Monday, December 14, 2015

mountains and mary's // slam poem

So guys, I wrote a thing. I don't have a lot to say about it, but I would loooove if you would take a listen!! Or, if you prefer, I've copied the poem below for your viewing pleasure (but it's meant to be heard, not read. jsyk.)




+taken from my own rants and reflections on trust
+also shout-out to Abbiee, whose style inspires me

Merry Christmas!! ♡

Olivia 

p.s. the title is not a typo or a grammar mistake. just me being rebellious and trying to think outside the box.
p.p.s. skip to 0:08 to hear the start of the poem! I accidentally recorded blank air and didn't know how to fix it #techsavvy



mountains and mary's


I think trusting God is like climbing a mountain, only

you work hard all day, palms scraped raw and bleeding

to look down and find yourself three feet from the ground

still close enough to see your tears slap against the dusty earth below.

Cracks that can never be filled but eagerly swallow your sorrow, anyway.

Trust is an endless journey that feels impossible, the top of the mountain crooked and far away

and you wonder, is it even there?

Or will you climb until the air is too thin to breathe and find yourself alone,

clinging, but just barely

to an open rock face, hard and unforgiving?

You don’t know, but you can’t stay here, too tired to pretend that you own this little square of broken earth and dusty dreams, too heavy with unfulfilled promises to fake happiness, your own feet so dirt-encrusted you can’t tell what colour your own skin is anymore.

He knows.



So, you’ve got this girl. She’s younger than you think, younger than you’d like to believe, so much younger than you, no matter how you do the math. She thinks she’s got her fourteen-year-old life figured out, and then God shows up.

God

Shows

Up

because, yeah. he does that sometimes.

And he doesn’t stop by to say hey, or come see me, or even, I like what you’ve got going on here –

he comes to turn her world upside down

to present her with a mountain to climb

and show her that the life she thinks she wants is only part one

the first page, opening chapter, the stage before the curtain is opened

bare and dark and

empty.

And if you think she was anything other than terrified, you’d better stop and think again.

We paint this girl up to be an angel, think she was so incredible, put her on a pedestal, and we forget that she was only human, she was just a kid, and when God showed up you’d better believe she almost threw up, heart jumped into her throat and stomach down to her toes, because it is

never

a comfortable thing

when God invites himself to your place for dinner.

And then God says,

hey.

hey girl, hey you, hey my daughter who I made and know and who I so dearly love –

don’t be afraid. Okay?

Don’t be afraid.

so this girl takes a deep breath, laces her fingers and straightens her back, pats her hair into place, looks him head on, and says

deal.

because what else is there to say? and how could you possibly be afraid at a time like this?

but then again, how could you not?

And then he says, look. I’ve got this mountain I want you to climb. I’ve got a job I want you to do, a journey I want you to take, and take a good look around, kiddo, because this isn’t it. This is your prelude, prologue, not even the beginning of what I have in store for you, and I’ll tell you straight up you aren’t going to like all of it. I will tell you the truth now, and tomorrow, and forever more, and I am telling you today that your story, like all stories, is a hard one.

Her story, like yours, like mine, like all of ours, was a hard one.

But, he says, and he keeps going, because with God you know there’s always more. there’s always another sentence, always a corner to turn, always a ‘but,’ a ‘wait,’ a ‘better.’

But, he says, and this is when she sees him smiling, it’s a good one.

And then guess what happens.

her life goes off the tracks, her train derails with the scream of a thousand whistles and the clash of broken brakes, but you know what? She was never supposed to be an engine in the first place. this girl was made to climb mountains, not slither along the dusty ground like a fork-tongued snake. she was made to be with her head in the clouds, reaching for the next handhold, and this derailing is the best thing that’s ever happened to her, even though it hurts.

even though when the dust clears, it looks like her life has fallen apart, scrap metal scattered and glinting in the sunlight as far as the eye can see, God is whispering, isn’t this beautiful? isn’t it glorious?

for a moment, she thinks he’s talking about the ruins of her life, and you may not believe it, but she wants to scream,

are you blind, God?

don’t you see what you’ve done to me, all the broken pieces that I can never put back together, all the people and the way they look at me, like this was something I chose and not a mountain that you asked me to climb-

and then she realizes that he isn’t looking down. God has his head tipped way back staring into the sky at the top of a mountain that she’d never realized was there before, white-capped peaks shimmering in the golden glow of morning, the light she’d missed in her whole-hearted plunge along the train tracks of

Expectation.

a word she hadn’t realized she was carrying, hadn’t felt the weight of until today, when she tries to tip her head back and almost falls over, it throws her so off-balance.

