Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I wrote this when I was going through it a while back. I like the word it because it's so vague. Even though it doesn't specify exactly what it was that I was going through, you can rest assured that I was certainly in the midst of it.

So yeah, it's nice to be able to hide behind the word it.

Anyway, it's a little crazy, but who isn't sometimes? Who doesn't struggle with doubt, with unrest within themselves? And if you don't, please leave your URL cause I'd love to see proof of a perfect life somewhere out there.

But here you go:

I keep seeing myself taking my skin off. Just like you'd peel off your wet clothes, I take off all my skin, fold it up neatly, and tuck it away in a drawer. I don't leave my skin all over the floor; I put it away, just like my mom taught me.

And it's so easy, so simple. Because now I walk around, just bones all bleached white, knocking together like teeth chattering on a January day. And when he tells me he doesn't love me anymore, it makes sense.

Of course he doesn't love her,' they all whisper, 'She's just a pile of bones, after all.'

(disclaimer: nobody had told me that, but I was feeling sad and that's what came out at the time)

And as I was fishing through old things I had written, my mind got caught on something else that talked about bones. Something sad, yes, but better.

And I'll take better.

This is from the Storybook people. And if you haven't heard of them, I think it's high time you embark on a google search with that name.

I remember we sat in the swing on the front porch & as the dusk came on us like a song, dark throated & sweet, he told me about the beginning when we had bones of light & hair that burned like the sun & I asked what happened then? & I felt him floating there in the soft dark & finally he said we forgot & I said I never would, but sometimes I do & I understand now why he put his arm around me & said nothing more.

So there you go, a theme of bones.

And I can feel the First Voice very close sometimes, wriggling for attention, making me want to crawl out of my skin. But then there are quiet, wouldn't-trade-this-for-the-world moments when I hear the Second Voice. The one that talks about the beginning. Of beautiful bones that burn like the sun. Of something glorious that is buried somewhere deep in humanity's collective consciousness and is ours for the taking.

Not easily, true.
But it's there.
It's clean and it's good and it's what made God paint the sky with stars rather than take the cheap route of fluorescents because Home Depot was having a sale. See the thing is, Home Depot is always having a sale and we're always meant for something better. Not cheap, not fast, but better. I know this; it's a whisper in my soul that tells me the story doesn't end on this minor note, that there's a victorious resolution and until then, he'll show me why the blue notes are so beautiful.

And like that Second Voice, I don't want to forget these things.

But sometimes I do and that's when God is right next to me, reminding me with an arm dropped on my shoulder. A push on a swing that feels too big and too lonely to ever get very far at all in this vast and daunting sky.

And in the meantime I will be keeping my skin on.


kathiek said...

Beautiful, Jess. I'm glad you are keeping your skin on, but I am honored you would peel back the layers a bit and let us get a glimpse of the inner you. Bless you.

Sarah said...

Jess..this is so beautiful. thank you for sharing your are beautiful..inside and out..

James Ricardo The Actor said...

Skin on are off, I still Love you! Beautiful writing Jess!!!

Nina said...

Jess...Welcome home...I've missed everything in the blog world lately, but I'm glad I came by today and read this. Beautiful. You are such a wonderful writer.