Winter Storm

Over my shoulder I hear the PBS lady tell my sons about blizzards, how they are just snow storms unless the wind is strong and fast. Here in Texas we have driving rain, not driven snow, and it is the percussive light which wakes the dogs in the night. Poised for a fight. Hurricanes have the eyes of Quint’s soulless sharks as they roll across the landscape of childhood and wakefulness I will momentarily regret the home I left in fear. Regret what I did not leave there. Regret what I did, but not the winds. The winds around the eye, the deceptively calm eye, of every storm that changes the landscape

Of who we once were.

Darling-I-Count-Sheep

This started as a break up but ended with old friend, Wakefulness here in the dark, in the storm

It was a dark and stormy night! But it was the dogs that kept me up

Dogs of the past

Dogs of war

That dog whose name* I can’t remember who re-enacted classics like The Prince and the Pauper.

When names and sleep elude you, there are sheep. They start out chalky, outlined, and two dimensional, but they elaborate

In depth, complexity, and general fluffiness, but also about the weather, dogs barking at night, and all the ways it was and wasn’t my fault this chance we took hurt so much.

*Wishbone

Trauma Litany

I have swaddled my hands, wrapping the knuckles and the wrists, the wrists, palms, and knuckles again until they are bound.  Then I have pushed these bound, mummified fists into gloves curved, padded, slightly weighted.

I don’t swing at people.  I have, I can, but when I do I hold back, talk too much through my mouthguard, obsess about trauma.

Agent-causing-trauma.  I-am-the-agent-causing-trauma.

On the bag I do not hold back.  I aim for speed then alternate with power punches, slugging at the heavy, impassive face of a leather bag filled with sand or rags.  Its resolute, anthropomorphized gut, its impassive reserve.

I do not worry unduly about traumatizing the bag.  I can–am allowed to–wail on it in repeated, staccato acts of catharsis.

Because of trauma.

Because when you live long enough you have stories.

Stories linked to the pain of a very broken world.

The puzzle of trauma is the why and the injustice.

So I will call the why the jab and I will call the injustice the cross.

You see where I am going with this–the cross.  The strong-right-arm move of a superhero God.

Whose go-to power punch so far was allowing the trauma to wash over him.

The trauma of the trial.

The trauma of the desertion.

The trauma of the betrayal.

The trauma of the kangaroo court.

The trauma of the beating.

The trauma of the spitting, the mocking, the shame.

The trauma of power in the hands of bad men.

The trauma of the broken-hearted God.

The trauma of the family.

The trauma of the thorns.

The trauma of the nakedness.

The trauma of the carried weight.

The trauma of the pierced extremities.

The trauma of the hours.

The trauma of each breath.

The trauma of blood loss.

The trauma of being forsaken.

The trauma of out-poured wrath.

The trauma of the grave.

The trauma of hell entire.

The prophet Zechariah gives us a picture of how we will respond to this trauma–

They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child

This litany of blows.  This way that we must walk through the swaddling, the trauma, the raw lonely pain.

Because when He said it is finished, He meant it.  In the oddest k-o win ever, the victor takes the blows, both jab and cross and appears to lose it all only to give each of us the power to 

Fight trauma

Oh-Rescuer-God-

Jesus.


When the world hurts

My daughter has a winsome smile, a keen wit, a sharp eye for chess and a knack for Shakespeare.

She is also a crime victim.

Grief stalks us all. We lose people we love to death, cancer, accidents…

We need to be honest and admit that grief and pain stalk us all.

We need someone to save us. Someone who will stay with us through the pain and help pick up the pieces.

Some willing to be lonely and misunderstood with us. To stay with us through it.

Jesus cried out His ultimate loneliness on the Cross so we would not have to face this broken world alone.