Ruptured

can I kiss you with my scars,

make love to the littlepieces

you leave tucked in your

missingletter crosswords?

would it make for a better story

when our souls go out at night

and you are left with nothing

but the pale shadow form

of your sweat left behind

in the shape of your heartless body

from the night before?

 

and when I make sense

of all these tribulations

will you extinguish them,

or will you peel back

the exoskeleton

and add me

as another slash mark

splayed in your wallet,

as another discovery

conquered,

nothing more?

 

I want to be what moves you

when the world is full

of languid desire,

a restless form

sprawled neatly

across the pillowcase

as time ticks,

disintegrating our heartbeats

in brilliant unison. 

 

There’s still so much youth

that needs to be aired out of my bones

and right now

it’s lying smothered beneath my frailty

finding itself

in the rings left behind

after shots

taken alone in the kitchen

after emptiness

is wept out in the wind

and whispered

in broken book ends.

 

world,

I’m ready to puncture

every imaginative impulse

you’ve attached my name to

branded on pieces of rocks

to weigh me down,

leaving me to wonder

why pride

was my bedpartner

taking half the covers

and more than that

of my heart.

 

I shouldn’t have to explain

what fragments

of my past

lie on the path of destruction

for today.

What moments replay

–monumental against

the grain of the sunrise

I’m swiftly running towards.   

 

so tonight

is it okay if I just sweat out

the pain

and breathe in the mist

of your frantic longing

until the cradle

of this bottle

exhales me

as a full blown woman

and no longer

a frightened need,

a mist on the seas of change

hoping one day

to blow like the lilacs

and change the tide of the world. 

Poetic Fragmentations

Today I sat down to write. Not unlike every day of my life. I sit there straining and tugging at some mysterious heartstring, hoping to find something that connects to something real, and to be able to pull on it until it bursts, breaking forth from the abyss of my memories.

It’s been like this for too damn long. I’m sick of struggling to come up with anything that is inspiring. Or earth-rattling. Or explosive. I just write snippets and segments of ideas and than the drains in my brain get clogged. And I give up. I close the document. Slam the lid on the computer. It’s time to stop thinking I’ll get somewhere. Sometimes.

This afternoon. I shuffled though the documents section on my computer. Ya’ll should see this disaster. Seriously, it’s pathetic. You’d think after a year of not being able to push anything out of my mind but journal entries, I’d be ready to push forth into the great divide. It’s just not happening. Believe me. I’m sick of talking about all of this nearly as much as you are about hearing it. Promise.

So, in commemoration of my non-ability-to-write year, here are some snippets I found on my computer of poems. Which ones do you think I should pursue. What do you like better?

#1

spent themorning

writing

until myveins

could nolonger bleed

ink

#2

you speak asthough

beauty only belongs

to those willing

to weigh their intentions

against their actions

making sure they

hash out

to an even number

zero

#3

and for that second

in time

i was totally

and positively

helpless

to your love

#4

like a lit cigarette

thrown out

of a moving vehicle

at top speeds,

you hit the ground

burst

into a showof flames

and extinguish

smoke rising

towards the clouds

a moment of judgment

gone awry

#5

sometimes words

don’t make sense,

wrapped around

our tongues like

brillo pads,

scraping at

our intellect,

eating away

our last chance

of ever transforming

from an ugly insect

to a rainbow of color

waiting to delve

into the flowers

and blossom.

…and this is the current poem I was working on today:

#6

can I kiss you with my scars?

would it make for a better story

when our souls go out at night

and you are left with nothing

but the pale shadow form

of your sweat left behind

in the shape of your heartless body

from the night before?

and when I make sense

of all these tribulations

will you extinguish them,

or will you peel back

the exoskeleton

and add me

as another slash mark

splayed in your wallet,

as another discovery

conquered,

nothing more?

I want to be what moves you

when the world is full

of languid desire,

a restless form

sprawled neatly

across the pillowcase

as time ticks ,

disintegrating our heartbeats

in brilliant unison.

Stop shaming our daughters into believing their worth lies in their sexuality

I’m going to apologize in advance that this post is quite lengthy. I do not feel like making several posts to make up all of my thoughts on this topic, so if this is a problem I am sorry. I just have a lot to say. If the title of this blog post is offensive, maybe you should back away from the computer now before I start throwing out pages of information and beliefs your way.

