Creaking Floorboards

“Why did you come here for, anyway?”
“I love old things.  They make me feel sad.”
“What’s good about sad?”
“It’s happy for deep people.”  [Doctor Who, “Blink.”]

So true.

I have a friend who has lived in more than 5 countries for substantial amounts of time.  I can’t claim anything close to that, but we both know, if on different levels, the same thing.

That ache.  The whole world groans with it, if you listen.  The canyons are beautiful, terrible crying wounds.  The sky is a bowl with the ability to cry.  Trees shake, snap and fall.  Rivers yell and scream, and flood.  Ice slips into rivers, smooth and glassy and splintered.

The whole world is beautiful, and dangerous, and scary, and broken.

How can you see it?

You see when someone snips at you, and you don’t understand why.  You see when a ship breaks down, broken and battered, weatherblown with salt drip, or when Les Miserables ends and the stage is swallowed in people stretching to their tip-toes and thunderously clapping.

You hear the sounds of where someone has been.

creation groans
When I see a beautiful sunset, I want to cry, because something that I never saw isn’t there. 
Rainstorms were made to run in.  Slipping and falling and being a mess are okay; in fact, they are good.  It’s glorious, and painful too, the signs of being alive.

I want to go home.  Not back to who I was, not really.  But home.

And we wake in the night in the womb of the world
We beat our fists on the door
But we cannot breathe in the sea that swirls
So we groan in this great darkness
Deliverance, oh Lord…  [Andrew Peterson, “Come Back Soon.”  Light for the Lost Boy.]

What is a person?  Really?  And who am I?  I can be so caught up in the right thing one minute, and the next I mess it up again.  And the fear that I’m became upset that I didn’t get my way is wrong makes me angrier.

I keep poking my head back in the stupid dark under the woven canopy.  I don’t see–until God yanks me back out of it again, and hands me my thread again.  If I really was good, you’d think that I’d get it right.  The creaks of  old floorboards under my feet should be enough to remind me of the tapestry.

You’ve never seen the tapestry?  I can try to tell you the little bit I see, but really you have to look.  Walk through to the eye of the storm.

People think I’m crazy, because they can’t see properly in the dark.  They run around under the beautiful picture, and never try to get it–it doesn’t matter, when it should!  Because it’s this scary, wonderful thing; Lucy seeing Aslan for the first time was only a shadow, only a shadow, and I ache to see it.

You can always tell when someone sees it.  You can always tell.
Sad is happy for them, because one day all sad things will be woven in and tied.

‘Cause every death is a question mark
At the end of the book of a beating heart
And the answer is scrawled in the silent dark
On the dome of the sky in a billion stars
But we cannot read these angel tongues
And we cannot stare at the burning sun
And we cannot breathe with these broken lungs
So we kick in the womb and we beg to be born
Deliverance, O Lord!  [Andrew Peterson, “Come Back Soon.”  Light for the Lost Boy.]

So until that day, step outside into a glass elevator, painted with green grass and thick leaves and a roar in the boughs.  Step out into the cool light from a silver disc and start counting stars.  Hating endings is natural, but the end is what enables us to run.  Run well, no matter the whispers that tease at you and the pain in your side like a living scar and the sting as your eyes well up with the wind blasts, because there is more than all the falling down and the getting up again.

tangled ironed glass panes
and sharded in pieces
dingy and blue
but they
and you do too
through the tear tracks and smudges
finds a way
through the wall

It’s what the promise is for.


For Further Reading
A Despedida — A. Andrew Joyce
Love — A. Andrew Joyce
My Technicolor Dreams — Quasipoet
A Year of Reading Into Home – Mr. O

[Header/Footer image by Nuala.  Ocean photo taken by John Carey.  Thanks to Andrew Joyce for finding this old piece again and resharing it, and test reading for me.]


10 thoughts on “Creaking Floorboards

  1. How you can write every word like the last line of a poem astounds me, Shawn. This is beautiful. Ironically, I was listening to “Light for the Lost Boy” on the way in tonight. Such lovely songs. Your post also reminds me of the last song on that album–“Don’t You Want to Thank Someone”.

    1. *smiles* I really don’t think that it has much to do with me, Kay, but thank you. 🙂 Those are indeed lovely songs — they reflect a lot of the longing I feel, and in such a beautiful way.

  2. “…because something that I never saw isn’t there.” ACKPTH.

    Yes; amen to it all. You’ve been given a gift, Elizabeth. 🙂


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