Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Disappear

If I should disappear, will He remember me? Would He remember me, if I should disappear?

If I stood up one day, stuffed a bag of clothes, all the while He was gone. Left the bed made and the house clean, cooked His favorite meal… would He remember me when I disappear?

Would He notice my absence or miss the sound of my voice, the smell of coffee in the morning or the sound of my steps coming home... the feel of my hand in His hand, the touch of my lips on His forehead. If all my things were gone; the things that made a house, our home. Would He notice, I too, was gone? Would He wonder when I left or if I would return? Would He ponder on the 'why' as He lay awake at night? Would He?

Would He know the reasons why ... I left Him without even goodbye? Would He know that it didn't matter much His sacrifice untold- nor the love He had- for me; for me alone?

His faithfulness, His goodness, His gentle loving touch… None of these would satisfy me much. He gave me all I needed and still I needed more. I'd be still for a moment, anxieties bottled for a time... and then, somehow, they'd wake up- stir inside... and finally explode. I could not contain them any longer.

So I took a stand and decided that I was not going to take it anymore: not His love, His sweet caress, or His well-kept promises. Neither could I longer take His million kindnesses. When I fussed and I fought, and I raged, He continued to say..... Nothing!

I walked up to Him, struck Him across the face… if but one word, say… Something! Say that you don’t love me that I failed you as a wife. Tell me that you hate me, for all my wicked lies. Tell me there’s another you would prefer instead of me; that another will give you what I’ve never given thee. Tell me that you’re tired of waiting up for me; say that you would rather walk away and leave.

So, because you do not hear me or have ignored my plea; I’ve decided… I will be the one to leave. After all, it is only a matter of time, before you give up and resign. Resign to the fact that I’m no good for you, that I’ll never live up to what you expect me to.

That I could have done better, given you more time; talked with you more often, shared with you my life. Given you more kisses, embraced you with much love… I never really honored you. I chose the fast way out. I chose to leave before I was able to see you; before I was able to see in your eyes that look.

Disappointment, anger, maybe even a tear… I was sure if I saw that look that alone would keep me here. It would keep me from leaving you once and for all. It would hold me back, lock me up and only you’d hold the key… the key that I have never given thee, to my heart, to my mind. I simply did not know, to accept your kind of love or how to just let go.

In the past, everyone has left me all alone, so I surrendered to the fact that before you get the chance, I’d leave you before you leave me. I have decided. I've  made up my mind, so please don’t try to stop me at the door. After 16 years, I know how you are. You won’t argue with me or ever tell me to leave; you’ll just stand there, arms stretched out… one long look at me… and I will be… weak at the knees.

I can almost see you now standing there at the door with that look in your eyes like you had once before.

Okay, I’m convinced. I’ve decided not to go! Not now anyhow; I’ll stay for a while- to see, if perhaps there’s a chance that I learn, to give thee all that I am: my heart and my soul. And somehow…be… set free! From all the confusion, from roller coaster rides, from the many fears that I try to hide.
...
So before you get home, let me unpack. Let me let go of the baggage that I’ve held onto for years. Before you even notice… I almost disappeared.


Based on My relationship with God
Copyright © 2004 by Ellie Kings
Note: This is a Spoken Word piece; please excuse the grammar.
Paintings by Amy Hautman and Bruce Rolff

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Love" by Kahlil Gibran

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips..

Poem & Painting by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Your Opinion Matters



As you can all see, I've changed my blog background.  Unfortunately, the other layout gave me too many technical problems.  I also thought it looked way too cluttered.  I was going for a more smoother, polished look.  Something that complements who I am and where I'm going with this blog.  I think I'm accomplishing my goal,  but I might be wrong...still working at it...

As my blogger friends, you all must be aware by now that I value your opinion.  So, on that note, how does it look?  Be honest now... I always appreciate honesty.  But please be gentle!! After all I am a Pisces and we tend to be a little sensitive. :)

Thanks in Advance for your input, advice, comments, brutal truth!

