Poetry Friday: Our Cause

Our Cause

Believe me that I care for equality.
My life testifies to me again and again of its importance.
Believe me that I have words, more words than you know.
My tears testify to God and me and everyone
that I’m one part broken and one part healing,
the pieces fusing together into a makeshift heart.

I can’t lose what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
I can’t say words I feel, for they’ll condemn me.

I pray for understanding, for release from my burdens.
I pray for mercy from my brothers and sisters.
I pray for strength to keep going, to hold onto hope.

I’m sorry I cannot light these pages of confusion in me,
wield them as a flag for your cause;
a flame that reaches the clouds and unites the masses.
My testimony douses my flames, my fiery passions.
I let heaven rain down on me, hiding my tears,
washing away the blackened novels I’ve written in my heart
about my sins, my variances, my questions.

I can’t be your spokesperson.
I won’t die a messenger of your—our—cause.

Poetry Friday: The Dreaming Boy

The Dreaming Boy

The earth, it speaks of the dreaming boy;
the trees, they echo his name.
The brilliant sun in the summer sky
remembers the day he came.

His steps, they fell on the cobbled path
in a steadily crooked beat,
with a white dove in his outstretched hand
and gold soles beneath his feet.

The dreaming boy, so he called himself,
sat upon his hill of glass.
He watched as his days went rolling by;
he watched, but refused their pass.

The boy with his eyes like living jewels
and his heart with ice-bound seams,
always believed that he had yet
to be woken from his dreams.

So his dove, his soles, and his clear glass hill,
they faded out of his hands,
like the even tide of the ocean shore
dissolves in its golden sands.

And the dreaming boy, though he was no more,
for he saw with a broken heart
that the wasted time wand’ring through his days
had been real from the very start.

The earth, it tells of the dreaming boy;
the trees, they whisper his name.
The silver moon in the diamond sky
breathes soft of the day he came.

I’ll Be Okay

A girl likes a boy, and sometimes loves him. She gets on fine without him for many years. They keep in contact and make each other laugh. She misses him often but it gets better with time.

She grows up and learns about herself and the world. She feels her heart expanding past the boy and the love she felt so strongly. It grows and grows and it can soon fit so much more love. She loves more than just the boy. She loves parts of the world that were once new. She moves on but still remembers how it was to love him so deeply.

Then the boy returns and the girl doesn’t know what she wants. She knows she’s willing to slow her heart a while to see if the boy can keep up.

But it’s only a matter of time before the girl will be forced to make a choice: learn to love the boy again as before, or let him go.

What’s most important is that either way, she will be okay.

* * *

Just going through some stuff, folks. 🙂 Here are some lyrics from Sondre Lerche’s beautiful song “I’ll Be Okay”:

You who replaced every beat that was false
And uptight like a metronome
You should’ve stayed ’cause that winter was long
But by dawn you were gone

I’ll be OK
I’ll be OK

Voices

There will always be voices.

Voices that tell you what you are.

Where you’ll go.

Who you can be.

There will always be voices, and only you can choose which voices you believe.

Last week I was playing with a toddler who asked me to help him set up his train tracks in a circle. Later, while he was playing, he said to me in his sweet baby voice, “You’re so nice, Maney, you’re so nice.” And for some reason, his kind little words made my heart grow so big.

That was a voice I wanted to listen to.

He was much kinder than I am to myself.

There will always be voices, voices telling us that we aren’t worthy of love, or that our plans will fail, or we aren’t needed or wanted, or that we’re useless and worthless and bad.

Banish those voices, my dear readers. You are wonderful.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin

Karma (or what I consider Good Consequences)

The most important moment of the day is when we fall asleep. During the day, we get so many options, right from the moment we open our eyes. For me, it’s choices like what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, whether to take this or that bus, whether to go to school, who to sit by in classes, whether to get a drink in this or that fountain, whether to stay after and study, la la la, you get the drift. But that’s only on normal days! I could randomly wake up one day and drive to Houston. Or, I don’t know, quit school and start training for the military. Or get in contact with an old high school friend.