The other day I had managed to find myself sucked into the vortex that is YouTubeland, once again. I was enjoying myself watching strange documentaries about people who have interesting medical problems, until I stumbled upon this documentary:

After the first three minutes I felt sick. But I couldn’t stop watching because I wanted to understand, to try to comprehend such indoctrination. I, too, was raised in a home that strongly believed in the value of saving yourself before marriage. The point of this post is not to bash those who have made the personal decision to wait until their wedding day (or those who have successfully waited). I find them to be admirable to be so committed to a choice they personally have made. What bothers me most about this documentary is the disturbing fact that the highest age of girls interviewed were in their early twenties. And the choice of abstinence and virginity until marriage does not feel like the decision of those interviewed, but rather the choice their parents forced them to make, pressing them into the act of confessing their purity to the father of the house every year.

In my opinion, I had hoped that society had evolved enough to not require the force of parents to determine their child’s entire life. I guess I had forgotten that every where I look I see travesties like this one happening all around. As the media has altered perceptions all around, parents have begun working on over time to prevent their children from becoming corrupted. As Christians, we are called to be different from the world. There is nothing wrong with setting some boundaries on what our children are exposed to, ensuring that they are aware of the problems around them. However, at a certain point, as adults, we need to simply allow our children to experience the consequences of their actions first hand.

I firmly believe that my role as a parent (or adult) is to set my children up to live life to the fullest. To show them the hurting world around them and give them the tools to not only grow themselves amidst the turmoil, but to successfully help carry those who really just need a helping hand. Yes, there is a lot of evil in the world, but I do not believe that in order to properly raise children than I should feel entitled to put them in a glass bubble and ensure they do not leave it. Our children need to be built up, to know they are important.  We need them to feel as though they are the most special people in the whole world, and lovingly correct them when they need some guidance in life. I successfully consider parents to be like bumper railings. There are many bowling pins that children can consider targets. They don’t have to bowl a strike every time, there is some leniency allowed, but when things start to get out of hand, we are there to guide them back into the correct realm of things.

The problem I have with the parents of this documentary is that, unlike the bumper railings, they have set a strict guideline on their children and expect them to follow it to the T. However, one cannot be expected to never make a mistake, and not allowing for any error only allows forever-wounds to be created, for craters to be formed where they are not wanted. We cannot know the damage we bring to our children when we refuse to love them or accept them for veering off to the side a little in the path of life. For not bowling a strike every time they set a target.

Growing up, I was given a purity ring on my sixteen birthday. I had no plans of rushing out and losing my virginity to the first man I met, but I felt uncomfortable upon receiving the gift because I have always believed that you can guide a child to believe what you think is right, but after a certain point it is just time to let them run with the values you have hoped to instill in them. Obviously I don’t believe that children at age thirteen should be having sex. They are far too young to comprehend and understand the consequences if something goes wrong. But giving our children the tools of abstinence and not allowing them to understand what could happen if they fail to follow through only sets our nation up for rising rates of teenage pregnancy. Whether a teenager of consenting age decides they want to have sex or not is their choice, not the choice of the parent. Am I grateful that I waited until I met my husband to embark on this journey? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that is the ideal image for every teenager.

What I’m saying is, that if we fail to teach our children better methods of protected sex, we are failing to give them the tools to make the right decisions. We can tell them that we believe they should save themselves for marriage, providing good, solid reasons as to why of course, but we cannot make them follow through. They are bound to make mistakes. Are we going to follow them everywhere they go and remind them not to kiss, or hold hands or whatever we believe that stopping point should be? It’s simply insanity. Like I’m sure  I have said a hundred times, our job is to set boundaries and to hope they understand what will happen if they make the personal choice other than the one I have told them I prefer. We are set to be guiders, not commanders. Our children will not effectively listen if we force them to follow a certain path of behavior, they are more likely to either rebel or to only do it because “they were told so”. We cannot give them the proper background to stand up for what THEY believe and allow them to accept these beliefs as their own if we ensure that they know nothing other than what we tell them. The world will throw a lot of garbage at our children, it is our job to give them the tools to sort through that garbage, to make decisions accordingly, and hope they turn out the beautiful people we believe the to be.

Another reason why I become sickeningly irritated by the parents in this documentary is because this type of teaching is so blatantly patriarchal it’s disturbing. As far as I am concerned, yes there are differences in the way that males and females GENERALLY are made, but most of those differences deal with the way we prefer things, and are very stereotypical. Maybe a general mass may think one way, but that does not apply to everyone. That’s why I think that gender standards are too rigid, and I think that maybe they should be more fluid so as to allow for the people who don’t exactly line up to the ways the world thinks they should run the ability to be accepted, too.