PS. Also thought about changing the name... Matters of the Heart is so ... I don't know... common.  Any ideas?... Anyone?  Suggestions are welcome!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Binding Fear

Though we care not to admit, most of us have felt some kind of fear one way or another: fear of rejection, of failure, the future, the unknown, new beginnings, endings, etc.  It doesn't matter if it's writing related or not... think of it.  Fear... it can be binding, can't it?  You think you've done all you can, but there is still so much more.  And you're afraid of ...?

I'm thinking of those righteous men of God who started off the same way; fearful! They all had a mission in life; though, some took years to realize that mission or purpose.  But God knew from the beginning! He knew exactly what He had deposited in each one of them and how much He would withdraw when the time was right.

When he told Abraham to leave his country and move into a strange land, if he had not gone with fear, perhaps his generations wouldn’t be as the stars. If Moses had not gone with fear, perhaps Israel would still be enslaved in Egypt. If Joshua had not gone with fear, the wall of Jericho would still be up. If Jonah hadn't finally gone with fear, the people of Nineveh would've been condemned.

God knew why He said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be fearful; do not be discouraged, for I will be with you all the way."  Joshua 1:9 NIV 

If Jesus had let his fear stand in the way, we would still be slaves of Sin. Think of it, even our Lord was filled with fear. Did you really think our Lord wasn't afraid? It was his side of humanity.  “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Mat. 26:39    Just before his prayer he told his disciples, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” Mat. 26:38

In other words, Jesus felt alone, was afraid and pained to death while fulfilling His calling.  But he knew he had to do it, because He loved us that much. Think about it… the more we suffer, are confused, or fearful, the more we're on God's radar.  He has great plans laid out for each one of us.  He is in the midst of everything: in our family, friends, work, passions (including our writings).  Did Jesus run away from the will of God? Absolutely not!  He proceeded with fear.


So let us imitate Him.  Let us take up our cross (whatever burden or fear it be), seek the will of God,  pursue the passions of our heart and proceed with fear.  The road ahead might be dark and scary but let us not allow our fears to bind us any longer.  Let us trust in the God who conquered in spite of the fear!  After all, we are His children and we are more than conquerors in Him with whom all things are possible.

So at the end of this week, I leave you with this thought in mind:

What has been your biggest fear lately?
Have you allowed it to bind you and hold you back from accomplishing your purpose in life?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CAN WE START OVER

I’ve done things I’m not too proud of Daddy. I’ve run away from you far too many times. Is it because I choose to be rebellious? Or is it because I’m afraid You might know best for me?

I’ve learned many lessons the hard way. My garments have gone from silk robes to filthy rags. I’ve lost the ring you gave me. I searched for it, I did, but Father I just never found it.

I also lost the inheritance you gave me when I left home. I know I asked for it on my way out.  I tried to make it out there on my own. I tried not to waste every cent on drugs or alcohol or even all the partying, but somehow after a few months, it was gone! All of it, all of it! And I found myself poor, hungry, and most of all … I was lost!

Many times I thought to myself of all the riches and the food and the joy and love that I had left behind with you. But I couldn’t bring myself to come back home. I couldn’t!

I mean, what would you think of me? Look at me, look how dirty I’ve become … You probably wouldn’t even recognize me. You’d probably think that I am a beggar off the streets. Oh Daddy, what you must think of me now. I’m such a failure! I failed you Lord. I didn’t mean to do it, but I did and I regret it.

I didn’t mean to end up in this condition. I had so many plans. I wanted to buy a big house and fill it with all the things I had back home, but that didn’t happen. I thought that my thoughts were like your thoughts and that my ways would be like your ways but somehow, somewhere … I lost my way! I lost everything!

I never got the house or the family. There was no room for happiness or love. I wasted the riches and I wasted time. But… I don’t want to waste time anymore! I want to come back home.


I know what I will do… I’ll try my best to hide what I’ve done. I’ll try to wash my filthy rags and make them look like new. And then, maybe, then you’ll welcome me back into your home and call me your daughter again.





There! That should do it… I look much better now.


I’m almost there… just a little further to go… just over that hill and I’m back home.

