Sunday, August 24, 2014

Leader of Legends

A story is a treasure, a gem to be shared. It unravels layers one never knew she had. Stories are the veins that run through our bodies. They are the rivers that lead us to each other in this ocean we call life. They are the roots that dig deep into the ground intertwined in each other, unseen by many.

Stories keep us alive. They keep us moving yet keep us still. They speak the language of solitude and spontaneity, of adventure and peace.

My father used to tuck me in at night with a story. Sitting at the edge of my bed, he told of ponies and princesses, and animals that talked. His voice was like a mountain, rising and falling and speaking in different accents when that was what a character required.

I don’t remember any particular story he told during this time but I remember feeling safe, like the stories carried me into the night. They were gentle with me and kind.

My father was good at pretending. He was and is the most imaginative person I know. And I love him for that.

He was my personal storyteller, the ambassador and leader of all legends.

Sometimes he would sing to me and it didn’t matter that he was terribly off-key. I don’t think he even noticed or cared. In that moment, all that mattered was that he was there. Tucking me in and letting me listen. What a gift it was to listen.

My father is my storyteller and now I am his.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In the Wake of the Arch

Targeting the lower spine like nothing else, the back bend destroys me.
My hips inch their way forward as I create a bridge with my upper torso and my eyes climb down the back wall behind me.
My ribs escalate upward as if instructed by puppet strings.
My mind, blank.
My breath, short.
In through my nose.
Out through my nose.
Each inhale calming me down, slowing my heart rate like train tracks at the end of their course.

It is here- in this amplifying, belligerent arch- that I experience healing.
A touch from the divine.
A kiss at my lower back.
And then a gentle whisper.
“Stay, stay.”
Be healed.
Be present.

This is why I do yoga.
This is what keeps sending me back and back and back even more.
Further into the arch.
Further into the sacred kiss, the holy touch.
The ultimate sacrament of love.

Through body.
Through spirit.
Through breath.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hipsters United.

I used to be a music snob.

I never listened to pop.
Only the newest songwriters and bands with the most abstract ideas and peculiar melodies.

Bonnaroo of 2010 was epic, I would boast.
Now the hipster trendiness of the music scene that haunts Nashville on every offset avenue, I just can’t take it.

Something about the too-cool-for-school demeanor, it irks me.
I’m over it.

Yes I still love the beats, lyrics and musicality of a good band but I guess you could say I’m over the whole “scene”. The completely unnecessary listing off of my Itunes collection just to make a point about myself.

Feels good to be real.

The Golden Gem

Peace Talks.

What are they?
Why do they exist?
Why isn’t peace just part of regular talk?

It’s like we just polish that word onto something official to make it mean something, to give it spizazz. It reminds me of polish you might paint on a wooden fence to make it shine so all your neighbors become jealous.

I wish I had a glowing fence, they all disclose with their eyes, all sad and swollen. 
Just standing, staring. And then the wishes evolve into demands.
A demand for newness.
A plea for the latest and the best.

When did peace become such a rarity?
A golden gem among the gritty nature of mankind.
The thought sickens me.
And I am stifled by it.
Curbed by my disparity.
Plagued by my innocence.

But craving it more than ever.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Transport

I love movement.
Like, LOVE it.

A much-needed walk after a day of sitting at work.
Moving in a car, watching the trees fly fast in green blurs outside the window.

Movement of all kinds- it is beautiful. 
And I need it DAILY.

I feel like God is actively breathing air into my lungs whenever I am in motion. Like He is blowing up a balloon, preparing me for something big.

I also love listening to movement in music. There's nothing like hearing a progressive build-up that transports the listener with its every millisecond of sound toward something huge and then blows up at the end.

I love movement in life.
Moving toward people.

Something about being in action toward something else, or someone else... that’s powerful. 
That’s what we were made for, I think.


This whole yoga thing is really something else.
It genuinely and indisputably has changed me.
Moving me into deeper layers of my breath. 
My bones. 
My being.

For a long time, I would always admire yoga from the shoreline. Just standing, staring. Pointing my finger and “ooh-ing” and “aw-ing” with a smile as wide as the ocean itself.

I would watch her swim out to the deep blue colors of the water, resisting the urge to yell out and save her, tell her to come back in to avoid the sharks.

She never seemed to listen or look back, anyway.

She would swim for miles and miles. She would float underneath the sun, all of her skin being warmed by its breath. Kissed by its fire.

My toes dig deeper into the sand, its grainy texture melting to my skin.
I can’t take my eyes off of her.

She is bold.
She is brilliant.
She is calm.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Memory Lane

My mother’s veins pop out at her hands. 
Like blue channels of water on the way to join the river. 

Mine do that too. Whenever I see them, I think of her. As a kid, I would see her hands like that and get nervous. Why did this happen to her? It didn’t seem normal. Now I laugh at the thought.

