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as i was

  • This. This is a half-breed: half poem, half blog…sorta like the feelings i had in this long journey. 
  • This. This poem-blog has not been easy to share. I’ve procrastinated and procrastinated until the SQUEEZE got tighter and tighter. (Oh yes, the Holy Spirit can get quite PERSUASIVE and has Her means and methods of “persuasion” – the most notable being the withdrawl of peace.That is what happens when we stray from being aligned with God.)
  • This. This poem-blog is a summation of a large part of my journey the past dozen or so years. 
  • (Originally I was going to call it “ethnic cleansing”, but opted not to due to the sensitive nature of such a title.)

Here we go.

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • It was all about the preservation of tradition and the emblem
  • I was your loyal subject and object in this world wide harem
  • Those who left were considered the worst of felons
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did and caused a rebellion

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • Your precepts-prescripts-postulations were the rule of unspoken law
  • To not obey them was the ultimate chutzpah!
  • And an unforgettable-unforgivable cultural faux pas
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did and escaped your tight jaws

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • I lived and breathed to your cadence 
  • Your ways were my ultimate commandments
  • It was the utmost of treason to question or abandon your reason
  • And yet, somehow-someway i did, discovering a new credence

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • You, I had revered, deified, and venerated
  • Your ancient truths, my life dictated
  • Those not complying, with laughter and shame into submission were truncated
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i was liberated

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • Your teachings and ways were hallowed scripture to which I had strictly and with sincerity and severity adhered
  • Those who did not, received little or no clemency
  • They were whispered about for their blasphemous heresy 
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did leave this ‘us vs. them’ tyranny 

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • I had been your faithful daughter 
  • By you, every fiber of my being had been authored 
  • I trusted you, even while being led to the altar 
  • There was no turning away, no escaping the set in stone halter
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did and sail instead into the Living Waters

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • You were my world wide family 
  • Wherever I travelled, with you I united in solidarity happily 
  • To walk away from your secure fortress and leave your spiritual calvary
  • Was nothing short of moral bankruptcy 
  • It was audacity, agony, and insanity 
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did with much gravity and totality 

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • You brought me immense and immeasurable joy, pride and identity 
  • The thought of leaving you was unthinkable, unfathomable, unconceivable,
  • unspeakable, and definitely not in my destiny 
  • (or so i thought and fervently proclaimed)
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did depart from living ethnically 

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • You had woven your spirit into the essence and fiber of my being 
  • It was through your lens that all of life I was seeing and perceiving
  • To not be an expression of you was beyond believing
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did find a new identity and meaning

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • I thought your rule and dominionship was etched in eternal stone 
  • Your ecclesiastical imprint had been in the marrow of my bones 
  • I was a perfect clone and drone
  • The detachment and sterilization process, oh how much I did moan
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did reclaim and become my own

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • The thought of leaving your  safety mantle was incomprehensible 
  • It was criminal and despicable
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i did the inexplicable 

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • Your voice reigned supreme in my mind, being and heart
  • There was no one else I would consult 
  • You had the answers for all of life’s stops and starts
  • And yet, somehow-someway, i began to slowly instead rely on the Holy Spirit

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • A time came when,
  • Upon this  spiritual awakening of mine, like Jacob how I wrestled with you
  • Would you let go in me what you projected as true
  • We tousled, we tumbled, we squabbled for years with these truths through and through
  • Oh so many times I cried and cried as I let another part of you go 
  • And yet, somehow-someway, my little i prevailed over the ego into the soul’s coup

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • Once upon a time…
  • You loved me. And you still do. This I know for sure.
  • Yet, God said, “I Love you more.
  • Come. Follow Me. Trust Me. Sail away with Me from the known shore.
  • I will give you life, ABUNDANT LIFE, so that your mind, heart, creativity and spirit may breathe and soar.”
  • And so with much joy and trepidation I stepped outside the cage door

 

  • Oh my formerly dearly beloved and venerated ancestors 
  • A time came when I began asking myself:
  • Who would I be if I were not defined by you?
  • Like a kept bird, do I dare fly out of this cage?
  • How would i spend the holidays?
  • What would give my life meaning and purpose?
  • What if I flew out of the cage and wanted to come back but having tasted freedom i could live neither here nor there? I then would be in a perpetual state of nowhere land.

 

  • Oh these questions both exhilarated and terrified me to the core.
  • Had someone told me years ago that I would be writing this poem,
  • well…I’da laughed them silly right outta town.
  • For, my commitment to you and your ways, my ancestors,
  • was solid, strong, unwavering, and set in eternal stone. 
  • Or so I thought, loved, prayed, ate, socialized, conjoined, lived, and professed.

 

  • No storm
  • No tribulation
  • No trial
  • No test
  • No heartache
  • No betrayal could nor did sway my commitment ship.
  • I was a raging bull on a mission to preserve all things ethnic.
  • Yet, preserved food is not an alive food.

 

But You, O Love found my achilles heel. All it took was a single drop of Divine Love, and my life was redirected on a new trajectory, to the surprise of all, and especially me.

Giving you up, letting you go, releasing my identity, surrendering my future dreams, detaching from my idea of me and others’ definition of me has been the most heart wrenching journey that I have taken in my life. 

For a long time, years and years and years, I felt like an astronaut who had been untethered from their mother ship and was floating around aimlessly and nowhere in the vastness, emptiness and blackness of being no one and belonging nowhere.

And yet, I could not go back, for I no longer belonged there, I was no longer that person, I no longer fit in that puzzle.

My soul grew beyond the expectations of my identity. The expected identity began to feel like a straight jacket upon my being. I was beginning to not be able to breathe. The more I grew, the tighter the straight jacket felt. 

Yet,

Who was i, if I was not my ethnicity?

Was there life beyond the tribe and ethnicity?

What if after I detached I would float around in the black voidness of eternity, always living in the gap of no-where and no-one.

Who are you when you are no longer the person you have always been?

Yes, these had been the very real fears of the bird in the cage with the open door. Even though the cage was confining, it was at the very least safe. Yes, the cage was safe and provided a safe haven from the BIG WORLD.

But in actuality and in hindsight, I now see that God had already opened the door and prepared a place of belonging. But it took me years to recognize it, realize it, accept it, and embrace it. I had been so focused on what I had left behind and the fear of the unknown, that I did not even see or comprehend that I was already putting down roots and becoming a new. The process of sorrow and grief had prevented me from fully embracing the new sense of self and community. The journey of working through my fears and just getting from one day to the next kept me from seeing that I was planting roots in a community. 

 

  • It is truly by the Grace of God, the ABUNDANT GRACE of God that 
  • I am alive
  • I am sane
  • I did not check out (even though there were times I did not want to go on)
  • I did not overdose (meaning that I turned to prayer and spirituality as coping methods rather than a substance or a person)
  • I did not run away or off with someone (even though such opportunities had presented themselves to me).

 

  • Who or what defines me now? That is a daily journey of discovery and blossoming as a Child of God, in the likeness and image of God, prepared by God.
  • God is the ultimate Lover of our Souls and Giver of Life.

 

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and God’s Righteousness,

and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Jesus,

the leader and perfecter of faith

 

  • Irena As I Am, A Child of God & Mudryk The Great
  • November 4, 2019 In the Year of Our Love