for a minute i forgot you. or maybe it was a week or a month or any time really - that is longer than okay - until suddenly something leapt from a quiet divot in my chest and, remembering, i raced to tell you that i am still every minute and week and month so much enamored with you - my friend, my heart, my gift.
i jumped off the bridge last night in my heart and now some twelve hours later i still haven't hit the bottom - the immeasurable depth of being, too terrific to slam up against with something so simple as flesh. so i wait. think about the crawling out - the accent - the way back up to where things are indeed okay even inside the darkness. even with it. the frailty of being human - a hoax. i know the clouds are grey for a reason - that there will be more rain and disaster. but also i know, from it will come new growth and this is where i rest against the walls of a weary heart - pull myself back out and up - where i can dare again for joy.
i am sorry for dying - the way the orchid petal limps and clings - refusing to drop. i found all the merchandise a heartbreak - the way i said i love you with a boxful and ribbon - as if even a portion of my reverence could be contained. when time steals you away from me - because you are growing and learning to love things outside of Us - i wonder at having had once my own dreams - before i cared more about an elusive collective and following your youth into the night.
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.
dear santa, please bring home: food for the hungry shelter for homeless solace for the grief stricken our country's sanity and a set of tree lights that lasts longer than a year.
We drive in traffic at night to see papa - who at almost 93 years old - is the first to call you toots. Irv's a good kid says his grandson - the other calls him homey. A Haagan Daz enthusiast, he drinks hot coffee from a red Solo keg cup and holds his own against top ranked players at daily Bridge. We will dip a chip in guacamole share a hunk of cheese and build a future we worry losing. Time makes everything delicious and awful. We love him like banana pancakes. (Written by Larry Ben Jonas and Danielle Salk in car on whim. )
the rain is back - this time like a drunk American packing through France with some embarrassed Canadians. puddles are deep, people can't drive. only because of garage sales - and some vintage couture i couldn't resist - i donned my first umbrella today, like a boss. what a ridiculous improvement - this whole keeping dry out in the rain - it just never occurred... i saw a pile of a person under the freeway today - covered in sleeping bags but still sitting up - that and a small mound of cigarette butts. no arms or legs or head. just blankets and wet and butts. and me with my stupid umbrella.
i am thinking about dads today and how my own died way to young - and how so much of who i have become was because of this man - that, in some ways, i barely knew. but i knew him. i know your dad died early too, and yours. and how hard it is for all of us to look at our boys, our sons, our nephews and think - they will never get to meet him, or - god, my dad would love you. i am proud. to have had a dad. to have, through marriage and love helped make one. to understand the delicate fabric that holds our men together - that shapes our boys. I feel dangerously too close sometimes - to the essence of things - how i catch a glimpse of my child walking passed in a man's body. he carry's my father's death with him, you know and lends him another life.
i spoke to an old friend today who belongs at the beach but lives somewhere else. and i wanted to erase time for him and destroy space so he would be here again in a town that loves him. "they have no idea who you are, do they?" i asked, thinking how absurd you can be famous in one town, and a total stranger in another. "No they don't," he said and i wanted to cry for what they're missing. we are these little worlds to each other meaning so much depending so much on each other for our rotation. i think when you remove one of us from the solar system - all of the other planets wobble. or, at the very least - i mean to say - i miss you.
when i was a child i very much wanted to be famous - so that everyone would know how special i was. at four i decided when i grew up i would marry johnny cash so i could make him happy. they seemed such useful goals. now,as an adult,i only want to be more reflective - so that the people who love me can see how special they are instead. and if i could - i would marry my husband again - this time not trying to make him anything different than he already is. i know i got a much better life than i deserve. when i go to bed at night, i try to think of new ways to pay it forward. sometimes it's just shutting up.
