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A World Within Worlds

Your get away from the real world, and my real world.

Phoenix

I was at war with my pain

Flinching in its eyes

He sensed my fear

Trapped alone with my lies

And gripping my legacy

With hands ready to slip

—–

But I ain’t feeling sorry for me

Cause I know what I’m supposed to be

Hit the ground with a shock

And heard the voices mock

Now I have enough strength

To stare my failure in the face

—–

Holding, locking, gripping

The pain

And this time I will rage with the pain

Because my purpose

Separates me from the masses

And pain enables strength

To match my purpose

Embrace pain

Fail again. Rise again.

•A. Inge

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Life is taken in steps…

Life is taken in steps. A little at a time. It starts with a piercing scream. Some liken it to a war cry others to the sound emitted when one realizes you’re stuck on this earth for goodness knows how long. No matter your perspective and individual personalities, there are things that connect us all. Sometimes what connects us are our differences. Balance. Oh no here comes the hippie. I wont ask you to trust me. In fact if you trust me just because I have something to say that means you arent a critical thinker and my words mean nothing because truth will always have to fight to stick around. If you arent a critical thinker you dont know what truth to fight for and theres nothing you can truly do.

Why so harsh on non-intellectuals? Actually not. I’m shaking up a little on the definition critical thinker. I believe anyone can be a critical thinker. Poor, broken, drunk, sober, anyone. You won’t always succeed at finding truth, but trying wont go unreturned. And this brings me to my point.

Trying is important and the small victories we are blind to are what truly make us.

Let me begin by defining trying. Trying is anytime someone or something sets a goal in their mind and begins to work towards it and fails in completing their goal. Small victories we are blind to are best explained by example. Getting up early everyday for a month- avoiding sugar- not letting our anger get the best of us- having a good attitude when your boss asks you to go the extra mile. Even the act of wanting to be a good person is a small victory.

I’m a very hurt and broken person. My whole life I’ve worked really hard to find fulfillment and purpose. I’ve struggled with not looking to my siblings for confirmation in who I am. I’ve struggled with feelings of worthlessness because I didnt complete my goals. My goals i havent completed- completely realistic. They’re things like write edit myself and publish book by 15 which truly impacts kids, be an incrediable park kor stunts person (literally cant even spell it, just think flips) be an influential leader for this generation, start a revival in america, the list goes on.

Being average terrifies me. I want to be special and I want to earn that right not just have it handed to me. I say it in the present tense cause being average still terrifies me.

I want to have the best grades, be the best at my work, publish the best books, and most importantly lead hundreds to Christ.

You know I still struggle with this cause just writing it makes me sad. Cause I’m not any of these things. I’m 17 and never led someone to Christ. I havent even published a book. I’m far from the best at work. And my grades fluctuate to put it nicely.

But that’s it. I’m done letting the world dictate my standards for success. If you’ve seen Creed 2 you’ll understand this. If you havent you should it’s amazing. But there is a moment, the second time he is training to go beat the Russian when he falls behind the truck. Hes running to get in shape to box this Russian fella and his mentor and trainer- Rocky- is driving the truck and saying get up get up. Because Rocky knows.

You have to know how to get back up. To stare your failure in the face. My biggest fear is failure so when I live my life, I dont even consider it a possibility. I x it out and say no I am going to do the hard stuff so no one can ever say I didnt give it my all. But it’s not about them. What I thought was God separating me from my family was really Him teaching me not find my worth in their words. I still struggle. I want to have top grades and work 40 hours and stand out and be the best of the best and change lives with my words and stories. But I’m done calling myself worthless because I havent accomplished every goal yet.

I am a failure. And I’m done hiding from it. I’ve failed as a student and as a Christrain as an author and as a sister and a family member and a member of society. I’m sorry and you can judge me for that. Because I’m putting my worth in Gods hands. I dont feel like I’m enough, but He tells me I am. He shows me favor every day and I have the audacity and the brokenness to tell Him it’s not enough. That He cant be my God and be the God of my failures too? He didnt leave me in the fire. He didnt leave me in the storm. He whispered peace when I made war. I dont care what I am- failure, perfect, author, fighter- as long as He can use me. And yes, He can use everyone. For the people who like proof I am going to steal from stephen furtick here and say look at Rahab. She was a prostitute and God still used her. Stop saying you arent clean enough. Stop saying you arent enough. God can meet you right where you’re at. I hate the feeling of what if a that comes with being vulnerable, but when the words come out this quickly and form a message so smoothly I can’t help but think the bigger what if God needs to use me to whisper encouragement for someone. So here is to all the ones that tried, and got the small victories they couldn’t see and went to bed thinking they failed. Failure is a thing of the past and its loathing we should be grateful for and learn from. Strength and power are you future.

