Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sometimes I feel like I fly with muddy shoes
buzzing around people's ears
dancing around people's nerves
in the way
on the fly
and looking for a spot to rest.
Landing silence may be a relief
but they just roll their eyes
shoo me away
and wipe off my muddy footprints.
Those days where I'm that chubby, half-tucked shirt kid
that waddles up to the teacher's desk
greeted by a furrowed brow over the bifocals
and told to "sit right back down, young man"
and save my question for the afternoon.
Or the mom who only becomes visible
when someone can't find their other sock,
the quiet insecurity mistaken for snobbery,
the shaky hand in a game of Operation,
the cowlick who can't sit down,
the daydreaming dancer one beat behind,
the eager drummer one beat ahead,
running on ice
one broken arm in a sling
and one difficult jar to open.
Searching for a speechless cave
where I can close my eyes
not say a word
and avoid all disappointments.
But then I land in the middle of the 66
with David hiding out in a cave of his own
Just a kid with some rocks
who got on the nerves of a king
chillin' in a carved out rock
with his buzzing honesty
and a scroll-lookin' diary.
Placing words back in my mouth
and truth back in my buzzing head
like a shower at the end of a dusty day.
We both peek out of the cave
and our blind-folded pity parties
to feel the warmth of the sunny truth.
We are not flies with muddy shoes at all.
We were hand-crafted
by the one who lit up the universe like a Christmas tree
built the spiraling tower of our DNA with a steady hand
and has much more in mind for us
than buzzing and muddy footprints.
So Dave and I take long deep breaths
and sing like we're back in preschool
"Shoe Fly, don't bother me
Shoo, fly, don't bother me
Shoe Fly, don't bother me
'Cuz I believe in what I can't see"
Then all we can do is laugh at ourselves
Two bemused, oddball poets
pens dripping with gratitude
and a calling to write it down.
Because You won't force them
to flock to our caves,
we have to fly to them.
"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven."
"If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."
"He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
'The LORD be exalted!'"
Psalm 40:3, 8-10, 16
"It is true that we make many mistakes. But the biggest of them all is to be surprised at them: as if we had hope of never making any. . . Life itself is imperfect . . . . Each individual thing is only a sketch of the specific perfection planned for its kind. Why should we ask to be anything more? . . . we cease to look for perfection where it alone can be found: in God. The secret of the imperfection of all things, of their inconstancy, their fragility, their falling into nothingness, is that they are only a shadowy expression of the one Being from Whom they receive their being. If they were absolutely perfect and changeless in themselves, they would fail in their vocation, which is to give glory to God by their contingency."
Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island