hero | five minute friday

“I wanna be a hero,” she says, looking up at the teacher.

Second grade, career day.

“That’s nice, honey,” her teacher responds. “But what about a real job? What about a nurse, or a teacher, or an astronaut?”

“I wanna be a hero.”

Pigtails, Iron Man mask, Thor t-shirt, Spider-Man shoes. She doesn’t care that she’s playing mix-and-match with the Marvel universe, she just wants to be a hero. Arms across her chest, cape at her back.

She wants to be a hero.

———-

“Mama, I want to be a hero.”

She looks down at him, smiles.

“That’s a great thing to be,” she says. She finds a cape for her five-year-old, helps him make a mask.

“What’s your superpower?” she asks. “Do you think you could try and help the world with kindness? You would be a wonderful superhero.”

He throws his fists in the air and zooms around the room, whooshing his cape behind him as he saves stuffed cats from windowsills and Lego men from a burning building.

———-

He sits beside her bed, both his hands clasping hers. Staring down at the shell of the woman who used to be his mother. He knows that he doesn’t have much time, that the cancer has eaten her away, that he needs to say goodbye.

But when her eyes open and she smiles up at him, it’s like she’s never changed. Same mom who cheered him through five-year-old dreams and high school football games and college classes.

And as her eyes slip closed again, he whispers,

“You’ve always been my hero.”

——–

it’s five minute friday, where we write for five minutes, no editing, no second-guessing. maybe a little second guessing. a certain someone keeps telling me to write fiction, so here you go. join us at Lisa-Jo’s, won’t you??

unfold. unmake. undone.

“I want to unfold. Let nothing in me hold itself closed. For where I am closed, I am false. I want to be clear in your sight.” – Rilke

with His breath in my lungs, I am coming undone.

this is where I need to unfold: in the deepest parts of me. in my heart + soul + spirit. in my mind and strength and lungs. in all the doors I slam shut and bar closed.

in all of me. in the painful. in the ugly. in the bruised. in the ashamed. in the prideful. in the sinful.

this is where I want to unfold – to open up – to reveal. to be revealed.

to let His breath down deep into my lungs. filling up my limbs. flinging doors wide. unmaking, remaking.

Abba, I will unfold the ugly to Your redeeming grace. and trust that in its place you will cause beauty to unfold, blossoming in those dark-deep parts of me.

flowers from dust.

in my heart + soul + spirit.

in my sinful. shameful. prideful.

(can this be? ashes to beauty? this, what a miracle.)

and I will be clear in Your sight.

His breath. my lungs. oh, I am coming undone.

 

———–

this was written from a prompt in Story Sessions. lyric from the David Crowder Band song, You Are My Joy.

messy mediums & soul sentences.

words are a messy medium.

you get it right, sometimes. but you get it wrong more often than not.

so why?

it’s like scraping sentences off your soul, sometimes. shedding skin and offering it up on a silver platter.

here i am. 

it hurts, sometimes, many times. to find the truth you thought you had hidden well away in your heart worm its way out through the pen in your hand. your own hand betrays you, sometimes. you’d much rather keep those words, those words, locked up inside. where no one has to see, where you don’t have to confront it.

it’s hard honesty. but it’s also healing.

it’s brave-taking and brave-giving.

it’s in the writing, the lines on the pages, i get a glimpse of myself. it’s fighting for who i am, who i want to be.

it’s a heart that beats in ink, breath that comes in lined pages.

and somedays i want to throw away the pen, place the journals under lock and key.

but i keep. coming. back.

and i’ve written about this before, yes? there’s almost an embarrassing amount of posts about writing on this blog.

but it’s been on my mind a lot lately, what with the month of writing and then the month-turned-two of not writing, and now here i am with pen in hand again, scribbling syllables down, losing and finding myself in the words.

and i’ve been asking these questions of myself. why do i write? who do i write for? what do i want to write about? what are my words for? where am i going with my writing?

and maybe, just maybe, i’m daring to dream dreams. dreams that involve words. and probably tears, because i think the best dreams probably do.

so pardon, if you find words-about-words here in this space. because i write to find my path through things, and i’m currently stumbling my way around the forest of my thoughts on writing.

