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Monday, March 3, 2008

Beautiful Prison

When I was a child, I would dream that I was running. I would run as fast as I could, but would go so slow. I could never pass the top of my driveway. My demons always a few steps behind me.

As a teenager, I loved to run. I would burst out my front door and fly up my long driveway. I would raise my hands high to the heavens as I cleared that last stretch of concrete and stepped into the asphalt of the road. Freedom.

Suddenly, running is good for me again. The sound of my heart beating in my chest, my sweat and tears mixed as one. Country air laced with dust and cold. Spring wheat, new and green in contrast to cherry orchards brown, twisted "winter dead" trees, life not yet stirring inside.

Farmers stop their trucks, offering rides "home". Do I look that out of place? Here in my beautiful prison?

A farm hand with his cold blue eyes stops to talk…. Stuck in his “city” home, the land calls his name, spits him out but keeps me here. Can’t it see how he loves it? Can’t it see that I don’t?

My speed picks up. I watch the sky blur into the hills. I breathe. Methodic steps on cracked dusty roads. With arms stretched out to the heavens, I scream out “blessed be thy name. When the road is marked with suffering, BLESSED BE THY NAME.”

Anger, rebellion, loneliness, disgust, pity, lust, responsibility, hatred, sorrow, fear, stuck at the doorstep of my home. My body carries me…. I am in control of how fast, how far, how long.

When my legs will go no further, and my heart is weak, I find myself back at my front door. I always linger, taking in those last few minutes of freedom.

Then, I open my front door, and I step back into my life.

16 comments:

Becky said...

That sounds wonderful, especially to be running in the country! I'm afraid I've got a long way to go to work my way up to running...and living in the country, lol.

And be careful out there, girl...men offering rides home and all that. (Not to sound like a mom or anything...)

Praise God for your daughters healing!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Wow- great writing! I love the thought of running in the sweet smelling country, but sounds like you are feeling a little stuck- or did I get that wrong? I am glad you have found an outlet- I love getting into a run with great music- and I love Blessed Be Thy Name!

Leanne said...

Is it the running that you don't love, or the country? You said "can't it see how much he loves it? Can't it see how much I don't?"

I pray that God would shake you up if you are in a rut.....I pray that He would give you a vision of newness, renewal, refreshment around you.

Good and revealing writing!

On a last, totally unrelated note: I've decided to name my next baby girl Karlie Caroline. I think it's just like music! The name Karlie conjures up music, freshness, beauty, laughter...at least it does to me, so I want to make it my own, for my next baby girl (godpleasegivemeababyagain!)

LOVE
Leanne in Longview WA

Francine said...

I am always so inspired by your blog. Thank you for sharing with us and allowing us a glimpse into your crazy/funny/often thought provoking but always God centered life. You are truly a inspiration.
Hugs.. Francine Howell

javamamma said...

Amazing post, friend. So glad your daughter is feeling good again. I got a text at tonight's PTO meeting that we have a 'puker'. Yay.

NJR said...

Ooh I like this kind of stuff. Little vignettes in time. The kind that melt in your mind, not in your hand...

NJR said...

...and thanks for your visit/comment :-) Sometimes I don't "get it" either, probably a lot of the time, if I'm honest. In my writing I often try to be purposely a little obscure. I remember how delicious it was to read some odd little bit of ee cummings over and over, just letting the music of his words play in my mind without having much of an idea what he might actually be saying. It was enough just to hear the sounds of the words and the rhythm of the phrases. That was music enough for me.

Stacey said...

Karlie! I was just thinking about you and there you were!

Oh girlfriend I'm so envious of you my fingers are nearly green as I type! I want to love to run...heck I want to be ABLE to run. I'm inspired to keep on it, though, I need to. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh Karlie, I have always loved the visions you create with your words. What a lovely, yet depressing post!

Remember the dream you had where your grandmother visited you and told you to run barefoot through the fields? She had loved to do that as a child but then stepped on a snake one day and was terrified of doing it again. Everything that happened to her in her life seemed to frighten her more until she lived in a prison of fear. She was so afraid of everything that I don't think she really lived.

We all have our prisons. We can argue that our bodies are a prison for our soul. Many live in a prison of addiction or fear or illiteracy. Some consider their jobs a type of prison. Some consider their marriage a prison.

You are feeling isolated because you live in the country, away from friends, with little or nothing in common with the few people you have met. You and your family have been sick and you've been dealing with the nastiness of the public school system. Your husband's job is such that he's gone a lot so that puts more of a burden on your shoulders. What makes it so ironic is that a dream you shared with your husband was to live on land in the country.

So, like so many dreams, we find out that what we think we want is really not what we thought it was. We all need dreams and I think that you are at odds with yourself right now because you really haven't decided what your new dream is.

I wonder though, if this "prison" isn't really a spiritual training ground for you. I have spent a lot of my life in isolation as well and I can tell you that I wouldn't be nearly as close to God if I had not had so much time to myself. Yes, I wanted friends but I'm glad that my life has worked out the way it has. God is my constant companion and regardless of what happens in my life, He is always there for me.

I get depressed, I sometimes feel trapped, alone. I often feel that my husband is more of a burden than a blessing. I have my own prisons. But Karlie, through all this, I do have my one constant companion. The One who has traveled with me through all of my ups and downs and....

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

23rd Psalm

GG

carrie said...

Beautiful post...thank you for sharing!!

Rachelle said...

Wow ~ I love the imagery you painted here.

I'm so glad your daughter's well again!!

Kimmie said...

Hmm, running!

As a kid I always dreamed I was flying...an escape...anytime things became hard-I would just soar!

Don't have flying dreams much anymore, and in real life I am lucky to find a minute alone and I definitely don't 'fly' ;-) Perhaps, I should ask God.

In the natural I love running, the methodical thump, the rhythm that happens with breathing...I used to use it as my prayer time, always trying to add another mile to the weeks mileage. Then more kids came, and shin splint pain...now I run at the gym (here and there)...don't love it on a treadmill, somehow the beauty of it fades with all the gym atmosphere.

stuff to think on.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

EEEEMommy said...

Am I the only one who reads this post and gets a little worried? Because it does worry me that you feel imprisoned no matter how "beautiful" it is! I agree that this is a very poignant post, and it does make me want to run, despite the fact that my lungs are unable to sustain me, but...
Are you okay?
I'm praying for you!

Grace and Peace,
Angel

EEEEMommy said...

P.S. That GG of yours is so wise!

Christin said...

You paint running so well. I used to LOVE it. ...and then all those years of competitive running caught up to my knees. Very. Sad. Day.

so run one for me, will ya? ;)

Anonymous said...

I think you hit the mark. I get it. I need to come visit.
Love Elaine