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

I'm Just Saying

Constellations

orions beltWhen I was serving my religious mission, I was sent to a very small town in the hills and woods of East Texas. I loved it there instantly because it was much like my hometown. My very first night there, as we parked the car and walked inside, I noticed how bright the stars were. One thing I loved about Texas, and miss very much, is the vast Texas sky. I’ll never know the reason behind it, but for some reason the sky is bigger and bluer there. It holds more stars and more sunlight.

The stars that I noticed that night were right above a blank spot in the treeline: Orion’s Belt. It was positioned absolutely perfectly in the sky so that each night when we arrived home, I looked up and saw it as I got out of the car.

I was in that small, incredibly wonderful town for six months, and as the time passed I watched Orion’s Belt move across the sky, closer and closer to me with the changing of the seasons. But no matter how it moved, it always stayed exactly the same. It was always changing, and yet forever constant.

It became something I looked forward to at the end of the day, looking for this constellation that I quickly adopted as my own. And to tell you the absolute truth, I’m not really sure why. It just became a habit: to look up and see it there, twinkling at me. Even though I always knew it would be there, I always looked, and it never failed to comfort me or give me hope.

To this day, every now and again I look up at the night sky and instinctively begin looking real van gogharound for Orion’s Belt. And every time I find it, I am reminded of that consistency and dependability, but also of change. That time in my life, while incredibly wonderful and sweet, was also very hard. But it was the small things, like looking for a constellation, that helped me remember God. It helped me remember to have faith in the face of change and uncertainty, to be dependable and loyal in all things.

All of us face change every single day. Sometimes it is good change that we’re excited and happy about, and other times it is hard change. I think we could all agree that as people, it is important that we change and grow. And yet, amidst this life of change, there are some things that never change, that shouldn’t change.

I believe that truth, love, and faith are just a few of these things. Though they may evolve, or we may evolve to allow for more of them, they don’t change. Kind of like a constellation.

 

I'm Just Saying

All The Broken Hearts

heart-noteThere is a five year old child inside of me that gets really, really into 80’s music. This is, of course, because I was raised on 80’s music due to the fact that I have very wonderful parents. On the days when nothing seems right, when I can’t get any of the pieces of my life to fit together, when I can’t figure anything out, there is always Journey, Boston, and Def Leppard. To name a few of the greats.

Every now and again, my sharp wit and sarcasm get me into a world of trouble.

Seriously, the only time I ever make huge, glaring errors in life is when I say exactly what I’m thinking. Most of the time it’s not a big deal and I can be the funny one, other times I get snarky and…well.

I’ve done quite well over the past few years at limiting this type of thing. I have worked very, very hard on thinking before I speak and this sort of thing doesn’t happen to me too much anymore.

But it happened last night. And even though I apologized and everything is okay, I’m still shaking off the feelings of guilt and shame.

And you’re probably thinking I’ve said something absolutely horrible to rend the relationships of my life, and truthfully I have been in that position before and it was just the worst, but this isn’t what happened last night. In fact, on a scale of 1 to Oh-My-Gosh-How-Do-I-Have-Friends-I’m-So-Cruel, it was more of Oops-I-Could-Have-Said-That-Differently-Sorry.

But I’ve been doing this thing lately where it’s like I’ve never learned anything or had any balancebouts of self discovery ever and all the sudden I’m relearning all the things. I’ve been torn between optimism and pessimism, despair and hope, happiness and sadness, caring and indifference. I’m just going to say it: balance is hard. Not only that, but it’s never been my forte in…anything.

I’m an all or nothing type of person, and totally not into this half way crap.

Last night I was driving to my apartment from my sister’s house, this was before the incident in which I forgot to think before vomiting my thoughts, and I was feeling rather lost. The truth is that my mind can be a little bit of a scary place but I frequently get lost inside of it, and as a result I turn into a philosopher who get easily overwhelmed. (And I’m not even a coffee drinker which poses a problem because I’m pretty sure that’s some sort of necessity for people who dare to get lost in their own mind.)

At this point, the wonderful band Boston decided to remind me to Hold on Loosely. Bless their hearts, they always know just what to say. And this isn’t a joke because I’m really, really good at clinging to things and spiraling out of control as a result. (I have an entire, really awesome blog post about this that you are more than welcome to read if you so desire. All you have to do is click here.)

It could possibly be because I’m 21 and in a phase of life, but life has decided to teach me about love recently. Recently meaning the last year especially. I’ve written quite a few posts about my findings on love, but one thing I’ve never talked about is how I’ve come to realize that love is love no matter what. You could be talking about romantic love, familial love, or the love you feel for your favorite food. Love is just love. And because that is the case, it encompasses everything, it connects everything. Love is the undercurrent of our lives.

heartWhen I was a little girl I used to think that a “broken heart” could only be the result of a romantic relationship gone wrong. Life very quickly showed me that this isn’t the case. Broken hearts happen all the time, with many different things. Sometimes we break our own hearts, sometimes our friends or family break our hearts. Sometimes we want a bowl of cereal and there’s no milk. The possibilities of heartbreak truly are endless.

What intrigues me about heartbreak is that it is the surest sign that you felt something. It is the surest sign that you did the purest thing in the world: you gave of yourself and you poured your love into life. Being heartbroken, then, is quite possibly the most noble thing to be. Especially when you keep on loving anyway.

