Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the way you know

i know
nothing now
the same way
i knew
everything
in my gut

i know
before i lost you
before loss
was
before we both lost
we knew

we knew
nothing of time's
unknown ending
but as gifts
we were given to
be taken

and i know
before i lost you
before loss
was
before we both lost
we loved



Monday, December 3, 2012

infinity scarf diy



Step 1: Select a beloved scarf that needs some TLC.

Step 2: Select a razor (I would not recommend $4/blade razors like the one in the picture!) Shave scarf in firm, even strokes. Remove excess fuzz. Use scissors to trim the edges. Unlike most garments, loose-knit scarves are not cut easily, so you don't have to be too worried about your razor's edge damaging the scarf. That being said, use your best judgement in terms of pressure and method. I did it on my lap; if you're at a table, you'll probably need to be gentler.

Step 3: Remove the tassels (avoid cutting!) and tie off or sew all pieces so the ends of the scarf are smooth. Sew ends together (optional: I overlapped them slightly and added buttons so that it appears that the scarf buttons up.)

Step 3: Play around with the scarf before wearing and perhaps even before putting on finishing touches (like buttons!) to make sure the length and wearability suite you. Consider where you want the scarf to sit and how many times you want to loop it. Some scarves may prove an awkward length (ex. just long enough for 2.5 loops); if this is the case, the scarf may not have a second life after all, so save your time and find one that you will wear over and over again!  


For locally, hand-crafted scarves you could give as gifts to others (or yourself!), I recommend Pip & Pin. Check them out this weekend (December 8 & 9) at Got Craft?

Monday, November 5, 2012

leaves in fall

stained


i step between
bright rained leaves
skirting
your heart trail
outlines left like a snail
so i know
where you've been

i want to know
how you make that
imprint smudge
of life
just so, i tried
with brush and brown
water dribbled
down to leaf soaked
failure of perfection

i hope tomorrow
to learn the
stroke that stops
steps, rendering you
as smudged lines
on concrete imprinted
so i know
here
you'll be



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

i wish we


i wish we kept us

I wish we
            Never
sent parted lip invitations
igniting friendship embers
in tongues
            Wise to heat
eyebrows singed clear
off and blisters
on fingertip questions
             Knew
ourselves and limits
pushed before they beyond
pushed us
             Time-turned
learned and grown
interlocked fingers
to swing arms and patience
             Kept
things of time
not worn away like
pocket watch stopped
             Us
I wish we

Monday, September 3, 2012

what do i do now?

Some things are just for me and some things are for me to share. I try so hard not to be a universally-blanketing-problem-solver-Jesus-gave-me-this-word-and-it-will-work-for-you-too! kind of person. But this is what I was given. I do not doubt it's meaning for me (though I'm sure there are some theological gaps in the image itself).  If you read this and you too are sometimes falling fast into lost, then I hope it grabs you where you are.

when i
am almost lost
losing ground
perspective and falling
fast into alone
i ask for something
that will grab
fast until feet
meet ground

sometimes
a hand
a word
an image
grabs me
giving perspective grace
until feet
meet ground





Tuesday, August 7, 2012

i find you


where you might be found

I find you in the night
and quiet
moments at dawn
I find you in the rain
torrents and in snow
I find you in sunlight
and a breeze’s sigh
In laughter beauty love
I find you in these things
and decide
You must be
in these things
So I seek out the sun
the night and quiet
moments
I seek out the rain
and light breeze’s touch
I call them you
This tree
Your dwelling place
I am
afraid to find you
in with me
because then
You are also here
in death’s
darkest black
my humiliation and terror
and I cannot will not
see you
in these things
You are in the meadows
and a baby’s laugh
the places I understand
how you
fit
In slit flesh
and pills (places
where you are not)
I curse your name
and call you liar
child abandoner
the worst
Because you are not
cannot be with me
all the time
I do not feel you
cannot allow you
do not know
what it would mean
to be suddenly
not alone
So be in the trees
I’ll worship them
sing their praise
and the world
will be as it is

Friday, July 27, 2012

what is saving my life right now: a synchroblog

this is me participating in sarah bessey's synchroblog

Right now Comensoli Gluten Free Muffin Mix (to which I added frozen, local blueberries, flax and sesame seeds) is saving me. I mixed it up, baked and presto! muffins appeared, just as it should be.

