Beneath the Insomnia

_20160923_184552.JPGShe paints the same canvas
Again and Again
In her dreams
while they sleep
and it sleeps.
Because otherwise
they never stay still
long enough
to dry
Her tear
drops of paint
That leave trails
of subtle color
behind them
And behind them
previous paintings
also made without brushes
That always end up
painted over
the next morning
to hide the evidence

And the canvas of it all
Is her face
and her fears
For at the core of each night
when stripped down
She will always find that stark white woven surface
of fears and insecurities
whose texture shows through each layer
And whispers to her
between brushstrokes
Reminding her that
There is no escape
For gravity cannot be bribed
And the running never stops because he’s holding death in his hands, at her head, and as the neurons fire she finds they sound remarkably like gunshots and all she seeks is safety and sleep
But she can never find foundness
Awake or asleep
So as she tries to decide which one is less terrifying,
She paints.

And
at the core of each night
mare each poem each painting,
Remains a reminder of running,
is running.

Beneath the Insomnia

[((shellter))]

brick low resThe small finger traces the maze of mortar, sliding through streets that run between buildings of brick in a vertical city
and that finger doesn’t know that a standard mortar joint is assumed to be 3/8″
And that brick sizes are determined based on that assumption
And that Frank Lloyd Wright spec’d colored mortar to accentuate horizontality
And that even though the little pig was protected by his house of bricks that the walls of home can’t protect from everything
Because so much of this world is a facade
And it’s the wood framed interior that goes up in flames
And the mold of sadness in the basement that slowly creeps in
And the termites of time eating away at the bones
But her bones are still young
And her skin is still soft
And her eyes are still smiling
For they haven’t yet witnessed the things that huff and puff more viciously than that wolf.

If only the shelter of childhood was built to house us all.

 

[((shellter))]

only you, my friend

For when the going gets tough
The tough get going
And you are definitely tough,
My friend.
For not many
Can look Death in the eye
Unflinchingly
As He tries to catch them.
But instead you caught
Perseverance
You caught determination
And you caught yourself before your face hit the ground as the bike skid out from under you
Knocking only the wind from you
Instead of the information we so desperately desire
Because we are nosy
Or loving
Depending on who you ask.
And we wish we could catch you
But it’s tough,
Because our legs have only been trained to catch people who want to be caught
And you,
my friend,
are too stubborn for that.
And only you,
my friend,
Would help someone else
learn to run faster,
work harder
as your own body
is learning lessons
and waging battles
of its own.
And only you,
my friend,
would be riding a bike with no brakes
in the first place.

only you, my friend

In Response

It upsets me that I end up crying in church all the time.

It upsets me that Christianity feels so arrogant. And that it condemns a large portion of the world to hell. And that a lot of the time it turns people into projects and checkboxes.  And that God’s sovereignty can be used as an excuse for a whole range of things.  And that the woman at the playground didn’t even care who I was as a person or what I had to say when she handed the Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet to me.

It upsets me that we exist in a broken world but that God hasn’t fixed that yet.  And it upsets me that that increases my doubt and causes me to question his sovereignty, power, and existence.

It upsets me that every image or thought I have about God is tainted by my humanity, and that I am supposed to be able to see him as perfect, when all I have are imperfect people as previous reference points.

It upsets me that I have to try and discern the difference between biblical truth and fiction created by “christian culture.”

It upsets me that I can’t read the Bible without twisting the words or getting stuck on some theological/philosophical issue (e.g. the problem of evil or the interplay of sovereignty and free will).

It upsets me that faith is so difficult.

It upsets me that I don’t understand. And that this can be answered with “well you’re finite so what do you expect.”

Death upsets me.  Seeing my mother-in-law fight for her life for four years only to die after all upsets me.

It upsets me that we are given friends and loved ones only to lose them.  And it upsets me that the sermon today seems to suggest that this is to teach us a lesson. And it upsets me that all of life feels like a lesson to be learned.

It upsets me that I have a friend dying of cancer. And it upsets me that praying seems futile. And my pessimism upsets me.

It upsets me that life isn’t fair.  And it upsets me that I feel guilty for saying that as I live in a free country with a roof over my head.

It upsets me that I am small and insignificant.  And that I don’t feel in control of anything.

It upsets me that sovereignty and manipulation seem interchangeable.  And that I feel like a pawn.

I am upset by the feeling that Christianity promotes self-loathing and low self esteem.

It upsets me that the arguments against Christianity feel so potent.  And that so much can be explained by science and psychology.  Because this makes faith seem even more impossible. And it upsets me that my doubt makes me feel inferior.  And causes me to fear becoming ‘a project’ to my Christian friends.

