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

The Things We Learned Last Summer

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetFrank Sinatra has a song entitled, “The Things We Did Last Summer.” Of course, music being what it is, he’s not the only one who ever sang that song, but as we’re all aware he’s the most important.

I’ve had the title of this song on my mind for quite a while now. You see, the last four months or so of my life have taught me a lot. Particularly the last two months. And for some reason, every time my writer mind tries to make sense of all the lessons I’ve learned this song title comes to my mind. But with a twist. And I’ve decided that if I were to ever write a book about everything I’ve learned in the last two months, I’d title it, “The Things We Learned Last Summer.”

I personally think it’s a pretty great title. It would also be a very good book, too, for that matter.

All of you are aware that this blog has been an interesting place lately. I, Jordan, the queen of keeping my readers in the dark about what’s going on in my life, have been very, very open about my recent heartbreak.

My life just came to the point where I truly and honestly did not care anymore. Every decision was prefaced with a, “Well. Why not?”

So all of you got to see very clearly and deeply into some of the blackest moments of my life. Congratulations. I’m sure it was thrilling for you. (Please note the sarcasm, I’m sure it wasn’t that fun.)capacity

But goodness, I’ve learned a lot. God has been super enthused about teaching me lessons, and I’m doing all that I can to absorb them like a sponge. Tonight I’m feeling a little more introspective than usual, which can only spell disaster to be honest but we’ll roll with it. I’d like to here record a few of the lessons I’ve learned. I’m doing this more for myself than for any of you, so I apologize for that, but hopefully you can take something from this post and not have to learn through experience the way that I did. So, here we go.

The Things We Learned Last Summer:

