Saturday, December 24, 2005


i've never hung my hat on being appropriate. you can tell that in two seconds around me (whether irl or blog). but you know that if you're read me even once.

so my poetry book is in the final stages before publication (i am self-publishing). being read by dear souls who are willing to bless me with their kind concern.

i have written a few poems about the darkest days of my life on this earth. one, in particular, ponders suicide.

i have been told this is rampant self-pity and unbefitting a christian work. i am not sure if i agree.

i know judas is a lowsy comparison, but he offed himself in the Bible and we mention it and move on. perhaps because he didn't say a monologue in the to be or not to be vein it is well. he just hung himself or rolled off a cliff (and in mel gibson's movie it appeared demons drove him to it. very interesting).

but my dilemma is whether or not to run these poems in my collection. whether they are befitting an heir of righteousness.

i had some black self-piteous works early on in my days of healing that i trashed because i wanted that legacy to end and my children not to read it. somehow i feel this is different. i'm healed of much of the trauma of my youth, and now these battles i am fighting seem at times to be more for others than for me.

i ask the Lord why i struggle with depression, why i write about it, why i get the privilege as it were to pen these dark poems, and the reply i hear is,
because you can.
no sorry about how it makes you look. sorry about how you are percieved. just,
because you can.

often times in my great despair, or emotional throes i have lamented, why am i like this? and the reply,
for My good pleasure.

it makes me rethink every valley i've wandered, every dark thought i've fought off. it makes me think they might have a purpose. inexplicable though it may be to me, they might have a higher purpose.

i am asking the question, what is befitting my work now. one friend who has experienced depression agrees i need to leave them in. she has read the poems and knows me thoroughly.

my experience with christian art is canned happiness. the triumphant situations exclude me because i never did it right, never took the high road (i do sometimes now, but still i struggle immensely). when i was presented a big fat doobie i inhaled, i won't even pretend i didn't. there was so much i did wrong, and i'm not glorifying it, but saying, i hate to read about saints who don't have muddy shoes.

perhaps that is why henri nouwen has been such a great fount of wisdom for me lately. he clearly says,
i haven't changed. i'm afright. i can't do it on my own.
and that is the kind of honesty i need. that is the kind of honesty i want to live. and i want my work to convey that kind of honesty.

truth is often a painful friend. so my works will likely include the suicidal pieces because i think they need to be there. i know this will put me on the outs with some christians, but i am probably already on the outs with them anyway (and don't mind, actually).

i just want to convey a true piece of art. not something prettied up with triumph or smiley faces. that is not my life or me. ultimately the story is truimphant, but i guess like mary in those death shroud poems i'm writing, i just don't know how it ends. at least not yet.


TS said...


in your most recent post, here and on your poetry circle I sense a seeking. If you are interested you can see what I believe the Bible to say. look on my blog TSBeckett.


lindaruth said...

Suz,I think you are right to leave in poems that talk about the dark times. So many people are afraid to admit they ever have such times, but most of us do. It's encouraging to know we are not alone. There are feelings that only poetry can express -- keep writing for us.

Mirtika said...

I know for a fact there are many believers who have suffered and continue to suffer dark depressions. I have. I imagine I will again. I know there have been Christians passing through moments when suicide was tempting. Some did themselves in. Some like me made feeble attempts, before leaving that behind, though the darkness still visits from time to time.

I have had times of such awful tribulation that I begged God to kill me and put me outta my misery. He chose not to. I continued. But me and the Lord have had days when I howled at him, angry, frustrated, and He listened and didn't strike me dead all the same.

Grace is like that.

I think anyone who thinks a Christian artist, a poet, cannot fashion work that shows the pain of human-ness, the darkness and pain we can suffer in this place that is not the not-yet, well, that's a person who must be on some really good medication or has no clue. No clue at all.

I say write you dark poems when needed. And publish them. Because I know after the dark, you'll write the bright. And that's what being human is..there is low and high, dark and light, and eventually...

just light.

Write on, Poetess.