Wednesday, March 26, 2014

There. I Fixed It. {Found Poetry}

I'm working on my final paper this semester. It's on the damage done by diet devotionals and why they are dangerous to individual Christians and the church as the Body of Christ.

This means that for research I am reading a few diet devotionals.

One that I picked up at a thrift store is Gwen Shamblin's Rise Above, the follow-up to her best-selling Weigh Down Diet.  

Rise Above is a horrid book and spiritually abusive. It was emotionally draining to read. So, I decided to redeem it a little bit and complete a "found poetry" activity I've been wanting to do for a while. I opened to a random page, made sure I had any notes I needed from it for my paper, and then got to work trying to use her own words to offer an opposite message. A message that critiques the fat-shaming that is found all throughout the book and celebrates the way that God made us diverse bodies - and part of the beauty of our bodies is that multiple times a day, if we are so blessed, we get to eat, and we get to do it with friends and family. Throwing on food and weight and body judgments ruins that community and ruins that chance we have to find communion with the incarnated triune God.

The final art project isn't perfects, it's the first one I've ever done. But I'm happy with it. And when I'm flipping through the book over the next few weeks as I finish up this paper, it will be a nice reminder of what God really thinks about my body.


And, After


You think Obesity consumes light.

your heart
your desire
cycles to God

appetite gives back to you - Christ.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Lament for Wanderlust

I am focusing on lament during this season of lent. A time to mourn evil and despair, sadness and loss. Lament is not a normal place for me - I've always been an optimist on my good days and a realist on my other days. But it's a concept that's been on my heart the past year or so. One thing about lament that I am learning is that there is always hope  - it's always looking toward hope.  One of the things I have to lament is the places I leave. There is so much to love about my life that has taken me to different parts of the country and the people that I've been able to know. My life has been blessed in so many ways by these experiences, but the moving to the new always mean a leaving. That gets harder every time. After you do it a few times - you know that no decision you make about where your life goes next will be without some amount of heartbreak. You either leave where you are, or you stay and that means there is someplace to where you are not returning. There will always be somewhere that you want to be that you aren't.  Here is that lament, tinted with hope. 

Dear soul and synapses and gut
who clench in familiar anxiety:

You sowed your heart into these
many hills and plains –

leaving seeds rooted
in the tapestry of towns
and lives you have loved
for twenty years,
or one.

Question not whether
the fruit of your life blooms
or withers in harvests
that follow your departure.

Lives are perennial flowers,
an invading species.

Feel how strong is the tug
of the long long roots that ever tie
you to the land and the harvesters’ hands.

They don’t warn
the adventurous of these things –
of the battle that will
come between
roots and wings.

Take courage, dear heart:
your roots are wide
and strong,
soaking up the sun and rain
of many different skies.