  • The only one who knows exactly how you’re feeling is God. He knows every aspect of your life, and He’s right there for you. No matter what type of heartache you are facing, He understands. He gets it 100%. I can’t even count the number of times I sat crying and felt Him right there, or the number of times I was suddenly assaulted by memories that caused a jolt of pain and heard Him whisper very love is powerfulsimply, “I know.” He knows. I promise.
  • As scary as love is, it is absolutely worth it. I spent such a long time being terrified of love, and swearing that I’d never let anybody in so far that they’d have power to destroy me. But that’s what love is. You let somebody in further than you even let yourself in, and you give them all of your love and trust. Every single infinite wave of it. And sometimes it hurts. But it is worth it because at the end of the day, love is absolutely beautiful. And it conquers all. It really, really does. Love comes from many different places, and in many different forms, but it can heal wounds and transcend all hurts.
  • Never give up on anyone. Including yourself. God will never, ever give up on you. And you shouldn’t give up on others, either. Or yourself for that matter. We are all going to make mistakes, we are all going to do things that hurt others. We’re human, that’s just the way it works. never give up
  • But we forgive. We forgive because it is the right thing to do. We forgive because we want to be forgiven. We forgive because it is the only way to heal. Forgiveness requires love. They go hand in hand.
  • Listen to God. I’ve been taught this so, so much over the last year or so, and it has really been driven home the last two months. When you receive an answer from God, when you know what you are supposed to do: DO IT. It doesn’t matter how crazy it seems, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how hard. JUST. DO. IT. If He has given you the answer, He will also provide a way for you to accomplish it. Just listen. Just do it.
  • Be patient. Life is a process.
  • Avoid slamming doors. Literally and figuratively. In a literal sense, slamming doors is just not good for them. In a figurative sense, it is not good for you or others. Believe me, my personality is the queen of slamming doors. It is a defense mechanism that I may or may not have expressed pride in before. I’m quickly learning it’s not something to be proud of. When something horrible happens to me, my very first instinct is to slam the door as hard as I can right pathand run away as fast as I can. To get rid of anything and everything to do with that situation, to treat it as though it is dead to me, and completely move on as though it never existed or occurred. This is not only very complicated (you have no idea how irritating it is when you think you’ve gotten rid of all the evidence of something only to find more evidence weeks later when you aren’t as angry and can’t decide what to do with it) but it’s just not really healthy. And doesn’t promote growth and learning. Most of the time, you’ll be slamming a door prematurely and burning a bridge that wasn’t ready to be burned. And then it takes a little bit of time to reestablish things all because you got a little too hasty to run away from what hurt you. So just don’t do it.
  • Stay creative. It fills a lot of empty spaces, and enhances the full ones.
  • There are, in fact, some things that Frank Sinatra can’t fix. I know. I was just as shocked as you are. For years and years and years I not only wholeheartedly believed Frank could fix anything, he always had fixed anything in my life. No matter what I was going through, it was nothing that Frank Sinatra couldn’t fix. Not this time. Not this time. I tried it, believe me. I played his music and willed it work away the grief, to pull away the emptiness. But it didn’t. Not this time. I even angrily asked him about it and his picture seemed to answer back, “I can’t fix it this time, baby. I’m sorry.” hands of god
  • Never stop turning to God. I needed to learn the previous point in order to better understand this point. My love for Frank Sinatra has brought a lot of happiness into my life, really, and despite how melodramatic I can be about it I’m very grateful for it. His music makes me happy, and I enjoy sharing facts about him. It’s always been a blessing. I have a firm belief that God gives us things like this to enhance and brighten our existence, to help us in good and bad times. But these interests that fill the corners of our lives are not a substitute for God. They make us happy, they are wonderful, but at the end of the day it isn’t our passion for cooking or our love of black and white film that will save us. It is God. Never stop turning to Him. On good days as well as bad, talk with Him. Tell Him everything. Review the plan of your life. Let Him know how you’re doing on the things you’ve agreed to do. Give Him a report. Make sure you’re still doing what He wants. Thank Him. Praise Him.
  • Trust your own journey. God has a different plan for each and every one of us. Nobody’s story is the same. What works for some people won’t work for others. Everybody has a different journey because we all need to learn differently. This is why it is so, so incredibly crucial to stay close to God and to listen to Him when He waygives us answers and direction. To be faithful.
  • Believe in happiness. Never, ever let go of hope. Never let go of love. In the darkest pit of despair, remember that you are never, ever alone because of God. If you can’t see the sunlight, and can’t remember how it feels to have it shine on your face, if happiness is so far away that it is only a cruel memory, just have hope. Hope that you’ll feel it again. Hope that it does exist. Believe that whatever you’re going through will be worth it one hundred times over when you feel the happiness awaiting you. Because when we get to that darkness, complete joy and happiness are closer than we think. Just around the corner. And when the sun finally comes out again, it will be worth every moment. I promise.
  • We all face hardship, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and telling people that you need it. There is no shame in sleeping on lots of couches or spending too much time with your friends if that’s what it takes to bring you into a new day. Take advantage of the love and support that you have around you. Gather those people around your heart and let them love you. You’ll be able to return this love someday.never walk alone
  • Discover new interests, and rediscover old ones. Like I said, God gives us these things to enhance our lives. It is such a great experience to make room for a new talent or hobby, to feel that passion starting up in your life again. Take advantage of the beauty the world has to offer. Rediscover something you love. Pretend you’re seeing it for the first time. (Frank and I are on good terms, by the way. I’m listening to him right now and all is well. So, there you go, proof of the rediscovery process.)
  • Believe in goodness. I have this personality flaw where I sometimes say that I hate people. And when I say that I usually think I mean it, but somebody very close to me recently let me know that this isn’t the case. I don’t really hate people. In fact, I love people. I love humanity. I love every aspect of what makes us human. I love being human. And I have this overly optimistic view of what that means. Honestly, I do. I love to believe in the better side of people and things. It really takes a lot for me to just think of somebody as downright horrible. I love to believe in beauty and goodness. I love to believe in the good. That’s just who I am. And it is honestly a blessing. We are surrounded by enough negativity as it is. We face enough hardship and sorrow as it be stillis. Just choose to believe in the better side.
  • Don’t look back. When you’ve gotten your answer from God, no matter how scary, ridiculous, or insane it might seem and you decide to just jump and go for it, go all the way. Jump and do not look back. DO NOT LOOK BACK. God has got it covered. He’s led you to that cliff for a reason, and given you that answer for a reason. And He will not let you fail if you just have faith. There will be no hitting the bottom. You’ll jump, and you’ll land in happiness. I promise. Don’t look back. Not for one second. Jump.
  • Trust God. This is just a lump way of summing all this up. Just trust Him. I know it can be hard. Believe me, I know. I’ve got a rich history of trust issues. But He is God, and He created all things. He will not give you answers you cannot follow. He will not let you cry tears He can’t wipe away. He will not give you wounds that can’t be healed. He is capable of ALL THINGS. And through Him, we are capable of ALL THINGS. So no matter what, stay close to Him. Believe Him. Listen to Him. Trust Him. He’s got it under control. Just believe me. Follow Him, talk with Him, and trust the path He sets before you. He wants you to be happy and He’s got a plan to make that happen. Trust Him.

