the runner

i have leagues & leagues of stories
from & of my father —

from long-striding walks and laughing on cabin floors
to the time he lay on the office carpet
in the basement of our old house
and read just so stories –
language came alive that day,
rhythm and shaped words
as the dust streamed through that tiny window
above his desk
and time was endless

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“What d’you bring grapes for?”

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Brothers Karamazov

I recently finished up the third and final season of Broadchurch, a police procedural drama aired originally on iTV in the UK that was then run on BBC America. It stars the incredibly talented David Tennant and Olivia Colman, as well as a bajillion other incredible actors.

If you know me pretty well, you know that I have loved the show from the scraps I could watch during UK-only initial airing of its first season. The dry humour and expressive reactions crack me up and the production value is stunning. The score (Olafur Arnalds!), lighting, writing, acting, directing, cinematography, David Tennant’s hair… all of it is redonkulous. I mean, just LOOK at this gorgeous camerawork:

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the anchor that i tie to my brain

Now that I’m older, I’m haunted.

John Henry was my favorite American legend as a child. We burned tire tread on our Chik-Fil-A cassette tape retelling the myth in our old cloth-seat van. The narrator’s voice, the cadence, the story of a man who burst his heart outracing a machine — the story imprinted in my pulse, a tattoo of instincts and impulse and running headlong knee-knock heart-first toward something greater.

When you’re five, or seven, or maybe even thirteen, you can run forever. But now I plod along. My feet and the rest of me are heavier. My bones are denser, my frame greater. I can run, but running takes practice, not forgetfulness.

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Twenty-Two

I finally did it. In October of last year I finally jammed out to “22” by Taylor Swift. I was driving back from a friend’s apartment in my scraped-up Avalon and it popped up on Spotify.

I cranked the dial up, pushing the speakers and radio stereo connection to their limits, and belted out the chorus: “You don’t know about me, but I bet you want toooooo~!”

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Comeback Kid

I certainly wasn’t planning on taking an annual break from blogging, but here I am, writing my first post of 2018 in December.  Welcome back, and happy new year!

I graduated from Oglethorpe in May having drafted a novel in three months, and between that project and the nightmare that January turned out to be writing here fell through the cracks.  Since finishing my B.A. I’ve had a series of odd jobs, competed in my first #NaNoWriMo, and bought my first car.  I traveled to Kentucky, Virginia, Nashville, Vancouver and Seattle in 2018, & I’m headed overseas in January!

->

Favor is a Foreign Tongue

you think that being a cynic
is the way to beat your leering childhood
and your burned hopes and dreams
in the ash of your home.you think that anger and bitterness,
formed in the roots of cussing and cursing what you used to love
is enough to claim your identity,
your personhood that no one let you have
for so long.
all your kicked-aside ideas that were your own,
all your fought-over beliefs that were overwritten to manipulate your mind

and I was angry too
at the state of the world
a three-year storm raging
that never expired
I know we aren’t the same
and I don’t want to pretend
but I think, maybe
adulthood, to you, is the ability to not be taken in by anything good:
gullibility was a personal curse,
and between sins of mother and father
all you have
is your trapped anguished self.

brokenness was too much,
unfair of a loving God.
so obviously, this broken world
means that He has abandoned it for the next.
there is only the burning rain.
and I don’t have words to make real
how the world is broken — but not just that.
the world is haunted by beauty:
full of whispers and hair-raisings and echoes
and yet you stopped listening to ghosts and peace
amidst pain and anger and the burden of others’ happiness around your neck.

you can scream and try to write your way out all on your own but can you write your own salvation, your own rescue from a raft?

this world was not our cross to bear.

this place is His. and He does not call us dead, though we walk among death.
He split open a tombstone.
He does not call you worthless.peace will never come from chasing anger and pain and absorbing it. He already took the wreckings of sin. You can crawl out of
the graveyard the asylum the bone-rattling hatred
broken but alive.
you can find a stream of water and put down roots.

come and drink from the water again.
come be a child haunted by beauty again.
come run in the fields again, into the green and gold.
come love without fear and accept love without a price, without bribes or bitterness or twisting of hearts.

He calls you and I worthy (even with busted-up hearts).

For Further Reading
Invisible Vastness
God-Forsaken Place
When Rocks Cry Out — A Letter

unsplash tornado lightning
Photo by Lucy Chian on Unsplash