Women and men are more equal than so many people like to believe. If we teach our children that one gender is inferior, we allow the slanted view that women belong in the kitchen and men belong in the work force to be perpetuated. And this is not only a disgrace to the fact that many women are born with brains and domestic capabilities, and to the men that feel they cannot show any type of quality that might resemble anything feminine. It’s not black and white.

This documentary disturbed me because these girls (one who was interviewed began going to these purity balls at age seven. Seven!! That’s extremely young to make sure they know about sexuality and exactly what purity entails.) attend the ball with their fathers. They dress up like princesses, are served dinner, watch a little performance put on by other girls, and do a little dancing. All of that is not disturbing. I believe it is sweet that the fathers would want to spend time with their daughters, to make sure they understand that they are valued, in every way. We all should make sure that our children feel that way. After the dinner, however, it gets freaky. There are forms passed out, and the fathers agree with their daughters that their daughters will remain pure until their wedding night. It’s not like these daughters have a choice. And the fact that the fathers seem to take their daughters purity into their own hands only sounds perverted and disgusting to me. My father does not need to ensure that I am pure by regularly having discussions with me about it. I felt as though some of the dads appeared to have too much interest in their daughter’s sex lives. It’s really not their business.

The film tried to state that the fathers simply don’t want their daughters hearts to be broken, for them to experience heartache because they found the wrong person to date. They shared that before a boy even was able to hang out with a girl he was interested in, the father would have to sit down with the man, hang out with him a few times, and then decide if he was a perfect match. In my opinion, that means that the father would be selecting a mate based on what he WANTS his daughter to date, that HE thinks would work, but that gives no room for the daughter to make her mind up about what she likes or wants. It allows no room for decision making on the girl’s part. In my head it sounds more like arranged marriage then courting. I believe parents should be able to suggest to their child who the right pick is, and hope for the best, but demanding that they can’t see certain people only allows them to want to see that person more. (Trust me, I know from personal experience). But also, it feels like some of the girls in the video got married quite soon after dating the first person they met. I’m not suggesting that we should all go around dating everyone in sight to decide our personal preferences. It’s such a beautiful thing when we allow our God into our lives to help us decide our potential future mate. And I’m lucky that I only dated one other person before I met my husband. When you know you know. I just feel as though there should be a little more leniency on the part of the parents for deciding who their children are interested in. We cannot prevent our children from heartache. It is inevitable. Even we give our children heartache sometimes. These parent’s goals are absurd.

Also, are the boys of these families taken to another ball and asked to pledge their virginity to their mothers? Do their mothers attend, desperately attempting to ensure that their sons are as pure as they desire their daughters to be? Or as much of society believes, are they men allowed a “free pass”, able to engage in sexual activity before their wedding day? I cannot even explain the level of irritation I have at a society that claims that men are allowed to have whatever amount of sex they want with as many girls as they want and that is “normal” but if a woman does the same thing, she is automatically considered a whore. I’m sorry, but where do we get off explaining to women that they are worth less than men? That men can do whatever they want but women should automatically be held to a higher standard. Pathetic. That’s what it is. It makes it seem that women are irresistible, but that women can find some means of self control. This only makes rape acceptable, only excuses it when a man cannot control his instincts but blames the victim when she “cannot find the grace to act like a lady and keep him from thinking of her in that way.” Ya know what I say to that line of thinking? Fuck you. Fuck society for thinking that way.

The biggest reason that this documentary made me sick is the fact that it makes it seems as though a girl’s only worth is in her ability to give her gift of virginity to her husband on her wedding day. This does not take in to account victims of sexual assault or rape. Girls who “mess up”. Those who do not find pleasure in those of the opposite sex. None of these things are taken into account. It is automatically assumed that a girl will naturally like a boy, will keep herself in good grace and not bring sexual violence towards her upon herself, and she will remain pure by staying away from any and all temptations.

As far as I am concerned, putting so much worth on a woman’s sexuality takes so much away from her potential as a smart individual, as a contributing member of society, as a brilliant being all her own, different from all of those around her. It places worth on artificial things like beauty, the ability to perform simple household duties, the ability to maintain the principles of motherhood. It assumes that all women desire to be married, therefore they should not deviate from the given path. I call bullshit.

I’m sick of the indoctrination we call America. I’m sick of the lies. I’m going to speak out now. I am going to stand up for what I believe. Always.

Modesty is such a struggle for me (don’t worry, I’m not judging you)

I want to apologize to those who have been reading my blog and are feeling overwhelmed at the amount of material I am publishing a day. Honestly, if you ever wondered what my mind looks like, this is only a fraction of what I am thinking about in a day. So, if I ever look star-dazed and confused, I’m probably pondering one of ten or so different topics in my head at any given time, plus trying to pay attention to the task at hand. I consider it to be a love/hate relationship. I love it when I keep typing because I have to get it out, but hate it when I really need to stop typing because I’m tired, or when I’m attempting to sleep and all the lights turn on my head and I can’t just hit the pause button. I really shouldn’t be complaining, I really am blessed like crazy to have such a creative mind. 

