Black: A Poem About Hiding

It’s National poetry month, and I’ve resisted posting any of my poetry mostly because I’m don’t consider myself a poet. But as I reread this poem, it opened my eyes to a path I was tempted to walk again…this week. Even as I head into surgery in a few days.

Some explanation is in order, but I’ll be brief. This poem is a part a series based in colors. I pushed off saved the colors black & white until I’d done a host of others. Knowing myself, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, when the two starkest colors produced dark poems (Seriously. Who writes a dark poem about the color white?!). But I am surprised at how easily I fall into the habit illustrated here:

Black: A Poem about Hiding

Warm. Safe. Contained.
.      In the dark corner
.             I can’t see them,
.                   hear them,
.                          think about them,
.                               or deal, cope, hope.
.                                    I am mine
.                                                               Alone.
.                                    Narrow band of light
.                               from them
.                          peaks through,
.                    reaching.
.              Golden in promise,
.        deadly in delivery.

But I’m hidden
behind folds and corners.
Breathing darkness
the warmth of my own breath.
Hidden
Alone.

 

This poem’s sentiment is something I adopted as a kid and fight against as an adult—hiding from people. But I’m beginning to learn:

People aren’t always safe, but I miss something when I hide my true self. Tweet This

As I’m headed into surgery later this week, the desire to go into hiding is strong. I want to pretend it’s all okay, that I’ve got it all together. I’ve even cracked jokes and then went home and cried.

I promised myself I would be honest here. So I’ll say that putting myself out there has  been a successful experiment in some regards. The light from the other room fulfilling its golden promise. I found folks stepping up to help that I did not expect.

But boy, did it ever confirm what I’ve suspected in other places. And it hurts…and makes me want to find the nearest closet.

Here’s the thing I’m learning. Folks don’t know what they don’t know. We’re all hanging around in life—heads down; doing what we need to do. Those folks I expected to be there, they’ve got stuff. Just like I’ve got stuff. And you’ve got stuff.

And sometimes the stuff just gets all up in the way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty (if not more so) than anyone else. I’m truly not blaming them.

But it’s still there:

The desire to hide is all mixed up in hurt and hope.

So what’s a girl to do?

At the moment, my stuff (surgery prep and eventually post-surgery pain meds) prevents me from driving; lifting more than 10 pound; and doing, writing, or saying anything coherent. But part of coming out of the darkness is opening the door to the light of another’s presence.

So here’s my door open wide. Hoping the light will move from me to you. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Ode to In Between Places

Oh the places between here and there.

It’s not quite spectacular white winter or lush green spring. It’s that place where you’re not young or old. Neither starting nor finishing. We’re neither here nor there, but on our way somewhere.

If only I knew where somewhere was.

Continue reading “Ode to In Between Places”

Waves of Light

Pink waves roll over the dark sky,
Building, crashing into brilliant light—
Smashing into the night sky,
Shattering the darkness.

Some days I welcome the coming of morning. It’s a fresh new day ready for good things. But other days—perhaps when I’ve been in the darkness, the depths of hurt or confusion just a moment too long—the light blinds and hurts. Continue reading “Waves of Light”

How Control Creates Fear

Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don’t.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A few weeks ago I told you about the conversation jar my son brought home from school, and told you I’d be asking and answering some of those questions here. So, without further ado:

This week I pulled a rather “easy” question from the conversation jar: Would you rather dive off a high cliff into the ocean or do a book report in front of 500 kids?

In my current, adult, know-it-all state, I would choose the book report without thinking twice. I’m a bookworm, and always have been. But as a kid?

Continue reading “How Control Creates Fear”

Funneling Light


This little curl of colored wood broke off my front door wreath when I took it down. I set it on the windowsill intending to throw it away. But I couldn’t help noticing how the deep red captured and focused light.

The frayed edges nearly glowing under the sun. This everyday bit of junk, under the light, became something sacred.

And so it is with life. It isn’t a question of how much time I spend doing sacred, special things, but how I practice the mundane, boring, daily grind—the “secular” if you will. Do I focus the light?

Writing a Picture

I’m hanging out over on the Breathe Conference website today. If you’ve ever wondered where I get inspiration or words, this is the post for you:

Writing a Picture By Janyre Tromp

 

When Your World Seems Cold and Dreary…

Winter, at least in Michigan, has a reputation for being one color all the time. In case you’re unaware of the percentage of sunshine we had in January (somewhere below 0%), that color is grey.

The winter world does tend to be monotone—reflecting the color of the sky. But I noticed something recently. As the world wakes with even the slightest hint of light, the sky turns a royal blue. Continue reading “When Your World Seems Cold and Dreary…”

Never Eat Soggy Waffles—Wise Advice


A few weeks ago I told you all about the conversation jar my son brought home from school and told you I’d be asking and maybe answering some of those questions here. So, here’s the first of the bunch:

If you could give everyone in the world one piece of advice, what would you say?

Frankly, in the current political climate, that questions scares me. I thought about telling everyone to love one another or seek REAL truth no matter the cost. They’re good answers. But my 8-year-old gave the best advice. In his serious little man’s voice he said, “Never eat soggy waffles.”

At the risk of blowing off a serious question, it’s good advice. Soggy waffles stink. And sometimes we need to take ourselves a little less seriously, and give each other a little more grace.

I’d love to hear what your non-political answer to the question would be. And in the meantime, I’m wishing you a week where you give love and seek truth no matter the cost.

Beauty Behind the Macro Lens

There are times when life gets too big, my vision too full of debris and clutter that threaten to trap me. And I must focus small to get through. The macro shot bringing life down to leaf-sized, manageable pieces. There’s just something about the tight focus.

So I bring you the beauty in the small, tiny veins of a brittle leaf, the light caught in the edges of an evergreen needle, and the rich brown rings on a fungus. May these humble images bring you a moment’s joy for the week.


Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions

Rest. Stillness. Community.

These are all words that I’m struggling to define…to implement. At this moment in time, you and I are probably more “connected” to our world than ever before. We talk about online community building, even creating community in our churches.

And yet, so often, we feel completely alone.

Granted social media, the core of online connection, shows a version of “it”—that something we all need/want. But, if we’re honest, the parade of connection leaves us feeling a little hollow. Continue reading “Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions”