Mortal Angel

{the vulnerable scrawl that wants to be my novel for NaNoWriMo}

Monday, December 06, 2004


Twenty-four ~ Detached

Dear R-----,
       If you haven't heard the new R.E.M. album yet, go buy a copy. Now. This time, even a few of the critics like it - which says a lot, as they've pretty soundly trashed the last few. The melodies thread among and between both solid sky and nebulous clouds, threads of gold and liquid prisms... not always melodies that will catch in your head for the day, though wisps of lines as summer breezes will, but emotion never runs in predictable lines, why should music? No one complains about curves in painting. And Michael's voice... I can't even begin. The cadences and tones in every phrase... it's so beautiful. Beauty isn't a strong enough concept to hold this. All that makes the soul lift and cry out in joy... existence bound up in sound... The pain and longing of true beauty, not the painted perfection of a face or the false lines of culture but the place the heart longs to remain, and can catch only snatches of in this world...

       I'd like to think I make a beautiful picture, walking along a worn-grass path amidst the brick building of the campus, the sunlight dappled by emerald leaves, tangling in my dark hair, my face turned up, eyes shining in love for all things, my heart shining past circles of sky-tinged blue, the song infecting even my stride...

       But I probably just look stoned.

       Don't worry, it's okay, I'm laughing at myself too. I can't help but think in terms of photographs and music videos, they're what make up my entire life, it's all an audio-visual patchwork, scraps of viewpoints and songs.

       It feels like summer's stretching into forever, the days are still so long and warm. Not that I'm complaining - it gives me time after class to explore more, camera over my shoulder. I haven't been back in the woods behind the house in awhile - P-----'s been sending a good deal of time working on his "secret" fort, and any time I near the path, he or a friend chases me out. (It's all in fun, I play along; I've been threatening to build a rival fort nearby, just to tease him.) I've been riding my bike around, learning the roads and area in general a little better. My excursions have a habit of taking longer than I'd planned, which is one reason the lengthy daylight is so appreciated. Once you're outside of town the stretch between roads grows quite a bit, which turns even the slightest angle into a good deal of extra distance, and since I'd rather not come back on exactly the same route I left on...

       It's a very good thing I picked up a county map last semester, not that I've gotten very lost, but I get a little nervous when I've been riding an hour back towards town and I've not seen anything familiar.

       It occurs to me that while I may feel an artist's distance from the world on campus, I probably just seem detached and unapproachable to everyone else. (The ever-present headphones don't help, I'm sure.) I really hope not, I hope my eyes tell them otherwise... I'm just shy, I'm scared of sounding silly or stumbling over words and having people think less of me, so I simply don't say anything at all... I'm confident in my views and thoughts, but I don't trust my voice, only my hand and paper. I look in the mirror and I like who I see - but I'm also very aware that she's not much like everyone else...

       I smiled at an old man cleaning the walls in the post office this morning, and he snarled at me, probably thinking I was laughing at him, when all I intended was a sympathetic camaraderie, a smile of appreciation - I cleaned on-campus all last year as work-study, I know how it feels being ignored by passers-by. And I don't think I'd ever look down on someone like that, I may have in the past but I've grown beyond that... and anyway, I've nothing which makes me any better than anyone... But how well do I ever know how to address people properly anyway, I might watch them but interaction is so rare.

       I'm lost in dreams of a past I never knew, I'm out of place in my own time...

       Music is my home, and music is not of time.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004



Well, there we are, I've officially lost NaNoWriMo. *giggles, shakes head* Not that I really thought I'd make it...and then getting nailed with 437829 projects this month didn't help. x___x

However, I'm determined not to give up - I've gotten a lot more out of this than I thought I would, and I *really* want to see if I can finish this story. Setting a tenative deadline for the end of *this* month..ehm..we'll see if that happens, but it sounds good at the moment anyway.

Thanks for hanging in there with me... updates will be a little more regular again after all the projects of dooooom due the next two weeks are out of the way.