Empty words upset me.  And hypocrisy.

And it upsets me that sometimes I feel so much anger inside but I don’t know what to do with it.

It upsets me that this list is so long and that it is only the tip of the iceberg.  And it upsets me that it shows my selfishness and my price and my brokenness and my laziness and my need and my misunderstanding.

And it upsets me that numbness feels like a more tolerable way to exist than having to deal with all of these things that upset me.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In response to the opening question of:

what upsets.JPG

In Response

Lessons Learned

+ the skin on my neck is not suitable to be used as a handhold for a baby learning to stand, nor as a teething apparatus

+ Bob is the stroller equivalent of Cadillac

+ Water and cardboard boxes never fail to be interesting

+ Laxatives: prunes, sweet potatoes, peaches

+ Outside > inside

+ Children + sugar = 😅😮😲

+ if they are hiding (out overly quiet) they are probably doing something they are not supposed to do or something they fear will get them in trouble (aka licking playdough)

+ If you pretend to lick sand, they may actually lick sand… and that gets problematic very quickly

+ Nannying sometimes means going home with another woman’s breast milk on my shirt.

+ There’s a fine art to interacting with others kids and their guardians at the playground. There’s a set of standard first questions (e.g. how old is he? what’s his name?) and a proper hovering distance maintained when there’s a possibility for necessary intervention (e.g. when one tries to hurt the other, when they don’t share/take turns).

+ I’m at the age where I am consistently assumed to be the parent (by women).
“Nope, just the nanny.”
Though better than when some (the men) think I’m in high school…

+ Terminology such as ‘ergo’ and ‘nuby’

+ All the words to “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?”

+ The basics of baby sign language

+ If you give a kid a cake, he’ll be bouncing off the walls. If you teach a kid to bake (with sand), he’ll be content doing that every day for who knows how long.

Lessons Learned

Unfinished

Her signature unknowingly picked up the gauntlet
that he unknowingly dropped.
And this unknown challenge was both imaginary and impossible:
there were no rules and all the rules,
nothing was defined and everything was.
With no weapons and all the weapons,
it was all and nothing

Like the space between walls

that we call rooms

And the pauses between words

that we call necessary

But his homelessness felt all too familiar
Longing for the lives and places that were no longer his
Now existing in an obsession with isolated oscillation
A mouthful
Of memories
Creating the pieces she held between her fingers, trying to place
Because she was accustomed to the lonely company of puzzles
Wanting their wholeness for their own sake
For she imagined she knew what it felt like to be shattered into 1,000 pieces and placed in a box on a shelf for a rainy day

But this one,

this one was like the one at Goodwill –
Where she was startled by the violent eye contact made across the room
While standing in the checkout line
And he walked in through the door
And neither knew what the rulebook had to say about this
So he disappeared amongst the shelves
And she out the door.
But now every time she goes back
She can’t help but feel her stomach drop out of her torso
Like it did in that moment
In the store with the puzzle himself –
Who never gave her the satisfaction of having all the pieces

So instead of admiring the whole
It’s the gap that holds her attention,
The emptiness that drives her insane
As she sits still trying to determine if anyone won
Amidst all the losing.

Unfinished

The Accident

A white car in fog heading towards her
driving home his points and ideas
with no lights on
so nobody sees him coming.
But they break down –
The metaphors that is

He should have called it a mini van
His ghost child trailing behind him.
But it’s a fog eat fog world in here
Where everything slips through fingers
And she questions if he’s even real
Because she’s always been a cynic
Or so it seems
As she secretly covers a deeply dug pit
of hope
that waits to be filled
Because she’s always been a dreamer
Or so it seems
As she secretly swallows a premeditated handful
of sleep
that waits for no one

And she realizes what is happening
too late
and just in time

Now it’s all just a stinging cheek,
a tear streak, a journal page, and a drawing from the girl in the room down the hall, who also walked in socks to the attendance sheets that set them free…
And by free, we mean from the walls of daycare and the restless nights and the twitching of the cocaine addict and the heads that speak like talking to children, their eyes making sure we didn’t find our shoelaces – God forbid;
For freedom is different for those trapped by their own skull and skin

And he drives to the coast
To submerse himself in freezing water
To let the waves crash instead of him
Because we’re all trying to be alive and asleep simultaneously
Because we’re all looking for someone who might pretend to care, even for a second, about our shattered dreams and broken expectations
Because we’re all in a silent state of solitary confinement, just looking to make eye contact

(But they break down)

And maybe there’s no fog where he came from
So who’s really to blame?

The Accident