Now what?

To Infinity
(Photo: Freeimages)

Now what?
Rears its gremlin head
Now’s no good, it hisses
Later’s where it’s at
Blink — you see it
Blink — it’s gone

Now what?
Quagmire, muddy, deft and dumb
Booby trapped into dark corners drop
Gauzy notions of nothing

Now what?
Brain rebels, struggles, sputters free
Back here
Back now
No future implied
Just what is

Now

Redemption here & now

Two families
As close as close can be
Two cousins, closer
Teenage boy: big for his age, shaded eyes
Little girl: pig-tailed and giggly

“Come play with me,” he says
Her small hand, his large
Two years a secret
Don’t tell
But she does
“I have a boyfriend.”

“No remorse!” the judge rules, gavel down
The boy: juvenile detention, out at 18
The girl: counseling and a new school
The two families: dead to each other

Now what?
What will the boy’s future be?
Will he molest other children?
Can the boy be redeemed?

The boy discovers a cure for cancer, saving millions of people.
Is he redeemed now?

The boy gives bone marrow to a stranger, saving a young mother’s life.
Is he redeemed now?

The boy throws himself in front of a train, saving a blind grandfather.
By death is he redeemed?

Can the boy be redeemed
Here & now
Or never…

What do you think Dear Reader? Can the boy be redeemed?

Not this love

not_this_love_crShe thought herself immune
Thirty years inoculated
A rolling stone
A moving target
Addressee unknown
And happily so
She thought

But one day came and with it love
But how could this be?
Love didn’t know her
She was incognito
Flying under the radar
And happily so
She thought

His words sweet cut deep
Her shuttered heart creaked
Open, possibilities exhaled

But
A gold band

She wants to hide
To cover her head
To make it go away
But the lid has blown
Sky high
And the genie is out
Damn genie!

Her shattered heart cracks
Love has found her

But
Not this man
Not this way
Not this love

Student

I follow Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the mega-hit Eat, Pray, Love on Facebook. Earlier this week, she passed along advice she received from her friend, Pastor Rob Bell.

He said that whenever he starts to beat himself up for not being good enough at life, he simply writes this word on his hand — STUDENT — and reminds himself to look at that word several times a day, and to meditate upon it.

"Student" written on hand
(Photo: Liz Gilbert’s Facebook page)

Whenever he fails himself, or falls short of his ideals, or doesn’t know how to handle a complicated situation, he just looks at that word — STUDENT — and then gently allows for self-forgiveness.

Because we are all just students, after all.

We are always in the process of learning — and it’s not fair to expect that people who are in the process of learning should automatically always get things right.

Now I’m not promoting self-defilement, unless of course that’s your thing. But if we consider ourselves students here in Life School, then…

Why do we expect ourselves to be perfect?
Why do we think we should have all the answers?
Why do we judge ourselves — and others — for not knowing what we haven’t yet learned, or for forgetting what we have?

“You’re so stupid,” we say.
“You’re not enough,” we say.
“You don’t know anything,” we say.

Life School — unlike the predictable progression of grade school to high school to college — isn’t a linear curriculum. Life School is a series of fits and starts, high-highs and low-lows.  Sometimes we’re up. Sometimes we’re down. But always, always, we crave ACTION.

Gold star stickersDoing is our gold star. We are told that accomplishing and acquiring will make us happy.  We are told that not doing anything — just BEING — won’t get us the gold star and we really want the gold star.

The true student flows
Knowing what she does not know
Tracing uneven paths to nowhere
Never knowing
Never seeing

Around the next corner
Over the next horizon
What tomorrow will bring
But what is tomorrow when there is today
And today’s gifts
And this moment’s gifts
And the sun
And the music
And the sky
And the howling winds beating down her door

I quiet my mind to sense the internal flow. Is it time to move? Not yet, but soon. A few weeks ago it didn’t feel right to leave Deming. But now I feel that the time to move is coming. One more week. A few minor repairs to Pegasus and we’ll be off.