Sunday, March 29, 2009

poetic snapshots

when i pray
i fight the battle of outward verses within
for guidance in a foreign land
with enemies and allies
and I know
you lead me through the twists and turns
over the pit falls
(i have dug)
past the bridges
(i have burned)
into a place of victory and freedom
free from restriction
o God, you take me through the jaws of destruction


i am small tonite
but my thoughts are so big
they rush through me
Freedom: at any cost
Redemption: when all was lost

these words are bigger than me
deeper than, more than me

we are your canvas, your words, your clay
the master creation by the master creator
nothing out of place or mistaken
you created nothing more beautiful
than portraits of you
masterpieces in cubicles
wasting away in our churches and malls
seeking and not finding in bars and other hearts
give me a passion for your art, Abba
remind me-
we are your glory, your prized posession
We are your majestic view


and how i used to burn for you
my love would be a flame for your fire
and how i would shine and yearn
for this lover-messiah, rescuer, redeemer and father
and i was one flame in a world of fire
and now
and now
and now
i am tired
and now i am a spark
ignite me
restore me
burn away a heart of lies
burn away a girl who is sad and tired
and reveal a woman of fire

(love song to the devil)

you were almost majesty and you almost had me

lover, you should have come over, indeed
but that is not my story
my heart is alive, my body is not cold
my love is waiting
is vibrant and beating
along with my skin, my kiss
the last goodbye
to turn into
the first hello
and hello, hello, hello
to you
stranger, you should come over

rainy mornings

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cool Water

I have a tattooish on my arm. In a house of writers, it took Bradford fifteen minutes to find a pen (oh technology) and then another few minutes to illegibly scrawl


You know you are close with your flatmates when they ask you about the frequency of your pee (Jenna never did this, and she loves pee. She writes about it all the time on her blog). I am forgetting to drink water, and so Bradford has reminded me.

And the idea of water has led me to a few other thoughts. Christ uses water more than any other analogy to represent himself. I wonder if this is lost on us, as we are not a desert people, and water is so accessible. I rarely remember feeling thirsty for more than a few minutes, because thirst is so easily quenched.

But it wasn't in the time of Christ. I would assume that food would have been slightly more accessible than water. And so I'm thinking about all of this in the context of why I don't pray, or make time for God. Or why I see my friends having a hard time being vulnerable with Christ. I think a bit of it comes down to expectations. I expect God to do things for me, help me, guide me, whatever. And not all of these expectations are wrong, but as Oswald Chambers says, when you want things from God, more than God Himself, you're fucked. Or something along those lines.

And so we have a lot of hunger pains. For love, for money, for security, adventure, excitement, fame, power. These are deep gnawing pains that keep us up at night. And so we hope that prayer will either give us those things or take the desire for them away completely. And I think we have all realized that it will not (most of the time). And so we slink our thoughts out of prayer and into fantasy or worry.

But here is the great thing I've discovered: Christ is like water when you are starving.

It doesn't satisfy exactly, it's not what you think you want. But it takes the edge of your pain away, it refreshes you for the time being. And, you can not eat for a month and survive. You are dead after a few days without water. I am spiritually dead after a few days of not praying, or being open with God. His water has run out of me, and I'm living out of a vague idea of what he maybe might want me to do, or doing whatever I please. And I'm missing a lot along the way. I am missing a lot of opportunities to encourage and be encouraged, I am missing God's warnings and his leadings, I am living a half-life.

I am consistently amazed at how I can go into prayer one person, and come out another. And I come out better. I am still hungry for things (although sometimes my hunger is taken away completely) but I am filled with the peace and love of Christ. I believe when he says "seek first the kingdom of God and all else will fall behind".

I wrote awhile ago about how anxiety should be considered hunger pains for God. I am coming back to that realization more and more. That just being in the presence of God, being reminded how the creator of the freaking universe wants to talk to me, is some beautiful stuff.

So, drink Christ. And breathe him in. And know that we both think your ass looks fabulous today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Hierophant and the Hanged Man

Trying to plan events on Valentines Day is like dancing your way across a minefield. Who can be in a room together? Who likes who? Who will misinterpret the guest list? Zombie movie or vampire? Decisions to be made.

After roladexing through several people that fateful day, I finally settled on Kiersten Mitchell, Sean Dey and Jenn. We decided to watch the most wonderful valentines day movie ever: American Movie. Epic. Truly.

Sean is his usual two hours late. Jenn is getting romantic with House reruns in her bedroom. Keirsten comes over promptly on time and I fall in love all over again.

Keirsten is a mix between Natalie Portman and Blossom (looks like Natalie, dresses like Blossom). She has on jean shorts with tights, a tee shirt and high tops. She’s also rocking a huge pair of black nerd glasses on top of her perfect nose.

Keirsten is a natural hippie, floating through life in bright colors and flowy skirts and all the serenity you can handle. She likes to garden and play guitar and has the sweetest, most gentle manner of speaking. I just pretty much love everything about her.

“Hiiiiiiiii.” She sings, her lovely voice floating through my house. “I brought my tarot cards.”

Keirsten is a beginning psychic and it is the best thing in the world. Because she’s kind of just starting her psychic journey, so sometimes she gets confused about goddesses and seasons and says ‘oh fuck it!’ in that wonderful voice.

We take our generous helpings of single-girl-red-wine and sit down at the table on my front porch. Keirsten takes out her tarot cards and shuffles through.

I feel a pang of discomfort. I had tarot cards in high school when I was a practicing Wiccan, and got rid of them shortly after becoming a Christian. I am not quite sure how I feel about them. Especially after the last few months.

I look behind me to the couch on the other end of my porch. I remember sitting there one night, a few months ago, reading scripture and trying to keep a panic attack at bay. I felt like my heart was wrapped in ice, like something was going to kill me any second and my body was trying desperately to warn me. The bible was shaking in my hands and the words were blurry. I could only think one thing: iamgoingtodieiamgoingtodieiamgoingtodie-

Jenn came out onto the porch and sat across from me. I didn’t say anything to her.

She shivered and stood up. “Do you feel that? It feels….terrible out here. I’m putting on some worship music.” Jenn walked into the house.

I left immediately, terrified and guilty that I had brought some sort of demonic spirit into our house.

But, not all spirits are evil. As Keirsten shuffles I begin praying that only nice, sweet, kind, well-dressed spirits talk to Keirsten. As I pray a card falls out, face up. It is The Devil.


Keirsten picks it up. “You know, that card doesn’t actually mean something bad.”

“Well then it’s horrible marketing.”

“Is there anything specific you want to know?” Kiersten asks, placing the cards in three piles. “Romance, money, job stuff?”

A story from the Old Testament floats up from my memory. Something about a king consulting with a psychic and God getting super pissed that the king didn’t just ask Him. I shrug. “Nah, maybe just a general one.”

She puts the first card.

“That’s you.” Keirsten says. “It’s the heirophant, a woman who is wise but constricted by the people around her.”

She places the next card across the first.

“This card represents your difficulties, your obstacles.”

She puts down another card.

“Wonderful,” I say.

"This represents your fears. Whatever you are the most afraid of, is what ummm..."


"Is happening now, or will. Or something." She lays down another card quickly.

"I think she represents the past- success, money, happiness...but I'm not sure..."

"This represents traveling, or some journey, but it's in the place where your finances are supposed to be...hmmm.."

"Well, that's good. That's where you end up."

She then lays four cards in a straight line going down next to these.

My stomach lurches.

“That’s interesting.” Kiersten mumbles.


“The Devil card, it’s in the place that signifies what you fear. You’re afraid of the devil?”

“Not thrilled with him.”

