Sense of Humour

  
I cried “Why don’t you help me?” and
God said nothing I could hear.

I said “You have abandoned me!” and
God said “Have I?”

I declared “You don’t exist!”
and God said “If you say so, dear.”

I studied and read, I sought mentors. I had
magic, incense, candles, bells, incantations, circles, water, salt, spells, dragons, quarters, elements, cords, herbs
fucking craft projects
God said “Well, this is all very interesting! What does this one do?”

I studied and read, I quoted Lao Tsu & Chong Tse & Sidartha & the Lotus Sutra & I breathed mantras to Kuan Yin through tears and then
God said “Well, this is familiar.”

And then God said “Look, here is a shiny thing. Behold; it is well formed and kind.”
I beheld the shiny thing and breathed in its light and cried.

God said “I am calling to you, but I know how you are. Do you know how I am yet?”
And I said, sniffling, “Maybe.” And then, “Show me more. Please?”
And God said “I know how you are & I know what you need. You are a funny girl.”

And he led me to a dense place, packed with love as gauze fills a wound. There was room for me.

I became sicker and God said “I know how you are. I know all of you. Help each other out.”

The power of Christ compels me.

I writhe unable to sleep just trying to comprehend
what is the end
why didn’t this one thing happen
or this other
then it does
and God laughs and says “You are a funny girl. Don’t you know me by now?”

Fall

  My friend JC (not a bumbling reference to our Lord & Saviour, for once) just posted this on his Facebook wall. It resonates:

Oh, right, I keep forgetting, for lots and lots of people in the world, the notion of ‘falling in love’ has (of all things) sexual connotations. No, that’s not what I think is happening. For me, what falling in love means is different. It’s a matter of suddenly, globally, ‘knowing’ that another person represents your only access to some vitally transmissible truth or radiantly heightened mode of perception, and that if you lose the thread of this intimacy, both your soul and your whole world might subsist forever in some desert-like state of ontological impoverishment. – From “A Dialogue on Love,” Eve Kosovsky Sedgwick

If this is true, I do it at least twice a year, maybe more. Is it possible to fall in love with your friends, mentors, & inspirations? A whole church? Of course it’s not the mature partner love you grow over time, but it is the heady rush of knowing that this person, this him or her that you can’t stop talking about, is your new brain crush, & there is no distinction, I believe, neurochemically, between being excited by intellectual/spiritual connection & romantic idealization.

This is why I know grown ass straight men who squeal over other grown ass straight men.

We call it the “man crush” or the “girl crush” these days. It’s a real thing. But maybe it is better described in the above quote.

The difference between me & a teenaged girl is that I was accelerated beyond the speed of light & then returned to Earth, having seemed to age some. Also my brain crushes don’t evaporate with heat. They just…adjust.

I still turn up Depeche Mode to eleven.

Also? This.

Girls Night Out

  I have decided there is very little in the world akin to a girl sitting across from you, smiling at you with her eyes. This happened to me three times today. I can see why men are stricken with us; we are quite delightful.

I don’t have a ton of female friends, so when I do get to spend quality time with them, it’s pretty spiffy. I had dinner with the beautiful, effervescent Karoly after work. She is an interesting talker & a good listener. She is also an excellent coaxer. This is usually my job, so it is nice when someone can discern that you are bubbling with thoughts, & gives you permission to release them with joy. No judgment, just giggles. No pressure, just pecan pie. No admonishment, just encouragement. No gossip, just secrets.

I then got to see my sister briefly before Mass, & as always she is an instant light. She doesn’t have to be happy or “on it”; just seeing her makes me feel like the world works again. She is a constant joy & a piece of my soul. We are like some kind of ongoing, flawless act together. It’s like Jim Henson & David Lynch directed one of Aaron Sorkin’s hallway tracking shots. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. Life needs her.

I then sat across from Brit at our weekly Advent poetry reading at Saint Thomas. She brought fruit & cookies & hand outs & always looks at one with a rare & round interest. She is the sort of subject one would have painted in pre-revolution France. Part saint, part lightning in a bottle, she is elegant and compact and serenely beautiful, even when extolling the virtues of Green Bay.

I always feel slightly vulgar & stupid in Brit’s presence, not least of which because I am in fact slightly vulgar & stupid, & not at all because of Brit. Her bright hazel eyes seem to regard everyone with loving wonder, & one never feels judged. I can share my plodding thoughts about Jesus & she will find a way to make them pretty & she will look at me like I said them prettily. I imagine that if we baked together, I would produce lumpen cookies that she would decorate to look like flowers. She finds beauty.

I bet you feel pretty misled by the title, huh?

