passion. is.

June 28, 2010

i turn on the movie. alone in my house. everyone i know is mia. its about time i watch this movie anyway. Quinton Aaron is walking down the street as Michael Oher. And i start to cry. the film hasn’t been on 5 minutes and my heart is in my throat. i want to turn the movie off because i know what it will stir up. i keep watching.

social injustice has always angered me. confused me. broken my heart. baffled my logic. if you asked me if there was one thing in the world that i was passionate about, this, i now understand, would be it. social injustice in general, but poverty tugs at me the most. i think we are all pulled in different directions for a reason. none of us can bear this broken world completely on our shoulders. so he breaks it up for us and burdens our hearts in different ways.

so i’m trying to be strong and not cry over the reality that there are michael ohers all over the country and my mind goes in to overdrive. a light that i both want and dont want is turned on in my brain and heart and conscience and spirit and whatever other internal driver that i’ll never comprehend. IM PASSIONATE. about something. don’t we all want to just know that we have a passion for SOMETHING?

i met someone a little while ago who has more passion about his job than any one i’ve ever met. he’s one of those people that makes you wonder about what you’re doing with your life. being around him is intimidating because you suddenly want what you do to matter… to yourself if no one else. over the weeks of getting to know him i knew that i wasn’t passionate about my job, even though at the time i thought i loved it. and that there probably would never be a job or career that i would care about as much as he and his. this meant, one, that i could leave my work at work. which was a good thing. but two, it left me wondering if there was anything in this world that i could truly put all of myself into. i was reminded, as the time unfolded, that no, my passion does not and never has lain in the realm of work, at least as america looks at it. and i was relieved.

partly thanks to the story of the touhy’s, what has been there all along was suddenly brought to the surface. my passion is people. people who are hurting. people who have no where else to go. i want to hug on kids who don’t get that many hugs. to have conversations with people who don’t get to have that many conversations. i just want to love. i think i’m probably really bad at that part. loving. love is completely selfless. i am not. but i want to be. love doesnt care about money or status or things or looks or wit or careers. i do. i want to give everyone a chance. to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. one bad decision and we really could all have different lives. we could have their lives. i would want someone to love me with integrity if i was in their shoes. golden rule, no? so. i’m trying. like i said. i’m not really good at it. but i am passionate about getting better.

i originally thought about writing this because i was ashamed at how i’d realized all those things bubbling underneath. a movie? really? but, in the end… who am i to knock the avenues used to wake us up? i have a feeling that movie stirred up a lot of things in a lot of people. its hard not to look at a family like that and say ‘they can do that, they’re wealthy.’ True, but the biggest thing they gave michael was their time. so, when all i have to give is my time, in conversation or a hug or whatever it may be, i will try to give just that. and not be selfish with my time as ‘success’ calls me to be. this is truly a jumbled mess. but its been in my head a long time. and putting things on ‘paper’ is sometimes the only way to make them real for me.

so. i hope this becomes real. i hope i wont treat my passion the way i’ve treated everything else.

inside the absence of fear

September 1, 2009

There’s this Jewel song I love, that I’ve always loved. It’s a love song called “Absence of Fear.” Although I’ve never been great at remembering them, lyrics have always had the intrinsic ability to draw me in, to speak to me and for me. I use them a lot to express emotions or to say things that I don’t have the guts to use my own words for. “Absence of Fear” has always been so beautiful to me because it describes a place in us that is void of fear, of self consciousness, or worry, of doubt. A perfect place where the one our hearts desire meets us. It’s a love song about a woman and the place inside her soul for her man. I love that aspect of it, but as I was thinking about that song this morning, I thought how beautifully it describes how the Lord wants our relationship to be with him. He wants to meet us inside that complete absence of fear.

Lately I feel like I’ve been coming into my own, and have taken on more and more an attitude of fearlessness. I’ve been saying the things that are on my mind without fear that my thoughts and perspectives will not match up with those around me. I’ve been sharing my art, without fear that no one else will ‘get’ it. I’ve been dressing more and more truly to myself, without fear that my clothes will be judged or deemed out of style. I feel like my “BS” tolerance factor is at an all time low, which correlates to my attitude of fearlessness. I won’t put up with ridiculousness out of fear of stepping on toes if I stand up and speak out.

This morning, specifically, I was listing in my head all the things I have to fear, and why, frankly, I just don’t. These are things I’ve feared in the past, or that lots of people face.

Money. Career. Success.
I’ll lump those all in to one. I’m just over it. Yes, I still want to have a job that gives me fulfillment and that I enjoy. I don’t want to work for peanuts either. But ya know, I’ve been on both ends of success and my happiness and fulfillment was never a direct effect of what I was doing. I do not fear not being successful. My success in life is not based on where I go to work each day. I do not fear being poor. I am poor. And I’m in one of the happiest times of my life. I do not fear financial ruin. I’ve “been” there for all practical arguments. And I’m ok. I’ve seen what striving for a financially thriving career can do to ME. I don’t want to be like that. So I do not fear working where the Lord leads me to work. I have no fear concerning my ‘career’. I like having stuff. Clothes are fun. My car is fun. Eating good food is nice. But none of those things define me and I no longer fear losing them, because they no longer make me who I am. I am thankful for them and enjoy them immensely. My joy would still be complete without.

