child of light in the dark

Posted: April 19th, 2015 | Filed under: life | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

I’m a fraud. Where do I begin tell you all the ways? I blur my age and make it look natural. I pretend I don’t care, but refresh fifteen times before walking away. I delete things. I call midnight “tomorrow” and start early. I let myself sink into anger and baseless jealousy because I can make art out of it. A decade slams into me and makes me cry holding the miniature clothes in my closet. I refuse to replace what I’ve outgrown because I’m holding on to something that I leaned on too hard. I sweat and sacrifice my sleep to get it back. I’m ambiguous because nobody really likes honesty. 

I make friends, resent them for needing me, and feel rejected when they don’t. I write words I don’t want anyone to read, then feel useless and invisible when they don’t. I work hard to make people ask for me only to be disappointed with who ends up in front of me. I push them away and then want them back. I’m only just now awakening to the unquestioned guilt that religion has burned into my synapse and had me tied up. The white walls and tall ceilings and heavy seats made me feel like I needed to take another shower or just sit in the back.

You can only cage a bird for so long. You might think it cruel to place me next to a window, but that’s what kept me focused. I kept my eyes on the horizon waiting for my moment when no one was watching and the cage of lies was open. When I fly, I try not to think about the blades that tried to clip me or the feathers I lost. I try not to let my memory borrow any extra pain. But even a Phoenix gets bored and the man who used to be amazed at the art can critique the lines and find fault in the shading.

Sometimes I think I’m elegant and I notice the skin and muscles on my own arms as I stretch them around Grace. I smell my own perfume, check my own reflection, and laugh at my own undelivered jokes. I envy people who know the space they occupy when I’m making my way back to mine. I sabotage myself at the onset so I have an excuse for the failures that only I seem to notice.

I’m on fire and the light that came to me now comes from me and I hoard it because I’m waiting to find the peaks again. I end up camping sideways and losing the words. Light breeds light and keeping my mouth shut is dimming the reciprocation. I get lost in my own head. I stumble around thinking you already know what I want to say. I want it to be clever so I don’t start, and if I start, I don’t finish. I’m writing this from my sideways tent. It’s the middle of the night, the peak is nowhere to be found, but the child of light is writing.

Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light. – John 12:35-36 MSG



2 Comments on “child of light in the dark”

  1. 1 Karin said at 7:55 am on April 25th, 2015:

    Serena, I should tell you that I've been a lurker of your site for 5 years now. It is selfish of me to get all that I have out of your writing and to not let you know that I'm reading. My life situation has changed greatly since I first started reading here. Back then, I was so desperate for true words of grace, but I also found myself on both sides of your challenging words: on one side, I was the beaten up and desperate one, and on the other side, I was the self-righteous one looking down at the "sinners" in my life. I guess that's what's kept me coming back to read all these years: am reminded who God actually is and who I actually am, and am pushed beyond where I would comfortably go on my own.

    You know, the post I've most loved of yours was Small Circle Fame And A Fast Plastic Train. You don't write to build a platform for yourself, and that's probably the biggest reason I trust where you're coming from is honest, and what keeps me coming back. Thank you for putting your heart out there for people like me.

  2. 2 serenawoods said at 7:13 pm on April 29th, 2015:

    Thanks for letting me know you've been reading. I had to go back to that blog post to see reread it. 🙂 Hopefully I hear from you again sometime.

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