Love Is Not from a Distance

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Love is not from a distance;

up close and personal, it comes close enough

to pierce us

like an arrow through the heart, a spear.

Can we get the hook out?

Love is the unexpected baby on its way to a stone-cold world.

How did you get in there, so soon?

I will try to love you, and I will often fail.

I feel you hiding in my secret place, moving

like a white swan’s feathers (or maybe black)

brushing up against me, about to take flight

over waters of a vast lake, splashes of yellow against blue,

ripples in growing circles toward the rising sun

too bright to look at directly, creating, consuming . . .

You are not really mine; I borrow you for a time (too short).

I will hold your small hand tightly, sad to think that

maybe after yours grows big enough to break away

–you will forget me–

 

Love is not from a distance.

Not black letters on a glass screen, texted from a smartphone:

“I love you.”

Love is up close and personal

–often messy–

a mother’s lips against a child’s hot forehead,

her fingertip–with heal-all Mom Spit–

wiping a scraped knee,

mixing bodily fluids:

blood, sweat, tears, and so on . . .

 

Love is a child’s grown hand

spotted a little from the sun

–slightly wrinkled–

caressing the cheek of an old mother,

dying

in a white bed stacked with pillows

near a window open to a sunset

orange and green,

velvet royal blue like a cape once worn

to the Renaissance Faire.

 

Love is kneeling before the Queen

who is guarded by men in tights and ribbons,

holding spikes and discipline and honor.

She sat on her splendent wooden throne,

carved with the two-headed eagle, crest of Spain,

her gold crown encircling red hair, bejeweled, layered

in garments beset with pearls and diamonds–

powerful yet kind, welcoming misfits.

 

We knelt together–you an elf princess and I a Handmaid

ready to serve, mend, repair, arrange bodices and hair.

Schedules surround the Queen, appointments, visitations,

foreigners bearing gifts like Turkish tea or Russian vodka.

I was her Timekeeper, checking my old pocket watch

–round like a circle

coming back on itself like a red Chinese dragon

eating its tail–

birth, death, and all that lies between

doomed to reset, repeat, re-enter,

yet maybe to replenish–

 

like the greatest Royal Gesture of love:

God come down from throne indescribable,

gold above a crystal sea and rainbows–

angel, cherubim, creatures with eyes and wings and crowns

which they cast down, singing, worshiping, timeless–

God came down from there–

an omnipotent baby knit together with human genes,

in a secret place inside a woman–

born to pain, walking with us, healing sorrows, lameness, blindness;

hands then spread against a cross of splintery wood,

–nails slicing bloodlines–

and so death passed to resurrection,

breaking the circle or enlarging it forever . . .

 

Love is not from a distance.  Love is Resurrection,

Yeshua baking fish for his followers

–who were radically surprised one morning–

by the Sea of Galilee.  Love offered

eternal gifts for all the Peters, Arwens, and Galadriels,

Queens and servants–beggars, bards, and soldiers

dying on far-flung fields

as they watched the sunrise,

caressed by a breeze like eternal Spirit touching their sliced-open face,

blending with their last, too-mortal breath,

before they vaulting skyward.

tree with train

If you like my poetry, please check out and review my books.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Brighton Heart Box

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I wrote some texts from my smartphone to my youngest daughter’s smartphone.  That’s how writing works these days.  I sent her photos, too, and tried to share my heart by showing her what hides in my old Brighton tin heart box.  I hope my 3 other children, from whom I never hear, read this too–and mothers everywhere, who save things for children in hopes of giving them bits of treasure gathered over a lifetime (and sometimes a world of travel).  Please enjoy this and feel free to share:

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Jessica, are you OK? Do you still have your phone? You know, I lost a lot of our treasures in my travels across the globe, but I managed to keep a few. The 1st photo is sterling silver and crystal, my ring from Turkey, official Arwen pendant and fern pin with matching earrings from New Zealand, Brighton crystal earrings I bought from a Lake Arrowhead Village store in the California mountains when you were little and we all lived together there. I am saving these for you. You are precious to me–and even more to Jesus, who made us and loves us and came down from Heaven to heal us–painfully–and rise again. He patiently polishes the tarnish, smooths out the tangles, and connects broken links of our lives–like this sterling silver necklace from Italy that I hold in my hand.