Kiersten looks at the other cards. “Ummm….well, this one means, uhh-“ She rummages through her purse for the little booklet that comes with the tarot cards. She points to the blindfolded person. “This represents the past, anguish, solitude, fear. And.. ummm…”

“What does this one mean?” I ask, pointing to card of a boy holding a cup.

“I think, I think that’s supposed to represent your family, but it can’t be. If it does represent your family...hmmm…but that one really should not have come up…”

She flips through the booklet for another few minutes. I sip my wine.

“Oh fuck it!” She sighs, throwing the book down. “I really need to get better at this shit.”

See, she is the greatest, I told you.

“Let me try another way,” Keirsten says.

“Wait. I’ll tell you what I see.” I look at the cards, and it seems very clear to me. “The heirophant is me, Christ is over me, protecting me. I’m trying to view everything through his eyes right now and not mine. This woman is what I used to be, I used to be very strong. The man with knives is what Christ is protecting me from. From myself. And this man riding away represents people that are leaving me. But this other woman over here, the strength card, that’s me, soon. And she’s strong, and she’s alone, but okay with it. And the devil can kiss my ass.”

“See, you are intuitive!” Keirsten smiles happily. “Sometimes you sense things in the cards, sometimes you don’t. It’s hard for me to give readings for people I know.”

I look at the cards and they make me very sad. I pick up the man riding away and smile at him.

“Let me try for you.” I shuffle the rest of the cards. I ask for the spirit to speak through the tarot cards. I cut the deck into three piles and touch my finger tips to each one. I am trying to see if I feel a pull towards one over the other.

I settle on the slimmest pile. I pick it up and move the other two to the side. I lay down the first card.

I lay down the second card.

“Wow.” Keirsten breathes.

“I think that means you should come the fuck back to church.” I say, with all the psychic wisdom I can muster.

The next card is the moon and the stars. Then a priest surrounded by material things.

“Okay, this is what you think Christianity is. Stuff that holds you back and clutters your way. The sun and moon card represents where you are going now, to something pure and simple. But I think Christ is there too, in fact, I think he would rather be there, then where you have left him.”

I point to a card showing two people talking. “I think this means that someone is going to try to control you in some manner. I don’t have a good feeling about it. But I think it’s still connected to spiritual things. Your mother maybe.”

“My father.” Keirsten nods.

“Maybe I should be a tarot card reader for Jesus.”

Keirsten laughs at me. “You could probably get away with it.”

Sean makes his grand entrance just then. Keirsten decides to practice some more on him, and I can hear her frustrated, sweet curses from my kitchen.

I hung out with Keirsten tonight, talking tarot, and she let it slip how much she hates getting the devil card. My response: Why? I thought it didn't mean anything bad?

"Oh, ummm, well. Actually it represents evil and suspicion, I just didn't want to upset you."


The first-

The very first spoken word I ever wrote- I think I was 18. I liked that girl a lot.

You have come and You are returning
i hear Your voice and my heart is burning
beating and yearning,
screaming and churning
for something more than me
more than what i touch and see
what fades and crumbles and
ceases to be
i need Truth
i need Reality
i need the love of a God who came for me
who came and died to save, take me, break me
of my sin, my iniquity
my three nails that held you to that tree
is everything i think should keep you from me
when all the while and even now
You are patiently, furiously, in love with me

despite my tendency to act the pharisee
looking righteous and holy
self absorbed and relying only
on my power, my plans
my future, my demands
holding my selfish world in these clumsy hands
when i reject Your grace and take back my chains
my yoke of slavery
of impatience, lust and spiritual apathy
because my sinful nature is contrary
to the blessed Savior that leads me
out of my self imposed captivity
when all the while and even now
You are patiently, furiously, in love with me

in moments of darkness
when my pride is shattered
and i don't know how I could ever serve
a God so holy
You burn in me, reminding me

Jacob was a liar
Moses had a stutter
Leah was uglier
Ruth was a foreigner
Sampson was a luster
David an adulterer
Jeremiah was a whiner
Paul a killer
and Unfailing Love Itself
was born in a manger
and hung like a murderer

in moments of darkness
when my pride is shattered
and i don't know how i could be anything
to a God so holy
You burn in me
reminding me

even though it was my three nails
that held you to that tree
even though it was my punishment
carved into Your body
through You my salvation is sealed
by Your wounds i am healed

when all the while and even now
when all the while and even now
when all the while and for all eternity
You are patiently,
You are furiously
You are in love with me

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Things to remember

Have come to a few conclusions that I think will help me in the future. I hope they can help you guys as well.

Going to church is not the same thing as speaking to Christ.
Having christian friends is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Thinking about Christ is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Reading scripture is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Reading Christian books is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Serving at church is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Leading a spiritual group is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Being a good person is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Not sinning is not the same thing as speaking to Christ
Speaking to other people about Christ is not the same thing as speaking to Christ

These are the things that trick me into thinking that I have a relationship with God. I can do all of these quite perfectly without ever praying. I realized a few months ago that very few people I knew were actually praying. And it was not that they did not know how to pray, but rather, they thought they knew and just didn't bother. Most of the people I know are content to live within a christian structure, and don't much need Christ, or maybe they don't realize that they don't have him.

But then we get dejected, burnt out, heart broken, and we don't turn to Christ, because we aren't aware that we ever turned away. There are times that I have been completely unaware that I didn't have a relationship with him, because I had a relationship with books and thought and culture and other people. And then we think he can do nothing for us. So we continue to hurt.


we get arrogant, selfish, ambitious, self pitying and because we think we have a relationship with Christ we do not notice these things, or care, or assume that Christ would tell us, but we don't give him the chance. And we hurt people. A lot of them.

So in the church we see the inverse of the spiritual gifts: gossip, slander, envy, pride, bitterness, malice, foolishness, and distrust.

Because the fruits of the spirit; love; joy; peace; patience; kindness; goodness; faithfulness; gentleness and self control can only come from direct discipleship in daily communication from Christ. We cannot learn them from books or sermons or friends, not really. I don't think these things can be learned with the mind or heart- they have to be settled in the Spirit, this other entity within us that Christ gives.

Jesus calls the Spirit the counselor.

My (human) counselor leads me to dark places. It would be easier to choke everything back down. And this is the same with Christ, I think this is why it's so terrifying to pray. Jesus is not a small talker.

Oswald chambers says we don't pray, because then we must do the thing God says, or tell him it will not be done. I say we don't pray because parts of you always die in prayer, and the strongest instinct we have is self preservation. We want to change naturally, slowly, but prayer jump starts change, most often. It's hard to go before God and be rebuked, sometimes harder to know that nothing we do can separate us from his love. But his rebuke perfects us for our community and the church.

I like that in the past week Christ has kept my friends up at night for me. It's kind of like he's been the husband calling his wives friends in the middle of the night, trying to figure out where she is. I'm grateful that my friends are in a place spiritually where they are sensitive enough to the spirit to call me in the middle of the night. And I want to be that for them.

I have to remind myself that being brave enough to pray is the most important thing in the world. And I have to try as hard as possible to not trick myself into thinking I am pursuing God when really, I am only revolving comfortably in my family christian play pen. I owe it to myself to really trust God with my heart and life, and hear what he has to say about those things. I owe it to my community and friends to make sure my spiritual gifts are abounding.


I have decided today that I will write a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Remember those? Mine will be chick lit.

Turn to page 70 if you decide to go out with the hunky boy from the office!

Turn to page 92 if you want to wear the black mini!

No seriously, it would/will be freaking hilarious.

Also, if you want to get yourself wrecked, go to counseling.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


February 7th.