Monday, November 29, 2004


Twenty-three ~ Elude

My dear N-----,

       Well, last night was certainly an interesting evening, was it not? The woman had the dramatics of a dozen operas in her emotions of an hour's time; such a delightful game, to prompt her from one to the next! To flatter her into coy confidence and sensuous attentions, then rip away the false mirror's painted reflection and tear from her all self-worth, leaving her a hysterical mass of wretchedness, refusing to believe even the most honest of reassuring compliments, fearing it to be a lie... but still needing acceptance, and so soon believing anyway. Ah, darling, it ad been some time since I so enjoyed simple manipulation, it was thoroughly entertaining. A shame F----- left so early, it was the sort of thing he used to be quite adept at.

       Do you recall that delectable café which was near C-----'s residence in B-----? The wine last night must have been from the same area as what was reputedly exclusive to that fine establishment - the label was different, but with such a distinctive aroma, I cannot be mistaken. An incredible sweetness, faintly laced with a pungence of near-decay... a trace of the origins of such refined opulence. So much praise, for the liquid of things spoiled.

       The man you brought with you had rather too much of it, I think, yet I was glad when he did, for he was quite disagreeable, I must tell you. I do not know what made you think he would be acceptable company, he was simply atrocious, darling. Rude, completely devoid of manners, such a detestable creature! Not once did I hear a word of praise for the fabulous decour S----- devised for the evening, nor the delicious entertainment - not even a single compliment on anyone's outfit! He eyed everything with an air of dulled boredom, as if he wished to be elsewhere - he, a mere mortal who should have felt honoured to be granted attendance! No human could ever approach our rank, and certainly he was not worthy of even our slightest favour. Your taste in persons continues to elude me, my dear, I do not see why you should continue to bring such unrefined, despicable beings to our gatherings. They quite spoil the evening, their breath souring the very air. He spurned all advances, his eyes ever seeking our yours alone in a lustful hunger, which was not it itself a thing to be admonished... what concerned me was the look of command. As if he owned you, and was only humouring you by letting you attend a friend's party, and was merely waiting until his pet had settled down and he might rein it back in again to do his bidding. I most certainly hope such was only a game you were playing with him, allowing him the illusion of control only enough that you might all the more drastically wrest it away from him.

       Ah, darling, I wonder at times what will become of us, such terrible influence some of us have allowed this world to wreak upon their selves... I cannot understand these weaknesses, this apparent desire to relinquish all that we are for such meaningless forms of existing... A terribly depressing subject, I must admit I miss "the good old days", as they were, when we had newly been bound to this simple earth - do you remember the speech M----- once made? How boldly he defined and validated all we intended, what a splendid release he affirmed!

       And see what he has now become.

       Much as I may question your choice among mortals, I knew you would never see them as anything approaching an equal, and I must say that this does comfort me.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Twenty-two ~ Pleasantries

Dear B-----,

       Thought I'd drop you a quick note, I'm in class and the lecture's a bit dry today, I need something else to hold the remainder of my attention.

       In general my classes are going well, nothing too difficult, but interesting enough...

       I'm not good at small-talk, I can occasionally get some pleasant banter going, but I can't enjoy it, I need something more which is probably why I don't socialize very well. People want pleasantries, not to have to think, the moment you start thinking, you start questioning, and the ego is so rarely sturdy enough to stand the blows of inquisition and doubt. If you start to see both sides of an issue, how do you know yours is really right? There is not only bliss by strength in ignorance.

       Do you remember back in high school, where the biggest concerns were passing Chemistry and who was dating who, and there I was, merrily describing how I'd love a revolution, to see society as a whole fall apart at the seams, all its intricate and inbred faults, just crumble and fall away, much to your discomfort. I'm sure you'd much rather a bright, cheery letter to the convoluted meanderings of my mind, but...

       Much as I scared you, you remained friends with me, through all of my varied phases.

       Thank you.

       It's raining today, that always sense my thoughts off in strange directions... usually nothing more disastrous than a pleasant, quiet sort of almost-melancholy. but today, it's got me wrapped in memory...

       Do you still miss high school at all? I don't miss the early mornings, the hall monitors and long days, but... I miss the people. Despite all the melodramatic tendencies of the social climate, there was an ever-present bond between friends, somewhere between the closeness born of shared hardships and the warmth and affection of family's long acquiantance. I suppose the friendships I have now are more fulfilling in most respects - how many people I hung around with in high school could I have had an honest and open discussion about sexuality or religion with?

       ...but how many people here would know what to get me for Christmas?

       It's a trade-off between the stimulation of the intellect and the comfort of affection... only we need both...

