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and the tears of a thousand angels fall...
sanctify yourself
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)

People wonder. Why? Why not? Is (gasp, ohhh) something wrong? Can you? Won’t you? And now that you’re (ahem, cough) older, shouldn’t you?

I don’t want to. That’s all. Why? Why should I? Who says I have to? Where is the decree?

I was fifteen when I made the decision. Fifteen. I remember. A score has gone by and only once have I changed my mind. A fleeting moment, prompted by a family crisis. Should we? Perhaps we should.


I know quite well why I won’t, why I don’t. I’m sure I can, and if I really wanted to, I certainly would.

But I won’t. I’m selfish. There is no other reason.

At least I admit it.

I don’t lock my indecision in a closet for four months.

I don’t rush to work full of importance, leaving what's important strapped in an airless van for nine hours.

I don’t systematically drown each one because “I’m bad.”

I don’t roast and serve to the unsuspecting.

The shield of the protector cracked. And a vile serpent coiled around all that was fractured and impure and full of righteousness and ate it, whole. The cry of many innocents echoed too late.

You say I must respect God’s covenant? That I must do what is expected within the realm of my union?

I expect God to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The angels, who did not ask to be given. Then taken.

I have my reasons.

What are yours?


Tracey likes to shake things up and then take the lid off. She also likes to keep the peace, especially in a safe, fuzzy place. Writer, editor, producer, yogini, ('cause yoger or yogor simply doesn't work) by day, rabid WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething! player by night. You can follow her on Twitter: @traceylkelley or @tkyogaforyou

more about tracey l. kelley


swimmin’ wid da fishes
with ankles chained by writer's blocks
by tracey l. kelley
topic: writing
published: 10.23.02

cassie and marlo listen in: part 2
by tracey l. kelley
topic: writing
published: 4.27.09


tracey kelley
7.11.01 @ 2:34a

geez Louise, this must have really sucked. Not a single comment from the peanut gallery.

jael mchenry
7.11.01 @ 8:53a

For my part, I didn't think I felt qualified to comment on the subject matter, and as for the style, it's as cool as everything else you do. I can't speak for the rest of the peanut gallery, although sometimes I try.

mike julianelle
7.11.01 @ 9:06a


mike julianelle
7.11.01 @ 9:07a

I like it. I liked having to figure it out. Or am I just dense?

michelle von euw
7.11.01 @ 9:18a

My two cents: right on, Tracey. My friend Shannon has developed some terrific responses to people like those in your first paragraph (namely, her inlaws).

And Michael, I'm with you. The airless van paragraph made me think of puppies. But that's part of what I really liked about this piece.

mike julianelle
7.11.01 @ 10:26a

Wait, it's not about puppies?!!!

adam kraemer
7.11.01 @ 10:38a

I actually heard a comedian talking about how he could never understand how parents could leave their children in an air-tight car for an hour while they went grocery shopping until the first time he went to the supermarket with his kids.

tracey kelley
7.11.01 @ 12:19p

sniff you like me, right now, you really *like* me...

Sorry about the ambiguousness. Just wanted to test an approach and thought without spelling it out. note to self: might want to distinguish between puppies and babies next time. :)

Aside to one of the insightful and concise critiques received: I believe the answer would be refusing to justify - but thanks for making me turn around and think on it for a moment....

Oh, and when I said "peanut" you know I meant only the hand-sorted, organic Harry&David variety, don't you?

adam kraemer
7.11.01 @ 12:42p

You're welcome. Thanks for calling me insightful.

tracey kelley
7.11.01 @ 12:46p

HA! Flushed out like a bloodhound down a rabbit hole.

adam kraemer
7.11.01 @ 1:17p

So it was about dogs?

Just kidding. I always fall for faint (feint?) praise (preiz?).

tracey kelley
7.11.01 @ 1:44p

And if Adam falls on the intrepid discussion board, but no one was around to hear it, did he really fall?

adam kraemer
7.11.01 @ 2:29p

Well, yes, but apparently I made no noise.

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