Love.
I’ve been on both ends of heartbreak. I’ve survived both. I’ve been single and taken. And equally happy. I do not fear never getting married. Sometimes marriage freaks me out anyway and I’m thankful I’m single. Ok marriage freaks me out most of the time. That’s not to say it doesn’t intrigue me as well. It’s fascinating. So is single life. My friends and family give me more joy than you can imagine and marriage is not on my mind. I do not fear living this life the way it is. Forever.

Acceptance.
Over it. I’ve done so many things in my life to be accepted. I’ve changed my hair and my clothes and my laugh and my taste in music. You name it. And for what? For some people that I admire to like me for who I am not. Enough said. I do not fear not being accepted for being who I am.

Health.
My body has been through it. It’s been broken to the point of no return, and has returned. I’ve seen His healing power in ways I cannot even begin to describe to you. My body is not my own. I do not fear getting sick. Or being broken. This type of fear is crippling and I refuse to give it root.

There are more I’m sure. The Lord tells us again and again not to fear. So why must we insist on living our lives preventing the things we are not supposed to fear? He tells us to ask for our daily bread. So why do we fear that we will not have provision 5 years from now? We’re not even promised tomorrow much less 5 more years. Why do we fear not being loved. His is the only perfect sustaining love and we are unable to separate ourselves from it. If I chose to abide in Him in every moment, to take each moment captive and say, ‘in this moment, and just in this moment, I will abide in you, and you will give me life’ what else is left to fear? I want Him to meet me inside the absence of fear. And out of that, be fearless.

“Absence of Fear” lyrics.

Inside my skin there is this place
it twists and turns
it bleeds and aches
inside my heart
there’s an empty room
it’s waiting for lightening
its waiting for you
for i am wanting
i am needing you here
inside the absence of fear

muscle and sinew
velvet and stone
this vessel is haunted
it creaks and moans
my bones call out to you
in their separate skin
make myself translucent
to let you in, for
i am wanting
and i am needing you here
inside the absence of fear

there is this hunger
this restlessness inside of me
it knows that your no stranger
you’re my gravity
my hands will adore you through
all darkness aim
they will lay you out in moonlight
and reinvent your name
for i am wanting
and i am needing you here
i need you near

Aren’t they beautiful. I especially love the “you’re my gravity” line. Isn’t He though?

Live fearlessly knowing your gravity will never release you.

Patina

July 24, 2009

what’s your shade
your tarnish
your remorse

what’s the route
that demands
your recourse

what’s the path
you took
that let you down

what memories
make your
regret abound

how’d your shine
go dull
get buffed out

how’d you lose
that twinkle
in doubt

we all got patina
a sad story
to tell

but we all got hope
a true story

To yell.

tiny hope

April 21, 2009

tiny fingers curled
on the tiny hand that
rests on my chest

i just stare in awe
and hold my breath
to listen to the rhythm of hers

meclem

sweet clementine. my mom caught me staring at her the other night, completely wrapped up in her tiny face, and asked me what was wrong. i was suprised at the question but it made sense. i was looking at her, and wishing already that she didnt have to grow up. that we could just take care of her forever. that she would never have to get hurt, or struggle. that she wouldnt have to deal with boys or insecurities or worry about a job. i cant explain how much i love her already. its weird.  i cant begin to imagine a parents love.

at the same time that i was wishing she never had to grow up, i was also excited for her too. i hope she dreams big! i hope she has lofty hopes and aspirations like her mom and aunt. i hope we can foster her curiosity and creativity like our parents did ours. i hope she knows she can do anything! there’s so much hope for her already, she’s not even big enough to hold it all. she will be!! and i cant wait.

hopefully i’ll spoil her along the way. and get her dirty. and teach her to color outside the lines. and throw conformity to the wind. and to love herself, for herself. oh my darlin you have no idea!!! love love love.

self portrait

April 13, 2009

im wearing my dads deodorant today
and i havent brushed my hair all week
there’s a whole in my sock
and i had cookies for breakfast

i sleep til the last second
on wet hair
that never gets tangled
like these circling emotions
and tangent thoughts

i got blisters on my heart
and bruises on my resolve
but im standing tall
in these yellow heels that hurt
my half healed knee

i got a fun car
but i ignore the mail
hoping nothing will come that
will make me sweat
and regret those wheels
i had to have

gonna be late for work again
and my gas tank’s hovering on e
im such a holy hot mess but
you’d never know to look at me

i get my hopes up over so many things
i dream
i scheme, believe

i get let down by so many things
i steam
i seethe, can’t breathe

im wearing my dads deodorant on today
and i havent brushed my hair all week.

extrano mexico

April 8, 2009

I really wish i was here this week……….. thinking and praying for all our friends and family in mexico.

bikemex

majesty

April 6, 2009

we studied matthew 21:1-11 last night at church. after the 30 minute prayer time before church, my pen just started moving.

‘the majesty that was when he rode into the city- when they laid out the palm leaves so the feet of his donkey wouldnt have to touch the ground- that majesty- that picture of grandeur- that glory is evident and available for us everyday. every morning we wake up is ushered in with that majesty- every worship song we sing- every day we live, every moment spent with him is full of that apparent, overwhelming, real, tangible majesty. don’t ever forget that every moment is accompanied by him. every breath is a blessing and beautifully majestic.’