Just Writing

The Truth About Broken Things

The Truth about Broken Things

The Fullston’s lived at No. 9 Chaddick Drive, just around the corner from the recruiting office. In the days following the bold black headlines of the Lusitania lines of men extended well past the front door. Their eyes all held different stories. Frightened or yearning for glory, and always perched above gray coats.

Eventually the gray spread to trousers and boots, and bled into the streets. And soon everything was gray except the signs for bonds.

At first I thought that it wouldn’t find its way past the front door. We kept it out for as long as we could, or at least I did. Mr. Fullston embraced the war, and for his sake Diana did as well. I don’t even think they noticed when the gray touched the marble and mahogany.

In the hallway outside the library was a mostly empty china cabinet. A shelf behind the dull glass held a colorful variety of tea cups. Diana once told me she collected them on her travels. In the years before meeting Mr. Fullston.

The gray touched the cups one by one. Hand painted flowers and bright rims eventually faded. And as I watched it happen I knew it would eventually reach me. It seemed the war would scar every inch of our lives.

When the lines had shortened and the obituaries were much too young, I noticed that two cups near the back of the shelf remained untouched. Behind the faded glass and rows of gray, the weak light reflected off their gold rims. The porcelain was a clean white. It spoke of purer times.

Each day I walked to the cabinet and pressed my fingertips to the glass. Just to look and see. To make sure that it hadn’t touched them. That it wouldn’t touch them. I was never sure what I would do if it had. I just hoped that it wouldn’t. It began to seem as though everything was hung in balance by that single moment each morning.

Diana asked me about it once, right before she left for one of her war effort meetings. I answered without thinking, “It hasn’t touched these two yet.” For a moment I was paralyzed with the notion that she wouldn’t understand.

She put her fur muff to the side, next to the boxes of gray clothes that were to be donated to soldiers. Her eyes were misty with confusion until she saw the cups. And a soft smiled graced her lips then. “I got those two when I was away at school. They were so simple. Ordinary, even. But perfect. Incredibly perfect.” She brushed a graying stand of hair from her eyes. “I usually only collected one cup at a time. But I couldn’t separate them. They were made to be together. I think that is what made them special.”

“They seem so…clean from the world.” My voice came out in a ragged whisper. To my surprise, Diana merely nodded.

“I’ll be back shortly, my dear. We’ll use them for our tea this afternoon.”

Mr. Fullston left soon after her, a telegram in his hand and a cigar jammed in the corner of his mouth. No doubt he was heading downtown to one of the large buildings with marble floors. I was never to know what he actually did there. He left clouds of gray smoke behind him as he closed the door.

I decided to wait until Diana came home from her meeting to get the saucers out. I was both excited and frightened to remove them from behind the glass. I needed the perfection Diana had spoken of to remain. And yet I had a small hope of absorbing their purity.

Perhaps it was this hope that caused the accident. I’ll never be entirely sure.

Diana sat at the table, our tea set before her as I removed the cups. They were dainty, yet somehow strong in their light clinking. I wiped them clean of any gray dust and walked back towards the tea room.

But the cups fell.

They slipped from my hands and shattered into fragments on the gray floor. I screamed. And I could not get to the pieces before the gray began weeping into them.

“No! No, no, no!” My tears splashed onto the tainted porcelain. But they didn’t wash it clean.

“It’s alright, my dear.” Diana’s voice was suddenly beside me. But I couldn’t seem to hear it. I frantically began gathering up the pieces, hardly noticing when one of them cut me. Then I saw that even my blood looked gray. And that was when I realized that there was no escape. There was no remaining untouched.

“We will fix them.” Diana’s voice came piercing through my realizations.

“But we can’t.” My voice was as raw as my new reality. “They are broken. I broke them. They were perfect and now they are tainted.” I was finally able to meet her eyes. “Diana, it’s all broken.”

Diana smiled at me, and then carefully picked up the fragmented cups. At her silent invitation I followed her to the kitchen where she scrubbed the blood from my hands. Then we sat at the large table and I watched her repair the cups. Piece by piece, the porcelain fit back together and the gold rims returned. Though I thought I would be forever haunted by the cracks.

“Everything gets broken from time to time.” Diana finally said, “But you should learn now that brokenness is never final. I told you earlier that I’ve always felt that the perfection we sense here lies in the fact that they were made for one another. Tainted or whole makes no difference.”

