Thursday, September 12, 2013

One great rainstorm . . .

. . . and Fall is ushered in; one cool day and we forget that yesterday we wore flip-flops and bare arms. Humans are smart.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

There is grass . . .

. . . where I once made the angels in the snow, one for me and one for you. The snow held our twin forms until the sun dissolved their lines and new snow filled the places my body had carved out.

This evening I look at the grass and see what is no longer there. And I wonder if I lie down will I be able to fit myself within the past's invisible lines? It would be one way of going back.

This kind of sorrow . . .

. . . resides deep below the earth where no water runs.

Maybe I should plead for an earthquake.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I smile when . . .

. . . I hear the phrases companies require their employees to say either in the form of a salutation or valediction. (I think I smile because of the obvious word choice or wordplay and because I'm no actor and delivering those preset lines would be difficult.)

When a McDonald's order taker asks me, "What can I make for you?" my inner smile is huge and I think, Make? Nothing.

The other day I took my niece to the Disney Store, and the closing there was, "Have a magical day!" Why thank you, I will.

And at See's Candies, after they've greeted you with a free chocolate and you've made your purchase: "Come and see us again!" Thanks, I think I will, mostly for the sweet valediction and the cherry chocolate.

Wouldn't it be nice . . .

. . . if, like a hermit crab outgrows its shell, we outgrew our troubles?

Only then wouldn't we discover that we had taken up residence in a new, roomier shell, housing even larger or more numerous problems?

Maybe we should try shrinking from our troubles instead. But the shirking and getting smaller is no way to live. We learn that quite clearly from the Grinch's and Ebenezer's hearts. They had shrunk so small that the characters were unable to live alive; they were living dead.

So maybe we should, like the hermit crab, welcome bigger shells, roomier digs, and the new challenges that more space brings.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Outside . . .

. . . the sun is bright in the sky. I position myself in its rays so that I can feel its warmth. The rest of me remains as cold as this chilled day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today's score is . . .

. . . Me: 7, Universe: 567,433,124,719,806.

Must have been boring to watch the match-up.

I don't think there is a register of sadness lower than this. And yet I know that there must be. There are people dealing with "somethings" greater than anything I am worrying over.

I could run a city on the currency of my sorrow. What irony! A blob on the floor supplying the energy for thousands. (And for the record, I don't know how to change it.)

I am the hollow of . . .

. . . those cheap chocolate Easter bunnies. It's the shell that frames the emptiness inside.

Melt me down and there is nothing of worth there either, just waxy goo.

I reach . . .

. . . and there is nothing but air.

. . .

. . .

If God can move mountains, cause prison walls to crumble, and have angels visit . . .

. . . then is it too much to ask: please move this mountain, dissolve our prison walls, support and direct us with thy angel power.

I am in a place you have never been . . .

. . . waiting in a line of people with their furry creatures. It's grooming day.

I look more in need of a haircut than most of these dogs; although they look dirtier (at least my dog looks dirtier; he's supposed to be white).

And what's on my mind?

Let me apologize--please--for my despair, for my pounding defeat, for my vacancy. It hurt you and you and you, and I am sorry. I wasn't thinking (although I should have been). I didn't understand (although i should have) how the destructive force was corroding and chiseling at more than just me. I hurt you. And for this I am immensely sorry.

(I would rather cut off a toe than hurt those I love. Pease don't point out that I would have no toes left by now. I already know.)

O I try so hard to be hopeful . . .

. . . and it is very difficult.

Eating chocolate at seven a.m. . . .

. . . means I should quit going to mid-week parties where they send you home with dessert.

The morning is still . . .

. . . and I think about you. How can I reach out across continent and ocean to tell you that you are more than okay, you are wonderful.

This morning I sense the disruption, I feel something like (and softer than) your hurt, the ache of a dream yet again deferred, and the doubt and resignation that mixes with your hope. I know a parallel world. Even now with newfound strength I question my ability to reach high enough, and I have only myself tugging down on me. You have more powerful pulls on your being.