       "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold..." A song I learned in Girl Scouts, sometime in elementary school - I loved it enough then that it's the only one I still remember, and the words have only gotten more true. Hallmark-sentimentality, yeah, but even the most over-wrought sentiment has its roots in something real.

       But it's so easy to lose friendships... not even so much lose them, but let them fade away, your heart not even realizing it's being slowly drained... not until it begins one day to ache, and you won't know why. Quaint as my letter-writing habit might be, I need it. I need this connection I feel to you right now, tenuous as it is. I can feel my heart reaching through the pen and ink, settling into the paper you'll hold in a few days and read, my words still reaching you, no more than a slight temporal distance between my self in this moment and your self, reading these words...

       I need to know that you're still with me, I need to know I'm not alone, that there's someone there who cares...

       Maybe that's why I felt so much stronger, so much more confident, in high school. I had these basic needs met, I knew I was known and cared about, so I had no cause to worry about it. I knew I was important in myself. I could keep the artist's distance between myself and the world, I could poke fun at the lovey-dovey shite, I could case aside the need for all of that, I could be bigger than it all. I could care about the world because I myself was already cared for.

       I'm glad I'm learning to be more loving, I'm glad my heart is so much more real to me now, that passion binds itself in emotion instead of the intellect... but the girl I was won't quite leave me alone. I feel so much weaker, there are times I can't walk unafraid...

       And I don't know where to find an answer, I don't know how to repair the holes in the dam which burst, spilling everything in my heart out into the cold, so vulnerable...

       And now I've probably scared you in the opposite direction as I did back then! I'm sorry, please, don't worry, I'll be alright. I apologize for dragging you through all this, don't feel you need to answer it all - just telling you has helped. That's the other aspect of all of these letters - they're a journalling of sorts for me, they're a way for all my scrambled thoughts to be forced into some sort of coherence.

       I intellectualize the emotion I was so proud of just a moment ago! Here I go yet again, into the endless vortex of contradiction that bounds my existence. For all philosophy intrigues me, I could never fully pursue it, I can't think in straight enough lines. Philosophy's a huge tangle - which is why I know you loathe it, and I enjoy it - but you've got to be able to cut straight paths through it. You could, but I can't.

       In spite of the dull class lecture today, I feel alright now... I can't quite say what, or if, I've learned anything, but it seems I might have.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Twenty-one ~ Entertainment

My dear F-----,

       It has been far too long since I saw you, darling, it is pleasant to hear you are again in the area. I shall have to hear how things are in N-----, it has been some time since I was last there

       I do hope you will find the entertainment which we have requested for the party in honour of your return to be to your liking - I am certain you will, it is someone you have had your eye on for some time, I believe. But there! I shall ruin the surprise, which is half the pleasure of a thing.

       Novelty, darling, such a delightful thing. What is new may not long be good, but it is always initially interesting. The excitement of a new painting revealed, a song first performed, a fresh theory expounded... ah, pretty one, such moments make Time almost worthwhile, do they not? The delicate scent of a flower whose petals are for the first time parting...

       And the delicious sight of the starry-eyed naïvete of the artist fading, as the passion of their preposterous heart is reduced to dry critique, fodder for public consumption, accepted or dismissed with no more effort than a wave of the hand. The eager joy and pride which consumed them melts as a candle's wax, leaving only empty space and a misshapen form crumpled on the floor. Oftentimes, it is the process in which they themselves reach, exist within, and fall from acclaim which is more enticing than the art by which they do so.

       I had word from L----- about your departure from H----- some time ago. Whatever was that about, darling? He seemed quite perturbed about the circumstances under which you left, and I must say the rest of us were at quite a loss. I believe your actions since have appeased him, but that still does not explain why you said such things, or why you left his company so abruptly. It seems things had been quite well, L----- spoke of a seemingly delightful child who had recently fallen in among all of you there; it appears he was quite the thing, and all were much taken with him, yourself included. Whyever then did you leave so quickly, with only a cryptic message of departure? It looked almost as if you were reprimanding their behavior - but certainly that was not the case, for I have never known you to have such silly qualms before. Do you remember the first night you were with us in B-----? Ah, what a time we had! Mmm, do you remember his eyes as we told him what we wanted of him? Such an exquisite combination of apprehension and determination, disgust and desire, fear and eagerness, the golden candlelight fracturing as it hit his dark eyes...