 

Just Writing

Stone Stories

I.

When I saw Piccadilly
the light was August gold
dancers moved to music
surrounded by crowds with stories
in courtyards of stone

I stood on the bridge
just one among many
I leaned against the stones
and asked the city,
“Please tell me your stories.”

A boat on the Thames
carried me to Westminster
back again to the Tower
under bridges of stone
that whispered stories passing by

I visited the abbey
saying prayers in a circle
checkered floors held stories
monarchs who live and die
oaths, stones, sacred chapels

I read sonnets on trains
stories in patterned lines
beside people who lived normally
stones lined tube walls
painted with the underground names

Raspberry pastries in museums
tea rooms, stores, and David
stone streets guided me
towards Oxford street and stories
it was lightly raining

Beside the river, writing poems
a man and typewriter
a desk on the stones
I will never know
the stories written about him

London showed me things
whispering stories I couldn’t understand
I walked over stones
trying to touch the things
I could only feel

At Buckingham palace stone statues
and others looking on
a sunset and discussing stories
the clock tower glowed
I had to whisper farewells

When I left London
a piece stayed behind me
in the grey stones
stories disappearing from my view
I haven’t found them

II.

there was a pile of stone
which formed an old cathedral
it was surrounded by green graves
sat beside a tall tower
stories were hanging in the air

the druids were there once
and monks in the stone tower
a stream was running nearby
a forest with moss covered trees
I wondered about their stories

half of the sky was storming
sunshine blazed in the other
everything was green, even in death
graves of stone were crumbling
the stories on them had faded

it is surrounded in mystery
this glen with its ancient stones
the stories long since gone
an old spirit still lives there
it alone remembers what happened

the tower stretched high toward heaven
the cathedral serenely beside it
gaelic stories swam before my eyes
I could not read them
the stones wouldn’t tell me anything

I sat beside the stream
and closed my eyes to listen
my back against the stones
there was depth all around me
but the stories wouldn’t speak

I brushed the stones with fingertips
in the cathedral’s open air
wondering about the stories they held
I looked towards the alter
standing where others had once stood

druids placed stones in grass
we hoped to release their magic
but the stories stayed trapped
inside the circle surrounded by green
the glen forever a mystery

III.

stone walls led us to Haworth
where a family wrote stories and lived
surrounded by moors with purple heather
the village spilled over a wild land
a road led to the apothecary

a small book store beckoned us inside
and showed me an old Burns
it sat beside a copy of Cymbeline
we could not leave them behind
we carried the stories over stone streets

a cemetery sits beside the house
the stones are all covered in moss
they tell stories of sadder times
when the village was shrouded in death
somehow held together by the literature

a path leads from place to place
atop the hill beside the moors
we followed the stones that led forward
understanding the stories they had written
we wished we could understand the process

a village made of old stones
Haworth lives in a sea of green
a sadness does live there still
it stays behind to remember the stories
there are so many to remember

the beauty that lives there is palpable
it serves as a powerful reminder
joy and sorrow go hand in hand
the stones seemed to whisper this
when I asked them about their stories

in a moment beside the house
I sat in the shadow of stones
there was rain in the air
and too many stories to be absorbed
I kept wishing I’d remember everything

as I walked through that beautiful village
it seemed to me a dream
and looking back now I can see
that world of stones and green
the beauty belongs solely to the stories

I'm Just Saying

One True Sentence

Hemingway once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

As I no doubt have told you before, I’m not actually a Hemingway fan. But that’s a conversation for another time. I’m bringing this quote up because I think it’s completely beautiful. And because I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in my writing. So, just in case you’re reading this, I’ve got a few true sentences for you.

