Using Words to Portray Accurately

I’ve written stories my entire life. I still do, but now I don’t do it to simply please myself, or with the faraway dreams of “someday I will become a famous author”, but with the hope that someone, somewhere, will be delighted or encouraged by what I write. I write to be real and raw. I write to put a smile on someone’s face, or to comfort others in pain. I write to point others to the Hope in this dark world. I write to bring to life stories and characters that remain in my mind until, by writing, I set them free and introduce them to others.

I’m currently trying to write a work of fiction. I know I have a long way to go as far as attaining skill at this particular field of writing, but my hope is that the more I practice at writing, the more I observe and take in the world around me, the more I reach into the depths of my mind and retrieve memories and experiences to fit into my stories… I’ll hopefully improve slowly but surely.

How does one write fiction that deals with the harder things in life—incorporating within the story my own personal experiences of depression, fears and doubts?

How do I depict these real situations accurately, as well as the emotions and feelings that result?

And how do I do this while avoiding making the main character seem like a crybaby instead of, as I intend, a strong person who is dealing with a lot?

How do I write about the realities of dealing with loss or pain, or feeling like I don’t have the strength to live through another day, or struggling with doubting everything I have known—in a way that would cause the reader to feel along with the main character, or be able to relate… and not scoff and go, “psshh, that’s not very realistic”?

How do I write about hard things, without making them the focus of the book, thus discouraging the reader—how do I provide a balance of pain and joy?

…These are skills that I am seeking to learn as I practice writing.

This story I am working on is very loosely based on some of the things that I have been through, and how in the end, they turned out for good—so much beauty and goodness came about as a result of these difficult trials. However, before the beauty there was much pain, and I want to capture the depths of that season, how I felt, my struggles with not knowing why things were going the way they were… while knowing still that whatever happens, God is still good. As I look over what I have written, I hope that others see the story as I see see it when I read it—that others would not just pass the character off as overly emotional, but that they would see what the character is going through, and feel along with her. I hope to tell the story as realistically as possible.

In the story, Willow Dellinger is a sophomore in college. She could be doing better in school if she didn’t have to carry these burdens—the recent death of a sister, depression, health concerns, and hard struggles with unbelief. These things make life hard for her to live, and make her studies harder to accomplish… stressful events are draining. But things get better over time. Through the encouragement of friends, through experience, and learning the art of self-forgetfulness, she learns that even in the darkest days there is always a reason to take heart, a reason to be thankful, a reason to live.

I will post parts of the story on my blog later!

—Maddie

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Life. — 07/14

I’ve been wanting to do a life-update post for a long time, but haven’t gotten around to it until now. So, here it is, finally!

Life these days has been good… lots of rest, which my tired body needs to heal. Lots of time outside in the country, away from the city for a while. (I love the city, but sometimes you just need to get away into nature a bit and get a change of pace.) Lots of sun (I’m starting to get a tan.) Lots of time in my hammock. Lots of time alone… sometimes it’s nice, but I’ve recently been seeing the need to be intentional about being with people more—being alone for long periods of time is never a good thing. A couple of walks, during which I would enjoy the trees, the flowers, the grassy plains, the clouds, the butterflies that would leave me when I would try to get near enough to get a picture of them…

Other than all of this, I’ve been doing a cleaning job on the weekends. It’s been a pretty okay job… it’s great when you have music to listen to. Last week I was cleaning a shower, and my arm accidentally bumped the faucet handle, and it sprayed water all over me. Thankfully I had enough time for it to mostly evaporate before people would see me all wet. Haha.

