He is risen indeed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Still and quiet.
Taking the weekend off social media to reflect, to be present, and to be intentional and purposeful -- to embrace and enjoy life, without my phone in hand or laptop on the table.
Celebrating Easter with my family -- celebrating that He is risen!
(My God is not dead, He's surely alive!)
Happy early Easter to all of you. :)


if a photo is worth 1000 words : story 4

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

She is quiet and breathes in.

in out in out in out

The rhythm is a pendulum in her brain, always the ticking pounding sound of beats cascading into melodies. One two three tendu is not so different than arabesque penchée five six seven eight. Sometimes, she sees the world in steps and terms. The skyscraper is en pointe, that tree is a brise, the movement in the park, simply the chords. It's only the sky that never fits her catalogue of terms. Perhaps, it is the music or perhaps it is the crowd or maybe it doesn't matter.

She shakes off the thought and slowly pulls pins from her bun, closing her eyes as her hair crinkles, sweaty and dry from the tight formation. It settles in a cloud of frizz and split ends around her shoulders and she pulls it back loosely into a pony tail, settling for something, anything, to keep it from her face. White chalk is her skin, blue eyes like the sky she can never settle on. Staring at her reflection in the dimly lit mirror in the near empty dressing room, she gets the impression that they are all china dolls.

Pink cheeks washed off from makeup and brought on by the stage, the group of dancers dwindle until it is only her sitting under the fluorescent lights, gently rubbing off the character she played that night. First go the eyelashes, gently tugged from her lids. The glue sticks and she places the false lashes back in their case carefully. Next, she wipes the color from her lips, and slowly massages the shades and black from her eyes. Finally, she washes her face, vigorously, until her cheeks are flushed from scrubbing and her skin taut, but there is no hint of the performance save the dull throbbing in her muscles. When the makeup is gone, she is almost unrecognizable and she wonders if her mother would remember the daughter she kissed the night she sent her off.

It is an honor, she said, squeezing her daughter tight and brushing her hair from her face.

It always is.

She picks up her bag, sweaty from discarded tights and heavy with half broken pointe shoes and makeup, and slings it over her thin shoulders. Summer is warm in the city but there is always a chill at night, a nip in the air that whispers of loneliness. The subway is almost empty and she stares out the window at the darkening city. It is never completely black, there is always the glow of a streetlight or the warm yellow candle of a window lit by friends.

So it is with life.

She checks the station and, yes, a moment of impulse, gets off. Central Park can be dangerous at night but she is drunk on youth and strong with being on her own and outside, the sun still chases the moon. There is a crowd of people walking through the park, a trail of voices dispersing into their own little lives and she slowly slips though the crowd, floating on the heavy air of summertime like only a dancer could. A little girl points at her bag and her mother hushes her.

She walks to the edge, walks out of the park, back into the swallowing green light of the Subway station, back into the quiet that makes up tired people hurrying home. A man snores next to her and across from her, a woman turns the pages of the book she is reading loudly, peering with furrowed brow at the wrinkled words. She smiles. If I had my pencils...But no. She has no pencils anymore. Only a cramped apartment and broken shanks from shoes made to break feet.

And that's how it is.

The light is waning, waxing, and the sun just beginning to fade into the blue light between night and day when she hurries out of the subway and into the air smelling like movement. Over there, the lopsided flag twirling in the brief gusts of wind, a fouette. The line of steps leading upwards, a développé. She hurries on.

The railing leads into the sea, or so it seems, and she leans against it, breathing in the salt that smells like home. It is near dusk and still, it feels like dawn, feels like the beginning of another day, because the city never sleeps and as a dancer, she is awake for all of it. She wakes with the hurried bustle in the morning, the roasted smell of nuts and coffee and the shouts of yellow cars. She wakes with the streams of light trailing in the ever moving streets, the flickering of restaurants and the shouts of conversation under a moonlight sky.

The water pulls against the stone and she drops her bag, sinks to the ground, pulls a broken pair of shoes from their ribbons. Mostly, the people ignore her. As she wants them to. She zips up her bag, carefully.

Not for pay.

The city falls asleep and the city wakes up and she lifts into an arabesque, eyes closed, breathing hard. There is stone underneath and a slate grey sky above and if she tries hard enough, the taste of rain in the air. A tremble in her ankle and she opens her eyes, sees a snap of a taxi door shut, and she plies into an entrechat. Another. Then a glissade, pas jeté, grande jate, again and again.

It's only after she unlaces her shoes and slips her bruised feet from their ribbons that she realizes she is crying. And even more than that, she falls asleep that night to the hum of her radiator and an open window and her last thought is,

I am happy.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." - Romans 8:28 MSG

I know who Goes before me.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side."

— Whom Shall I Fear, Chris Tomlin.
sang this in Church tonight.

the roof resounded and the room rang and the Holy Spirit moved.

to be able to help lead worship is such a blessing.
Praise Jesus for who He is.
Praise Him for what He has done.
Thanking Him that we can gather with believers to have fellowship and lift up His name.

That's something I take far too lightly. Living in America, it's just what I've known. Grateful to have grown up in a home and family of believers. Grateful to have been able to worship in freedom. Grateful that we can seek His name because of who He is.

