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News: My thoughts are clouds I cannot fathom into pastries.

--1 June 2018--

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

September 19, 2018

18.09.19 - Drowned Souls {A Poem}


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If you were to sit in a barren abyss, surrounded by convicts - heathens - 
Would you see the indescribable beauty?
A beauty in the way the light of heaven filtered through their hurting souls. 
Would you pause to appreciate the complexity of character and brokenness? 
Or would you sift and stumble over preconceived societal constructs 
That brazenly burned the words "UNFORGIVABLE" across their foreheads?
I once bore that brand. 

I have been asked to weigh and judge the human soul,
And here I sit, legs crossed, back straight, chin up - BRAVE.
I have been given a scale and a gavel. 
One end holds the soul I weigh and one holds RIGHTEOUSNESS 
But this isn't the righteousness of God - it is righteousness in my perspective
Flawed, judgmental, impure, unholy. 
I am not one to judge a soul. Who am I, but flesh and bone?
So why am I being asked - no, forced - to make a final statement? 

I look out over a sea of people - hundreds and thousands and millions, 
They drift before me; a multitude of ever-changing faces and stories and lives
Each one as colourful and full of meaning as my own life. 
Every being jammed full with potential and beauty and holy purpose. 
I look and see, marring their complexions, wild and furious stains - 
They are impure and unrighteous and destined for hell. 
Yet, I look again and see, through the eyes of the Father, 
And there in the midst of the torment and damnation, 
A flicker of hope arises beneath their throats, above their collarbones.

This is a people destined for salvation. This is a people worth dying for - 
Everyone, purposed for new life and bold beginnings.
And for every being, an infinite measure of hope and love 

To my right there lies a pool, with unchurned waters - still and calm.
It is the wellspring of life, direct from the throne room. 
One drink and every sin is washed away. Freedom is freely given,
Renewal, repurposing, refreshment - all available to every soul, 
No matter their condemnation.

I stagger to my feet, dropping scale and gavel - they clatter on the floor. 
My feet take me to the edge of the pool, and I gaze down at the crisp waters.
Everything in my being says DRINK, and so I bend my knees and cup my hands,
I drag my humiliation through the surface, breaking the unbroken, 
Drawing it up, I press my lips to the chilled liquid and drink.
Pinterest

A clamour arises somewhere behind the scale and gavel -
Someone is shouting, calling out my name in condemnation.
"Sinner! Whore! Vile! Beast! Sinner! Whore! Vile! Beast!"
It repeats my desolation, louder and louder, until others take up the chant. 

I am broken and my heart is strung out on a line, stitched with twine 
Strangled with wire, choking on the smokey shape of words. 
All the life I felt from the throne-room waters drains out my feet.

This moment is one of thousands I have lived. 
I stay my course, forced to judge, refusing to lift the scale and gavel, 
Condemned on every side, I turn my gaze from the disembodied words
And set it on the mass of souls settling before me. 
I cannot afford to let the judgement of the world 
Claim the compassion of my heart. 
And so, ragged and roughened, I raise my voice to the throng. 
"There is a love greater than life, for any and all who seek it -
There is a beauty and mystery in the discovery of the Logos.
There is a simplicity and refreshment in the humility of the soul. 
Come drink - in desperation sink yourselves in the well;
Immerse your hearts in the cleansing salvation freely given."

And there I stand, bruised - broken - beaten into the gravel;
They perceive an angelic visage, but I am just as mutilated as they.

Slowly, one by one, they come. 
Every marred soul - tentatively, tenderly, approaching the well
Slipping, dipping, diving down into the depths
To drown their pasts and rise renewed, refreshed, reformed. 
And they glow - oh they glow - with an inexpressible beauty.

I weep. 
My heart floods with joy and hope and strength. 
This is what I exist for - this is why I am here and now and this very moment. 
Not even one of these is too lesser to stoop down and love
Not even a single one. 

So I resolve myself - no matter the dirt, the mud, the hate
No matter the scars, the pain, the brutality
No matter the violence, the impurity, or embodiment of hell
I will spill the water I carry on the souls I touch
For even the smallest hope they will one day too be refreshed and renewed.



-------

Signed with my bare hands,
Squeaks.

August 17, 2018

{A Review} - The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

Wow. If you want your heart to be touched deeply by the love of God, this book is something you should read. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning is a beautiful call to arms - it is a cry to every human to stop thinking that we can make it on our own good measure but rather to simply accept the loving grace of a God who shows us immeasurable and undeserved goodness and mercy.

I received an ecopy of The Ragamuffin Gospel via Netgalley, in exhange for my honest review. The Goodreads overview of this book is as follows:
A Furious Love Is Hot on Your Trail!
Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment. In this newly repackaged edition--now with full appendix, study questions, and the author's own epilogue, ""Ragamuffin" Ten Years Later," Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us to Himself with a "furious love" that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God's grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock--the "ragamuffins."
Are you bedraggled, beat-up, burnt-out?
Most of us believe in God's grace--in theory. But somehow we can't seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet.
Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we've done. We come to Him as ragamuffins--dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His "furious love."
Brennan Manning 's now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it--simple honesty--has changed thousands of lives. Now with a Ragamuffin's thirty-day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too. 