(i’m also into questionably constructed metaphors. bear with me.)

and i’ve been making myself stop. stop writing words about words, hannah, because you’ve been there done that and goodness, enough already.

but this is where i am.

this is what i’m walking through.

and i want to let you walk through it with me, if you’d like.

so welcome to my forest of words and thoughts and questionable metaphors.

encouragement | five minute friday

If you hear something enough, you start to believe it.

I don’t think that’s a surprise to any of us. We women – and men – we’re living in a world that tells us that we’re not good enough. This world tells us, yells at us, screams it in our faces. Oh, and they whisper it in our ears, too. They hide it in sweet smiles, but those lies still worm in.

You’re not good enough. You’re not enough. You. Are. Not. Enough.

And I start to believe it. I start to tell it to myself.

You’re not good enough.

This is why we need to encourage. We need to shout, yell, scream it out. We need to speak the truth from rooftops (and twitter). We need to drown out the lies.

You told me I was brave when I felt so small. You called me a writer long before I felt that I could claim that word. You said I was beautiful, when I measured beauty in inches and pounds. You said eshet chayil, when I felt the furthest from valor. You told me that I am beloved, redeemed, renewed. You named me courageous, strong, bold, loving.

You told me again and again. And if you hear something enough, you start to believe it.

You told me that I had a voice, a story, words to offer.

I want to find them again.

Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t.

——————-

on Fridays, Lisa-Jo gives us a word and we write for five minutes and talk about words and nutella over at the #fmfparty. (this wasn’t a five minute post. don’t hate.) last night happened to be a #jointhestory twitter party, which I totally crashed, and then a bunch of crazy writing ruffians loved my socks off. basically, what I’m saying is: there’s a lot of grace happening on twitter, if you know where to look.

 

all I can do.

It’s a new year. New start.

And I want to promise a new me, a better me. I want to tell you that 12 months from now I will be the improved version of me. I want to-do lists and goals and 12-step plans to make a better me.

But I can’t promise that.

Because I can’t make myself better. I can try and strive and fight but it ain’t gonna work.

All I can do is follow You.

Wherever You lead. Whatever may come.

I don’t follow well, though. Especially when I can’t see where I’m going and right now I can’t see a single thing.

But He will be near. He’s promised that already, a hundred times over. He is near and He will be near, always, forever, amen.

So teach me the path, Lord. Teach me to follow.

New year. Same me.

But He is the same, too.

———————-

so I’m doing this thing called OneWord. basically: one word. no new year’s resolutions. just one word, one word to shape your year, your growth and learning. my word this year, in case you couldn’t tell, is follow.

fight | five minute friday

I get tired. Tired of fighting.

(Hey, I’m gonna talk about dance for a second here, kay? Cause you may or may not this, but I’m a dance major and it’s been a huge part of my life since I was like 6 and I generally try not to write about this, because I feel like sentences that say stuff about how dancing is like breathing or something are super cliche, but you know. It’s also kinda real.)

But back to the point: you have to be a fighter, when you’re a dancer.

You have to go into that audition and fight, you have to fight for the job or the college acceptance or the part, you have to fight to be noticed and hired. There’s that, but it’s not that, not all the time.

Every single day, you have to fight. You have to walk into the studio and fight your lack of turn-out or your low extension or the fact that you’re not a natural turner. You have to fight through the pain and tired and sore. You have to fight your way, every minute you’re in the studio and many minutes when you’re outside it, to being the best dancing you that you can possibly be.

And you gotta fight hard. And maybe it’s cliche to say that you leave it all on the dance floor, but that’s how it works. And when you walk away, knowing that you’ve given every single bit of strength in your body and every single emotion running through your veins and you’ve got to get up again tomorrow and do it again, and again, you fight.

I get tired of it. Tired of the fight. Tired of feeling like I fight, so hard, for everything I want. Tired of fighting to be better, to be stronger, to be faster. Tired of fighting so hard and feeling like I’m not getting anywhere.

It’s exhausting, sometimes. Knowing you’ve given every bit of strength and feeling, still, like you’re not giving enough. Like you’re not fighting hard enough. But all you can do is walk out, knowing you’ve given every bit of strength you had, and tomorrow you get to do it again. You can do it again and you can fight a little bit harder.

——-

five minute friday is back, y’all. lisa-jo baker, one word, five minutes, and a twitter party involving fighting wombats. don’t ask. you know to want to join it, though.