Sparkling

 

You are every bubble that
spews from a champagne glass 
and 
you are every flicker of light
You are that stream that children let out under water when they are turning somersaults and you
are 
singeing the edges
and
warming the room
and clearing the gloom.

Reset

  
Tonight I finally went to Compline at Saint John’s Cathedral. Brit has mentioned it on Facebook & in person a few times, & Chris reminded me, so I took the 101 to the 405 to the 10 to the 110 to get there. If you live in Los Angeles, you know how much I love Jesus now.

I was having quite a bit of post High Mass angst. As y’all could probably tell, this has been a harrowing year filled with loss & violence & needful change. High Mass sort of keeps me sane, but once it’s over & everyone’s left coffee hour, I have to trudge back home where there are no cats any more, where the failures of my adulthood hit me in the face like a badly caught football.

You all know me to be a fairly cheerful creature, but lately it’s just been too much. I’m over it. I need for things to be bright.

So why not pray in the darkness, holding a single lit taper, while a choir intones gorgeous harmonies as one voice, praising God?

My brain is completely reset. I feel at peace. I will probably sleep well tonight. I want to go forever and ever, amen. 

Talking about sci fi for an hour after with Chris & Mark most certainly did not hurt (even though I was a didactic psychology git for part of that, which is a flaw I am not sure how to purge). We probably laughed too loudly, but I don’t think anyone minded.

I was going to write another poem about this, but I don’t think it’s necessary. This is a set of emotional responses I can simply categorize: 

Today was amazing from start to finish. 

I am calm and happy. 

I love my church friends.

I love compline. It was much better than Cats (& my compline app). I will go again & again.

George Herbert Coughing In My Face

  Herbert died of tuberculosis at 40. I am 41. I have outlived George Herbert, priest & poet. I have outlived Scott Weiland. I have outlived Robert Loggia, many cats, my grandparents, my best friend in college, and it seems I will outlive a little girl who is the daughter or sister of my friends. I don’t know what to do with any of this information. I never know what to do with feelings.

Saint Thomas, my church that I’m always rabbitting on about, has an Advent series every year. We do some kind of educational activity that involves speakers or reading. This year we’re reading I Pray In Poems, & last Wednesday night we all huddled into Father Davies’ home, strewn about like books ourselves along the dining room table & living room furniture. We read George Herbert’s “The Collar” which I always thought of eye-rollingly as “the whinging priest poem”. No more. I get it. Especially after Wednesday’s shock in San Bernardino, when the Inland Regional Centre was attacked by ISIS sympathizers…radicalized persons who don’t care that these are the people who get my Downs brother his bus tickets, help him with job placement & IEPs, like so many other special people they assist. Father mentioned my brother & the IRC many times during the Mass, which was moving & tear-filled, at least for me & my sister, & then we read that poem, & it made a lot of personal sense.

Listening to my fellow parishioners…my family…give their various ideas about it was like a pleasant after-dinner conversation that I imagined normal families had growing up. I have since learned that that rarely happens, as all families pretty much turn on the TV or fight, if they even eat together these days, but it’s always been a fantasy of mine, & I got to live it. I look forward to the next two sessions.

I am reminded today, as I find everyone petulant or didactic or thoughtless or irritating in the face of so much loss, of “The Collar”, but more importantly that I used to write scads of poetry as a kid to deal with my feelings. At least before I discovered food, anyhow. Now that I refuse to use food, I am less stable again, more angry, more anxious, more depressed. But I am also alive. And I remembered that there is poetry. So in addition to the two or three notebooks I completely filled in high school & college (& indeed all my twenties), I may as well shove some down your throats here. It may even help me lose weight. HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT, JERKS.

It’s Still Happening

how can you believe all the things you believe about me when

evidence

 like

  rain

   keeps

    falling in torrents on your face
yet you persist in your madness to declare “You are a desert” and “Nothing grows in you.”

I have seen the desert! We have lived there!

A coyote once came up to me and
licked my jeans. She was so
gentle and
calm

This is not an account you could believe
You cannot remember
You believe nothing except the lie in your head
You will do so until you’re dead.

I have hoped many hopes for you
I have prayed
Some of those hopes have been born
they are the best of children
Some were too high
they are experiments in a lab
perhaps they are monsters
    maybe they should have died
I have stopped asking much of the will of God
My hopes are unnatural
I want to fix all the brains that break
He works His wonders in the darkness
I would shine a light on all
 then cry at what I see
Maybe the problem is me

So see me as a desert but
treat me like a garden at least
You used to have a cactus
I figured that you liked it
You only had to water it a little bit and
it never died like
everything else did