Black Sheep, you are different not undesirable; misunderstood not disreputable. Honor is a power of the heart not a reflection of surroundings or surrounding attitudes. Your heart is strong. You do not fail, you climb. Failure is for those who do not move their hooves. Your hardy little even-toed hooves go, go, go! You ascend at your own pace. If you trip, you bleat, but you try again. Resilience. Among the scrutinizing eyes of your compeers I feel your pain, and yet I applaud—for there is no shame in being who you are or what God made you. No embarrassment, only delight. No shame, only honest pride. Some look at you and see deviation from the flock. I see straightforwardness.
Black Sheep, you are beautiful, and as you should be.
Hello. My name is Tessa. I’m 43 years old and I’m a geek. I doubt that I’ll change. While I can broadcast other public images, at the end of the day I revert back to my natural shyness and hide well. I choose comfy sweats and fluffy socks over silk or lace, little to no makeup, plant my nose in a book every chance I get – sometimes giving imaginary worlds as much precedence as the real one. Some days I favor the company of pets over people—a sentiment that began before I started school—I was born this way! Popular sports lover? Eh, not so much. I've never bought into the mainstream outlook that athletics is what makes a person significant or worthy. Contrary to what others have said they believed about me, really ritzy things make me uncomfortable. Also, I may have danced gracefully, but offstage I can be a klutz (I didn't retain the nickname “Boom Boom” for nothing).
And, doggone it, I like me!
If you’re a geek, but for different reasons—that’s all right! We don’t need to unite. And we’re okay with that.
Then there are the children of geeks.
There are generations of us. The madness won’t stop. I hope it never will. Welcome to my glorious geekdom!
Genre literature can span across soaring scenes and dark conflicts, uplift and challenge. In a sense, it is all-encompassing. However, it probably should be viewed upon as individual art. Same goes with music and performance. Tools of communication, nourishment for the soul, artistic expression or entertainment—it all has value.
I've come to the conclusion that no matter what we do, act on, express, absorb, it’s "For in him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28). I listen to music that personally appeals to my tastes and inspires/feeds the artist in me. My library is eclectic because I never know what I’ll discover beneath a book cover—and I find that exciting. I study the Bible and faith-based material because I get to know the nature of God who made and loves me. And although my dance shoes are long retired, I can move in a variety of styles at will. Yet while I do these things, I trust and ask that the Holy Spirit will convict me if something is displeasing. Still, not everybody understands.
Our steps are ordained by the One who lays them out. No two steps are the same, our tastes vary, and our individual wiring is altogether different. What might be right for one person might not be for another. We are each on our own path and need to listen with our own ears, yet we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the race of life. This is a mystery. We might operate poles apart, but we are each needed to make a whole.
I couldn't sleep. I guess my nerves were on edge. I felt unsettled about the condition of the world, the state of society, a broken political climate becoming sicker at an alarming rate. Peace, kindness, understanding…forgiveness; a culture without blatant double standards. Where had they gone? When had everything become so complicated within and without? Had a veil covered my vision all along and the unfavorable things existed yet were hidden from my eyes? Or have things, on the whole, truly made a turn for an all-time low?
Before sunrise I stepped outside of the house, consumed with restless thoughts, believing that a bit of fresh air might be good. Under the blanket of a night sky, I glanced up and was struck by the brilliance of the stars. Then it dawned on me that it had been a very long time since I had observed the stars. It used to be a bit of a pastime. What even happened to that diversion? Maybe the change occurred in me, went unnoticed. I had forgotten to appreciate the simple things.
I stood there outdoors, inhaling deeply over and again—I couldn't get enough!—and admired the infinite space, the sparkling lights, each a kind of promise, a reminder that out there, the heavens, is so much greater than anything in my little realm. The Maker of those stars is in control. If he can create and handle all of that and more, he can help me manage the issues of today - issues that seem transitory in the greater scheme of life. A gaze at the stars left me with the profound wish to return to the simple things. How effortless, and yet how beautiful and healing…one upward glance.
Women hold secrets. Even if you think they don’t, they do. Planted deep within the wells of a woman’s soul hush-hush lingers.
While God knows the inner and outer workings of my heart, the only living creature on earth who knows all my secrets is the cat. Therefore, my cat is granted diplomatic immunity and cannot be prosecuted for any action. It’s hardly fair and seems rather unreasonable. I don’t know why it is the way it is, except that I feel safe with him, the cat. I realize that if he went under the duress of interrogation (and he has), my surreptitious vault is safe and will ever be. You see, we have an understanding, the cat and I. So, from all women out there who share this clandestine indulgence, let me hear a “¡Viva el gato!”
Oh. Well then, perchance I might have had an audience with Rainer Maria Rilke who expressed, “I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” Instead of moving ahead of my time I might be lagging behind in a wish to commiserate with literary predecessors. Ha!
I’m aware I give the cat too much importance yet can’t seem to help myself. It’s both a weakness and a need (stupid cat). Therefore, his diplomatic immunity is a requirement. No questions asked.
At times I've been asked why I dream and word-paint so much in metaphorical pictures. It’s the language I've known since I can remember! In some situations, times, or events, dreams are the only thing a person has, until “I have always been” knocks at your heart’s door with the proclamation, “I am here, seek no longer.” Open that door and things can happen.
There’s a saying, hope deferred makes the heart ache. Be it from a disappointing reality, a lost search for a part of one’s soul, an unfulfilled goal, or an indirect path.
I’m a whimsical dreamer and forever will I be. Because of hope. Because a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
I’m in love with things that are different and unconventional, drawn to mysteries, secrets, and intrigue. While anything open and superficial has little sway.
Yet, as a writer, sitting in the wake of mainstream choices and actions, I hear, “Do this!—everybody else is doing it.” A good sport, I’ll often respond, “Okay, sure.” Many things I will give a virgin try. But I often find, in my attempts, I only circle, end up back at square one, and wonder why I had embarked on an overly crowded journey in the first place. Especially when I’m in love with things different and unconventional. Toss in a bit of philosophical, well then, I’m at home. Where does that leave this kind of writer in an open, loud, and acceptance-seeking world?
“Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense.”—Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I saw a bird. Only it perched in a cage. And there it sat. Eternally, it seemed, with the dull reflection of bars in its sharp eyes. I wanted to set it free. But then I realized neither could it fly. For someone had clipped its wings. I leaned closer to discern that I knew this bird. Better than anyone.
Arbitrary moments wherein my heart will surely break charge me with a flick of happiness, a counsel that I’m still human. My heart is not stone. This elates me. Many times have words slipped past my lips in a hushed plea, "Guard my heart…”
Yet, life is often unkind. One can’t very well say, “Stop that!” and expect all that moves to grow still, all who breathes to listen. The universe has its own agenda. Am I powerless against it?
Arbitrary moments wherein my heart will surely break hurl me to blindly grasp for a single tendril of tenderness amid streams of unseen winds. My heart retracts enough I can take delivery of grace of gladness, even if a mere splash. I am, indeed, still human. This gifts me with the desire to risk it, my heart, over again.
The great equalizer arrived at the helm full of glory. Allowed in, permitted to stay. It snuffs, levels, and feeds its mouth—this machine enlarged by stolen properties. Shape is crushed, form reduced, a bird of prey’s wings clipped. Clipped! I never thought I’d see the day… And the enemy applauds—“Well, done!” it says, as I fall asleep and wither in my very own Hunger Games.