Sunday, January 12, 2014


{photo by Rachel}
there's nothing like the word "catalyst" finding you during a vulnerability hangover.

it's one of those "mysterious ways" kind of circumstances where you really just want to draw away from the world and from the eyes that are peering in at you through your literary fishbowl. that's what writing is, in a way. it's being a fish in a tank, and people are staring, and sometimes they ignore the sign that says, don't tap on the glass; it frightens the fish.

people like to tap anyway.

writing is the epitome of vulnerability. there's that quote by Red Smith :: there's nothing to writing. all you do is sit down at at typewriter and open a vein. and we chuckle and shake our heads in that funny way we do when something is true and it amuses us. but then, all of a sudden, it's not so catchy and amusing anymore when you poured yourself out and you're a little weak and wan and woozy and the little glass of orange juice just isn't cutting it.

it's that thing of wandering into Smaug's mountain and realizing that I haven't brought a sword at all.

and then comes that word, glaring big from the upper right-hand corner of the sermon notes. catalyst. it's a perfect pairing with my word for 2014 :: precipice. 

a person or event which causes quick change or action. 

I've been writing big brave scary words already, twelve days into 2014. and it's left me feeling like I'm outgrowing my comfortable skin, like I caught myself sipping a little too much of Alice's drink me potion. it's growth, and it's intense, and it hurts. 

{photo by Rachel}
but there's something causing quick change and action. and it's not me. I'm not powerful enough for that, not on my own. I'm shedding all the garbage that's been collecting all over me, cleaning all around the battery connection cables that tie Him and I together. I can feel the glowing, the arcing when He and I meet.

and this is what makes the thrashing all worth it, every last bloody filth-plastered moment. 

sometimes it takes an emptying of words to realize you have so many left. sometimes it takes a visceral precipice looming up straight ahead for me to remember that His breathing is more buoyant than wings.

because it's because of feeling so completely stripped raw, down to nothing at all with barely even my own skin to keep me warm, that I can find myself sharing story -- my story, your story -- and breaking bread with dragons. 


  1. Oh, Rachel. Your words always blow me away with the reality, beauty, and bravery behind them. Including that recently published poem of yours.

  2. Breaking bread with dragons.
    I feel like you should publish your wild adventure into the untamed world of Holy and Higher Up, and title it "Here There Be Dragons."
    Because there are. But He has made us Fireproof.
    Lady, I needed this spur this morning. Thank you-- praying for you, always.

  3. That right there, is truth. And those words, are God-given, for the journey I'm on in 2014

  4. I'm with you, Rachel. In my dreams, so many times. I've stepped or even leaped off the edge of a precipice. It's always risky, daring, but always protected and safe in the end. I woke up one morning, recently, with the phrase, "Take a quantum leap," which is a "sudden, dramatic change" so your word, "catalyst" - which is an agent of such change... is especially meaningful to me.

    Keep charging forward, Rachel, and take those leaps, bounds, and daring steps off the precipice.... you're never alone!

  5. we are just the agents of the can be a pretty wicked ride as well...this is goign to be a very good year for you...


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon