28 July 2011

Chemistry Major

It is said of pleasure, not to mix it with business. And why should the two ever even be tempted to fraternize? No reason at all, really, save for curiosity, which has already slain the cat. Merely busy bees and walnut trees have any interest in merging the pair. And so, the rest of those inclined to suppose that the two should intertwine? Should reconsider the thought in order to better their circumstances.

I have never been in danger of mixing pleasure and business, as pleasure is my business. I have no work, only play, and I refuse to ever consider giving into only one. I need no caution signs or admonition, for I have refused business since the beginning. Never have I like the pencil skirt, nor the pen. And I am afraid blazers have never much suited me in the bittersuite. The caveat is much appreciated, but rather unnecessary in light of the fact that I avoid the issue altogether.

However candid I may be about my lack of business, I must acquiesce that I do dabble in chemistry. And while I may not mix pleasure with business, I often infuse it with pain. I feel it a stronger dosage, and I can get it for half the price. I am not sure of what qualms come of such a coupling, and yet I am altogether too aware. But you should already know, dearling, the sunshine is best when it burns.

As a girl, so young a girl, I found myself often seeking out to self destruct. The bigger the explosion is always the better. There were so many ways to mix pleasure and pain and I found myself with an industrial blender, every morning trying a different cocktail, each stronger than the last. I was never much for continuity. After awhile, I lost the lid but never stopped creating new concoctions. And so I was left with a mess that seemed to coat every surface and seep into every pore. My amalgamations not only covered, but defined me.

It takes a breakdown to break down, and there were many. I would just sharpen the blade, to sharpen the taste, of every pleasure and pain filled drink. But, eventually, everything stops. And nothing you knew and nothing new works anymore. There is a point of no return and you decide. You can place the blame on anything, really, but it all comes down to responsibility, that silly seven syllable word. There are tears and much more that you cannot control, but in the end it's freeing. The honesty and transparency are worth far more than what you've been selling.

Sweet as the sentiment was cemented in my mind, I removed it. No longer needing to seek self destruction and the panic! button need no longer occupy so much of my thoughts. I need not worry for I believe in what is said and what is done around me. My emotional paroxysms and seizures have ceased and I can breathe without the assistance. This tube is obsolete. I'm not bleeding and I do not need aid of any kind. I'm not afraid, but I am terrified. Of what and where and who and why and how comes next. This sequence never seemed to have a pattern, only a constant. I've written my lab report and now class must come to an end. I have new things to begin. I am a new thing to begin.

19 July 2011

State of Absence

There is dirt on my clothing and a patter on my heart that I haven't felt in awhile. I pulled my laundry out of the wash and there was a scent I didn't want to recognize. It used to be that I would wake up not knowing where I was, now I know and I wish I didn't. My heart is in a different timezone, my mind is on a different continent, and it's sunny in Cusco. I'm tearing apart my closet searching for a something - what was it? My bag is packed and I have cash in my hand. I could get pretty far, but not far enough. Ride the wave out, clap in time. Every star is a wish I want to make, every flash of headlights is time passing me by, every morning is a moment I remember where I am. Thunder storms predicted tomorrow in San Jose.

Clouds blanket my Washington and I forget to speak in English. I smile and I can hear my voice, but it isn't mine and I am not sure what is being said. His response is cordial, polite. I can tell that he thinks I'm a day dreamer, but I'm not. I'm not dreaming and it's not day time. There is a swift wind blowing through Porto this evening, I love it when it gets like this. All the green leaps to life on the breeze and I can taste the ocean. The man I'm speaking to looks confused, and I realize I have answered him in Portuguese. I apologize and try to laugh it off, but I've never been a good liar. I'm not standing here with him, I am thousands of miles away. Up in the mountains, out on the coast, shaded between the trees, covered in salt water and sand.

Being choked up is a literal statement, it's not an exaggeration to make your point. You'll know the moment you feel it. The firm hand of emotion pressed against your windpipe and you gulp down as much oxygen as you can manage, but it doesn't really matter. Try drinking water, still nothing. It's not so much painful as just a constant state of discomfort. It's not so much debilitating as disheartening. Firenze is still warm from the summer sun. Warm rain is falling on Haleiwa, perfect day to head out on the surf. Perfect day to sail away.

I know you're speaking, but I can't hear you. To say the least? I am distracted, absent, missing. And I wish that I was more of the latter than the former. One girl, one bag, one love. Vagabond is hardly descriptive enough, and yet it is too much. It's green and black and white, I won't have more, I can't have less. I'm bleeding airplane tickets and train fare and I am not standing here. But there are people I need to be accountable for. There are people I need to protect from my flight plans, even as it break my sanity and holds me hostage. I can already feel the bamboo growing through me.