I sat down to read without any clear expectations for what I might learn. I truly had my heart touched by the story that Brennan shares - it was powerful and overwhelming and something I really needed at this very point in my life. He opens with a discussion of the incredible grace of God, and then takes you on a journey into the heart of the Father. It is a beautiful, convicting story that made me think deeply about exactly how impossibly unfathomable the love of God is for us. I am honestly overwhelmed and very grateful to have been given this opportunity.

Let me share a few quotes that spoke to me:


  • The bending of the mind by the powers of this world has twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper.
  • "...Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, nor the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case." {quoting Robert Capon}
  • Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.
  • Home is that sacred space -- external or internal -- where we don't have to be afraid; where we are confident of hospitality and love.
  • To those of us in flight, who are afraid to turn around lest we run into ourselves, Jesus says, You have a home. I am your home. Claim me as your home. You will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home. It is right where you are, in your innermost being. In your heart.
  • In faith there is movement and development. Each day something is new. To be Christian, faith has to be new-- that is, alive and growing. It cannot be static, finished, settled. When Scripture, prayer, worship, ministry become routine, they are dead. When I conclude that I can now cope with the awful love of God, I have headed for the shallows to avoid the deeps. I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a teacup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God.
If you are in need of refreshment, refocus, or simply reminder about the infinite love of God, this book is a must read. If you are disillusioned, lost in self-loathing, depression, anxiety, fear - this is a book you must read. I can practically guarantee it will touch your heart and open your mind to the beauty of Jesus in a way that you may not have considered before. 

{Rating} - 5/5 stars

Interested in purchasing a copy of this book? See the links below for details: 

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Nobles     Indigo

-----

Signed with Love, 
Squeaks.

{A Review} - Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber

I have been terrifically (or should I say, horrifically) silent on the review platform these days. I have several that I absolutely NEED to finish and therefore every time I look at them on my Kindle... I freeze up and push it off for another day. I am currently on break from work (I have been for nearly two weeks now) and I'm going back in 3 days so I'm trying my best to finalize a few things that should have been done months ago. Yikes. My deepest apologies to the great ether that judges me for my lack of determination. *nervous chuckle*

I bring to you today, a brief review of Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber, acclaimed author of the Storm Siren series (which I adored). I received an ecopy for free via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

The Amazon synopsis is delicious:

She was far more capable than Earth's leaders had accounted for, and they had no idea what she'd do next.“In this sequel to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Weber takes a darker tone, delving into alien abduction, experimentation on children, the machinations of power-hungry politicians, and black-market corruption . . . This is a well-paced page-turner.” Kirkus ReviewsKnown as a brilliant mind that could hack her world’s darkest secrets, seventeen-year-old Sofi Snow is the most wanted teenager alive. She found her way to the icy, technologically brilliant planet of Delon to find Shilo, the brother everyone but Sofi believes is dead.But as she and Ambassador Miguel partner to find her brother and warn those on Earth of Delon’s dark designs on humanity, Sofi’s memories threaten to overtake her, distorting everything she holds true. She knows the Delonese once kept her in a dark, deceptive place . . . and destroyed a portion of her life. Now, the more they discover of Sofi’s past, the more Sofi feels herself unraveling—as each new revelation has her questioning the very existence of reality.In this harrowing sequel to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Sofi and Miguel must trust each other and discover the secrets locked inside Sofi’s mind as the line between what’s real and what they imagine begins to slip away . . . threatening to take the human race with it.
I was initially drawn to this book because Mary Weber is amazing and I fully adored (have I mentioned that enough yet??) her Storm Siren series. Yes. I was/am/will forever be in love with it. So like any good bookwyrm, I had to read more. Hence my latching on to this series. It was very different from what I expected, I'll say that right off the bat. It definitely gave me sci-fi, Hunger Games vibes ... I didn't hate it, but I was a little disoriented at first. Once I had myself oriented after reading the first book, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, I dove into the duology finale.

We are thrown into a political upheaval where high-stakes games of interplanetary delegations dance on the tip of a knife. One of the themes very prevelant to this finale is human trafficking - Weber paints a really poignant picture of the terror faced by abducted children; in fact, for a 2 week period some of the proceeds of her book sales went towards an A21 campaign to fight against human trafficking and slavery. This topic is covered elegantly in this finale as Sofi, Miguel, and Inola scramble to fix their swiftly deteriorating relationship with the Delonese.

