sharp edge that never ceases to shock me. and he, he’s different, he’s changed, and it hurts my heart. and she, my dearest friend out of all dear friends, has become more weary, more tired, more torn apart. oh what would i give to erase the lines stress and carry your burdens for you. my heart hurts.

ix.  and i chose to give up on you, not by choice, but by force.

x.  friend. we haven’t talked much over the last month, haven’t we. i feel as if we’ve drifted apart while drifting closer. we’ve become too caught up in our own lives and our problems to leave space to listen to the other and share stories about life. i miss the time we almost hit a deer, not the hitting the deer part help us all no, but the strengthening friendship part. let’s catch up sometime. i want the good old days to come back.

xi.  a last-minute call for the nursery, but two hours of absolute bliss. we laughed and played so loudly that everybody came running. we sang uproariously and had so much fun we spilled water all over the table. and then i carried you on my hip for the rest of the night while you sucked your thumb contentedly and gazed around you. oh i cannot wait to become a mother to houseful of squirming, happy children.

xii.  don’t think, don’t feel, you’re gonna be okay.

xiii.  i fought the yarn for hours on end, until the clock read 1:00 am and my eyes wouldn’t stay open. no, i didn’t fight the yarn. i fought myself. i fought myself and questioned myself and dug out every hidden fear. i wrestled with God, cried out to Him for help, and spoke the name of Jesus over the pain in my life. all the while i twisted and pulled and knitted, shaping the thumb, shaping the cuff. but woman, it was all worth it. it was all worth it and i would never trade the experience for anything.

xiv.  a touch of the hip and a jagged gash of pain. i won’t let You go until You give me Your blessing. i walked away from You and hid inside myself, but You spoke to me through my injury. You are good, my Father, and i will sing of Your mercies forever and ever and ever. amen.

xv.  you’re an overcomer, stay in the fight ‘til the final round. you’re not going under, ‘cause God is holding you right now. you might be down for a moment, feeling like it’s hopeless. that’s when He reminds you that you’re an overcomer. you’re an overcomer.

the man and the piano

via

i live across the road from a haunted house.
i mean, it’s not exactly haunted, just old.
the owners moved away around thirty years ago.
nobody has taken care of it since.

the paint has cracked and mold is now growing in the cracks.
the shutters are all broken and hanging askew.
even on sunny days, it’s musty. dark. spooky.
but i heard that the scariest part in it is the piano.

the owners left their piano behind when they moved out.
it used to sit in large living room, draped with silks
all the guests who came to the house admired the piano
a handcrafted beauty, it was passed down through generations.

but the passage of time had been harsh.
it now stood in the musty corner of the abandoned living room.
all of the keys are discolored, covered with algae from the leaking ceiling.
some of the notes don’t play. they’re stuck. broken forever.

there’s a homeless creep living in our neighborhood.
i mean, he’s not exactly a creep, just old.
his wife died thirty years ago and his house was taken away.
nobody has taken care of him since.

his hair is long and stringy. there’s bits of dirt in the knots.
his clothes have gaping holes, exposing his bony flesh.
even on sunny days, his brows are drawn together in an angry line.
but i hear that the scariest part of him is his eyes.

he left his soul behind when he buried the love of his life.
his black eyes used to sparkle and shine as he laughed with his wife.
all of his friends used to admire his youthful spirit.
he was fun-loving, energetic, full of life and vigor.

but that fateful accident ripped his heart out and left a gaping hole.
when he couldn’t pay the bills, the bank took his house.
his children left without a goodbye, leaving him penniless. homeless.
he now wanders the streets. alone. forsaken. broken forever.

I looked out the window this afternoon when I saw the creep shuffle up the sidewalk and stop in front of the haunted house. I mean, that old man stopped in front of that old house. He gazed at it for an eternity, then he climbed the rickety stairs, turned the rusted door knob, and disappeared into the darkest oblivion. The door swung shut behind him.

Out of curiosity, I unearthed myself from the fluffy quicksand of the living-room sofa and followed him.

My hesitant footsteps drew me closer and closer to this deserted house until the rafters loomed above my head, casting dark shadows that swallowed me alive. With one shaky hand, I pushed the door open. The high-pitched wail that sounded from the rusty hinges sent chills up my spine.

I stepped into the house.

I hear him walking around so I follow the sound of the footsteps until, abruptly, they stopped. I tiptoed through an archway, then through another opening in the crumbling walls, until I came face-to-face with what used to be the living room.

The window in this room had cracked, allowing dirt, leaves, and grime to come pouring in, borne on the wings of the wind. One overturned paint tub spilled its contents all over the carpeted floor. Some critter had walked through the now dry paint, spreading it all over the room and walls. It took me quite some moments before my eyes adjusted to the shifting darkness.

Then did I see the piano, standing forlornly in the corner. To my surprise I saw the man sitting, his head bowed, in front of it. Even as I watched, he lifted his hands slowly from his lap and placed them on the rusted keys. Dirty hands they were, hands that had seen their share of tribulations, hands scarred and streaked with mud.