We had a white picket fence around the front of our house growing up, like the kind people talk about when they jokingly, or not-so-jokingly, refer to the "Modern American Home". 

2.5 kids.
A dog.
A white picket fence.
You know... like that.

My favorite was in the spring when flowers of all kinds would erupt all around the fence and really, all over the yard. It was like heaven just appeared out of nowhere in every color and shape. Every petal and stem. I think it glittered everyone’s eyelids up a bit as we breathed in all this new color.

When I started getting more into long-distance running after high school (before I was strictly a hard-nosed sprinter, never willing to run more than a mile at a time), I would get lost in the lap after lap around my neighborhood. The uneven pavement became an adventure for me as I was forced to keep watch of my feet like a new parent to their first-born, making sure I wouldn't journey to the ground and cause a scene.

I loved seeing dogs out on my run. The ones that really knew how to play, never running out of energy or spazz. Always keeping their owner on their toes. Sometimes I felt like the owner being dragged by my spirit, unable to keep it on a leash. My spirit like the dogs, never running out of energy or spazz.

One family on the back side of the neighborhood loop had a tire swing. 
The kind you just can't resist, no mater how old you are. 

Once a friend pushed me in it, higher than EVER, and then stood admiring her strength as she forgot to realize there was a tree a little too close to the swing on my way back. I saw it in her eyes once she became aware of its existence, but at this point, I was flying full-speed and about to slam into the tree. 

I did.
And we laughed for hours on end.
It’s fun to get a hurt a little bit. 
Good for you, I think.

I used to chase after my brothers and their friends yelling “Sohn” and “Sames”. I don’t necessarily remember struggling with my J’s, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get their names down for some while. 

My brothers played a lot of basketball growing up. And that ball would beat against the backboard long into the night as they practiced their “fakes” and all-star free throw shots. It was a comforting sound in a way. You always knew they were having fun as they fine-tuned their skills, making accuracy and detail their very best friends.

One brother took pride in his coaching skills and taught me a few things. I must say, when parents would watch my 10-year old self suddenly “fake someone out” on the church basketball court, they all had the same thought- She has older brothers.

I took pride in that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Tantrum of the Wild

I like watching how people choose to parent their kids. Maybe it’s the babysitter in me. I don’t know, there’s just something about it that’s really intriguing to me. 

Some choose to reprimand their child’s every move, their finger pointed as straight as the nose on Pinocchio, eyes wide with aggression, naming all forms of consequence with the ultimate stare of death. 

Others simply gaze silently as they wait for their child to calm down, trying desperately to distract themselves with anything and everything in sight. I always wonder what’s going on in their heads at that moment. Are they counting? Cursing? Probably both.

But what's even more interesting to me is the way a toddler releases emotion- whether it’s anger, sadness, or joy. It reveals tiny pieces of their personality, I think. Do they scream for attention? Cry for help? Or giggle uncontrollably to the moon and back?

Sometimes I wish adults could candidly wail in church or scream at Starbucks. 
There is freedom found in expression. 
Raw expression.

The tantrum of a child, something never meant to be fully understood.
Just envied.

Just a Walk

I decide to walk to Kroger instead of drive. My feet crave the pounding against pavement. I need a closer look at the trees on my street.

Best decision ever made.

Nothing has changed, really. The same twin cats sit on my neighbor’s porch, so relaxed it makes you wonder if they are still breathing. The same boring brick house sits passively on the corner, relaxed just like the cats. Watching the cars go by in all shapes and colors.

Yet this walk gives me a newfound energy, the kind of energy that vitamins and caffeine simply fail to supply. The kind of energy that makes me feel untouchable.

My spirit sings.
My heart beats loudly.
I really do love this neighborhood.

The Cave

Something about being talked down to in a sympathetic tone, I just can’t deal with.
It cuts a whole in me.
I am like an empty cave with an end that never comes.

I wander nervously through this cave within myself, uneasy and fragile, desperately trying not to wake anything hiding away in the corners.

I feel small.
Like a child... in the needy sort of way.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tiny Taste

Communion is tiny. 
Like the pinky of a newborn baby, her nail so minute you can barely see it at first glance.

Receiving is a gift to be cherished. I walk away my hands crossed awkwardly, my eyes on the floor. Do I bend my elbows? My breath is short, shallow. I feel dizzy, lost in the crowd, the never-ending ocean of strangers waiting their turn for the same beautiful gift.

The taste of wine always seems to linger on my lips.
Sweet and Warm.

My tongue moves around nervously, not knowing what to do or where to go with such a distinct, tiny taste. Impulsively, it rolls over and over at the roof of my mouth, allowing my chin to dance in circles obsessively.

Communion can be lonely. 