I think I see him now. Yes, that’s Him… that’s my Daddy! I have to walk a little faster, maybe I should run…. I’ll run back into his arms and everything will be just fine.
Hi Daddy, Do you recognize me?
I mean, I know I’ve changed a lot but I washed up so I wouldn’t stink of sin in front of you. I didn’t want you to see me the way I really was. I didn’t want you to know that I was confused and that I forgot what you taught me. And how much you loved me. I didn’t want you to know that I had lost the ring you gave me or your riches.  And Daddy, I didn’t want you to know that I had lost my way back home. I couldn’t remember… I just couldn’t remember the way.

I tried not to forget. But I met a lot of people who I called friends and I got involved with so many bad things: the alcohol, the drugs and the sex. They made me forget. Those things made me forget about You and of home, and about the love I felt when I was home.

Can you forgive me? Can you forget the things I’ve done? Has your love for me changed because I’ve done so much wrong? Oh Daddy, Can I get another ring? I just want to belong to you again. Can I come back home? I’ve missed you so. Can we start over? I’d like to start over again! Can we? Can we start over?

Hi Daddy, My name is Elizabeth and I am your daughter… I belong to You and only You!



copyright © 2003 by Ellie Kings
Inspired by the Prodigal Son
Paintings by Joey Remmers

Friday, October 16, 2009

White as Snow

(Response to Maria's Post on Life Lessons)

Years ago while living alone in NYC, I was invited to dinner at a new friend's house. She had a wonderful husband, three lovely children, one small dog, and three cats, all living under a small roof.  While I, on the other hand, had no one; no husband, no children, no pets... absolutely no one to love and no one that loved me.  Was I jealous? Of course!  But I knew my time would come one day.  Little did I know that it would start on that day.

While she finished dinner, I made myself comfortable playing with her kids, and watching her pets.  Immediately, an adorable white kitten with sorrowful, green eyes walked up to me.  I thought she was very unique.  I mentioned how lovely she was as she crawled up on my lap, wanting her fur stroked.  My friend said, "Isn't she pretty? Sad thing is, I found her in a box just outside my door.  Apparently, someone terrorized her by pouring pink paint all over her.  I bathed her and cut away the paint.  You should have seen her then, she was so frightened."  As I listened, I was shocked at such cruelty.

"She's taken a liking to you," my friend said, "you know I'm looking for a home for her."  "As you can see, I have plenty to take care of; do you want her?"

I never really had a pet growing up, so I didn't know much about them, especially cats.  I paused, "What's her name?" "Snowball" she said.  After much thought, I told her I would take her, but that I would shorten her name to Snow.  "It suits her" my friend smiled.  I took her home with me that very night.

When I got home, I was unsure if I had made the right decision.  Snow looked around, walking through the entire apartment, finally making herself at home, on a corner of the leather couch.  She reminded me more of a dog;  waiting everyday by the door.  It took me a few months to get used to her.  I'd find her white hair everywhere! Especially on my black clothes.  She clawed at every furniture piece I had.  She'd climb up on the table, dressers, kitchen cabinets and take her long naps there.  Sometimes she'd even watch me sleep.  It was a little creepy.  Until that one day, that changed everything.
 
I remember coming home after a hard day at work.  All the stress of everything going wrong in my life had piled up on my heart and weighed me down.  Closing the door behind me, I fell to my knees and sobbed.  I prayed to God for strength, for a companion, and forgiveness for all that I had done wrong in life.  I asked Him to wash my sins away, quoting His word,  '... though my sins are as scarlet, let them be white as snow; though they are like crimson, let them be like wool.'  Isaiah 1:18
 
As I repeated the words, Snow leaned up on me, and caressed me while I was still on the floor.  My prayer was interrupted by this tiny piece of God's love.  I looked up at Snow with tears in my eyes and smiled.  I realized then, that she was no coincidence.  Her torture had been my torture.  Her sorrow had been my sorrow.  Snow was the loving gift God gave me, just to remind me that I was in His thoughts, that He had already washed my sins away and made them white as snow.
 