I’ve recently discovered this song, and it’s literally been on repeat until I started to grow tired of it. I think it’s pretty fun:

These days I’ve been feeling rather distracted, as I talked about a couple of posts ago. I want to wholeheartedly seek the LORD, but I so often get sidetracked, trying to find satisfaction in other things. Not that these other things are bad in and of themselves—they are good gifts created by God for us to enjoy—but when I start to put my hope in or base my identity upon these things, that’s idolatry. My constant prayer is that I would love the LORD with my whole heart, soul, and mind, and learn to enjoy His gifts rightly, enjoying Him ultimately. God is the Source of all good, truth and beauty; therefore, I should find my refreshment from the Source, not the stale, stagnant pool to which it leads. (That may be a cliché analogy, but it totally makes sense to me, so I’ll use it.) Ad Fontes! (Latin: “To the fount!”)

This gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, egg-free, happiness-free (just kidding… sort of) diet has been good, kind of hard, and very helpful. Although I REALLY miss cheese, yogurt, ice cream and butter, cutting out dairy was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I feel a lot better. I’ve been trying to eat things that don’t ferment very much in the gut (I have this list of foods that do and don’t), so yes, my diet is rather limited. However, I’m doing this so I can heal. Once my gut has healed well enough, I can start re-introducing things like brown rice and sweet potatoes (I am REALLY looking forward to that day).

What have you been up to these days?

-Maddie

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Hello everybody! I was nominated for another award… the Sunshine Blogger Award! The lovely person who nominated me is none other than Carol, who nominated me recently for the Liebster Award. Again, Carol’s blog is fun, cheerful, and, well, sunshine-y, so whoever nominated her for the award got it right. :) Go check out her blog and follow her!

Rules:

  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

 

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

 

Carol’s questions (and my answers):

  1. When it comes to books, what’s your favorite genre to read? — Hmm… I love the Bible. :) And I do like theology books in moderation (I say “in moderation” because that’s almost all I read for the past 3 years at college.) I love classics like Pride & Prejudice, many of Louisa May Alcott’s books, and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. (I’m only in the middle of the second book, and I am in love.)
  2. Are you a righty or lefty? — Lefty all the way.
  3. Do you scream for ice cream too, or is it only me? — I do inwardly (I’m pretty quiet), for dairy-free, sugar-free ice cream.
  4. Are you a tomboy or a girly girl? — I feel like I’m somewhere in between. I really am not a huge fan of pink… unless it’s very pale, blush pink. I do like sparkles, but not wearing them. I don’t wear makeup… I consider it a hassle to put it on and take it off, and I absent-mindedly touch my face a lot anyway. However, I am not athletic, I’m not a fan of roughing it at all (I love hotels and real bathrooms and daily showers and air-conditioning… and wi-fi). My style of clothing consists of earthy colors like olive/army green, burnt orange, all sorts of “dusty” blues, black, white, gray, plaid flannels… but I do love me a classy dress and some heels every once in a while. So yeah, definitely a bit of both.
  5. If you had to choose one, would you choose flight, mind-reading, or invisibility? — I would NOT choose mind-reading, because I care too much about what people think as it is, and it’s very enslaving… I would go for flight. I’ve always watched birds and daydreamed about what it would be like to fly, or to be able to jump off of a cliff and take flight, soaring over the depths (rather than plummeting into them). That would be so cool.
  6. Can you twitch your ears? — That would be cool, wouldn’t it. Nope.
  7. Describe yourself in three words. — Empathetic, perfectionistic, artsy.
  8. Do you prefer walking flights of stairs or taking the elevator? — Elevators, unless they are elevators to skyscrapers with over 20 floors… not a fan of all the pressure in the head. But I suppose even then I would take the elevator, because there is no way I am climbing over 20 flights of stairs.
  9. Give one silly fact about yourself (your choice). — When I was little, if anything was colored differently than it should be, I would freak out. (Face paint, for example.)
  10. Who do you look up to the most/who’s your role model? — Jesus Christ. I want to be like Him.
  11. Lastly… do you wanna build a snowman? ;D — Sure, why not? :)

 

My nominees:

(one or two of these may have already been nominated for this award…)