Let's take this puppy to the breakdown we've all been waiting for: 

  • Goodies: Fantastic action scenes (fight scenes, running scenes, etc etc). Poison. Machines implanted in people's brainstems... yay! Unique politics. Fanfight! FANFIGHT! *pretend audience ROARS*. Tragic scenes (we love those... are your eyes crinkling with agony yet?). Aliens. More aliens. AND EVEN MORE ALIENS - especially the stuff you DIDN'T want to know... mwahaha. A race against time (we hate that). Miguel *fangirls* I love him. Sass. Epic sci fi tech. Ghost mode. Explosions. Sharks.
  • Character Development: (2.5/5) I'm about halvsies on this point. Some of the characters developed nicely - I really liked Sofi's viewpoint and the transformation (you'll see what I mean if you read it... go on, you know you want to!) she endured. It shines through very nicely. Miguel as well - there were a few points where I felt slightly disappointed with the trajectory he was taking...but then he'd surprise me by turning around and heading back along the development path we all hope our favouite characters will take. Inola and Shilo were relatively static - even though Inola (Sofi and Shilo's mother) did technically change her arc, it didn't feel real enough and so I'm just going to say I think she was pretty static. Nothing felt forced, but there were points in the story where I was confused as heck. 
  • Content Snatchery: (3/5) I was going to give this a 2.5, but I really need to applaud Weber because she did a fantastic job. See, I have this issue with the overall story. There were parts where I was completely immersed in the content...and then I'd be catapulted out on my butt thinking to myself, "THIS IS BORING WHAT IS HAPPENING WHAT EVEN!?". I don't mean this to sound like a horrible criticism, but it was a little jolting at times? I'm not saying that the scenes were not captivating - they were! They were impressively done and well written, but it felt like they didn't meld together seemlessly like you dream they might. So yeah, could just be me, but *shrugs* it was still a snatching read :) 
  • Boring Parts: (minimal) What with all the political backstabbing, hunting, alien abducting, and weaponizing of humanity... there wasn't time for it to be boring. Jolting (as mentioned above) yes, but not boring. 
  • Romance: (yes but it was awesome) Ok, like I normally tell you guys, romance is a tricky one with me. I hate it when characters act as though their partner is the only thing worth living for (I mean, excuse me? don't we all heckle the teenagers of today for doing that same thing?). However, when you get a strong, dynamic duo to take on the dissolving world together... I dig that. Sofi and Miguel's romance arc was gorgeous - it was a little dorky at times, but I really like how it developed over the finale. It might have been a little stereotypical, but Miguel is my babe and he can do no wrong.. prepare to have your heart melted. 
  • My eyes are sweating: (2/5) There were some tear-worthy scenes, but I didn't cry... Mostly I think it was because I didn't connect with the characters as well this time (due to the joltiness... you guys get what I mean, right?). 

Overall, I did enjoy this read. I admit, I read it purely for Miguel... oops. Nevertheless, it was well done and intriguing. I do feel it was a little too close to a very unique fan-fiction spin off of the Hunger Games and Divergent, but maybe that's just me :) If you like sci-fi with a little fight-for-your-life and brain-suckers-attacking-your-soul then you'll probably enjoy this little fellow! However, if you haven't read the first book, you really need to go do that before you pick up this one (it is NOT a stand-alone by any means). 
odreads


{RATING} - 3/5 stars


Interested in purchasing a copy of this book? See the links below for details! 

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Nobles     Indigo     Kobo

Want to find out more about Mary Weber, the author of this fast-paced series? Check out her social media below:

Twitter     Facebook     Blog     Instagram

-----
Signed with an icepick, 
Squeaks.

August 2, 2018

18.08.02 - Figures in the Room {Short Story}

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A short story, inspired by midnight, Midnight (lyrics below), and Coldplay <3 and probably also conversations about metaphysical concepts and questions...such as, "What is there and what is there like?" Have you ever tried to define there without specifying a direct location? Hm. Have you ever tried to explain your mind and the space it occupies, outside of simply, "Tis somewhere in my brain I become I... and so I'm just the essence of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, throw in some cells and stuff and yeah...that's me." Let's get metaphysical, my peoples. Dive deep with me.

In the darkness before the dawn
In the swirling of this storm
When I'm rolling with the punches and hope is gone
Leave a light, a light on
Millions of miles from home
In the swirling swimming on
When I'm rolling with the thunder but bleed from thorns
Leave a light, a light on
Leave a light, a light on
Leave a light, a light on
Leave a light, a light on
In the darkness before the dawn
In the darkness before the dawn
Leave a light, a light on
Leave a light, a light on 

-------


The darkness of this room is a comfort to me. I stand in the dim refraction of light from the distant windows, my feet bare, my clothes loose and comfortable. My fingers brush through a tangled web of dust-gold strands that curve my face. I am tired, I am lonely, I am here. 

Before me stands a table of solid, dark wooden mahogany. Its surface is smooth and polished; set before it is one sturdy chair and on it have been set two globed bowls. I approach and take the chair, my bones creaking around my joints. The bowls are silver and absorb the dim afterlight into their euclidean surfaces. On the left, the contents are a thick, oil-slicked black of the darkest variety. I gaze at its unrippling surface and see no reflection of anything worth speaking about. On the right, the contents are as opposing to the black bowl as light is to dark. A thin, cream-white liquid is undisturbed in the depths. 

I pull both bowls closer to me and sit for a long time, staring at them. Reading their unchanging surfaces, trying to find meaning in the simplicity of their story. I see nothing. I am nothing. 

