it’s not the dying that’s so hard –
but this incessant surrendering o a life
you’d expected to beat.
against the odds we made it.
drenched and exhausted on some metaphorical shore
on an island of nothing.
we made it.
thank fucking god you were there too!
otherwise i would have swam back out to the sharks.
just said “eat me, cruelties, i’m through.”
But you were there –
reminding me we made it –
another round of chemo or fires or loss –
grief like a beggar lady we’ve simply let move in.
charming as the crazy and the sullen and the gone.
when i first met you
we had longing by the balls –
and we dared to cultivate everything –
desire, freedom, innocence –
loss. buried underneath honesty –
all of it true.
my awakening is thick like maple syrup
and dark like greed.
borrowing Medusa’s eyes
i sank the ship.
you save me.
when they forgave me -
for words i had not spoken -
i hurried to use my voice again,
for forgiveness's sake itself.
before i changed for the better,
i broke things.
a stampede through time
unaware of the china -
a hurricane of doubt
in a trusting heart -
oblivion on top of indifference -
and the tiny riot of fear.
people said come back -
there is room here -
in-between the pictures you left,
are all these blank pages
upon which to show you care.
i don't know how i became a stranger here -
walking the worn aisles of the market -
recognizing no one.
i found myself -
where mount tam meets the pacific -
at a point in life up until which
i'd only ever tried to lose.
it was something.
being found -
instead of found out -
at the beach
in a quiet town with a loud heart.
i almost raised my hand as a visitor -
at the same meeting that had saved me -
when i had nothing to inherit
but undeserved grace.
instead i took a token -
a marker of sorts -
to remind me that i belong
here with the wind and the salt and the sea
where being recognized is trumped
by being known.
you can feel home in your bones,
like marrow carrying breath to the heart.
i wanted so much to be proud
of who we were becoming
but when things didn't go my way
i was furious.
angry at the world
irate at people i love
mad even at the sun
for shining its "haven't-a-care-in-the-world"
kind of shine - today
of all days.
then i remembered a promise i made myself
one time long ago -
when words really mattered.
always no matter what
i will look for the light.
always no matter what
i will find a way home.
sometimes it takes a very long time
to end a curse
or let go of a story you made up
or who you are
or why you can't.
but it is always in the extra innings
where you find out
what you're really made of.
i am always trying to outshine the sun. not because i want to be bigger or better or even brighter, but because it is ridiculous and impossible. i like playing with everything i’ve got at something, and not trying to win. i like to just be my brightest, not the brightest. that goes for smarts too.
at work i am hoping that what is important will seep through the superficial ordinariness of a day, and people will understand that when i came to meet them, i brought my heart. it may not be as tidy as all my paperwork or how i arrange their requests just so – but it will be there, raw and open and full of an enormous wanting, for them to win. i will want you to win.
in the evening when the bones of my feet remind me they have tread far enough, and i am wondering, again, how the night sky stole away with my day, my sun, before i was finished – before i could do every single thing – and also show how i love you, i will worry. but i will remember that you want me to win also and that you know for me to win, my heart needs to be right there with you, in your hands – even as my tired feet elsewhere rest. because of this, i know you will always find me.
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 thunder in the first cup of coffee. Thank god. Or gOod. Or however you want to say it. Spent $50 on fireworks yesterday and am remembering a time when it felt like I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. And even this isn’t the American Dream. But the freedom! I’m choosing to look at what is magnificent about this country. About the world. About people. About circumstances. When you find the sliver of light in the dark room, you’ve got a starting point to raise an axe to.
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.