We arrive sleepy and bent - a crumpled wad of desire for something new. These wet hot streets - a vistors reckoning - grief. But that is what you carried here my dear - packed neatly in your bags - folded, creased, alert. I tried to find the thing that made London her own. But, belonging to everyone and spread so densely through street upon alley upon court with flesh, she's a union of nations at once - scurrying about in search. The homeless prefer, it seems, to sleep in broad daylight beside a riot of words. There are no shoes, a tired beard, an altar of water bottles left at his feet. I thought about quitting marriage when I couldn't summon joy - as if London should ring that old bell back into awakening. But it was dinner time again - and every other door an open mouth for feeding. So we dine so we sleep so we rise once more and when you say good-bye i love you at last.
people are dying - and also there is cancer like a maniac bully breaking our hearts. i wanted to feel something - one time for itself - without another something to hold it up against or toward. but what's so is the tragic beauty of everything we love - dissolving in front of us as we become.
finally, i got so tired of words - and the way they were being used to destroy what we love and who we love and even how - that i quit them. just stopped writing. like the fury of a hundred years could be contained instead in prayer. but when the answers didn't line up and my own silence started to feel more like cowardice - i quit that too. had a run with rage. and ignorance. i found it is terrible to hate, even the haters. so I'm picking up the words again - like so many wild flower seeds - and i am throwing them into the wind. into the abominable hatred - even as it tries to oppress - i am throwing the words and the seeds and the light back in the face of the darkness and i am hoping that in the midst of all this dirt and manure - our wild flowers will grow. And they will take over all this shameful, barren bullshit with their outrageous color.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
tonight i left a piece of who i am on the dance floor because Stefani Keys was playing and i thought man, i wish i could sing like that - like god was walking down an empty road and someone stopped to give him a ride. that's a particular sound you know - two lanes. one car. and god.
i am trying to find a way to say i love you that sounds like i am saying something different. because you are my special forever friends and there should have been some words reserved from before you were even born. i love you because sunlight and acorns and messy green trees and the call of the wild and dangerous men and sugar and heartache and pink. i love you because old old memories and new beginnings and broken dreams and hope. i love you because you read and laugh and argue and worship and regret and cry and demand so much from life that even life gets tired - drops a leaf or two, trembles when you roar. i love you because you are kind and silly, ridiculous and mad, compassionate, cuddly, and soft. you make me soup and vegetables and cake. you bring flowers and worry and trust. you peel back decades of things that hurt to let the sunshine back in day after day and you weep beside me when i am hurt as if there were no other place on the earth to be. and you let me do the same for you. i love you because there so many things happening all the time, everywhere - but when we are together we stop to be together for real and forever even if it only lasts a minute. i love you because you care about people who have less than you and people who have more and you share your beautiful inside hearts of hearts with people who do not always deserve it. i love you because when we met we did not have to court each other like lovers who would date - but instead we were married the moment we first laid eyes... like the best of friends... because you can because it is possible because it is okay even to love someone the moment you meet. i love you because you have made me full of so much beauty and depth and good that i am having to teach myself to bow - so i look less crazy bent over - dragging around this bulging heart entirely filled with you.
for my birthday i got
a belt of cellulite
a bag of popcorn
and tickets to hear the stone foxes.
nobody told me my ass would drop
or the fine lines on leaves
would fail me
or that it would be my choice.
if it werent for the way you danced
i might have blamed it all on age.
tonight i am listening to a cello concerto on a vintage garage sale turntable i scored for twenty bucks. last night - a law and order re-run. tomorrow - maybe cake. it's easier not to be perfect. people think if you are happy all the time there must be some lack of depth - as if only misery or worry or grief could be measured against the truth. i think happy is an unmeditated reprieve. a joy for something not forgot. a joy for escaping the narrows. i see how we wear our hearts on our faces. "mine is broken" or "love me" or "yes." and then how we do all these other things to pretend they are saying something else.
the best part of friendship is the friend part - how every single other thing in life can blow for a minute or a day or even a week - but then one real talk with one good friend makes the blue meanies go away. when there is just enough good again to make the creepy stuff a blur, i feel like dancing.
I cannot tell if everything is sailing or sinking - whether what feels like rain is food for the plants or floods in the making. there is so much half and half about this living - how i'm certain good will win over then terribly worried others won't get the memo. i try to take a few deep breaths a day, pausing to remember how we are loved. most of the time it is quietly - in ways we cannot know.
i took a break today from caring too much. ate grilled cheese and onion rings at the same meal - mixed the colors and whites in the washing machine - turned off the ringer on a work day. i asked once, when the sun hit my cheek - as if it were July and not November - how to be useful, even in the midst of trying not to care. there was never a time when i did not feel lucky. i like to watch people come and go in a certain hurry - as if they too could forget the things that really matter. it's impossible though, to take your heart outside of something. it just stands there beating "i see you" "i see you" "i see you."
there was a time when all i could think of was how to be more in love with you. then all that loving made others things to love - so many in fact, that all i could think of was how to be more of myself somehow. now i am just thinking about how to be enough - and kind. and also how it is possible to want something so bad, with everything that you are, and not get it. and still know that somehow it is enough to just be enough and kind.
sometimes it is better to say less or nothing or zip. i am wondering at the petunias and how the marigolds may fare in the spring next year at your house.
today is the end of something. we all know that, holding our breaths, hoping we win. and i am thinking about the other people, who aren't thinking about elections and polls and emails and pussy. the ones who are looking for an empty doorway or a couple hits left on a butt in a gutter or something warm. i am not thinking about them because i am good but because i am sorry. i am so very sorry.
sometimes i am afraid that my children will die or i will leave them motherless or the wrong person will become President. i worry that if any of these things happen someone or everyone will be unsafe. Armageddon will happen or maybe god will break forever. when i am struggling with the entire universe and trying to control outcomes way outside my league the space inside me filled with love starts to sink until a bottom falls out and there is only worry going down and down and down. if i am lucky i will love my children today and take good care of my own little self and i will pray for my country and even for god.