 
What has God given you to remind you that you're in His thoughts?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Decade in Love- Pt II

In the summer of 1996 we crossed paths again when I visited my mother. I didn’t know what to say to him at first. All I could feel was a mixture of pain and great joy. I knew I was still in love with him- and could see he still had eyes for me. We spoke for hours trying to make sense of things but resolved that our worlds were too different to make our love work. We hugged goodbye; “Don’t worry honey, you never know what the future holds,” he said, “ten years from now we might just find each other one last time.” “And if that happens, don’t be afraid to come to me, I will leave aside whoever I’m dating.” I tried to hold back the tears, but still they fell on his shoulder.

From that day on, my heart began counting the days, months, and years until I met him again. The first year was the worst; I wept uncontrollably as if a part of me had died. Countless nights, I forced myself to eat and sleep. My family was worried, hearing me speak of him often. They knew I hadn’t let go of him. Not approving of our relationship in the first place, they said that it was better to forget him- the pain would go away soon. But it never did. I dreamt with him almost every night, sometimes good dreams; sometimes nightmares I couldn’t decipher. I dreamt I saw him sitting on steps, staring out into the heavy rain, his arms folded on his knees- waiting for me. I stroked his hair passing by him and up the steps, bidding him to come. In another dream, Nathan and I were laying side by side on a bed of green grass in an open field. We were staring up at the clear blue sky when suddenly a giant hand came out from the clouds, cut open our chests, removed our hearts and stitched in new ones. I woke up thinking, ’What a crazy dream, but this is a good sign; we won’t have to wait ten years.’ He’ll be coming for me soon. But he never did.

A second and third year went by- impatience and bitterness settled in. ‘Will it really happen?’ I thought, ‘will I ever see him again?’ I began losing hope, praying fervently for him, hoping he was doing better than me. At another visit to New Jersey I saw his sister and we spoke of him. She said he had moved away and from time to time would call her and share his dreams. She said he too would think of me and dream with me often. After telling her some of my dreams, especially, where I saw him staring out into the rain; in astonishment, she said, “That’s not possible; Nathan had that exact dream two weeks ago.” I remembered then it had been two weeks since mine. ‘This must be a good sign’ I thought. But the signs and years came and went and still- no sight of him.

In August 1999, I moved to New York City, hours away from both my families. I wanted to be left alone and find myself along the way; so I rarely visited either family. I climbed corporate ladders, traveled different countries, joined poetry and choir groups in church, went out with good friends. Still the void of him haunted my mind. And from time to time, I’d search for his face amongst endless crowds. I refused to admit that I still missed him after all this time. I engulfed myself in work masking the loneliness I felt. I entertained myself in empty relationships that never measured up to him. In the depths of my heart, I knew he was the only one for me. In March 2005, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. The city had chewed me up and spit me out. Thoughts of Nathan crossed my mind. Somehow, I was still hanging onto his love. At times, I thought back to his last words to me- I felt we were cursed by them. I felt I would never truly be happy in life, no matter where I lived.

My brother and his wife opened their home in New Jersey to me. Once again I moved out of state and close to family. I considered myself a gypsy with the many times I had moved. I didn’t know my heart was searching for Home. I was broken, depressed and after all I had done, my life was empty. My prayers had grown dim. I stayed with my brother, his wife and four children for one year. They cared for me as if I was a child. When I began feeling better and more optimistic on life, my brother announced he and his family were moving away to Ohio. They asked me to join them, but I refused. I felt a sense of panic. But one day, stopping at a red-light, I asked God for direction. “Lord, where do I go from here?” I asked, “I have no family of my own, no one to care for me, I’m drawn in many directions. Lord, what do you want me to do?” I heard a still, small voice, “Be still and know that I am God!” For the first time in a long time, I felt as if God was preparing a huge surprise for me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I remained there in that part of New Jersey until I was led up north again where my mother used to live. Years before, she had moved back to her homeland, Puerto Rico.

One December day, in 2006, I took a wrong turn and was led to a restaurant where Nathan’s younger brother worked many years ago. I stopped in for a bite to eat and to ask for directions. When I looked up from the menu, there he was. Nathan’s brother, all grown up, with a stunned look on his face. “What are you doing here?” he hugged me, “I thought you were living in New York?” “And I thought you weren’t working here anymore!” I answered sarcastically. I explained to him that I had been in New Jersey a while- living a little more to the south. “I’m now trying to rent an apartment up this way, but it’s been a while since I’ve been here,” I laughed, “I got lost or rather, took a wrong turn searching for it and somehow ended up on this road.” “Funny,” he said, “my brother, Nathan, just moved back in town as well.” My heart skipped a beat. “He’s had it pretty rough these past years, I’m sure he’d be happy to see you again,” he told me. “You think?” I asked, “After all this time?” “What about his girlfriend or wife?” I asked him trying to get more details of his life. He smiled, shaking his head, and told me Nathan lived around the corner from the library. The library? The same library I frequently sat in almost every day only a few steps away from his house. My stomach was in knots. After our short conversation, everything fell into place. It couldn’t be! It was then; I remembered it was 2006- Ten years! Ten long years, after Nathan spoke those words to me, “… ten years from now; we might just find each other one last time.”

A few days later, I worked up the courage to go see him. I knocked on the door and his voice cut through me like a knife, “Come in.” Many times I had dreamed of this day and wondered if I ever saw him, would the love still be there or, had I, all these years, hung onto an imaginary love. The house was filled with his family who were visiting. His mother, sister, nephews and nieces were all there. I felt a little out of place, wondering what they were thinking. They all welcomed me with smiles and hugs. They asked me tons of questions- where I had been; what had I done with my life. Before I got around to him, I felt his eyes heavy on me, piercing me with his love. I walked over to him, stared into his green eyes and squeezed him tightly. With a broken voice and tears in my eyes, I whispered, “It’s been ten years, my love, the curse is broken.” He searched my eyes; I could feel him shaking. He smiled at me with love and said, “It’s good to find you again. I searched for you, but I was told you moved. After all these years, I never stopped loving you.”

I was home; he was always my home. He was my best friend and my soulmate. He was created for me and I was created for him.

It’s been close to three years from that December day. Our love has only grown stronger. We, now, both understand that losing and finding each other again was all part of God’s great design for our lives. We accept the fact that only a Higher Power could keep our hearts yearning for each other for more than a decade. Today we hold the same friendship with a loving God that cared enough to knit our hearts together, forever.


Our Love Story
copyright © 2009 Ellie Kings
Art by Jacqueline Gerritsen

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Decade in Love- Pt I

It was May 1993; I was twenty-one years old when I met him again. He was a year older than me. He had piercing green eyes, golden skin and a charm that attracted almost every girl that crossed paths with him. It was a warm sunny day, with the laughter of children playing in the background, the smell of barbeque in the air and the voices of families enjoying themselves on the first day of summer. I was sitting on my aunt’s porch, one of many in a row of townhouses. I wore a soft pink summer dress with gray and white flowers. I enjoyed a glass of iced tea after a few games of Frisbee with the kids. I was joyful to spend time with my mother and her large family.

As I sat there, I watched the kids continue to play and a few teenagers shooting baskets in a beat-up court. I noticed someone sitting across the street on the steps of one of the townhouses. He looked very familiar. He seemed to be watching the same basketball game I watched. Before I knew it, he was walking towards me with my younger cousin at his side. My cousin had a little crush on him and excitedly introduced us not realizing we already knew each other. I smiled, shaking my iced tea, “I remember you; do you remember me?” “Yes, of course I remember!” he said, “We played together when we were kids.” Our mothers were good friends and my brother and I would often play games of hide and seek with Nathan and his siblings. Feeling like a third wheel, my cousin excused herself.