One solitary note echoed in the gloomy house, followed by another. Then another. Its voice was streaked with age and misuse, warped by the pain from simply living, but the piano was singing.

One solitary tear dropped onto the withered keys, followed by another. Then another. His hands moved haltingly over the keys. But through the music, his heart spoke.

It spoke of pain, of bitterness, of desolation. It spoke of the pain that gripped his heart when he saw the love of his life lying lifeless in the hospital bed, her head covered with bloody gauze, tubes running in and out of her body. It spoke of the bitterness that hardened into a stony ball when the bank evicted him from his own home because he couldn’t pay the hefty bills the hospital demanded for trying— and failing —to save his wife. It spoke of the desolation that drowned him when his two children hung up their phones on him and cut off all contact, moving far away, rejecting their father, never even once looking back.

For the first time I saw him for who he was: a man, torn by the years, rejected by society, crying for help. But nobody listened. Until now.

the man and the piano
in their brokenness they found each other
unloved
but loved at last.

dear november // 2017

i.  november, i don’t like you. you brought back memories i’d tried to forget, ripped open scars i thought were erased forever, and drowned me in a pool of my own tears. but november, i do like you. you gave me memories i want to treasure forever, brought me healing from the pain in my past, and showed me the blossoming rosebud of love.

ii.  the blood from my scratched knees cut rugged paths through the dirt and grime. i fell down. pain exploded in dizzying circles. help me, my heart hurts and i’ve given up. but i had to fall down in order to stand up.

iii.  the lights were bright, the microphone loud. you couldn’t be there, but i hope i made you proud.

iv.  seven hours. the best moments of my life. i took off my mask for the first time in years. you saw me, but you didn’t see the scars, the lines, the spots. i’m sorry, burgundy lipstick and my mouth don’t mix. but hon, i’ll try not to laugh next time.

v.  noise, noise, noise. my head swims and my heartbeat falters. there’s an echo in my ears but it’s time to go onstage.

vi.  i dared to be vulnerable, showed you the scar that changed my life forever, and you didn’t run. conversations in parked cars are the best therapy sessions. i wish i had the courage to tell you about october 23.

vii.  a weight drops onto my chest. paralyzed in fear. it was just a name on a phone screen, but even that brings back waves of pain.

viii.  he was little, he was energetic, he was brilliant. he sat down between my feet and rested his head on my knees. my heart melted. in this place of chaos, a moment of peace.

ix.  you call me mom, but i am not your mother. yet every week, for an hour, i belonged. the door closed softly behind me and you came running, wrapped your little chubby arms around my knees and gazed at me with pure adoration. love you, little one.

x.  i took a deep breath and cracked open my shell. we were shrouded in darkness, yet the luminous light from your eyes shone from behind those thick glasses. you gave me strength to face the inevitable.

xi.  i let go, cut the anchor line, and drifted away. i faced the wide unknown, the perilous ocean. but i’d found freedom.

xii.  your eyes searched the deepest recesses of my eyes, saw down into my soul. i blinked, and you were gone.

xiii.  i wish you were the same both on my screen and in-person. my heart feels torn.

xiv.  woman, you make me brave. i will never let you sit alone in the big and echoey room, never let you struggle through confusing markings and insensitive remarks. i will stand by you, sit by you, sing with you. we will face life together, side-by-side, sisters.

xv.  my name was called and my heart gave a leap. thankful for spots of cheerfulness in the din of oppression. you leaned your head against me the night before and the warm and fuzzy feeling inside grew.

xvi.  i faced the howling wind alone, my bones were chilled, and i stumbled. you saw me, came out without a jacket on, and we finished the task together. i’m sorry i made you late.

xvii.  not my job. but i should’ve done all of those tasks willingly and cheerfully. why is it always me? but have i been chosen for this particular task, to face these particular trials? oh Lord, remove the filters from my mind and give me a sense of peace.

xviii.  once a dancer, always a dancer. even when the cold paralyzes my bones and my muscles cramp in pain, i will glide with wings on ice.

xix.  i ran from You and You let me run away. i turned aside when You spoke my name, hid away, suffered alone. but You are always there, always within reach, always ready to welcome me Home. and yes Lord, i’m coming Home.

xx.  higher than the mountains that i face, stronger than the power of the grave, constant through the trial and the change, one thing remains. Your love never fails and never gives up. it never runs out on me.

dear september // 2017

i.  the leaves fade slowly, their bloom of health slowly slipping away with each icy breath of wind. i see the skeleton of some lining the road. i am slipping away too, but life still flows through my veins.

ii.  my leg swung in a smooth motion and the ball flew high and straight. for the first time in a long time, i let my laugh truly bubble up from the inside. for the first time in a long time, my injuries and my body do not define me. for the first time in a long time, i simply enjoyed life.