"But we trusted . . . and beside all this, to-day is the third day . . ." Luke 24:21

Every fact that the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else. Dejection springs from one of two sources - I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. Lust means - I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer. What have I been trusting God would do? And to-day - the immediate present - is the third day, and He has not done it; therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and in blaming God. Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected. Dejection is a sign of sickness, and the same thing is true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God's power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.

Feb 12

We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant's voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, "Well, that is simply your own idea, though I don't deny it is probably God's truth."

Excellent quotes/readings

"Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him." 2 Corinthians 5:9

"Wherefore we labour . . . ." It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one's self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be "accepted of Him." It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.

Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being "approved unto God" may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says - "Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under." (1 Cor. 9:27.)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble?
Oswald Chambers

"My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live." Kanye West, with Jenna and I in perfect agreement.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see.
-Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kate L.L.C

Ugh. I hate not being able to sleep.

However, I have come to a few conclusions.

Conclusion 1: I am no longer going to use the word 'depressed'. If someone asks, I am going to refer to myself as being in a recession, or 'recessed'.

a sustained economic recession in which a nation's Gross National Product (GNP) is falling and marked by low production and sales and a high rate of business failures and unemployment

I've decided that this period of time in my life will not be sustained, thankyouverymuch.


1. the act of receding or withdrawing.
2. Economics. a period of an economic contraction, sometimes limited in scope or duration.

The first definition fits me very well, the second is what I am hoping this ends up being.

Conclusion 2: It's hard for America to realize right now that a recession is a good thing- in the long run. The same way it's been hard for me to realize that where I am is a good thing.

1) With gas prices being so high, car companies are forced to make better, greener cars- thus bettering our environment, and helping us become oil-independent.

2) The way house prices were rising, new homes would have been virtually unaffordable for seventy percent of americans.

3) Wall street has been running and ruining our country for too long, their power in the future will be severely limited (whether or not you think this is a good thing depends on your political preference of govt)

4) The downfall of America as an industrial leader and world power is leading to the 'rise of the rest' with India, rural China and south american countries developing a healthy middle class.

5) Foreign countries bailing out our businesses reinforces the interconnectedness of the global market- meaning a future responsibility for the world, not just our flag. Also, no matter what you think Revelations says, China will never go to war with us, because if we fail their entire economy will tank. Take that.

Those are a few bright spots I have been thinking about. I'm sure there are more, as I'm sure there are a million reasons why this sucks and prevention is better than reaction. But a recession, as a reset, can be a great thing. Even if it's painful in the moment- it will get better.

Conclusion 3: I have run my company into the ground.

But through this I have been forced to look at the way I approach friendships and community.
I have to confront the ugly in my heart and actions.
I have to admit that I need help.
I am being purged of the american gospel.
I know now that I really love God for God, not for what he gives me.
I have to admit that Jenn and Jenna are right, a lot.
And I am paying someone a crapload of money a week to tell me what my b.f.f.f.f.f.fs tell me for free (more bad business practices).

I've also been thinking a lot of Christ in the garden. My sufferings, to use a dramatic word, stem a lot from what I don't know about the future, but Christ knew. He knew he was going to die. My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. or in the message: This sorrow is crushing my life out.

As I've prayed in the past few days, I keep seeing flashes of Christ in the garden. When I have felt my heart being crushed, I am experiencing just a tenth of what my savior experienced. And he knew what was going to happen. I believe that Christ had a choice. I think the fact that his fear and wrestling with God is so palpable in scripture should dismiss the complementarian ideologists who claim that Christ only came to die. Bullshit, he showed us how to live. And he loved us enough to die.

He sat in that garden and begged his friends to stay awake with him- because he was terrified. He was facing a gruesome death for the disciples who were lazy cowards. He would die for all the people who accepted his healing and didn't lift a finger against his crucifixion. For the crusaders and evil popes and you and me.

Conclusion 4: Christ went through a recession. He had a shitty few days.

And then: Heaven, sweet heaven.

And Peter, the disciples. The shame and self hatred they must have experienced. Everything was taken from them, everything was changed. But their hearts didn't fail, they turned from sleepy brats into lovers of God and people.

This verse has always been a favorite. I will heretically take out Peter's name and put in mine. I suggest you do the same.

Luke 22:31"Kate, Kate, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Kate, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers and sisters."

le message-

"Kate, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Kate, I've prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start."

Conclusion 5: So my recession must be a good thing. It must be a reset button. I will come through, and I will refresh others.

I guess, in business terms, I'm not a very good stock right now. And though a few of my shareholders have dumped me, I feel like I will be a good long term investment for those who are riding it out.

So to my loyal clients: I love you, thank you.
To those who have cashed out: I miss you, I hope you are well.
To those who are thinking about buying in: I'm restructuring, so wait a few months.


Proverbs 24:13
[ 26 ] Eat honey, dear child—it's good for you— and delicacies that melt in your mouth. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul— Get that and your future's secured, your hope is on solid rock.

Isaiah 8:16
Gather up the testimony, preserve the teaching for my followers, While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding, while I wait and hope for him. I stand my ground and hope, I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel, Warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who makes his home in Mount Zion.

Lamentations 3:25
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.

Lamentations 3:28
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.

Hosea 2:14
[ To Start All Over Again ] "And now, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start all over again. I'm taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her. I'll give her bouquets of roses. I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She'll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.

1 Cor. 13:13
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

1 Thessalonians 5:9
God didn't set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we're awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we're alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.

Hebrews 6:9
I'm sure that won't happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn't miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you've shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don't drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
Hebrews 6:8-10 (in Context) Hebrews 6 (Whole Chapter)

Hebrews 6:18
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm 131:3
Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My friend Jordan plays guitar and sings at a local restaurant downtown. Before I started working sundays I would sometimes go down there to read and journal and flirt with the gay bartender and listen to him play.

I stopped by there today after work. Jordan came over to chat when he was on break. We talked about the usual books and a few thoughts, and what it is like not going to Status. After a few minutes he had to go back. He stood up, put his hand on my shoulder, and gave me the sufi-stare. However, he had on mirrored aviator glasses so all I could see was my own reflection. I didn't look very good.

"What?" I asked, looking into my wary face.

"If you think it's hopeless, that's because it is." Jordan said abruptly, then walked away.

I sat there and my mind whirled. I grabbed my purse and stopped by his chair.

"Is life hopeless because I think it's hopeless, or is it really just hopeless?" I asked. A split second after asking I knew what his response would be.

"Does it matter?"

"Yes, because one of those has to do with me projecting false emotions on the world. The other means that life really is just this awful and I never noticed it before."

"Which do you think it is?"

"The second one."

"I agree."

I nodded and walked away, trying very hard not to cry.

"I agree with Jordan." Jahred says when I tell him the story later. "The world is awful, full of evil things and people. It is absolutely hopeless. But if the world wasn't so hopeless, there would be no reason for God."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Colors are muted. I hate days like this, I remember when I never had them. But. God is still God here. His promises no less true.

I never used to think of heaven, it confused me, and I didn't really care. Christianity has never been about heaven, for me at least. But lately, I see the allure. I realize that my 'happy place' is perhaps only really attainable there. To live in community with out heart ache, to be completely free of fear, to not dread the future.

I want to live outside of time. I read somewhere that we are not made for time. And that is why we feel it pressing. A fish may never be aware that it is in water, because that is its natural element. But I am aware of all the dangers and restrictions of living perpetually in the present. I can't wait to be free of it.

The idea of a house with a lot of rooms, of seeing Christ and glorified bodies and the extinction of sin and its consequences. Heaven sounds wonderful. But even if there were no heaven, and I simply went to sleep, I still would not live my life any differently. Christ is sufficient without a grand reward.

