Poetry: The Dead Art

I was sitting at a table with my peers, about to eat my lunch when I realized how far America has fallen.

Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but let me explain. I was sitting there, minding my own business and being a fly on the wall, per usual, when one of them brought up the question of teaching poetry in school. Of course, everyone stated their opinion and I was appalled.

At a table of ten teenagers, only one (me!) thought poetry was important.

In fact, the rest of the nine said that poetry is stupid and has absolutely no reason to it.

Now, why does that bother me, besides the fact that I wrote a published a poetry book? Let me take you back just a little bit over 100 years ago to the year 1917. America had just joined WWI, and tons of men were being shipped over the sea to fight.

Do you know what those men did once they came back?

Many of them became poets. An Englishman became one of the best known Christian writers of that century, another created a world with it’s own language.

Why do I bring this up?

Poetry is a way of expression. Emily Dickenson wrote once “This is my letter to the world that never wrote me.” People don’t understand poetry because people don’t understand themselves and others anymore. They don’t understand the emotions that shimmer in the artist’s breasts, because instead we’ve been told that we’ll be given whatever we ask. We’ve been told to admire those who are tasked with feats of strength and valor instead of the artist who pens words that revolve around the mind that belongs to the athlete.

Poetry elevates the soul. Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” There is something in poetry that is prestigious, and you have to reach above your comfort to find the elevation of the soul that is necessary for growth.

Poetry is a way to communicate with God. David himself wrote poems as prayers, and we have a whole history of humans who translated their prayers into poems that have become hymns today. Poetry is a communication with another realm, and ability to write things that you feel but can’t say in prose. It’s a minuet minute where you can bare your soul with the protection of not being taken 100% seriously.

Poetry is an art, it’s the art of communicating with the soul, and yet, this day and age we find the soul unimportant and the art as dead. There is no need to touch the soul with poetry, to take the time to read without noise, to hear without our ears, to see with nothing but ink and paper.

I have no good conclusion for this post, it’s more of a ramble from my soul. But what do you think about poetry? Is it dead or lost or is it thriving?

~~Amie~~

When Spring Comes, Where Does My Sadness Go?

The drip, drip, drip of the rain fills my brain

But the release of the air scatters the rain

The flowers glisten and glossem before they blossom

The bees trace the trails that have been laid before

My heart follows the robin on it’s journey far

But I’m still and I’m still me

The problem is that its spring.

The blue of the sky that is painted

Matches the blue of my serene mood

I spin and I spin taking it in as if it were food

And the silence is noisy in all of it’s glory

But I still have an empty feeling inside.

Though a cotton tailed rabbit chases it away

The laugher of a child and the smile of the wind

Changes my soul from within.

Moments pass, and I look around

Wondering at the crazy sounds

When spring comes in all of it’s glory,

When March brings her flurry,

Where does my sadness go?

No. . .

I’m afraid of no.

I’m afraid of the power it holds over me. It’s a sword to wield, something that glistens when the light hits it. But when it is hidden, it isn’t seen, simply felt. I don’t know how to use it, this powerful word. I don’t understand the impact it has on me, yet not on the rest of the world.

No is a rejection, a refusal, a rebuttal. No is a sucker punch that steals my breath and rams my chest. No is a force that cannot yet be seen. No is something I can’t handle.

I skirt around it’s corners, chasing things but never committing, because all along my fear pins me in place. I am a butterfly on a cork board, a dream stuck in a dream catcher. A spider has woven me a cocoon, and yet it hasn’t protected me from the knife that stabs my ribs.

No.

I try to use this power on others, waving it to and fro, but instead of intimidating, I injure myself in their stead. My enemies smirk when I try to stand and hold. My family simply shakes their heads because I simply cannot say no.

I wound myself in the place of others. My chest tightens and expands, waiting for the word to come. Sometimes it is hidden in a rejection, the words flowery and sweet. Sometimes it is a flat denial, slicing butterfly wings.

Regardless of what form it comes, it always does the same thing. It clutters up my mind and destroys what I want to be.

I’m afraid of no.

Those nasty two letters. I’m afraid of something I can’t control, the words that no one stutters. But I shouldn’t fear the boundaries others put in place. I shouldn’t fear being told there isn’t room on their plate.

The problem is that I don’t understand why when those words come from my mouth, they don’t mean no?

No sometimes is not honored if respect isn’t in place. No isn’t honored, and so I’ve accepted my fate. I pick up a foot and smile at the crowd. But instead my heart drums one single sound.

No.

I’m afraid of no.

~~Amie~~

Let Me

My heart is heavy as I watch the lights reflect off the road.

My eyes are tired as the moments grow old.

My reflection is a mirage, keeping secrets untold

Minutes flick by on an old radio.

