Packing

I started with a list

bigger than my room

and that wasn’t even

including my shoes.

Who knows what I’ll need,

maybe this, maybe that.

Should I bring my umbrella

or my polka dot hat?

 

After cramming and smashing

in all that I own,

I yank at the zipper

busting seams, veins, and bone.

Yet the lips of my suitcase

inflexibly refuse to kiss,

pressuring me to rethink

packing all of it.

 

I pull everything out

to start over again,

piling precious possessions

to feed this hungry friend

mouth gaping open,

teeth ready to dig in,

to consume all I’ve collected

through Life’s many whens.

 

I rummage through sweaters

selecting my favorite few,

dwindling my scarf collection

in order to make room

for a crumpled drawing

from a long-distance friend

that did its own traveling

before reaching my hand.

 

A few favorite photos

of those I hold dear,

and the worn, yellowed T-shirt

from vacation one year,

with stained pits from sweat

and sweet memories

of a week spent with Grandpa

before cancer’s victory.

 

An old diary, reread

hundreds of times,

written at age 8

through sleep-heavy eyes,

hardly comprehensible from

profuse spelling errors,

yet pure in its portrayal

of my young heart’s prayers.

 

I am not my possessions –

but some possessions are me,

and I choose to make room

in my suitcase for these,

these precious piles

perfect and precise

in their disorganized

representation of life.

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Walking the Halls of History

These halls full of history

are haunted by ghosts.

They echo with the faint whispering

of secrets passed from guest to host.

Their shelves hold jeweled crowns

which rested on royal heads,

and their hooks hold masterpieces

of famous artists now long dead.

These halls attended marriages

and the celebration of male heirs,

gravely tracking the orderly procession

of Henry’s wives by trial and error.

They endured the exchange of the kingdom

from one generation to the next,

standing in silent observation

at titles bought for the price of a neck.

These halls have painted eyes

and frowns in heavy frames

of historic figures from long ago

with eternally remembered names.

How different must their lives have been

from those who walk these halls today,

who place their feet on worn down stone

and gawk at the splendor on display.

These halls have seen more history

than history books can show.

Even now they still stand watching,

allowing their knowledge of the world to grow.

 

44420990_714243158945971_3952579718707937280_n.jpg(Photo: Hampton Court Palace)

 
14317348_10202097448394539_6696766982095619803_n(Photo: Portrait of King Henry VIII)

 

A Friend Is What The Heart Needs All The Time

You know when you’re sitting in a crowded room with your best friend and you use that unspoken, secret language mostly consisting of facial cues to have a full blown conversation?

Well, that is what I want to have with God.  To be in life, in any normal situation, however busy, boring, or baffling and subtly carry on a conversation with Him.  I want to be in a constant dialogue with God, to be sending and receiving messages as easily as giving my best friend a slight eyebrow raise from across the room, receiving back a sly wink, and knowing exactly what it means. I want every heartbeat and every breath to be part of the discussion.  I want two way communication.

The only problem is that I don’t know where to begin.

I read the bible every day; I pray every night; I go to church on Sundays.  But, I want more. I want to know Him on a personal level. I want to see Him, hear Him, feel Him.  I want to hear his laughter more often, for I have on rare occasions and it is a miraculous thing.  It’s not as though I have yet to receive any messages at all.  He has sent a few – most often when I am complaining about something… Did anybody else just hear a soft chuckle?

But I want more.

I want to live my life for him, with Him, and because of Him.

The bible says that if you seek then you will find, if you ask then it will be given, and if you knock the door will be opened.  So, this is me: seeking, asking, and knocking.

Here I am Lord. What now?

To Makeup or Not to Makeup, That is the Question

I wore make-up for the first time today. (Besides the one time when I was forced to wear some for a family picture, that is). I let my friends put some on me for fun.  The one applying the makeup had this excited, almost surprised grin on her face the whole time, while the other added commentary such as: “you no longer have virgin eyelashes, Meg!” (mascara).

While it has taken me nearly twenty years to give it a try, I’ve never really been against make-up. I think a lot of girls wear too much, but I don’t think that is really what stopped me from wearing it for this long.  II think it had more to do with my opinions about my own appearance.

I have never really thought of myself as beautiful. I don’t think I’m ugly; I just think I am plain. I don’t stand out in a crowd, although, I wouldn’t really want to — I don’t like having too much attention. Appearances have never really been that important to me. I look at other girls and think “wow they’re gorgeous”, but my own reflection never carried much weight. I just sort of accepted the fact that I had a plain face and there wasn’t much of a point in trying to cover it up or change it.

The biggest reason that I have never worn makeup is because I wanted to believe that I was happy with the way I looked. I told myself that God created me with the skin I have, breakouts and all. He gave me my blue/grey eyes with their inner rim of yellow, my thick, dark eyebrows, and my long, slightly lumpy nose. And when He finished creating me, God saw that it was good. So, why should I think any differently?