Shayla @ Shayla Kay

Sunshine @ Sunshine In My Soul

Colleen @ Colleen’s Cluttered Collections

Grace @ In Pursuit

Christina @ I Write To Understand

Lauren @ Simply Sweet

(IDK what her name is!) @ Shards of Epiphany

Amanda @ To Dwell And Never Leave

Sarah @ Forever Aspiring Writer

Elise @ Tree Rings

Moriah Faith @ The Damsel’s Retreat

 

My questions for you:

  1. Do you have any allergies?
  2. What do you like to do for fun?
  3. Are you creative, intellectual, or athletic (or a mixture of either)?
  4. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  5. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
  6. If you have to eat 5 things for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  7. Do you have any phobias?
  8. Do you prefer movies or books?
  9. How was/is today going for you?
  10. Name a favorite family tradition.
  11. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

See ya later!

— Maddie

 

 

Bullet Journaling, Round Two

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A few days ago I started actually bullet journaling. Last year I attempted to do so, but didn’t really know how to do it (it was more like a handmade Day-Timer). I’m still figuring out how to as I go, but this time I know how to use the bullet system. In many ways I’m probably deviating from the REAL way to bullet journal, but that’s okay. Mine is actually a mixture between a bullet journal/journal/my own version of Penseés (if you’ve read Blaise Pascal’s “Penseés” you’ll know what I’m talking about… basically a book to write down every random thought or interesting thing you want to remember). Anyway, without further ado, here is a sneak peek of what I have so far!

This below is the Key/Index page. The key to the different bullet-points is left, and the index is on the right, as you can see.

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Here is my calendar for the month of July. (I have a pretty uneventful month, as you may notice.)

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Below is a sample of what a day’s entry looks like.

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I like to include some fun pages, too. I have one where I can write down things that inspire me:

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Sometimes I write out interesting quotes. (I don’t remember who said this, but I didn’t come up with it)

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On the next page, I made a list of conversation questions. I’m pretty shy and sometimes have a hard time keeping a conversation going, so I made this list to help me out. Might sound corny, but sometimes I need ideas of what to say next. (Don’t worry, if I’m ever talking to you, I’m not asking questions emptily for no reason or “just to keep the conversation going”, but because I’m genuinely interested in you and your life. This is just a helpful tool to recall in those days when I’m completely tongue-tied.) :)

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Not shown:

  • A medications/exercise tracker chart
  • A list of people to pray for
  • A “quotable quotes” page
  • Journal pages I didn’t really think necessary to post :)
  • More daily entries
  • Other quotes

Ideas for “fun pages” to be added later:

  • Best moments of 2017 (at the end of the year)
  • Goals for the new year (next year)
  • “I’m thankful for…”
  • Wishlist
  • Truths to remember

 

Do you bullet journal? What are your favorite tips and tricks? I’m very new at this so I could use all the help I can get, haha.

– Maddie

This Temporary Life

I am only a sojourner on this earth; a nomad, a wanderer. This world is not my home. I have a better Home ahead of me. But so often I forget that this is the case, and I live as though what I see and sense all around me is all there is to life. And I wander off my course.

And I “need” to see how many likes I’ve gotten.

To look or act a certain way.

To do all these frivolous things just because everyone else is doing them… and if I don’t, then I’m missing out.

And then I regain consciousness.

I am only here a short while. 

I need to keep reminding myself that this world is not my home; that there is so much more than just this life; so much more than what I perceive with my senses. Life is short and fleeting. Heaven and hell are real. There is an actual war going on between God’s angels vs. Satan’s demons, and we know who will win in the end (God). We Christ-followers are called to fight against sin, against the forces of evil, and keep clinging to Christ and making His Name famous—life is a battle. My eyes have been opened to the gospel, and so many people still do not know… what is holding me back from telling them? They need to hear about Jesus. They need to be set free from the bondage of sin. Which implies that…

How I live my life matters.

The decisions I make, the words I say, and what I choose to do with my time, money, energy, resources, etc., matter.