Sickly sweet perfume lick at my feet

People keep talking as I retreat

Leave me now, let me entreat

The words that float towards me in a sea.

Weight on my shoulders pins my head to the ground

Every whisper mounts as the world grows loud

Groaning that tugs at my fragile heartbeat’s beat

Let me fall, let me fail, let me be me.

Coffee Chats w/Amie (e.1)

*lights the scented candle in the middle of the table and sets a coffee mug in front of you*

Today we’re starting a series on this blog, and I’m calling them Coffee Chats with Amie, where I share my heart, and hopefully impact yours at the same time. Today the weather is awful, so I’m so glad you came anyway. There’s tea and hot cocoa in the back, in case you’re not a coffee drinker. So make yourself comfortable.

If you follow me on all social medias, you know I’ve been inactive a lot lately, and if that’s concerned you, thank you. No need to bother your little head over me, but I appreciate it more than you know. Life is a strange thing. Sometimes you feel the need for it to just stop, but you can’t make it. There’s nothing about life that you can grab and force. It’s just a whirlwind that keeps going, sucking your breath from you and forcing you to your knees.

Okay, okay, yes. That’s dramatic. I am an artist, after all. You have to expect some drama from me.

But truth be told, I’m struggling. And you might be, too. That’s what this blog has kinda become. A place where I want struggling people to find hope and someone relatable, hence this coffee chat. In this world of covid and unrest, it seems as if there’s no way to connect with people, especially when it was crazy hard even before all this stuff. So I’m taking a moment to write this, so we can connect. So we can chat in the comments about the topics in this blog post, so that you know you aren’t alone.

*sips coffee*

I honestly don’t know how to follow that up. 😂

I guess it just shows that life isn’t an essay. It doesn’t have an informative and intriguing introduction, it doesn’t always have a clear and full middle. And it almost never has a good conclusion. That’s why I write. Because I can control that. I ca give myself a lovely introduction, and my middle can be as full and as clear as I want.

And the conclusion?

I can write any thing I want.

Control is a strange thing. In a really good song by an amazing artist (yo, NF fans!), there’s a line that says “I wanted to control things and in the end that’s what controlled me.” Each human being on this planet is searching for some emblem of control. That’s why the teenage girl has an eating disorder. That’s why the almost twenty-year-old boy cut his hair and wants to dye it. That’s why the parent is being hyper critical, and there are so many other options.

But I guess control is ironic because liberty means freedom from control, and freedom means . . . being able to do whatever we want whoever we want. (i.e. in control). We can never feel freedom unless we have no one controlling us . . . yet we always want to control ourselves.

What a mind twister.

*sips coffee*

The world around me seems so silent as I write this. People are driving by the house, going on to do whatever is next planned on their Saturday afternoon. My keyboard clinks as I type, and I just know one thing.

We need Someone to control us.

I could ramble on and on about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the chat, but I don’t think I will. I hope you come next time to Coffee Chats with Amie.

~~Amie~~

Why?

I like reason. I like to know everything behind an idea, everything behind a request, and everything behind a rule. Backstories are my specialties, and as a child, my favorite word was a simple question. Why?

The problem for me with the word why started in church. According to my teachers as a child, you aren’t supposed to ask God why. You aren’t supposed to ask why God made giraffes giraffes, or why he decided to make the sun be daytime. You aren’t supposed to ask him why he put you in your family, or why he didn’t send someone besides his only son to die. You aren’t supposed to ask why, even when a family member dies, or someone hurts you so badly you doubt you’ll ever be the same again.

I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to ask why.

And in fact, I still don’t.

As Christians, for some reason we seem to have been conditioned for easy believism. As Americans, we’re taught to take things exactly as they are. It’s all for a test, so as long as you can spout out whatever the teacher was teaching you, you have no reason to understand the why behind the fact.

But we aren’t supposed to just settle for what’s handed to us.

 The Bible says, “Prove all things, hold fast to which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) We are supposed to ask WHY. Why do we believe the Bible? Why do we believe in God? Why does our faith make us act differently than the world around us? WHY?

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Job. I know, I know, a lot of people find it really depressing, but I personally don’t. Why? Because here is one book in the Bible where we see a conversation between God and a man who is suffering. And what does Job do?

He asks why?

And God answers him. Now, God doesn’t answer him with an easy answer, or even with an answer that you and I would want. God answers him, and God asks Job to trust. Because God is the God who hung the moon in the sky and created the great depth of ocean, and all of the things in-between. And maybe when you ask why, that will be your answer. 

I also love the minor prophets for the same reason. Here are small books that are often overlooked by the church today. Books filled with truth, filled with conversations God has with men like you and me. And these prophets as God why. In some of the books, they argue with God, they run from God, and yet. 