No one's ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
But you've seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

10-13The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you're thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he's thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don't have to rely on the world's guesses and opinions. We didn't learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we're passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

Also I need as many "Message' translation bibles as possible for the ladies at Restoration House. They all really loved looking up their favorite verses in mine today. If anyone has an extra, I would love to to take it off your hands. OR if you would like to buy one, I would shake your hand.

adam and eve

in a garden
eve was betrayed by her thirst
her lovers silence
the words of a snake
that her husband once named

Adam gripped her hand
and listened, too
but he was thinking of her skin
her legs
the fruit of another tree

and so women are cursed
by all the words they say
and men are damned
by all the words they don’t

so, lover-
i will close my mouth
and you will open yours
we will crush these snakes together
and think of my skin
when you tell me ‘no’.

Friday, March 13, 2009


he was and is the light of the earth
before there was light and before there was earth
he was and is the Word
before there were voices
before there was sound
he was and is the first Author
and he began his masterpiece
in the middle of infinity
with a single breath


he was and is one flame in the dark

they were the scum of the earth
they were fisherman, tax collectors and murderers
and they were hand picked to be part
of a story three years in the making
that was written before creation
twelve flames in the dark

we are the light of the world
we are obnoxious, joyful and afraid
we are a city on a hill
a lamp that cannot and will not be hidden
because we are part of a story two thousand years in the making
that was written before creation
by the First Author
and the First Arson
we are a world on fire

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Partner in crime

Jahred and I write together (positive) and eat McDonalds McFlurry and french fries together (negative) and share jeans and v-necks (weird, but awesome). And I like him muchly.

your song, our song

Hello friends,

I dedicate this song to you.

Please listen to it all, and know it made me think of you and smile today and wish I was Billy Paul. Or the sweet guy that introduces him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My B.F.F.F.F.F. eff.

Jenna drew this in her journal to represent how difficult it is for some to be comfortable in our faith. Certain types of people find their worth in new ideas, wrecking old ones, all that jazz. Which can be a beautiful, incredibly needed thing. But the teachings of Christ are painfully simple (but very hard to do) painfully popular among ignorant people, and painful in almost every other way. So we have to become like sheep, basically. And Christ calls us sheep. I just read in Matthew where Christ hugs a child to him and says 'you must become basic and elemental like this child to get into the kingdom of God'. Basic and elemental. The cross of the intelligent.

My besty's pretty damn smart.


a good night

Last nite was so wonderful, it must be recorded in various ways. I will first fill you in on the phone conversation that started it all.

Kate: Hey Jenna! Are you coming over to the house?
Jena: Oh, ummm…well, I mean, you have plans and Jen is really tired so-
Kate: You’re moving to Spain in a month, I’m canceling my plans.
Jenna: Yeah, but if you guys are really tired, it’s cool.
Kate: I’m not tired.
Jenna: But you already made plans so-
Kate: I said I’m canceling my plans. Are you coming over?
Jenna: If you guys are tired…
Kate: I don’t understand why we keep having the same conversation. Do you not want to hang out?
Jenna: No, I do, but …uhhh…-
Kate: I’m done with you. Talk to Jenn.

Even though we were fairly sure she was trying to brush us off, Jen and I stormed the Dey house. BKenny, Jamie, Sean, Jenna and several dogs were constructing some fat beats. I cannot describe how wonderful the Dey siblings are. We figured out that there was no way in hell Jenna was leaving to come to our house. Wise life choices. It was the best night I’ve had in forever.

We have two (2) videos, several songs, and I will now construct a written account.

The songs include such illustrious titles as

Viking {expletive}
The Never Ending Man Smell
{expletive} Your Happy Place

So a few posts ago, I wrote about my happy place. My best friends hate me and therefore don’t check my blog, so I read it aloud to them (video number 2). Jenn immediately starts bitching about how she’s not the pastor in my happy place. So I kicked her out. In my updated and revised new happy place Jenn is doing nails. Take that. I kept screaming at her ‘It’s my happy place! Mine!” To which Jenn shot back, “{expletive} your happy place!”

Naturally, we wrote a song immediately. Sean on synthesizer and lead vocals, I did excellent harmonies and Jenn brought a screamo touch to our creation.

We then reaccepted Christ as our Lord and Savior and talked a little bit about that, what it meant to believe in Christs sacrifice.

We ended our jam session with an ode to Denny’s, by Jenna and Sean. Jenna ended a freestyle rap off with, “eggs and grits, bitch!” and we left.

The entire night Jenn and I were joking about eating disorders, which we agreed was fine, since everyone talks about me having one. Well, Jenna disagreed. So every time Jenn cracked a joke about me throwing up in the bathroom, Jenna’s lovely face would screw up and she would wail:

Kate! This is your liiiiiiife. It’s not funny!

Jenn and I totally disagreed.

We got in a lively debate on whether or not we could currently joke about AIDS or Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. My stance was unswerving, if you have AIDS you can joke about it, and Abe Lincoln can joke about his own death and I can most certainly joke about eating disorders. Again, general disagreement from Jenna. There was a short silence in the car, which Jaime broke with the following statement:

Well. The Jews are funny.

We all lost our shit. Also, Jenn was trying to get me to remember a conversation we had in the car earlier, to which I said:

Jenn, that was two wines and a vodka ago.

I love my best friends.

I feel a joy today, maybe it is residual, but everything is beautiful. Several of my friends are coming to new thoughts, or old ones, I suppose. I feel like a lot of people have been in a dark place, spiritually, emotionally, for a while now. I am seeing spring approach. I see a spring coming in almost all of my friends, and I am so very grateful for it.

I see Sean becoming the type of man he admires.
I see Brian taking chances.
I see Jaime desiring the spirit more and more.
I see Megan breaking out of her boxes.
I see Alicia not taking anymore of her own shit.
I see Laiza coming home.
I see Nate and Beth mending something in our community I didn’t quite know was broken until they came back.

1-3 "Come on, let's go back to God. He hurt us, but he'll heal us.
He hit us hard,
but he'll put us right again.
In a couple of days we'll feel better.
By the third day he'll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet,
fit to face him.
We're ready to study God,
eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks,
so sure is his daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes,
as spring rain refreshing the ground."
4-7 "What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
What do I make of you, Judah?
Your declarations of love last no longer
than morning mist and predawn dew.
That's why I use prophets to shake you to attention,
why my words cut you to the quick:
To wake you up to my judgment
blazing like light.
I'm after love that lasts, not more religion.
I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.
-Hosea 6

I am excited to be alive. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Jahred, whom I adore. I miss Bradford. I am excited to be working on these short stories. I have my first counseling session today, yay for progress.

I also really love the growing blogging community. I don't miss facebook at all. It's cool/creepy to know what people are doing, but what I love about this is to know what people are thinking, writing, working on. I love it. Keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Appius Cato

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

[I enter the stadium through the guards passage way. Above me, Roman feet stomp and the sound of their voices is almost deafening.

My roman guide, Peregus, points out a leathered, muscular centurion. I walk toward him.]

Appius Cato?


I’m Josephus, the historian. You received my letter?

Yeah, I’m busy.

I’m only in Rome today. It will only take a few minutes.

I have a job to do here. Did you hear me, I’m busy.

My report is for the Caesar. I believe I mentioned in the letter I have his full authority to question his subjects.

Yeah. Alright. Follow me. We'll go somewhere with a breeze, at least.

[He leads me down one of the passageways to the stadium. We pass by a group of tattered Christians, guarded by three centurions. Guards are dragging torn bodies from the sand while lion handlers herd the creatures back into the gates].

What’s this report about? What does Caesar care for a Jew?