I hope I’ve established that we have a lot of choices throughout the day. And I’ll admit, I tend to make choices that give me more choices: save money, go to school, obey the Word of Wisdom (my church’s health and wellness law), be nice, etc. But let’s talk about you. Let’s just say that one day you decide to break out of your normal routine and just drive and drive away from home on the highway. And after seeing some sights, and maybe meeting some new people, the sun goes down and the sky becomes dark. You decide you need to find yourself a motel or something, since it’s too late to drive home. You get ready for bed  and crawl into the covers in the cigarette-smelling motel room, wondering maybe who else has slept in this bed, and feeling a vague sense of being quite estranged from everything you care about, and eventually falling asleep. Hypothetically.

I posit that this moment, this settling down into the choices one has made over the day and deciding, “Well, I’m too exhausted to do anything else, so if anybody Up There cares, you just have to take the things I’ve done and deal with them,” is the most important moment of the day. It is the summation. The climax. Despite what most people think, that by the time you’ve gotten ready for bed  you have passed that vital moment of the day, this is when you accept the day as done and allow yourself to rest. And not only is that infinitely beautiful and poetic, I believe it also has eternal spiritual significance.

Death comes from life. Night comes from day. End comes after beginning. (Haha, this sounds like a cheesy poem, hey.) I believe there is a God, and that He knows me by name. So when I fall asleep, I do so knowing that He knows and cares that I’ve done the best I can over the day, and He is (I pray) proud of me. SO, bringing this random tangent of a post full circle, I’m glad that I make the choices I make. I’m glad I go to school, and spend time with my family, and try (and usually fail) to be a good person, and so on, because when I fall asleep at night, I feel like I am at peace with our Heavenly Father. And that’s probably the best feeling in the world.

Foolishly Happy

I am not filled with flowery words tonight, but I want to write on the topic of choosing. For example, the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know. Sometimes it bothers me that my mind, my only tool with which to perceive life, is inadequately informed about the world. But other times it intrigues me–makes me want to keep living–and isn’t that all we can ask for? I love that I don’t know everything. I choose to be interested in life so it keeps interesting me.

I used to be a very optimistic person. It used to be my natural state of being. And then I guess life happened: family problems, deaths of loved ones, a broken heart, and eventually mental illness. I lost the piece of myself that naturally looked on the bright side. Although I’ve come a long way from my darkest moments, I still tend to default back to pessimistic thoughts about humans, the world, and life.

What I’ve learned is that life happens, and you can’t always control it. When you’ve done all you can to make your life and your loved ones’ lives better, you have to rely on your imagination to look on the positive side of things. It’s your choice. It’s your responsibility. Look at yourself in the mirror and decide that the person staring back at you is worth being happy. And then, quite simply, with no self-help books, and almost foolishly, just be that way. Be happy. It’s a choice. And you deserve it.

Hats Off to DFW

My AP English teacher first introduced me to David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water.” Few literary passages have changed my life so profoundly as this one did. I hope that everyone within earshot of my cyber voice will read it and try to understand it and do something because of it. Read it–go on! It gives me chills.

He posits that we are innately selfish beings. Everything we think and know and experience revolves around us, and the default setting of our state of consciousness is to perpetually focus on ourselves. In his speech, Wallace presents a life-changing choice. He words it best:

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the “rat race” – the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.

It is one of most beautiful feelings I have ever experienced–the realization that I am not the center of the universe. I can choose–choose, people–to care about things outside of my intimate circle of consciousness. It is so wonderful. I have the power within me to think about you, and care about my earth footprint, and try to make this world better, because it will live on after I’m gone. Of what worth is money, power, beauty, intellect? Every day we are surrounded by other people who are just as important and needed and loved by our creator as we are. That is true beauty.

“It is about simple awareness – awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: ‘This is water, this is water.'” -David Foster Wallace