Athens First United Methodist Church

First, let me apologize for not posting yesterday. The prompt and following poem were too personal for me to share with the world. I promise it wasn’t an excuse for slacking.


“Sit for a few minutes, eyes closed, and focus on a place where you once lived or spent a lot of time….

“After you’ve virtually experienced your place, using all of your senses, open your eyes and write for ten minutes, describing the place in purely physical terms.

“Now write about it emotionally for ten minutes. Were you happy, confused, miserable, all of those things at once?

“Now write a third piece, without looking at the first two.”


Physical Description

White pillars

White walls

White pews

Stairs to go up into the library, the WSC, and bell choir room

Stairs to go down into the choir room, classrooms and fellowship hall

The chapel, small, carpeted

The sanctuary – enormous, balcony, white pulpit, lectern

Hannah running up and down the aisles

The WSC was blue with blue/green carpet and hand prints of former students

Not mine

Couches against the wall.

Old worn, nice for napping on

Bell choir room had Noah’s ark animals painted on the walls. A giraffe was missing a leg. Swelteringly hot in spring and summer

Small space, squeeze the choir in the clang of bells reverberating

The library was small and quiet. It had board games, kids books and adult books – Bibles of course included – movies a small table for meetings.

Fellowship hall smells like lunch

Ham of chicken – potluck stuff with salads and tons of dessert. People fill the room. Kids, college students, parents, grandparents

There’s a rubber band rocket stuck in the molding way up high in the sanctuary.



Emotional Description

My sanctuary, my escape, my place of rest

When I moved off campus this became my place to go between classes

I met my family here. My pseudo moms and dad and sisters. I met my roommate here.

I went here to be alone and pray

I was welcomed and wanted and missed. People knew me and liked me. I wasn’t alone. I was wanted

I remember laughing all the time in bell choir. Ken and Wendy were so goofy. The director made me feel important. He played a bell duet with me because I had experience playing. In a time when I felt so alone, it was what I needed

I can’t get over how welcomed I felt. People wanted me to be there.

It was my safe place. I could sleep there

Ally and I played silly board games and laughed and had a chance to be honest with each other

This is the place where I belonged. I traveled to Honduras with some of these people. Twice. Wendy took me to dinner and to her house. I always had someone to sit with at potlucks. I’m so thankful for this family. For the kids I got to see graduate high school.




Third Piece

At home

I’m homesick

For my other home

My other family








Mary Jo


My heart aches

For a time I’ve grown out of

I have my degree


For the real world

But why do I have to face it alone?


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