And today, I really need something to be just as it should.

I grew up in the church, Christian school etc. and so while I am forever grateful and in awe of Grace, I find myself daily most drawn to what we call "common grace" (little 'g'). And I have been corrected at times, told that common grace is not the focus and not what really matters, but you know what? I think that's false. We have bigger picture Grace...you get it once and then it's there. And once it's there, it becomes easy to forget, to believe you're alone, slugging it out and salvation and heavenly rewards are so intangible, it starts to feel hollow, false, religious. Like receiving a LifeSavers candy book in your stocking and then, each roll turns out to be empty. You got the store display, not the real thing.

And so it can feel sometimes, when you've known Grace forever. I need something I can grab, unwrap, select, taste. I need me some LifeSavers (preferably the pineapple ones!)

These moments, yummy baked goods that are gluten free, sunshine in the trees, the breeze that hits you a few blocks before you actually see the ocean and a kitten snoring behind you, they point me to something greater. They are not saving me. Nor would I ever build my life about them, but they are life. These tiny, insignificant gifts point to a greater gift. And I need them. I am not just spirit, but also tangible, needy, broken flesh. So give me something I can know with my five sense and suddenly, I know, know, know, that Grace is real, that I am not alone and that this insignificant moment is nothing and everything.

So I guess it's true. I was saved by muffin mix.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

just up ahead

stand out

the beauty of peace
is acceptance
and there remain
things
i cannot accept
like hard-hearts
and injustice

the beauty of life
is grace
that abounds
in and through
and after
the mess
i cannot accept

and i sing-speak words
of acceptance
you give
and take away
hard words
because
i understand
the takeaway part

the beauty of jesus
is a mercy-shelter
from the mess
we make
and a hope
for shining days
of peace
just up ahead

This week has been (for those following certain bloggers and the Gospel Coalition) a week of stirred passions and fighting words. And we could go on. (Some still are.) However, today, I am arrested by the humility of some and graciousness of others who choose to put the gospel, people and the Church ahead of themselves. I want more of this.

I want peace. But at the same time, I have a feeling that I may never get it. I cannot ignore what is on my heart and will not be silenced. Brave people, and particularly brave women, must not give up when the stakes are this high. When justice, mercy and human dignity are on the line, we should all be fighting. Especially when the threat comes from within the Church itself.

Jesus was very clear about sin.  Sin lives in the heart and is seen in both our action and inaction. My prayer is that my sin through inaction becomes less and less and that my understanding of God's heart for the world increases.

To that end, I will always fight.


What I'm talking about:

Sarah Bessey
Rachel Held Evans
Gospel Coalition-Jared C. Wilson

Thursday, July 19, 2012

a conversation with myself

nicki, puppy and i christmas 1987

I write to a little girl with imagination busting out of her, lying under the Christmas tree making the Nutcracker talk to the Kitty who is hiding from the Carousel Horse. A rainbow-light glow falls on her freckled nose, shining in eyes inquiringly blue. No one knows she is not in bed. No one suspects that she has snuck downstairs to, surrounded by Christmas magic, tell stories to herself.

She is the youngest and often feels alone. She wants the big kids to like her, to notice her, to tell stories with her. But they never do. They have homework and friends, and long legs that even when she runs as fast as she can, she cannot keep up with. So she makes her own friends and plays her own games. There's Puppy of course and an ever-rotating host of Barbies. There is Anne (with an 'e') and Mandy and Jasmine and Belle. And in the sand-box she is using the hose that she didn't ask to use to make a swimming pool. When it is full, she will go swimming and she will probably be naked.