We spoke of years past, attending the same schools, sharing the same teachers, and once in a while walking with the same crowds- never really exchanging words, only small glances. “Why haven’t I seen you around lately?” he asked. I explained I moved away a few years back to live in upstate New York with my father and his family. I mentioned I was the product of an ugly divorce. Trying not to sound too morbid, “The good thing about it is that I have two homes; my mother in New Jersey and my father in New York, just four hours away.” In truth I hated it. I preferred living with my mother but I never seemed to find peace in her home. There was too much turmoil. He had a sympathetic look on his face and asked how long would I be staying. “A month at the most,” I said. He smiled at me, “Good, we have time to catch up.”

That day we watched the sun go down, all the while smiling at each other, laughing about absolutely nothing, and sharing the same sparkle in our eyes. We spent the next few weeks meeting on that porch speaking of the silly things we used to do when we were younger and how we’ve missed seeing each other over these past few years. On a few occasions we had dinner together, went to the billiards or the theaters. We exchanged information so that we could stay in touch.

On my last day there, I waited nervously by the window for him. He said he would try to stop by and say his goodbyes. I was hoping we could see each other one last time before I went home. I loaded the car, a tear in my eye and heavy sigh at the thought of not seeing him before I left. As I closed the trunk of the car, I saw him running with a box in his hand. “I thought I had missed you!” he said taking long breaths. I laughed and hugged him tight. “I thought you wouldn’t come.” “I had to get you something before you left, I searched for just the right thing; I hope you like it” he said, giving me the box. Inside was a white dress embroidered in colorful flowers two sizes bigger than what I wore. I smiled and politely said he shouldn’t have gone through the trouble. I never told him the dress was too big for me. I kept the dress and even wore it from time to time just to remind me of him.

On the drive back to New York, I felt as if I was leaving something behind. As days passed, my heart yearned to hear his soft voice and stare at those dreamy green eyes. On my first week home, I received a letter from him. After that, we spoke on the phone almost every day and wrote love letters to each other for months. Six months later, I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my mother’s house. I was ecstatic because I knew I would see him again. When I got there I dropped my suitcase home and hurried off to his house. His grandmother was in the kitchen cooking one of her specialty Spanish meals and was excited to see me. “Does he know you’re coming?” I shook my head, “It’s a surprise!” She sent one of his brothers for him, but very sternly said not to tell Nathan I was waiting.

When Nathan walked in he asked his grandmother what was going on- his brother had said it was something important. I sneaked out from behind the door. He jumped up yelling with joy and squeezing me so tight cracking every backbone I had. We spent that weekend taking long walks, holding hands, realizing that not only had we fallen in love with each other through love letters, but that we had grown to be the best of friends. “I never dreamed ‘love at first sight’ existed,” he said, “but I must admit, I fell in love with you the minute I saw you playing with children that summer day!” He told me he used to watch over me in elementary school making sure the bullies would stay away. He said he had always felt the urge to keep me safe. I never knew any of that. Whenever he spoke to me, I felt at peace and such a comfort that made all my worries go away. With him, I felt special. His eyes were for me and only me.

Nathan had a big heart open to new ideas and new beliefs. I decided to introduce him to God explaining the friendship I held with Him and spoke of things he had vaguely heard. He seemed very interested in finding the love of God I found four years before. He asked me many questions. After a wonderful weekend there, it was time to leave once more. We continued writing love letters to each other and sharing phone calls another two months.

In February 1994, I received a terrible phone call from him. “My grandmother has passed on.” His grandmother battled cervical cancer most of her late years in life. Nathan was like a son to her. She raised him for many years when his mother wasn’t able to care for him, yet didn’t live too far away. He was very close to his grandmother, so much so, that when she died, he became withdrawn from everything and everyone including me. He called me to say that we couldn’t see each other any longer and that he didn’t want to continue writing letters. I was devastated, but I understood that he wasn’t himself. I could hear it in his voice: the anger, sadness, and sense of loss. My heart went out to him after hearing him express himself with few words and a sad voice. “If you ever change your mind, I will be waiting,” I said, “I’ll be here whenever you need someone to listen.”

He called me twice in two months. I could sense he was depressed and nothing was making him happy. ‘If I lived closer to him I could help him through his grief,’ I often thought. After another month and no calls from him, I decided to move back to New Jersey just to be near him. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I took a leap of faith.