First of all, I’m just going to throw an apology out there. As much as it feels like I’ve been thrown in front of a train with no warning for no reason, I’m sure there are things I’ve done that have hurt you. And I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me.

There are a lot of people who are really, really angry with you. And they’re telling me all kinds of things. But I just want you to know that I’m not one of them. I was for a while. I was really, really angry. I want to address some of those things that made me angry.

I was angry because this entire situation has consisted of what you wanted, and your timing. It never seemed to matter how I felt, what I wanted, or the answers that I had received. When it came down to it, it seemed like I didn’t really matter at all. It seemed like you were being incredibly selfish. That’s been hard to deal with. I think you need to know that, just in case you’re reading this.

I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Nobody does. When you’re as close as we were, and planning the things we were planning, you don’t act that way. You don’t walk away with no explanation and no warning. You don’t cut ties that fast. You don’t shut down, slam the door, and make a decision that drastically changes both of your lives because of some vague thing. What you do is communicate and try and work through it. You trust the other person and their feelings and thoughts. And if, after some time of working together and trusting God, things still aren’t working, then you make decisions. Together.

Love is messy, okay? Life is messy. Dumb things happen and people make mistakes. But it’s worth it. It is all worth it.

I’m not angry now, though. I guess that’s just a blessing. I was praying one night, and got told pretty forcefully that it was time to forgive you. That both of us needed that. So I hope that when I was finally able to forgive you that you felt it.

You called the other day. The only reason I didn’t answer is because I was in line at the grocery store. I saw your name on the screen of my phone and nearly had a heart attack. It was something I never thought I’d see again. I was hoping you’d call back, but you didn’t. You just sent me a text. I tried to be really honest when I responded, but as gentle as I could.

But the truth is that God has been telling me a lot of things in the last few weeks. One of the impressions I’ve been getting is that you’re really going through a lot. Like a lot. You’re really struggling, I think. You feel lost. You’re trying to figure out a lot of things, and you don’t know how. Now, I could be completely and totally wrong. Maybe I am. But I don’t think I am.

And if I’m not wrong, then that brings me to why I said what I said in the texts. If you really are struggling, I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to. If you really are trying to figure things out, I hope it happens for you soon. I wish you’d have let me be there for you, but you didn’t. This was your choice, not mine.

None of this is what I wanted. None of this is what I think was or is right. But because this is what is happening and what has happened, and because of the choices you’ve made, I can’t be there for you. Heavenly Father has told me that this is something you’ve got to do by yourself.

The thing that is the most frustrating is that I’m still in love with you. I don’t know why. There have been a million moments when I wished that wasn’t the case, but it is. I guess I just can’t help it. I’ve been in love with you for too long. I know you too well. You’re too much a part of me. I see you everywhere. The loss of you is something that I carry around with me everywhere, all the time, even in the moments when I finally feel happy again. Even in the moments when I can laugh again.

No matter what happens, you’re going to need a new copy of Les Mis. I threw it away. In the dumpster. Along with a host of other things. My day planner that had all sorts of things in it about you. The playbill from our first date. Your cup. And your wedding present. Yeah, I was already working on it. It was going to be really great. I gathered them all up and threw them into the dumpster as hard as I could.

You called the other day because you miss me. Because despite everything, for a moment you were right where I am, feeling what I’m feeling. And you wish it didn’t have to be this way. You read my poem. As far as poems go, it’s a masterpiece. If I do say so myself, it’s a really, really great poem. It just flowed out of me like a waterfall, honestly. I didn’t even really have to think about it, all of the words were just there. And I meant every single one of them.

