Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I am bent.
The things that I want to do, I do not do, and the things which I do not want to do, I do. The things which I value the most are the things which I believe least readily. I am not saying this to be poetic or to make Pauline allusions. I am being honest - more honest with myself than I have been in a long time.
I want to smile at strangers and greet them cheerfully in that same familiar way that some strangers greet me - as if they've met me and known me before in some dream of God's. Sometimes, I even feel that way about people - that I've known love for them before meeting them - but I walk past them, close-lipped, eyes averted. I don't want to resent the people I love for not meeting my every expectation; I do not even want to have these expectations! But I disappoint myself.

Incurvatus in se. I am turned inward on myself.
Fingers curved in toward my palm, my heart is - I am - clenched into a fist. I turn everything in on myself. Everything I know is defined within "me." I know that this is not because I am more self-centered than any other person, but the pain of becoming ingrown still eats at me. It confuses and isolates.
I turn anger, pain, loneliness, longing in on myself. I act on my inwardness. I speak indirectly about my thoughts and feelings. I deliberately write poetry no one can understand (what a fruitless objective. . . ). I punish myself by denying myself things I like. It is like clenching my soul-fist so hard, curving my fingers in so markedly, that I dig into my flesh with my nails, breaking the skin. I break trust with myself.

I am bent.
I am not a terrible human being. Humans are fallen beings, and I'm unfortunately good at being a human being. I try to be perfect, to be unfallen, but I am not any good at that. I don't even have a word for unfallen except unfallen. I prove that I am fallen and tainted and bent by not having words (I mean, real meanings - words can be a metaphor for this, if you like) for the opposite conditions except unfallen, untainted, unbent. A perfect God is terrifyingly strange to a mind that cannot conceive of holiness and righteousness and perfection as anything more than nonsinful and unfallen. The words themselves are not meaningless but imply a meaning beyond my own understanding, and that is what shakes me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Free from Affectation

His mind is flexible -
it bends and
is bent by thought and theory;
just as each natural breath
opens and fills
the chest cavity to full capacity
without intention or force,
he doesn't reach to grasp -
he floats on the tacit and
on musings, on math,
on pictures, on paint,
on literature, on science,
on fact and fiction,
lithely and blithely
moving through each and all,
transported with lightspeed
across galaxies of knowing -
the stars appear to move slowly
past him -
ideas don't have to be novel
to entertain.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Resource Withdraw

1. Earth
I come behind
like the leaf after the color,
like the child after the mother.
I get the remainder,
the left-over life-blood,
the note between the lines,
the sigh,
and the headaches.
I come behind
like the hand behind the wrist,
like the chair beside the first.
I sink down beside your schedule,
beside your study stimuli
and shiver and
count the distance between.
I come behind
like the lights after nightfall,
like the shower after the comet -
I watch you going ahead.

2. Space
I'm on the periphery,
the rings of Saturn,
floating with the other
particles of dust.
It seems far away,
the glow, the warmth
of the planet,
your smile.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


"'You have a traitor there, Aslan,' said the Witch. Of course everyone present knew that she meant Edmund. But Edmund had got past thinking about himself after all he'd been through and after the talk he'd had that morning [with Aslan]. He just went on looking at Aslan. It didn't seem to matter what the Witch said."
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, excerpt from chapter thirteen 
I have just finished reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for probably the eighth or ninth time. This was the first time I had ever noticed the significance of the paragraph.
In the face of his Accuser, Edmund didn't look at her, didn't take notice of her, and he didn't pull away into himself to stare into the face of his guilt or shame - "he just went on looking at Aslan."
Lewis describes the children meeting Aslan for the first time:
"But as for Aslan himself, the Beavers and the children didn't know what to do or say when they saw him. People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now. For when they tried to look at Aslan's face they just caught a glimpse of the golden mane and the great, royal, solemn, overwhelming eyes; and then they found they couldn't look at him and went all trembly. ... His voice was deep and rich and somehow took the fidgets out of them. They now felt glad and quiet and it didn't seem awkward to them to stand and say nothing."
excerpt from chapter twelve 
In the face of so much majesty and love, "it didn't seem to matter what the Witch said."