As I parked the car near his house, he was sitting on the steps with a sullen face, his arms folded on his knees. It was then that I realized I had made the right choice in moving back. When he saw me, he lifted his head with relief in his eyes and held me in his arms for a long time. “I am so glad you’re here,” he managed to muffle through a broken voice.

After a few months, he seemed happier and moved on past the pain. We spent a little over a year loving each other intensely, but in September 1995 we decided to part ways. Unfortunately, love wasn’t enough. We were young and naïve and our differences in beliefs were getting in the way of our love. Although he understood some of it, he never fully accepted my faith, and that caused great friction between us. Resisting, I went back upstate to New York.


Our Love Story
copyright © 2009 Ellie Kings
Art by Megan Aroon-Duncanson

Friday, October 9, 2009

Serenity

There is a place in your mind that is difficult to find

But when everything fails in your life, this place becomes your haven…
A place where things become crystal clear
The painful past begins to fade in memories of yesterday
The longing future holds tomorrow secure
And the seasons of life are ever changing

Serenity is Peace

The sky is at its bluest; not a single cloud
The forest trees stand tall with its leaves dancing in the cool breeze
It welcomes an open field of fresh green grass, blossoming with yellow dandelions
The dandelions make a path leading you to the entrance of a white sandy beach
Large rocks gather at the edge of a crystalline ocean
Its waves crash lightly against a never-ending shore
Hear them whisper as they reach the rocks

Sit there… on top of the Rock… overwhelmed with peace
Taste the essence of heaven

Think of nothing …
The fretful world has been sealed inside a bottle
You tossed into the ocean… It is lost at sea


Close your eyes and find with me

This place called Serenity

Stay there... Choose to be at peace



Copyright © 2002 by Ellie Kings

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Captivated

His mind is captivated by thoughts unknown to me
Secrets I can't unlock... I don't have the keys
I'd like to enter, but he stops me at the door
He's evasive, giving clues but not full details anymore

Sharing only so much, but it’s simply not enough
He wavers, strays away; losing himself through it all
He's like a storm brewing in the middle of the sea
I'd like to save him from that storm; I'd like to set him free

If it were up to me, I'd pick up the fallen pieces
I’d heal his wounds, glue his heart, and put him back together
But the best I can do is carry him when he falls
Step by step, holding his hand, bringing him to my shelter

I’ll continue to chip away at the wall his heart has built
Brick by brick, stone by stone… I’ll use a rope to climb over
I'll find a way to get to him, through a window if I have to
I’ll dig deep, claw away and find his hidden treasure

That day will come when he is no longer captivated
By his thoughts nor his pain; by the storms nor bad weather
Once again he will be mine, to share our life together
And the past he left behind, he soon will not remember



copyright © 2008 by Ellie Kings

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wasted Time

Have you heard my cry Lord? Have you heard my prayer?
You probably haven’t heard me because I haven’t yelled
I haven’t stood on a mountain top on a bright sunny day
To ask you if you’re listening to a word I say

My cries have been quiet when I really want to scream
My voice is broken; I can barely speak
My mind is overwhelmed by painful yesterdays
The future seems unclear and so far away

Your promises and my faith have intertwined somehow
They both are locked away in a time capsule
I can’t reach it; buried deep with remorse and despair,
Failures and sorrows that I dare not tell

How are you Lord? You seem far away
I reach out but I can’t find you anywhere I stay
I know you haven’t left me; I’m just too blind to see
That I’ve wasted time living only for me

I’m still walking in circles like Israel, years ago
I’m living without purpose; no clue of where to go
I feel I’ve wasted my life on complete foolishness
Things that do not matter; excuses unexplained

There was a time I saw you for who you really were
My healer, my provider, my best friend after all
But today is a day much like many others
Darkness everywhere, lost without a compass

Can you hear me Lord? Can you hear my muffled wail?
Is it too late to try and attempt this once again?
Stumbling and falling are a part of who I am
But I know that you are the tower of my strength

