The First Dialogue:
The belly swole with hands and clay
with blueprints and paints and daydream
first-books and night-lights
all this articulation and song
all formation ex-nihilo
mounting like clouds
about to give way their wealth
like a gray hand at the tip of a roof
heavy and never
drops down window panes
or poised at the mouth of a bony river
but never plump ripples
or broadening shores
just hope, about to touch the ground
her tiptoe never quite reaching
don’t you think it about time
the earth shook?
That water find its way through the creekbed
That we escape almost, and begin spirit
You’ll never be happy
suspended that way over the water
dreaming the taste of salt
pressed against the bars of soon
Let’s birth a new harvest
a fountain of motion
roll out green at our feet
stilt up trees
uncork our lungs and let the sky in
When I was in grad school, poetry was my lifeline, a snorkel that kept me from drowning. It bubbled out of me—all the darkness and trauma and love and fears and longing. I’d say it was the first step in connecting my inner world to the outer.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my life cultivating a rich inner life. Daydreaming, reading, processing, praying, thinking, feeling. It’s been my safe space throughout the years.
When I got my MFA in Poetry it was like my soul had gotten too full. It was spilling out in words all over the place–involuntary, raw, relieving.
There’s a quote I’ve come to deeply identify with in the last couple years by Sandra Cisneros,
“My weapon has
always been language,
and I’ve always used
it, but it has changed.
instead of shaping the
words like knives now,
I think they’re flowers,
Those compulsory poems stopped after graduation and I didn’t quite understand my relationship to language, I had only known poetry as a spiling of darkness and not a cultivation of joy. I was still on a journey to connect my inner and outer worlds but used painting, collaging, and eventually created Lavish Community.
I’m sharing this poem today because it represents the Lord’s gentle call forward into more.
I haven’t told many people this but this last year the Lord called me to be on a sabbatical–no full time work and a focus on rest.
My sabbatical officially ended on the one year anniversary of the Lavish Dinner (this last Saturday, May 11th). Looking back, while the journey was uncomfortable at times, it also feels like THE most lavish gift I’ve ever received. The three years prior to this rest were the hardest of my life–specifically because I was in intensive therapy processing grief and trauma. The Lord invited me to be taken care of by Him for an entire year–to sleep late, cook, take walks, journal, paint, drink tea. He wasn’t concerned with what I was producing, how much spiritual progress I was charting, what I was learning–He was focused on my heart.
My husband and I have laughed often because I based Lavish Community on the concept that God’s immense love covers us when we have nothing to offer Him. He used this year to teach me everything I was trying to teach others, but didn’t believe for myself. The grace of this rocks me.
Now I stand on the threshold of a new season and mostly what I feel is…gratitude. I believe this rest in his perfect safety and love has finally knit together my inner and outer worlds. I believe this rich inner life he has gifted me with will be a gift to the world. For the first time in my life I feel ready to pour out and know that He’ll fill me as I do. I feel abundance, overflow. I feel seen, loved, ready. The poem in this post is not made of knives but bridges and flowers, the first of many I hope.
Is it the Velveteen Rabbit that says you become real by loving? Let this be a season of becoming real.