A door in the distance opens and shuts with a firm hand. Out of the shadows, a figure approaches - it is dressed head to toe in a gold robe that flows like liquid - I cannot make out the features, male or female or other. Perhaps spirit? Perhaps soul? I sit and watch it approach the table, where it takes a seat on the far opposite side. Its cavernous hood pools around what I suppose is a head. I wait. 

This is a place of knowledge, of wisdom; a place of you. The voice does not proceed from the figure's mouth but rather invades the thoughts of my mind as calmly as a drizzled rainfall meets the dust. I shift in my seat and continue waiting. 

Before you are two bowls. Do you know what these bowls represent? 

I look down at the filled silver before me - the glistening black and white draughts. My eyes return to the golden shape of the figure, "I might?" I hesitantly respond. 

And what would your guess be?

I wait a moment. Waiting is good, it allows me to collect my thoughts, although a part of me feels as if my thoughts are corporeal in this mysterious place. 

"Well, I think these might be collected memories or commentaries? I get the feeling there's more to this than meets the eye. These are no simple liquids, but pooled essence of the words spoken against and for me?"

The figure almost imperceptibly nods, and the gold hood ripples elegantly against its hidden figure. 

You have been called to furnish your mind. You left this place blank and desolate for too long. You have tormented yourself by staring in the bowls, by boxing up the products of society and leaving them to rot and mold in the depths of this place. It is yours to choose what you do with, but ultimately a choice must be made. You can no longer live here as if you rent it by the week - this is your semi-permanent abode and I am tasked to see you inhabit it to your fullest extent. 

I drink in the concept and my eyes shift back to the bowls. Commentary? Products of society? Am I supposed to paint with these? Am I supposed to drink these? What is the purpose of all this abstract nonsense. 

I sit and wonder over and over for a time and a half. The space surrounding me is silent and empty. The figure does not move. I wait. It speaks again, eventually. 

Sitting and thinking does no good to you, it only prolongs the inevitable. I cannot help you from here, although I can make the way easier. Take this.

A lantern materializes in front of me, between the bowls. It casts a warm, healthy golden glow on the stark realities beset on either side of it. The flickering light within draws my eyes hungrily and I feel warm somehow in this nonexistent space I think might be my mind. 

I look up, but the figure is gone and so is the second chair. I am alone again, but the faint sputter of the glass-cased flame makes me feel less afraid of this place. 

I extend a pale arm and take the lantern. The glow shifts around the pooled darkness as I lift it towards me. I look at the bowls and decide to leave them for now. 

Rising, I step away from the table with my golden glowing lantern and enter into the open space. Darkness flees before me and reveals boxes pushed haphazardly against the walls. I make my way to one and, setting down the lantern beside it, I pull open the cardboard mouth and glance inside. 

A pair of cobras stare back with glittery eyes that are overflowing with hate and malice. My breath catches in my throat and I slam the lid back in place - my heart beat skips violently against my wrists and I backstep, lantern in tow. I look to the table, half expecting the figure to have returned with malicious laughter gracing its covered shoulders. There's no one. 

I swallow and shift to a different set of boxes - these ones are small, red velvet cushions of luxury in the midst of a cardboard castle. 

I taste blood on my lip and force myself to breathe slowly. I set the lantern aside and pull the first tiny box from off the top of several that have been carelessly piled there. It feels light and soft in the palm of my sweating hand. 

Tentatively, I open the lid and look inside. 

A small white-gold ring is set in the thick fabric. A note has been tucked carefully on the inside top of the box. I pull it out and it crinkles as I open the folds. 

We're proud of you! The script is familiar to me. Some of the words are smudged, as if it has been read fondly, multiple times. I fold it back and tuck it in the lid. The ring glows hot and illuminates the room beyond the lantern light. 

I exhale loudly and then, slowly, I reach in and pluck it off its resting place and snugly place it on my finger. 

I glance up at the endless pile of boxes. Sorting through them will be chaos, but I must. 

I pull another box down at peel open the lid. The sweet, fresh smell of oatmeal cookies wafts into the air. I reach in and remove a platter piled high with still hot baked goods. Taking one, I bite in and am overwhelmed by the taste and smell. A caring heart, a comforting hand-on-shoulder, I am thrown backwards into memories of friends embracing, eyes glinting with joy, belly laughs, and dimpled smiles. 

I wipe tears off my face, they drip down my hand to my sleeve, and I bring the plate to the table. Gently, I set it down, far away from the two ominous bowls. I turn and make my way back to the boxes, eager to pull down the next one. 

It's a medium sized rectangular box about the length of my forearm. The exterior is varnished wood sealed by silver clasps. I undo the clasps and open the box. 

A pistol stares back at me. Cold, black, harsh and glittering. A note sits tucked by the trigger. I pull it out, my heart once more in my throat. The smell of fresh baked cookies seems stale and the honey-sweet taste fades in my mouth. 

I open the note once, twice - there are two more folds left when a strong hand sets upon my shoulder and I jump, whipping around. 