A topic that has been floating around in my mind off and on for years has been modesty. Now let me get this straight. I try my very hardest to not judge others for their clothing choices. If they choose to wear something a little more revealing, that is their choice, and it does not matter if they do not feel convicted in the way I do. I really do not want this post to come off as self-righteous or holier-than-thou. As a matter of fact, I have been so afraid that I will come off this way that I have been avoiding writing this blog post for a while in fear I might make others think I’m just like those other Christians out there, who are quicker to judge than they are to love. And I don’t want to be placed in one of those horrible categories. I only want to share on this topic because it happens to be such a struggle for me. 

I am a very fashion-conscience person. I like to have my own look, my own confidence, and to show my artistry in my outfits. I enjoy color, patterns, polka-dots, and shoes. Dear god, way too many shoes. My husband can attest to that. So when I go shopping for something I really need, I can become easily discouraged and confused. 

I was raised to be modest. When I moved out, I thought I would change my mind about that, but I didn’t really. I had a few moments were I thought I would, and bought some clothes I got rid of pretty quickly after that period of time, but I have remained modest for most of my life. 

First of all, I believe that the body is a temple. Unfortunately my eating choices as of late have not proven that, but moving on. If the Holy Spirit dwells within me as a Christian, I think I should respect this deity. I also believe that the way I dress and the amount of skin I am showing shows the level of respect I have for myself to others. If someone else is comfortable and confident wearing less than me, I usually do not think they lack respect for themselves unless their actions prove that. Okay, that sounded kind of wrong, but I hope the true intent of that post came across properly. 

Maybe I should explain? If you come to the club in a cute dress and heels and are hanging with your girls, or even hanging with a guy and having a drink, go you! But someone who comes to a party alone with a dress that reveals everything and then begins hanging on everyone in the room isn’t necessarily wearing that dress because they are confident (at least in my head it reads that way), but maybe because they want attention and they aren’t sure how else to do it. Ugh, that still sounds harsh. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is: personality. Modesty allows me to make friends based off of my personality and not my body. I don’t have to worry if people are asking to be my friend because I’m hot (which my body is not), or because I’m a cool person. I don’t want this to sound like all guys are hungry for every woman’s body and they better cover up or a man is going to get the wrong idea. I say, dress how you want and let your personality shine through. 

But for me, personally, where I am in my walk, I feel called to this “higher living” standard. It’s not that any Christian that isn’t afraid to show some skin is wrong, but I’m married, too. For me, if I’m dressing like a trophy, I’m not winning for the right things, I’m only showing off to a list of people who can’t have me. And then I’m getting attention in ways I don’t want it. What is covered up is for my husband, for his delight, and for his eyes. I feel like when I made my vows, I owed him this respect. I owed myself this respect. And most importantly, when I took my vows as a Christian, I owed my bridegroom, the Lord this respect. 

Yeah, I like looking attractive, But I also like feeling confident in my own skin in my own way. And this is why shopping can be such a nightmare. I am so thankful I have learned my own style. I have found that lots of layering covers things up in ways unimaginable so that I can still look fashionable without looking like a twenty something who stepped in a potato sack. 

Why do I have to spend hours searching for a dress I can wear by itself without having to find accompanying tights, tank top, and slip to go under it? I recently went on vacation and was mocked because I chose to wear surfer shorts and a t-shirt as my swimsuit. If I don’t wear my underwear out for the world to see on a daily basis, why would I put it on to go to the pool or the beach? It’s just not me. And maybe it’s you, and that’s okay, but I don’t feel comfortable in that. 

But sometimes, being laughed at for my clothing choices, for being afraid to wear a top that has no sleeves or straps makes it tough. I want to be cute, I want to be my own person, but when this world doesn’t understand the modest person anymore, it can be enough to make you want to give in so that you don’t feel that scornful eye. I almost wanted to give in and wear a swimsuit like normal people, but was then reminded who I am and laughed at that idea. Yet somehow, some days it is still tantalizing, and then I remember I am not like the world, I cannot dress like it.

I smell memories: beautiful, regretful, and confused.