If you were here, I would climb the stairs to your world and we would walk together and enjoy toasted bagels with cream cheese and hot chocolate. We would talk about our frustrations and somehow work ourselves up to full-bodied laughter, too loud and too happy for other early morning diners. We would smile at that and laugh some more, and we would remember what we have always known in our cores, that we can do this, that we are good enough, that God placed us here to succeed, that these man- and devil-made roadblocks can be cleared even though we don't yet know how to clear them.

I sit here in this hour before dawn and wonder where you are now and how long you plan on wandering Europe untethered to technology? The space is good for clearing the mind, but I am selfish and would rather be traveling with you. And I secretly hope that you will break your technology fast and read these words in an Internet café. I want you to know that I miss you. I want you to remember how many good times we've had over the decades. I want you to know that I love you. You know that, right? O, I wish that I had made sure of it before you left.

I dreamed of reconfigured neighborhoods and new houses. I dreamed of meditating while holding really still and the different opinions people had about how and whether I should do this. It strikes me as funny now that their critiques and opinions were keeping me from the peace I already knew how to access.

That's what I wish for you across these many miles: peace, and within that peace the quiet assurance that you are enough, you are more than enough, you matter; you, my dear friend, are wonderful. Do you feel it? Please reach out and grab hold of it, pull it in.

I believe in dreams.
I believe in the possibility of overcoming the cant's of our own and others' creations. I believe that when we stand, we will see that this hole is not as deep as it feels.

Though in different countries in different time zones, let us climb together into the soft and glorious light of dawn. Are you ready? Take my hand.

It is a new (anew) day. Let's feel it, each in our own realm. Let's stand and face it, embrace it even. Let's hold its power in the palm of our outstretched hands.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I wrote about the purple wall . . .

. . . and then my battery died and my optimistic post died, too.

I write to fill the hole . . .

. . . but there are not enough words, not enough word combinations, not enough thoughts typed out to fill up more than a minuscule portion of what is missing.

Though infinite, there are not enough letter combinations to keep me from being empty.

Is there a stronger word than crucible . . .

. . . because certainly there is something more trying, something that strains the being as much as it strains belief, and then strains it more. A test without an even playing field. A world where right and good sometimes rob you of everything and then dare you to remain whole.

Something stronger than silent agony. Job.

Who walking these halls is . . .

. . . awake? And who is asleep?

Which camp do I belong to? And how do I know?

I know that a piece of me is dead. Does that make the rest of me alive?

There is power in the pronouns . . .

. . . you.

And I.

If you don't believe me, try abstaining from one or both. You will come around soon enough, especially if you choose to go without the second person.

I look and I can't find what I hope to see . . .

. . . and I know that this is something greater than a test. It is taking all of me to keep moving. "I move to keep things whole," the Mark Strand poem says. Why is it that my own impulse is to remain still?

I know that I must keep moving so that I don't hurt those I love, and still it is difficult when I feel such palpable heaviness.

Oh to be able to change what is with a flick of the wrist, a twitch of the nose, a whisper of the lips. Oh to be able to trade a portion of myself to heal that which is wrong.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I am all over the place . . .

. . . and yet in the same place.

Tonight I think about patterns and how some patterns we think we see aren't patterns at all, just interesting coincidences mistakenly read as a pattern due to the close proximity of the events.

One day a friend texted me to ask what my measurements were. I was surprised and hesitant to respond because earlier in the day I had been talking to a friend about my measurements and how I had gained inches. She thought it was funny that I had them on my phone and wanted to see them. I declined.

I saw the two events as being linked--one friend telling the other to ask me--when in fact they were coincidence.

What other "patterns" do I see that really aren't patterns?

I have also been pondering relationships. When I grow close to someone it is because we share a vision. We don't have to share every vision, like, hope, dream, or value, but we have to share enough to make the association congenial and worthwhile and forward-moving and inspiring.

When I grow apart from someone or distance myself, it is because we don't share enough commonalities in the important stuff (i.e., how to spend our money, NOT what is our favorite color).
This is exacerbated if I am being denied key aspects of myself: my likes, my values, my dreams and desires. This is exacerbated further when I am not seen for who I am or when I am being hurt (a new wound on top of a still-healing wound makes it really difficult to be close to someone).

