[The following is a piece written for a proprioceptive exercise inspired by Rachel Ann Russel's poem, Broken Beauty.]
Twisted grace upon the waters
Shedding light and blinding eye
I wake to pain while seeking warmth
How do you know whether to welcome consciousness to the new day
I hang here
Resistant to more death
More breath of life
Resurrecting another tomorrow.
How now do we step fully into graveyards
Salon parlors and
Sandboxes of forbidden and forgotten toys?
I haven’t yet decided
Which is the good?
To recognize the brokenness
The barking dog in the distance?
The barking dog
Such a tired trope
But can you discern a joyful yalp
From a fearful yelp?
I, sometimes, cannot.
But I seek you in the morning
In the inbreaking of awareness.
To slip back into somnolent slumber
And that will not do.
It will not.
And, so, I go out to the yard and chase back inside the barking dog.
It smiles, knowing its joy in yelping in feigned fear of the foreigner,
The foreigner who resides within our false and falsified walls,
Is the yalp of purpose taken on in an otherwise meaningless world
The worker on the other side of the fence,
The thin wall between my world and my neighbor’s
Got up this morning
Much earlier than I, it should be noted
And faced his day
Faced the twisted grace
Of whatever ache was still in his bones
Or hung over his belly
Or filled his soul
Perhaps a new love propelled him forward
Perhaps a cruel boss echoed in his recent memories
Did he jump into this new day
Or did he stumble?
Whichever it was
It brought him here
Or there, on the other side of the fence
He makes my neighbor’s yard clean
Brings a bit of weekly relief to their bunched-up schedules
And gives my dog
Feigned or real, it matters not.
It brought him here
Propelled him here
And it was enough
To make the sun go ‘round again
Or all of us go around the sun
And the sun go through the cosmos
Dragging us along as servants to gravity.
But, in the crack of dawn
Being a servant of gravity
Is not enough.
Feigning purposeful yalps
Will not do for me.
Such servitude secretes the secret
Gravity as a master
Pulling covers over my head
Or feet to floor
Pull body to pavement.
The crack of dawn
When gravity wants all of you
Wants to suck you into the abyss of meaninglessness
It must be strong enough to grab you by the scruff of your yelping, yalping neck
And make you turn around
And make you see completely
When gravity twists it
Into created coils
And prisms of named things
It will do.
I was propelled this morning
Through the warmth of quilted cloth
First it was my reluctant hand
That meant to grab the edge of covering
And pull it over my head
So I could drift back into the abyss.
But instead it graced the feathery fur
Of my dog’s fluffy tail.
And the otherness
Of my friend
Freed me from gravity.
I am a psychologist in the Houston 'burbs who just finished a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree. I miss all the writing and other expressive tasks we did in seminary, so I am starting this blog to compensate. I have a husband who is perfect for me (and not just because he is also a psychologist with a MDiv). I hope to talk him into doing a guest entry now and then. We have 4 dogs, all rescues (one was rescued from the pet shop, so the other 3 are to make up for our sin). I am comfortable with my ADHD-ness and my Christian faith, and I promise not to make a point of recruiting you into either way of being.
View all posts by Holly Teitsma
2 thoughts on “Twisted Grace”
I stumble into most every day! But, I have God’s Grace..and it is enough.
Thanks for the beautiful words written here.
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And thank you for your thoughtful comment. 🙂