2010: your utter limits

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the thing we don’t tell

our children is that

 

life gets harder as we get older;

 

that, despite the new and amazing and

mind-blowing things we discover,

 

life will push you to your utter limits.

 

how did this design come to be?

that our offspring witness our demise, and then their own?

 

that their friends die around them;

that their hearts are shredded before they even leave home?

 

i’m not asking for answers.

so keep your books shut.

 

i’m asking the questions that have no answers,

 

the questions that need to be asked

even as they fall open to infinity.

 

the year my marriage broke apart for the last time,

a piece of me died.

 

the year my dad died,

a piece of me died.

 

incidentally, it was the same year.

 

i will never be the same –

nor do i want to be.

 

that would mean this life isn’t happening.

to me.

 

this is my life.

 

a decade earlier, the moment my daughter was born,

a piece of me burst open and expanded

 

into something more beautiful and terrifying

than i ever imagined possible.

 

now i walk around with a new fear –

of losing her, of seeing her hurt, of knowing that

 

someday she will lose me.

 

this is our life: our collective

fears, loves, hopes, tragedies, dreams.

 

this is our ride: as we hold on,

hold each other, hold life

 

in our hands.

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singing down the sun

it is hardest to write

a poem for your

 

self; instead of sending it

out, off into the universe,

 

this one drills down,

directly in:

 

straight through

the sin and lore

 

and shimmer

of deflection

 

to the very

core.

 

how can we be capable of

such great heights and

 

such despicable

depths?

 

we keep making plans,

making plans,

 

pretending we will never

fall across the threshold.

 

if you wait long enough

in a still, small room;

 

if you can out-pace

the race of your fear;

 

you can hear

its call:

 

spirit narrating

from beyond,

 

embodying

all —

 

telling you to look

to the sparrow, to the

 

love-numbered hairs

on its regal head,

 

ward of boundless wonder

flying without worry

 

just above our

milling austerity;

 

singing down

the sun.

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the opposite of trauma

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on this pilgrimage, i take direction from

an old blind woman:

 

she knows the bones of the city

from the times before it was a city.

 

we climb and watch the clouds

accumulate, swirl across the

sky face like a sensate clock,

 

bear witness

with our bodies

as they open in wordless

 

prayer: motion, rhythm,

breath — the things men run from.

 

we come home and place slips

of spiral paper into bead boxes:

 

let go of the worry chain.

 

call forth the abundance

of our human inheritance.

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brief blink

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you are getting better at this:

moving these murmurs through time;

 

listening beyond the trickle of life-blood

to the more ever-lasting.

 

how else do you manage the fear?

 

it is going to end someday, this leg

of the path, these moments you have known,

 

these glorious-rugged breaths;

 

the clock coming to a slow stop

inside this gentle chest.

 

for a brief blink, you will take it all with you;

then you will begin the next forgetting:

 

the forging that allows you to keep existing

until you come face-to-face with the god-frame

 

from which you were sprung.

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10 months; 100 followers (or, life is ridiculously grand)

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Well, I’ve just reached 100+ followers on this blog and received the token ‘trophy’ notification. So, a big THANK YOU is in order for all of you who are clicking on the links, reading, liking, commenting, and sharing in this adventure with me.

It’s hard to believe it has been almost one year since I started this, my first blog. It was something I had always wanted to do, but for many years I was extremely private with my personal writing. I think it took many years of public (professional) writing for me to realize that a) I have something to say, b) I am pretty good at saying it, and c) It is really inspiring and therapeutic to compile a bundle of thoughts/visions/emotions into a word-package and have people (including my own past/present/future selves) connect with and respond to it.

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I have also been encouraged by some very dear friends and coworkers to ‘put myself out there’ in more ways than one. With their help — and some serious inner urging — I have taken some drastic steps of faith over the past year… I have been unemployed twice, I have submitted several manuscripts to various publishers, I have ventured out into start-up business ideas such as freelancing and e-book publishing, and I am branching out further into blog-world at http://michellewarner.hubpages.com/ if you’d like to follow me down this new rabbit trail.

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Looking back, I am so grateful for all of the gifts — words, love, this blog, these connections, the signs, the seasons, the impressions, the infectious laugh of my teenage girl, the comforting company of my feline, the unrelenting support of my family and friends who reach in with both hands and pull me out of my self-flagellating funk time and time again. I am ultimately grateful to God who has sustained me and my family, who has continually shed a light on my path just in time, who has provided a true peace beyond all understanding — even in the midst of chaos, change, and uncertainty.

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I am alive. I am awake. I am moving (locally) for the third time in four years and am panic-excited about where I will go, who I will meet, what I am meant to do, and who I will continue to become. Life is ridiculously grand.

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i walked by the church, stepped toward the stones,

tugged on the big red door; it was heavily locked.

i crossed on the breeze to the open art gallery

and stared at human handiwork. it’s just as well —

god isn’t in a building: god is in us; in our aching;

in our movements toward each other; in our

deep desire to feel, to be, to get lost and then found.

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