Love has many facets and levels and layers. Not every relationship accesses the same portions of my heart.

If you love someone let them go. If you love someone let them be themselves. Basically both are saying the same thing: to love is to accept and adore another person for exactly who he is. It is allowing him to be himself without criticism or repressing or altering or remodeling or changing him. If we allow people to be themselves, they will thrive. This is God's way; He is, after all, a God of love.

And now I've waxed preachy, I will conclude with: there is so much more to say and to say better.

Today I ran to the store for a loaf of bread . . .

. . . and spent $81.17. I guess I was hungry.

(I let the man behind me check out before me, as there was only one stand open and he was only buying what he had come for: a gallon of milk. The man was baffled by my offer but kindly accepted.)

I'm not pretending . . .

. . . when I say that the dreams have not changed. We just have to chart a new route to them. For who knew that there was a lake right here? And who knew that there was a so far impassable mountain over there?

Let's get out the mapping equipment and begin.

Safety glass keeps the whole together . . .

. . . even when it's a shattered mess.

Philosophical question: Is it still a windshield if fractured into an hundred shards, and what is the substance that holds the pieces together and why does it hold? What would happen if it let go?

I think . . .

. . . something akin to a monastic order might be in order where I take a vow of solemn silence in order to not have to worry about what to bury and what to speak because it would all be buried then, buried in the depths of self, where only my own ears are attuned to my own voiceless voice, the whisper and scream of thoughts in the inscape of the soul.

Eventually everything would quiet--wouldn't it?--eventually I wouldn't have anything to say. Not out loud.

And then I wouldn't hurt so much. Maybe this hollowness would go away if I ordered myself not to speak.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am selfish in my words . . .

. . . I have let my hurt get in the way.

Know this: if I were myself, if I had anything left, I would fight through this fog and tell you that you do matter. (And this is where I must stop because I don't know how to negotiate this abyss. I am me, incompetent and completely powerless. Please forgive me.)

I sit beneath the mountain . . .

. . . and I know that there is no one to hear my voice.

I speak and the concepts come out in a foreign tongue that no one can decipher.

I venture an idea but it turns out it is from a different universe where different rules apply.

Am I a displaced person? An emigrant hailing from some other place that even I cannot remember?

It is true: I am made of a different substance than humans. My core hurts more, the ache of loss echoes through me as if I am empty.

I do feel empty.
I wonder what I should fill this vessel with, and then I know: I am already filled with an undulating sadness that no one seems to believe is there.

Be hopeful. Have purpose. Walk swiftly towards your goal. These humans I live among have such immense capacity.

I am a softer creation from a home I can't remember. And there we haven't yet evolved to have shells.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Once upon a time . . .

. . . I had a receiver of my mind.

But modes shift and formats change and this blog can't house the mind in the same intimate way that our old-fashioned letters always did. I could still pen such notes, but now they would come back to me marked return to sender. And so I leave my paper blank and feel the agitation bubble within.

I can't make myself write what cannot be sent.


Dear John,
Did you know that a river of tears dehydrates the body and makes it quake?

Dear John,
You would want me to be happy, I know and appreciate that. But that's a lot harder than I thought it would be with you gone to a different sphere.

Try as hard as I might . . .

. . . I feel as if my heart has been cut out. It still beats though, so while my body feels the hollowness of what is missing, the heart continues in time to the pulse of all things living. I hurt. I know that I should not dwell on it, but right now the pain is consuming my being (or partial being).

Who knew that pain could cut this deep?

This afternoon I ponder my blessings and gifts . . .

. . . the wonderful people who have entered my life, the moments that have shaped me, the grace, and I remember these lines:

"But remember this, my brother, see in this some higher plan, you must use this precious silver to become an honest man" (Les Miserables).

What must I become? What have the blessings and the people so integral to my being paid the price for? What is the higher plan?

I wonder if I am putting on a brave face. Is any of this real?

I don't know what to pray for . . .

. . . and was it my fault that I didn't listen when I thought to write out the girl's name on the list of formal petitions to our Father. I thought, I will write hers next time. And then the world split apart.

Had I acted would the angels have been able to stop the fission? Would they have been permitted to quell the battle and thereby eliminate any horrific aftermath?