I’m still here. Kind of in a state of limbo, to be honest. Heavenly Father keeps telling me things like “be patient” and “I’ve got a plan”. Which could literally mean anything, honestly, but right now I’m just supposed to take life one day at a time and enjoy every moment. I’m working really hard to do those things.

I’m still here. Praying for you. Hoping that you’re okay. Sometimes wishing I could smack you upside the head and shake you into realizing what is so completely obvious, but mostly just going day to day and listening to a lot of music. And writing a lot.

So, there are my true sentences. My really, really true sentences. Whatever you’re thinking or feeling or going through, I hope that you get it all figured out. I pray that I’ll hear from you again. I’ll answer the phone.

In the meantime I’ve got a novel to write. I’ve been working on it a lot, actually. It’s going well. And just so you know, I haven’t changed anything. It’s going to end the way it was always going to end.

Just Writing

New Frontier

New Frontier

all of the memories keep rushing by
like the movies we watched on Tuesday nights
this is a new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

there are empty shelves and a broken path
your favorite book inside of the trash
welcome to the new frontier
I can’t see you from way down here

you always told me that you wouldn’t leave
and I believed you but we did not see
the army
descending

please tell me you miss me, I see it all
the life we planned before we lost it all
the army
descending

we weren’t prepared to have to fight it off
and that is just exactly why we lost
this is a new frontier
you’re not here to dry my tears

something happens when you’re blazing trails
it’s harder than you think and then it fails
that is just the new frontier
I wish you were still right here

I wish it didn’t have to be this way
whatever happened we couldn’t explain
the army
attacking

I’m not blaming you for things that came
I only wish we’d tried to ride the wave
of the army
attacking

something whispers that you’ve been spending time
all shut away, did you finally cry?
that would be a new frontier
I can’t imagine you in tears

did you put up walls to everyone else?
is it only me who’s been through hell?
this is a new frontier
so this is how that feels

remember moments when I heard your heart
pounding so fast, we couldn’t bear to part
the army
surrounding

maybe if I write it all out in lines
my heart won’t burst each time you cross my mind
the army
is surrounding

I get the feeling that you’re feeling lost
and drowning guilty from the times we talked
welcome to the new frontier
you can’t see me or even hear

but maybe you’re fine and your heart’s all healed
and you’ve forgotten what we both could feel
this is the new frontier
where do we go to from here?

there was a moment when I saw your eyes
couldn’t believe you really were all mine
the army
defeating

do you remember how the pieces fell?
I can’t believe we had to say farewell
the army
defeating

I’m learning new things and taking some steps
but I can’t believe the words that you said
welcome to the new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

remember the night you were scared and called
I told you to walk away from the wall
that was a new frontier
you trusted me, I was in tears

was it that wall that suddenly went up?
so many questions but the answers none
the army
is winning

it seemed to me you were being a shield
for things you felt you had to keep concealed
the army
just winning

whatever it is that you’re feeling now
please know that I am on your side somehow
this is just a new frontier
day by day it gets more clear

I know you better that most people do
hard, believing it could really be true
welcome to the new frontier
learn how to be alone, my dear

I think I’m done with counting syllables
It’s time to make it understandable
the army
retreating

I’ll keep on walking for another day
and keep on wishing when I do not pray
the army
retreating

welcome to the new frontier

Just Writing

9 Wishes

9 Wishes

I wish this wasn’t a chance that I missed
I wish that life wasn’t full of learning
I wish there was a way to tell you this
I’m sure the words I sent left you burning

I wish I had not used my words to bruise
And that my healing was going faster
That I’d remembered all I know of you
Before I turned myself to attacker

I wish you knew that you are forgiven
I know you never wanted to hurt me
I wish you’d read these new words I’ve written
I wish you would remember the good things

Here I am, writing sonnets of wishing
Wishing wishes, ever slowly healing