Another figure stands before me - this one covered head to toe in bronze armor. A heavy sword rests easily against its hip. I can't see its features through the shielded faceguard, but I glimpse the sparkle of eyes set deep within. 

Do you really need to read that? it asks me in my mind. 

I glance back at the box, now upended from my surprise. The pistol clattered noisily to the floor and seemed to stare back at me as though daring me to read the note. 

Do you really need to read that? the figure asked, more sternly this time. I knew the answer I should give - I knew the right thing to do, but a part of me resisted, desiring the bring on the pain of what I might read inside those last two folds. 

I picked up the pistol and returned it to the box. I stuffed the note back inside before shutting the lid and clasping the clasps. Jaw clenched and brow furrowed, I turned to the figure and said,

"No, I want to, but I shouldn't. I'm angry because this was here amidst the good things - the cookies, the ring. I don't know what to do with this. It's too much." 

The figure nodded as if in agreement and placed a soft gloved hand gently on my shoulder. The tender gesture softened the lines in my face. It reached out with a hand and motioned with its fingers - I understood and passed the box over. It grasped it tight before shifting to set it aside.

There are many things here - too many have been boxed up and left undealt with, and so the surprises will sometimes be unpleasant as you work through the piles. This is why you have been given the bowls. 

"I was wondering about those. Am I supposed to drink them? Paint with them? They look too thick to drink... toxic almost. I wasn't sure and no one said - the other figure just told me to furnish this place. I don't even know where to start."

I had the uncanny sense that the armored figure was smiling, and it spoke, 

Yes, let me show you. Take me to your table. 

I realized then that this figure could not see me or the room for that matter. Confused, I took its gloved hand in mine - it felt warm and confident - and I led it to the table. 

The black bowl will give you insight into the dark boxes. It will highlight the ones you need to throw away, the ones you need to store, and the ones you need to open and deal with. It will illuminate the lies and the destruction, the hurt and the anger. Drink of this one only as often as you are strong enough to deal with the darkness. It should not be taken every day - and it should not be taken alone. 

I nodded, "And the white one?"

The white one will highlight the boxes filled with good things. Drink of it as often as you can, for you need refreshment from the darkness of this place until it is once more filled with light. Fill your mind with things trustworthy and true, good and noble, honorable and pure. This bowl will give you insight into how that is managed. 

The figure reached to its right and pulled out a crystal-studded goblet that had not been there before. It passed the goblet to me and motioned for me to pick a bowl. I breathed out heavily and nodded. 

Reaching forward I dipped the cup into the white liquid. It was creamier and thicker than I thought. The side of the goblet streamed with the white substance and I brushed the edge against the side of the bowl to keep it from dripping. 

Raising it to my lips, I opened my mouth and drank. At first I tasted nothing, but then a comforting fragrance filled the air and the liquid turned sweet and magical on my tongue. If starlight and painted skies could have a flavour, this was it. Every cell in my body awoke and I leaned into the beauty of the moment, enraptured by the simplicity of how everything had changed with but a taste of the joy before me. 

I felt the graze of a palm against my shoulder blades and I turned to look at the armored figure. It was glowing so vibrantly now, as if the very sun itself decided to embody the plated metal fitted carefully around its lines and edges. I stepped back, but its hand held firm and the blinding light grew stronger. 

We emit what we embody. We embody what we dwell upon. We dwell upon that which impacts us. You must choose wisely what you will allow yourself to be impacted by - because it will change your glow. Do you understand?

I thought I did, so I nodded.

Now somewhere in your boxes, you'll find armor and other things of use as well - these will help you make this place a home. 

I felt self conscious of my present state, all pale and loose clothed and clearly unready for what I might find within the stored things towering around me. 

If you need help, simply ask. You might feel alone, but you are never alone.

I blinked and the figure was gone. The room was much brighter now, and somehow I felt ready. Turning my gaze back to the boxes, I became determined to find that suit of armor. So, with the lantern in one hand and a fresh cookie in the other, I set out to deal with the overwhelming mountain of boxes.

-------

Signed with lantern-light
Squeaks.

August 1, 2018

18.08.01 - The Universal Puzzle of a Human Soul {A Poem}

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This poem is partially inspired by conversations I've had about the human condition, partially inspired by imagination, and partially inspired by the beautiful drum beat in Na Iama-Sa by Corvus Corax <3












-------


Looking out over a universal puzzle, I sit cross-legged on the edge
Over the brink of time and space, peering out at the complexity.
Every piece, infinitesimally small yet overwhelmingly unending - 
Confined to its own unique dimensions yet fluid in the global scheme. 

Do you see what I see, little wanderer, wandering far? 
Do you see the chaos in the order, the beauty in the pain? 
Do you look out as I do, from a perch of obsidian, and wonder? 
May I ask your thoughts, for I am wondering too much too. 

Dip your fingers into the still pool of memory that sits in your mind. 
Dip your fingers in and feel the slip of a thought once real. 
Dip your fingers deep and touch the ghostly tips of the past. 
I am looking for answers in every nook and cranny, and I see them in your eyes. 

