Midday Connection

A safe place to process your story.

Midday blog: Becoming More Human, Less Machine

This poem by Carol Bieleck is a piece of beautifully written layers, and for me, it describes that shocking evolution – when everyday life becomes everyday overwhelmed-ness, and the recognition that this is the new normal. It resonated with my own new normal. And then, that lovely invitation to accept what is and then to learn to breathe under water.

So, for starters, that means I’m taking some days of vacation this month (no school work or housework or people-serving allowed!) and engaging in what my executive coach calls soul care days.

I can’t wait..to spend time with me again. To become more human and less machine.

House by the Sea by Carol Bieleck

I built my house by the sea.
Not on sand, mind you.
Not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house.
By a strong sea.
And we got well-acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence
of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier;
always the sand between.
And then one day
(I still don’t know how it happened),
but the sea came.
Without warning.
Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but sifting across the
sand like wine.
Less like the flow of water than the flow
of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher,
till it reached my door.
I knew, then, there was neither flight nor
death nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop
being good neighbors,
Well-acquainted, friendly-from-a-distance
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe under water.


Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

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4 thoughts on “Midday blog: Becoming More Human, Less Machine

  1. Marilyn Peppers on said:

    I was drawn in by your engaging first paragraph, Melinda. I started reading the poem and thought it lovely until the sea starts pushing into her space and l began to feel anxious. I am reclusive, by nature, and this is how l feel as the stress of the world overwhelms me. Not a good feeling. The breathing under water part did not relieve my anxiety. I like the view from over the fence. These thoughts from my introvert self. (:

    • Melinda on said:

      Oh Marilyn – I so get that. Breathing under water has become an unwelcome necessity. But interesting to think about…the choice/option to move to higher ground.

  2. Donna Chapman on said:

    I am a people person but I get so overstimulated from being around them that I have, HAVE, to have regular intervals of solitude to let the snow in my personal snow globe world settle.

    • Melinda on said:

      Lovely image – letting the snow fall softly back to the ground. Reminds me that I don’t want to take on “becoming human” like a task a machine would do! Thank you for this.

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