I’m not sure, I would assume it has to do with them.

[I nod toward the Christians.]

I think he wants to know what they are dying for.

Weaklings dying for a weakling god.

It was your servant that was healed, yes?

Yeah, yeah. Cassius was healed.

Can you tell me the story, exactly as you remember it.

It was a long time ago.

I have plenty of time.

Fine, but look, I’m not a Christian, okay? I follow Caesar, I follow Zeus.

I understand completely.

I had been working in Capernaum for about ten years. The place wasn’t bad, I had been in Gual before that, terrible people, the Gauls. Scum of the earth. So Capernaum was nice. We had a few servants in our house, mostly jews and then Cassius.

Cassius was the servant Jesus healed?

Yeah. I had known Cassius my whole life. He worked in my fathers house, and when I married my father gave him to me as a gift. It wasn’t much of a gift, I’ll tell you now. Cassius was old, maybe fifty. He wasn’t good for much, but…

[Appius begins pacing. ]

But, look, I didn’t want to see him thrown into the streets. He had never married, didn’t have any children. And he was always good to me, growing up. You know servants, they sulk around, always stealing, gossiping. Cassius was different. He loved my family. And look, Gracia liked him. So we had him around the house. He fixed things, he told the same jokes he had been telling for the past thirty years, he helped with the children. And he told us when one of the servants was cheating, helped us hire only the best. It makes a difference, you know, the type of people you have in your home.

But he got sick, real sick. There was this lump in his neck, I swear to Zeus it was the size of a shot put. He couldn’t eat, couldn’t bathe himself. And he hated every second of it. This man who had lived his entire life in service, was reduced to an invalid. The other servants had to do everything for him. I even caught my own daughter feeding him! I should have beaten her for it, but…

You know, it killed me. I couldn’t stand seeing him like that. The night before he asked me…he asked me to kill him. Said he couldn’t stand being a burden, being useless.

And you know what? I had been thinking about that. What good is a servant that can’t serve? But the minute he asked me to do it, I remembered all those stupid jokes. And when he would sneak me food, or when I broke something he would take the blame. And I couldn’t. I should have! But I couldn’t. And then I had heard about that rabbi.

You have to understand, I’ve never seen a god before. We light candles, we offer tithes, I’ve visited Aphrodites temple priestesses. That’s a good time, I’ll tell you now.

But I had never seen the gods heal, I had seen them kill, yeah. But not heal.

I remember coming to work a few days before. There was this beggar, Malachi, a pathetic pain in the ass. He had a mat right by the city gates. Always crying and screaming. His legs were all twisted, discolored. He smelled like a stable, always had flies around him. And the Pharisee boys would throw rocks at him, call him unclean, all of that. I had walked by this guy everyday for seven years. I even gave him a few coins every now and then. His parents must have brought him food, I don’t know how he lived so long. I guess he was twenty or so.

One morning I went in, and he was gone. Just gone. I figured he’d died.

And that afternoon, I saw him walk. He walked right by me! Still smelled foul, but walking. By the gods, I thought I was seeing things. His legs were perfect. What a scene! Women were crying, lepers were going to the priests to be approved, or something. Men I had seen on their mats, begging for coins, with lumps and broken bones, skin infections, were walking around. They were all screaming in their language, something about a god.

Gods, everyone was going crazy! The Pharisees were trying to control the people. They were trying to say that it was the devil, your god of death. The devil giving a man back his legs! Whoever heard such horse shit? I don’t think we’ll ever catch Hades giving a blind man back his eyes, or raising a little girl from the dead. Did you hear about the little girl? One of my guards knew her father, I didn’t believe him when he told me. But I have eyes, I’m not blind, and look, I saw these people. I saw them.

[Appius continues pacing, obviously agitated.]

And so I thought, look, if he was healing these beggars, these dumb shits, then, you know, what about Cassius? Cassius was a good man, he deserved to live, and he had something to live for, you know? I needed- my wife needed him. My kids loved him.

So, I just… I don’t know what came over me. Something…I felt something heavy in my chest. So I followed the crowd to the rabbi. And look, he was nothing to shake a stick at. He was pretty dirty, a scrawny guy, even compared to the other Jews. And he was doing it, he was healing people right then and there.

Gods, the screaming! The air was filled with something! And he was surrounded by these teenage boys, these little runts that looked terrified. So I pushed my way through the crowd, pushed them right out of the way.

Everyone got quiet. I think maybe they thought I was going to arrest him, I don’t know.

So look, I just went up to him. It was real quiet. And I said, Rabbi, my servant is dying. He’s in awful pain and I don’t know what to do for him.

He looked so exhausted. I can’t tell you, I’ve never seen a man look like him. I thought he was going to fall over right then and there. But this guy…he looked at me, and just smiled. And he said he would come to my house now.

Can you imagine that? I live several miles from town, this god didn’t look like he would make it a half mile. And you know, there are a lot sick in Capernaum. So it made sense, he didn’t have to come to my house, he could heal him from wherever.

So I said to him, look, if you tell me he’s healed, he’ll be healed. I take my orders, and I give them. If I tell someone to do something, it’s done. If you tell me that my servant is healed, I know he is. You don’t need to waste the time in coming to my house.

Or, it was something like that.

He just kept smiling. And then he said something about my faith, about how faithful I was.

[Appius stops speaking. He turns his back to me.]

I don’t remember what he said. But it was horse shit. I have faith in the gods. And I went home. And Cassius was helping Alexandria with her letters. The next day we went into town to hear him speak.

[Appius turns back around.]

But I’m not a Christian. Look, Zeus killed that god for claiming to be the only one. Who would follow a god that lets himself be crucified? A horse shit god that can only heal, can’t kill or raise an army. You won’t find Zeus on a cross, that’s for sure.

Is it difficult for you, to be in charge of the Christians now?

[Appius sits down on a rock next to me and puts his head in his hands.]

I was here the first time Caesar announced the Christians would be in the games. We had been feeding Arabs to the lions, and celts and robbers all that. But the first day I knew Christians were going to be killed, I thought…I thought maybe….

What did you think?

I thought maybe the god would come back, for that. I knew he was a weak god, getting killed and all. Even though I heard- I heard around that was all his plan or something. But I thought that maybe a god that heals would come back to save his people from the lions. Even if he was supposed to die for something, they didn’t have to, right?

So I kissed my wife, and my children. I went to work that day and I thought that we all might die. My men were scared shitless. They had heard the story from me. Everyone was wondering what this god would do. Look, I’ll tell you the truth, I sent home the men with a family.

And the Christians, they walked right out. The celts face death pretty well, prideful people. But most have to be dragged out, knocked around, and then we run our asses back before the lions come out.

Not the Christians, that first group. It was a family that wouldn’t call Ceasar a god. Idiots, they were stupid peasants. Parents, three children. The youngest was crying, the parents looked…they looked okay. Not scared or anything.

And they were looking up. They were waiting to be saved, I know they were. And by the gods, we were all looking up too. Even when the lions came out, we were all still looking up, for their weakling shit god that never came back.

Zeus killed him for good reason. That god did more harm than he ever did good. Look at them.

[Appius motions toward the Christians. The guards lead them to the center of the arena. They stand quietly. As we watch, one of children begins singing. They all join in, we can barely hear it over the spectators.]

They sing now, they sing all night long. I wish they would shut up.

So, look. That god didn’t come back. And I went home that night. And I’ve seen thousands killed, they still look up. Even though they know he’s not coming, they all think he is.

So look, that’s it. That’s the story. We done?

[I nod.]

Just one more question. Is Cassius still alive? Can I speak with him?

[Appius stares at me for a long moment.]