The war drums beat in the distance, I hear them over the rustling grass. 
The pounding of their rhythmic dreaming, sultry melodic mourning, 
Lulls me from my meditations and raises my level of thought from the depths. 
I am pulled, like an anchor, out of the deep and into the glistening morn. 

In my wondering I have seen many things, near and far. 
Few take upon themselves to listen to the wind and taste the breeze - 
It is sweet and sharp on my silent tongue, and I give it voice in the darkness. 
Come listen, heed my bardic retelling of how mankind fell from grace. 

In the grasp of an apple, in the shade of a lie, in the dream of knowledge - 
Wisdom flees he who over-speaks. She runs away from the word of death
I will not find her in the sickly intoxicating melody of a warmongerer. 
I will not find her in the bed of a liar or the quiver of the brutal gossip. 

I hunt food for thought from beneath the foliage of my isolation. 
I wet my lips on the organic drip tended low under the cedars,
The mist of the forest cools my weary skin and gives reprieve
From the heat of the sun and the desert thirst.

Come little wanderer, find me sitting the shade of an oak,
Find me harvesting the fruit of the mouth into separate piles,
One for encroaching winter's harsh reality, 
One to mulch with time and grow hope from torment. 

Come little wanderer, taste the mead of the meadow
Where I lay a golden cup in the vast open, collecting simple sustenance - 
Bitter dew at twilight - sweet honey at dawn. Sunlight and stardust. 
Sip this draught and let your heart lift with the moonrise in the east.

Now come - tarry with me here under the mother oak and father spruce;
Feel the burden of the passing age and speak your soul -
Let words of life fall from anointed lips to impregnate this barren earth,
For hallowed is this place where wisdom touches blind eyes and hearts of stone. 

I shut my gaze from the puzzle view at the edge of the universe, 
And my mind sees deep into the nebulae and distant galaxies. 
I look out, a watchman on the deadly sea, and looking deep I see
Behind the lies of toxic tongues, behind the fraud of youth and chaos.

Therein lies a touch of silver-hot liquid diamond-light, brilliant and blinding.
I blink too many times against the dark to see this boldly standing illumination. 
There in the midst of the swirling doom and bitter tangled branches. 
Therein stands the treasure, sacred - pure - holy - unsoiled in beauty.

I have glimpsed but a momentary glance of a soul brought to life. 
Second life in the space of a moment, blooming sharply from the darkness. 
There I stand at the edge of the universe, overseeing the deepening puzzle
And the twisting hatred of a kind I mourn to be birthed from. 

This beauty is deeper than deep, truer than true, and I fall
To my knees I fall here at the edge of all things. I collapse in a heap
Of brittle bones and leathered sinews and dusted breath. 
And I weep for the overwhelming darkness that has consumed us all. 

In this magnificent birth of a soul, a sharp shot in the dark overtaking the night,
I cannot unsee nor return to the path I walked before I wandered here. 
For this is pure beauty, this is living and this is alive. My dance is forever altered
And here I sit at the edge of all things and my tears overflow to the oceans.

Cut off your tongue, you who burden the universe with chaos and dark untruths. 
Better be it your words go unsaid for the lies you speak overwhelm the tender lights. 
This night is too dark, the dawn is so far, yet I see Hope rising like a specter
In the far far distance He rises, grave clothes fall off a body of redeemed glory.

In the distance trumpets sound, and my watch is almost over; 
I hear the thunder of a thousand thousand hooves beating the dry earth
Beating the puzzle pieces into place, setting the board for one final victory play
And my skin and bones drape here at the edge of all things, relieved at long last. 

In the coming days there will be a deepening darkness, and distancing of hope.
In the coming days, the horrors of the night will grow dark and darker still,
But be warned, be encouraged, be aware, be on watch. 
He is coming quickly - and in that day, one final human soul will spark to light
And every puzzle piece will fall in place as the war drums raise the dead.


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Signed in peace,
Squeaks.

July 22, 2018

22.07.18 - On My Pyre

Sometimes the best way to process our deepest struggles is to write it, paint it, sing it. I've been having a really really hard week. I've been required to choose between my faith and people, and it is so incredibly hard and it makes me hurt inside. So this is me, real and raw, writing poetry with my pain - and hopefully this helps someone somewhere <3 Some of the imagery I use was inspired by a scene called Time Flies in Art Spiegleman's comic series Maus, which is about the Holocaust. I've included one of the frames below for you to look at, for the sake of context.

from Maus, "Time Flies" by Art Spiegleman


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I feel an unrest in my bones - down my femurs to my toes
And the slippage in my soul, leaves me holding on for more.
I am broken from within, I am crushed and filled with sin
I am burdened by a weight that will weigh me down with hate.
I am stuck inside this pit, sinking deeper as I sit
And I cannot raise myself - I am screaming through my mouth.