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Motherhood: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done

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Harder than carrying a child for 9 months, giving birth in the most intense pain I’ve ever felt, keeping them safe for 18 years by guiding them, holding their hands, and telling them what to avoid–is watching them struggle in their 20s to survive in this world with all its hidden traps.  I pray for my sons and daughters as the sunset falls, wondering why no one warned me how my heart would be torn out of my chest by seeing them hurt as time goes by.  I remember their perfect skin, their tiny fingers, their dark eyes yet unfilled.  Jesus, help them.  Help me to stand here for them as long as I can, walking outside my desert home in the light of the moon.  Touch them; pull them out of darkness; fill them with your resurrection power, your Light of the World–this Christmas.

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Fantasy and Technology

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My last blog, written 3 months ago, was set in my Happy Place–the Big Bear Renaissance Faire.  Since those Merry Days ended, I realize more than ever that I was born out of time.  I should have lived when women wore capes and could be Queen, accompanied by a faithful, silver-armored soldier.  After reading my daily news and Technology Update (outdated the moment it’s published), my aching, spinning head longs to shrug its Technology Trauma and wear a simple, golden mesh “snood” that blends with my emerald flounces.  I don’t need to know about Killer Robots, camera-equipped drones, Bitcoin, or the newest smartphone.  I want to walk in red forest dust, beneath boughs of evergreen branches, beside breeze-dancing edges of graceful tents.  Mountain summits, still with snow, hover above me; knights, ladies, priests, and dancers surround me; and we all yell together,

“Long live the Queen!  May she reign forever!”

as we follow the purple-trimmed Spanish Queen of Misfits who allows anyone to join her bountiful land and escape the terrible Inquisitions.

So I updated my “Selah of the Summit” fantasy cover with a photo of me at that Renaissance Faire this summer.  Do you like it?  I sadly replaced the cover with my daughter Jessica looking like Arwen from “Lord of the Rings” because its resolution was so low (when I added it to the cover format).  Did you like that one, too, in its original state, below?  Which is better?  Email me your preference, please:  selahtrilogy@yahoo.com

Also download my Selah fantasy novel as a Kindle eBook (just $2.99) or paperback ($10).

Thank you and Happy Olden Days!

Lonna Lisa Williams

 

Leaving Korea, Coming Home?

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A Korean groom and bride on display at Incheon Airport’s Native Korean Crafts store

After 3 weeks of being Stuck in Seoul, I finally got the luggage I had to leave behind in China–and air tickets home. My last images of Korea melt into airport shots:  Incheon Airport, outside of Seoul, is the biggest in the world, like a city on an island. Tokyo Airport is the most high-tech and beautiful I have seen. LAX caused delays in customs for my husband, and I do not know how life will be back in California with no house or job. My daughter did not meet me for her birthday, nor did my son. Maybe I will go back to Asia to teach. Maybe I will push past the “Do Not Enter” sign I saw in the Los Angeles International Airport–and see what happens.

My newest surreal video of my trip from Seoul to Tokyo to Los Angeles

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A tiny, foldable paper cup, half full of water, from a Korean hospital; the worker consults a doctor

If you like my Blog and free videos and photos, please check out my books.

My Christmas Adventures Overseas

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My first Christmas away from America was spent in snowy Russia, 2010

Some of you may have read about my tragic childhood experiences of Christmas.  On a lighter note, you may enjoy reading about my recent Christmas adventures in Russia, Turkey, and China.  See how my life has progressed!

Still, as I spend my 4th Christmas teaching English overseas, I miss my children in California and wish I could get back to them.  Let’s all hope for a Christmas miracle and reunion with our families!

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Saint Anthony’s cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey, 2012

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A mall in Beijing, China, 2013

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Writing my Way Home for Christmas

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Jessica as an angel and Jonathan as a gold-crowned king in a California play 2004 

Help me write my way home to see my children in California.  I haven’t seen Jessica (21) and Jonathan (18) in the 3 years I’ve been teaching English overseas.  After I got divorced from their father (who got everything, including them), I couldn’t find a teaching job in America, so I went to Russia in October, 2010.  After 6 frozen months, I flew to Turkey where I lived and taught for 2.5 years.   I met my Turkish husband there.  After nearly getting arrested for writing about the Turkish freedom protests and posting a photo, I went (with my Turkish husband) to teach English in China just 2 months ago.

In all these ups and downs, I’ve been able to support myself.  But I haven’t bought a much-needed new computer (my old Apple laptop is 9 years old and very slow).  I haven’t taken a real vacation.  And I haven’t been able to afford a trip back to Los Angeles to see my children.

