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Tomorrow

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poem by Rhiannon C Hall – 26 June 2017


The sun will come out
And shine on the world
When something I’ve dreamed of,
Something I’ve clung to
Through years of darkness,
Begins
Tomorrow…

Something I’ve worked for,
Hoped for,
Been scared of,
And cried so many tears over,
Will start
Tomorrow…

I’m watching the hours count down until
Tomorrow,
But it has been unfolding for so long…
Each and every today that has danced through my life
Has been a step along
The journey,
And tomorrow is merely another step.

I will leave my comfort zone.
I will step beyond a line
Of never again being able to say:
“I’ve never”
Or “I’ve always wanted”,
And my foot will fall into the space of:
“I am”
And “I have”…
When
Tomorrow
Becomes
Today…

 
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Posted by on 26 June 2017 in Blog, Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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London Summer 2017

My name is Rhiannon. I’m a writer and have long dreamed of seeing England. When I say “long”, I mean I can’t recall a time in 39 years when a mention of anything British in a book or on tv didn’t stir up feelings of longing and trigger a million daydreams. I believe God calls us to things, nudges us with desires that may seem ridiculous to others, but they are pieces of our path in life, our destiny. I believe this trip is part of my calling. Obviously, money is an obstacle or I wouldn’t be here asking for your help.

If you’d like to help, you can donate here: Rhiannon’s GoFundMe Campaign

Can you be a collaborator in my journey? Can you give (even small amounts help) to make this dream a reality? I promise that I will take you along with me, not just in spirit and in my prayers, though I certainly will do both, but via my blog and social media as well.

You can find my blog here: Be the Beauty – Rhiannon’s blog I will be including a “London Summer” Tab soon to make it easier to follow along!

So, let me explain my dreams:

As a writer, I know I can ramble for ages about being brave, taking leaps of faith, and following dreams. I have done my share of those already but, they have mostly been confined to the realm of my small and predominately risk-free life. I need to put that philosophy into action and spread my wings. Writers need adventures to fuel their imaginations and world views, to grow and connect with people so that their words can reflect that growth and return that connection to others. If I only live in a bubble, I will only write within that same scope. I want to use my writing to glorify God and show the realness of faith. As my friend Ronne said, “Faith isn’t airy or nothingness. It’s got heft to it. It’s weighty. It’s more real than reality.” This journey is my faith in action, following the voice of God far beyond my comfort zone and surrendering to whatever He wants to reveal to me.

SUBMERGED IN THE CULTURE

I want to take you along with me as I blog about my experiences. I’m sure there will be cultural differences between my small town life in the semi-rural US and the big city of London in the UK.

I don’t want this to be just a quick tourist visit. I would love to live there someday, but for now, I am making the most of this one trip by spending two months there, submerging myself in London as much as I can, breathing in the architecture and the history of the churches and libraries and museums, witnessing the grit and grime and beauty and all the intermingling gravity of the lives there. I want to stroll through parks and play the guitar in the shade. I want to write poetry and articles in coffee shops or on park benches. I want to take walks by the River Thames and try to discover why it seems so special in my mind.

SENTIMENTAL TOUCHSTONES

One of the first places I want to visit is 84 Charing Cross Road. After the book and movie, I need to know that I didn’t wait too long to follow my dreams. I want to see the plaque on the wall where the bookstore once stood and know that I really did it, I got to reach out and touch something that has eluded me for so many years. I need to know that this was finally real and not a forgotten wish-turned-regret when my life is over.

I’d love to take a pilgrimage to a tiny village in Somerset where a writer who greatly shaped my theology and my worldview is buried. I want to pay my respects and meditate on the impact that we make in the world just by being true to ourselves. I want to marvel with God that He uses every relationship to create ripples through time and generations that we may never witness.

