I chased after saving grace panting
like I do for the salty ocean air.
Once I knew it was there waiting
to be swallowed, my lungs could hardly hold,
so starved they were.
You know what it’s like –
all the things of the world offered to you
when your body was weak
and your mind overtaken.
And then you’re gasping
and something near your heartbeat breaks apart.
You can’t touch it down deep,
but there it is shattered.
You hold these pieces
not remembering who or what broke you
because it happened while
you smiled and closed your eyes.
But then one day a light shines in
and your splintered soul rises, met by a
a wave that heals.
Oh! There’s more grace after saving grace comes
and it’s sent to us until we’re made whole.
You reminded me, standing there
cupping your wine glass amidst the
hushed conversations about breast cancer,
growing children, and refugees in the world,
to walk outside in slippers with
arms outstretched to the sparkly, dusty snow.
How do you pray in the darkness of a blue
morning when the tree limbs whip and reel,
rain batters the yellowed leaves, and
the world has no room for your
thoughts and whispers and cries?
You are my protector, the guard of my soul.
You are ever-present, never-changing,
Extend your mercy,
Pour out your grace.
Hear my cry.
Hear my call.
I am yours.
What I really wanted was for us to break open the crusty bread and fill our mouths with wine
so we would remember who was holding us together when you lashed out and I ran away.
All the urgency of her life builds in the
quiet energy before a storm comes
and the dog roams, agitated and aimless.
Breathing is hard and small moments
start to ache when the clouds break
and black rain pours down cold.
This girl curled on my chest in the early days,
when I was certain, before our hands released
and she began praying for me before bed.
Of course I knew I wouldn’t forever stir
her chocolate milk and watch her stretch
on tiptoe for her pancakes and syrup.
Still, the backs of her knees seem too new
as she walks ahead, her life calling out
in the same way she once cried for me.
What are you chasing, my soul?
Richness surrounds you here.
Open your eyes, see with your heart!
Be here now, my soul.
Beauty bursts with every breath.
Living water springs forth!
Why such busyness, my soul?
You were handcrafted.
Go ahead, feel the weight of love!
All is well, my soul.
You need not fear.
Taste the kingdom.
All is well.
If the sounds of my soul
were the kind you could hear,
you might begin to understand.
There is this song that plays at the center
of an awakened soul, changing with the
light in the sky and the nearness of love.
It’s the first few lines of So What and
Bach’s Goldberg Aria Variation No. 2 with
Gould’s barely audible humming.
It’s Glass’ haunting Island and
the Marche Funebre of Chopin’s Sonata No. 2
all the way to the end.
It’s the play in Louis and Ella together,
the promise in Sentimental Mood, and
the hope in Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
But it’s also beach waves and bamboo chimes,
Grieg’s Wedding Day, Ray Brown on the bass,
and Chet Baker on his horn.
Oh, that you would hear the sounds of
this enlivened soul and know what I mean
when I ask you to listen.
Something about Clair de Lune in my earphones
and the whipping storm-wind pushing my steps
toward the butterfly drinking down nectar
reminded me of the beauty you are growing
in the silence of my soul.
This silence is too loud.
I should unlock my hands.
Don’t breathe that fast.
My job title should be slightly different.
This silence is too long.
My cheek itches.
I shouldn’t have used those words.
I wish he would see me differently.
This silence is too deep.
I wonder if she loved me.
She ignored me.
I was little, I didn’t know.
This silence has gone too far.
Don’t keep walking that way,
It’s too close, it’s too close!
Open your eyes, break the silence!
No, the clouds are moving so fast
and the grass tickles the backs of my knees,
making me laugh, my hands behind my head.
Oh! The sun beats down on my six-year old toes
and I close my eyes tight, dizzied by the
size of the sky and how I don’t see where it ends.
This silence is too beautiful.