Hear me, hear me! Hear me cry - can you hear me! Please reply!
Please will someone lend a hand, save me from this hellish land!
I am dying, I am deadened, I am burdened, I am leadened.
I am filled with such remorse and my thoughts rot like a corpse.
I am sorry, I am sorry, I am so so very sorry
Will You heal me, will You save me? Will You step down here to raise me?

I am mourning what I've lost - see my heart and feel the cost?
All these rivulets of bleeding are my body's way of pleading
I am weeping, I am crying - and my soul is strictly dying
I need saving, I need grace - I desire to seek Your Face.

Father, Friend, and Older Brother - hear me now bequeath another
This my lover, this my friend, this my end of all my ends
I am giving up my stature, I am stooping as I fracture
I am needy, humbled, shaking and my soul is freshly quaking.
I am hurting like none other, watch me here and see me shudder?
See the rolling waves of fear, crashing through from ear to ear.
I am waiting for Your statement, when You tell me of my placement
In Your Kingdom, in Your city - will I live without Your pity?
I am hoping for amends to heal my soul and seam my ends.

See my heart is torn asunder, pieces thrown from near to yonder
And I crawl through mud and bone to receive a hope to own.
And my ribs are splayed out - broken; hear them crack and shake and open
All this pain is sickly hot and words are stuck; my throat is taut.
But there before His feet I slump, my back is broken on this stump
I see the tree that once stood hither, now remade to break and wither.
And I can't raise eyes much higher, for He's standing on this pyre.

Did you know? ah, likely not - I built this place and bought this plot
I raised the wood and stacked it high, I stacked it to the bleeding sky
I poured it through with gasoline, and now with match, I stand here clean
I wear a white robe, wrinkled through, with afterthoughts of if they knew
And at the top, I've crawled in shame, to end this heart with heat and flame.
But there He stands; I cannot move, I'm riveted on scars and grooves
Where nails pierced through such tender skin, on One who bore no shame or sin.
And I am frozen in this place; why is He here? why in THIS space?
Does He not know what I have done, beneath His Kingdom - in His sun?
Can He not see the pyre beneath, all running hot with mud and grease?
Does he not smell the gasoline? Why is He here to see this scene?

But as I question, slow He bends and reaches down and grasps my hands
And gently holds them in His own and whispers, "Child - you're not alone.
"You're called - you're called - you're called to Life, why do you sit in all this strife?
Can you not see the hurt you cause, upon yourself from all your flaws?
And can't you see your hurt is Mine and I am weeping all the time
Because you sit in misery and I want so to set you free
But you can't sit here in this mess with all this hurt and all this stress. 
So I am here to take you home, to heal your heart and mend your bones -
Will you arise and come with me? and let your soul run wild and free?"

And as He speaks I chance a look and see His hands - they softly shook,
And His emotions broke my chains, for love was in His weeping pains
Then raising eyes, I met His gaze; and I was struck with beaming rays
From eyes so bright they shone like stars and pierced me through my heart of hearts.
He was so beautiful - so real, and I found I could finally feel
I felt His love and joy and peace and in His hands my sin released
It rolled down off my back and spine and crashed into the distant pines
From where I had collected wood to build my pyre, where now I stood. 
I raised myself from off the stakes; His steady hand erased mistakes
And wilted robes shrunk into clothes now fit for soldiers fighting foes.

With hand on shoulder, He drew me near and held me tight, spoke, "Do not fear -
You have been chosen, bought and called with price so heavy - I was mauled
By hands of men who claimed to know but only lived in hopeless woe
Yet I survived, I beat back death and I won't lose you in its breath."
His eyes were soft and kind and full, and tears dripped to a coat of wool, 
"I say: you're chosen. I say: you're Mine. I say: you are My holy shrine
A temple for My Spirit's home - a refuge place where'ere you roam.
But in this living, child you must! maintain a heart of purest trust -
My calling is not easy, love; but this I promise: from above
I will be speaking daily to your heart of hearts, the truest true
And Spirit will relay My song and sing it with a Voice so strong
That all the horrors in the shadows must depart as truths enclose
And clamp around their necks and shake until they die and cease to quake."

His arms were strong, His heartbeat steady and in that moment I was ready
I nodded yes and then I found a slow-grown smile was brought around;
"My Lord, I will - I know it's hard. I don't feel sure. My heart seems scarred,
But I will trust You - I will, I will! I promise You, I'll fight to kill. 
I'll slay these demons taunting me, from under rocks and in the trees
I'll run them down and drive them through with this Sword You gave me, new. 
I'm sickened by this hill of waste, where time flies eat the bones defaced
Of all the ones who fell before and failed to seek peace through this gore. 
I don't know why You've called me so, but I will run, yes I will go."

And grinning then, He wrapped me tight in mighty arms and all went white
And when He slackened off His hold I saw what I ne'er dreamed behold. 
A crystal fall of water crashed into a pool of icy glass
And 'round it roved so many beasts that came and drank, then ran northeast.
The atmosphere was so serene I thought I must have dreamt the scene
But there He stood, my All in All - beside me; sure and noble tall. 
He turned His gaze upon me then and laughter thundered through that glen. 

