Under A Paving Stone

"So let me confess a few things about myself. I have always been somewhat of a solitary figure, a moody person who gets nervous when I start to feel my personal space threatened by too many people or activities… Because after all,  what if I'm not in the mood to talk on that afternoon or if I'm in the middle of writing something brilliant, or if I'm just caught up in something else?… I love to read and I love to write and I love to spend countless hours imagining how much better my life is going to be in the future. Such passionate pursuits happen best what I am alone. So my life is quite solitary, and I offer suffer from actue loneliness, but I can't bring myself to imagine that giving up of control of my time would reap better benefits. I know I have issues. But that's not the worst part." Enuma Okoro, Reluctant Pilgrim, p.19

That hurt, God
the way You spoke yesterday
"You stress yourself out.
You do it to yourself and if your faith claims trust in God,
then you're not trusting your God, are you?" 


She doesn't even claim to believe in You
(or at least my broken pottery perception of You)
and yet she spoke


The self-pitier in me, a bit stunned, whistled
"Low blow, Jesus… low blow."

When did I drop the torch?
Fumble the ball? 
Refuse the mantle?
Trip on my shoelaces?

Worse… when did I refuse to pick it up, dress it up, get back up?

I don't remember

I got buried somewhere along the way
I got buried somewhere along the way
under a paving stone
and I've come to love hating living under a rock.

You see,
there's this catch-22 that is so immeasurably tasty
that honey wishes it had its zing
Under a rock
I can breathe a living darkness
inhaling earthy fumes through my nostrils
drawing in all the secrets
of earth
and of the people above
treading on my face
with only smooth stone in between

But I must confess
in a circle of stranger perception,
how does one fully explore the world
beneath the paving stone
every drop
draining it all into myself
without "stressing myself out" 

Don't You see?!

The two seem consummate bedmates
tangled in the sheets
refusing to break the co-dependent relationship
that appears to the world
a hypocrital soul
poisoned with joyless cynicism

To fully live in the moments now
I must press them down
bury them
under paving stones
drain them of juices
drink their draughts


… the process must be all or none.

Otherwise… I fail.
I lose.
I disappont You. and you and you and you and you.
I. Fail. 

The soil and stone be cold,
this is true.
But which do you wish of me, God of this strange world You created?
A half-assed job,
where I poke and peek moderately
into the wonders of Your kingdom,
seasons neatly balanced in a shallow karma
of positive thinking?

Or… or…

Would you wish a full throttle child
rushing impetuously into the earth
digging for every last ounce
of treasure?

Is joy only found in the first?
Do others see You only the first?
Am I such a peculiar failure
in the second,
that You reign me
like You would a restless colt
just to learn calmness?

Or is calm down here somewhere
where I've buried myself?
Let's face it:
it's not as if I'm screaming to get out… not really.
Stress is straining, true,
but if I leave…
… get up and wander the surface,
where will I go?
What will I do that every other human doesn't do already?

Step to the next paving stone,
and wonder what secret lies beneath? 

I don't think so.

So where is this joy, Creator of the Strange Places?
Under the paving stone
wonders unknown to the world above,
where is the joy that frays the stress
of never

And for pity's sake,
how does one
in the first place? 


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