Turning the other cheek..

moon1

 

This was always a hard pill to swallow.  Even as a child, upon hearing that phrase for the first time, while I could understand the idea of not reciprocating harm, I certainly was not down with the thought of giving anyone the opportunity to harm me twice.  It was just going to be one of those things that looked pretty on paper.  For me, it was an idea to aspire to in principle form only.  On some deep, DEEP level that I’d never actually have to come in contact with.  Until one day in the shower..

I was thinking about changing my mind on things.  Literally trying to see and envision words, phrases, and ideas in other ways, and this particular phrase came to mind.  Turning the other cheek..

Now for some reason, I’d always figured it meant allowing harm of some nature without retaliation.  Right?

If someone says something rude, “turn the other cheek.”

Someone steals your parking space, “turn the other cheek.”

Things start to get a little more uncomfortable when it hits closer to the skin.  A little more unacceptable.  If someone breaks your heart, what then?  Turn the other cheek?  For how long?  And how many times?

I don’t know where the permission had been hiding, but somewhere inside it clicked that there could be another meaning for this phrase for me.  And while it may not resonate for everyone, it made such clear sense.

For me, turning the other cheek could mean looking in the other direction.  Not in avoidance! I want to make that clear, but rather looking into a new possibility.  As if to say, “that’s enough now, I’m moving on.”

And again, I’ve given myself the permission to think this way.

I’m learning to allow myself the gift of turning the other cheek.  Allowing myself the opportunity to look into a more positive light.

Saying “no more” to a negative space that’s become too comfortable.

Turn the other cheek.

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But dark comes first..

Birthday-summer 161

 

Walk along, dear heart

and meet again the places that you’ve been.

Retell old stories of past steps.

Steps now covered in the shadows of those who feel they are alone.

Wandering shadows,

their comforts out of reach,

while their exposed feet slide unsure into the impressions that your stumbling once left behind.

Their puzzled faces,

wrapped around minds which have not adjusted to the change they feel

yet cannot see.

For the dark clarity that swaddles their future selves, holds fast.

That unyielding darkness.

The great defender of the precious sublime,

not to be seen on this side of the mountain.

Walk along side them, dear heart.

Tell them that the dark keeps company with light

and protects it against any foe.

Old friends they,

taking turns at introducing themselves,

but dark comes first.

So stand with them, dear heart.

Stay close to those wanderers.

Stay until the light reassures its protector

that all is well.

Amen

Leaves22

 

When Amen fell,

rolling over and over again, dodging the stinging, pitter-patter drops of her incriminating past,

she gained a silent strength.

Momentum.

Pulling down, as she went, the illusory blankets of uncertainty

cast and caught along the textured walls of her recollection.

And with each fall a finality gripping against the cold pangs of a questioning mind.

A mind begging for one more round through the fog, familiar.

Until time and grace firmly pressed her heart to murmur.

To speak.

To no longer betray the truth that pushed her to the edge.

Leaving her on her knees to face the storm that shook alive the deep pent resolve that gave her her name.

And broke away the well worn armor that held her hostage.

The key being on her very own lips

when she bravely spoke,

“let it be.”

All that was left

October 264

 

As night turned overhead,

twisting the latch that would open wide a new day,

the sky inched itself one shade closer to morning.

The edges of it already aglow with the promise it was eager to keep,

while anxious light waited and watched for God’s cue.

Buzzing below the surface of dawn,

making plans to adorn every space

that had begun to believe the dark’s cruel persistence.

Gradually lifting the weight of that darkness with new light,

until all that was left of night

was the sheer and shadowy reminder at our feet.

Waiting

wires

Waiting to hear God’s voice over the noise

meant waiting for the noise to become beautiful.

Beautiful like doubt wrapped in doing.

Like resistance cloaked in peace.

Like tears caught by a friend’s strong shoulders,

or realizing that your own shoulders will have to be enough.

Beautiful strength in the deafening lonely,

with only the soul in attendance.

Only the soul to applaud you

in an ovation of one.

Standing in recognition of your work,

at the edge of life’s long stage.

Walk on

October 128

Were we to be swept away,

when not only rain fell, but cloud too?

The grey of it settling low.

Hovering where we walked.

Thick, and refusing to be moved,

but for our footsteps

that would stir the mist into a cloudy swirl.

Playing tricks on our eyes,

that we were not the ones doing the moving, but being moved.

Floating along,

not knowing where our feet would land,

or if the ground would catch them, soft.

But the ground never failed us,

so in utter faith,

we walked on.

Love would fly

garden 028

 

She told me that love could fly.

Whispered it to me, as if to keep it a secret.

She said it could fly the way that birds do.

The way that time must.

She said this with eyes full of bright believing.

Then she set out to prove it was so,

kissed her tiny hand, and with a deep breath

blew life into love,

giving it wings.

Her thin arms batting at the air around us

as if to join in on love’s flight.

Her precious heart, full with faith that the space between us

would hold safe her present.

The same way it carried her laughter, and every word she spoke.

And she smiled soft, as her sweetness spread its warmth across my face.

Knowing that her gift had made its way home.