       But it seems you have gotten over whatever it was, and I am quite glad of that, particularly in light of all that has gone on of late. This party shall almost be as much an affirmation for us as for you... but do not think we hold you in less esteem, that is not the case at all, my dear. Nor, of course, have we at all questioned our ways. It will simply be pleasant to have a party with all the delights inherent, without having to fret over troublesome persons.

       I am much looking forward to your company, darling. I hope you find your stay a pleasing one.


Twenty ~ Bearings

Dear M-----,

       Ah, weekend again, Heaven knows I needed a break. Classes are still settling in, but just having to get up in the morning and to class on time grew tiring after a long summer, so having a chance to sleep in and ease into the day was nice. I lingered a little over a late breakfast, flipping through the newspaper and chatting with Mrs. R-----, offering to make dinner tomorrow night. I'm not a tenth the cook she is, but I'm quite good at pancakes and the like at least, and I'd like to chip in a little, she's such a dear to have dinner for all of us every day.

       "All of us" consists of Mr. and Mrs. R-----, their son P-----, who's nine, maybe ten years old, myself, and two other students - a senior girl, I think an education major, and a sophomore guy, who's very quiet, keeps to himself a fair bit, I believe he's liberal arts so far, or so I gather from Mrs. R-----. I don't see much of the latter two, the girl keeps busy with classwork and student teaching, turning in to bed when I feel most awake; I see the boy at dinner, and occasionally out walking in the yard or the woods behind the old barn. Yet, every now and again I can catch his hazel-blue eyes with mine, and there is an instant connection - undefined, too tenuous for either of us to feel confident enough to start conversation, but there's something there all the same. Not even a romantic something, you can save your cautionary lectures for a few weeks yet, I've said no more than "hello" to the boy.

       In any case, I grabbed an old book to re-read (I'm beginning to wonder just how much what I read as a child influenced me - all these old-fashioned daydreams and contentments, I had a pretty steady diet of Alcott, Montgomery, and the like), and wandered around the property looking for a sunny spot to curl up in. I sat against the side of the barn for awhile, but the woods begged my attention far more than my book, so I decided instead to do some exploring.

       There are the beginnings of a path, but it is soon lost in the sparse underbrush and criss-crossed trails of deer and whatever else resides among the barely disturbed trees. Not far in, I saw the word "PRIVATE" freshly carved into the bark of a mid-sized maple tree, a bit below eye-level. On the other side of the tree were nailed a few boards - just enough to allow shorter arms than mine to reach the branches above and scramble up to the small platform nestled between the split of two main branches. P----- and I had a conversation about tree forts over lunch last weekend, and I'm pretty sure that was his. He had been adament about not giving away its location, but the letters and boards were barely darkened by weather, so it's too new to be anyone's but his. I won't tell him I've found it, of course - that ruins the entire point of a secret fort being secret. Unless you have decent defenses, of course - I remember having a fort amidst a large clump of overgrown burdock bushes, simply because I knew no-one else would come near, for fear of getting the tenacious barbs caught in clothing and hair. (But though i had a bit of a strategy for entering, I had the longest hair of any potential entrants, and the burdock stuck to me the same as anyone else, so I eventually relocated.)

       I wandered for awhile, following bits of trails, checking out small, fern-boarded clearings, scaring the living daylights out of a few squirrels (who later returned the gesture by munching on nuts overhead - and dropping the shells around and on me, making me jump half a mile), walking along fallen tree trunks, half-decayed and giving way at a mis-step. I saw a creek at a bit of a distance, but on approaching it, I hit a wide muddy area around it, full of marsh marigolds as tall as I. Will investigate further when I've got boots on.

       Off to one side, beyond the creek, I saw what looked like a small shack, a fort, something. Faded grey, the browning leaves of several autumns past lying prone on the roof and in small wind-blown piles along one wall. I could see about a side and a half of it, most of my view obscured by a few large bushes and the angle I was looking from. no sign of a door or window, at least from that distance, but it looked far too large and solid to be just a blind for hunting. (In any case, these woods are owned a good five, ten miles back by the R-----s, and Mr. R----- has signs up to deter hunters from his property - but not "trespassers", I noted, which is nice for a change, as that's typically what I end up being in my wanderings at home.) I looked about for any easy way to cross the creek, but no luck, as the wet area was still too wide and free of stones or fallen branches large enough to step across on. Another day.