One day, the gray was gone. Perhaps it left on its own or perhaps I simply stopped seeing it. For the rest of the war I visited the china cabinet every day. I pressed my fingertips to the glinting glass and peered inside at the two white cups. And I often heard Diana’s voice in my head, teaching me the truth about broken things.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I’ve had this short story floating around in the gray areas of my mind for some time now. It wasn’t until recently, when I had a very wonderful conversation with somebody whom I love dearly, that I was able to put all the pieces together. I felt myself looking for some grand way to express the simplest truth I’ve learned this year. But it wasn’t until I stripped away the thoughts of grandeur that I could really see it before my eyes. Sometimes the grandest way to express our deepest truths is through simple means. It was a joy to write.

Just Writing

Say It In Writing

biggerWhen I blog, what I’m really doing is writing down all of the things I wish I could say out loud. I think it’s probably like this for most of us. Especially the writers. Writing is the way that we say the things of our soul. The things that we are thinking, feeling, and knowing, but can’t actually say.

I’m not sure what it is about our world, but none of us ever say what we really think. It’s much too raw. It’s much too real. And when we look back on it we have a tendency to be embarrassed. We have a tendency to wonder what we were thinking when we were so unabashedly ourselves. Or at least that’s what happens to me.

Honesty has been hard for me lately. Not because I’ve been lying like crazy, but because the truth has been very painful. I have let fear get in the way of my life for the past several weeks. And when I made one tiny move to try and let go of this fear, it proved to be a little anticlimactic. Even stupid. Go figure.

I wish I could explain to you all of the times I’ve prayed and gotten amazing answers. One of my friends told me today that God has been spoiling me recently, and I couldn’t agree more. It really is true. He has been. I’ve never been this close to Him in my entire life. Which is actually really good because I’m carrying a lot of crap around inside of my heart right now. And it isn’t very fun.

But what I really wanted to do tonight is say a few things to the most important people inchapter my life. I want to say what’s in my heart, and let them know what I’m actually thinking. And when I come back and read this blog post I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be proud of myself for being this brave. I want to be okay with being vulnerable again. I want to be okay with saying what’s in my heart. Even if it hurts. So here it goes:

A: How could I ever explain to you how amazing you are? Seriously I’ve known you for such a long time and you never ever cease to blow my mind. I just want to be a fraction of your type of cool. You have so much strength in your heart and it honestly leaves me in so much awe. I hope that when you look in the mirror you see the woman that I see. We both know that I have a gift for seeing people as they really are, so don’t try and fight with me on this. I’m right. You absolutely shine. Thank you so much.

M: Thank you for teaching me how to be a dreamer. I wish you would stop dreaming and live your dreams now. Don’t be afraid anymore. It’s time to live. Just do it. Please.

perfect goodD: Thank you for teaching me to be a doer. I love you very much. Please don’t forget that sometimes your heart’s more important than your mind. In fact, I honestly think that that’s where all of our truth is. I wish you could see that.

H: Please never stop laughing. But also please remember that it’s okay to be sad. You don’t have to be perfect, and in fact you never will be. We’re all here to help each other. That’s the point. Thank you for holding me while I ugly cried, and smoothing my hair. And buying me Jimmy Fallon ice cream. And loving me through every disaster. You help me believe in the redeeming power of love, and that as long as we trust each other we can do anything.

S: You’re probably so tired of all that I have to say. And I wouldn’t blame you. So here’s all that I have to say this time: if God tells me to be patient with you one more time I’m going to lose my freaking mind. I’ll either have to actually do it or just be in open rebellion, harderwhich I don’t see ending well. Actually I tried that angle for a while, the angle of “oh my gosh I am so done because this bloody hurts” and suffice it to say… it didn’t end well. I laughed, but I’m pretty sure He was serious. I’ll tell you that story some day.

K: You’ve gotta trust yourself more than you do, girl. I wish you could see how incredibly bright your eyes are. There is so much there it kills me. Don’t let fear run your life anymore.

J: I love you so much. You teach me so much as our lives continue to unfold. But I wish you would stop treating me like an innocent child. I wish you could see that I have scars, too. The other day you told me that you kind of gloried in my pain, and that hurt more than I can ever say. I’ve experienced a lot of hurt, and a lot of things that have changed logicme. I’m not who I was in those days. And there were things about that person I was that you’ll never know or understand. She spent so much of her time being angry about love, but in her heart that’s all she really wanted. She wanted to believe in it. She wanted it to be real. It was all she really, really wanted. She prayed for it every day. That’s who she really was underneath everything you saw. I hope that someday you can trust me with every vulnerable part of you. That someday you’ll stop thinking that you have to change what you think because you’re with me. But dude, you’re a freaking rock star. Thank you for that.

homeJ: Just don’t be scared. Live your life as brilliantly as we all know you’re going to. And don’t you dare think for one minute that you have to prove us wrong or prove us right or prove anything. Do what makes you happy. Just let your awesomeness shine. And don’t you dare give up.