PRIDE

Since I came out as gay nearly 2 years ago, I have longed for LGBT community. I live in a very rural and conservative part of Missouri where I am the only “out” LGBT I know, and definitely the only out gay Christian. That kind of community is nonexistent for me here. I will be there in time for Pride in London to be my first ever Pride event and will definitely be writing about that! (for perspective: Leicester Square alone, which will hold the women’s stage, has a capacity for 5,000 people. My entire town has a population of LESS THAN 3,000.)

NO RESERVES. NO RETREATS. NO REGRETS.

My flight is booked. My savings are nearly wiped out. My budget for the next couple months is incredibly tight. Can you help me to make this trip a really special experience? I don’t want anything fancy. Hostels and friends’ sofas will help. But there is still a deficit and I want to be able to follow where God is leading me.

My pastor recently spoke of a man named William Borden. He felt God calling him to be a missionary in Asia. When he died, found written in his Bible were the words:

“No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.”

To me, these have come to mean: that I reserve nothing from God, I’m laying it all on the line to follow where He is calling; there is no turning back, no matter how difficult the journey gets; and I will not live a life of regretting the dreams I haven’t chased or the callings I’ve not heeded.

FAITH THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE

I am stepping out in faith that I will be taken care of along this journey. I know that God will provide my needs. It is possible that he will provide them through some of you.

I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I’ve noticed God often makes us rely on other people when we least want to. Even the apostle Paul had people giving money to support him as he travelled around to various churches to preach the Good News. As a Christian, I believe that all of our lives, every aspect of them, are part of our witness and ministry. As a writer, I know this adventure will have long-lasting effects on my career. As a girl who has wrestled with her faith and asked God to show her clearly the direction He is calling, I have come to this place where I lay my hopes, dreams, and needs out before you and trust that Yahweh Yireh (the God who Provides) will do as His name suggests.

Amanda Palmer, singer and writer, has a philosophy called “The Art of Asking” which illuminates the exchange between people when they undertake a partnership of seeing and being seen by one another, that one person giving money to fund another’s passion is a two-way exchange where both come away with something of value. As you give, you will be helping me reach me dream. As I live out that dream and write, I will be carrying you with me and reaching back to you with my words and my gratitude.

THANK YOU

Seriously, thank you for taking the time to read about my dreams. Thank you for any prayers or positive thoughts you can spare me, including prayers for my safety and health during my travels. Thank you for any money you are able and willing to give. And, whether you can give or not, would you be willing to pass this on in case my story resonates with someone you know? If so, thank you for that, too. Perhaps some day I can return the favour and help you follow your dreams.

This is a song I wrote last year about following God. That is what this trip is about, but it is also what my life is about. (Apologies for the slightly rough recording quality and that it wasn’t memorized since I recorded it the day I wrote it!)

 
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Posted by on 24 June 2017 in Blog, London Summer

 

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What Poetry Is

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by Rhiannon Hall – (c) 2017

You can ask what poetry is
But brace yourself,
The answer is probably along the lines of
“I don’t know”
And if anyone tells you a solid answer
You can throw that solid thing back at them

The truth is
Poetry

Poetry is truth
But not a truth that always makes sense
Not a truth that can be paraded around
As information

Poetry is
Life
And creation
And wonder

You can write words
In short and random
Choppy
Sentence
Lack-of-structures

Or pleased to keep time
And a measure of rhyme
You can alter the rules
Or fall strictly in line

But even these
Do not carry a guarantee
That the finished product
Is anything at all
Unless
It feels like poetry

Can you feel the brushstrokes
Of the words and the spaces
As a picture is painted
Around you?

Can you savour the flavour
Of metaphor
As it drips across your tongue
And melts into sticky pools
In your soul?

Do you cringe at the harshly lit
Revelations
When it denies you
The freedom of turning your glance
From seeing yourself in its open wounds?

