You have my word.

Words have power: that must count for something.

The unravelling man

There is a man made of string. He is unravelling, not quickly but all too slowly and all too thoroughly. You don’t even have to watch closely. You won’t

miss a thing

as the string

now begins

to unwind

to its end

every thread

coming loose.

there’s no use

in the fight

to pretend

or prevent

or attempt

to make right

till it’s through.

He doesn’t yet know there is nothing he can do. The thing about unravelling is that you don’t know it’s happening till you’re standing at the halfway                  mark

so you start

and you try

bit by bit

piece by piece

though you still

land up

falling apart.

it takes time

and it’s slow

and you know

you must wait

for the pain

and the ache

to subside.

The unravelling man stands. Still. Still standing. Unravelling like a kite string – being pulled by invisible kite and invisible wind. One day it will land, and he will have to string together a semblance of what he used to be when it all began.

I am the unravelling man. Wearing thin. A candle wick string burning at both ends. Waiting to start again.

—–

The title of this piece was a writing challenge I was given by a friend, no other set parametres. Let me know what you think. What would you have done? How would you have gone about it?

A trial of guilt and grace

The uncomfortable truth is that we are all guilty.

They drag her in – hair and limbs and fright. She is plastered with their accusations of filth, adultery, lust, abomination. They have called her so many names she has forgotten her own.

Our intrinsic flaw – sin – renders us insufficient.

Licentious, fragile form is cast before a throng of eager listeners – not for her cry, but for the words of Holy. The greed of hypocrisy bids for two with one stone. What is the verdict?

Whether believing or not we all know exactly what grace is and how much we need it.

Holy stoops to the dirt – ground and woman. He extends his arm to carve life into the dust – words and sand. The stream of questions and mockery are unending like her tears.

We are so unworthy. We have been indelibly tainted by venom from the start.

Momentary hush as Holy stands to address the pulsing mob. With gentleness Holy welcomes all hostile to hurl stones if… they are completely innocent. He bends again to finish writing.

How grateful I am that grace is not dependent on my worth or best efforts to be good.

Hesitantly the tightly-knit crowd begins to unravel and fritter away. Only Holy and her remain. Where are they? Has anyone condemned or damned? No, no one. Then neither do I. Go and abandon the life you lived.

We are not called to alter our course upon receiving condemnation. Alter course in lieu of kindness and Holy.

throwingstones

On silhouettes, snow angels and sleep

She sweeps with the precision of a four-year-old colouring outside the lines. She drags the broom’s face across the floor, clotting it with dirt and hair and crumbs. Frantically, she pushes and pulls and pushes and pulls like she’s hauling someone out of a hole, desperate to save them.

The floor is littered with dust silhouettes where furniture stands untouched. She cleans around, not under. No one will know, if no one moves. She forces the filth out of her house like soldiers driving natives from their homes; they never return, she hopes the grime follows suit. 

—–

She shreds diary pages with ardent fervency likened to what a meat grinder would do to bone, if left unattended. She’s heard the rumour that anything left to itself tends to chaos, and she can’t take the chance. There’s no telling what acrid slurs will do when burnt black and abandoned.

The hollow hardcover is now a snow angel in a shroud of fluttering half-truths. She used to lose herself between the paper and the ball of the pen, so often in fact, that she’s resigned herself to being lost. She writes and rips and writes and rips like she’s trying to undo what’s been done.

—–

She sleeps like the dead – ghosts, busying themselves with the troubles of man. There are not enough sheep to sacrifice in the counting of her sorrows to will the wake away. The dark has taught her the murmurings of prayer; though they fall foreign from her tongue, she knows the night is gentle and slow to reprimand even idle words.

Quietly, she whispers to worship and worry. She dare not speak too loudly for fear of chasing away the stars. They are the company she keeps; they are the only ones that cradle her secrets and her dreams. They are far away enough for no one else to steal.

Don’t mistake the man for the mess

 

mistake the man for the moment

Don’t mistake the man for the mess is my extension of what’s already been penned. “Don’t mistake the man for the moment,” is what Jamie Tworkowski wrote a week ago in response to Henry Rollins’ take on suicide, but I need to extrapolate the extent to which his statement applies.

In essence, the totality of a man should not be weighed in a moment.

Everyone loses their grip sometimes. Everyone flips the bird. Everyone is hopeless sometimes. Everyone makes a bad decision at some point. Those are the moments.

In extension, the totality of a man should not be weighed in the mess either.

The mess is sometimes what ensues and engulfs after the moments. It’s the sometimes inexplicably undoable; it’s the sometimes all-encompassing broken; it’s the sometimes perpetual now for a ‘time’ that isn’t yet reined in enough to be called a ‘time frame’.

We are not our moments; we are not our mess. We cannot judge another by either lest we fall to the same retribution. 

We are not our weakness, though we have them – many, for some. We are not even our strength, though we hoist them high and trust them to carry us on the wind. We are not our rage, though the fury sometimes fills our veins – it is not our blood. We are not our greatest joys, though pray them plentiful and relish the radiance they shine.

We are sacred vessels made from dust and holy breath. We are coarse clay, cracked enough to let light scrape through. We are consecrated dirt and beautiful Divine graced to walk through the moments and the mess.

Do not mistake either for the man.

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