Surrender

After a long and weary road of being Jonah, I have once again (finally) come to the conclusion that surrender is, after all, a beautiful thing. Whether we run away from God because of hurt or pain or apathy or anger or whatever other reason, we only end up hurting ourselves in the process. Surrendering to God always brings intense relief, peace, contentment, and a sense of grounding. The floor is no longer shaking beneath my feet-it’s solid and real.

I don’t know why I keep doing this, but either way, it’s good to be back in His arms. It’s not safe, and it’s not easy, but it’s the best and most peaceful place to be. The most secure.

A while ago, I wrote this poem, and I’ve shared it a few times on this blog. But I keep experiencing layers of it, and today is yet another day when Like a Dance is relevant, so here it is once again. Happy Monday, everyone. xxx

Like a Dance

I am not interested in the mediocre.
Destiny, breathless, alive, fire.
These are a few of my favorite words.
I am not interested in living on the edge;
I am interested in jumping off it.

Let me fade, let Him grow clearer.
Where I am, I am in the way.
Where I walk, I walk in the wrong direction.
He is a breathless symphony;
He is the beat in my heart
and the fire in my chest.

Where I am mediocre,
He is extravagant.
Where words fail me,
His song always prevails.

He is adventure; He is love.
He is raging fire; He is a silent wind.

Being with Him is like a dance;
a dance none of us know,
a dance we once knew
and now must learn.

He leads and we follow;
He goes and we go after,
into places strange, unseen.

God of mountains, God of seas
God of the tempest and the firestorm:
take me there.

The Tempest and the Firestorm

We want so badly to be free. To roam and explore and grow and breathe and live.

What do we need to be free from? Aren’t we in control of our lives? Perhaps we want freedom from the mediocrity that always threatens to invade. Because along with responsibility and routine (which are not, of course, bad things in and of themselves) comes the difficult-to-resist tedious day to day sameness, which has a numbing effect. Before you know it you are stagnant, unmoving, unchanging, living life with your eyes half closed and doing everything mechanically. We have to be intentional about living – not the surviving part, but the thriving part. We are meant for so much more than simply breathing in and out.

Are you surviving? Or are you alive?

I am not interested in living on the edge;
I am interested in jumping off it.
-from “Like a Dance” in Take Me There

Why You Should Do NaNoWriMo

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1. Because you have nothing to lose.
If you don’t make it to the full 50k, who cares? You’ll have 1,000 or 10,000 or maybe even 25,000 more words written down than you did before. Even if you don’t officially win NaNoWriMo, you can’t lose, unless you don’t do it.

2. Because it’s an adventure.
You know those conversations where everyone is saying that they’re stuck in a rut, they wish they could do something different, etc? Well, here’s something different. This is like bungee jumping, except it lasts a whole month and you don’t risk a painful death. This is that kind of adrenaline.

3. Because you won’t be alone.
Trying to do something new on your own can kind of suck, and you get demotivated very quickly [see: my entire first and second years of university] if you feel like you’re an island. But NaNo is now at over 700,000 participants and counting, and unlike most enormous communities, we’re pretty tight knit. We have regional groups all around the world of around 20 to 50 people who meet up regularly during the month, we have forums and forum groups where you can meet cool people who will inspire you [see the Overachievers’ threads in the Beyond 50k forum, for example]. And tons of people, of all ages, start their very first novel ever on November 1st every year. Isn’t this the perfect time to try it?

4. Because you don’t know what’s inside you until you look.
You might think you don’t have ideas, or aren’t creative, or that you can’t write a novel. You might think that you are totally inadequate for this. But how do you know? If you’ve never tried, how do you know?

5. Because, SERIOUSLY, you have nothing to lose.
No one ever has to see what you write. Write for YOU. For the experience, the adventure, the love of it, whatever. Pick one and do it. NaNo is about you writing purely for the sake of writing and for the enjoyment of it. So why not try?

 

The Edge

edge of the world

It’s that moment…that moment when suddenly, your feet are no longer on solid ground. You hang in the balance, suspended, and there’s nothing below you. On the edge of a precipice, and nothing to hold onto; that jolting feeling that sends adrenaline through your veins. The moment you realize that just now, in this moment, you don’t belong anywhere. You can’t call anywhere home. You are between places, in the middle, like a floating hot air balloon, and there are not enough anchors or weights to tie you down anywhere. You are free falling. This…this is like cliff diving without knowing there’s a bottom and without knowing whether you’ll be able to get back to the top again. This is heart pounding, hyperventilating, trembling shock. The moment when you realize you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. The moment when you realize you don’t belong anywhere. A chasm below you and a chasm of stars above.

I don’t know if people remember this about their twenties. But just for the record, we have those moments. So if we sometimes seem like oversized teenagers, or if you think we should have it all together and we don’t, or if you’re wondering why we do the things we do and get all emotional and have complete flip outs, and undergo personality changes, this is why. Maybe you were level headed and perfect in your twenties. Maybe you don’t have this happen to you, ever. But no matter how glass-half-full you are, no matter how resilient and strong and fierce and determined and free, this is The Edge. Like the edge of the world. And this whole time there’s been a path, and some stairs, and now suddenly there are no more stairs. There’s just…nothing. It’s hard to be in a place where it’s the beginning and the end and the middle all at once. It’s hard when you’re not a kid and you’re not an adult and you’re kind of nothing, really, except confused and adventurous and sometimes lonely and a little bit scared. (We can admit that, right? That sometimes we’re scared?)

It’s The Edge. And it’s where we are.

Rain and Soil and a Home That is Everywhere

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When I think of my home, I don’t think of one particular place. I think of people I love. I think of the many places where I have left little bits of myself, like a trail of breadcrumbs. I am not saddened by this realization, that I am a nomad. It’s been there for a while, after all. I’ve known for a while. Maybe one day I will be somewhere and not think of the other places, the other places that have either stolen or been given parts of my heart, my mind. Maybe one day I will be somewhere and find someplace where I will not think of playing outside in the darkness, and rain on cement, and rust that is after all just an ugly brown but seems, in memories, to be some kind of precious, reddish gold, some rare thing you can only find deep in a mountain or behind a hidden waterfall. Maybe I will forget about high, golden pyramids and little bowls of spices and a dust land, a desert land that stretches for miles, and then again lush green and rain dripping from huge leaves, like elephant ears, and fertile soil so dark it looks like it’s been soaked with blood and ink.

I do not pretend, I hope, to be some kind of traveling gypsy. Most of my time is spent in one place, in a place I love very much and can’t imagine leaving. And yet…I can, and want to, and there is so much pain and guilt and I am so torn, because I am home, and I am with my friends and my family and I love them, and I love this place and it is the only place in the world that beats out the same rhythm as my heart, as if I came from its very womb and am attached to it in some intangible way.

But there is wind in my blood, and too many other places I love. A country is not just a place with borders on a map and some interesting places to see. A country is alive and breathing, and every country beats differently, pulses to a different beat, breathes a different kind of sigh. A country is a whole world, a whole universe. A country is the soil you walk on, the soul of the eyes of the people you see all around you, the dust in the air, the blades of grass, a scent, a taste, a sound.

People creep into your heart and you feel guilty because you come and take what you can, and then leave. And then you go to the place you call home and write some poetry and pretend to understand. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? You don’t understand, but you want to, and so you dream and you write, and if you are very, very lucky, someday you go back.