Category Archives: creativity expressed

these are poems, stories, songs, paintings, and generally anything else that is a form of creative expression.

give me my words

give me my words.

i am no longer asking,

for too long
the words i have performed
have formed me into
a walking contradiction
projecting a truth
i don’t truly believe.

for too long
the words i have performed
have filled me with
the substance of lacking.

for too long
the words i have performed
have named me
too ugly, too intense, too broken, too…

give me my words.

i am no longer asking,

i need my words
because they give
and clarity to

i need my words
because they
and dwell in

without my words
i simply feel
with nowhere
for that to go.
so it just sits,
those feelings
(those words)
just sit
and they grow,
they take life,
they begin to
taking my own breath
and stealing my strength.

i need my words
because they give me
and power.

power to name
because there is
in a name
and power in naming.

i need my words
because they communicate
truth that i need to hear
over the sound of lies
that i have believed for too long.

give me my words.

i am no longer asking,


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still more

air rushes in
and for the hint of a moment
i am full
i am filled
the flutter of
adrenaline kicks
and just as quickly
the air escapes

the salty droplets
seem to halt
at my lashes
because i can’t bring myself to
let go

there is a weight
so heavy on my chest
as the rhythm repeats:

in, full
panic, out

because i know
deep down i know
there is still more to process
still more pain
still more lies to dismantle
still more truth to unfold

this is me
i am strong
i am confident
i am whole
i am known
and named.
it isn’t a lie

and memories
still swirling around
still stuck in my heart

and memories
like bricks and mortar
keeping this wall

but why?
my biggest question is

why is love still the issue?
why have i gotten so good at portraying an image
no matter how true
that it is the only thing even i can see?

why don’t i believe it?

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wander / wonder

i find my feet
on to ground
we dared not tread,
past the gate
that Fear keeps secure.

i find my heart
what is this stillness here?
this silence that is so full     (breath)
       so holy     (breath)
that it echoes
though no words have been spoken.

i find my mind
in the peace of a place
       called home
holding fast to these
trumpet-tongued secrets
to these
mysteries of a loud shout.

i find my eyes
what it is like to see
beyond the darkest shadows here
beyond wounds
we pretend to hide.

i find my thoughts
deeper and deeper
my entire being
    to the freshness of the air
    to the wholeness of my spirit
    to the Beauty of the other
    to the Truth of this Love.

i find my soul
how there could have been
a time
without hope in the One
       who names &
       who knows.

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finally giving in

The screen door slammed to a close behind her as she stepped outside into the gray and misty mid-afternoon. Slowly she turned the small box over in her hands, pulling off the plastic wrap as she went. As she opened the box the smell flooded her nostrils, and for a moment she was nostalgic for the time when this was routine. She recalled evenings staring at stars, long road trips, and deep conversations. She pulled one of the small cylinders up to her lips and reached into her pocket for the same lighter she had used years before. The clove crackled as it caught fire and she inhaled deeply. The feeling was familiar, yet distant. The minutes ticked by along with the memories, and her lungs started to burn as the pleasant recollections gave way to bitter ones. She flicked the cigarette to the ground and covered it with her shoe. She walked to the edge of the yard to the garbage cans and with a heavy sigh dropped in the still full box. This time, she knew there was no going back.

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to the mountaintop

i found this poem that i never posted. it accompanied a painting that i made as part of my process of reflection after a trip to new orleans and jackson, mississippi in 2009.

there’s something electric in the air today
it has the energy of a revolution
of truth & love

my eyes are open to things broken:
to the battered lives bound by hurt
and to the chains that lie in ruins
around a life that has been redeemed

and you are calling me to the mountaintop

i run hard with all i have to meet you there

this is the journey you and i are on
one day high
laughing, living, rejoicing
and all too quickly facedown
struggling to regain what has been lost

the sun of righteousness will rise
with healing in his wings

let’s start a revolution
against the forces that impede truth

let’s start a revolution
against unforgiveness

let’s start a revolution
against cycles of hurt passed on to others

let’s start a revolution
of hope.

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Filed under creativity expressed, retrospectives


last week, i had the girls full time, and one of the things that i came up with for us to do was an art project similar to the kind of mixed media projects i have done in the past. i chose to make one with them, and i was sort of surprised by the process as well as the final product that came out.

here it is in its current state:

newspaper shreds from the Seattle Times and cutouts from Time magazine

i started without a vision for this piece, which is something i have never done before. usually i have something in mind when i begin, and i work until it is complete. this time around, i simply started and waited to see what came out. i was even expecting this to be a sort of silly collage with no real meaning, something fun to occupy our morning. but as i began to work, meaning started to flow from the way the elements were coming together.

i also read a book called For the Beauty of the Church this week, and it left me with many thoughts and questions. but one chapter talked about how one characteristic of an artist is the ability to revise. i thought this was interesting, because revision usually isn’t part of my artistic process. it almost always involves a very specific vision and when i am done, i’m done.

this piece that i did last week needs revision. there are elements that are meaningful and important and there are elements that are extraneous. i am going to take the opportunity to change the things that need to be changed in order to create a piece that is rich and cohesive, rather than settle for something that is less than what it could be.

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summertime goals

I have some big plans for summer. number one is to simply enjoy life with no homework, no assigned reading, and no guided theological reflection. how am I going to embrace this time? by giving myself homework, assigned reading and topics for reflection…like the nerd that I am.

so, I have already posted my reading list (which I reserve the right to add to or subtract from at any time), but here are some of the other things that I hope to accomplish this summer.

create at least one mixed-media artistic piece. for me, this usually means some combination of acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, sketch, magazine cut-outs and mod podge. I haven’t done one of these in about five years, but it has been my most satisfying artistic endeavor to date.

– write a blog post synthesizing my theology of Scripture and why I think it is important to understand the role of Scripture in the life of the worshiping community. this will hopefully serve a dual purpose: as a tool for me to process and organize my thoughts and hopefully as a resource for people at my church that are considering this question in light of some major topics our denomination is considering.

– hike. this one is self-explanatory, right?

– simply be with friends who are family and family who are friends. you may have noticed that I am in grad school. the funny thing about grad school is that it monopolizes a lot of my time, and it will most likely only consume more as I get further into my program. as a result, I have neglected many of the relationships that I have held dear over the last five years, and I hope to spend time wisely this summer rebuilding some of those relationships and continuing to develop the ones that I have been able to maintain this year.

– craft a poem/hymn/song/(whatever it turns into) inspired by Brother Emmanuel’s book Love, Imperfectly Known

– design and get my next tattoo.

I will most likely be adding more to this list, but here is what I have so far.

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