He’s dead.

How did he die?

[Appius looked at the stadium.]

A lion.

[Appius disappears into the passageway.]

Monday, March 9, 2009

Salome Beothus

Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias "adultery." Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.

But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias's daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: "Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer." That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John's head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother.
Matthew 16:3-12

Salome Boethus

[A servant opens the door of the mansion, and ushers me silently down a hallway. The house is filled with expensive art work and statues, opulent pieces next to peeling paint. The servant opens a creaking door and I walk through. He closes it behind me.]


[A woman sprawled on a couch raises her arm. I kiss her perfumed hand.

She fits her home, a dusty creature covered in expense. I had been expecting a beautiful, if aged, woman. Instead, before me was a woman that had never been beautiful, only very rich.]

So, you’ve made your way to me, have you? Your letter said you want to know about one of the messiahs.

A Nazarene named Jesus, Pilate had him killed about twenty years ago.

There were so many, they were always leading uprisings, always being put down. I should have written you not to bother with me.

[Salome says this very slyly, looking at me from under tar lashes.]

This particular man was John the baptists cousin.

[Salome snatches up a fan.]

You are very bold to ask me about my first murder, Josephus.

I’m not here about John the baptist, I’m hear to see if you remember anything about the year after that. When his cousin Jesus was crucified.

I don’t. I was a very little girl when that happened. But...but I can tell you about that night. Do you want to hear that story, Josephus. Surely you’ve heard of my dance?

I have. But my research is only for-

And what have you heard about it?

[She leans toward me, her eyes lighting with some strange emotion. Maybe cruelty, maybe desperation.]

I heard…I heard that you danced the dance of the seven veils for the king. That he so desired you he promised you anything you wanted-

[Salome leans back on her couch, laughing. Her laugh is a beautiful thing, for a second I see a pretty woman behind her oils and paints.]

Josephus, have you learned yet? To separate the truth from the dog shit in your stories? You must hear so many, so many lies and exaggerations. Do you have an ear for the truth?

I think so.

Would you like to record that truth? I know it is not about your messiah, but it is still a wonderful story.

Have you never told anyone this before?.

Of course not. The story you heard was an asset to my political career, dear Josephus. Oh, the stories I have heard. I have had told to me the most wonderful stories of myself over the years. A supple sixteen year old girl dancing the most scandalous dance in the Orient. My body covered only in seven veils, sliding each one off until I am bare before the royal court. And the king, the king promising me whatever I wanted in a moment of lust. And then I, with the court watching, declare that I want John the baptizers head on a platter. How vicious, how dramatic. This what you have heard, historian?

[Salome suddenly looks very tired. She droops back onto her couch and motions to servant to refill her wine glass. Salome looks somewhere over my shoulder and her voice drops its coquettish air.]

I was seven years old when I danced for the king.


Indeed. It was the kings birthday, and I was not allowed to come, I was not allowed anywhere near the party. I threw a temper tantrum about it. But my mother wouldn’t budge, so I made my own plan. My nurse put me to bed, and I waited for her to leave. I put on my prettiest dress and snuck down the hallways. I joined the crowd streaming into the great hall. There are certain things you can only experience in your youth. I looked at these beautiful dresses and only saw colors, not prices. I saw handsome men, not royal titles or gossip labels. I felt very alive.

My mother and stepfather sat in the place of honor, velvet lined chairs in front of the musicians and dancers. They looked so beautiful together, my mother and her new husband. My own father never paid attention to me, I only saw him a handful of times in my life. That is the curse of being a firstborn princess, all my fathers love died when he looked between my legs.

I was crossing through the dance floor when I was caught. Agrippa, one of my stepfathers advisors, pointed me out. I could see that my mother was furious. She rose, but Herod put a hand on her arm. He was grinning at me, he looked happy, so happy. Thrilled to see me. Herod was a merry man, he only wanted to drink and be liked. It was a shame he had to be king. I think he would have really been happier as the owner of a tavern. He clapped his hands twice and the music stopped. The party looked toward him expectantly.

My new princess has joined our merry party, he said.

The people around me laughed and petted my hair, fussed over my dress. It was the first time in my life I felt like a princess.

My mother sat back down, but I could still tell that she was very angry. She had tried to keep me out of Herod’s way as much as possible. Maybe she thought the king would be confused looking at a person that was both his niece and his step daughter. Maybe she didn’t want him to see me and be reminded of his brothers green eyes and snub nose. My mother was a very clever woman, and she tried to shame me.

Daughter, it’s your stepfathers birthday. Surely you have not come without a present?

I shook my head slowly. I tried to think of something, anything I could give him. The idea of going back to bed was monstrous, terrible.

What do you have for me, daughter? Herod asked, his speech slurred slightly.

You don’t know what that word meant to me at the time, Josephus. I remember everything about what that sounded like in my ears.

A dance, I said. I have brought you a dance.

Herod smiled like the sun and said I accept!

Herod motioned the music leader to talk to me while everyone laughed and clapped.

I remember he was a tall, Arabic man who stooped very low to speak with me.

What will you be dancing to, little princess, he asked me.

Oh, you should have seen his face when I told him that I wanted him to play a sailors song. It was a song that my nurses husband sang to me, and she taught me the simple steps that accompanied it. The celts would call it a jig.

Royal dancers did not dance jigs. Have you seen them, Josephus? They twirl and spin and move like snakes. There was nothing sensual about my dance, it was peasant steps performed on royal legs.

The music started playing, a tavern song and I danced with all my heart. My arms swam through the air and I spun around. I held onto my dress and kicked up my legs.

It seemed that everyone held their breath and looked from me to the king. The king doubled over with laughter and began clapping. The court followed his lead and the hall shook. They loved it, they loved my silly little dance. Me, they loved me. I looked at my mother and knew that I had won.

When the song ended I was out of breath, the happiest I had ever been. The king was smiling, beaming. It was a wonderful thing.

But my mother had slipped away from the king. She was in the back of the hall now, watching, she was always watching. I don’t know if she knew what would happen next. My mother could read people, situations. Everything was a calculation to her.

The king held up his hands and the crowd quieted.

You have put the royal entertainment to shame! I accept your gift, and would like to give you one as well. Anything you like, up to half my kingdom! Any more than that and you’ll have to fight with your mother over it!

Everyone laughed and my mind raced. I wanted to ride horses in the stadium. Or a ruby tiara. Or ten new dresses. I had decided on the tiara when my mother spoke.

Well perhaps the little princess had better first confer with her mother, to avoid any political missteps.

My mother moved to the center of the dance floor. The crowd whispered. For the first time, Herod stopped smiling.

By all means, he said.

The crowd felt the change, the tension slip from a childs delight to a queens plan. My mother knelt by me and a ran her hand down my cheek.

I want you to ask for John the baptizers head . I want you to ask that it is brought to me, immediately. Now, my dear.

It’s a terrible memory. All the joy bled out of me and I only wished I had stayed in my bed.

Who? I whispered.

John the baptizer. He has said very mean lies about your mother. You love your mother, don’t you?


Then this man must die. Repeat after me. I want John the baptizers head.

I repeated it, but the tears were falling. I didn’t want to kill a man. I wanted a ruby tiara.

My mother melted back in the crowd and I faced Herod.

Herod was very pale, sweating. He must have known.

What is it, Salome? What is your wish?

John the baptizers head.

But I whispered it, and only a few heard.

Louder, Agrippa called.

John the baptizers head!

There was silence. But everyone was watching, thinking. . A woman said, Yes! Bring it to us!

More people called out for his death.

Herod looked at the crowd, the blood lust on their face, those who knew what it meant. It meant trouble, and more deaths and perhaps a Jewish uprising. I knew none of that.

