We love a cool pocket on something. But why? Not really for containing things because people like my professor who fill all of their pockets with phones and wallets and receipts and pens seem somehow slightly deformed and/or unhip. Yet, we crave them like caffeine. Crave them anywhere we can fit them. Pockets are fashionable. Like the pockets on these super slick black yoga pants and bulky army coats on the girls in my class, cool just because they create a sense that they might have a purpose for all of these extra-body boxes. Flesh so tight and soft that they needed more layers. Just clothes, just covering isn’t good enough. Their lives are so big they need extra space but the right kind. Pockets are controlled space, a buttoned, flapped, streamlined way of discretely adding volume without sacrificing figure. Carefully placed aerodynamic indications of extra volume that accompany their entrance into the room. Pockets are drama. But in practice, aren’t these just more places to heighten costs of superfluous garments? More places to dirty? More places to lose things? More places to hide secrets? Empty. Easy places to forget.
I’ve been putting too much pressure on my writing lately. It’s like I expect every single sentence I write should come out complete and expressive of exactly what I am thinking, but ultimately it just frustrates me and I compulsively bake some bizarre dessert or research careers in PR. It’s crippling. But recently, the good people of my life have forced me into some free flow spaces that stop me from focusing on those barriers and just let me explore what’s floating around my head. It’s hard in a way, to begin. But then I get going and all of these things start pouring out, and after I’m done I think I’ve just written my best work. It’s delicious. So, here’s where I pledge to do that more often. To make my mental wanderings a little shelf on the internet where they can live and even grow maybe if I let them.
Why not begin tonight right? As far as emptying my brain contents goes, tonight I reflected on my current reading material. Romans 6. You might have heard of it. Anyway, that’s what I’m sorting through at the moment, along with some poetry and some Margaret Atwood. This very small pocket of the very never-ending list.
Here’s the spillage:
Romans has provided the kind of basic field guide that I need right now. It’s a call to Christians to stop trying to pull our faith apart and start getting stuck to the most crucial tenants. It lays out the most important things to remember so that the getting lost in the world becomes easier. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, Romans is really a great counterpoint to the book I’m reading for poetry A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Both works are sort of personal letters to a larger audience. Both are maps someone’s understanding of faith or life or what have you. Both encourage you to be less afraid to live & try new things.
I have a lot more writing to do about that before I know all that I want to know about the connection that I just made, so I will get back to the reflectiony part here.
I think also it’s been really important to me that Romans is such a meaty, beautiful text. It’s full of all sorts of glorious soaring phrases and really up there imagery that gets right at your heart strings. It’s rich and daring. There’s no fear about making claims that are too much. It’s clear and yet its enormous. It is how I want to live and how I want to write and how I want to approach my faith. Reading this particular document has also made me realize how interested I am in reading similar accounts from Luther, Lewis, Bessey, etc. that could help me start to maybe account my faith in such specific, a thing that I have largely been unable to do ever.
Romans is jewel tones. It’s blood red, cobalt blue, gold, vermillion all shining out of the page in words that I learned forever ago, realized were gorgeous, and then forgot until I saw them embraced by these sentences again. I want to bathe in them like I do the light of stained glass windows. Romans is terrific. I wish I had been the lucky first Roman to receive this letter. I wonder what the Romans thought of it… I bet they knew it was wonderful.