C: Where would I be without you???? I just have absolutely no clue. You are the greatest human. The greatest. The purest of cinnamon rolls. Thank you for being an amazing friend and an incredible woman. Seriously, you are the big sister in our friendship. It doesn’t even matter that I’m older than you. You have so much in you and it is dazzling.

certain thingQ: You make me believe in the goodness of humanity. You are the human that I’ve always wanted to be, but will probably never be great enough to be. But I’m so grateful for you in my life. You are #goals. Thank you.

Love,

Jordan

Just Writing

i can’t run

i spent those days listening
hearing music
feeling the truth
believing

ed sheeran sang songs
about love
about something perfect
beauty

with my fears cast aside
i pushed forward
so hopefully
happy

prayers were answered
strangely enough
it all made sense
perfect

i saw a picture
of me from long ago
hopeful eyes
innocent

she is gone now
so are her dreams
so shattered
reality

i don’t see her
in the mirror
just a woman
stretched

pushing forward
defying the alternative
hope so fragile
fading

God leaves notes
bits of promise
urges me forward
soon

London is too far
words help or destroy
the music lied
unsurprised

spend moments remembering
longer forgetting
make new dreams
wait

create more art
choose to believe
in love and light
choice

it’s all choice
every moment
follow the path
please

illuminated before me
God lit the way
harder every day
believing

i’m tired of the tragedy
things falling apart
lessons learned too
late

life is so short
happiness maybe fleeting
hold on, He says,
shortly

they say to only depend
on yourself
only need you
everyday

they say nobody is
responsible for your
happiness or sadness
wondering

about loyalty and love
we are responsible
it’s called love
remember?

we all need each other
it’s why we’re here
we’re not supposed to be
alone

we give others power
over us and our heart
it’s our only chance for
happiness

i want to forget
the rightness
i want to run away
London

but i can’t
at night i remember
the rightness and i can’t
run

the girl in the picture
is gone forever
replaced by patchwork
me

one thing still remains
a stubborn belief
in conquering love
clinging

 

Just Writing

The Green Field

The Green Field

If I close my eyes
and open my mind
I always see a green field

The sun is shining
and the air is crisp
a white dress reaches my heels

Sometimes there are leaves
the color of Fall
piling around my feet

Piano music plays
I always walk on
and for what am I searching?

I don’t come often
to the rolling field
it hides behind slabs of life

Every so often
it comes to the front
so vivid before my eyes

Sometimes it changes
this green rolling field
at times I walk down a path

Sometimes there’s a fence
it guides me forward
I never, ever look back

I don’t ever know
what is waiting here
in this place inside my mind

I’ve never made it
too far down the path
looking, but never to find

Some few days ago
when I closed my eyes
I saw something very new

I sat on the ground
on top of a quilt
the sky was vividly blue

I wasn’t alone
there was no white dress
different than other times

Still my same green field
but so very new
what I saw, such a new sight

Too precious to write
the things that I saw
a life I hope awaits me

I will keep it close
and pray to live it
changes in the field of green

Just Writing

Immortalizing The Good

Immortalizing the Good

I’ve written poems about my heartbreak
Of the things that have happened since
Sleepless nights and tragic days
Feelings I didn’t know could exist

At first I could write nothing
I forgot everything but the hurt
Then one day the door opened
My mind was drowning in words

I wrote essays that were like poems
My words so harsh with the truth
But only in the process of writing
Could the pieces begin to fuse

I’ve never been in a place like that
Where I truly no longer cared
I’ve never felt so hurt and empty
The reminders were everywhere

And now some time has passed
It doesn’t hurt the same way now
Things have changed these days
I am not exactly sure how

I never thought we would talk again
And yet somehow we are here
I get to hear your voice and laugh
And I’m no longer fighting tears

But it isn’t really you, is it?
And it isn’t really me
Sometimes we almost reach each other
But then one of us goes running

And I know that some is my fault
I’m very good at closing the door
Opening it again is a bit hard
I have fears of what may be in store

The problem is that I know you so well
And you know me just the same
It’s funny beyond the frustration
We’re much too good at this game

There are so many things I want to say
So many things that are still hidden
And yet I’m not sure what they are
I wouldn’t know where to begin

So I spend my time remembering
And waiting for the breakthrough
Writing things you’ll never read
Maybe this will be one, too

My memory is usually a gift
Lately it’s more of a curse
Memories creep in all the time
Memories of kisses and words

I have written so many things
About the ways in which you hurt me
I haven’t written nearly enough
Of all of the beautiful things

You made me so incredibly happy
My heart was always overflowing
I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around it
But my head was full of knowing

