2017 in Review: A Collage of Reflections & Words
This past year has been a momentous journey physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I think the best way I can launch this blog is to dive into the deep end and share excerpts of many pieces I have written. I've arranged them chronologically. My hope is these words give words to the true things my readers might feel but struggle to express for themselves. That is why I write.
The Rabbit Hole.
A place I have entered by descending to an unnatural depth, going down, down, down.
A place I have stumbled upon by following a little white rabbit who clamored about time and how fast it was passing.
A place that I entered through a dream from which I have not been able to awaken.
A place that alternately feels too big for me and then too small.
A place that runs parallel to the real world but has nothing in common with it.
A place ruled by the angry queen of a blood-red angry heart.
It’s crazy how much nothing can ache.
How the absence of something that should be but isn’t
Hurts more than something that is broken, yet there.
Nothingness hurts like hunger.
It tortures like thirst.
It brings panic with it –
The panic of lostness.
Fear that the empty place will always stay empty
And the pain will never go away.
I texted myself hi and replied hey,
And for a moment, I was the little match girl in the story,
Striking a match and warming my hands in the blazing glow of a memory.
Not-alone flickered in my face, my eyes, and then winked out,
Leaving the cold colder and the alone lonelier.
Literally and figuratively.
I'm losing it, I thought…
“I don’t want to be flawless. When I go, I want the cuts to show.” – Pink
How dare you think me flawless
Or ask me to be.
How dare you deny me the right to be weak,
Tell me to smile because you don’t want to deal with my tears.
Tell me to hold it together
Because you don’t want to carry my weight.
I have been strong.
On the outside I have been strong.
Squared my shoulders, donned my smile, and suppressed my screams.
I suppress the scream, but I still scream.
I scream from the inside out.
Someday all that is inside me will bleed out before your eyes.
You will see the cuts and be astonished.
You’ll wonder how you could have missed them all this time.
I am covered in scars.
Scars disguised as pictures and words.
Written in ink on my skin.
I have bled signs and symbols.
I have pierced the surface of myself and placed something true beneath.
It is the best kind of art.
I pull myself together.
Blood fills the cracks between the pieces,
Drying and hardening, like glue.
But one day the glue will no longer hold.
I will fly apart and scatter myself to the wind.
You will look around you at the wreckage and wonder.
Then it will strike you at last
That I was never flawless.
Dreaming and Waking
The saddest movie I ever saw was one about dreaming and waking.
A woman closed her eyes each night, fell asleep in one world, and then she woke up in another.
In one, she had an apartment in New York, a high-powered job, and a boyfriend.
In the other, she lived in a tiny French village, had a cottage, a garden, and a daughter.
She rotated night after night, day after day, living both of her lives,
Never knowing which was the real one and which was the dream,
Or if it made any difference.
She had a therapist in both worlds, a psychiatrist, helping her make sense of her duality.
But he warned her, if you get better, one of these worlds goes away.
There were things to love in both worlds.
Each brought out a side of herself.
She was afraid to choose, because what if she chose the dream?
Would that mean she’d never wake up?
If I make my bed in hell
I never imagined you’d follow me into Hell.
Yet here you are, unwilling that I should go there alone.
Building on Sand With Glass
We were a glass castle built on sand
And we shattered.
Was there ever a rock beneath us?
Were we ever not fragile?
I can’t remember.
I don’t think so.
Which one of us threw the first stone?
I can’t remember.
Maybe I threw them all.
I heaved a brick.
Was it meant to strike you?
I don’t think so.
I think it was aimed at the wall.
I had to make a hole to let something bigger in.
Or to make a way out.
I didn’t think. Just threw.
White webs of breaking traveled along the glass.
Frosty hairs. Tendrils. Fingers.
It was almost beautiful.
Then it rained glass.
Around us. Beneath us. Through us.
And we bled.
Now we stand exposed, houseless and homeless on the sand,
Surrounded by all this glass.
Rebuild, they tell us. You must rebuild.
What, here? With this?
There are no bricks. No temples.
We could make a mosaic of our brokenness
Using our blood for glue.
It would have its own kind of beauty.
A stained-glass temple to heartbreak.
It would be a good place to be buried,
But not a place we could live.
You fit into me.
I am a crossword puzzle.
You are all my words.
We are puzzle pieces, you and I
And not edges or corners either,
But middle pieces,
The hardest ones to place.
Seascapes or skyscapes, colorful blurs,
Which seem to belong everywhere and nowhere at once.
The lost pieces.
The ones that get dropped under the table, stepped on, slid under the couch.
The frustrating ones that seem they will never be found.
But when they are found,
When they do fit,
Slip together easily, nothing forced,
Just finding their perfect belonging,
Two become one.
There is beauty.
In the Moment
Living in the moment
Or for the moment:
These are different,
And the difference matters,
But not right now.
Because I am in this moment.
I am for this moment,
Or maybe I mean,
This moment is what I am for.
To live in the moment is to live awake,
To live sensually alert and aware,
To experience life like a live wire crackling on wet pavement.
To live for the moment is to step too close to that wire.
To take risks.
To risk too much.
But to find the line and stay behind it,
That is difficult.
Living in the moment,
For the moment,
Is like floating through life on a raft.
Time passes under it like water,
Sweeps by with all its debris,
But we float above it.
Or it is like a hot air balloon,
Suspended above the ground,
Not connected to anything.
Untethered and hovering,
Seeing it all,
Affected by nothing but each other and beauty and air.
This his how I live in the moment.
Inhabiting a sphere of pleasure and happiness,
Not connecting the dots,
Just carving them out one by one.
Big, bold dots of memory.
To experience sense,
But not to touch down.
Just to be.
Now and here.
This is my oasis.
The desert stretches, vast and dry,
The horizon seamless, like a bedspread pulled tight.
Empty is everywhere.
Her eyes sting with the strain of searching, but
She has no water for tears.
She is hungry and thirsty, but the hunger she can push down.
It’s the thirst that strangles her.
She drags herself through the days. Forward. Just forward,
Then collapses at night in the cold.
She wraps her arms around herself, holds herself, while she sleeps,
Dreaming away the Alone.
Then one day, when she opens her eyes, there is Something. Not Nothing.
It is far, but she reaches for it, and feels it is reaching for her.
It is blurred. Indistinct. And she is afraid.
She has seen mirages before.
Cruel tricks played by hope on a fevered brain.
There is nothing crueler than hope.
She takes a step, sure when she advances it will retreat,
But it stays.
Grows larger. Looms even, becoming more solid and real.
She reaches it.
The boughs of the palms open for her, and she steps in,
Her body enveloped in shade.
A pool sparkles, its surface like starlight, beckoning, come and drink.
She drops to her knees and plunges her head beneath the water.
Drinking, fiercely drinking, ready to drown herself to kill her thirst.
Her thirst is killed, but she is alive, perhaps more than ever before.