a question

a dreamer's landscape

What is love?

I know I am not the first to ask this question, I shall certainly not be the last, yet I stretch forth my voice and ask it all the same. I cry to the cosmos and nothing returns but an echo.

Some would say it is physical intimacy. Yet this is ultimately unsatisfying, and temporary. It also places us no higher than animals. I refuse to accept this choice.

Love is a warm breeze, caressing your cheek as it passes on its journey. Love is the brush of two hands together, unintentional, yet laden with meaning. Love is caring more for another than you do for yourself.

Love is all of these things, yet none of them at all.

Love hurts. When you love, you open yourself unconditionally to another person, and they will often hurt you, despite their best efforts. And you will take it. There…

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entirety

I have been suspended in space

For longer than I care to remember,

My feet ripped from the breathing earth,

My head trapped and surrounded by purple nebulae and wheeling giants,

Reaching for some semblance of ground

As I drifted further into the dusk.

 

They claimed to be breathtaking,

Spinning and lost as they were.

Claimed to show me the galaxies and the planets,

And all the corners of the universe.

So I dove for them, further away from the dirt,

Plunged from security, into the deep of the night,

Reaching for stars that disappeared as I drew near.

Mirages, shadows,

Grasping at clouds,

Light that turned to darkness,

And crying at the sudden emptiness.

 

But then,

A boy put his arm around my back,

And helped me back to the grass and the wind and the quiet sound of rain.

And we lay in November leaves, and looked up.

His eyes, safe. Body, warm.

And finally,

I began to see the entirety

Of the universe.

moon

After all of this time,

I still believe that we met in a dream.

Like the dark side of the moon,

forever masked in the shadow of reality —

real, or not real —

you are my Schrödinger’s cat.

Perhaps underneath your skin,

you are trying to find me too.

Perhaps when we both reach,

we only draw further away.

I understand this:

you are the shadow,

and light only hides your face.

You are the other side of my soul,

and I am your ghost.

 

up & away

Blinds drawn in a room

that used to smell like summer.

You can’t always tell

if you’re underwater.

But you’re alone

beneath the atmosphere,

and hoping someone else

is drowning here.

Close your eyes,

and feel the thunderstorm.

It’s all around you

in your handmade downpour.

Before the lights turn on,

you’ll be swimming in the sky.

Up and away,

the rain will carry you through the night.

echolocation

It was only ever a very small step away.

Roll through the kinesthetics until you lose your balance, like you always do. It’s so hard to stand on two feet when the ground is fluid. Bunny trails and rabbit holes lead to roughly the same place and you’d do just about anything to fall all the way down. You find yourself, quite literally, in a world of your own making, and there isn’t a way out that you can see.

You keep on coming back to the way that things should be, like a dog with a tennis ball, but that wasn’t what this was ever about. Perhaps it would be easier if you could leave your skin and float in a different dimension, one where you were only aware of the way things sound. But you know that isn’t how life works, and you’re trapped in a visual reality. The way you see life becomes a mirror — one that is dark on the other side. Everything bounces off of the sounds, comes back to your brain, tells you what to see.

Strings rumble through your consciousness like thunder. Is this a dream?

Make a sound. Call out to the shadow of what may or may not be inspiration. What comes back to you? Can you hear it?

The Gospel and Northerness; or, Preaching to the Why

I don’t normally repost on here, but I could never express this idea in better words.

Travis Whitehead

C.S. Lewis called it “Northerness”. An overwhelming, bittersweet longing in your gut when confronted with the stark, harsh, beauty of the world. It rests heavy on a man’s heart and in his mind before bleeding into a sense of deep joy. Joy that I am very small and there is something very, very big of which I am a part.

I won’t try to improve on Lewis’s own description of northerness, found in Surprised by Joy:

Pure “Northernness” engulfed me: a vision of huge, clear spaces hanging above the Atlantic in the endless twilight of Northern summer, remoteness, severity… and almost at the same moment I knew that I had met this before, long, long ago. …And with that plunge back into my own past, there arose at once, almost like heartbreak, the memory of Joy itself, the knowledge that I had once had what I had now lacked for years, that…

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first february

My Februaries have always been new times. But the repetition of the newness is an oldness in and of itself. Today is the first song on a dusty 12-track vinyl that somehow surprises you with new melodies every time.

I know February isn’t thought of as the month of newness. That’s January, naturally – thirty-one days of fresh starts, resolutions, decisions, tiny shoots in the skeletal dirt and snow. But fresh starts don’t last long. Some shrink, some lose their meaning, some melt and trickle into forgetfulness. But, thank Goodness, others grow. Habits can be lost, or they can settle into a comfortable rhythm, a steady relationship, well-worn and well-known, soft leather and warm pajamas. No, there aren’t any fruits yet. Those days are still to be known. Spring, the days of growing. Summer, the days of nurturing. Autumn, the days of harvesting. But that’s not discouraging — it’s exciting. Today is the half-way point between winter and spring, after all. Today reminds us to keep moving forward: Winter always ends, and it always ends in spring. No matter what happens, there will always be that rebirth, the newness from the beginning of time. It’s so secure. So comfortable.

There are so many songs and stories that you will come to know. So many loves, ideas, tragedies, losses, adventures. You will meet so many souls. Like you always have, like you are doing now. Just like you do, every February. I promise they’re all there, as concrete as much as the present. They’re so close, but just barely ahead, friends standing and waving across the street. What you will see and learn draws from today. The next moments come from this moment. Like they always do.

It’s so wonderfully repetitious, so old, so fresh, so known. It’s so comfortable.

There’s no need to run towards it. The seeds you sow now will grow, and you’ll know them soon. Until then, have a warm, safe, comfortable, happy First.

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(art not by me)