• A. Inge

Father Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do

Thirteen year old Emily Oskell licked the pen tip in swift, uniform sequence as her dark hair reflected the sunlight which sank over the golden field.  After adjusting the math notebook in her lap, she drove the pen down onto the paper in superfluous scribbling; but the pen refused to make a mark leaving the paper inkless and torn from the vicious scratching.  Sighing in frustration, Emily pushed back her coco colored, flyaway hairs and dropped the materials onto the ground.  Next to her, fifteen year old Joseph motioned for silence.  He did not hold himself to the same standard; however, as the soft click click of the laptop keyboard interrupted the enveloping serenity of the small acreage.

Using the broken pen as justification, Emily gave up on the tedious homework and leaned against the grandfatherly oak.  She scanned the surroundings in a blasé stupor.  Winding down the middle of the field, a rocky dirt road met Emily and Joseph Oskell’s rickety front porch.  On each side small tufts of grass invaded the road’s border with their small, green heads spearing the dirt in triumph; pushing the barrenness back with great vigor and determination.

Past the drooping home, a crowd of trees bordered the Oskell property.  Two in particular seemed to stand off from the rest.  From Emily’s view, the biggest one which grew and stretched past many of the other hunched and twisted trees, allowed a cluster of brazened branches to drape protectively over the second.  Beneath the wooden curtain, its counterpart peered out cautiously.  Tiny, wooden limbs crept out into the unforgiving wind: swaying back and forth.  It leaned against the larger with childlike gentility.  Surrounding the mismatched pair, the crowd whispered and tickled their leaves together.  It appeared, to Emily, they all shared a secret about mother and baby tree which clung so desperately to each other.  For each had grown, in a way most uncharacteristic for trees: backwards from the two.

Suddenly a screeching, diminutive Toyota turned onto the dusty road and rolled up towards the house.  Emily forgot her observations and collected her books.

“You going inside?” asked Joseph glancing up.

“Yeah.”

“Alright.  I’ll come too.  I’m pretty much done.”

Emily marched ahead of her brother and made a beeline for her room as soon as they entered the house.  Sharon, the third and only other Oskell child, lay on the twin bed abreast from Emily’s.  Her back stayed toward Emily even as she walked in and dumped the homework.

“Hey sis.”  No response.   “How’d it go?”   Sharon stayed silent.  Finally, Emily left the room and joined Joseph in the kitchen.

“She say anything?” he whispered.  Emily shook her head.

Muted voices carried from the bedroom past the living room.  With a sort of mutual agreement, neither said a word, each straining to catch the arguing parents’ conversation.

     Protection, education, reputation among other words coasted across the itchen causing even Bob Ross, the Oskell’s family mutt to stir in his warm dog bed and whine in his sleep.  With each word the voices grew louder and crosser till finally she could no longer stand it.  Emily left the house slamming the door shut behind her and not stopping her forward stomp till she reached the two trees earlier noticed.

Taking refuge next to the baby tree, she felt angry hot tears spill out onto her brown cheeks.  Her mind dragged her back to the first night she fell asleep to Sharon’s stifled crying.  It near drove her mad: to see her sister in such a deplorable state and not know the cause.

Eventually, the truth did shake the Oskell household. One night, as the tender flames of light licked at the wood inside the fireplace, Mrs. Oskell watched her oldest stare into the fire, rubbing her feet in resigned mourning.  She’s pregnant truth whispered reaching its icy hand to rip off the self-made blindfold from her vision.  Taking one look at her daughter, Mrs. Oskell relented: defeated.  I know she whispered back.

Not long after, the whole household knew as well, and with much discussion and tearful nights, the Oskell parents finally agreed to preserve their daughter’s future over her soul.  Knowing not what they did, they took her to the hospital and rid her of the child.

Emily pondered the morality of such a thing, leaning against the bigger tree in her new found resting place.  Leaning her head back, she eyed the sky through the mangled branches.  As she stared up, her eyes lit upon a merging warped, wrinkled knot of wood.  Pushing tirelessly against the mother tree, the baby devoted all its minute strength to growing up; and all the while the mother pushed down.  Down.  Down.

