I have an ache the size of something terribly important – but am exhausted by the business of so much minutiae that I’m not even sure for what I ache, nor where the longing itself is located – would I fill it with one more trifle.
There is a pen
and so many drawers
emptied of words.
A stifled urgency.
I have been looking for a cure for as long as I can remember. First, it was for food when I was hungry and for something to drink when I had thirst. Once I realized I could get my needs met, by asking to be fed, for a glass of water, a blanket – it was as if finding something out there to fix what was needed in here
became the blueprint for my next decided action. I quickly began to look towards friendship when I was lonely, an excuse when I was mad, a party when happy, a lover when amorous, a bed when fatigued. Soon it was coffee when tired, aspirin when sore, hat when frizzy, diet when fat, and absolutely anything when bored. So that every feeling should be resolved or counter balanced. An antigen found. A remedy procured. But what if. What if I did not so rashly fill my hunger, sate my thirst, friend my loneliness, blanket my chill? What if tired were allowed to be sleepy, and chubby, plump, and frizzy, fro? What if lonely were lone, and mad just that? Would all just simply BE?
happy. amorous. tired. inert. hungry. lonely. bored. alive.
May We Be.
there is none.
no thing is happening
that could mean more
than it already does.
so what feels like boredom
is just being
Sometimes, when you’ve tripped over one too many half-folded laundry piles (on the way to the closet to get the vacuum you all of a sudden urgently need, having discovered dirt clots on the carpet you passed on your way to retrieve the needle for repairing a long lost duvet button) on your impulsive way to the laptop to google new linens (because that sounds like a good idea too in the flurry of the moment) and you find yourself suddenly searching mattresses because why buy new linens when you really need a new bed and then maybe a smaller one would be better because you wouldn’t have to crawl in from the foot of it and could maybe have a lamp for reading but then there’s that “then no one else can curl up and watch a movie” that gets in the way so you start searching fun things to do with kids because screw television and then you are redirected to some Waldorf inspired educational program and suddenly you are failing as a parent and ruining your children’s chance at a real childhood so you start making pancakes with whip cream smiling faces ( all organic of course) and try to enroll your little ones into the process and maybe we could grow our own wheat and learn how to sprout it and (mental note to self: look up how to spout wheat…and nuts and seeds while you are at it…) and “can you MAKE me a glass of water” ripples across the room for the 15th time in the day so digging up the home depot water cooler for camping is a good idea so there is always cool water but DAMN you really need a filter for the sink even though you tested it with the $20 test kit from the health food store and the flipping Britta you bought on sale at Target was on sale because the lid never actually fit those fockers and the dryer beeper goes off but the pancake needs to be flipped so you stay put for 1/10th of a second before unloading the dishwasher because you need a plate for the pancakes and you realize you didn’t fill the ice tray back up so MUST DO NOW…..Sometimes, when this happens, this tripping over the not so metaphorical half-folded laundry, you pause – just long enough to redirect yourself to the refrigerator, where standing – dumbfounded – and not necessarily hungry, looking for something to shove into the void of discombobulated busy-ness, you wake the fuck up. Not always, but sometimes. What then? For me – it’s the crossroads. Am I going to DO one more thing to somehow “fix” all the half-done, tedious, outward seeking sense of incompletion? Am I going to take down a bag of Famous Amos cookies? Should I fold the laundry? What if I actually put it away? What then? The energy it takes to stay asleep during waking hours is quite impressive. So very busy sleeping.
I always wanted to steal time – to sneak into the fissures and crevices of it’s passage before NOW was gone, and put a halt to it. As if somehow I could manage a suspension. An idling. A breath forever caught in the inhalation. Spaciousness without borders. No tick-tock-ing of the forever omnipresent but elusive clock. A still-life.
The hurry of childhood saddens me. How I raced at it with nothing but eagerness and zeal. How my own children can be so swept up in the promise of aging that tomorrow seems like more of a gift waiting to be granted than today appears to be a miracle. How we plan. How we dream.
Today, a 10 year old said to me, “Me? I’m a lonely sorrow”.
He wasn’t sad when he said it, merely alive and spontaneous and unguarded. The words did summersaults off his tongue and bounced around in the car until they fell like lead balloons into this mother’s lap. She stole the line.
I like to think that we are not broken. That our wounds are the glue that keep us adhered to life. And maybe this is where Time stands still. When we listen. When we allow meaning to fly
still . . .
car door shuts.
To be everywhere
is some kind of renaissance
it is a hiding
that allows distraction
to parade as education.
When the clock refuses to stop
and the sun shifts just enough
into a bustling sky
one must forfeit the retreat
(though trepidation spurs the coil)
with head up into the day.
in moments warranting attention
causes the coyote to whimper before lunging
and the prey to smile
before the escape.
Because there is bamboo and mums and the filtering of sun through trees. Beacause he said “I love you more, Mom, and yes, it’s possible.” Because god. Then the shock that is a gentle awakening too quickly turned to chaos and the impossibly fine line between play and rage – only then and because god is tolerance. I wanted to love like some Southern California sun – so consistent and reliable the warmth, the offerings, that the life-sustaining light itself could be taken for granted. I wanted to love like water. A brook, a river – an uncharted ocean whose quiet calm could not be imagined. Still, the magnificent crimson mum sharing a stem with her lifeless brother and they, the mere possibility of a bulb only one Winter gone. This womb. There are wild clovers thriving amidst flowerless forget-me-nots – their heads pulled off without method by the eager fingers of adolescent’s zeal. This garden. I figured the succulents would take – would spread and cover the cinderblock walls that define our beds. But they are weary – their empty hands seeking light in this Northwestern house of shade.