       I got only slightly lost on the way back - luckily I spotted P-----'s fort off to the left, and regained my bearings from that. One of these days I'll get a compass, but it's more fun to rely entirely on my own memory and sense of place. More dangerous, yes, but more interesting. And stop your fretting, dear - the worse thing I'm likely to encounter in there are irate squirrels, a raccoon at most. Or a cranky ten-year old whose secret has been discovered.

       I re-entered the yard just as P----- and his father returned from running errands. He came sprinting over to me, eyes wide, breathlessly demanding to know if I'd been spying on his fort. I promised I hadn't, and he grinned brightly, proclaiming that I'd never find it, his planning was too well thought-out for such easy discovery.

       Dinner was warm and friendly, everyone crowded around the kitchen table, P----- bubbling over about the day's events, the rest of us interjecting, sharing stories of our own.

       It felt nearly like a family, something from a book.

       I mentioned my exploration - sans P-----'s fort, of course - and asked about the small building I'd seen. Blank looks from around the table - no-one had seen it before - only I caught a faint glimmer in D-----'s eye (the quiet guy, I realize I left out his name before). He looked quickly away, but I saw something - I think he's been there too. He left directly after dinner, mumbling something about studying, and I saw the large pile of dishes and offered to help, so I haven't had a chance to talk with him. but that finally gives me something to start a conversation with him, at least, which is a plus.

       Will write again soon - P----- has challenged me to a game of checkers, and you know I couldn't refuse.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Nineteen ~ Detriments

My dear L-----,

       What you have heard is entirely accurate. T----- has withdrawn from our company, having convinced himself that it is in mankind he shall find whatever it is he believes he is lacking. I see only that he lacks reason, and certainly Man has little enough of that! A number of us attempted to dissuade him from this absolute nonsense, but he is quite adamant in his delirium. He was spoiling the entire atmosphere of our existence, so I told him to leave, if he felt we were so mistaken in our pursuits and attitudes.

       I fear a few others may follow - I have little doubt that M----- will. But M----- never has been quite the same since that posturing singer he doted upon years ago. Oh. the man had potential for us, certainly, but there was something far too bright in the corners of his blue eyes, something I was wary of from the beginning. And though M----- maintained his lifestyle as before, there was a part of him he held in reserve still, his eyes a hue closer to the singer's (similar as they had been when they had been when the relationship began, the resemblance grew still more).

       The more time spent within Time, the greater its detriments on some of our number. Sad, isn't it, how like Man some become - change and decay as years flow past fragile flesh.

       To you, I will admit, there is one thing I miss, and that is the freedom to exist outside of Time. My self, of course, will never quite be constrained by chronology, yet I cannot help but feel its inexorable pull on this body, a pull enough to cause even my soul some degree of discomfiture. Perhaps it is impudent of me to ask, but has such ever had an affect on you? I do not truly fear it, for I have not the weaknesses of those as T----- and M-----, yet it is a tiresome sensation to cope with.

       I do hope things return to their usual course, now that T----- will no longer be causing disruptions. Oh, dramatics are always very exciting, of course, but it is best when it is frivolous, and can be pushed away when one grows weary of it. I am quite glad he has gone - I had grown so tired of having to argue against such pitiful assumptions, and it was quite depressing to look at one who had once grasped the very cosmos so eagerly pursuing the mundane existence of mortals. let this miserable rain wash away his carefully-wrought façade, let him be naked and vulnerable as the petty beings he so admires. We will maintain the dignity of our superior rank, keeping mere men at a fitting distance.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Eighteen ~ Intersections

Dear K-----,

       I went to have a look around the small local museum adjacent to the library in town this weekend. I'd been meaning to go for awhile, but it keeps somewhat irregular hours, according to its own rationality which I have yet to divine.

       The museum was fairly interesting - a few rooms furnished in the style of a period long-gone, some varied artifacts of times past. A bit of a mish-mash in places, but with the contents being entirely of local nature, it was nice all the same. A jumbled cross-section of the town's history - an old desk from a past school (in the days when wooden school furniture could survive unscathed by the tagging of bored students), a hand-sewn quilt (of actual scraps of clothing, not merely in imitation of), children's board games and glassed-in shelves of countless old books (which I hope one day to be brave enough to ask if I might have a look at). The pool of surnames is so delightfully small - donations in memory of names which match the streets, items used by names which match the headstones I studied last week.

