“Fog”

She loves the state of fog she’s in. It fades the trees to painted wisps of smoke, and all she can see is the faint yellow line dividing the black asphalt. The lack of scenery in the headlights allows no distractions from the daydreams cruising through her head. The Cure’s “Lovesong” blares from the walls of the car doors, muting the yawn of her awakening passenger. Six more days until they reach their destination, and the road never looked so infinite. But the forecast in the city calls for clear, cerulean skies, so she presses her foot to the floor. 

A new year never looked so inspiring.

“Safe”

Reach your hand and take hold
Can you wake me up
Cruised then crashed, caught off guard

Say the words, reveal it
Can you take me in
Under waves, an echoed voice

Dig deep and give your heart
Can you pull me out
Prospective and inevitable

Make eye contact and lock it
Can you make me feel
Cage limbs, safe and sound

“Symmetry”

When the sunset breaks through the line between sky and sea, it creates a perfect symmetry.

Although it felt as if the whole world changed, it didn’t.

It was me.

Found; I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

“Church”

Loneliness is within her. Wherever she goes, it follows.

She lays in bed too long on Saturday morning. She gets ready and steps outside,  breathing in the icy air, watching the bright sun blind the city. She warms her insides with the city’s best coffee, and spends the last of her “leisure” cash on a syrupy pancake breakfast that’s too much to finish on her own. She walks for hours, taking pictures of anything she finds interesting because it passes the time. She smiles at every stranger who passes her way, wondering if they’re lonely too. She sits on a bus for its whole route and reads from a Book.

She shops for groceries on her own and pretends it’s a performance of how best to look “okay.” She cooks and eats whatever she wants, because it’s dinner for one, again. She throws her socks across the room because there’s no one to object. She wraps in multiple blankets when there’s no one to hold her. She spends the night sitting on the balcony watching the stars, wondering…

Sunday morning she greets the church and feels the best she’s felt all week. The loneliness seems smaller. She remembers Who’s with her. She knows this is temporary. She knows it’s a season.

Peace is within her. Wherever she goes, it follows.

He’s the hope she carries in each step. He’s with her on Saturday morning, in that quiet, undisturbed space, listening to her thoughts. His evidence is in the winter air and blinding sun. He’s the cozy feeling of comfort she gets when she drinks her coffee. He walks with her and smiles at her through strangers’ eyes. He speaks to her through the words of the Book she reads on the bus. He sees through her performance as she attempts to look “okay,” and knows the longing within her. He doesn’t mind what she cooks or how many socks she throws across the room. Unlike the blankets, He holds her all the time. He looks down from his garden of stars and sees exactly where she fits in His plan. And on Sunday, He reminds her she’s not alone.

The Spirit is within her. Wherever He goes, she follows.

“Loved”

His fingertips are lightning bolts; reaching out for impact. Each flash of light is contact and it shakes the planet. His voice echoes for miles and if it weren’t for the trees, we’d all be wiped out. But these electric bolts aren’t limited to destruction. They cut hearts to change them, and burn bad habits like fire at the butt of a last cigarette. His hands surround a single orb of life in a galaxy of dead globes and we’re alive because of Him. He breathes over space like a whisper with the force of a thousand hurricanes. He says, “I’m here,” and for the first time it feels like all of creation could explode into a million stars and it would be alright. He is the Alpha and the Omega. His will cannot be stopped. The greatest reassurance for this speck of a being that I am, is that He sees me. He sees us. We are loved.

“Souvenirs”

The music’s loud and it’s exactly what she needs. The soundwaves mute the pounding of her heart in her throat and the crowd makes her comfortably numb. Before the breakdown there’s a melody and it replaces all the fear with supernatural power. The louder, the better and she’s realizing what a mess she was before today. She’s got a heart that follows breadcrumbs into dark houses full of nightmares and killjoys, and eyesight too weak to see the warning signs along the way. But she won’t be defined by these souvenir panic attacks over tiny letdowns that trick her into believing her entire world were about to crumble apart, leaving sinkholes and lava streams across her soul planet. How tormented is the love that fears you’ll kill it and still walks beside? How many chains does it take to bind a romantic heart to keep it from its own self-destruction? But she doesn’t want a brick wall heart. How loud does the music have to be before the vibrations demolish the weakness for good? All this moment is doing is revealing her true motives and her reckless naivety terrifies her. She believes the best and it’s been the death of her countless times before. Clockwork. Some days she’s going out of her mind, and all the steps she takes to get to her goal seem futile. She looks ahead but each step is really her walking up the down escalator into this person she was that she never knew could exist until now. Future, past, present. A cycle. None of this makes any sense to you or her, but how can you describe the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that lingers despite your efforts to fill it with life? There’s a void and she’s the best at reminding herself it’s there. “I am my own worst enemy.”

“Nociceptors”

The truth is, there are some things you never fully get over. Experiences, both pleasant and tragic, that have shaped you into the person you are today. Some things may always sting you when you remember, but you have to figure out how to live with it… knowing that those places, or that language, or those smells are a painful part of your incredible history. Memories and fears might reopen wounds, but those wounds will heal as they did before. Like the good times, the bad ones mold you, too. It hurts to feel them drift in, but like tides, they will wash back out again, and float far away into the archives of your mind. The past will never be forgotten, but if you let yourself, you can feel, explore, live, and connect again. The shorelines where dreadful castles once held you captive, have since been wiped out by new waves. New experiences will be your sanctuary. Trust in the One who makes all things new. And you will be led to new places, people, and opportunities, that will carve a new image from you, and those archives will get buried deeper underneath, disconnected from the nociceptors. “A man left to himself will deteriorate,” so don’t run when love comes rushing in. Stand your ground, face your fears, and like a tree with deep roots, brace for impact.