Junk

 

Junk.

We exhaust ourselves paying for it, storing it, protecting it. Yet we remain as disconnected from our stuff as we do from each other.

Perhaps there’s some connection.

Acquisition is one measure of keeping score, of staking out a distinct personality. What I collect may give you some insight into who I am or the priorities that I’ve set.

But it can also signal an obsession over barriers and boundaries. Sometimes physical, sometimes psychological. “Don’t touch my stuff” can just as easily be understood to mean “don’t get too close to me.”

There is nothing inherently disordered in the things themselves or in our desire to acquire them. But we need to look beyond our stuff in order to better understand our time and place here.

That so many more of us now have an opportunity to access or maintain financial resources above and beyond that which we actually need to live is somewhat astounding – if not historic. That the disconnect between us grows ever greater is not.

To be clear, I am not here advocating a minimalist approach to life. Nor do I believe that simply cleaning out the storage bins in our attics – or our heads – will make us happier, more connected people.

But a more mindful look beyond our junk, with a recognition that its shelf-life is certainly no greater than our own, may help us to maintain our focus on the things that will surely outlive us all.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Weep

 

Weep for the hatchlings wobbling in the summertime,

Only to watch them grow into magnificent beasts.

Weep for the wounds that never seem to heal,

Only to find them binding you to your peace.

Weep for the destruction all around you,

Only to realize, in your desperation,

You have been given yet another

Chance.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Dirt Roads

 

Bumping my head against the window, I’m startled back into consciousness.

It’s been some time since we started down these winding dirt roads. Exhaustion had finally overtaken me and I had fallen asleep.

I have only the vaguest recollection, now, of exactly when it began.

None at all about the why.

Yet here I am, about to enter this place. This, supposedly, new beginning.

Everything feels familiar. As if these might be the very grounds from which I had started out so many years ago.

Or was it yesterday?

It doesn’t matter. I am no longer the man that I pretended to be. Dirt roads have a way of shaking loose the accumulated debris, leaving behind only those things with which we began.

But none of it was supposed to be permanent anyway.

Except these dirt roads.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Endless Rain

 

The glass fully exploits its short tenure as both prism and prison, scattering the daylight before it disappears.

Soon, the winds that carried you here turn sideways. And we are treated to the illusion of time and gravity bending back in on themselves as you, seemingly, escape the way you came in.

But we know the truth.

The ground, now soggy, plays witness to the exposed places that will soon ripen with mildew and rust.

You have played your part exceedingly well, with rhythm and reason, both.

And you have left us wanting more.

But just not today.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Fissures

 

A lifetime of distress can leave behind many fissures.

Some are of the ordinary kind. Ones meant only to separate us from our youth, or to cleave us from our failures, all while providing cover for unique new beginnings and a reconnective healing.

Others cut more broadly, more deeply. Severing any chance of acceptance or reconciliation with the past. It is in and through these difficult times that we may find ourselves becoming that which we were truly meant to be.

A relentless temptation may then urge us to draw near all those loved ones who have, themselves, sacrificed (albeit in their own haphazard way) to stay well and far behind us.

Know that they too have their own battles and confusions and loneliness. And that they, too, may now be determined to cast us back down along with them.

But also know that the very thing that may have separated us from ourselves – the one, perhaps, that caused the most suffering – may now be the only thing that actually saves us. Only then can we begin to find peace. Even in the spaces between.

The ones daring us on our way to the other side.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Shepherds

 

What if my one true calling was to shepherd you through? To help you see that you are loved beyond all human understanding, and despite every human frailty?

I often question my own dedication, my own determination, whenever I see you paralyzed or feel you floating away. It’s likely that your wild vulnerabilities first beckon my own, only to then commingle. To the point at which it becomes nearly impossible to know which life I am trying to save.

Or which one I am ready to let go.

It’s pointless to think about it all for too long. And perhaps too dangerous. Let’s just take each moment as it comes.

One day, we may need to know the exact moment when the shepherd and the sheep exchanged places. Or became as one.

But not today.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Yesterday’s Broken Glass

 

Your dispassionate dismissal of the moment presses you back towards traumas once withstood, scars left untended.

Sometimes, you want nothing more than a return to this past. One that is both terrifying and familiar, destructive and comfortable.

Yes, there can be no relief without some walking back. But have you willingly exchanged today’s benign indifference for yesterday’s broken glass?

Shed no more tears for what might have been. Not while tomorrow’s prophecies are so close at hand.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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For Want Of A Dove

 

Days are chaotic and nights are a terror

For want of a dove

Symbols and signs and roadmaps have failed us

For want of a dove

Battles and scars and tumult close out our days

For want of a dove

Tomorrow’s promises will fade like today’s

For want of a dove

Come find

me

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Vanity

 

“Vanity of vanities. All things are vanity”

(Ecclesiastes 1:2)

If even the very hairs on our head have been numbered, then so too have our days.

And as for all those sleepless nights, unbearable scars, and unyielding struggles, well they too have been counted since long before time began. They too have been sanctioned.

But not every crisis, unexpected death, or violent retaliation has been unleashed for a godly purpose. Not every obstacle placed in our way is some mystical test of our faith or our willpower or our strength.

Sometimes, bad stuff just happens.

Most of us know of the emotional and physical callouses that result from trying to build a life for ourselves and for our families. We are as familiar with all the baggage as we are with all the joy.

Both are quite real.

But often, some of those earliest – and best – intentions have provided all of the excuses we needed to start cutting corners, to start looking for that edge, to start . . . going low.

Competition is healthy and necessary. And it really does bring out the best in us. Until it doesn’t. Until we can no longer compete for the win, however defined.

And so we start to grab ahold of anything and everything at an accelerating pace, and with a tightening grip. Soon, all that which we have held begins to slip through our fingers like so much dust.

It’s all dust.

It’s all vanity.

But if we can remember that, perhaps other doors will open. Ones that just might lead us back home.

During these days of Lent, I’ve been reminded to look for the open doors, instead of staring at the dust that now covers my hands.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Remarkable

 

What’s remarkable is the morning, with its disinfecting sunlight and fresh promises, no matter where the night may have left you.

What’s remarkable is the afternoon, with its opportunities to regroup and rethink and reorganize, no matter how crazy the morning has been.

What’s remarkable is the evening, with its quiet solitude and a chance to reflect, no matter the successes or failures of the day.

What’s remarkable is tomorrow.

Every single time.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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