No Cake By the Sea…Spare Us Please!

It is such a shame that a cute pop dance song comes out that for once seems like it might be a fun-loving goofy song to jam to, only to find it, it too is about sex. Not only just about sex, but about having sex in a public place. Now we have a whole generation of Jonas worshipers declaring to the world that they want to have sex out where all the world can see. Really is sex the only thing we can sing about these days? I feel like I am part of an ignorant and pleasure crazed society. So much for childhood. So much for nature. So much for visiting LA anytime soon.

Naming Myself

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I have been calling myself half my name for awhile now. Growing up my middle name joined my first like I stalked my sister when she went to neighbors houses to play. Sometimes she did not even realize I was in the same room. The three letters were present in body and breath and often the middle name forgot it was a separate entity. And that kind of enmeshment of name one and name two was quite lovely, but did not erase the truth that name two was a plain jane much like daughter two was all chubbs and acne. The problem was name one never really wanted name two tagging along so when daughter two went to high school and she was too busy being reborn for childish obsessions with her sister, she was also too new to keep her double moniker. So three letters were dropped like a hot pot handle. 15 years later I think I’ve come full circle. I miss my name, and I really love my sister.

What My Parents Gave Me

What my parents gave me was a respect for those over the age of middle aged. Aged, a word which brings my mind to cheese, and the reality where the longer the cheese wheel breathes, the more respected it becomes. We don’t think like that here, not about each other. We are too busy determining when each clarifying label can be glued to our chest like a red letter, not a badge of courage. Elder means so much in terms of dignity and authority, but put a modifying “ly” at the end and you’ve spelled a disease, you’ve pointed toward the slow crawl toward death, and we fear it. Why are we so afraid. The other side of death is dark and unknown. If there is a hell, we would like to avoid it. If there is nothing, well we despise it. All life’s accomplishments stripped away. Naked we come, and so we shall leave this world. Each moment that passes takes us all one moment closer. My parents taught me not to fear death. That’s why they did not fear the aged ones, but loved them with a kind strength. They taught me that there was much to receive in a nursing home and many to love. My parents let me dance and skip around and hide and blush. They taught me to sing out my love to the white haired dignified and respected ones. They taught me that there was something after death, or rather Someone. And that Someone would be waiting for me someplace. And maybe if we were so blessed, all the beautiful white haired aged ones we had just met would be there too. When I was young enough to miss the sadness on their faces, I thought it was nice to sing Christmas songs in my red dress white tights and black patten-leather shoes. It was nice. Nice not to fear. Nice not to drown in misplaced guilt when I see someone else Yaya mourning their past life, alone.
I will never forget those lovely trips to the nursing home. I later learned my maternal grandfather was placed in one for a short time at the very end of his life. Although they visited him, they still felt something was lost in the move. But even in this my parents taught me one important thing. They taught me to remember. And they taught me to act on those remembrances. What kind of action? They taught me to sing.

My Girl Joan

I like a lot of things about you. You were a fighter, like I have always been. You stood side by side with men but did not let it turn you into one of them. You did not grow needy of them nor did you lose your heart to any of them. You were a true leader, and a truer friend. You knew the power of tough words delivered like the blows of a hammer. You never lost yourself, not your personhood nor your femininity. Even in armour and pants you were all woman,  in compassionate vulnerability; in gracious administration. You led with as much ferocity as class. You fought with as much piety as holy wrath. And you died in as much tragedy as triumph. Joan, dear little Jeanette. You have rocked the world with your uneducated genius. You have shocked the faith with your uncompromising decisiveness. You have paved the way for a holistic spirituality that engages culture, politics, injustice, patriarchal egoism, and the religious hypocrasy of any age. Because of you we realize that victory comes in many shades, even sometimes red.

Find Me Later

Find me later when I’m happy
When life’s contractions ease to black
And my lonely quiet moments
Have embraced my broken ends

Find me later when I’m happy
When ambition’s tolls’ve been paid
And my lonely quiet moments
Have entrenched my soul with grace

Find me later when I’m happy
When demands of loved-ones still
And my lonely quiet moments
Have engulfed my harried past

Staying Home

I wasn’t able to see
Instead I read
But as I did I was taken to a colorful space
One free of everything I wasn’t able to see
I wasn’t able to think
Instead I dreamed
But as I did I was taken to a beautiful place
One free of everything I wasn’t able to say
I wasn’t able to speak
Instead I hid
But as I did I was taken to a lonely space, a dark place
One free of everything I wasn’t able to be

Dance Partner

The Lord is my dance partner

He meets all my creative needs

He doesn’t push beyond my limits

He soothes my inner turmoil at his touch

He is a cool drink of water for my soul

He focuses on steps and technique not just

choreography as His reputation is on the line

Even though I have come to the end of myself, and my dancing feels like death,

I will not fear failure

Because Your palm presses gently to my back

Your hands and eyes protect me from falling and

Comfort me with their demand that I hold my lines, keep my frame, raise my head

You boldly invite the competition to warm up with me

Then plant a kiss on my brow before we take the floor

And my joy surges to the sky!

Surely beauty and grace will chase our footfalls each beat of the song

And I will dwell in the gaze of His eyes
      Forever

Cleaned by Words

If all I ever get to do in this world is breathe

I guess that is good enough for the likes of me

If all I ever accomplish is learn to smile

I guess that is the best gift that I can offer

Yet even in the breathing and smiling I wreak

I spin unwanted curses and dead things into motion

From the imaginary to the gray matter to the otherworldly

Places too bright and shimmery for the likes of me

So I hover in time softened hovels with guilt red bricks

And shame grey sandstone, covering my head with

too long grimy hands, gnarled by wind and sun and rain

 I long for a stronger lungs, access to less perverted oxygen

and then like the softest tear falling down the youngest cheek

That sound. Sweet. Pure. Alive. Warm. Strong. Free.

“My Beloved.”

 I am cleaned by words, the likes of me.

Tread Lightly Into My World

Tread lightly into my world

Do not disturb the greenery

Do not rearrange the linens

Do not upset the keepsakes on display

 

Tread lightly onto my stage

Forget not the author’s pen

Forget not the director’s chair

Forget not the choreographer’s blocks

 

Tread lightly upon me

Lay not atop my needs

Lay not aside my feelings

Lay not against the current of my soul

 

Tread lightly into my world

Resist the desire to fix me

Resist the urge to control me

Resist the pattern of trying to live for me

There aren’t enough words for love in the English language

Despite the instinctive way we always stuck together

I feel myself stretched apart like taffy that neighbors

used to pull when horses carried families to town

The stickiness of all this strain freezing me to this place

 I cannot deny the strangely thick sentiments which bind us

 Nor can I pretend that they are only from the place where I begin

 because grandchild or child of your friend or niece

 You’ve seen me as an almost-daughter at least

Amidst this pinkish gray blob of feeling

The words I dreaded to hear fell from your tongue

 to your lips to thin air to my ears to God’s heart

Who’s lifting my downcast head as I depart