Poetry is a lace curtain
Blowing in the breeze
That never fully blocks out your reality
Of light and darkness
But gauzes overlaid
And flutters the vision
Between your world and mine
And your world
And mine
Are the same and never the same
And the tatted threads
Draw lines around those aspects
And give us insights
That bind our hearts with open-weaved strands
That forever tint our landscape views
In beautifully painful honesty

And somewhere amid all the substance
And lack thereof
You’ll find what poetry is…

 
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Posted by on 21 June 2017 in Poetry

 

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The Battle Rages On…

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By Rhiannon C Hall (c) 2017

 

She watched the sun
Slip behind the world
Clawing bloody trails of lingering
Across all that could be clung to
With its empty caress

She felt her heart
Not siding with the death
But without a flutter to fight
For its lost cause against darkness
Stealing in again

The air blew around
Stirred the scent of sleep
And cool memories that sting
When you aren’t expecting them
To nibble at your mind

And she hated the dark
She hated the way
It stripped away the distractions
And she wished she’d fought a little more
But she closed her eyes

And seconds stretched
Into a bleak eternity
Each aching moment barely letting
Breath carry her into the next
And into the next

She watched the darkness
Turn to gauze and whispers
She felt the charge of cavalry stampede
Against the crawling endlessness and claim
Victory for another day…

 
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Posted by on 15 June 2017 in Poetry

 

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London’s Calling!

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London is calling and I need help to get there! The following is from my gofundme campaign which you can find here:  Rhiannon’s London Adventure

 

For those who don’t know me, my name is Rhiannon. I’m a writer (translation: poor) and have long dreamed of seeing England. When I say “long”, I mean that I can’t recall a time in my 39 years that a mention of anything British in a book or on tv didn’t stir up a feeling of longing and trigger a million daydreams. I believe God calls us to things, nudges us with desires that may seem ridiculous to others, but they are part of our path in life, part of our destiny. I believe this trip is part of my calling, even if I can’t explain exactly how yet. Obviously, money is an obstacle or I wouldn’t be here asking for your help, so let me explain my dreams:

 

I don’t want this to be just a quick tourist visit. I want to submerge myself in the city. I would love to live there someday, but for now, I would like to make the most of this one trip and spend about two months there. If I’m really careful with my budget, I can eat cheaply and stay in the most basic hostels (and, perhaps, occasionally on a friend’s couch); but, there is still a deficit between my savings and the ability to afford even the bare minimum. (The least expensive hostels are still more than my mortgage here in the states!) I’ll also need (occasional) food and laundry, random incidental expenses, plus travel around the city and a couple of side trips; for example, a pilgrimage to a writer’s gravesite in the southeast and a few days at the shore. I’ve seen the ocean just once in my life and only for one afternoon last autumn. I’d like to spend a little more time hearing the waves and smelling the briny air.

I was in Delaware in this pic and England is about 3,500 miles over my left shoulder. October 2016

 

Most of what I want to experience will not cost much. I want to stroll through parks and play the guitar in the shade. I want to write poetry and articles in coffee shops or on park benches. I want to see churches and libraries and a few museums, breathing in their architecture and their history. I want to take walks by the Thames because it feels like a really special place in my mind.

Probably the first place I want to visit in London (and maybe again as the last place when I have to say goodbye) will be 84 Charing Cross Road. After the book movie, I NEED to see that plaque on the wall where the bookstore once stood. I need to know that I didn’t leave my dreams too long, that I got to reach out and touch something that has eluded me for so many years. I need to know that this was finally real and not a forgotten wish-turned-regret when my life is over.

Since I came out as gay nearly 2 years ago, I have also wanted to go to a Pride event. I live in a very rural and conservative part of Missouri, so that hasn’t been a possibility yet. What if this year I could do both? What if this summer I’m in England by the 8th of July, in time for Pride in London to be my first pride event? I have only once been in a large gathering of LGBTQIA+ community. There were about 300 people at a Gay Christian conference a couple years ago, the vast majority of whom were LGBT+, the rest were allies. But where I live, there isn’t an LGBT+ community at all. To think of the community present at Pride when just Leicester square alone holds 5,000 people? That is nearly double the entire population of my town and only one part of Pride in London! That thought almost moves me to tears.