Herod nodded. Two of the guards left the room and Herod clapped twice. The music started and I saw several people wearing Jewish robes leave. One pushed by me as he passed. The way he looked at me, Josephus. I have not forgotten that look, and I have seen it many times since.

I don’t remember how long it took. Only that I tried to go to my mother and she told me to stay among the dancers. But nothing was beautiful to me now. I was terrified. I lost sight of Herod.

Then the music stopped and the guards came back. One one of them was holding the head by its hair. The other guard swept grapes off a silver platter and placed the head on it.

Bring it to her, Herod said.

They handed it to me, and it was heavy, so heavy. I remember the filthy, matted hair. It must have been very long, because the ends were dripping in blood. The face was turned away from me, and I just stared at his hair. It smelled terrible.

I brought it to my mother, I was afraid that I would drop it. My arms started shaking and bright blood slid down the front of my dress.

She picked it up from me. She looked into the face I did not see, thank the gods I did not see it, and smiled. Then she looked at my step father.

My nurse came and picked me up. I suppose I was crying, I don’t remember.

Herod never looked at me again. My nurse, who was a jewess, never treated me with love again. I learned a great many things about being a princess that year.

I was married to my first husband a few years after.

So there it is. The truth. I’m sorry I have nothing for you about your jewish god.

This story should be told, I will record it, Salome.

[Salome nodded, sipping from her wine glass.]

It doesn’t matter now. People will believe what they want to, whatever makes a better story. You know that.

I read this story today in Matthew, and couldn't get it out of my head. I assumed that Salome was a teenager, the dance was provocative. But the greek words in the story tell something different- the original Greek word used in the New Testament account used to refer to Salome as a korasion, meaning a little girl not yet old enough to have breasts or menstruate. Also, the word used for the dancing done by Salome in the original Greek is orxeomai, which not only means dance, but playful goofing off of young children. And so came this story. And the dance of the seven veils, the idea of Salome that many of us have, comes primarily from an Oscar Wilde play titled, Salome. In it she is quite the vixen.

I'm not sure about the format, I would like to do more of these. I like the idea of oral history (shamelessly stolen from one of my favorite books- World War Z- ) but I'm not really sure why I did away with quotation marks. It might be better if I wrote it in classic literature form. I'm not sure.

Also Josephus was a Jewish historian who wrote 'Jewish Antiquities' which is where we find a lot of information about Jesus, and new testament characters that are extra biblical and therefore a little more reputable in non-christian circles. I love his stuff, but I don't think I should keep him as the main character.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Place

I met with a friend the other night who shared with me a thought that consistently makes her happy. It's a fantasy, but since that word has sexual connotations, I will call it her 'happy place'. Her happy place is pretty funny, but it's not my story to tell. It did encourage me to find something to think of that would cheer me up whenever I thought of it. One came to mind immediately. So, this is my happy place. It works, I was telling Ashley about it tonight, and was almost jumping up and down. I encourage you to find your own.

I want a big house in the country. However, I want to be ten minutes away from a city/townish (yeah, yeah, it's my fantasy, okay?) In this house, I want there to be lots of rooms- one for Jahred to write his books in, something filled with his favorite novels and a window for him to muse out of, another for Alicia. I want there to be a dark room for Bryan Hamel, an art studio for Jamie and BKenny, a music studio for Sean and Matthew and Renee, a big kitchen attached to the house where Sonny can organize organic catering and Bradford to make his bread, a counseling office attached for Megan, Beth and Ashley, a book case filled with Guilherme's novels (christian romance novels with a few on the human condition) as well as Alicia's poems and Megan's short stories and Matthews graphic novels, a sewing room filled with vintage dresses and patterns for me, and I have a very clear picture of Jenna wearing a wife beater with a metal mask holding a flame thrower and making something out of metal scraps. I want Ethan to be running around the house with a bunch of other kids- foster kids, how amazing would that be if everyone in the house could commit to it? And perhaps my own little red headed, freckled ENTJ girl that will demand Ethan marry her. Around the house I want little bungalows for the married couples (sound proofed) and a few for traveling artists and a garden. A horse for Renee. A mini horse for Bryan. And in the town all of us could help run our vintage shop/coffee/hookah bar/church/venue. Our artwork could support a homeless shelter Bradford and Jenn would run. And once a week I picture us all coming together to talk about what we have been working on, and help Nathan plan the church service.

Even in my fantasy, I know there would be sickness and fights and misunderstandings. But it would be worth it, I think.

This is my happy place. It makes me really, really happy. And I am going to pray for it everyday. I realized when I was talking to Ashley tonight, that I have a pretty big piece of land right now. In theory, I could move my house (literally, it's on cinder blocks) to the back corner, and still have a quarter acre to build a few bungalows and a studio of sorts. Sick.

God, please make me wealthy so I can do this. Amen.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Thursday morning I was back in a place I'd never thought I'd be- putting on my make up at seven in the morning in the bathroom of a Westgate timeshare resort. High school revisited. Usually the bathroom is filled with women elbowing for counter space, complaining about weight and men. But now, I was the only one in here. The recession had hit my timeshare resort brutally. When I left I had 250 co-workers. Now there were 40 of us.
Farrah breezed in.
"Kate! You're back! Thank God!" Farrah gave me a big hug. Her hair smelled like Herbal Essence and Coco Chanel.
Farrah is very sensual, very warm. She has big wavy brown hair, and these gorgeous cat green eyes that tilt up at the ends. She has a huge smile, this great raspy voice and curves for days. Farrah is that beautiful girl that dated older men in highschool, because she didn't know any better, but the men did. Cigarettes and alcohol and those men have aged her skin, and now she is more sexy than beautiful. But she still exudes a warmth and confidence I wish I had.
Before I left she had been on and off again with my friend, Frankie. I met Frankie on my first day at Westgate, almost five years ago. He's a super sweet, class clown type. He does the best, and I mean THE best impersonations of all of our bosses and managers. Frankie was one of the few guys I would hug at work. Most guys at my job are pretty sleazy, always making comments. Frankie has always been very vocal about complimenting me, but there was something more sweetly appreciative than suggestive. When Farrah started dating Frankie, I was really excited about it. I assured her that he was one of the best guys I'd met at our job. I'd left shortly after that.
"I have to go to the gym," Farrah complained, checking out her perfect reflection, "all I do is sit around all day with my man."
"Are you still with Frankie?" I asked, brushing on my mascara.
"We've been living together for three months." Farrah said, smoothing her hair.
"Congratulations, are you happy?" Our voices echoed in the empty marble room.
"Oh yeah, he's great. I love him." Farrah smiled at me, that great grin.
"I'm so happy for you." Farrah had had a rough life. She deserved to be with someone that made her happy.

I ran into Frankie that afternoon.
"Oh my God! Mami! You look so skinny!" Frankie twirled me around. "Don't you have a man to feed you?"
Frankie sighed dramatically. He does everything dramatically. "Only the white boys are going to look at you now, mami."