       Really, what I wanted to find, was the personal histories the heroines in books always find tucked away in such places - an old diary, a microfilm machine with back issues of the local paper. I suppose I might find the latter on campus... but it's just as well, as I've never gotten on well with microfilm. I continue to be impressed with its simplicity and efficacy, but for whatever reason I have the worst luck in operating them. If anyone begins a project to convert the information into HTML code for use on the Internet, I'd be glad to help. Just don't have me try to turn one of the blasted machines on.

       But there are always ways of finding stories - while I was in the post office yesterday, I fell into conversation about baking with the woman handling the box of cookies I was sending M-----. I mentioned a website I frequent, she recommended a book at the library - I'm swapping recipes with people, since when did I become such an adult? (Yet parents passing tell their children "careful, don't bump into the lady"...did they really mean me?) In any case, we chatted briefly on baking, and I went on my way - and in that short exchange, I had a glimpse of the world around her. Of such intersections is life made, far more intricate than any lace or spider's threads. Paths crossed, followed, abandoned, and found again, turns unseen and, of course, roads both taken and not taken. (I hate that poem. I probably wouldn't if everyone in the world didn't think it the most profound thing ever written. My apologies, but Robert Frost is not the be-all and end-all of poetry by any means.)

       There, too, are always the stories felt if not told. So many people swirl in endless waves about me on campus, maybe a dozen out of a thousand whose voices I know... but that doesn't prevent me from writing about them all the same. A boy about my age, thin frame hidden in a long dark trench coat, a face hidden from the sunlight by the brim of a black cowboy hat... I've never spoken to him, but I see him often in the cafeteria. And there is such an air about him, mostly mystery I suppose, but also the imagery of a truth-seeking cowboy tinged with the melancholy eyes of a goth... Yet, I once saw him among friends, and for all the times I have felt such a distance between the soul beneath the coat and the world around it, he laughed as bright as any other.

       In class one day, I overheard a few girls seated behind me, conversing about someone they knew - a friend's younger brother, if memory serves. And it was not these two peers of mine whose lives I felt a connection with, but this boy... They discussed how sweet and naive he is, how he would be one to always hold the door for you and all, but he wasn't the sort you could actually date, and have any physical sort of relationship with. Whether they said so explicitly or not I can't recall, but in how they spoke of him, I could tell they wanted someone to sully this angel of a boy, if he wasn't that much the younger they would probably have done so already. And I grew afraid, so sad for the loss of the warm innocence of this boy I will probably never meet, though I imagined him so clearly... I can see the deep, caring brown eyes I gave him, the slightly tousled dark hair, the strong arms and slim-but-sturdy frame, dressed well enough in a casual style. I can hear his voice, a little soft but warm and quick to laugh.

       The sort of boy that populates my fancy, the sort of boy I find only in old books, but can warm my heart all the same...

       And they wanted to dirty him up, they wanted to tarnish his halo and rend his wings.

       And without speaking a word to them, or even turning around to look at them, I knew the style of clothing the two girls would have, their hair, their make-up. I knew I'd find them at the bars on the weekends, they could even have been among the crowd at the party I was at (and the only one I intend to attend), draping themselves over the nearest male, only half-aware of their own actions.

       For all my time spent listening and watching, I will never understand how, or why, anyone leads such a life...

       ...but I suppose they could never fathom the quiet joy I find in a bike ride past the vineyards, the warmth I find in solitude.

       We're all human, how is it we have such varied definitions of happiness? I know love, in some form, is at the root of most full happinesses, but...

       Maybe it's in the loss of self that we're happy. Strange, I know, for such naturally self-centered creatures as us, but think on it a moment. Whether it's delighting in the detail of a sun-lit leaf, the rush of speed in a late-night drive, the ecstasy of physical sensation, the exhaltation of the soul in a song... We're happiest when we've abandoned ourselves to something outside of us.

       I suppose this entirely validates Christian doctrine - when we've given our selves into Him, we're at peace - and that's definitely a comfort.

       (If only I could have faith enough to trust His arms to carry me.)