So, says God, putting her back on her feet, dusting her off, and grinning his full God-smile into her tiny, afraid little face. Ready to go?

And here’s where we differ, she and me, because this girl pulls herself together, clenches her fists, grits her teeth, and says yes.

She says yes to the mountain with the top so high she can barely see it, says yes to the carnage behind her, says yes to the bright beaming face of God, yes to possibilities and plans she doesn’t know or understand yet.

She says yes.

And maybe the opposite of saying yes isn’t no,

but is simply saying nothing at all.

choosing to stare silently, sadly down at the wreckage that you have left behind

because no matter how you choose to play it, no one has dinner with God and gets up from the table unchanged.

And maybe that’s where I am, where you are, where we might stay forever except that man, is that a rough place to stand

shifting your weight from foot to foot and waiting for something to change

when all you’ll ever see is the slow

gradual

rusting of broken metal.



When we finally look up, our necks sore from being pushed down, when we finally stretch and turn around, we expect God to be gone, his offer expired, maybe a little sticky note left behind saying

sorry, too late! better luck next time.

but what we always find, and what always surprises us even though we know what’s going to happen, is that he’s still there.

and he’s still looking at that mountain.

So, he says, hands in his pockets. What do you think?

And then before we can reply,

Don’t be afraid.

And the most frustrating thing about God is that’s all he’s going to say. The choice is always yours.



So, this girl? The one you kind of think you know, the one you’re barely starting to remember

The one who isn’t as perfect as she sounds

but is way stronger than she looks…

yeah, her name’s Mary. and maybe you saw where this was going, but it never ceases to amaze me that she said yes to carrying the son of God

when I sometime have trouble saying yes to getting out of bed in the morning

and you know what? some days, I don’t think that one is any harder than the other.

because her story was so hard,

but so is yours.

and maybe she said yes to climbing that mountain, and hiked up her skirts and jutted out her chin and carried the weight of the world inside her

and sometimes the weight of other people’s glares on her shoulders, as hard as she tried to shrug them off,

but maybe you’re carrying things, too, and maybe the reason you haven’t said yes yet is the same reason you haven’t said no,

because you don’t know

and you’re a little bit afraid.

and I think that she was, too.

and maybe instead of yes, the word that comes out of your mouth is

how, or why, or when, or just WHAT???

but let me remind you.

that those were the first words out of her mouth, too.



so don’t put Mary on a pedestal, because that’s not where you’ll find her. if you really want to know where she is, that fourteen year old whose name is on everyone’s lips this time of year, you can find her on the mountain.

and isn’t that where you should be, too?

24 comments:

  1. You are so talenteddd, oh my word! :D

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  2. This was sooooo good! And I needed it so badly, especially right now! Thank you so much for writing this. It is amazing!

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    1. This is something really close to my heart right now and I'm so glad it touched you as well! Thanks for listening, Ashley! :)

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  3. All of the love for this, Olivia! I listened and read along as I went, and gahhh! I love slam poetry so much and this speaks to me so much. <3 You have so much talent in you, girl!

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah!! Your feedback means the world to me! So glad you could relate; like seriously knowing that other people get it is SO REWARDING. So. *hugs*

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  4. I love this portrayal of Mary, this reminder of her humanness. Especially since I, like you, sometimes have trouble saying yes to getting out of bed in the morning. Beautiful.

    "it never ceases to amaze me that she said yes to carrying the son of God
    when I sometime have trouble saying yes to getting out of bed in the morning"

    "and maybe the reason you haven’t said yes yet is the same reason you haven’t said no"

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    1. Serena, thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment! :) and I'm glad you pointed out those lines... they were a couple of my favourites.