God doesn’t strike them dead. He doesn’t turn his back on them. He isn’t enraged that his chosen men are asking him why. 

Instead, he answers them. 

We should ask why. The Christian religion should be full of why’s. We should search for the answers, question the answers, and search some more. We should never settle for a “because.” Unless we know it’s something that just is. Like gravity.

What are some why’s that you are wondering about right now?

~~Amie~~

End of the Year

I had the idea to do some kind of cool end of the year wrap up, but instead I decided to just speak from my heart. I’m listening to Christmas, and the weather is frightful, but I still just have such this load of gratitude, so I thought I would share it with you guys.

This year was going to be my year to live. Ever since I was nine, I’ve looked forward to 2020, and the freedoms I thought it would bring me. *cue audience laughter* Well, obviously that didn’t happen.

But in a way, I did get freedom. I feel as though I was freed from society’s pressures, because I wasn’t in society. I was locked in my house, with nothing better to do than improve myself and find out who I am apart from what others expect from me. And I learned a lot.

2020 has been a hard year, and history books will record it, economic books will mention it, medical history will go down the rabbit hole of Covid, but we are the ones who lived through it. We won’t be in history books, our individual experiences with jobs won’t be related, and we won’t be the ones writing medical history.

But we have lived it.

And I think that we each will tell stories about it to our children and grandchildren.

But back to myself. 2019 was a terrible year, and I had a bad feeling about 2020. (Always trust your gut, folks.) However, 2020 wasn’t like 2019. I didn’t get to travel, I didn’t get to see friends. Instead I made more. I didn’t get to act, instead I became an author. I didn’t get to drive, instead I learned how to cope. I’m still learning, but I’ve come so far.

I wrote about reaching to the stars, and I’ve caught one. It’s beautiful, and it reminds me that it’s possible. It’s possible to do what you dream. It’s possible to be happy, to enjoy life, to drink coffee, to laugh over inside jokes. It’s possible to paint, to create, to be.

It’s possible.

Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy. And for me, that’s okay. I didn’t ask for easy, I asked for a challenge. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. That’s okay, I’ll learn while reading for it.

I don’t know what 2021 will hold. I really don’t have any huge plans or exciting events for it. I just know that whatever it throws, I’ll catch. Whatever it offers, I’ll be ready to explore, to grow, to understand.

I hope you are as well.

~~Amie~~

By the way, I want to hear from you guys. Comment down below your favorite blog posts from 2020, and how you want me to continue my blog in the future. ❤

Trusting the Wind

I’ve spent the last week looking through a lot of my blog posts from the past year. Which naturally led to me spending a lot of time thinking over the past year. And it’s been strange, because I’ve grown so much.

I found me, mostly because I wasn’t looking anymore.

In the past, I spent so much time dictating who I was. I would be this, I had to do this, I would become this, and if I didn’t fit what everyone expected or wanted from me, I wasn’t really being me, was I? Because me was the person who made everyone else happy.

This past year, I stopped telling myself who I was. I stopped telling myself that YOU ARE A WRITER. Or YOU ARE A GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRL. Or YOU ARE A MUSICIAN. Instead, I started asking and just learning.

Who did God make me to be? And how can I accept that?

Instead of denying my problems, I accepted them and tried to find solutions. Instead of denying my wants, I acknowledged them and then went about seeing if it was practical or okay to fulfill them. Instead of putting myself through purgatory, I looked after myself and let myself be.

I wrote this whole post two days ago, and it was around 900 words, but WordPress was sweet and decided not to save it, so I’m just going to write from my heart here, since my heart felt words for the intro were deleted.

I’m by no means perfect. This year didn’t bring about a perfect Amie who loves every last part of her messed up, crazy being. But it did bring about a girl who’s so proud. So proud of herself, because she put in the hard work. She spent time crying, she spent time trying, and guess what? It has payed off.

This year, I let myself be me. I let myself let people and things go. Not because they were “bad” for me, but because I can’t keep up with a million people, and that’s okay. I can’t be everything for everyone, and that’s okay. I’m not rejecting those people. God knows I didn’t mean to hurt them if I have, but I needed a moment to step back, to work on me.

Not in a selfish way. I hope they realize that, I hope they understand that in order for me to be a good friend, I had to step back and stop being an ever-present friend. In order to truly love them, I had to find a way to love myself.

And this year, in a weird and messed up way, when the world is a mess and full of injustice and pain and sorrow, I did.

Not because I’m awesome and spectacular, but because I realized something so simple, yet so profound. I realized that the Creator of this world, the Savior of all the amazing Christian people you hear about, knows me. Little, small, conceited, messed up, hurting Amie. He doesn’t just know me, he loves me with a love so powerful, so strong, so broad, I can’t comprehend it, but I know it.