I am pouring out all the love that I have and still there is more. It's not that being here is difficult, as not being there is impossible. My nails are embedded deep into the Maple as I convince myself to remain, my muscles are exhausted from being tensed as my body breaks down from standing still. If you crack open this chest, you'll find maps and photographs where the heart should be. Instead of lungs, breathe a sail and a steam engine. My circulatory system is waves of salt water and mineral drenched amazon river. Each muscle is a deep green plant and my stomach is digesting three or four languages all at the same time. There are kidneys made from coconut twine and a liver in the shape of a plane, metal and fabric and all.

Raw flight and I'll have to file for state of absence if you'd like to continue speaking to me. I'm not here. I'm not even there. And I'm not sure where I'll be tomorrow. I'm not a planner, but I can't not know. I like surprises, but not being unsure. I don't know where I am, and I certainly do not know where you are. I'm on the carpet, I'm on the pavement, I'm on some mode of transportation. The motion is making me just ever so sick and I wish we would stop rocking for even a moment. But I can't, because I'm not really going anywhere. I'm still. Still still.

I close my eyes and talk to God, because I'm tired of not knowing. There is only one response to someone who can't stand still - and He knows it so well with me. He picks my off the chair I am clinging to and holds me. Not restraining me, but just holding me. Playing with my hair and whispering on my heart. There is no greater comfort. He peels my fists open and calms my worries. I'm lying in the hands of my Father and breathing hard as He opens my airway so I can breathe again. It's been so long since I've filled my lungs. Here in the arms of the One who will never let me down, I am reminded. Of what, I can't tell you. That's something you have to find for yourself. I am comforted and whole, until, of course, I let my running feet touch the ground once more. But for now, I am safe in the arms of Him who loves me, unrivaled and unconditionally.

12 July 2011


Eyes closed, pressed against the seat with salt on my face and my hands over my mouth. This is where the fear descends. Shaking, unable to remain still any longer. Houdini in a word, I cannot do this anymore. I feel the shadows closing around my sunshine, and that last ray of warmth is stolen from my tremoring soul. I've been here before. Shut down, break down, fall apart.

Quiet and still, there is a small whisper on the back of my mind. Gently tugging at the strings of my despair and easing them into peace and contentment. The book falls open somewhere near the middle and I sigh in relief. You have granted me a new heart. Once upon a time, I had asked for it. I remember now. It was a silent memory, but silence is not always indicative of nothing being said. Sometimes, silence is all the sound you could ever ask for. I beg for it now.

I'm on my knees in desperate agony of love. The kind of love the drains you until you're a small puddle at the dip in the porcelain. Not nearly enough to make anything of, not nearly enough to matter. The sort of love that takes you for everything that you are without giving anything in return. And yet, wait. Be patient. Be still. It has offered you everything in return. Everything you never knew that you needed. It's always in the small things, in the things you never knew you were important.

It's the smile when asked to get ice cream. It's the head on your shoulder and arms around your waist. It's your name being shouted from across a room. It's the funny compliments. It's the shameful look of being reprimanded. It's the excitement. It's the teasing. It's the laughter. It's the refusal to do what you say. It's the tears you wipe away. It's the hair you play with. It's the blessing that you are allowed to do any, all of these things. It's that you waited and waited and this is what you received. It's that you didn't recognize it at first. It's that it exhausts you. It's that it breaks your heart. It's that it breathes into your lungs. It's that it feeds the part of your soul you never even knew was starving.

I am starved. It's hard to face - when you know you've dropped the ball a thousand times before. It's difficult to be responsible when there are hundreds of eyes on you, each pair brighter than the last. Not because being responsible is hard, but because you might fail. You might fail without ever realizing it. You might let someone down, you might break a heart, you might disappoint - and that is too much to bear. You want to be all of the things those little eyes see you as. You want to live up to that standard so they might have that standard for themselves. You want to be good and honest and transparent. You want to be appropriate and loving and stern. You want to be upbeat and real and you don't want to be any of these things for yourself, but for them. Always for them.

I am heavy as I wander from responsibility to responsibility, and I remember God telling me that this Summer would be difficult. That it would be impossible. I remember Him gently loving me to this point. I am burdened and weighed down, and I find it so difficult to retain the joy Christ has placed on me. Oh grace, how you escape my grasp. How I forget to grasp for you... to be still in silence would be a beautiful thing. A beautiful thing.

And as I am here, I remember. I remember to wait, to wait, to wait. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. These are the words of the God I know. These are the words of a God I love, who I strive to be like. My heart is soft, pliable. It has been beaten and bruised, and restored. I will wait on what I know to be true. Eyes tilted towards He who made me, in earnest and waiting. I will lead by example and love beyond my capability. Love like Christ has called me to love, love like I have been made to. I will live up to the expectations of who I was made to be and never question the possibility of it all. I will be enough. I will be more than enough.