She doesn't know it yet, but soon she will know that mommies and daddies don't always live together. That sometimes brothers move out and don't seem like your brother anymore. Sometimes sisters choose to leave life and you'll never know why. And sometimes those who should protect you, won't. She will have questions and tears and secrets that only Puppy will ever hear about.

And she will never be alone.

I wish I could tell her that. I would smooth her mussed tangles and whisper, "You are awash in unexplained grace. You will experience heartbreak you cannot yet imagine, but you will be lifted, covered, carried. You will be weak and you will know strength. You will be scared to lose. You will lose. And you will learn to trust again. You are awash in grace, darling, simply dripping in it. And that, will make all the difference for you."

I would tell her to seek after God without fear. I would help her to understand grace sooner. I would tell her not to regret anything that wasn't a black mark on her soul, and for those black marks, to let herself cry, repent and then forgive.

I would tell her that life doesn't begin at any one point. You're already here, every moment, this right here, this is life. So live it. Relish the early morning, peaceful exhalation into a silent street, the hustle and rush of working for a living, the careful selection of food at the grocery store, the glueing and painting and making of crafts for yourself and friends, the crumpling to the floor in an agony you should never know.

This, right here, is life.

So don't wait. Don't worry, don't fear and don't hesitate. Do what is in your heart, follow the path where your feet find themselves, love the people on that path. Sing every day because it keeps you connected to who you are. Write and make things as often as you can. Live in grace and learn to give what you have already received.

I would tell her, every moment is precious and you don't know how many are left. I would also tell her, for heaven's sake! you're not yet thirty years old, what are you so damn worried about?

And then I would laugh. And it would take her a minute, but then her nose would scrunch and eyes crinkle and she would laugh too. Because she would know that I am right.

Inspired (as always) by Sarah Bessey and her recent participation in Preston Yancey's Conversation with Ourselves blog series.

Friday, June 15, 2012

a voice for the voiceless: who do i choose to hear?

 "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? ...He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing..." 
~Deuteronomy 10: 12-13, 18~

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." 
~James 1: 27~

the set of Mythification, my first collaborative theatre experience. set design: Dale Marushy. photo: Kris Knutsen Marushy.

A dear friend of mine describes his personal philosophy as one of "giving voice to the voiceless". I too keep being drawn towards this cause. I have a growing awareness of the injustices that surround me, and I know that I can do something about them. And perhaps what I can is insignificant and small, but if I'm honest, it feels pretty big.

The beauty of this goal is that not only is it exactly what God calls us to do, but each of us, with our unique experiences, personality and calling, are attuned to different (silenced) voices.  As we discover and amplify these previously unheard voices, we will all finally begin to hear each other. The voices of my generation (supposedly ruined by an extended-adolescence and limited job market), those of my grandparents' age (who remember the wars and how things were different and the same), those of the people we pass everyday (but never meet their eyes), and those across oceans (who have seen things we cannot even imagine).

I do not suggest we neglect the physical needs of those with less, as to do so would be entirely contrary to God's heart. However, I feel that the Church must continue to elevate the value of persons in lesser circumstances as Jesus did, not ignoring their thoughts, feelings and stories. It is not enough to merely clothe or feed "the least of these", we must value their entire person hood. It is not enough to declare equality, we must actually realize equality.

I am a person of intuition, emotion and words. These are the things I have been given, and so they are also that which I have to give. I endeavor to do the things I feel called to do.
  • I am trying to make space in my life for the unexpected, for others, for grace. 
  • I am trying to really listen to people. 
  • I am trying to really see people, beyond what I usually see, to who they are. 
  • I am trying to use my words to express the things placed in my heart, hoping that these things will also mean something to someone else. 
This week in rehearsals, I was blessed by a moment of pure, goosebump-inducing theatre magic, when a collaborative piece in the rough stages of blocking went from being a battle between light and dark, to something far more redemptive. I suddenly saw that the light had something to share with the darkness and I encouraged them to not withhold their light. As it became less a battle, it became more a mercy mission. As their light pricked and stabbed the darkness, he fought back, tormenting and taunting that which he did not understand. I encouraged the darkness to find what it was he was after. Why torment the light, what benefit was there for him?  The answer, I believe, is that maybe, just maybe, if the light persists, there will be transference. Maybe, just maybe, if the darkness has the courage to reach out to the light, the light will get in and darkness will be dark no more.

