Archive for the 'creativity' Category

Lent: Follow Me

amywink March 22nd, 2018

How Greek we are in
our thinking, as if we are
simply pieces moved
and thus absolved of doing
what might be changed
through our own choosing.

When will we understand
that within our hearts
we must know to move
ourselves to better action
and in ourselves decide
the way we know to go?

Lent: Prayer for Recognition

amywink March 20th, 2018

We are being bombed
in Austin, slowly,
randomly,
but we are still
being bombed
and in our fear
divided.

But in the moment
I look so carefully
through my door
before stepping out
to leave I become
anyone stepping out
into the likely danger of
a familiar world.

I may have only little fear of this attack becoming worse.
I may have faith that this violence will be resolved.
I may think this death unlikely to arrive on my doorstep.

And yet as I step, I understand
this reckoning and ask,

What about those of us stepping out
who know it will be worse?

What about those of us who
think we are alone in this assault?

What about those of us
who learned no matter
how good the life
we try to lead,
that random death
by bombs or guns,
will very likely happen
on our doorstep,
or on our walk
to school,
or at our park,
or church,
or anywhere we try
to live our good
and quiet lives?

May I understand
the isolating difference
that blinds us to
ourselves in suffering.

May my little fear grow
instead to grace for those
in every kind of trouble.

May this grace
be my change,
my reach
for those of us
we have so easily
left to danger
by our casual
yet calculated
indifference.

Lent: Tender

amywink March 20th, 2018

This long-recurring wound
between our hope and fear
we have only barely
worked to heal,
this tender scar now
freshly torn again
by shadows that prefer
a more familiar pain.

As if some darkness cannot
suffer our ragged, tender edges
growing softly together new
and seeks instead
to keep us hardening
our divided heart
so we may never heal
the truth of our fondled
yet forgotten injury.

Lent: You are here.

amywink March 18th, 2018

Today, I am celebrating one year of Sundays at First United Methodist Church in Austin. While my actual calendar anniversary (or church-iversary) is tomorrow, today marks the Sunday a year ago that I walked into church because Bach had reminded me how much I loved music and I knew I wanted music in the life I was rebuilding. I found not only music, but also so much more of the self I had slowly lost over the sixteen years I had been taking care of both my parents.

As I sit here and write about this one amazing year, I think about how I had to be ready when joy came back, how I had to know what I needed to follow, though not necessarily what I needed to find, to make it back to the self I’d lost, to return to everything I’d put away and forgotten was true about who I was. And I had forgotten a lot, from a lot longer ago than just sixteen years. More than once someone has reminded me and I have had to think “oh yeah, that’s right. I forgot.”

I sat down with my journal earlier this week, which I had not written in for over a year, but which had started to fill with poetry again in the opening months of 2017. It was poetry I found again when I came to church. Three days after I walked into First, I was writing regularly again and the self I had given up, the life I had so much wanted to have, the person I had so much wanted to be, returned. I could not mistake the message I received that day and so many many many days after, so much so that by September, I had to laugh because it was clear God was simply showing off: Here is who you are. Here are your people. There is no mistake.

By December, I had completed an entire book manuscript that I never expected to be writing. I had come out of the wilderness I’d survived by following what I love and found myself in the completely right place after all. I have never felt that so strongly as I do now, as if the giant map of my life now reads you are here. I have nothing but gratitude for that and the joy that has come back into the life I am now building with it.

Someone asked me recently how I would describe an encounter with the Holy Spirit and I said, peace, deep peace.

And sometimes it can also feel just like the Holy Spirit is dancing.

Lent: Eggs

amywink March 16th, 2018

These beautifully dark-yolked
eggs from pastured chickens
are so much more costly now,
a scandalous price some might say,
and ridiculous just for eggs.

I count the cost, deciding
against this beautiful kindness
and choose instead a cheaper
dozen that still seems kind enough,
though they will not be so richly colored,
like an image of the setting sun,
or make me think of pastured chickens,
bright flocks among the grasses, grazing.

It is not just those eggs I think of
this morning as I wonder
about the price we refuse to
pay for kindness, but a teacher
determined to value her students,
despite advice against
such scandalous costs.

I am thinking instead
of the price we refuse to pay
for those young black lives,
what price instead seems
barely kind enough,
and in that ridiculous choice of bargains,
how little compassion we
decide we can afford.

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