vadarama

the digital home of Lauren Tyree


personal statement of faith

i trust the ground i walk on

won’t crumble under my feet

that i have much in common

with everyone i meet

i take no day for granted

but do not fear the end

once my seeds are planted

the harvest will come in


Guess What Happened Today?

Dear Diary,

Guess what!!!! The absolute LOVE of my life is a man named Peter. We traded nods of quiet recognition while crossing Bumble Street this afternoon in front of Milly’s candle shop, and he was to completely DIE FOR in his pressed suit, slick hair and handy hotel conference name tag. He even looked like a Peter with that hair and those white teeth. I suppose Peter, Jr. would have the same smile. Maybe he can fit into the same suit one day? Of course I’m kidding, but I WILL report back to you the very MOMENT I spot him again, maybe on the same street, and AFTER I propose marriage on the spot. Oh, you know I wouldn’t do that!

Smitten,

Dotty



Safe House

The secret to eternal youth

is a life of constant fear,

that snug shelter

in the storm

of uncertainty and change.

Warm, familiar

paralyzing and seductive,

it would like to keep you quiet,

protected

and dumb.


I Will Try Again Next Year.

Dear Diary,

I spend most of my time in harsh scrutiny of the past, and what’s left in the way of minutes and seconds is devoted to the tedious task of predicting the next little calamity I might cause. Clouded eyes rest in the realm of the real as mind drifts off to more utopian alternatives, so it’s hard not to stub the occasional toe.

They said these glasses would fix the “coordination complications,” but I haven’t observed any difference. It could be that I haven’t adjusted just yet. Or it could be the macular degeneration that, if I have it, will probably take my sight in ten years. I’ll have already learned to drive by then and would even be a legal drinker, at least in Canada and Europe. And I wouldn’t like it at all being blind.

Anyway, I was going to tell what Mom did when I kicked over the birthday cake today. Well, she ranted and pointed and couldn’t believe I’d done that sort of thing in the middle of the room, in front of all those potential guests who might’ve actually come to the party if only they weren’t purposely avoiding it. I’d really wanted that brown frosting spider on top (one spindly leg for each cursed year on this planet), but now he was in pieces on the floor. Of course, I couldn’t help remembering my late arachnid friend Moses, who lived in a tree behind the house until he dried up and underwent a careful dissection inside the bug magnifier I’d gotten a year earlier at a similar soiree.

But what I meant to say is that I’m punished now, for who knows how long, locked in my room without dinner or ice cream and bananas, all because I couldn’t fix my footing in time to prevent a pitifully predictable pratfall. Do you think that’s fair? I’d like to see her try the same if I were sick and faint with pneumonia or some kind of feverish vertigo. I do feel something like that coming on. And she should have read my embarrassment from across the couch. The puffy old sack was as bottomless as the bloody marys at her favorite breakfast spot; no heads were blocking her view. (Sometimes I think she lives to prosecute. It’s her rebellion against nature’s freak accidents.)

I know I should not have kicked that tall dessert like I worried I might. What I really should have done, and could have if I’d been able to see what’s in front of me like they’re always imploring, is meet a real friend or two or three last summer at the park. Ravenous guests would have compelled me to take care with my presentation and the placement of the food cart on which my vanilla mountain sat vulnerable and motionless before its sad collapse.

At a sort of bash like that, there’d be separate stations if I had anything to say about it- foods of the finger kind right next to the punch, cake safely obscured by a curtain until the big reveal. Once the song was sung and a balloon playfully popped as punctuation, we’d laugh and dig in without restraint because we all have a few remaining years of relative cuteness. (Mom herself doesn’t eat cake anymore.)

My point, diary, is this: I can’t always help tripping or falling, though I know I should know better by now. This is no pair of magic goggles, so I still ought to pay some mind. But no other day except this one could have happened today, and time doesn’t stop itself, not even for a miracle mutant child.

Until next time,

Davey


credo

the artist’s life is solitary

because she dreams on her own

her life

and her bones

belong to those nights

alone


Just the Ticket

consciousness feels like a massive rollercoaster

that i didn’t ask to board,

and i’ve no idea when the twists and drops will come.

but i’m strapped in;

it’s a chaotic order, where the

one and only sure thing is that

it will most certainly end.

since i can’t say when or how abrupt the stop will be,

i will not obsess or predict or turn my knuckles white

but relax and enjoy what’s left of the ride, instead.


On Solitude and Freethought

Back in high school, I chastised a close friend for embracing a new habit that brought much-needed tranquility to her life. “I’ve been learning how to meditate. It’s amazing so far.” she announced one night. The word sliced my gut with a dull razor. “Meditating! On what?!” I was as horrified as if she’d just admitted to torturing my family for sport. She jumped to defend her treasured practice. “On the silence! You just sit really still and start by repeating this word- ‘ soo-rah , soo-rah ’…” I winced and felt my body heat up. “Sura- like in the Koran ?! You don’t even know what it means; it’s demonic!” I lectured until she began to cry, and I felt too little remorse. As far as I was concerned, my clueless friend was standing at the altar across from Satan himself, and I wasn’t willing to forever hold my peace.

When you grow up entrenched in fundamentalist religion, you learn not to trust your own thoughts. Every fleeting sensation, every instinct of mind and body, is to be immediately scrutinized by your higher spiritual faculties. Your precious ruminations, critical opinions and profound epiphanies are worthless and even detestable in the face of an omniscient God. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, the true believer’s stance is made clear: “ We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ” No wonder I felt so justified in my intellectual arrogance. I’d agreed to replace my mortal knowledge with my Heavenly Father’s perfect wisdom. And since I knew my brain and heart were blackened filth apart from His grace, it was an irresistible offer.

But there was still that mercilessly unrelenting battle to keep my mind in service to the Spirit of the Lord. It wasn’t a one-time deal; you really did have to manually take each thought captive to Christ. And I, like most other high-strung kids, had plenty of unruly thoughts to wrangle. The last thing I wanted was to be left alone with the lot of them, defenseless and scared. I hated to imagine what might spring up if I gave them the chance to run free. After all, what did the godless think about? Murder. Deception. Pleasure. Self. These things were evil in equal measure. Meditating on anything other than scripture could only lead to untold spiritual and psychological torment.

Intense guilt accompanied my every errant thought, and I could only relieve the discomfort brought on by sin with the help of nightly prayer sessions. Prayer was my chance to grovel, to apologize for all the “worldly” junk that’d slipped through the cracks throughout the day, for my careless lapses in judgment and vigilance. Since not a single one of my mental images or lines of internal monologue had escaped my watchful Master, the confession bit was just a humiliating formality. Despite any preference I might have, He was the Holy Ghost in the machine, the Ruler and Judge Eternal. To purposely seek out a private corner of my own imagination would be futile, and back then I wasn’t so insolent as to try.

As a relatively new apostate, I still find the concept of freethought thrilling and taboo. It’s also a challenging exercise for the weak, a sweet nectar for those of us who were never allowed a taste. The very first step was accepting that I just might survive if left stranded with a psyche stripped bare of dogma. I couldn’t have predicted the personal reward in store. Where fear and anxiety once ruled with an unshakable furor, I have placed a still hope and abiding trust. As it turns out, this is no wedding dance with the Devil; it’s a gently evolving harmony of reason and intuition, a peace I never dared to conceive of. I can see why a jealous God would refuse to compete.






life was a waiting room

for a brand new frontier

guards at the gate with my name in a book.

earth was a crowded womb

where i napped through the years

assured of my fate by the vow that i took.


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