This is what can happen when we open ourselves to the creative and life-giving impulses of our souls. What stories can we tell? What can we share with others? Only that which we are given and allow ourselves to give away. There we were, just a bunch of 20-somethings in a black box space, and we were singing a redemption song.

There are thousands of excellent plays already written, those that have garnered great acclaim. One day I will direct these plays.

Right now, however, I want to direct new plays. I have been given an opportunity and I choose to use it to listen to and amplify previously unheard voices. Everyday I am so excited by the things we discover, about the scene, the character and ourselves. And I cannot wait to share these stories with an audience. They are our stories and they're worth hearing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

mason jar tealight holders: diy

little candles all in a row

i have been looking forward to making them for a couple months

and i love them

because it feels like Christmas
 A lovely evening of crafting behind me (and no I wasn't listening to Christmas music, I'm of the "you start to soon you spoil it" persuasion) and many lovely, candlelit evenings ahead. A really simple craft, all you need are the following items:

jars (mason, tahini, Patak's butter chicken...you get the idea, any will do. It did take me a while to get enough of the right size and shape so that I was happy.)
twine
lace
doilies (my grandma graciously gave me a whole bag a couple years ago, the rest will go to that cool doily lamp!)
glue gun
wine (preferably red. I did not actually have any tonight, but in an ideal world, I would have.)

 That's it, that's how it's done! I got the idea here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

shackles shook

I was raised in a Baptist church that was and still is a very conservative place. We lined up to sign petitions against the institution of gay marriage, having been told that it would lead us down the dreaded slippery slope (to hell I guess, no one was ever very clear about what slope we were in fact sliding down.) Women made up almost the entire body of Sunday school teachers, but females in leadership positions were always referred to as 'Director' of 'Worship Leader'. And when the Fellowship held a conference on whether or not to allow women in pastoral positions, the final verdict was that each church could determine this for themselves (and for a bunch of conservatives, that's actually quite progressive).

photo credit: julie busby

After some time away at school, I found that I no longer fit into this body. I had no peer community, I felt like just another body in a huge crowd, and my experiences with other Christians (in particular the dreaded Pentecostals) had caused me to seriously doubt the interpretive authority of my home church.

Similarly, today, I find myself struggling to accept the authority of any teacher who tells me that women are secondary members of the church; by virtue of gender and Paul's teachings, we (the whole lot of us) are not intended to lead and never to speak to men with authority. Just as my nineteen year old self knew something was wrong when a pastor told me that manifestations of the Spirit had ended with the Apostolic age (I had witnessed otherwise for 8 months), I now know in my gut or soul or spirit or wherever it is that we know that we know, that there is something deeply wrong with the complementarian view, wherein women cannot teach or have authority over men.

I was a stubborn, ridiculously strong-willed child. I was the kid, sent on a time-out, who put in my minutes on the stairs only to return with a renewed will to resist, on principle, my mother's authority. I was also the kid who remained close with my family, volunteered at church and camp, was a wonderful babysitter, a creative and hard-working student, whose greatest moment of rebellion led her to moving out (and going to a crazy-conservative Bible college just across the river from home).

I was such a badass. And yet, wasn't I? I know what my heart was like, and though my actions were seemingly harmless and I never "got into trouble", there was pride, rebellion and darkness guiding these actions. I wanted what I wanted and there would be hell to pay for anyone who stood in my path.