Do I really need to buy that one thing? Will it truly make me happy?

Do I really need to check Facebook for the tenth time today?

Do I really need attention, or money, or [fill in the blank]?

Am I spending my time wisely?

Am I listening to God’s voice, in other words, obeying Scripture, and following my conscience (if in accordance with Scripture)?

Am I living intentionally? Sacrificially?

Am I living in light of eternity?

Am I living as though I believed that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that He is most beautiful and worthy of my total allegiance?

Am I enjoying Him in everything I enjoy? (He is the Creator of these things, after all.) Or am I enjoying them more than Him, in an idolatrous way?

Am I living in light of the fact that someday Jesus is coming back?

Oh, may I remember to live life selflessly, intentionally, fearlessly, sacrificially, lovingly; as an alien and not a citizen of this earth, because I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom. May I not get distracted and side-tracked by the things of this earth. May I hold loosely any things of earth that God has given me, knowing that nothing earthly is eternal; these things will pass away—but the God I serve, and every soul who either will be with Him in glory, or face His eternal wrath… these are eternal. May I embrace this temporary life, but not too tightly, for it will not last forever.

 

May I live looking forward, toward my future dwelling, beyond this life, with the LORD and with His saints, for eternity.

May I love others and show them Christ, that they may share in what I have seen, and in what I will see after this life.

May I turn my focus to eternal things.

May I focus on what truly matters.

#MonthlyMusicPost — July

10 songs I’ve been enjoying lately:

1.) Beside You – Cameron James

 

2.) Your Love Is Holding Me Now – Urban Rescue. I love basically anything by Urban Rescue, really.

 

3.) It Is Finished – Dustin Kensrue

 

4.) Praise Him – The Royal Royal. This one is so fun.

 

5.) Joyful (The One Who Saves) – Benton Brown. We sing this one in church and I love it.

 

6.) Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts) – Shane & Shane. This is one of THE most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

 

7.) TESTIFY – NEEDTOBREATHE

 

8.) Happy – Waterdeep

 

9.) Carry My Soul – Phil Wickham

 

10.) His Mercy Is More – Matt Papa. “Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.”

 

What have you been listening to lately?

The Liebster Award!

Hey everyone! Hope you all are doing well and that your summers are restful and enjoyable. I know mine has been! Anyway, I was recently nominated by Carol for the Liebster award (thanks, girl!). Her blog is amazing, you should follow her!

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Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Display the award on your blog.
3. Provide ten random facts about yourself (optional)
4. Nominate 5-11 bloggers who you feel deserved this award and have less than 200 followers.
5. List these rules.
6. Inform nominees.

 

Here are 10 random facts about myself:

  1.  I am allergic to gluten, dairy and sugar.
  2. One of my eyes has a larger pupil than the other one (a result of Horner’s Syndrome). Cool, huh.
  3. I am left-handed.
  4. I recently started ACTUALLY bullet journaling and I love it! Maybe I’ll post about it soon.
  5. I really, REALLY don’t like caterpillars.
  6. I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies.
  7. I am a city girl with country-girl tendencies.
  8. I love hand lettering and typography, as many of you know.
  9. I am a tea-drinker, and I can’t stand coffee.
  10. I am very shy. Meeting new people, as much as I love people, is a scary thing for me. But once I get to know whomever I am talking with I become more comfortable… but it’s a slow process. Working on it.

Now here are my nominees for the award:

Rachel @ The Joy of Rachel

Amanda @ The Pen of Amanda

Erin @ The Mind That Wanders

Jessi @ Joyfully Adventurous

Rachel @ This Sunkissed Farm

I love these girls’s blogs; you should follow them!

-Maddie

 

 

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Carnations & Peonies

I currently have these vases of peonies and carnations on my desk, and they are just so pretty and smell so good. I wish that flowers lasted forever… they’re starting to fade now. A few days ago when they were new, I took some pictures of them (some were taken with my Ōlloclip).