iii.  we were both consumed in worship, worship and prayer. you and i, we’ve found our hiding place, you looked over at me and we exchanged a silent smile. and i knew. i knew that you would stand by me. and i will stand by you.

iv.  i glided over the ice on wings of the wind, a dam broke, and my soul soared high. waved a moment, then disappeared into the clouds.

v.  the drink was cold, but my heart was warm. i’ve found a bosom friend, a hair model, a talented musician and singer. maybe one day we’ll go flying down the trail on bikes made of wings, but until then, we’ll dance in the rain together.

vi.  sometimes the numbness seeps into my bones and my heart shudders then lies still. when all i could see in front of my eyes was pain and all i could hear was those mocking voices. voices that carried tinges of evil darkness and dripping with contamination. please don’t make me go back.

vii.  i saw that grand piano and my heart gave a leap. thank you for little reminders that You are thinking of me. to feel my fingers glide over the smooth keys is the best feeling of all.

viii.  you loved him and i was happy. the little pearls of dew crawled up the side of my shoe and seeped into my stockings as shouts and music echoed in the sunny air. i saw your perfect pass and my heart leaped with pride. you two make a great team.

ix.  you walked away. maybe you looked back, but i couldn’t see through my mist of tears. we’ll never be the same, but frankly i’m grateful, because we were born different. i’m sorry, friend, i’m sorry. but child, i’ll forever carry your burdens for you and wipe away your tears before they fall.

x.  it’s been real. yes it has, and i’m grateful for each of your laughing faces. we don’t need to think out loud, because we understand each other through a simple smile. i love you all, introverts rule.

xi.  i sat there and watched you, and a wave of pride swelled in my heart. i’m proud of you, proud to be called your sister. we played the piano together, and we will always play the piano together.

xii.  cc. friend, i miss you.

xiii.  i’ve lose the ability to cry. a tsunami wave of pain rises in my heart, and i’ve given up, but nary a tear falls. i’ve gotten too used to smiling, smiling and pretending. a tear fell later that night, as my lower body became numb and the vision blurred in front of my eyes, but still i stood strong. stood strong and played strong. thank you for the hug.

xiv.  i cried out to You to take me home, and You picked me up gently and placed me on the altar. i found healing in Your warm embrace. You took me by the hand and showed me the rainbow above the rainclouds. You taught me to look beyond, beyond and ahead.

xv.  love keeps its promises, it keeps its word. it honors what’s sacred, ’cause its vows are good. Your love’s not broken, it’s not insecure. Your love’s not selfish, You love is pure. You don’t give your heart in pieces.


run away

the door slammed shut, the sound of finality
it was cold
rain had begun to fall
like the shadows creeping in beneath the tangle of willows
so the myriad of raindrops chased and pelted me
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
nor get away from the stinging droplets
i thought i could get away from the things i’d tried to forget
but each frantic footfall only brought me closer to the abyss
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
and each mocking face began to draw closer and closer
i thought that finally, i could find peace and freedom
but the more i tried to smile, the more the wounds seem to bleed
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
the thunder boomed and the air began to shiver
i thought that the circle of faces would help me forget and help me find strength
but it only dug up the buried missiles i thought i’d thrown away forever

i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough.

dear august // 2017

i.  you showed me these precious souls. my little men. a towel around my drenched body and a hug to keep me warm. we purple superheroes, we run fast, we are strong. we hold the flag up high and proud. we were built for a purpose.

ii.  i play the piano with every ounce of strength in my worn fingers. maybe if i play hard enough, maybe if i play loud enough, i can quell the rising flood.

iii.  the melody unraveled me. the shadows came down and enshrouded me in darkness. i sat alone, separate from the laughing group, head throbbing and heart aching. i couldn’t find the light, yet you came and sat with me in the dark. in that moment you defined friend.

iv.  gentle moments when all the noise and excitement seem to fade away. just you and i. 

v.  we’ve met once, but seemingly lived a lifetime together. we’ll dare to be vulnerable together. and child, there’s sunshine beyond. i see it. do you see it too?

vi.  when the music fades, one touch of a deft finger sends the sound waves pulsating again. these ivory keys are my lifeline. and when my heart is too full or too empty to form the words, i remember that yes, the river flows in me. (i’d love to play at your wedding)

vii.  thank you for funny old greek philosophers from two thousand years ago. his words unknot my tangle of feelings and straighten the crooked picture frames.

viii.  ah, the words are now free from my trembling fingers. perhaps one day when i waken no more, someone will hear my whisper.

ix.  i walked down the rocky road again, heard Your voice again, spoke with a little squirrel who gazed at me out of clear glassy eyes. You showed me that the rain may be falling now. but climb the mountain, burst through the fog, and sunbeams will drench your upturned face. You showed me that ends bring beginnings, and the sun will always rise again. You love me, and i love You.

x.  it’s extravagant. it doesn’t make sense. we’ll never comprehend the way You love us. it’s unthinkable. only heaven knows just how far You’d go to say You love us.