From the recording Time Gives Way
Sometimes the most lost and locked up places in the world are literally under our noses. We don’t look like crime scenes. We do life and things seem under control. When there’s a minor tremor that rumbles our surface, the officials of efficiency shuffle us along with “nothing to see here, folks, go on home”. But after hours, there are sounds and signs. The tinkle of chains, the tapping on doors. And we wonder why we can’t break that demeaning habit or shake the clawing sadness. You can be high functioning but not whole.
Once I went to a conference where the leader guided 2000 of us gathered to get still for 10 minutes and “pay attention to a young place” inside. My expectations were low. But as I offered a prayer and then browsed my soul with an inner eye, I was surprised. I spotted a very young person. She scared me at first. With a giant swoosh of black hair draped over her face, she was disheveled and untamed. If you’ll believe me, I somehow knew she wasn’t even born yet - THAT young - like a prenatal soul. It occurred to me that I was meeting a fragment of my own heart, suspended somewhere in my soul juice. This young me was somehow both victim and executor of old inherited contracts, griefs and debts. And big me was both detached from and central to her constant operation.
I’m educated enough to know my forebears had their faults; 2,000 years of female infanticide for instance. But I had an upper middle class, American upbringing with parents who more or less navigated their storms. For crying out loud, I had an elite education. How could I have this much unfinished business? Still, there She was. That day we started an awkward little friendship. She’s helped me understand why I do some things I do. And I let her know that I have time to listen to her. And that she can stop doing work she wasn’t made for. Together, we’re doing better.
Isaiah 61: He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted.
what kind of fool rewrites letters / word for word for word, year after year / what kind of blind shakes the fetters / like music in a dance, weaving through the tears?
sunlight’s fingers cross the floor / growing longer as day grows shorter / tease the splinters from my door / I lost the key so long ago now, I don’t know / there’s nothing to see here, you can all go home / nothing to see here, y’all go home
now and again there’s that knocking / a child I put to bed, a sad that must be fed / she holds the pen and tells a story / I listen ‘til she’s sure I heard all that she said
sunlight’s fingers cross the floor / growing longer as day grows shorter / tease the splinters from my door / I lost the key so long ago now I don’t know / there’s nothing to see here, you can all go home / nothing to see here, y’all go home