Sometimes I dread it, my feet gaining weight with every step as I sometimes grudgingly force myself to the front of the room.

I like to watch the children.
They are my sanity. 

They calm my breath and give final destination to my fluttering, frightened eyelids.
The little girl with blonde angelic curls, her smile so welcoming, so kind.
The baby boy in his father’s arms that never stops moving for a second.
And the father rotating hips, clearly embarrassed at the wild, elaborate scene his son is causing.

Yet the magnetic energy draws me forward. 
My robotic steps follow behind the mob of strangers, in tune with the silent reverence surrounding me.

I feel small at communion, yet connected to something enormous. 

A House for the Soul.

In my soul house, there are lots of empty chairs handcrafted in the finest wood one could imagine. Each chair spaced out like wandering ants at a summer picnic, no one necessarily following the other but searching for its own source of food, along its own journey.

A guest may wander in and sit, her ankles crossed, hands on her lap, with scattered breath and a first-day-of-school kind of anxiety. She waits for the agenda and her eyes wander, looking for corners to define her space. But there are none. She finds no end to this madness, just miles and miles of empty chairs in every direction, all turned at various angles.

The sun climbs up and down the sky of my soul house, yet the chairs remain.
Waiting to be used.
Waiting to be noticed.

My soul house is a resting place. I wander from chair to chair depending on my mood and settle in, sometimes with difficulty, sometimes with ease.

A rocking chair that leans back like a fearless child, letting go of all restraint.

A chair with little to no room for my achy back, forcing me to find rest despite my high-maintenance expectations.

A queen’s throne, elaborate with jewels, shining with glamour of all kinds.

I find my chair.
It finds me.
I sit.
I rest.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Little Girl

There is something magical about a little girl.

Her smile.
Her fear.
Her dreams.
Her stories.

I never want to let go of that little girl.

Sometimes she stares deep into my soul, my heart beating out of control as the sound of her silence overwhelms me.

Her stare becomes heavy, like rocks buried in your sweatshirt as you carry them home to brag on your new discoveries. With every year I gain, the fear of losing the little girl within me increases. My knuckles become white as snow as I stand weak in the knees, in fist-clenched denial.

Growing up is hard.

I miss the simple life of the little girl, whose imagination is from an outside world with animals that talk and humans that fly.

No makeup.
No deadlines.
No meetings to attend except tea parties and fancy balls at the castle.

Relationships are easy for the little girl- no secret conditions or hidden agendas. Simply best friends who you can trust or enemies never worth a second glance.

I used to make my own jewelry and write my own songs.
I used to play pretend like it was required and never be ashamed of my dreams.

Growing up is boring, time-consuming.
Like a sneeze, it attacks you and you can never seem to stop it from coming. It consumes your body. It stops you in your footsteps, until all you can do is close your eyes and wait for it to pass.

Yet the little girl is a stranger to the concept of time. 
The sun and the moon are her clock, moving across the sky like a dance.

Ocean Blue

I attended a conference for work.
There was a poetry session.
I couldn't resist....

I am the sound of raindrops against the tin roof of an old, forgotten cabin along the outskirts of town. Sometimes my chatter is soothing, relaxing the mind of my listeners. Sometimes my passion and overactive brain gives way to my sound as each word, each raindrop of my vocal cords, introduces a storm approaching over the mountains of life.

I am the season of summer, barefoot and wandering along the trails with their deep chocolate brown soil that finds its hideaway underneath my nails, in between hair strands, along my cheeks.

I am the aroma of grass glittering in the sunlight. Bent over from human footsteps, wild and free.

I am a seagull soaring high in the clouds, floating with the wind, each drop, each lift, letting the sky carry me and choreograph my every move as I watch all movement below.

I am an ocean blue, the calm of my sanity.

I am the subject psychology simply because I ask a lot of questions. Questions are my preferred language, my avenue to humanity, the skin of the earth.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Real Deal.

Sometimes I can be so confident. A good day and I feel like I created it… like I strategically laid brick upon brick and poured my own sweat and labor into the making of its entirety.

My imaginary sweat drips off my forehead, my eyelashes, above my upper lip.
Tickling my entire face.
Sparkling all of my features like gold.

Every second of praise so well deserved. Every honor, every accolade worn like a necklace and momentarily frozen in time to remember forever, adding it to my “Fine Gallery of Achievements”.

My pride is like a boulder creeping in, silently slipping through the back door after curfew.
It destroys me.

This mindset is so addicting. I stand like a prisoner inside of myself, toiling away at life’s finest details, all for a second of attention, a second of fame. When suddenly, my self-imposed castle is nothing but a mere replica of a pile of sand whispered away by the magnitude of the tide.

What builds real castles is Hope. Love. Truth.
May I never lose sight of such things.