Suddenly, scream of horror rang out from the house and Emily galloped inside.  Woman’s sobs filled the quiet kitchen.  Joseph spun towards the youngest sister upon hearing her enter the house.  With a ferociousness Emily had never experienced from her brother before, he pushed her back into the living room shielding her eye sight from the unthinkable which manifested itself in her very room.  But not even her brother could protect her ears from her mother’s cries of, “My baby, my baby, oh god what has she done, my poor, poor baby.”

Emily let herself sink into her brother’s strong arms.

“She’s dead, Em,” his voice croaked and, to Emily’s astonishment, she realized he no longer held her, but she held him.  “She ki… she killed herself, Em”

Emily squeezed her brother with quiet desperation.

“I know,” she whispered back clutching him.  Her eyes alighted to the trees out her kitchen window.  Once again, it looked as if the mother simply wrapped around the baby, rather than push her into the ground.  Father, forgive her.  For she knew not what she did Emily prayed turning her eyes to the night sky.

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A Cynical Soul

Who are those who do not wonder?

My mind must be shallow

For I do not see how the world can ever repay the debt it laundered

In piece by piece, disappointment by disappointment, we spit on what the once hallowed

God save our cynical souls

God God God why have you let us be less than whole

He is dwarfed by the destruction we magnify in our minds

And in anger we kill all those of our own kind

Hate, hate, hate is the world’s chosen god

Christ warns us we will become charred

Oh cynical soul, do you like the world now?

You have believed yourself into defeat, to your own ambition you will bow

You dreamed your road to hell

In your bed you must dwell

Don’t cry to me you sixties child

You selfless, yet selfish bastard

You have been left without father, let your fear tame your wild

You did not humble yourself to your good Master

And did not believe for a better future

You have dreamed yourself to death

In calling yourself mature

Your mother’s arms are thorns and your fatherly wisdom meth

Do not tell me of the pain of your bed of nails

You made your jail

Do not cry to me cynical soul

It is not in my heart to listen to you oh cynical soul

  • A. Inge

Porcelain Hands

Cold, porcelain hands wrap my own

And an old tooth smile meets my gaze

You reap what you sow

But I have been much too blessed

I’ve seen more red sun sunsets than

A prairie dog driving west

I never dreamed I’d say goodbye

But here I am, alone on a Friday night

And sometimes it’s just enough

But those porcelain hand keep remind me

A little dirt on a road

And a sandy haired boy

A stick carved sword

And I won’t forget her smile or the dreams she gave me

I won’t forget the Oak that protected me

Nor the creek which washed me

Don’t ask me about my home

Cause nothing I’d say would ever make sense

I might just cry or I might just ramble

But those porcelain hands remind me who I am

So kiss your babies and thank God for another day

Porque este dia es el Dias

Howl with the moon

And laugh with the stars

Everything else will work itself out.

Don’t you worry your pretty little heart

*A. Inge

A Road

A twisted road leaves no room to think

One foot upon another, no room to ponder

Curving with every new scene, in journey we wonder

Around the dirt the mocking trees link

Skittered branches and crunched leaves

On the fallen we tread

To be called beast, yet it is to their honor we weave

So they may never really be dead

A gravestone, shrouded by growth

Will make my feet stray left

Or take a valiant swing right with an oath

Protective women hold Beth

But with a jostling tune (for children do not fear)

Youth entices them ahead and gleefully yells

Twist! Shout! Come heist king and reign!

Jump the bramble and kiss her good!

Chase and gleam, my dears!

For she entices them ahead. Ahead!

Till they can not keep up but fall to become leaves and branches

But still the road twists on and on

Carving, dancing, and even disappearing

Into a peaceful clearing

Still… do not delay love! For we must run on with the road! On and on!

Remember children, be kind to all you meet

For peace will dress as chaos and come to kiss your cheek

And love disguised as anger

Will take her pale fingers

Plunge them into your heart till only a ghost of you remains

The road will not possess mercy for path cutters and cheats

For this is his domain

So err not my son

With each twist and curve continue- for it is the only road

Till dust doth hale your soul to heaven or hell

For not even the wise withered eye may see beyond the bend

And it is only one hand we hold

To make it to the end

* A. Inge.

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