an invitation

it is one thing to be invited in.
and another entirely to be invited out.

there has been a long-standing invitation
of grace
to enter in where it’s safe, be tenderly held, soft and cozy.
to let winter storms rage as we hibernate together
at rest in warm presence.
it is where i have felt met. seen. known. loved.
in that intimate quiet inside-space.

but there is a new invitation
spoken in those deep spaces, and it has sounded like
cocoon-veil tearing open
-almost harsh,
and cold as connection is made
between self-in-becoming and
the air outside.

i curl against this second windy call,
try to work my still-wet body
deeper into the shell
that has cradled me all this time.

but the voice is insistent:

“you have wings, you know.”

do i?
i’ve never seen them.
maybe i don’t after all.
(also. why did you open the door?!
i want to stay here and snuggle
a little longer
until i’m sure i’m ready
sure i can walk.
sure i can fly.)

“you can’t stay in your cocoon forever.”

maybe not
but i like it here…
(though not as much as before you
ripped a window-hole)

“that’s so you can breathe. so you can expand into your truest self.”

i find myself saying yes
to the invitation outward,
and it’s as if i’ve agreed
to have the blankets ripped off
against the morning air
to force me conscious.
i am all kinds of
dripping wet naked
exposed and shivering.

but then i see the others
all in our various stages of becoming;
we are together:
shivering
stretching out sticky atrophic wings
using our muscles
riding the wind.

we are a glorious mess
and it is beautiful.

***

and here is your invitation:

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the Story Sessions community is inviting us (you!) to link up a post that day, themed “the girls we once were”.

join us?

SU-profilepic

Advertisements

i run.

and i fall down the cliffs of fear,
chest encircled by twine-expectations.
i look back to see
what it is he is yelling at me,
what path he tells me to take,
and i stumble
down to rocks that break me again.

so i slow.

take deliberate steps
that i want to take.
stop and breathe the night air,
full of salt and seaweed.
look at the tender grass
around bare feet.
see its softness. appreciate my softness.

and step.

there is a red poppy blowing long in the wind,
awaiting its air-caress each moment.
it is thin and black-tinged,
with stamens standing tall and proud,
even as it bends under pressure.
even as i could snap it from its life source
at any moment.

i swear i will not.

i will hold its stem as tender as my own soul’s.
i will seek nourishment as its roots do,
shallow at first, and deeper over time.
i turn my attention to the wide vista of endless blue.
water and sky collide
and draw my eye and my heart to their
expansiveness, to my own.

i quiet.

in this moment i am unafraid.

i have a voice.

Image

it has been over a month since i have written. like, anything.

you may not believe me, since you have seen my words here, here, and here, as i’ve begun guest posting, begun letting my voice be heard in new spaces.

but ever since i decided to link this previously-anonymous blog with my real name, i have felt totally paralyzed. (i think it is a fear-based-people-pleasing issue – it usually is.) i have stopped writing because WHAT IF I ACTUALLY START TO HAVE AN AUDIENCE??? something in me had previously felt safe to write whatever i wanted and post it because i knew less than a handful of people (whom i knew and trusted) would ever read it. i liked living small.

but here’s the thing.

epiphany has been a new season for me. 

six weeks ago, i was given a gift as i was invited to offer a gift.

we were in the last call for the advent, christmas, and epiphany ecourse i took with tara owens, and she was reading something that described the gifts of the magi, and how we can offer similar pieces of our lives. offering jesus our gold would be offering him our gifts, the frankincense was our prayers, and the myrrh… i’m sure you have heard that myrrh was used for anointing bodies for burial. so as we walked through this part of the conversation, she invited us to offer our “dead things”, to bury them deep in the ground where they belonged.

i imagined myself going into my barren backyard with its layers of wood chips and compost and burying heavy chains, right there in the dirt..

and suddenly something spoke deep inside me:

“voicelessness

and

invisibility

and

powerlessness in general

ARE DEAD TO YOU.

bury them in their grave and be done with them.”

and so i have. something clicked in that moment that made pushing through resistance suddenly make sense, when before, it had always felt like disconnected striving. my false humility was exposed for what it was, and shame lost [some of] its power.

so instead of hanging back in silence, i have spoken up. offered my voice, my hands, my self. that is why i have guest posted, and that is why i am teaching three workshops in the next three months.

and that is why i chose, when i gave my words to new spaces in guest posting, to use my real name. because i am not helpless, and there is no need for fear and hiding.

but as soon as i made that choice, i stopped writing.

{until today.}

the shame still comes up, cyclical, but less, and leaves more quickly – because i see it for the lie it is.

you guys, i have so much to offer.

and offer i will.

i. have. a. voice.

***

here are the three workshops i mentioned, in case you’d like to join me:

::Be. life and the REST of it:: – a journey through lent with brandy walker – i will be teaching one week’s workshop, about found poetry and encountering God. (March 3-April 20)

::Made:: – an ecourse for christian creatives. i will be offering some of my journey with scripture and art-poetry (though i am creating and submitting my workshop for this course within the next 3 months, it doesn’t begin until september 1, and my workshop itself will actually be in december, advent time).

::40 Days of Art Journaling:: i will be joining Elora in leading some members of the Story Sessions community through some introduction to and interaction with art journaling, March 17-April 25.

this metamorphosis

I’m not the same person I was ten-and-a-half years ago, when we married, barefoot on the beach accompanied by hymnsong. I had all the right answers then, in that vague half-light, and none of my own heart. I lived as I thought I should, as I was expected to, as I had been taught.

We were on a mission, and had no idea how lost I was about to feel.

I’m not the same person I was four years ago, when I birthed our first child. Then, I was six years deep in the dark.

Not the windswept wilderness darkness full of the starlight only witnessed when the moon is new. It was the cramped darkness of trying to fit my soul into poorly lit rooms, the familiar spaces now outgrown.

Hell, I’m not the same person I was yesterday.

And yet. I am the same person… [join me for the rest of my guest post over at Sarah Murray’s place: A Lovely Frame]