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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

So this is what it’s like.
The dark so thick no glimmer of light can get in.
The air so stale my lungs lurch to escape the fumes.
The sign reads, “no train horn”.
My head hurts.
My eyes are blurry.
My heart sings with the questions that only clarity can answer.
So… Many… Questions.
A million ways I’ve asked.
A million ways I’ve tried to be heard.
A million ways I’ve tried to explain a piece of the my soul to you as if there could ever be an explanation that would shed light on the darkened path that we can sometimes travel if we allow ourselves to float freely down the rabbit hole.

So this is what it’s like.
Figuring out who you are through someone else’s eyes.
Their vision is so cloudy they stumble and fall on my mistakes.
The sign reads, “you are here”.
Looking for myself.
My finger scanning the map.
My mind wanders from place to beautiful place.
So… Many… Places.
Not pulling you back to the abyss we’ve already visited.
Never wanting to pull you back.
Pulling you back would mean I’m still there too looking for some dysfunctional company because that’s the only kind of friend who would crawl into the rabbit hole with you, a beautifully fucked up friend.

So this is what it’s like.
The tunnel you’ve been crawling through suddenly opens to a rocky shore.
The rocks are so jagged but on the other side is the sweet ebb and flow of breath.
The sign reads, “always becoming”.
A calm exhale.
Toxic thoughts pushed out by the salty ocean air.
So… Many… Thoughts.
Letting go of all the small things.
Blocking them from ever returning.
The small things grow into big things and those big things can pull you under, so far under that your lungs scream at you because you’re breathing through a straw so you turn away from the rabbit hole and you grasp the hand of that friend and you walk away and dip your toes in the cool ocean not afraid to look back.

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Photo From Kind Over Matter

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I don’t want to write any words
…when I’m on the downward side of this spiral, when I’m looking through a window that’s fogged over as if a cloud dropped and settled right there, right in my line of vision. I squint and I screw my face and I narrow my eyes and I try to wipe away the fog but it goes no where. It stays… blocking my view, obscuring my words. Coiling around the flow of courage, so tight. So tight it coils, trying to scare it off. So, I don’t want to write any words when this spiral is going down.

I don’t want to write any words
…that you’ll see and read and shake your head because you knew all along. You knew nothing good would ever come of that shitty first draft so you threw it away, there was nothing more to say.
But I crept in when you weren’t looking and I rummaged through your discarded waste and I pulled the words from the bottom of that barrel and I walked away. I walked away knowing I could revise this whole story, knowing I had far more control and far more ability to tell this story than any other person, even you. So, I don’t want to write any words that you’ll see.

I don’t want to write any words
… you’ll just read them and then you’ll talk about them and then a joke will be made and a smirk will be seen and an eyebrow will raise and high fives will be collected and I’ll find myself on the outside of the circle looking through you. But behind the look will be the thought. You’ll think about all the things that could be done from now on because we know we can’t ever go back and undo that tangled feeling that lodged itself in your gut every time I tried and — how — I — tried. No matter how many times I tell you about the better days all you’ll see is how clearly I look when I’m weak. So, I don’t want to write any words that you might read.

I don’t want to write any words
… but waiting is pointless. This feeling is hit and miss, maybe now maybe later. I’ll sit down and I’ll type the words and I’ll not want to but I will because in spite of all the shouldn’ts I’ve racked up, in spite of all the stupid button pressing, in spite of all the reasons I have to hide my face and tuck my tail and bury my body in the deepest cave… I’ll write these words because I can. I can. I can make you think and make you see and make you question every decision you made. I can. So, I don’t want to write any words when I should wait.

I don’t want to write any words
… but if I don’t they’ll just explode in the space of grayness that surrounds and knock me off my wobbly perch. Those words will keep pouring out of me in a steady flow of memories, moving so fast I can’t slow them down… no control. The mystery I keep trying to solve is me and these words are the only clues I have and each time I try to peek inside your world to see if any parts of me are there, you slap the curiosity so hard… so hard. So hard you slap but the curiosity just grows, it doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down. So, I don’t want to write any words that might explode in my face

— but they need me to…

So, I will.

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It’s so easy.
The sweet words and powerful quotes.
The smiles and reaching out.
It’s so easy to believe in fairy godmothers and forgiving friends and love that travels across a world just to reach you.

It’s so easy.
The strangling silence and whispers floating through the air.
The turning away and shaking off of the dust.
It’s so easy to believe in people and goodness and kind hearts that open up just because.

