Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Plastic: A Poem

Hi Friends,

I went to a beautiful place called Malibu Club over spring break. It's a several hour boat-ride outside of Vancouver, BC. Mountains, salt water, trees, snow and, best of all, no cell service or computer! While I was there I was reading Wendell Berry poetry and it inspired me to write some poetry of my own. This piece was also inspired by some awesome slam poetry done in my Inkling's class last quarter.

It's Plastic
This this that keeps me from being where I am.
From being still and being whole,
In once place with all things.

Plastic steals my mind as my heart wonders what is the time
Who has called or sent a note
A post on a wall of immaterial bricks
Built on the belief that plastic connects and fosters realness,
Though it is plastic that severs me from all that is real and here and now:

The cry of gulls
The rushing sound of waves and trees moving in a rhythm I cannot quite catch
The smell of wood stain and fresh-cut pine
Laughter around the corner of friend meeting friend.

Plastic tears me from contended existence as my mind yearns
To know all that has gone on in my absence
From a world which has no dirt or mud or trees
At least
Not mud I can cover my body in
Or trees I can wrap my arms around and let their worship and mine mingle together
In between our bodies of rushing waters and created souls and limbs

Reaching up
Reaching out towards sun and stars and beings alike and not
Surrounding us with their bodies of flesh, bones,
Blood and hands grasping always for what we do not know

For plastic
A cruel delight from which I have no flight,
For even in a place as this
Where it would seem plastic cannot touch
I find it beside me in my backpack
In my neighbors ears,
Tearing and severing and pulling us from here
From now
From anything that's real.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On to the fun parts!

Hello Friends,

I do apologize for not posting anything in the last month. Much has happened and school has delightfully taken over my life.

Right now I am sitting in my school dining hall, affectionately referred to as Gwinn. I took a final this morning and decided to celebrate with breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes... yum!

Today winter quarter will be over for me. The dreaded quarter I feared would be the death of me has actually come to a close. To my surprise and delight, I didn't die, the bottom never gave out, and I am in a space of much deeper freedom and joy than I thought was possible, especially so quickly after the many hard things of San Diego last fall.

This quarter has been a time to really feel my existence in the world for the first time. I noticed that people notice me, that I have an impact, that I am enjoyed by many people. In this noticing of my own existence I grew brave: I took more risks in friendships, new and old, I fought for myself in many situations, I recorded songs I had written and posted them to facebook, I submitted a tender, intimate piece of writing to a student art journal on campus, I shaved my legs(!), I had breakfast with my dad. This quarter I let myself explore who I was and if that really depended on boundaries I had set for myself before.

I shaved my legs, and not for any special reason. I had been thinking about it since returning to school and really wondering why I hated shaving. What did it come down to? I was afraid. I was afraid of fully living into my woman-ness and letting it be a celebrated, maybe even attractive, piece of me. Being a woman doesn't depend on whether you shave your legs or not, but I realized one of the deepest reasons I didn't shave was out of fear of truly being an attractive woman. When I shaved them, I didn't tell anyone for a while. I just wanted to let myself grow comfortable with relinquishing that part of my image, cause I gets that's what it was. Yesterday I worse a skirt without leggings for the first time since I shaved. I didn't feel a need to tell people I used to have really hairy legs, or to hide the fact that my legs were smooth and womanly looking. I just let it be how it was, and I rather enjoyed wearing a beautiful skirt and, instead of getting odd looks when people saw my legs, I was complimented on my skirt. I was simply me and there was no need to hide behind manly looking legs, it was ok to be a girl wearing a cute skirt.

Yes, I also had breakfast with my dad. It was such a delightful time of getting to be in his presence again. For four years I have avoided it out of fear, self-protection, and just not knowing how to hold all of the hurt that has happened along with all the desire within me to be loved by my dad. I found I didn't have to hold it all, because all of me is held by God. My heart is held together by the Lord so I didn't have to worry about holding the hurt and the desire at the same time, all I did was open myself up to be loved, and that is what happened. My dad loves me so deeply, and even though I have been hurt so deeply I find that doesn't mean I cannot also be loved by him. This was made possible because for four years God has been building a foundation under me of his radically immanent and transcendent love: a love so intimate it sees all of me, and so transcendent it can hold all of me without fear for itself. With this love as my foundation space was created in me to accept imperfect, broken love as it is. I didn't have to wait for my dad to become someone else, as I once thought would have to happen, instead I was brought to a place in which the man my dad IS can be enough for me.

I guess that is a snapshot of the incredible movement that has taken place within me this quarter, though, like an earthquake, it has been building for years. The bursting and movement seems to have taken place suddenly and all at once, but I know it has been possible because of the heart-wrenching work over the past several years. Now I get to do the fun part of it all!

Stay tuned next quarter for more learning and growing as I take more fun classes (Physics of Sound, the Gospels of Jesus, and Behavior Science Statistics!) and bask more often in the sunshine!

Blessings to you all,