So I know, you see, what I'm capable of. I know the pride and stubbornness that so often guides my thoughts and choices. And I also know when I am motivated by something else. I know my gut a lot more than I used to, having made it my business to figure out who I am, how I got here and how I can actively end bad patterns born out of family, sin and circumstance.

So when you tell me that the Holy Spirit either no longer chooses to be present, or can't (I'm not sure exactly which view is most common), or that it's the church's mission to battle against gay people getting married, or that God has no place for women's voices in his kingdom, something rises up in me, and its not pride and its not just stubbornness. These words cut deep into me, because I actually care enough to think about. I follow the thread of supposed logic that says we're equal but different and I come up at a frayed end that says there is no such thing. Or if there is, it doesn't look like what we're making it look like.

"It has been pointed out that as long as Christians remain embroiled in endless debates about what women can and cannot do for Jesus, we are only utilizing half the Church. Women have so much to bring to Christianity --- so many gifts, so many insights, so many new ways of looking at things, expressing things, enacting things, and questioning things. I am convinced that the gospel will only benefit from more women preaching it." 

At the heart of the egalitarian vs. complementarian debate is this: are women as much an image of a Holy God, as are men? If not, then it does follow that in matters of teaching, where thinking, reasoning, insight and relationship with God are key, women should be excluded. However, most complementarians will argue adamantly that women are in fact, made in God's image. 

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
~Genesis 2: 26~

And this would have been the point, would it not, where God would have declared the second-placeness of women. Here, as he decrees their role on the earth, as creation is beginning and mankind is being sent off to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it...", would have been the time to say "and I will not permit a woman to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." But these aren't God's words and they're not from Genesis. They're from Timothy 2:11-12 and may not even be Paul's words (though they have long been attributed to him). This passage has been considered "gospel" by complementarians, who pointing to verse 13, claim a "creation argument" makes their stance indisputable.

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and become a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing---if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."
~Timothy 11:13~ 

But to take Paul's interpretation and message (which was  a personal letter to Timothy) above the words of Genesis is concerning at best. Take note that I added Paul's words after Genesis 2:26. God's statement regarding man and woman as image-bearers, is followed in Genesis by a statement of hierarchy. Man and women, together, over the earth. 

"To the women he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for (or against) your husband. and he shall rule over you."
~Genesis 3:16~ 

This is the first scriptural mention of a gender-based hierarchy and appears in what is commonly known as God's curse on mankind, following their first sin. Nowhere in Genesis 3 does God imply that Eve's "deception" of Adam makes her more sinful. Nowhere does it imply that Eve used her "feminine wiles" to seduce Adam against his better judgement. They both desired power and independence from God. They both disobeyed. Does it not follow then that later interpretations of such material (Paul's for example) are culturally and specifically relevant, just as his viewpoint when writing was shaped by his culture and the specificity of the situation to which he wrote.

And it is now, finally, after several cold, silent and heartbroken months, that I pick back up the book that led me to my Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. I have been afraid. Afraid that somehow I would be wrong, that the creation argument would trump my well-reasoned cultural argument. That in one fell-stroke, I would be forced by the very book that promised to bring Life, to exist silently on my knees. 

But that is not the God I know. And I choose to trust that his words, as I read them for myself with a heart humbled by what I am and who He is, will shine a light into these dark, broken places. I choose to trust that he will use me when I am not ruled by fear. I choose to trust that this heart, this brain and this strong-willed spirit were his gifts to me, to share for His kingdom. I have a story, a voice and a God worth sharing.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
~1 Peter 5:6-7~

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all."
~2 Thessalonians 3: 16~ 
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
~2 Peter 3: 18~ 

Written as a part of my process and in conjunction with Rachel Held Evans' Week of Mutuality 2012. What a lovely many voices are taking part; makes my soul feel just that much lighter.

Monday, June 4, 2012

mobility

This morning I am trying to figure out how I, the girl who didn't have a cellphone until university, has become me. I was recently given an older iPod touch, and I genuinely believed that it would satisfy my desire for an iPhone until the time comes for me to actually get an iPhone.