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  5. okay, so this is the 2nd comment because blogger deleted the first and now i'm gonna have to try to find the words that i said before... so yeah.

    i've been reading your blog for a while and being a total ghost, no commenting or anything (shame on me, i know). but i read/listened to this and decided to be a blog ghost no more :)

    so this was beautiful and had me gahhing all over the place, which is evident by my lack of coherent sentences. such a great reminder and you write beautifully...

    Jana
    janasfaith.blogspot.com

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    1. Jana, I hate it when blogger does that!! Thanks for trying a second time! I loved reading your comment! :)

      Also, just a side note:no shame in being a ghost! I do it myself sometimes :) I'm awfully glad that you've decided to materialize, though!

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment :) I am so happy you enjoyed the poem!

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  6. Your reading is amazing. It makes your words 100000x more powerful, and it was powerful as it was already. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Jo! That really means a lot to me! :)

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  7. Oh my gosh...you are so incredibly talented. That was gorgeous, and utterly breathtaking. Keep doing what you're doing on your blog...because it's beautiful.

    Hugs,
    Abbey Noelle

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    1. Abbey, thank you so much for your uplifting words! You put a smile on my face. :) hugs back!

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  8. OH. MY. GOSH.
    I just...i don't have any words right now goodbye.

    JUST KIDDING DUDE HOW COULD I POSSIBLY LEAVE WITHOUT SHRIEKING AND BAWLING AND FLOPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE? It's going to get messy in here, sorry -- oops, it already has.

    WHAT ARE YOU EVEN? That was unbelievable. And I know this is really cliche sounding, but this slam poem was EXACTLY what I needed right now. Like I'm facing the opening of a chapter in my life that is so freaking scary but at the same time it's beautiful, just like that mountain you were talking about. And I absolutely love the way you so accurately and beautifully portray God. Like...it's wow. This is so amazing. I can't even. It is just...anointed. I literally don't know any other word eloquent enough to use on it. It is anointed. Breathtaking. Gorgeous. ♥ Thank you for it.

    And FJKNDSFKNS THANK YOU FOR THE SHOUT-OUT. like...I am so honored and SQUEALING that my style inspires you oh my word. GAAAAAH I LOVE YOU. ♥ this is brilliant. YOU are brilliant. And so ridiculously talented. :)

    love,
    abbiee

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    1. can I just say that I love long comments?! Okay? So much love ♡ except I never know how to reply except

      THANK YOU

      Because that's what is in my heart! Thank you for listening, and for being touched and telling me that you feel touched, and writing long comments, and being inspiring! Thanks for being you! :) you rock.

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  9. Ok, well this is a wonderful introduction to a blog, excuse me while I just go explore the rest! This is incredible!!!

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    1. Gah! Nina your comment made me happy. :) So glad you liked!

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  10. okay so...CHILLS. Oh my goodness...

    Like...what....how...oihsbpahgw

    OLIVIA, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL, STUNNING SOUL. When you got to the part where you revealed that it was Mary I literally had chills going up and down my spine, wowza. That was POWERFUL and moving. God is speaking amazing things through your lips, girl!

    "always a ‘but,’ a ‘wait,’ a ‘better.'" <3

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    1. YOU ARE A GEM. Thank you for being an angel and leaving me such an uplifting comment! Much love and excited flutters in the writer-parts of my brain.

      (which would be all the parts, but whatevs.)

      Merry Christmas!!

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  11. This is so unbelievably beautiful! You are so talented, and its great that you're using it in such an amazing way to share your love of God.

    Noire Beau

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Tife! I am so so thrilled and delighted by your encouragement!! Thank you!

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  12. I heard the whole thing in its entirety and read it, and I want to just keep hearing and reading it again and again. You have a special gift of writing, olivia, and this piece really touched me.

    In my life right now, I really do have a huge mountain ahead of me. And I'm pretty sure I've been just asking those questions, and doubting this whole time. Trusting God needs so much faith and sometimes it is pretty difficult. But the picture you painted here is beyond words. The picture of God being there, always always waiting for His daughters. It will always warm my heart. So, thank you for sharing. Thank you for writing this beautiful work. Because I know it has definitely encouraged me and so many other girls out there.

    <3
    XXX -nameless writing

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    1. The honesty of your comment touched my heart this morning. Thank you for being genuine and thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts. :)

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Comments from you make my day! ♥ True story.