I saw Farrah as I was leaving work today.
"Hey honey," I gave her a hug, "how are you?"
"I've had better days." She said, waving her hand at me. Her middle finger was in a splint, wrapped in clear taping. Through it I could see her finger, bloody and swollen.
"What happened?"
"Frankie slammed it in a door way." Her gaze slid over to her little boy, Logan. Logan is about seven, and he was a few feet away on the stairs.
"Because he's fucking crazy, that's why. He's been beating the shit out of me for six months."
I looked down at her, aghast.
"Last night he locked me in the house for six hours, and beat me with a wet towel, so there wouldn't be any marks."
"Six months?" I asked.
"I'm so fucking stupid. That man has given me scars, bruises, he almost broke my arm last month. Thank God he hasn't done it around Logan." Farrah was talking very fast, very defiantly. "But I'm done, I'm done and if he ever so much as looks at me I'll fucking kill him."
"Farrah, I'm so sorry." I mumbled. "God, if Dave was here, he'd kill him."
"Dave told me, Dave sat me down and told me before we started dating. He did this to his last girlfriend, too. And I didn't listen. So, this is what I get. I'll see you later honey."
She picked up her son and walked off.
Dave was our boss, this big man wrestler-type that everyone lived in fear of. But he looked out for us, specifically the girls. He had left a few months ago, when half of the resort got fired.
I got in my car and tried to picture Frankie angry. I had never seen it. I tried to imagine what his face would look like, twisted in rage as it must have been. I tried to see him hitting Farrah, whipping her with a towel or slamming her hand in a door. I couldn't. I literally could not see it in my mind.
And I thought about this, over and over again:

"Are you still with Frankie?" I aked, brushing on my mascara.
"We've been living together for three months." Farrah said, smoothing her hair.
"Congratulations, are you happy?" Our voices echoed in the empty marble room.
"Oh yeah, he's great. I love him." Farrah smiled at me, that great grin.

My eyes are so weak, my awareness so small. I think that if Jenna had been in that bathroom with us, she would have known. She would have seen something in Farrah's eyes, the way she smiled. Jenna would have seen through her lies.

I remember when Farrah first told me about Frankie. The way her eyes lit up and that smile I adored spread across her face. I was excited for her. Beginnings used to be so exciting to me. Now, any beginning just seems treacherous. It's just a period of time where you don't really know anything at all.

I drove home and could feel my heart sinking. I hurt for Farrah, I put my hand against my chest and could feel pain. Life seems like such a dangerous thing lately. How do I know that I won't smile about a boy next week that will break my arm next year? Could I be so short sighted as to marry a man that would slam me into a wall, or crush me with his fist. I would say that I couldn't. But I still can't picture Frankie angry.

And then I remembered my God. What a precious thing we have in this relationship with Christ. In James it says that prayers for wisdom will always be answered, and that has been true in my life. If I prayed, he would tell me no. Maybe I wouldn't know why he was saying no, but if I trusted him I would walk away from that man. Maybe.

I fell in love when I was 20. I prayed about him and God said no. And I didn't understand why. He was an amazing Christian, he wasn't intimidated by me, he challenged me and made me laugh. God said no and I didn't listen.

And so I experienced what God already knew. Three years of feeling unworthy and used, in love with a boy who kissed me in private and ignored me in public. Three years of him avoiding me for months on end, because God told him to, and then the inevitable phone call. My own weakness.

I realize I'm still recovering from ignoring God. This trust thing is so hard. I'm watching one of my closest friends struggle with bitterness, because he still doesn't have a job. But I know that God hasn't forgotten him. I want to tell Farrah that if she trusts God with her heart, and learns to hear his voice, he will be like Dave and tell her in advance. But it's still up to us to believe him.

I would like to think that I have learned my lesson with relationships. I don't want to play russian roulette with my heart anymore. I need to hear God say, 'this is the way, walk in it'. I used to pray to be kept from doing things- I was always so eager to not be left behind, or miss out. But beginnings are too much for me now. I need God to tell me whether or not a middle or an end is necessary.

This past Wednesday, I spoke to high school about the levitical code. How pissed the Israelites must have been when Moses told them they couldn't eat pork or lobster, crab, squid and the like. They didn't know then the 30 different diseases pigs carry, or how they don't sweat, so the meat is filled with toxins. God didn't tell Moses that the fish he outlawed are water detoxifiers, so the impurities they clean from the water stay in their bodies, and are transmitted to us. He just told them and expected them to trust that he knew better. The ones that did lived two to three times longer than the average person. Still today, people that follow the levitical dietary code live ten to fifteen years longer than the rest of the world.

So, to the handful of blogspotters that follow this- trust him. As Alecia pointed out in her last beautiful blog- we have a banquet in front of us, but we still eat the trash. Oswald Chambers says the reason why we do not pray is because if we hear from God about a thing, we will have to tell him we will not do it, or do it. Both are terrifying.

But he does know, and he will tell us, warn us. God cares about our bodies, our hearts, our jobs.

I should end this more eloquently, but I have nothing else to say other than I love you guys.

Friday, March 6, 2009

House of Heroes

I painted my house to this C.D four years ago. This song is one of my favorites, but now it makes my heart hurt. It was such a different girl that first listened to it.

This song and video is incredible. Check it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

prayer shuffle

Today. Hmmm. I hate when days are bad, without there being an exact reason for them being bad. Nothing happened, I met with people that I loved and I did things that I like...but it was still just bad.

I got in my car tonight, I turned on my IPOD shuffle, and I told God that I needed a song.

Previous to this, I was praying about my job, and how worried I am with it. But even with me being anxious about that, I was still so hesitant to ask God for help. I felt bad asking God to help me succeed at my job. Disappointment is the worst emotion in the world to me. So I realize that I would rather expect nothing from people, and nothing from God, so that I don't have to feel it. My prayers consist of only spiritual gifts- compassion, love, gentleness. Things I am positive that God wants me to have. I don't pray for jobs, or money or physical things. I don't want to risk disappointment, and because of that, I don't risk anything.
I have fought so hard to purge a contractional relationship with God from my mind. I don't want to think that just because I'm a Christian that means I'll have a great life- a perfect husband and family and job. It's so easy to let that theology creep in and poison me. I want to love God only for him, not what he has the ability to give me. I have to know that I will care for God even if I live on the streets and I'm alone. That is real faith, to still trust God with all that. But with that knowledge has now come my belief that God almost wills those things for me. And maybe I will be alone, maybe I will lose my house and everything I have, but sometimes I don't even consider the other options. Perhaps God does will for me to love and be loved, perhaps I could be wealthy and be wise with that. So tonight for the first time in awhile I prayed something that I very much needed God to answer.

Tonight I could feel myself falling- I could feel a tide creeping towards me. So I told God that I needed him to give me a song. I needed to know that he saw me, and that he loved me, and that he had something for me in this very moment.

My Ipod went to Unknown Artist, Track 5. The music started playing and in my head, I was already trying to justify maybe shuffling around a bit. Or laughing the whole thing off as me just being silly, and how I should be fine whether he gave me a song or not. I was already trying to stifle even a hint of disappointment.

And this is what began playing. It's called 'Drown' by my favorite band, House of Heroes (which I imported incorrectly, hence what came up on my Ipod). I couldn't find a video on you tube, but here are the lyrics.

The water's at our knees
It's rising while we speculate to its existing
Sinking merrily
Invincible, convinced no warning is worth heeding

The ocean deep and black
That seemed so shallow
Pulls me under

I'm not giving up that easy
I'm not giving up on anything
Long as I have lungs still breathing
Learn to swim
Before we drown

Come, come one and all
And sacrifice your pride to find a new beginning
Open up your ears
And eyes to see our minds are still in need of changing

If we knew the truth
Would we even care at all
Or be pulled under

I'm not giving up that easy
I'm not giving up on anything
Long as I have lungs still breathing
Learn to swim
Before we drown

Grant us grace to change our minds

I listened to the song and I didn't feel anything. I didn't get excited or in awe. I didn't feel God. But that was okay, because even though I wasn't capable of having an emotional reaction, I still knew that this was the most perfect song for me. I prayed a selfish prayer, and he was loving enough to answer it. The next few songs were wonderful as well-

to finish off was India Arie's "Video Girl"

Perfect. Thanks God.