When the Last Teardrop Falls

Sunday Fall

The early morning fog that wrapped the world in grey has long since rolled out or burned away. The near midday sun illumines this day with a squinty brightness, and a lone cloud floats above the few families enjoying the park before the madness of post-church Sunday afternoon. Normally I would have spent this morning in a house of worship, employing my guitar for the weekly rites. But unneeded today, I slept late and have now made my way to the one spot where collecting and writing my thoughts comes easiest.

That mapping the cosmology of the heart should be called easy is a misnomer. Probably the most difficult task I semi-regularly attempt is the unshrouding of myself. For all my efforts at real transparency, I am shut tighter than a vampire’s coffin at dawn. If one bit of light entered in, maybe my heart would turn to dust.

Veiled thoughts. Shrouded emotions. Hearts safely behind high and thick walls. Each metaphor grows both in the strength to protect, as well as to pull down. Surely life was never intended to be lived in this fashion? My heart tells me no, but seeks refuge nonetheless.

The park has grown quiet…most likely the calm before the afternoon swarm. A lone runner makes her way around the perimeter trail, the bright neon yellow of her attire visible at this distance even to these aging eyes. My lone cloud friend is breaking apart in the wind of the upper air. In the shade of my favorite tree (and who doesn’t have one?) I can see clearly the changing colors of fall, my favorite season.

It’s probably fitting that today has no music. It’s all too easy to lose myself in notes and tones, textures and rhythms. Music makes my heart sing where my voice cannot. But on this seventh day I’ll rest from rhyme and song, and wrestle with words in their stead. I’ve often said that there’s music to be found everywhere, even in prose.

The cloud has gone now…the neon runner run past to a solitary track…the moment of stillness lost, as the park begins to fill with the revelers of this bright day.

Still my heart is no less shrouded. Do I pray for Holy Spirit to rend the veil of my heart? Where are those who will march around my walls with music and shouting, awaiting the fall?

There is no end to the questions my heart would ask. But fall reminds me of the fleeting days with every leaf that falls around me. The time for questions will be over, and I will revel in the long answer of eternity when the last teardrop falls.

 

Magic

I was taught that every story has a beginning, middle, and an ending. From an early age our stories end with “happily ever after.” At the head of the tale, this is the only ‘tail’ that will do. It’s certainly what we all hope.

But life spins a different story for each of us. Whether easy or hard, every life has moments of magic. The big ones are easy to spot. The tragedy is missing the magic in the everyday.

Sometimes it’s easy to miss any of these moments. Especially when the story is framed by dark words and darker deeds. We look for an Enemy without…but the true enemy is within.

No one starts as the antagonist, and the journey into villainy is a story in itself. My crime is believing words spoken about me even before entering my own story.

Cripple,’ she said. God’s punishment for sin and shame. Doctors repaired the deformities but they couldn’t remove the scars.

Don’t tell anyone,‘ she said. Even now I cannot tell.

You’ll never be good,’ he intoned. By this time in the story I was learning to use the rage. I would be good in spite of jealous prophesy. But never quite good enough.

Then the day comes when pride turns fall. Mighty are the fallen…

Like the loneliness of early days in hospitals, overwhelming waves of abandonment come flooding back. But you are the betrayer. Your body is whole but your spirit is crippled.

You are alone even when never alone.

The words cling to your hoping heart. Descriptors of your fall haunt through the decades.

You come to the last act of the story. The arc is not complete, but the incline is steepening toward the end. Mistakes are made and lessons learned and unlearned, a student of life even still.

And the words remain as surely as the scars upon your flesh.

“Rich man, poor man. Beggarman, thief. Liar, betrayer, sinner chief.”

At least I can see the magic…and remember how the tale could have ended.

“A Sky Full of Blue”

A song for those with wounded spirits and forgotten dreams…

 

“A Sky Full of Blue”

Verse One
I don’t need any signs or wonders
I’m trying to keep from being torn asunder
Plenty of time to pray and ponder
God help me as I weep and wander

Chorus
Nothing left to believe
There’s a sky full of blue
And a head full of dreams

Verse Two
I’m dying from a wounded spirit
It doesn’t matter, my heart’s not in it
So many prayers, all unspoken
God help me ’cause I am so broken

Chorus
Nothing left to believe
There’s a sky full of blue
And a head full of dreams

Bridge
There’s nothing to say
Nothing left to do
I just can’t do it anymore

Verse Three
I don’t want a new revelation
Just a road with no destination
All these promises fade from view
The blue sky fades to a darker hue

Chorus
Nothing left to believe
There’s a sky full of stars
And forgotten dreams
Nothing left to believe
There’s a sky full of blue
And a head full of dreams

Message to 1977

In 1977 I was sixteen years old. Young and alive with the world unfolding, yet already building the fortress for my spirit that I have endured for decades now. 

While not an original idea, I would send “77 GV” advice if I could…

Don’t be afraid to take risks.

Take better care of yourself…body soul and spirit.

When your youth pastor asks you to sing a solo in choir say “yes!”

Understand and believe that there really is an artist inside of you waiting to escape his prison.

When the voices tell you you’re no good and worthless, use that as fuel for your life.

When you make mistakes (and you certainly will), remember that there’s Grace for that.

Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

There will be seasons of agonizing loneliness.

Holy Spirit has given you a new heart. Protect it at all costs…but don’t lock it away.

Never ever give up on the music…it is the fire that will sustain you, and will be the light for your journey.

This is your life: live it with passion and without regret.

The road behind cannot be traveled again. Father, help me heed my own words, and lay waste to the fortress I have built.