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God is just seriously so creative.

Intense Gratitude

My heart is so full right now. God is so good. SO GOOD.

Firstly, I’ve been thinking recently about and marveling at how much God has done in my life these past few weeks, and how much better my life has been. I have no words. Some of you who know me well have heard from me how things have been going for me recently, and those of you who don’t know me but have been reading my posts from this past spring have an idea of how hard things had been. But it’s gotten so much better since then. Praise the LORD. (So to those of you out there who are struggling so hard and don’t see any hope for the future… hang on—it WILL get better, believe me.)

  • Mentally/emotionally, I feel great—so much more joyful and hopeful; so much more at rest—I actually enjoy my life more. I wake up nearly every morning feeling feel so much happier to be alive (not that I ever wasn’t happy to be alive).
  • Faith-wise… you know, it’s always a journey, I’m always learning; I’m a sinner in need of God’s grace. I mess up, I run to Him, He shows me mercy. By His grace, I keep running, learning to hate sin and love righteousness. So things aren’t perfect in the slightest (how could they be, on this side of heaven?), but He’s been teaching me so much, and blessing me and showing Himself to me in so many ways. I’ve experienced so much more joy in Christ, and God has been answering my prayers that I would enjoy Him more (shoutout to Jonathan Edwards’s Personal Narrative for the idea to pray this… Edwards did, and I thought, good idea!).
  • Physically, I feel better. I’m still not a perfect picture of health, but I have seen improvement. A significant example of this is that my hair is growing back. About 3 weeks ago I got it cut short (at about chin-length), and since then the amount of hair I was losing slowed down to a halt. Which is a serious answer to prayer. I am convinced that the reason for hair loss was mainly intense stress, while nutrient-deficiency also was a factor. (I get enough to eat, but my body can’t absorb enough nutrients.)

Which segues into the next thing that I am SO happy about: I had an appointment with my doctor today. I had gotten so many different tests done, and during this appointment we went over the results. And—praise the LORD!—the results came back with very pleasant news. I don’t have the possible conditions that I had been wondering whether I had. There was one test I did for “cross-reactives” (foods that the body reacts to as if they were gluten, even if they are completely gluten-free things, such as dairy, potatoes, etc.), and according to the test results, the only cross-reactive that my body can’t handle is dairy, which is kind of sad. On the bright side, all the other cross-reactives were negative (which means I can have things like potatoes and brown rice again! Praise the LORD.) In short, he concluded that things look very hopeful. I can start introducing those “cross-reactives” back into my diet, and I will still have to keep taking supplements, and continue doing exercises that help stimulate the left-cerebellum and brain stem. Anyway, I am so thankful that God helped me find this doctor, because I have NEVER been helped with my Celiac/Horner’s/Traumatic Brain Injury issues to the extent that he has helped me. Ever. My life makes so much sense—how these three conditions totally build off one another and cause all the various symptoms I’ve been having. I now know why I am this way, and have so much hope and confidence that things will only get better.

Thirdly, I’m just in awe over how God has just really blessed me with the friendships He has given me. I’m in awe over the wonderful sisters that God has placed in my life ever since starting college. I have grown so much because of them, and am so, so thankful for all the ways in which they’ve cared for me, listened well, offered wisdom and encouragement, and pointed me to Christ.  God placed the right people in my life at the right time. I’m also amazed at how God brings people together in suffering, and causes something beautiful to come from something unbearably hard. Or how real friendships will not cave under failures—I know that I have failed to be loving many times, yet by God’s grace, there is forgiveness, and the friendship continues on, stronger. Community is such a beautiful thing.

God is just amazing. I can’t say it enough.