It’s so easy.
To ignore your words and never change your actions.
The looking around and over and under, whatever it takes to avoid.
It’s so easy to believe in long walks and falling stars and wishes in the night.

It’s so easy to forget.
It’s so easy to remember.
It’s so easy to hear your silence.
It’s so easy to wish for better days.
It’s so easy to leave and never look back and laugh at your own choice.
It’s so easy to look for your somewhere over the rainbow.
It’s so easy to see me when I’m weak.
It’s so easy to stop and walk away.
It will be so easy.

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I’m not a writer,
nor a poet,
nor a painter.
I’m not a lost soul,
nor a student,
nor a teacher.
I’m not a follower,
nor a leader,
nor a stand-in-liner.
I’m not searching for myself,
nor finding something else,
nor longing to belong.

I am trust,
and I am my truth,
and I am my story.
I am telling,
and I am singing,
and I am my song.

I am this moment.
I am these words,
I am this page.

I am more,
I am enough.

I am becoming.

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dear _____,
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

there will be times that running away… far far away, will seem like the smartest thing to do. but know this, it’s not. running only puts the problem farther out of reach and harder to solve.
it’s not always going to be complicated either — learn to recognize the difference. learn to recognize the difference between someone else’s tragic bullshit and your beautifully complicated story.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when you’re young… too young to know such things, too young to worry about such things, too young to experience all of that — that complicated soul searching bullshit that you are too young to think about… stop. walk away. retain your childhood, the carefree skipping around in life that we are all entitled to — yes, entitled to.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when that summer seems to go on forever, lie on the ground and stare up at the stars and know the complete feeling of being so small and alone and yet you will never feel so connected to the world. let the shining of the stars and the chirping of the tree frogs and the swooping of the bats paralyze you with the knowledge that you are small… in the very best possible way, you are small.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

stick around after closing time, that’s when all the best stories will reveal themselves but don’t become a story someone else writes. don’t waste time looking for a perfect apple… they all have bruises and those bruises have something to say — listen. listen to their story. don’t stand still, don’t ever stand still, keep moving forward.
and remember, forward won’t always be the right direction or the best direction or the safest… but you don’t need the safest.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when you get to the bottom of your rope, don’t tie a knot in it — let go. yes, let go and soar and be curious about what’s at the bottom. no more directionless, no more drifting, no more worrying, no more wishing — just let go.
never be made useless.
so don’t run away… reach out, reach out as far as you can and keep reaching — the hand you’ve been waiting for will be there.

dear _____,
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

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something made you cry and you screamed so loud,
when your tears streamed down and you fell on your knees,
when those last few words came hurling out,
when I stood my ground instead of turning to leave,
… that wasn’t me.

if you see someone facing the oncoming storm,
… that’ll be me.
if you see some toes wiggling deep in the sand,
… that’ll be me.
when the wings of self love fly high through the air,
… that’ll be me.

you got so mad with 10,000 rhymes,
did the words on the page embarrass you,
did someone ask too often for a minute of time,
did she steal your wish because she had so few,
… that wasn’t me.

on a star someone sits with all the wishes come true,
… that’ll be me.
when your page fills with words so easily,
… that’ll be me.
on the day the fog lifts and a hand is reaching for you,
… that’ll be me.

if I said “see me” more often than I should,
if I broke you down beyond repair,
if I tried too hard because I thought I could,
if that poem I wrote was as transparent as air,
… that wasn’t me.

that person still standing when the storm dies down,
… that will be me.
… that will be me.

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these are the things I’m not…
a sea of scattered storms,
thunder and lightning,
swirling winds out of control,
a ship being tossed.

these are the things I’m not…
a wandering child,
shivering from the chill of each forward step,
paralyzed by the unknown monster in the closet,
a fear lurking around a corner.

these are the things I’m not…
a book with too many words,
a pinball thumping from bumper to bumper,
a string of incoherent thoughts,
a poem that doesn’t rhyme.

these are the things I’m not…
a tally of all the wrongs,
the number of people who slipped away,
a mourning of memories,
a road going nowhere.

these are the things I’m not…
a limit on my possibilities,
a crack so small the light can’t get through,
a shadow blurred and distorted,
a broken branch on the forest floor.

these are the things I’m not…
a star that lost its glow,
a speck at the bottom of the world,
a mountain without a view,
a soul who lost all hope.

I’m not…
giving up,
giving in,
playing dead,
rolling over,
glancing back,
sealed tight,
weeping silently,
stuck in the moment,
afraid to hurl myself at the blazing sun.

these are the things I’m not…
a story that moves too slow,
a song in a melancholy pitch,
the world caving in,
a novel that will never be finished.