"See here! See here!" He cried aloud, as laughing there He called the crowd,
"This place has beauty, peace, and joy - this is for you! run free! enjoy!
I hold back nothing of My own - all of it's yours; each tree and bone
The beasts and stones and woods around will harken to your voice's sound.
My child, My child - I've brought you home, and from this place you'll fight and roam
And to this place you'll come to drink and seek Me out to plan and think.
I'm always here, I'm always here, I never leave; not far - I'm near! 
I'll wait for you when you return to daily tasks that rust and burn
And leave your heart with hurting wounds, but run back here where healing tunes
Will ring from tree to tree and glade, and I'll be singing as you pray.
And you can be here and out there - you just must learn to rest in prayer."

And then He drew me in His arms and I was totally disarmed. 
I felt at peace - I felt renewed, my hope was lifted with my mood
And in that moment, in that embrace I knew for sure, what'ere I faced
I would not ever let this go for vainest thoughts or falsened hopes.
I would not trade the truest true for lies of fleeting pretty views. 
I'd give my life before I turned, back to my pyre where hope was spurned. 
I'd sacrifice my deepest dreams for starlit eyes with brightest beams 
That pierce my soul through to its core and fill me full of hope and more!

I swear it on my very name, nothing will turn me from this aim
I am unbroken in His gaze and all my shame has been replaced. 
I am renewed, a holy place, where Spirit rests and spreads His grace
Yes, 
I was saved from certain hell.
I will not turn. 
So hell... 
Farewell. 


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Signed with a pure heart,
Squeaks.

July 17, 2018

18.07.17 - Pomegranates & Diamonds

Pinterest

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There are so many things I could write about; 
Like how the minor tones of a song make my heart beat faster,
How the touch of silk and satin against my fingertips is heaven -
The glint of gold in the pools of your eyes is a liquid daydream. 
I am drawn to beautiful, broken things. 
The torn wing of a butterfly, the mourning of a dove.
I see reflections of my life in the shadows of the trees,
In the glittering return of my face on the surface of a pond. 
I am enamoured with the way nature woos us softly.
It is an elegant, mildewed love that stretches over time and space. 

I am found, drawn and quartered between triplet beats 
The trembling of a calypso tune makes my hair shimmer gold;
Call it hedonistic, but I love to lose myself in the music -
Sometimes the drums and bass wash me away to a different universe. 
I am left floating between the harmonies, trying to find my feet
So I relegate myself to the beauty of someone else's heart. 

There are so many, many people in this world that we will never know. 
Every life is intricate, like lace and lemons tied up, wrung out, silver and blue
I want to touch them all; my hands seek faces in this blindness. 
I am surrounded by heartbeats and overwhelmed by their complexity
I will never know them all. So many beautiful, intricate lives will expire
And I will never know them all. 

Storyteller, tell me a tale. How were you breathed to life?
How were you broken apart and put back together? 
Fragile hero, whisper your secrets and share your heart
One pomegranate holds the seeds of a future generation
Each piece, a thought and idea, to be planted and grown
And only you carry those seeds. Share your truth with me. 
I am an on-my-knees-kissing-the-dirt gardener,
My hands are black in the soil and carved from the earth -
Delicate and eager, I plant and harvest dreams.
I am a solitary creature of the twilight era,
Webbed in gossamer cerulean, my eyes painted silver
I glance at you and your heart is brilliant gold.

The dreamers of society carry a heavier burden than most,
Wreathed between the crystal tears and streaks of sorrow, 
We hold the diamonds of the darkest nights in our upturned palms. 
And I, twilight mystery, harvest deep into the dreams and hopes
That I carry underneath the curve of my collarbone, above my heart.

Your rose gold haloed soul draws me from my mounds of dirt. 
I am silent and serene - often overlooked, typically forgotten;
Few work like I do, softly in the wilderness, with the jackals and bears.
Few suffer my solitude and churning, cultivated thoughts. 
And even more rare are those who visit my twilit garden in the darkening hours.

Let me serenade you with my dirge; I never have visitors, 
Can I pour you a cup of melancholy? let's sit and sip on the patio
And watch the stars spill sun-soaked glitter across the black
Until the solid velvet sky blushes dawn. 
Will you listen to me share my burden? my heavy, heavy heart
Is weighted down by the thoughts that I grow in my garden of dirt.
If the cold that pierces my hands through creeps to your chest
I will cover you with a cloak of royal red and light a fire
And we can sit up and stare into the flames, 
Watching the shapes of our past deliver memories in their flickerings; 
And your rose gold heart will echo the sentiment of the blossoming fire.

And when you leave - because they always leave - I will watch the sunrise
As the pearls you gave me shift softly between my fingertips. 
It is a delicate thing, this hope we have in our dreams of the night, 
And I plant them carefully under only the brightest of blacks.
My world shifts back to somber twilight upon the sunrise of your leaving
And I return once more to my knees, hands plunged into the dirt
Shifting the soil and setting the seeds for a future of heavy thoughts. 


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Signed with roses,
Squeaks.
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