He is a friend of mine.
How my heart sings and my whole being rejoices to say that.

we walk into winter's daybreak.

we walk into winter’s daybreak.

and it's these simple things that i will miss
though i hold them close in hands already
forgetting how to let go.
(i’m a conundrum) a riddle caught;
in the joy of the chase and the trap,
the home of a heart steeped too far in nostalgia.

i will not go bitter into the day because of
moments no longer mine.
i will not crouch in fear on my step, for
lack of familiarity. how much longer will
we live in togetherness not really seeing, to
simply be in the understanding of what
we need is

four hundred and forty eight days, i pretend
not to count on my fingers but i am
too slow to hide. please don’t mistake this
for happiness, because i am
tangled tangled tangled in what is to
come. direction is different than destination and
there are roads
and paths
and places in between yet, my head hurts
because i cannot find the roadmarks to home
on any map.

these days are the songs i could
never sing of birds i could never keep and already
autumn has ended. composed of what i will miss
the most, no matter how hard i try,
i can only play broken notes on a piano too
old to stay properly in tune.

it will be the same,
it's easy to say, but a packed suitcase and a
room no longer called my own
put me as a traveler.

in the end,
birds are meant
to leave their nests and spring
does not hide her face forever though
it is changed,
each time.

five things.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

five things.

i. what you don't understand and maybe never will is that i keep chasing these city lights like they'll lead me home, i would say if i craved pavements and a small cranny in a town easy to be swallowed up by. but i don't. i am undone by the snap of apples from trees and dusty backroads, brought to pieces and fragmented by the many ways of morning on fields finding autumn. you need the city, yes, but i need a place far from those black tar roads.

ii. eggs in the morning and bare feet in the grass. tell me i am a symphony that will last longer than the sustained note. sooner or later, the piano will fall mute, but does that make us deaf? you can find me in the daybreak and i will be singing in these plains like they are my own.

iii. let me be your last goodbye and you can be my only hello. i still cry at firsts and i still cry at lasts even though sometimes i can't tell the difference.

iv. in the summer it slowed and we danced. i will write that someday with hands wrinkled by a life of holding close and in my hands i will let go let go let go so that others may hold on. passing down traditions like family heirlooms is more than telling. it takes a lifetime to learn how to let go and not lose it, how to give and keep.

v. and one day, you will understand that this was your life. there will be a knock at the door or the deepest of breaths or one last laugh cry word. i hope you remember each sunrise and i hope that you can name all the colors that were your favorite and i hope there are memories intertwined with each shade. mostly, i hope you will breathe out joy because this world is too heavy and you're going home. (yes)

missing you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

they talk about missing people as if it's something they only feel, like the scratching and melting of pulling on old sweater, or the hollow shudder winter leaves in your bones. but it's less like only feeling and more like living with an ache that becomes as much a part of you as your fingers or how your eyes disappear when you laugh or the freckles that find your face in the summer.

with features, you can pinpoint each one, and so it is with missing. monday morning and I am missing you, tuesday afternoon and I am missing you, wednesday all day and I am still missing you. you carry the culmination of the moments, in small and simple ways, and in the end it didn't matter if they were good or bad, just that they were and for once, that was enough.

characterized by when : when he played with your hair, when your favorite smell of was lemon and wood, when you listened to the same album seventy times and swore you'd never get tired of it. marked by how : you picked blueberries almost every morning that summer, you biked to the sleepy town with him and skinned your knee, you lived in his sweatshirt smelling like rain. and more often than not, it's by what it's missing : cheap pizza by candlelight, a hand to hold, someone to understand your movie references, a way to say I love you without any words.


just a personal writing piece
(fiction, i may add :)

maybe today.

maybe someday you will stop worrying about having everything in focus and maybe someday you will stop slipping similes behind and between metaphors and maybe someday when someone asks what your favorite color is, you will tell them and know for certain. but that someday doesn't know that you like your coffee black or you sing along to music with no words or you dream of cities you've never been to yet claimed as your own. tell the somedays and maybes and might have beens about today and how the sky is white frost over blue silk. there is a world of snow and a city of people running around with flushed hearts and beating cheeks and there is a murmur under the earth that it's beginning to awake. learn to keep your feet on the ground and your eyes to the sky and remember to keep your eyes clear and your heart full.

today is calling.
let's go.

we were made for so much more.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"We really were made for something so much wilder and ‘real-er’ and more radically extraordinary than entertaining ourselves with movies/TV series, having thin and toned bodies, marrying someone amazing, volunteering in church programs, getting well-paying jobs, building successful businesses, taking fun vacations, being nice people, owning homes, having solid friendships, traveling the world, getting famous, or raising well-behaved children. These are all pleasant things. But we were not made for ‘pleasant.’ we were made for God. He is the One beautiful and consuming Fire that will set our hearts to burn as they were created to burn. We were made to live real and radical and revolutionary lives of purpose, thrill, and absolute freedom. Don’t choose to live 15% alive. The Fiercely tender Love of God is TOO OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD FOR THAT. Jesus is worth your everything. Wake up, oh my soul, to the thrill of Your God - His Love is better than life."
— Emily Timmer