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 don't like mean people as well as i like the nice ones. kinda like it's better to be healthy than barfing in a bush. some things are simple like that. still, life makes you suffer a bully or two before you get your free slurpee. eventually, if you don't let the bad stuff get you down, you'll own the whole 7-11. start with a few good friends.
my pen is broken from too much thinking. where without the soothing curse of love - i might be bored. someday my friends will find me asleep in an attic at noon. curled up in a pile of cards they sent through the years. there is a chocolate cake pillow and a little a little cup of tea.
i dont drink but tonight i wore a missile toe and mimosa t-shirt with the arms cut off to qualify for the ugly sweater party. all of my friends are beautiful. they donned their santa-riding-a-unicorn sweaters and acrylic reindeer shells and tried to neutralize their exquisiteness with Tacky - but it is just impossible. one friend showed me an app where she could wipe her screen with her index finger and she swore it was erasing our wrinkles. i could not stop laughing. not because i couldn't tell the difference but because i thought it was so damn funny that she would try to erase the wrinkles on a photo of something so imperfectly perfect already. plus it was the way her finger rubbed back and forth naive almost, the finger, i could barely take it. friendship cannot be measured in cocktails poured or hors d'oeuvres served or even sweaters worn. but little fingers on screens and white elephant re-gifts and the magic of reading the bill held out three feet in front of you... one eye closed for squinting the other shot full of love. girlfriends are just the best. there is no other way to say it.
the fairies are coming in their holiday sparkles with their christmas jingles and their hanukah lights - and you can almost feel the cheer thickening the air. it's nice to be alive when there is extra hope afloat. and to watch people cozying up and sitting closer - to beat the cold. mostly, though, i like the sound of you snoring - like a sedated lion harmless and safe beside me.
Forty is a magic number like 7 and 11 and 13. Forty is when you are closer to fifty that you are to twenty and you just cannot believe it. It is also when mean people start to not matter and your real friends show themselves and your occupation is only part of who you are. It matters who you love when you are forty - because you realize you may be half way home or on the back nine or however you say to old to screw around anymore. It matters who loves you back now also - more than it did before - because who has time anymore for half-assed love affairs and broken promises and the greatest insult of indifference? Forty is great because you really start to care about things that matter - differently than you could when you were thirty - and you've lived enough life to simply reply "because i said so" when someone asks you why. At 46, I'm thinking 'hells to the yeah' just watch me put in some crest strips and hit Facebook - i'll write a poem all about the life.
i watched a child reach for a star and i could understand how she thought she might make it hers. i watched an elderly man shuffle a little to the left to clear a path for youth and i could understand how that might sting. i watched the crease under your eye disappear when you stopped smiling - and i realized i might lose you. there is nothing like time to heal a wound and to inflict one. i know you are mine and that you'll be mine forever - but there is a certain finality to the crease under your eye when you are not smiling - and it makes me realize - forever is not long enough.
sometimes people ask you a question and then get mad at you because they don't like the answer. sometimes you give someone your trust and they give you back a knuckle sandwich. sometimes you think every little thing is a-okay in the world and then you wake up. sometimes it hurts to laugh and feels good to cry and you have to ask am i little crazy? someone who really loves you will say "no."
sometimes i think about what it was like when i was three. you were four and a half my brother - showing me the ropes. when you taught me how to ride a bike you put me on it and just let go - i was pointed down hill. i rode as fast as lightning until i hit the curb and flipped over the bars into the bushes. you hoorayed and clapped so hard i felt certain i was a hero and didn't dare to cry. so much of how i came to believe the world was good and safe was because you were always there - pulling me in and out of danger - keeping me steady on my tiny feet, yelling pedal! pedal! run dani! fly!
they say all is fair in love and war and i think that's a bunch of malarkey. like how with love - there are so many more catchers than there are pitchers, its nearly impossible to get a game going. from the bleacher i want to just yell Throw the fucking ball! Hurl it! because i think eventually someone will show up with a mitt. i know it looks easy to say from where i'm sitting - sharing a bag of seeds with my prince - but i'll be damned if love won't break your fall if you jump. i have always known that i am not afraid of heights. what i am afraid of is jumping.