I want to share both a poem and a portrait that I finished, but I honestly just don't know how to begin this... So maybe, a brief preface as to why I created them.
All I know is that two years after our miscarriage I've seen 3 things more clearly:
- Art has been a blessing from God that has tremendously helped me center my thoughts and feelings back to God, and who I am in Him, when life is jacked up. It has given me a voice, despite not having the words.
- Sadness doesn't disappear over night. The main reason this comes to mind is that answers don't always come. It's sad to have something joyful and hopeful taken. And, at least in my experience, sadness has been fueled by my limitations--specifically in not knowing why.
- God will sit with you while you cry for as long as you need. He will not leave you, nor forsake you. People have a way of showing their discomfort by dismissing negative emotions. God is bigger. God holds his children when they're scared. When they're alone. When they cry.
So, first, why do a portrait of Johnny Cash? He's a hero of mine. Why? It's simple: he's aware that he's simultaneously broken and beloved. One of my favorite ideas from Cash was his desire to be the "man in black". In his song titled the same, he writes:
"I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times...
...Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.
I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men...
...Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black."
I know miscarriages happen, and others have endured them far better than I have. But to be honest, during these past couple of years, I've often felt like I've had nothing to offer others. However, that's not true. I have my sadness and my brokenness. I have the truthfulness of my pain. Sometimes that's all I have.
So, how is that beneficial to anyone? Well, it's a reminder to others that they're not alone. And what's more, by the grace of God, I continue to be sad with God, as opposed to cursing and leaving Him. We can be resolved to pursue Him despite our feelings.
I don't know... maybe none of this make sense. All I know is that I can be a man in black for others during this season of sadness. So, I wrote a poem that might seem dark, but is about resolving the spirit to keep facing the darkness and pushing through it, as opposed to letting it swallow you. And on that, my untitled poem:
The loss that has outlined this two-year plan
ushered with it torture and pining.
Equipped with nothing but desire in hand,
onyx chasms are where I'm now mining.
The darkness enslaves with a loveless grasp,
as I chip away at its empty.
My soul cries out, hands firmly clasped
around the nothing-axe that swings too limply.
My soul seeps blood from between its knuckles,
loosening the hold on my mind's pick.
Recinching my fingers, the void listlessly chuckles
as I commit to pierce deep into its quick.
"Keep swinging" it whispers, "Back down" it growls,
while my personhood feels lost in vain.
Visceral screams I utter deep from my bowels,
continuing to unearth its central vein.
It scoffs at my attempts to presume its reason,
as hope's been divorced from its speech;
The others, they claim, "tis only a season"
while its confusion for now is my mind's leech.
My soul hopes for a silver lining
to be unearthed from within this deep.
Undying is my soul toward finding,
that which wakes my joy from depression's sleep.
So then drink my life until you've had your fill,
for my resolve is steady and my focus true.
And deplete what you must in hopes to kill;
for it won't...
as I'll remain, refusing to unsee you.