—Maddie

#myriadsofblessings 06/18

  • Flowers.
  • Grilled vegetables (I’ve forgotten how good things are grilled.)
  • Adventures with friends.
  • Visiting new places.
  • The beach. I got to go to a real beach for the first time since I was 16, and it was wonderful.
  • Finding people who enjoy what I enjoy.
  • Enjoying something with someone else.
  • People who make me laugh.
  • God’s Word.
  • Corporate worship.
  • Drawing.
  • Freedom.
  • Having all the time in the world to get back to doing art again.  #summer
  • God’s faithfulness and mercy.
  • Blueberries.
  • Homemade blueberry lemonade.
  • Cute shoes. (Sounds shallow, but I don’t mean to be)
  • Air-conditioning.
  • Potted succulents. (I’ve always wanted one, and now I finally got one. Let’s if I succeed in not killing it.)
  • The color pink. (To be specific, very pale pink. Almost white. Not bubblegum or neon pink.)
  • Running water.
  • Not feeling nearly as unhealthy as I did about a month ago.
  • Pineapple.
  • Mangoes.
  • Social media to keep in touch with faraway friends.
  • New (pleasant) experiences.

What are some blessings in your life?

#MonthlyMusicPost—June

1.) You Make Me New – The Royal Royal

 

2.) Rest In You – All Sons & Daughters

 

3.) Kids – Citizens & Saints

 

4.) Celebrate – Jason Gray

 

5.) Dance – Tim Halperin

 

6.) Running – Tyler Batts

 

7.) First (Deluxe Sessions) – Lauren Daigle

 

8.) Float – Switchfoot

 

9.) Diamonds & Gold – The Gray Havens

 

10.) Ireland – Liza Anne

 

What are you listening to these days?

“Briars & Light”—a short story

I was lost in what seemed to be miles and miles of thick, overgrown woods all around me. Somehow—I could not recall how—I had entered into this maze of vegetation, and I had wandered so deeply into the middle that I could no longer see any light. After wandering seemingly in circles for hours on end, I collapsed on the ground, too exhausted to pay any attention to the bits of pine needle in my tangled hair, and the scrape on my shin that was bleeding.”I can’t go on any further,” I said to myself.

A tear rolled down my cheek, and it stung. I felt where the stinging sensation had happened, and I found a scratch on my cheek. The saltiness of my tears had irritated the wound. 

I curled up in a ball under a tree, and sobbed. I prayed. “Father, get me out of this, please.”
I finally picked myself up off of the ground, and kept walking, in hopes that my feet would take me somewhere, anywhere, away from this awful place. I walked on and on, dragging my limbs, though I barely had any strength left. No, I would try to escape this wood, even if in the endeavor I would die without any progress.
Then, suddenly—could it be true? No, surely I was hallucinating; I had not eaten in days, and I was exhausted… I was ill, and imagining things. But I thought I could see a faint light in the distance.

I ran.

I tripped and fell many times, and covered myself in bruises, but it did not matter to me. I approached that light as fast as I could. I was nearly prevented many times, approaching many obstacles, but somehow I overcame them all—a rushing river, mud that I feared would swallow me up, wild animals whose eyes glowed menacingly in the dark—but I found a way past them all. And at last, I came to that beautiful light. 

Golden evening sun-glow shone in rays through the overgrown trees. I felt the warmth of the light—it contrasted starkly with the cold atmosphere of the wood. Beyond this wood, where the sun shone brightly, was a clearing. I had to get to that clearing. The very sight of the glittering rays and the rolling hills beyond the trees was irresistible. But at the edge of this wood, before the sunlit plains, I began to notice thick briars, thorns and vines of many kinds that blocked my way to freedom. I wanted to fight through the tangled mess and step into that golden world that lay behind it all. But I stopped and began to doubt that this freedom was even possible.

“Look how thick these weeds are,” I said to myself. “I’m already so injured from everything I’ve blindly brushed up against. I can’t get through this.”

“But… so what if the weeds are thick and full of thorns? I’ll be free. Freedom is worth the pain.”

