Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sleeping Beauty

Dear truest lover,
It's your kiss alone that will wake me from this tossing 
turning sleep.
Spinning silks go round the needle's prick, 
will your absence make this curse complete? 
My eyes forever closed to you, their only wanted sight
--even when this world's darkness folds to the daybreak 
of heaven's light. 
Or will you fight the demons there 
so that our lips can meet, 
and breathe your breath as life for mine, 
unraveling the spell, 
like silken threads the ties that bind 
our restless hearts 
and make our searching dreams complete. 
And here we'll live until, 
gravity can no longer hold our wings,
feathered by unnumbered years. 
Unbound by the strings 
of this old earth's mortality and fears, 
we are two eternal lovers it could never hope to keep. 
So at the close of this life's last turn, 
you'll fly away with me. 
We'll tell our story to the stars, 
echoing infinitely through the skies,
and they'll shine with the magic light of our love 
forever to repeat.

Will We Ever Fit Back Together?

We stood around the sculpture in the sun, shadows casting perfectly, light spilling through the open spaces, the green hue of the image basking in its intended setting...

A couple of Wednesdays back, I had the privilege of listening to the sculptor of a current piece of public art discuss his newest addition to Chattanooga's outdoor sculptures which are scattered across the city. His sculpture, Wedged, conjures thoughts of two pieces, whether animate or inanimate, most certainly intimate, separated by time, space, a rift, a disagreement, a lie, a truth...a wedge.

Of course, we all looked. We walked around. We asked questions. We made comments. While we all felt these two pieces were once together our imagined relationships were different: mother and child, lovers, an axe, a textile to name a few.

"'Even though I can tell these two pieces were once one, it looks like they may have been apart so long that they won't fit back together anymore." Someone offered a statement that stirred my mind in revelations.

How many situations, people, parts of life work out that way? How many times are we part of something that works as a whole, but when taken away from it, we are apart for so long that we no longer fit together upon a return. Friends, jobs, lovers...self. We are so close to these people and situations that we know the next move, the next breath, the next words like a heartbeat in the clockwork of our lives. Then we move (away to college, off to a new job or city) or take a break (an extended vacation, a mission trip, a separation to re-group) or meet a new idea that shifts our perspective. And the rough edge where we once fit perfectly to someone (or something) else begins to change; the surface of our soul softens or sharpens and we don't match exactly anymore where we once connected like two pieces of a puzzle.

What if my soul mate and I have been apart for so long, having never found one another that we don't fit? What if my dearest friends and I have been in separate places for so long our lives are too different to be compatible? What if I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself? What if we've all been apart so long, we no longer fit together?

Isn't that how most of life is, though? Didn't we all once fit? To God. To Spirit. To One. To each other? Then, we were broken apart, wedged, fragmented. Maybe that's part of our purpose, to continually soften and sharpen until our pieces all fit together again. Or to learn how to love and live even with the incongruities, knowing we are all parts of a more magnificent Whole.


Torn in two, four, six, eight...

so many places to be I don't have time to appreciate.

Swiftly tilting, turning, spinning...

in control and out, my world is moving faster and faster and faster about

Splintered, cracked, crumbling...

holding it all, afraid of fumbling.

Fragmented by the weight of gravity...

shooting for the stars, daring to dream, making it work spilling across the universe.

Torn apart when...

my heart can't see the end. Still hoping someday to be whole again. Then...

Broken into pieces at the sound of...

your voice, your ringtone, any thought of you.

And in those few seconds, I am unglued. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reactivation: The Night Before

A few final thoughts as the Facebook fast closes in toward its end...

Honestly, I feel healthier having had a break from Facebook, like he is an unhealthy relationship I needed distance from or time to learn how to only be friends. Sure, I have missed some updates about things (marriages, birth announcements, break-ups, hang-ups, triumphs, and losses), but most of the people who really want me to know something have called me or texted me or invited me into their lives in a more personal way than the public purview of social media. 

I truly think that Facebook is a form of mass behavioral conditioning--a way to socially conform the general population. I mean, we post statuses and receive reinforcement through the number of "likes" and comments. Most of us shy away from posting things that won't receive any "likes" or comments because we all want to be liked or noticed; in fact, negative attention is better than no attention. Some of us don't want to offend, so we keep our real ideas hidden. Some of us want a rapid line of interest fired in our direction so we say anything that will focus the spotlight on our stage. And so we learn to make posts that will make us popular or we learn to make ostentatious statements that will surely turn someone's eyes (and thoughts) our way. It's a public forum for conformity and a need to be noticed at its core. Like high school in techno format. You can "like" the same things as the people you want to be like. You can be "friends" with people you don't even really know. You can seldom ever talk to or see the people you know the very best. You can love from afar. You can bully with biting ferocity. There are even options to "unfollow" or "unfriend" for whatever reason: you only want to be "friends" with the elite "cool kids", you just can't deal with someone anymore...See, like high school with virtual hallways for everyone to witness any sort of worldly public humiliation. We also grow less capable of reading and responding to real people during real human interactions. Our chances of depression increase. Our creativity and imagination is stifled. We take more time to heal from break-ups and other heartaches. It's a culture (whether civilized or uncivilized) complete in itself and we are the citizens of its making.

Then, there are those of us who refuse to participate (at varying degrees). Whether we are selective in our posts and interactions or choose to take small breaks from the world of social media or ditch it all together, whether we make a conscious effort to have real, face to face interactions with people we consider our friends or log-out at meal times and quality times and other in-between times, whether we refuse to let the number of likes we think we'll receive (or not) make us second guess a post that reflects who we really are or let the number of people in our friends list determine some preconceived self-value, some of us still find ourselves seeking interactions that are real and genuine above the binary limits of the virtual plane.

So, even though I'll be reactivating my Facebook account some time tomorrow/today, I'm doing so with more thoughtfulness than I had before.