This isn’t a poem to lament a loss
I’ve done that a lot, it’s true
I simply want to immortalize the good
Of how it felt to belong to you

You often said it felt so right
I couldn’t have agreed more
Everything was falling into place
As it never had before

On the night of our first kiss
I tried to hide my shaking knees
By my ear your heart was pounding
And I couldn’t help but tease

Some weeks later, on a starry night
You told me that you loved me
I couldn’t wait to say it back
I’d never been that happy

I often prayed so many times
That I’d discover it was true
That love could heal the brokenness
And then God sent me you

With you I was always safe
You became the feeling of home
I can’t explain how wonderful it was
To know I’d never be alone

I’m not sure how you’re feeling now
Or what’s going on inside of you
I only know what I’ve been told
And what I’m supposed to do

Many words have been written of love
Words too beautiful to say
And then they all described you
In ways I can’t explain

The more that I look back now
I regret some things in the memories
On the last morning, before breakfast
I should’ve asked you to kiss me

And the evening before that
When you hinted at being upset
I shouldn’t have brushed it aside
I should’ve talked it out right then

I regret all the times I didn’t kiss you
Like that night at all of the reds
Or sitting on the couch at your apartment
When you held my hand to your chest

I’ll never forget the moment I felt it
When I felt you run away
We were in the car holding hands
And you pulled your hand away

On that last day by the church
I should’ve talked, just stayed
But I thought that you needed time
So I quickly drove away

So many voices yelled at me
And kept begging me to turn back
But I stubbornly pushed them away
And oh, how I regret that

I try not to dwell on these regrets
They only hurt in hindsight
Instead I try remembering the happiness
The moments that were so right

I needed you in a frightening way
I never wanted to need anyone
You were both a luxury and necessity
You were everything all at once

I wish I could remember the moment
When I realized that I loved you
But it happened so long ago
That it’s just a piece of my truth

In the kitchen when you asked for a kiss
My resolve was gone without a trace
We were standing beside the oven
My mind went absolutely blank

You were all at once my weakness
And all at once my strength
You made me blush like crazy
But encouraged me to create

The first time that you held my hand
Happiness made my heart glow
You kissed the top of my head
The chills went clear to my toes

Those weeks were full to bursting
The weeks when you were mine
I keep the memories close to me
Praying you’ll remember it was right

I told you that I wanted to help
And it’s never been more true
But these days it isn’t really me
These days it isn’t really you

There is something about us
And the way we fit together
I always felt utterly understood
You made me want to be better

There is something you do to me
And something I do to you
We share a bond, a connection
I know you know it’s true

I really can’t understand it
How I look at you and see your soul
And no matter what I find there
I always leave feeling whole

That weekend with my family
It felt so natural to have you there
They all told me that for days
I felt happiness beyond compare

They weren’t the only ones who said it
Who knew how perfect we were
I think we both knew it, too
Somehow it all got blurred

But despite how hard it’s been
And the pain inside my heart
I’ve grown so much; you have, too
That’s the important part

This isn’t a poem to lament a loss
I’ve done that a lot, it’s true
I simply want to immortalize the good
Of how it felt to belong to you

Just Writing

Taper

taper

in the window of a cottage
burns a taper
bright and dancing
the flame never dies

breezes blow across the floor
drafts threaten the flame
but it burns on
the taper never dies

it shines through the glass
and down the dirt road
for miles it shines
it never dies

across the valley it can be seen
a lone flame
in the upstairs window
it never dies

through dark and light
summer and winter
it burns
the flame never dies

the taper is burning
the light is flickering
casting shadows and dancers
they are alive

they tell a story
the orange dancers
illuminating shadows
they are alive

they dance into corners
and back again
laughing they gesture
brilliantly alive

the dancers talk about the flame
and all it means
what it represents
how it is alive

the flame is love
and life and grief
it is eternity
it is alive

the flame is happiness
and joy and sadness
it is life
it will never die

the flame will never die
sitting in the window
shining over the valley
it is love

Just Writing

Sparks

sparks

the land was barren
covered in blankets of snow
frozen desolate

temperatures rose
very slowly and secret
the land still frozen

sparks

the thaw was sudden
the grass brilliantly green
underneath the ice

sunshine brilliant
made fire from desolation
it was ignited

sparks

sparks flew and grew bright
created glowing orange flames
sparks popping brightly

the fire was life force
giving breath to the once dead
the sparks rescued it

sparks

unexpected rain
a flood enveloped the land
everything was drowned

hopelessness and ice
inevitably return
the sparks are vanished

sparks

somehow they’re glowing
the sparks survived the deluge
they are still glowing

sometimes they fizzle
breathe upon the sparks, give life
reignite the fire

sparks