I absolutely love it when an artistic or creative idea comes to mind. I never really considered myself a very creative person growing up, but I was also very lost. Lost in society and in knowing who and whose I was. There wasn’t much that inspired me, but now inspiration comes often.
The Word – Quadrille
Have you ever been passionate about something? I mean, like vehemently. I feel like this time in my life is a time of new beginnings. It’s become a fire in me.
It’s been a while since I’ve written an original poem following a poetry form. I had to give my try at this quadrille after reading a fellow bloggers post over at A Reader Writr. The poem is in response to a prompt over at dversepoets.
So, back to my question to you: Have you ever been passionate about something? If so, what?
First of all, let me say a big HELLO!!! I’m back from my travels and looking forward to getting the creative juices flowing again. 🙂
Would you consider your time here – your earthly life – a sojourn?
Sojourn: A temporary stay (noun); To stay somewhere temporarily (verb)
I love what Temple Grandin (one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism) said when confronted with the issue of death. A horse had died, and she asked, “Where’d he go?”
It may sound funny, but really is an existential question that we all face. Where do we go when our bodies die?
As for me, I believe that who I really am, returns to my maker once my body dies. My stay here really is temporary.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that is full of darkness. A mountain of madness and a plethora of ugliness happens daily. All-over-the-world.
I am thankful though, that I have big shoulders to rest between. That place of rest is a place of provision and security. My maker remembers that I am but dust, and He is perfect in every way. He provides me with pockets of silence and peace amid all the chaos.
Do you consider your time on Earth a sojourn?
I find it amazing how we are all very individual and unique, yet at the same time we’re all the same. All of humanity searches for answers to the bigger questions of life. Questions with answers that oftentimes seem beyond our reach.
We also have the same needs and inner longings. One of them being the need to belong. Not just the need to belong to a community, or to be a part of something; but a need to belong to someone/thing. We ask, “Who am I?” and rarely, “Whose am I?”
I love this quote by St. Augustine:
- “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
A fellow blogger friend, ‘Rusty Foerger‘ posted something recently that made me think about this universal ‘sameness’. In his post he writes about a well-known Urdu poet, ‘Bulleh Shah‘, from the 16/1700s, and includes a music video by a popular Indian musician (Rabbi Shergill) that was based on his poetry.
Please take a moment to read the post, “I know not who I am”, from “Curriculum of the Spiritual Life”, and watch the following music video.
The Quiet Journey (Monotetra)
Do you think of life as a journey? I do. Looking back, I can easily see that my life has been a journey. The experiences I’ve had. The ups and downs. The joys and pains. The good decisions and the bad, as well as the consequences that came with them. I’ve suffered a lot, and I’ve experienced great joy and peace. I’ve thought a lot and grappled with my world-view. God willing, I still have a good number of years ahead of me, so I know that this journey continues. I’m very thankful that I don’t walk it alone, and that I am constantly learning and growing. I know that the phase, or season that I am currently living will come to an end, and mesh into the beginning of the next one. And when my life comes to an end… that’s just the beginning to a whole new phase.
Do you think of your life as a journey? Have you considered how your experiences and choices have shaped you into who you are today?
The above poem is a Monotetra, which is a form that is made up of four lines in a stanza, each line being eight syllables long and each line rhyming. The last line in a stanza is a couplet of four syllables repeated. This is also in response to “The Reverie Journal’s weekly prompt, which this is week was “Quiet Journey”.
Color me black
Black makes me think of death and darkness. The absence of peace and all that is good. It also makes me think of depression and moodiness. Deep inner sorrow and soul emptiness. A few other things come to mind when I think of black are evil, wickedness and injustice. The absence of God and all the contents of a Pandora’s box.
Black, however, is also a colour that is made up of all other colours, excluding white, so its meaning isn’t all bad. For example, black clothing is very slimming for the figure. It portrays an air of sophistication and is associated with elegance and even mystery.
Looking at black on an individual and very personal level, I see black as the dance of death and the dance of life. The song of sorrow and the song that produces joy. My greatest enemy, but also my best friend. As a Christian, I believe in what the Bible says, “suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” I see it as a paradox. The death of self actually causes a life that is full and a peace that passes all understanding.
