From a smattering of journal entries and my best guesses as to their meaning and/or references:
And sometimes there’s nothing there but a pen and some paper. Somebody has to have no words to say.
Someone has to understand what silence means. Somebody knows why they don’t need to exist out loud. All the time. Constant humming doesn’t always make for a beautiful sound.
But this someone, do they have a name? Do they go around telling people about the religion of silence? Is it that amazing that all should experience the peace of nothing?
Why do I ask such questions?
Meaning: Oh my, I wish I knew! Perhaps I was involved in my creative writing and poetry class in high school that month. I believe that’s the correct year in high school. I was most likely confronted with the idea of words filling up space. this concept may have been driven by the fact that while in high school I had not yet learned how to be peacefully alone, dwelling and breathing in the quiet without an ear to hear my ramblings. Perhaps this came from my philosophy class in which we meditated every morning and practiced the unbelievable and revolutionary act of just breathing. Perhaps!
If I may, I’d like to delve into a few short pieces that prick and tug on some issues and memories surrounding this February season.
I have the scars of names gone by etched upon my thighs
Inside the tightening belt
Moist memories pool in the small of my back
As I scrub the names with brillo
Undone they crack in shallow pieces
Truly all but my emotions falling away
–march 4, 2001
Meaning: After having just endured what can only be called molestation while on vacation in Florida, I wrote this short poem which illustrates the way being used sexually effects a young woman of 17. This image is etched in my mind. I never took a dozen showers trying to clean the filth of my guilt and shame off my skin… instead I wrote about how I wanted their names to scrub off like scales. I knew the scars would last. And 6 years later, they are merely faded, part of the branded artwork of experience that scars any person. I re-read the surface account of that experience and I realized what Law said to me a few months ago is true. I am very, very good at detaching myself from my emotions. And I am quite skilled at compartmentalizing. Nowadays I get angry at myself if I feel negative emotions too strongly. I had a moment of that today with Erik, in fact. That’s why it took me an entire year to voice what had been done to me. I was afraid to feel and confront.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, rape, molestation, or are being used by someone inappropriately, please seek help and tell your story. My silence was damaging. Don’t let yours be.
I don’t think I can ever express this longing…desire… panting of breath. The pulsing that shakes the inside of my stomach and the hot burning rush I feel against my ribcage when your name is spoken. My desire for you is beyond my desire for my next heartbeat. You are within the tune in my head, your many facets of character harmonize with your melodic presence. I can only hear what I’ve been trained to understand. But if you let me, please allow more of your harp to pluck inside my ear, your flute to sing when i breathe out, and your drum to pound with my footsteps.
I long to drape my arms around your neck and feel my face dusted by your hair. I want to know if I can hold onto you forever, linking my hands with yours and swinging our feet together over the edge of some fathomless deep. I want to write your name upon my fingers so you can touch everything I do and move and heat everything I love. You would be under my head as I sleep, rubbing my tears away as I cried, holding someone’s hand, and pounding my heart as it breaks.
I need you.
Meaning: Two days before my father died z”l, I was writing a love note to my Messiah, lover, and friend. I had no idea what would be coming the next day. I had no idea that I would be flying down to Florida with my siblings and Aunt Rose to be a family one last time. I had no vision of death, no fear of loss, and no need to be fulfilled–God supplied all of my needs and He still does. Isn’t it interesting to notice that what God gives you one day… is in perfect timing for the tragedy that will happen the next. I realize now how prophetic the last words of that prose truly were.
Praise to God, my Fortress and my Deliverer! He has made me clean. He has washed my wounds.
You may find this post somewhat depressing or surprising. For many of you, it isn’t new at all. I admit, it brings me into a state of deep emotional contemplation. But I have been so often reminded of old scars, past experiences, pain, and grief in the past few weeks. It seems fitting to explain some of them to you during the season in which they happened. God is abundantly good to me. I cannot believe how I could ever dismiss that truth for one moment, one breath of my life.
Perhaps this explains why I do not like spending Februaries in Florida.