Oh foolish Kim. I mean sure it stores 8 times what my shuffle, yes you heard me, I have only ever had a shuffle, but it doesn't have a camera and won't load newer apps. And so my question is, how did I get here?

How did I become so dependent on mobile technology that an iPod worlds ahead of what I've had, doesn't even meet my most basic expectations?

And is there any way back? I'm a big fan of learning to work within the present system, making the best of it and keeping pace with the things that will make me hirable etc. But maybe I don't like it...maybe I want to be like my tech-illiterate mum. The problem? My brain is wired for mobility and I have not been called to hermitage(ness?) I have been called to live here, engage with my culture and be available to God. And in this I must find a balance? God help me.

Well that's it. My first mobile blog post. And you know what, I survived.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

abdication


empty



Alright,
I’ll say it
It’s all you.
Because as it turns out
I was always
all yours
anyway

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

daily discovery: aidan knight and why sad music make me happy



margaret downe
 "and you knew that i forgave you, for making other plans"

When I was in school, kicking around in the green room (or in our case "Green Hall", because it was very decidedly a passageway with couches and not a room) we laughed a lot at ourselves and how many times our sentences began "I really feel that..." And while a little ridiculous at times, this regular expression of feeling as opposed to thinking does characterize the way in which I operate. And it was a big part of the reason I fell so completely under the spell of theatre. Here was a world in which my natural way of being was not only acceptable, but valued. Here were others who also felt before they thought.

Fortunately for people who have to deal with me, I like to balance my "feel-first" tendency with an over-active need to analyze, so there's little need to worry that I'll suddenly free fall into feeling leaving my brain behind. But I do interact with and experience the world primarily through emotion and intuition, feeling most connected (not to be misunderstood as most comfortable) in the presence of emotional vulnerability and freedom to express one's self. Music is unarguably a unifying element, both scientific and mystical in its proven ability to reach the unreachable, communicate with people beyond natural barriers and to reach me past my daily operating level of skin-deepness.

So when you pick up a guitar, sit down at the keyboard, and your words and heart-on-your-sleeve voice remind me of things I already know, things I yearn to understand and remind me that I am not alone, you've got me.

Since I first heard Aidan play this song last year at an End Homelessness Now event at St Andrew's-Wesley, I have been binge-listening to it. His song about broken lives and forgiveness is not my story, and I suspect is not even his own, but it transcends. And those words "you knew that I forgave you for making other plans" can only mean one thing to me. They are an unspoken understanding with my sister; four years after the fact and I forgive her, for making other plans.

For my favourite video of this song (blogger wouldn't let me upload it), click here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

loosed balloon

A bunny and balloons and I was very near bawling right there in the street, thinking about those who wrote the sign by hand, their hearts rent over a loved lost. And I wanted to write about it, to process and remember the times I too have loosed balloons.

But I forgot. And today, it was about forgiveness. I thought, I like to forgive like I blow up balloons. And so while the ideas are not the same, I think there is a connection. It's an image that means something to us...I don't know, something about balloons doing what our hearts demand. It is time for release.

"I'll be back for you"



I like to blow up
balloons 
like I forgive
with simple breath
I loose you
skyward
But somehow
dusk shadows stretch
over me standing
string in hand
and that damn balloon
I was sure
had already
let go
waits



Thursday, May 10, 2012

daily discovery: where i review honeycomb tombs by karla adolphe

NEW: music video for "Flying Low"

Intrigued from the moment that I first heard about Honeycomb Tombs via Facebook and some Calgary-friends, I had to get involved.

"About a year ago Karla was privileged to be at the hospital when a dear family said goodbye to their daughter. In the midst of that beautiful and heart-wrenching day Karla witnessed music play an important role in the early stages of grief.

The goal of this project is to create a
FREE digital album that walks alongside those in the midst of grief; a collection of music, spaces, poetry and stories that can be played while you journal, take a drive, cry or nap. This album will be completely listener funded and available for free digital download. What that means is Karla will not recoup any of her $9800 budget with cd sales. The goal is to raise at least $7500 by April 1, 2012 to cover the costs of recording, producing, mixing and mastering and marketing the album."

