And on the seventh day, God rested…

In the time it took the good Lord to create the heavens and the earth, I will complete and turn in my masters thesis.  That’s right…one week from today, I will give my paper to my advisor, and everything will suddenly be out of my hands.  It’s exciting!  Right now, I’m doing a lot of the tedious editing, like making sure my citations are all just so, and checking my grammar with a fine-toothed comb.  But soon, so soon, it will be done.  I will be free, and that is both exciting and bittersweet.  Other than that, I haven’t got much to report on right now.  Just wanted to let you know where I am in this whole process.  I plan on following God’s example, and upon completion of my own little creation, I will rest.

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Night Drive

The highway slides along beneath me

Ahead and behind, at once constraining and liberating

Effectively keeping me on the pre-approved trajectory

(How much of this world will I never see

Because there is no road cutting through it?)

Golden lights line the sides of the highway

Tiny blazing suns, each pulling me into its orbit

And sling-shotting me along to the next

Dusk gathers around my car

Pressing its face against the windows,

Curious about the life that speeds so quickly along

Shadows pool in the furrows of the cornfields

As the last light tips the treetops with flame

And I move so fast, so fast

Down the road lined with suns

Who stand as fixed sentinels

Witnesses to my bright brief flare in the long darkness

 

L’amour de ce qui n’est pas vrai

D. H. Lawrence said, “The cruelest thing a man can do to a woman is to portray her as perfection.”  This is so true.  Nothing wrecks a relationship faster than putting your significant other on a pedestal of impossible expectations.  For sooner rather than later, the pedestal will wobble… then topple (thank you Deborah Kerr).  Though you may believe you are honoring your beloved by believing in their unalloyed perfection, you are actually taking away their freedom to be human–to make mistakes, to show their weaknesses, to be real.  You will surely be disappointed, and that disappointment will flow into every facet of the relationship.  But C.S. Lewis offers all you lovers out there some hope: “This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.”  Love is not about believing your beloved to be flawless.  Rather, it is seeing those flaws, acknowledging them, and loving with the same ardor and affection as before.  That is the delight of true love.  You can be yourself (and allow your significant other to be his or herself) without fear of abandonment or scorn.  And that seems like a priceless treasure to me.

Auschwitz

Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland

I walk beneath the black iron gateway

Arbeit Macht Frei

Work Makes Us Free

And cold anger settles like mercury in my gut

Horror perches on my shoulder

whispers in my ear

as I walk the death-paths of millions

And I peep into the long low houses

that absolutely no one called home

Finally, I immerse myself into the hell of the gas chamber

I stand near the wall while the guides drone on

in casual tones about what happened here

I can’t blame them

How could they let themselves feel the grief

on every tour, quarter past the hour

But to my left, I hear a low mutter

“Mein Gott…”

I want to see the man beside me

to know that he suffers as I do

but I can’t take my eyes off the scratches in the wall

Nails dragging down the unyielding metal

No one heeding the cry, “Mein Gott!”

When I step out of that room

[They didn’t step out]

The sun is shining

Breaking through the clouds with perseverance

Was this the freedom they earned?

Clawing, screaming, gasping

into the sunny sky

Carried along as black smoke on the wind