I loved studying Anne Bradstreet in school. One, because she was a Christian and I could relate to the views shared through her journaling and poetry. And two, because she journaled and wrote poetry, and for many of the same reasons I do. I stumbled upon her when I was trying to figure out the whole point in journaling and the role it played in my faith. Journaling can often feel pointless, filling notebook after notebook, sometimes wishing nobody would ever peek, and other times desiring to share a treasure we've authored. In a letter she wrote to one of her children explaining why she journaled, she said she hoped they could gain some wisdom from her writing somehow, even if it was simply "what not to do." When I read that it clicked for me that a major part of why I journal (through prayer, regular journaling, this blog, any writing I do really) has a lot to do with sharing wisdom and things God has shown me to others. Anyways, I really enjoyed one of the poems I came across in this collection today, and was pleased to see it was by my Mrs. Bradstreet. :) I have to share.
A bit of a random switch in genres, but B got me Listener's album, Wooden Heart, today. It gave me hope that this white girl could learn to rock some spoken word. (Anybody who knows what spoken word is also knows how ridiculous I would be attempting it.) Again, their writing just left me in confusion as to how someone could come up with lyrics so clever and creative. Here is my favorite from the album. It's called Seatbelt Hands.
She's the kind of lady that calls everybody baby
Honey sugar sweetie she's always making friends
And she keeps us all locked outside her thick leather skin
She always starts with a smile it's small and butter yellow
But easier than a handshake doesn't like her hands touched
She tans alot gets burnt alot smoking through the cartons
But then gets put out so much she's considered a bargain
She was born on the fourth of july with her hand on her heart
Loves america & being patronized no one ever told her to guard her heart
She was an angel for halloween once but never again
And for christmas ever year she's haunted by demons
They always tell her they love her.
She used to believe in innocence until she lost it
And spent a long summer riding the trains
She has cats and collectors plates to keep her sane
Watching tv in her favorite chair...both of which are rented
She's alone and surrounds herself with loners
Her life is a loan lent out
Waiting for the night to sweep her off her feet while she mops the bathroom floor
Hoping for a winning ticket or a man to treat her right
But they're both a gamble and she's been a loser all her life
And if she had a nickel for every time she's been punched and kicked
She'd put it together with her camel cash try to buy some happiness
They always tell her they love her but then they take something from her.
She would always show us her dreams
They were crumpled up like leaves from holding on too tight
Scattered in her shoebox coffin on the cardboard walls covered in butterflies
She's got love in her heart for her babies and hope in her mind for tomorrow
And blood on her hands that only she sees holding the last bit of time that's borrowed
But you never know where that heart has been and we'll never know how hard it's been
I wanna cut open my chest and let her in but that won't fix what needs to mend
And she stands there unlit cigarette in hand
Filling up that empty hole with anything that'll pour
Insides hanging out like a flare warning.
There's beauty in that pain can you see it?
She's crashing through life with seat belt hands
One accident away from a miracle
And there's an honesty there but i can't take it all in
She hides the worst of it in the wrinkles
That's the ache you get when there's no where else to go.
And she's got no where else to go she doesn't want to go there.
So i promise i'll go with her.
Can you say wow? How deep, truthful, yet brutal. As my fellow artist friend Nate says, "Your work is only as light as it is dark."