September 1990

Back when I was in seminary, like a lot of students, I was in therapy. I guess the collision of all that actual documented church history and theology slamming up against what we learned in church growing up created a dissonance that needed impartial guidance - or maybe more dysfunctional folks were attracted to the idea of seminary (I was in both categories, actually). So, anyway, as part of therapy I wrote a poem in March 1990 describing where I would be in six months. Since I REALLY want to write a poem, but can't quiet my mind enough to do it, I decided to share this one with you.

September 1990

I tread the
hallowed halls of
memory & emotion
with careful, elated steps.
I survey
the boundaries -
each post hole
dug with fierce victory.
I color my
self -
staying in the lines.
I use zinnia colors -
orange & fuchsia -
the colors of anger
and joy -
the colors of
I am beautiful.
I am real.
I am.

March 15, 1990
Me, circa 1988



    Seriously, I love your poetry. More, more!

  2. Very expressive. I like it. You were in seminary?

  3. Do you still think of yourself as coloring inside the lines?

  4. You know, Willow - I re-read this poem today for the first time in several years & wasn't really sure why I thought that coloring in the lines was my goal. That's not really who I am now - in fact I've always been rather militant about letting people know that I don't believe in lines!

    I was in seminary for a year and a half after I got home from Zambia. It's where I met Dr. M, so I say that I got my MRS. degree there. Heh. It was NOT my intention, but that's how it worked out. My favorite classes were about families of origin, ethics, interpretation of film. Wasn't quite so excited about Old & New Testament.

  5. Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.What's important now is that you are real and beautiful.

  6. You are beautiful
    You are real
    You are You

    Great post & photo.

  7. How sweet you were!

    Slamming up against theology is part of being a spiritual person, at least I think so. If I swallow everything whole, there is something terribly wrong with my faith.

    Beautiful poem.

  8. So, are you now a fiece scribbler over the edges of the lines? Lovely images here. BTW love your new banner at the top with welcome mat - nice!

  9. Bug, that was wonderful, and I have to say that Philip's reply was both beautiful, and graceful. Well done to the both of you.

    I think when we're younger we see a value in being a prescribed shape. A "good person" does this, and that, the other thing too. We have a more defined view of what a person striving to be, and make a difference in the world does. Hence, lines.

    You will fill out the shape you see as befitting what you wish to be.

    We get older, it gets more complicated. We find out there are millions of ways, almost daily, to make a difference, be part of something we find admirable, to contribute.

    That there isn't a shape at all, there are just choices.

    At least, that's what I got from the "coloring in the lines" "now I think ignoring lines is very important" thing.

    Lovely poem, and a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Absolutely loved it. I've never written a poem, and I'm a former English major!

  11. Congratulations on stepping out from within the lines. That was a heart felt poem, both moving and honest. I can't wait to see what you come up with today!

  12. Wow.

    I too learned to express angst from religious upbringing and ministry in poetry. I wrote many poems as I busted out of the lines imposed on me. I found it therapeutic too.

    I hadn't thought about the dissonance created in seminary. I have a brother and nephew, and now son-in-law, who have M Divs.

  13. Oh my, how beautiful - although the word does not do justice to the images and feelings your poem creates for me. "The hallowed halls of memory and emotion with careful, elated steps" WOW!

  14. Thanks for all the kind words everyone! I was definitely in a more creative place then - but the more I write the more chance there is to write something meaningful. You'll just have to put up with the dross to get to the nuggets...


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