shelter & half-hearts

There are so many thoughts running through my head. So many essay topics and ideas to explore. However, I feel like anything I might write about that doesn’t have to do with the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic may come off as rather tone deaf.

Maybe I’m wrong and we all could use reading about something other than the pandemic. Maybe we are all sick of hearing the word “coronavirus”.

But I also feel I may be right in thinking that, even if we are sick of news articles about this current world crisis, we all are thinking about how this has changed our current realities. And we could all use some encouragement that we are not alone in fighting the unavoidable fear that comes with an invisible and possibly deadly virus.

I wrote this piece as a reflection of my personal quarantine:

img_0649

It’s springtime. Officially.

The birds sound beautiful. A smattering of chatter, each calling distinctly, some close and some in the distance. A robin rifles through the trash, perhaps looking for food or something with which to make a next. I love the way my ears tingle and lungs burn with this chill.

The world is far from quiet. There is still bustle and hustle and cars rolling by.

A plane here and there.

But it’s lonely.

6 feet from embracing. Masks blocking smiles. Never touching. 

As if distance was not already preferred in this day and age. Now it’s enforced by law.

At home, we wash are hands so often. We sing, “God is so good” to get the timing right. And then she says, quoting Daniel Tiger, I’m sure, “wouldn’t it be fun if we could see the germs go away?”

If only we could. 

But this is the sneakiest of potential killers; invisible; tiny; deadly; mutating to cause the most damage for as long as possible.

How can life be so different and yet seem so normal at the same time?

We don’t put living on hold until something else clutches at our life.

Somewhere there is someone fighting for that life in the ICU on a ventilator. Totally alone. Somewhere not so far away from me at all.

On hold.

No one can hold them.

This hits close to home. And yet I pray it doesn’t hit our home.

Our temporary home.

This was the sound.

A burning.

A cry.

Water gushing, numbness, and loss, loose skin.

My heart leaving my chest.

Twice.

How can I keep track of beats and blows with my heart half-ed in two little bodies?

So warm. So naive. So innocent. So strange. 

Here they are: a car crash of human beings, unaware of any disaster but spilled popcorn and knotted hair.

My heart sill in me fears for them when I am not centered in He who is at the center.

And thankfully it’s true; I always arrive back to You.

You who make the mountains melt.

You who come down like fire.

You who are as gentle as spring rain.

You who shelter me as I shelter-in-place, by preparation for the test that comes next.

Always equipping, never ceasing to defend the loves of your life.

Oh Jesus, tell me this:

How can your heart beat in tens of thousands of Your people’s breasts, and yet You remain the only one who is and always will truly be

whole?

Here we are: a car crash of human beings.

We’ve made a mess again and now we are all alone,

walking alongside each other but never connecting;

our hearts have left our bodies for fear of a silent killer.

Only You can save us.

Yet it may be only in the next life.

The one that’s not on hold.

The world is far from quiet. There are birdcalls and burning wind and 6 feet apart conversations.

But it’s lonely. And it’s fearful.

Perhaps that’s not very different than normal here on earth.

I will rest in Your shelter, in the place You’ve made Your home–my heart–half-ed though it may be.

And I will resist the urge to fear for the time when You take me and my little half-hearts home to make us

whole. 

Our eternal home.

This is the sound.

The sound of You restoring my heart to whole.

It’s quieter than I thought.

6f7e8d15-45ef-45d7-b3b7-509e3a25fb6a

four

The other night I realized I had mistyped myself on the Enneagram. This, after I just linked to the “One” description in my previous blog post, indicating that I identified as such. This lead me to read this description, extensive, and written by scholars of the Enneagram Institute, and I could not see myself in it. Only a shadow of who I was trying to be or how I thought others saw me.

This is a poem I wrote about this process. It’s unclear, but I guess that’s a nod to this whole self-discovery thing… or whatever. Also because Type Fours are said to be the most complex number on the Enneagram. Go figure.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 3.42.23 PM

Find this here.

 

“four”

 

I’ve been drinking copious amounts of coffee these days

I blame it on the peppermint taste

and the nights up late

laundry sits unfolded but clean

and I come up for air in between

between the kids’ naps and those loads and our arrivals and his departures and contacts on this reject-phone

I do, I do

I do see beauty in this mess

but I recognize my tendency to be

thoroughly drenched in tragedy

swinging back and forth, yes, in between again

in between the lines of these pages with a borrowed pen

but in between the delirious highs and the moody lows

there is a deep-seeded part of my heart that knows

I have been hiding from who I’ve always been

and pushing past and away from the people who knew me when

It’s easier and far more beautiful

to stand behind a well-written metaphor

but each time I hear a song I once knew by heart

my eyes fill with rain and I play my old part

the one listed in dusty playbills, burned cds, and poetry written on gum wrappers found in worn coat pockets in my childhood closet…

what is it? I can’t make out this role…

it’s my soul

I don’t chew gum anymore, or act on stage

but poetry cuts in deep during this “melancholic” rage

maybe I am hiding behind this extended metaphor

maybe my heart needs to break to be sure

this, here, this mess upon my sleeve is proof

of what I’m not sure, but it feels like truth

I’ve been drinking copious amounts of water these days

gulping down tears for fears (and the cure, and alkaline…)

I don’t believe I’ve ever really been one to pretend that I’m fine.