Category Archives: poetry

What the Body Knows it Remembers

My legs are a-wobble. Every half a step forward, a good bit sideways I go. Trying my best to stand still, I list to one side and then the other. Closing my eyes, I teeter — no, not exactly teeter — I tip, lean, crest a wave and recover to ride the next and the next. I roll.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not impaired — neither drunk, nor woozy. I’m fully awake, fully aware, fully cognizant, all systems go. It’s just that my body’s balancing system thinks it’s still aboard the ship where I spent the last week. In spite of all my other senses saying, “See, you’re on pavement. Solid ground. Perfectly still. Nothing’s moving,” my body isn’t buying it. It’s tuned into its own channel, plugged into its own input source, trusting its own instincts.

Funny, I have queried others who were aboard the boat with me and none have experienced this sustained rocking. My husband was totally terrestrial the moment we came ashore. Other friends had perhaps a day or two of remnant “sea legs.” But I rock and roll a good long while. Only over multiple days of walking on terra firma, will my body return to its former stride; the old way, the boring but steadfast, the everyday way.

Just between you and me, I prefer the rhythm of the waves. There is just something in me that finds home there. I wonder if rhythm is my default sensation.

It served me well on our expedition from the ship over to Espanola Island where paths were pretty treacherous: big rocks and very unsure footing. At first, my sneakers kept slipping; the harder I tried to find just the right foothold, the more unsteady I became. But when I found my footing by hip-hopping, one-two-ing, left-righting from one rock to the next, I kept my balance. Cha-cha-cha. Was anyone else feeling the rhythm or grooving to the beat? Probably not. Yes, embarrassing. Don’t tell them.

But here I am, a full week ashore and still rocking my sea-legs. Am I just made differently?

Makes me wonder if my first language wasn’t words, but movement. Before we speak, we move. Why can’t that be our native tongue? Can’t you just picture the moment? The Creator thinks, hmm, this one’s gonna think in motion. And not random motion but guided motion and choreographed motion. She’s gonna respond in motion and understand in motion. When she sees someone move, she’ll move, too. When she’s stumped, she’ll untangle things on the move. It’ll stay with her. It’s the way I’ll speak to her.

Why wouldn’t the one who created the winds and the waves, the storms and the calm, the rhythm and the rocking, sow this into us as well?

I must say, the rocking is gentling so I’m not in a hurry for it to go. It has a language of its own. Seems to speak in a very old tongue from the ancient of days, from before days, perhaps even before time, when that language of love that holds and rocks and caresses and cares spoke creation itself.

Before there was light by which to see 
and air through which to hear;
Before there was land on which to stand,
and an expanse of sky to draw our gaze upward;
Love was in motion.

Surely, it was.
And still is.

God loves the imperfect

As one who makes mistakes,
but tries desperately not to,
I confess, I love hearing that
God loves the imperfect.

As one who must regularly confess
the miscue, the misdeed, the missed mark,
I delight in the notion that
God loves the imperfect.

As one who, just yesterday,
said a quick yes, when I should have said a considered no.
I am grateful that
God loves the imperfect.

As one who just typed imprefect
rather than imperfect,
I am glad that God has a sense of humor 
and still loves the imperfect.

As one who pays too much attention 
to what others think, in hopes they'll approve, 
I sigh deeply to think that
God loves the imperfect.

As one whose tendency is 
to find fault with oneself and too often 
with the other, I am humbled to know that
God loves the imperfect.

As one who regularly revisits what I should have said, 
while others are speaking and I should be listening, 
I am bolstered to know that
God loves the imperfect.

As one who is easily distracted and often
a million miles away from where my feet are,
I feel the universe gather me back to the
God who loves the imperfect.
 
As one who regularly tries too hard
to earn her own approval,
I inch my way into the pool of grace and hear again that
God loves the imperfect.

The past is the past, God says,
as God's love of the imperfect 
firms the footing of those whom
God is perfecting.

On the sixth say, God created humankind,
you and me and all of thee,
and God said we were very good.
We were not yet perfect.

God loves.
God loved then.
And still, God loves the imperfect.
Thank God.


 

Climbing down from my control tower

Control … such a buzz word. Who has it? Who wants it? Who’s in it?

Don’t be so controlling! we say. Because we want to have our say. We want to have our way.

What if, 
instead of loose-ing our control,
we climbed down out of our control towers?
down the steps from the platforms
where we otherwise attempt
to play God with our lives?

"But..." I say, "from here I can see it all!
All incoming traffic
All outgoing traffic
What approaches and what departs..."

From here I can see everything!
It's clear. I'm clear for take off.
"You're clear for take off," I advise myself.
"Runway 4-9, four-niner, clear for take off."

Oh my, why?
You're not cut out for this kind of work, Wendy.
It takes a cool head to be an air traffic controller.
Confident.
Detailed.
Conscientious.
Certain.

Make a mistake and people die!

Lotta heart disease in this profession.
Lotta cardiac arrests,
Lotta blocked arteries,
bypass surgeries,
early retirement.

Who in their right mind would willingly assume
control tower duty over their own lives?

Me,
I'd rather listen for instructions
from a voice I recognize and trust.

Wendy, you're clear for landing on runway 2B.

Roger that.

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