"do not let a moment go by that doesn't remind you that your heart beats 900 times a day"

i will always remember today, 11/12/13 for one thing:

the day i realized the old testament and slam poetry have absolutely everything in common. yep, you read that right.

you see, i've had this poem swirly twirling in the back of my mind the last few months (watch below, it's beautiful).

"this is for the fat girls
this one is for the little brothers
this is for the school-yard wimps, and for the childhood bullies that tormented them...
shake the dust...
...do not let a moment go by that doesn't remind you
that your heart beats 900 times a day
and that there are enough gallons of blood
to make you an ocean.
do not settle for letting these waves settle
and the dust to collect in your veins."
-anis mojgani

as it turns out, shaking the dust is no respecter of persons. it's for just about anybody, in just about any circumstance. but what does shaking the dust really mean? anis tells us. it's running head-on with widespread arms into the face of life; often it's allowing things to flow into our beautifully pumping heart (that at times beats more consciously, audibly, and visibly than others). sometimes it's dangerous. sometimes it presents itself as pain. or vulnerability, love, and courage all wrapped into one giant beautiful composition of bright colors and pounding drums. we've all been there.

but here's where it gets better. isaiah (52:2) taught me this today: that shaking the dust means freeing ourselves from enslavement and captivity, quite literally.

"shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem:
loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion."
Isaiah 52:2

i learned that when we shake the dust, that we are actually just taking our rightful place. that we are being freed from enslavement, and claiming what's ours. we are quite literally standing up, (harlem) shaking the dust, and moving to a new, better place waiting for us to merely ask for it. that we are in fact running with widespread arms. that we are "grabbing the world by its clothespins...walk[ing] into [the world], and breath[ing] it" in the best way we know how.

so what's enslaving us? what's keeping us from shaking the dust?? how much dust have we allowed to accumulate on our beautiful bodies? and why?? do we believe we are enough? do we believe in growth?

i know i've had to take some painful introspective glances. do my accomplishments belie whats actually happening in my life? is my path productive, and am i really taking charge in every way that i can? i'm not sure that i am. but that's what this is all about, right?

basically, i'm saying this to myself as much as i am to anyone reading this. shake the dust! become free from your chains. do something that makes you scared and uncomfortable. recognize those places where you could shake the dust out of your lives. get out, and greet the world with open arms, and run like the wind.


E. Jay Richardson said...

Brook, what a wonderful and creative application of Isaiah's words. I love how you are thinking outside of the box as you look at scripture.

Rachel Jones said...

Bravo. All things bear record of Christ (Moses 6:63) and I believe there is power in the application you have made :)

pops said...

That's definitely a different way of looking at the term "shaking off the dust". I usually had thought of it as a condemning disassociation with evil, rather than fleeing from idleness and complacency, but I guess I now realize there is more commonality in those two concepts than I had thought.

anitamombanita said...

love it. love you!

Viviana said...

Brook, you are always teaching me and inspiring me. I love this. I have to find it in Spanish to have Blanca Ester read it. She would love it! Your souls are for forever connected... Thank you.

Bryan McGinnis said...

Wow, I don't mean to be a naysayer, but if your heart only beat 900x/day, that gives you 0.625 bpm (beats/min). The lowest recorded heart rate recorded is 27 bpm, or 39,000+ beats per minute. You're probably thinking more on the lines of 144,000 beats a day. ;)