And as I come to the close of this blog post in which I’ve talked about a plethora of different subjects, I think that all I’m really trying to say is that sometimes we do things we regret and we need to apologize, and sometimes we get our own hearts broken, and sometimes the only wisdom we can find is in the songs we grew up listening to. But I guess that’s coffee-less philosophy.

Thank you for exploring my thoughts with me today.

Just Writing

Snippets

 

Snippets

Memories come and go

Like a flash of lightning

Moments of realization
Moments of wondering
Moments when my heart
Couldn’t stop thundering

Seeping in through cracks

The holes in every day

Moments of laughter
Moments of tears
Moments of thanking God
That you were here

Snippets come fleeting in

Like bluebirds flitting about

Moments that astonished
Moments of connection
Moments I couldn’t believe
Your warmth and protection

When the sun peeks out

In a bright early morning

For a moment it waits
For a moment it is silent
For a moment nothing breaths
And everything is quiet

And the moon says farewell

And golden light appears

It warms all it touches
It breathes light into dark
It creates the beginning
Of a brand new spark

Snippets come fleeting in

Like bluebirds flitting by

Moments when I ponder
Moments didn’t come freely
Moments when I’m reminded
Good things don’t come easy

Snippets come fleeting in

Like bluebirds flitting by

Then they’ll land softly
And never say good bye


This poem was inspired by a love story I heard recently. One of the things I love about poetry is how we are able to connect with the deeper things in life, the ones that touch our souls. Thank heaven for love stories.

For Laughs

We Are Wesley

My family is pretty amazing. I mean, obviously I’m a little bit biased in that area, but believe me when I say that I’m saying this as objectively as possible: my family is incredible. Not only because we are all hilarious, but because they are all just pretty good humans in general.

good workEverybody in my family is really smart in some way, and all of us are really artistic and creative in different ways. It’s really cool to see all of us working on that as we get older. But besides these things, one of the things that my family does probably better than anything is quote movies.

And no, I’m not kidding.

There really isn’t any way to explain it, you just have to kind of experience it. But we are ridiculously amazing at quoting movies. We have entire conversations in movie quotes, and an eternal game of “name that movie” which will never be won by any single individual. This is actually one of the things that makes everybody in my family really hilarious. We are all fantastic at quoting movies, and not only that, but quoting them at the right moment. Our timing is impeccable.

The reason that I mention this today is because I’ve been thinking about the movie The Princess Bride. If you have never seen this movie, let me know so that I can light a candle for you, but then you must promptly go and watch it. I literally have no clue where my life would be if my siblings and I hadn’t been raised watching this movie. It is not only hilarious and totally classic, but it has the best one-liners in the world. It is very often quoted in our family.

I realized today, however, that besides the fact that we quote this movie all the time, we as you wisreference it even more without even meaning to.

In the beginning of the movie, you meet Wesley and Buttercup, who soon realize that they are deeply in love. One of the things that happens in order for them to realize this is something Wesley says to Buttercup often. He is farm boy, and every time she gives him an order to do something around the farm, he only ever replies with the words, “As you wish.”

Time after time, order after order, that is the only thing Wesley ever says in response. As you wish. Buttercup eventually comes to realize that when Wesley is saying, “As you wish,” what he is really saying is, “I love you.” And the rest is glorious history involving giants, miracles, and really big rats.

In my family, we have this phrase we use all the time. Like…all the time. We say it usually in moments that are hilarious and totally adorable, so inevitably we almost always end up saying it to my mom. We get all emotional and can’t handle life and we just say, “You’re so cute!” As I’ve thought about this phrase that we often say to each other, I’ve had a few thoughts. In the beginning, we kind of meant it as a very endearing insult. Something like, “You’re so adorable and weird and I don’t know how to say that so I’ll just call you cute with this really lovable face and voice and hope you get the message without being too offended.”

But as I’ve thought about this, I’ve had a major break through. Whether we all realize it or not, when we say, “You’re so cute!” what we really mean is, “I love you so much I can’t express it in this moment.” Because it almost always happens in the innocent moments when you’re watching somebody just be and you realize how incredible they are and how lucky you are to have them in your life.

wesleyIt happens in small moments when I watch my mom make a face as she’s thinking, or my little brother eat chili and orange soda, or my little sister blink blankly in annoyance, or my best friends do one of the one million things they do that are just completely them. And then your heart kind of swells in gratitude a little and with a whole lot of love and you just really can’t contain it.

My family has translated this moment into, “You’re so cute!”

But what we really mean is, “I love you.”

We are Wesley.

Just Writing

Clock Like

Clock Like

Looking at the clock
For months on end
Waiting for it to stop
Just waiting

Dreading it so much
Hardly able to think
Would there be touch?
How many tears?

Then came the night
The clock finally stopped
Beside bright car lights
That moment

Beautiful, when it came
More so than I thought
A memory in a frame
So precious

Books and smells
Talking and reading
Laughter can tell
All of the story

Funnier than I thought
The moment at the end
A moment so caught
By friendly eyes

It ached, you know,
More than I imagined
I held the tears close
Until the clock began again

It is much different now
A different kind of waiting
More subtle, anyhow,
Than I expected

So long since words
Came from me in poems
Somewhat like birds
Singing the veiled stories

I wish I knew how to say
All the things it was
That moment at end of day
But I cannot

For it was both beautiful and unfinished
Like a clock