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This is the air I dare to breathe….

The air I dare to breathe is sweet.
It’s calming, it’s blue….
like the water just past the shore,
leading out to the openness of the ocean.
You can see through it,
the colorful fish darting around.
It’s warm.
It’s inviting me to stay.

The air I dare to breathe is alive.
It’s movement, it’s green….
like the bush that grows out of control,
covering my step with all its wildness.
I don’t dare cut it to shape,
it’s messy.
It’s beautiful.
It tells me to sit down.

The air I dare to breathe is burning.
It’s love, it’s red….
like the quick glance from a stranger,
scanning my body for an invitation.
Looking away so our eyes never meet,
the blush creeping up my neck.
It’s remembering.
It reminds me to never forget.

The air I dare to breathe is filling.
It’s steady, it’s yellow….
like the sturdy hand of a friend,
grasping me so I know I’m not alone.
Letting go at just the right time,
my mind knows what my heart can’t see.
It’s learning.
It keeps hope in a safe place.

The air I dare to breathe is looking.
It’s searching, it’s gray….
like the crevasse in the mountain we climb,
giving me a place to rest.
Revealing my next stronghold,
unleashing the hero in me.
It’s living.
It has possibilities with each step forward.

This is the air I dare to breathe….

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This isn’t everything you are.

I joined the Peace Corps when I was 21. I never went.
The boy I thought I loved asked me to marry him and he wasn’t sure where we’d be in two years if I was away in the Peace Corps… so, I never went.

This story isn’t everything I am.

I got pregnant with my oldest at the beginning of my last year in grad school. She was born a month early and quickly whisked away to the NICU at another hospital while I recovered from the emergency c-section. It was 4 days later that I finally got to touch her, to hold her next to my chest. There were tubes and alarms and organized chaos surrounding her at all times those first two weeks. When she came home… I sat next to her bassinet and watched her chest inflate and deflate, inflate and deflate — for several weeks that was my only concern.

This story isn’t everything I am.

One October, I rented a cabin in the mountains for my mothers birthday. We were all excited to spend a few days going to amusement parks and looking at the smoke on the top of the mountains and breathing the air. The morning we were to leave, my mother called me early and said to go without her and my father, he was sick and she needed to get him to the doctor. When I got home from the serendipity of the mountain cabin, feeling refreshed and calm and at peace… I learned my father had lung cancer.
Nothing was the same after that.

This story isn’t everything I am.

Two days after Christmas, my mother was sick enough to need a trip to the ER. I came to talk to her and the doctor. When I walked through the hospital door, my mother said she had cancer. I said she was over-reacting. The doctor came in and he said she had cancer. I told him that was impossible — it had only been about 4 weeks since we buried my father after he died from lung cancer. That’s actually what I told the doctor, it had only been 4 weeks, as if to say my dad had already died from cancer… our odds are over, the rest of us should be okay. It was impossible for my mother to now also have cancer, that’s not how cancer works is it?

This story isn’t everything I am.

For 18 years, I was a wife and a mother and a taxi and a nurse and a chef and a maid and… I had a career.
I lost myself.
Maybe that’s what we’re all destined to do for a certain number of years — the finding yourself part certainly makes for some amazing memoirs and blog posts and stories late at night on a warm summer evening surrounded by your friends and many empty bottles of wine.

This story isn’t everything I am.

I think, possibly, someone who looks around at the memories of their life and says, “I have no regrets”, must not have risked too much. I think, possibly, those who look around at the pieces of their life and can say, “I wouldn’t change a single mistake”, “I wouldn’t pass up a single regret”, have lived a life full of love and meaning.
Life isn’t lived in the memories of “do-overs”, life is lived in the fringes of decision.

This isn’t everything you are.

.

“Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.” ~~ Ram Dass

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Shape me…

into the girl you thought I was,

dressed in ruffles with bows in my hair.

Tell me…

that love means hearts get broken,

that being bruised is better than nothing at all.

Hear me…

when I tell you my truth,

my truth doesn’t match yours.

See me…

when I wave my hands in your face,

desperate for a gleam of recognition.

Feel me…

when I’m tugging at your sleeve,

hoping for a minute of your time.

Listen to me…

goodbyes are important to get right,

this one seems so hollow.

Look at me…

past your keyhole view,

into the eyes of a complicated being.

Think about me…

questions coming into focus,

the searching will never end.

Accept me…

this is who I am,

standing here reaching, just reaching.

Shape me…

always learning,

always becoming more.

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