If you can hear my cry Lord, please answer speedily
Please remember I am your daughter and I want to be free
You must be tired of hearing the same dull prayer
But I beg you have mercy, your servant lost her way

Help me to see things for what they really are
Help me to remember that I’m special in your eyes
That no matter the time wasted or the ups and downs of life
You always will forgive; forget past mistakes & sins

I’m still here my Lord, waiting for your answer
Don’t give up on me just yet, there’s so much I can do
You can still stretch the hour to repair the damage made
And slow time just a little so I can catch up with the rest

Be good to me my Lord, although I don’t deserve it
You know my heart is yours, though I may not always show it
I know the clock is ticking and time is passing by
This is why I am desperate for a fast reply

Lord, please give me more time so I can fix what I’ve done
To produce the fresh fruit that is growing deep inside
The gifts you’ve given me I’ll no longer take for granted
Just give me back …please…the precious time I’ve wasted


copyright © 2009 by Ellie Kings

Monday, October 5, 2009

Like a Winter Tree

He is a winter tree, standing on top of a hill… bare naked
His long, dark branches overlook the ocean’s waves, crashing against rocks
His trunk is like a tower, erecting from the center of an old city
Alone… he stands tall

He holds secrets carved in him for decades
The wind grabs hold of him, choking his breath of life
In the midst of a storm, he sways left and right
Yet he is not moved

I’d like to be him, even during winter
With the heavy snow cascading off his branches
I’d like to be him, waking to the morning of a new day
With the sun’s rays beating on his bark

I’d like to be him when the sweat of a long day
Thirsts his wood and he screams for rain
I’d like to be him as the bright moon rises over him
Overshadowing his aged body

Day after day, year after year… He remains standing
During all the seasons of his life, he grows strong and proud
And here I sit… wishing I were that tree, standing on top of that hill
... Bare naked


Copyright © 2002 by Ellie Kings

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Will Leave You Someday

Thump, thump, thump
Is the sound of my mother going down a flight of stairs dragged by her hair
Who cares… just another woman beat down, given up, abused by another man
Smack! Backslap! Right across the right cheek
Another black eye, sore back, broken arm… who’s counting
Arms folded behind back…. on the floor you go
She becomes the horse, He becomes the rider
Here we go again...

Loud screams echo through the house, drawing near the audience
Of the neighbors…Whispers right outside the door
Is it her…yes it's her…again? Undisputed curiosity killed the cat you know
Get the phone, call the cops…like its going to help
You know that she will not… write out that complaint
Tell her that she has to choose… life or death is in her hands
What will a woman do… whatever she will do

Loud banging at the door, here they are again
Mam are you ok? They say they heard the yells
Officer there’s nothing wrong; everything is swell
My man and I are talking… nothing else
Months and years go by…and not a thing has changed
But within her lies an awful, dormant rage
Come close to me, I’ll kill you, with a painted smile on face
Look at all the havoc and the pain that you have caused
My kids don’t even like me… anymore
I used to have their friendship; now all of that is lost
All because I let a nobody …in my home for safety
The irony… that from him I’d need protection

Heavy breathing, sleeping with the enemy
Can’t close my eyes, can't sleep... don’t wanna fall asleep
Gotta go, gotta run…gotta just get out
Tomorrow, this woman will be free
Of the abuse and the neglect, of the down right low self esteem
Tomorrow you’ll find the closet empty, the house vacant
You will hear the sound of nothing; not even a pin drop
I did say that I would leave you someday
You told me that day would never come

You thought me as a liar…as a woman scorned
Maybe scorned, but a liar, not by far
I will leave you someday… let me repeat the words
I will leave you someday…and if I stay it would only make things worse
After all these years, I should have done this long ago
Whatever was I thinking to keep myself in such a violent home?
And what about my babies, I feel so ashamed
They warned me about you… on that very first day
But on this day I am keeping the fullness of my word
I will leave you someday…and oh yes…Today is that someday!


In honor of my beloved mother
Commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month
copyright © 2004 by Ellie Kings