Due to extenuating circumstances, I’ve not been able to save as much as I need. I am hoping some of you would like to virtually take this journey with me. I will be blogging my trip and writing poetry as usual. You will get to see some of what I’m up to, knowing you helped me get there. If I don’t reach my goal, I will still be going, though perhaps not in time for Pride and perhaps for a shorter duration. If I surpass my goal, I will be able to include a few extras like tickets to the West End production of Annie with Miranda Hart as Ms. Hannigan. (I adore Miranda, but have you seen ticket prices? It barely ranks as a “maybe” now, but would become a definite with enough money.)

Click this link to read my poem Love Letter to London in case you missed it here on my blog. I will put up a “London Summer” tab soon so you can follow along easily.

 

I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I’ve noticed God often makes us rely on other people when we least want to. Even the apostle Paul had people giving money to support him as he travelled around to various churches to preach the Good News. Amanda Palmer, the singer and writer, has a philosophy called “The Art of Asking” which illuminates the exchange between people when they undertake a partnership of seeing and being seen by one another, that one person giving money to fund another’s passion is a two-way exchange where both come away with something of value. As a Christian, I believe that all of our lives, every aspect of them, are part of our witness and ministry. As a writer, I know this adventure will have long-lasting effects on my career. As a girl who has wrestled with her faith and asked God to show her clearly the direction He is calling, I have come to this place where I lay my hopes, dreams, and needs out before you and trust that Yahweh Yireh (the God who Provides) will do as His name suggests. I have my passport, my laptop so I can write anywhere in the world, and a little savings. Can you help me make the rest of it happen? Can you be part of helping me realize this dream?

I am in a time crunch to get the plane ticket. I need some funds within the next week or two to get there in time! But if you can’t give right away, that’s alright! I will leave the gofundme campaign open through part of the summer for continued donations that will cover ongoing costs like room and board.

Every little bit helps and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even if all you can offer is a prayer and a share… Maybe someone you know can donate and I can definitely use all the prayers I can get as I undertake this journey of a lifetime.

 
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Posted by on 11 June 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized

 

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Wanderer’s Warning

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By Rhiannon C. Hall – (c) 2017

 

The cattails thrum repeatedly on
The haunted hollow fallen log
And echo in the misty gloaming
Heightened by the thickening fog

The bullfrog’s croakings drowning out
The gurgling mud and muck that traps
The boots of every hopeful wanderer
Daring trod an unworn path

The mossy scent of ages gone
Entwines within the traveler’s soul
And anchors them with burdened doubt
Until relinquishing control

They let their fate and destiny
Fall dead amongst the ragged reeds
And in the stillness watch them rot
Alongside their forgotten dreams

A warning caution to us all
When in the snare of swampy trials
Let us boldly charge ahead
Through every aching, stumbling mile

And let us not succumb to what
So many others have before
For just beyond the darkened hellscape
Lies the goal we’re striving towards

 
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Posted by on 6 June 2017 in Poetry

 

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Future

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by Rhiannon C. Hall – (c) 2017

 

Spinning-top confusion
As I’m stuck inside a snowglobe
Looking out into the wild
But the glass is fogging over
From my panicked pounding heart
And gasping lungs

All the puzzle pieces floating,
Random in the vortex
And I can’t see what’s coming
And You say to watch
As all the bits will slow
And fall so gracefully
Into divine and perfect places
Where Your holy Wisdom
Planned them always drift
Into a landscape that will
Take my breath away
With it’s beauty
And meant-to-be-ness

Do you see the tears well up
And pour forth when I’m in this water?
Do You know the aches
And dreams
And all the shattered parts
I’m trying to hold together
While I wait and see if one day
They will all make sense?

And You whisper, “hope”
And You call out, “Trust”
And You sing to me, “wait”
And all I want to know is:
Will all of this disaster
Be worth the future that You promise?

 

 

 

This is a piece for Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt was “future” and the goal is to free write for 5 minutes and stop. Feel free to check them out on twitter at #fmfparty on Thursday evenings.

 
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Posted by on 2 June 2017 in FiveMinuteFridays, Poetry

 

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