mixed media, poetry, Uncategorized

The Sojourn


the-sojourn-with-name
The Sojourn – double Haiku on mixed media

First of all, let me say a big HELLO!!! I’m back from my travels and looking forward to getting the creative juices flowing again. 🙂


Would you consider your time here – your earthly life – a sojourn?

Sojourn: A temporary stay (noun); To stay somewhere temporarily (verb)

I love what Temple Grandin (one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism) said when confronted with the issue of death. A horse had died, and she asked, “Where’d he go?”

It may sound funny, but really is an existential question that we all face. Where do we go when our bodies die?

As for me, I believe that who I really am, returns to my maker once my body dies. My stay here really is temporary.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is full of darkness. A mountain of madness and a plethora of ugliness happens daily. All-over-the-world.

I am thankful though, that I have big shoulders to rest between. That place of rest is a place of provision and security. My maker remembers that I am but dust, and He is perfect in every way. He provides me with pockets of silence and peace amid all the chaos.

Do you consider your time on Earth a sojourn?

mixed media, Poem

The Need


The Need - Poem on mixed media
The Need – Poem on mixed media

You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you. ~Augustine

I am very affected by climate changes. When it’s sunny and warm, I am happy and full of life. When it is cold and grey, I am lethargic and down. Actually, I get very depressed.

I love the quote above by Augustine. It reminds me that my deepest needs can not be met in the material, nor by me. It reminds me that I need to run to one that is greater than me.

This poem was birthed out of deep depression and great need. It reminds me of what King David wrote in the Psalms; “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”

He spoke to his own soul; so I did the same.  I went to the one that is higher than I and poured out my heart. And you know what? I found rest, comfort and reassurance. My mind was no longer playing tricks on me. I decided I was not going to be a prisoner to the screams in my mind and the tightness in my heart. That doesn’t mean that negative feelings never come back, but they can’t control me.

How do you deal with negative feelings?

mixed media, Poem, Uncategorized

Shantih


Shantih girl 2
Shantih – Poem on mixed media

Shanti is a Sanskrit word and means peace, calmness, tranquility. It can be spelled either  with or without an ‘h’ at the end, however, the inclusion of the ‘h’ at the end, most commonly seen in the popular modernist poem by T.S. Eliot, ‘The Wasteland’, translates it as, ‘The peace which passeth understanding.’

The Bible talks about this ‘peace which passeth all understanding’ when it addresses the issue of anxiety. I used to get very anxious, in fact, most of my wrinkles probably come from how anxious I used to get. I have learned though, that there is one infinitely bigger than little old finite me, that is able to carry my load, thankfully.

When I became a Christian, I used to get anxious daily. Sometimes I would return home from work in tears. Then one day, out of nowhere, I sensed that God spoke into my heart, “Staci, you fear me as you feared your dad”. I think the manifestation of that fear was me trying to please God religiously. Whenever I felt the anxiety come on, I always thought it was because I was doing something wrong in the eyes of God. Over time, I realized that God’s love for me didn’t depend on what I did. His acceptance of me was purely and entirely an act of mercy and grace.

One of the most fundamental needs of human beings is relationship. To me, being a Christian is all about that – Relationship.  Relationship, and not religion.

…My joy and peace. These intangibles slake the thirst of your soul, providing deep satisfaction.” Sarah Young-Jesus Calling

Are you an anxious person? How do you seek peace?

poetry

When We’re Alone


When we're Alone

Do you have a special place to go where you know you’ll find peace? Maybe it’s somewhere in nature? Or it could be in a crowded mall where nobody knows who you are?

I often find peace sitting on my living room couch. I go there to have my morning coffee and quiet time. 

Forget-me-not flowers hold intimate meaning. They signify true love. Faithful love. They also symbolize eternal remembrance.  That’s why I chose to paint these flowers to go along with this poem. The peace I have doesn’t come from some abstract, spiritual experience. It comes out of a relationship of true, faithful and eternal love that lives within me.

You can’t buy a peaceful love like that. It’s priceless. It’s a peace that passes all understanding. A peace that isn’t dependent on circumstances or surroundings. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Do you have a special place where you find peace? What does ‘peace’ mean to you? Do you know true, faithful, intimate love?

photography, poetry

Only you (triple Gogyohka)


Only You

I used to try and find satisfaction in so many things – people, money, material possessions, stimulants, etc. All of these things proved to be just like candy though. They were sweet for a time, but in the end left me empty and malnourished.

I think all of humanity longs for deep satisfaction and wholeness. To be complete. To be at peace. To be accepted and loved. Who wouldn’t want these things?

Where do you look for satisfaction and peace?  Have you found acceptance and love? Do you feel whole and complete?


A Gogyohka is a Japanese micro-poetry form consisting of five lines and no rhyming sequence.

This poem is in response to a year long project called Take Me Deeper, where I am moderating the writing/poetry group for an international faith based group of artists at His Kingdom Come. If you would like to be a part of this group, all you need to do is click on the link and join. We’d love to have you.

poetry

The Need


The Need

You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.
~Augustine

I am very affected by climate changes. When it’s sunny and warm, I am happy and full of life. When it is cold and grey, I am lethargic and down. Actually, I get very depressed. Being that we are entering our winter here in Brazil, the temperatures are dropping, and sometimes it’s grey.

I love this above quote by Augustine. It reminds me that my deepest needs can not be met in the material, nor by me. It reminds me that I need to run to one that is greater than myself.

This poem was birthed out of deep depression and great need. I remembered something that the King of Israel wrote sometime between the 900s and 1000s B.C.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”
He spoke to his own soul. So I did the same. And I went to the one that is higher than I and poured out my heart. And you know what? I found rest. I found comfort. I found reassurance. My mind was no longer playing tricks on me. I decided I wasn’t going to be a prisoner to the screams in my mind and the tightness in my heart.

Are you affected by weather and climate changes? Do you suffer with depression? How do you deal with it?

Poem, Spiritual

Freedom & Slavery (double cinquain)


Freedom & Slavery

Do you think that allowing yourself to be enslaved to someone kind of goes against the idea of freedom?

As a Christian, I believe that freedom comes from living within boundaries that were made for my protection. I used to think Christians lived such boring lives. I also used to think that they were just religious freaks, following a bunch of rules, and having no fun. Little did I know (at the time) that I was the one that was imprisoned. I believed a lie.

I believe I have freedom now. Freedom to be all that I was created to be. Freedom to say no to that which will harm me. Freedom to live within healthy and safe boundaries. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

What does ‘freedom’ mean to you? Do you believe that boundaries are needed to truly be free?


The cinquain poetry form is a 5-line, unrhymed poem. It contains 22 syllables and each line has a different syllable count: 

Line 1=2 syllables, 2=4, 3=6, 4=8, 5=2.

The photo was taken in Ouro Preto-MG, Brasil.