From Sunday, November 3 to Sunday, November 10, all 5 of my books are only $.99 (less than a dollar) for Kindle format.  You can pick from my true cancer survival story, travel adventures, science fiction, and fantasy.  Or you could splurge and pay $9.99 for a paperback.  My books encourage people to survive anything, and they make great Christmas presents.  Light can shine in the darkest places.

Please buy one of my books for a friend, think of me, and share my story.

Thank you.  See my books here.

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Jessica, me, and Jonathan in California in 2010 before I left to teach overseas

Delicately Eerie: Woman Haunted by Man

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Here is one of the eeriest photos I ever snapped with a camera.  My daughter Jessica stands in a church, holding a candle, as a mysterious man watches from the background.  Jessica, like me, has been attacked by predatory men.  May Jess be a symbol–a girl bravely holding a candle–a single flame shining in the dark, a delicate resistance.

Read more here.

Surviving Breast Cancer

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Lonna Lisa Williams sits inside the cave behind Duden Waterfall in Antalya, Turkey, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I thought I’d share my own cancer story:

I was nursing my baby when I found a lump in my breast. I told my doctor that I felt achy and tired all the time, and he said it was because I just had a baby and chased after a toddler all day. He thought my breast lump was a clogged milk duct and gave me a mammogram. Nothing strange showed up in the mammogram. But the lump didn’t go away, and I felt like I had the flu all of the time, with low-grade fevers and night sweats.

“Something is wrong,” I told my doctor when I returned, my two children with me. I knew that I was in charge of my body’s health, and I had done research on breast lumps and ways to test them.

“Give me a needle biopsy,” I requested. Jonathan started crying in my arms, and Jessica was running around the examining room.

“Just come back in 6 months,” the impatient doctor responded. “You are young, and it’s probably nothing.”

“No, do it now,” I demanded.

That action saved my life. Two days later my doctor told me I had cancer. Thus began my battle with a rare tumor that sometimes appears in women’s breasts: non-hodgkins lymphoma.

I had to stop nursing abruptly and have surgery. Luckily, I only had a lumpectomy (a lump removed from my breast). I faced four months of chemotherapy, shots, and blood work. I endured strange medical tests like CAT-scans and bone marrow biopsies. My hair fell out. I looked pale, not even eyebrows on my face to soften my vivid blue eyes. My family, friends, and church helped me by watching my children, bringing meals, and babysitting me after my chemotherapy treatments left me nauseated and weak.

I wanted to live for my children and believed that God could help me. I laughed when two boys tossed my blonde wig to each other or people stared when I forgot my wig. I joined a breast cancer support group and wrote two books about my ordeal.

Since those books were published, I have fought other battles like divorce, dependence on prescription medication, and a near-fatal car accident. I had to go overseas to teach English, leaving my children with my ex-husband. After Russia, I lived in Turkey , married a Turkish man, and took a new teaching post in China.  Now I’m trying to write my way back to California to see my children.

Last June, Jonathan graduated from high school. Jessica turned 21. I discovered that cancer was only one battle in my life, 17 years ago, and I’m grateful that the battles–and triumphs–continue.

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Read about my story in my book Crossing the Chemo Room.

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Lonna and her Turkish husband Omer at Duden Waterfall in Turkey

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Lonna with her children Jessica and Jonathan in California, 2010

Angels and Demons

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When I was a teenager, I read The Late, Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey.  It explained Bible prophecy clearly, and when I put the book down, I believed that I would see prophecy fulfilled.

I’m not the only one who thinks that planet earth is heading into its last days.  With overpopulation, pollution, and climate change brought about by an explosion of technology, nature seems to gasp under the weight of civilization.  Films have been made about Doomsday and the End Times, demons and angels battling on the earth, and the significance of Israel and the Middle East in the final battlefield that will come.

From my viewpoint in Turkey, I see these events close-up and worry about the consequences of another war.  I sit in my small Kocaeli apartment and read the ancient prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.  At night, after listening to the Turkish news report about yet another threat of war, I imagine demons and angels in the corners of my room, small flashes of black or white, spirits roaming the small spaces and wide lands around me, and threats on the horizon–lightning flashing, the moon changing color, stars falling, and Christ coming in the clouds.

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How do I face the struggles of my own life as I teach English in this foreign country and miss my children back in California?  I think of the spiritual armor mentioned in the New Testament:  a helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, boots for sharing God’s Good News.  The Shield of Faith can quench the fiery darts of demons.  The only offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, God’s word.  And surrounding me are prayers like incense, wings of a dove.

If you like my writing and photos, please check out my books.