There are so few avenues for expressing emotion in our daily lives, and nowhere is this more true than for those dealing with grief. I once saw a movie depicting an Indian funeral and I marveled at their public grieving. Shocked by such expressive freedom,  I began to long for such a moment in my own life. I pictured myself there, my sister's body wreathed in flowers, being carried through the streets, while we followed wailing, some of us falling and being carried to the place of burial.

And yet, I never experienced such uncensored pain. I did not cry publicly, I was gracious towards those offering condolences and I tried, in small ways, to be a support to my family. We had a deli spread in the church basement and people wept quiet tears and hugged (while they apologized for those tears). There was nothing wrong with it, it was completely normal. But I want, no need, more. 

I am not a musician, but I have had music in me for as long as I can remember. It opens me up like nothing else can; I believe in its power to communicate beyond differences in language, intellect, and experience. Music can be something different to each person who hears it, and in doing so, it meets each of us exactly where we are. 

Honeycomb Tombs is a mellow and contemplative collection of songs. Though never stagnant or repetitious, the tone, something I can only describe as gentle strength, winds its way throughout. The first song leads you to the next, your experience growing richer and deeper as you wade in, though any one song has a magic the one previous did not. Musically this album falls somewhere between folk and lullaby, while lyrically it acts as "a surge of the heart; ...a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." 

It is such a joy to hear lyrics that echo your own journal entries, as someone else asks the same questions: of God, yourself and of those who left you behind. In her first single, Flying Low, the lines build to crescendo,  "I know I'm alive, raised from the dead inside", and as powerful as waves of grief crashing down, Karla's vocals swell from contemplative-quiet to reaching, insisting, claiming "I know I'm alive"! These lines resonate as an inner dialogue of survival and of hope. Graceland and Graveyards is sweetly melancholic and utterly compassionate. My thoughts almost word for word, "This is a lonely crowd of people I'm in, this is another bad day slowly setting in." The song speaks the beautiful, painful truth,"You refuse to be erased."

In Invisible Lines, Karla writes "Our hearts broke at the same time, torn along invisible lines. Mine was still beating, yours said goodnight, our hearts broke at the same time." Beautiful. Who can Hold Me? asks the giant question and suggests an answer for those living in moments where "This freezing rain, this stinging pain, it's what is getting me through".  

When I see Him has one of my favourite lines of the whole album, "Even if I don't come back darling, its alright." And even though nothing feels alright when someone has died, if my sister had said that, I just might have believed her. Room For Me is a surprising and triumphant burst, beginning with a soul questioning their place, worth and belonging. This soul is answered in no uncertain terms with the joyful trumpets of Swing Lo Sweet Chariot, a gorgeous and nostalgic refrain making me long for the days of childhood faith.

There is room for me, for you, in His chariot, in His arms.

Free download of Honeycomb Tombs, the new album from the Canadian musician Karla Adolphe, available MAY 15.

DOWNLOAD HERE


Thursday, May 3, 2012

i already am


chosen
Learning to be what
i already am
is a long process
of saying this is me
broken beyond belief
repair
love
and yet somehow
i hold this wine-soaked bread
and it says again
he was broken beyond my belief
to repair
HIS love
a death so marked by pain
and grief
a death so filled with shame
and begging
take this cup
and so while he knows my pain
and grief, shame and begging
he has already accepted them
and thereby
me
I cannot be anything other
than what I already am
Broken beyond recognition
and loved beyond belief
so to answer those nagging questions
he can use me now
my brokenness is a part of me, its not going anywhere
and i refuse to wait
to be useful
to be loved
to be good enough
i am learning to be
what I already am.
Chosen, beloved, truth-speaker, planned,
beautiful
daughter
to a father
I am learning to be these things,
things I already am.