Black is a very real colour in the lives of all people. Suffering, pain and death are inevitable, but white and light makes it all bearable. I am thankful to be under the umbrella that rains white and protects me from pure blackness, without hope.
What does black mean to you?
Breath of Heaven – Merry Christmas
Sometimes when I listen to the Christmas song, ‘Breath of Heaven’ (music video in the first comment below) I start to cry. I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”. She was just a young girl when an unexpected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life. She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.
As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is. She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone. And rightly so. Imagine being in her place. A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage. And now she is carrying the son of God.
She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through. God, hold me together (I’m losing it). God, be forever near me (I feel so lost). God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me and I can’t see you). God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart).
I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”. The word breath signifies life. Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems. It’s at the very core of life. When one stops breathing, one dies.
She also recognizes that she’s weak. She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility. But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God. What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is. What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.
*Note on the art piece: Baby’s breath is considered symbolic of everlasting life and purity. I thought it apropos to include it in the star and around the border in response to the song and reflection.
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent. I was away for almost a week and had very little internet access. Plus, it’s summer here in Brazil and the kids are out of school and we will be traveling from the the 26th to January 10th. Once again I will have very little internet access. During this time I won’t be posting, but I will try and visit your blogs when I can get access to the internet and the time to do so.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year celebration.
Killing Me Softly
Have you ever been deeply impacted by a song? I have. The above poem was inspired by the song ‘Killing Me Softly‘. I actually posted this poem recently, but I wanted to put my own mixed media art piece to go along with it. I had the idea to use a dandelion, because I thought it apropos for the message. Once the dandelion has reached it’s life’s end, the wind comes along and blows its seeds all about, falling where they may. Then new flowers are born. Strong flowers with deep roots. Pesky weeds to many gardeners, that’s how strong their roots are. It makes me think about my own experiences. 10 years ago I sensed that God was sharing a message with me through this song, and just recently I sensed that he was showing me that he has been killing me softly throughout these years. The wind of His spirit came and blew away what needed to die, but those seeds fell and produced new life. New life that has deep roots. New life rid of the old and weak.
Have you ever been deeply impacted by a song? Which song? How did it change you?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the type of brush to be able to do fine details like the swoops on the dandelion. I guess we can’t be pleased with everything we do. If you would like to read the original post that inspired this poem, you can do so here.
Poetry Form: Gogyohka
Made to connect
Lover of my soul
Will you listen to me
I know you will
My spirit you see
My heart you touch
My soul you shape
My being is yours
I’m here, please take
Me away to that secret place
Where we connect
Do you long for real relationships? Not the fluff ones, which have no real soul or depth. The superficial ones where you talk about nothing and they don’t have an impact on your life. Do you long for relationships where you truly sense there’s a connection? I do.
Connectivity. It’s what we, human beings long for. It’s what we were made for. Relationships.
This poem was written for the one I have the deepest and most profound relationship with.
Do you have a relationship like that with anyone? Is there anyone you can share your innermost secrets with? If not, do you long for that type of connection?
I wrote this about a year and a half ago, but wanted to post it again because of what I’ve been living recently. As many of you know, I was just in Rio de Janeiro for an arts workshop. When I returned home, there was another big workshop happening here on my YWAM base. It was wonderful connecting with so many people. We really were made for relationship. I believe that with all my heart.
Butterflies often symbolize transformation, and rightly so. I mean, they start out as a creepy crawly caterpillar, bound to the ground. Then they hide away for a bit in seclusion, all alone. Once their cocoon breaks open, they are set free. They’re given a new colourful body and wings to fly.
I like to compare this process of metamorphosis in the natural world to my own life experience. I see myself as this sad, dark and empty girl in the artwork above. Not me today, but years ago when I was young and immature. Years ago when I was asking what the heck I was doing here on Earth. When I was living an empty, meaningless life, without direction or purpose.
When I came to my senses and decided to leave that life behind, my transformation started. It didn’t happen overnight though. I spun a good thick cocoon because it took time. A long time. I am thankful that God has pulled me through. I owe it all to Him, because I know that I couldn’t do it alone. Nobody can.
I would love to know if you can relate to this at all. Please share your own experience.
The above painting was done on recycled material. An empty cereal box actually.