So I ventured up to the thorny brush and tried to break the weeds away. It was possible, but they poked and stung my already raw, worn hands. As I cleared a path, the thorns caught on my hair and clothes and tore them, and scratched my skin so that it sometimes bled.

Fed up, I stepped back. “I can’t do this!” I yelled with frustration.
Then I looked behind me at the endless, black darkness. I shuddered. No. “Freedom is worth the pain,” I repeated to myself, and attacked the thicket again with full force.

And at last, I broke through, and collapsed on the grass outside the wood. At last, freedom. It was worth the pain. It was worth the patience, the perseverance, the crying out in tears of agony and frustration, wondering if the anguish would ever end. It did. And here I was, on the other side of it. And I would never enter it again. Despite my lack of strength, I forced myself up off of the soft, green grass and ran far, far away from that wood until I could no longer see it on the horizon. I had found freedom, and I was going to flee even the memory of being lost.

“Petals” — a poem

I was a young and flow’ring tree,

With branches clothed so gracefully

with blossoms white and pink, that swell

With beauty, bearing pleasant smell.

 

At least that’s how things used to be—

Till change did overtake this tree.

Somewhere a Psalm says flowers fade*.

As seasons pass, so did my state.

 

One day the sun misplaced its glow,

And mid-May winds began to blow.

For summer, spring was making way;

My flowers, sadly, wouldn’t stay.

 

I saw my first few petals fall;

With balding blooms I stood appalled

As gusts of wind would carry off

The beauty I was so proud of.

 

It humbled me, stripped me of pride,

As I watched several flowers die—

Small heads, of petals quite bereft.

But then I still had many left…

 

Still, just like rain, the petals drop

Quite ceaselessly—they hardly stop.

The wind dies down, yet still they fall—

Will there be any left at all?

 

I feel much lighter than before…

But can these branches take much more?

This loss of beauty, stripped of charm?

Why must this wind do so much harm?

 

But… is it harm? Or is it grace?

Oh, could it be that this disgrace

Is just the means to better ends?

The gravity** this tempest sends?

 

Clouds thick with rain extract their tears

As I do mine, while standing here,

Bare, shivering, my blossoms gone.

But soon storms cease; I see the sun—

 

Dispelling darkness, causing sight

To see, where once stood pink and white,

On wind-blown branches, evidence

Of fruit beginning its existence.

 

And so I see. The wind was grace—

Although it for a time defaced

One type of beauty, I would meet

One just as beautiful and sweet.

 

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

 

Footnotes:

* referring to Psalm 103:15-16: 

“As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.”

Other biblical references to flowers fading occur in Isaiah, such as twice in Isaiah 40:7-8, and in James 1:11.

 

** “gravity” – double meaning—both referring to petals falling and the grave state of the circumstance

 

(originally posted at MaddieThePoet)

The Beginnings of Summer

My life, since I finished my last final:

Hung out with my classmates. Laughed a lot. Went to Chipotle with some of them. Was tired, so I tried to take a nap in an empty classroom (didn’t work). Did absolutely nothing yesterday morning and afternoon. Went to a swing dance, saw some friends there and danced twice. Hung out with some classmates some more, went for a walk with some of them around the city, going to the top of a parking garage and admiring the view (I didn’t go very close to the edge…heights. Ya know?). Went to bed at midnight. Tried to sleep in, but couldn’t (had this dream—a good one—after which it was impossible to go back to sleep). Journaled. Recounted the previous day’s adventures to my sister.

And my school’s commencement is tonight, so I’m really looking forward to going to that and cheering on some of my friends who are graduating.

It feels so good to finally feel alive again. This past school year was wonderful, and I am so thankful for the memories made, the beautiful souls I’ve gotten to know there, and the lessons I’ve learned, academic and otherwise. But it was hard, sanctifying, exhausting, and very draining. It’s good to have all of that behind me, and to finally be able to relax, recover and have some fun, and not have to worry about the next day’s assignments.