Oh, goodness, do I know it.

I always knew God was love, but from a lot of the teaching I felt as if God just loved the universal church. Maybe he had a bit of personal love for those great and amazing pastors, like R.C. Sproul or Charles Spurgeon or some love for King David. God wouldn’t love me, a messed up kid who had so much hurt rolled into a suit of armor, right?

*laughs* I was wrong. In knowing God loves me, ME in the singular, it just . . . opened my world. No longer was religion a kind of Bible references and rules and “BE CAREFULS OR YOU’LL BE WICKED.” It was a relationship. It was about knowing God, and letting him know me, even though he already does.

I’ve not only let God know me this year. My mother, even though this has been a crazy hard year for her, has really pulled through. I’ve always felt protective of my mom, as if I have to shield her from the beast within me, from the person that could wound her sensitive soul. But this year, I’ve let her in, and instead of shying away from the hurt, the monster, like I thought she would, she hugged the monster.

My mom has probably seen some stuff with me that no mother would ever want their child to go through, but instead of saying, “I didn’t sign up for this, see you later!” She’s been there to hold my hand. She’s explored with me, intent on finding out more about me, so she can help me. So she can love me to the best of her ability.

My mom is my biggest supporter, and I love her to death.

This year, I learned to love life again. Sure, the news reports suck, but life is so rich. There is so much to see, so much left for me to do, if I just let myself dream. If I stop holding up the regulations and let myself fly, it’s surprising how much God puts into place.

That’s another thing I learned. Christianity isn’t about being a bird in a cage, it’s about being a bird who trusts the wind. God puts us on earth to fly, to make a difference, to worship Him, to experience his world, and to make him known while doing it. Which means we have to fly, while trusting the wind. We trust that the wind and our wings will keep us up.

This year has been full of so many lessons, and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for all of the amazing people who have been helping me through it. I’m so grateful for the people on the sidelines who have been watching and cheering me on during this race.

This year has been on crazy ride, but I’m not sorry it happened. This year hasn’t been full of happy, peaceful days of self reflection. In fact, over half of this year have been days where I’m in bed, or so depressed that it’s hard to function. But guess what? Each depressive spell has gotten a little bit shorter. Each dark thought has gone away a little bit quicker. We’re on a journey, and it’s getting better. It’s been a year full of hardships and learning, but I’m not sorry it happened.

I’m eager to see what happens in this last month, and to see where 2021 leads.

~~Amie~~

Announcement + Fifteen Sale! 🎉

I hope you’re finding amazing Black Friday sales in the midst of today through Monday. I know I’m staring at pairs of boots and wishing to see them appear on my feet at the moment. Also, so many books on sale. 🥺

But that’s besides the point. Today I have three things to tell you. Firstly . . .

WE HAVE FIFTEEN STOCKING STUFFERS!
I am so excited about these adorable little goodie bags. They include one (1) hand lettered card, one (1) vinyl sticker, one (1) scrunchie, one (1) Literary Treasure keychain of Fifteen, and lastly, one (1) handmade felt plush creature of your choosing.  We have twelve different scrunchie designs, and so many plush animals, so go take your pick! (I personal love the lace scrunchies and the unicorn plush)

I know a lot of you did get the pre-order goodies, but if you missed out on pre-order goodies, or you have Fifteen on your wishlist, or you are apart of a secret Santa, or even if you just want it for yourself, now you can get them! 

I’m so in love with these goodie bags, and I hope you are too! They’re $6.99 (though keep checking them. I hear from a little birdie there will be some flash sales in the future . . . ) and you can order them through the button below. On to the next announcement!

Now to the next announcement! 

☕️ Espresso Notes: your daily dose of mental caffeine ☕

Not many people know something about Fifteen. Each and every poem comes with a paragraph explaining my thoughts behind it in a (if I do say so myself) Pinterest worthy quote style. All throughout December, I’ll be sending you those quotes, and short letters from me, to encourage you through the last month of 2020.

I know 2020 has been hard for everyone, and so this is just one more pick me up through the holiday season. Each day you’ll get a free printable, and on December 31, you’ll have 31 printable that you can print out and hang along your wall, or put on your mirror to remind yourself of all the things you learned.

You’ll also get all of the news for flash sales on both the stocking stuffers and Fifteen, as well as being told about other fun events going on. You can sign up for your cup of espresso below.

Lastly, but not leastly, Fifteen is 99 cents on Kindle today through Monday, so go snag yourself a copy. I’d love to hear if you do, so reply to this email or DM me over Instagram. I would love to hear about your favorite poems, or what stood out to you.  ❤

Have an awesome day!

~~Amie~~