I’m learning that maybe it’s okay to take charge of some things in my life. It’s not that I am improving God’s creation (or even improving myself at all), but rather I am simply working with what I have. I am not painting on a mask to hide behind or cover up, but instead I am just adding a little color and extenuating the long eyelashes I already have. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a blue shirt to make my eyes pop, so why should makeup be any different.

All in all, I think I’ve decided to give it a try. I plan on testing it out some over the summer with the help of a few friends and seeing where it goes from there.

The Porcelain Mask

Behind the mask she sits,

Anger boiling to the brim.

Behind the mask she stares,

Fighting fears deep within.

Behind the mask she stays,

Frustration filing away at her bones.

But she sees no other way to live,

Than to wear a mask of stone.

 

Her mask is only porcelain.

It would shatter at the gentlest tap.

Without her mask she’d be exposed,

And she doesn’t think she’d survive that.

 

She tried to let them in once,

A long, long time ago.

The kind eyes and gentle smiles

Must have just been for show,

For they ripped and tore her innards,

Sending her into an emotional drought,

Teaching her an irrevocable lesson:

It’s better just to keep everyone out.

 

So, behind her mask she’ll sit and wait.

Hoping that they’ll come along some day.

Someone she can trust enough

To protect her flesh

As they pull the porcelain away.

who am I and what do I know?

I’ve never “fallen in love”, never lost myself or my sanity when a certain boy walked into a room, never experienced the rush of adrenalin or ringing of intestines when he texted me first.  I have yet to get giddy over a guy, yet to be incapable of removing the cheesy grin that he plastered onto my face. I may not have first hand experience, but I’ve watched it happen time and time again.  Different people handle it, well, differently.  From what I’ve seen, going slower tends to be a better path than running full speed ahead.  Relationships take time and feelings never play by the rules.  It’s a dangerous game loving someone, be it a friend, a significant other, or a spouse.  Rejection always looms over you, spoiling the edges of your happy, hopeful thoughts.  Each time you hand over a small piece of your heart, you hope with everything in you that they won’t do too much damage.  You move forward as if it was pitch black, with your hands stretched out so you don’t run in to anything as you take slow cautious steps.  You test the boarders.  You seek out those invisible lines that should never be crossed, and in the process occasionally step on one and then must deal with the consequences.  There is always that fear of loss, of pain, of betrayal that stings in the corner of your mind.  It won’t let you simply be happy, but perhaps it is the only thing keeping you sane. images To love someone is to take a chance on them, to put your faith and hope in them, to trust them to accept you for who you are.  To love someone is to stand at the edge of a cliff and lean forward letting the wind keep you from tumbling to your doom.  To love someone is to smile at the thought of them, to care for them the best that you can, and to believe that they’ll do the same.  To love someone is to release a part of your soul to fly free, to collide with another and dance among the stars.  To love someone is the most beautiful thing there is in life.  I have had a lot of practice, I love my family and friends more than I could ever express in words.  But, I look forward to the day when God brings that special someone into my life and I’m able to experience it first hand.

 

Trust has unknown side-effects

Trust is a delicate and dangerous thing.  It makes you vulnerable in ways that you aren’t used to.  It gives power to whoever you put your trust in, by providing them with a weapon they can use to either defend or destroy you.  There are some people who give out their trust too easily.  They hand out swords to everyone, and are always taken by surprise when the day comes to a close and they are covered in scratches.  Other people strap on layers and layers of armor, carry around a large metal shield, and rarely remove the helmet that is securely strapped on their heads’.  They have been hurt before and know how to prevent it from happening again.

I am not sure where I would fit in the mix.  I don’t think that I give my trust out very easily, but once I have deemed you trustworthy there is very little I hold back from you.  However the title of being trustworthy can change based on the situation, the mood I’m in, or the mood you’re in.  The people I choose, I choose with care, still they most certainly have the ability to crush me mid-stride.  But, that is the point of trust.  You take a risk on someone.  You put yourself in danger.  By trusting someone, you must believe that you have chosen someone who cares about you enough to do their best not to hurt but to help.

Trust is a very emotional based action with emotional based consequences.  I am not sure if it was meant to be that way, and I don’t know if I am capable of separating the action of trust with the nervousness, doubt, and/or relief that tends to accompany it.  Unfortunately we live in a world surrounded with imperfect humans, and the selection of people who we have to choose from to put our trust in is very limited.  Still, it is only natural for us to seek out fellow humans similar to us to try to share our experiences, thoughts, and lives with.  While trust has unknown side-effects, it is a natural part of life, something we crave to take part in on both ends.

Oh the Irony

Getting one’s wisdom teeth out is a signal of joining the adult world, right?  It signifies that the body has reached maturity and technically should be accompanied by a mature mind.  It doesn’t quite feel that way though. Why are they even called wisdom teeth? Will I gain wisdom from getting them taken out? I don’t think so.  Will keeping them give me any more wisdom? No, again.  I suppose it got its name simply because they are molars that come in at an age when you are supposed to be gaining wisdom, although wisdom is a broad and loose term. If anything, I felt more mature before I had to schedule my appointment.  I was growing up, gaining confidence, feeling good, and then this came along.  Well, I have been expecting it for a while I guess, but still, the time has finally arrived.  Surgery on any level is scary.  The thought of being knocked out from drugs in a room full of people you don’t know who are going to be operating, cutting, removing, sewing, and such is just a frightening thought. 

In case you have yet to infer, I’m getting my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow morning.  I already have trouble sleeping, so I am not looking forward to the restless night that lies ahead of me. (I’m rather nervous.) Although I am not sure if I more nervous for the needles, pain, and grogginess, or the fear that I will say or do something I’ll regret after the surgery, since my mind will only loosely be in my control from the grip of the strong drugs.  Regardless I shall endure this, as many other people my age have and will, with as much dignity and bravery as I can muster.  I’ve warned my sister that “no videos are allowed to be posted on any social media until I have seen them myself”, adding “while in my right mind” as I glared at her through squinted eyes.  As my appointment has drawn nearer, I have told a few people about it. They always responded with one of two things; A) they smile as they share some horror story that they themselves or someone they know went through, or B) they excitedly comment, I wish I could see you on drugs, that’d be really interesting.  I have yet to get a “Aw, I hope you have a fast recovery” or “mine wasn’t so bad”.  

Wish me luck my fellow bloggers, I’m gonna need it.  

A lot has happen since you’ve been gone.

Dear Grandpa Gene,

A lot has happen since you’ve been gone.

I’ve graduated high school and survived my first year of college. No worries, I got into the school that I wanted.  I am even running for them!  I’m still not sure exactly what I want to study, but I think I am on the right track.  I don’t know where I’ll end up or what I want to do, but I figure that it will work itself out with time.

I turned twenty! I know, I can’t believe it either.  I still remember waking up early in the morning after spending the night at your house and coming straight to your room to play pick up sticks and count all the coins we could find lying around your room.  Sometimes I dream of you and that lake house, of the pontoon and fishing and turtle hunting.  Grandma bought another boat, since you guys sold your old one.  It’s cool, but no where near as perfect as ours was.  

I work at the Marina now.  The have rearranged it since the last time you were there, but it still smells like new plastic, raw rubber, and shiny fiberglass from the boats sitting inside for sale.  The breeze that comes off the lake is a smell I could never get tired of, especially right after it rains.

I loved driving your truck.  I’m so glad you gave it to me to be my first car!  I drove it for about three years until we ended up selling it to Mike.  I don’t think you know about him, but it’s too long of a story to tell right now.

Everyone else is doing well down here. My mom is becoming more and more like Grandma :).  Darcy has held her job at the movie theater for three full years now.  Her last weekend is coming up and she is so ready to be done.  She’s graduated too and is about to go off to school! We are going to rival schools, funny enough.  She is nervous about school, but excited too I think.  Her roommate is somebody she went to high school with, worked with, and likes a lot, so that worked out well.  Trevor has finally out grown that rebellious stage and is fairly well behaved.  He bought his first car this summer; well he is helping to pay for it anyways. It’s the big, blue truck he’s always wanted.  Katie is still Katie, ornery, full of energy, and longing for someone to play with.  My dad manages to keep us all held together.  Grandma is doing better as time goes on.  She gets lonely sometimes, but I think that is pretty natural.  She misses you a lot — we all do.  

I know that you are having a blast up there and hopefully not causing too much trouble ;).  I love you and miss you dearly.

Forever and Always,

Meagan

There’s a holodeck in my head

images

My brain is constantly sucking up information.  It’s gathering data,evaluating all kinds of situations and people, and playing out different scenarios in my head.  It places me in the mix of my made up world to see how I’d react if the scenarios were actually happening to me.  For any geeks out there (which I unashamedly claim to be) it’s as if there is a star-trek holodeck in my head. Once the program is running, I have no control over anything but me, and it’s so real, it’s easy to forget that it is all just make believe.  While the holograms can do no physical harm to me, mentally and emotionally they wreak havoc.  And for some reason, my mind has decided that the perfect time to push my consciousness into the holodeck and lock the door, is right after I turn my lamp off and try to find a comfortable position to sleep.

Whenever something bad happens to one of my friends, which transpires more often than seems natural, my mind twists the situation or burden that has fallen on top of them and attempts to create a version of it that would tear apart my life, just to see how I would react.  It’s like my brain has discovered the idea of vaccines and is attempting to put it to use in day-to-day life.  Your friend is going through this and you can’t imagine what it would feel like, here let me help so that if it one day happens to you, you’ll be prepared.  In reality, if feels more like a method of torture that accomplishes little more than stealing too many precious hours of sleep.