One thing that I have always found fascinating is the ability smell has of transporting a person back to a more innocent, memory-filled time in their life, whether wanted or not. Someone once told me this is because the memory center of the brain is very near the smell center. It makes complete sense. I just wish being in public didn’t sometimes catch me so off-gaurd. I am very smell oriented. I don’t know if I value memories more if I can remember a scent from that moment in time, but there are so many smells I associate to particular life events and it can be terrifying sometimes where my mind drifts off to when certain smells invade my thoughts.

For instance, this last week I was on vacation. I was walking around the resort enjoying myself when a woman with strong perfume walked by and I was transported back to a more innocent youth, before the ghosts began digging graveyards in my soul. Her perfume reminded me of my mother. My dad had a few favorite scents he loved, one of them being Cinnabar, and each year when she was close to running out my dad would make a special trip to the store and surprise her with a new bottle. He would have it all beautifully wrapped and put it strategically on her bedroom dresser or out on the kitchen counter with a pretty note, and she’d be all glowing and beautiful when she discovered it. And then my mother would proudly wear it around the house, or all snuggled up in bed waiting for my father to arrive home from his late-night work shifts. She loved the way he looked at her, with that beautiful smell surrounding her like a goddess. I remember my father coming home from work, their eyes glistening in excitement to see each other. When they’d kiss in front of my brother and I, we’d tell them to go do that somewhere else. Then they would giggle and my mom would peck him on the lips and walk to the kitchen like God had blessed her with the best prize she could have ever hoped for.

Their love was different in my eyes then. They are still together after all of these years, thank goodness, but I think a child’s view of their parent’s love is so innocent in the beginning. Before the world began showing it’s darker colors, I viewed my parent’s marriage through the lens of a fairy-tale. But I’ll never forget the night my dad came home from work to see my mom all proud to be his wife, gloating in her Cinnabar scent, and he told her to stop wearing that perfume. It hurt his nose. He claimed he couldn’t breathe. She tried wearing a few of his other favorites, but it wasn’t the same after that. It’s not that he meant to hurt her, but things changed. Maybe that’s when I began seeing marriage differently. It’s not that they ever stopped loving each other, definitely not that, but I began to understand that long-term relationships begin to have a large amount of commitment mixed in with that sensation of bubbling love. Sometimes the proportion of love is smaller than the commitment, knowing the need to cling together through the storm or risk losing someone they still dream about spending the rest of their life with. Other times the love is so overwhelming, commitment is not even a worry, because they can’t stop smiling. Childhood love is so innocent, until the cracks begin to show.

Another scent-memory I always have is in regards to shampoos and shower gels. Growing up, the most relaxing times of my life were at my grandma’s house. As a kid, every summer I was lucky enough to have a trip carved out to see my family. My parents and my brother and I lived three hours away from my dad’s family, so when they would take the time to drive my brother and I out to grandma’s house, and let us stay there for a week or two, we were ecstatic.  Grandma would let our brains rot in front of Cartoon Network (before it was horrible, stupid TV), she always made the best sandwiches with bologna and pickles and mustard, and after a long day of playing in the backyard crick, she’d fill up a delightful smelling bubble bath and let us soak. Then she’d wrap us up in a blanket, and carry us to our rooms to change. We’d get cereal before bed and she’d make sure we were nice and warm before tucking us in. Sometimes, I wish childhood didn’t always feel like we’re rushing it. These days, a five year old is lucky to feel like a kid anymore. Too many people are concerned with makeup and high heels and short skirts to worry if their little girl might feel the need to look like Barbie or if she can enjoy her youth playing with the dirt in the backyard without being considered a lesbian. What happened to people valuing childhood? I wish I could get those moments back a few times a year. No worries.

It’s the bad memories that come with smell that I can’t stand. The ones that hit you in public and you instantly wish you could hide and cry, because remembering why it happened makes you regret all sorts of things in your life. It’s like a ticking time bomb. It’s hardest when someone walks by wafting his cologne because yes, he did smell so good, but nothing he did brings me smiles anymore. I wonder what ever made me think he could ever be good for me. That’s right, it was desperation. I’m so glad I gave up his tricks and found my husband. That cologne makes me think of how worthless I thought myself to be back in the day, how many times I was so close to giving up my values so I could string my bones along a man to feel his heartbeat. The only thing that saved me from complete destruction, was meeting my husband.

And now we’ve come full circle. Love and smells and redemption. I’m sorry this post isn’t as organized. My mind hasn’t been making sense of anything lately. It feels like bees are bouncing around in my brain, and I can’t formulate any complete thought long enough to flesh it out into something beautiful. Please, don’t judge me to harshly. Sharing this is so personal. I’m surprised with the things I’ve been sharing lately. But please do comment.