I do wonder, just as I wonder if I dare reach out in prayer when I am already so hurt and broken. I am afraid of what I might hear. I am afraid of what I won't feel. And so I hold really still and wait.

Lost . . .

. . . is being a small-headed pin nestled between long twisted strands of carpet, when where you wish to be is several feet higher, stuck in the pin cushion poised to be plucked up and interlaced through layers of fabric. Oh to be that useful! Oh to be apart of some cosmic plan!

My soul weeps because I cannot figure out how to become freed from these carpet fibers, thick and dark like a forest. Existing only to prick someone's toe is not a purpose that inspires me to live.

I sit here trying to feel . . .

. . . but I am numb.

And yet I do care.

How do I say that sometimes memory is the most important vehicle for living alive? How do I say, Remember, oh please remember?

Because if you do, you will know that your potential is infinite, your capacity vast, your dreams important to reach out towards as if to snatch them up and hold them close to your skin. If you remember, you will know that you are more than okay always even when the terrain in this forsaken land is rutted with hurtful words and jagged with disappointment. Know this, remember it always, these words spoken by a dear friend: I find you to be exceptional. It is true.

May we all live exceptional lives.

I speak these hopeful lines with intent, even though I am sitting here almost entirely numb.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Epistle to nowhere . . .

Dear Universe,

What else can you take from me? Another tooth? Another friend? Another fistful of hair? All of my self worth?

Why don't you take my mind, too? Only I suspect, even then, I would be aware of what was missing, the mind I was forced by some cosmic injustice to let go.

On your birthday . . .

. . . I would give you a memory for each year we have known each other, but the list would be much too long, extending as far back in time as it can go and then beyond. I don't have that much capacity in this feeble human hand, but happy birthday none-the-less.

On this birth day, send a memory off into the sky. Watch the heavens nod their acceptance of this gracious act. Yes, you are grateful to be alive. We, who love you most, are also most grateful for your important life.

What if . . .

. . . the world were set up so that you couldn't reach out to God in prayer or petitions or gratitude whenever you wished? Or at all? What if there were no words you could utter nor any silent pleas of the heart that could reach Him?

What if you had to wait for Him to reach you?

What if other people's thoughts could reach God, everyone's thoughts in fact except for yours?

What if He wanted to hear your exultations and dreams and hopes and joys, as well as your sorrows and worries and confusion, what if you undoubtedly Knew that He did but you had somehow cosmically messed up or you were born the wrong sort of creature? How would you feel then? (The correct answer is that you should feel grateful for the gift of God, because His wisdom and ways and love are supernal, even if you are constrained. But maybe your heart would break.)

And, it makes us grateful, doesn't it, that we belong to a different system; we are grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the ability it affords us of reaching up in prayer anytime and always. If we can just remember to reach. If we can just persuade ourselves to pray.

I am the silent . . .

. . . of this cemetery, the lone living among the dead. Does the body have presence after the spirit has moved on? Is this ground beneath my living feet hallowed because their physical presence rests there? Or is it hallowed only in our memories of how it felt to be in her presence? Even when she was so ill she let me know that she appreciated me being there. Her presence told me that she loved me.

People said they felt her presence after she departed this earthly realm. I didn't.

Now I cry out, silently, here. Does she know that I am sitting near her final resting spot?

I am a person of words who probably should walk in silence.

I want to ask her though: how do I get to where you are? Do you see how small and weak I am, sitting over here by Max's grave? According to his headstone, he lived only a part of a day. I never met him and yet I see his parents and grandparents in my mind encircling his small casket on the day they, too, had to formally say goodbye to someone they loved.

I am the silent of one who has nothing left to speak. A runner cuts through the quiet of this morning--the motions and sounds of being awake.

I cry and I know that the tears don't change anything. They don't even change me.

I am the silent of the cold air that feels as if it could freeze my tears. Why not? The rest of me is frozen already.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Once . . .

. . . In school we memorized Tennyson: "He is not here but far away the noise of life begins again . . . "

I realize that even though I surface this line when situations seem to match it, I have no idea what it means.

Monday, March 4, 2013

To those who are lost . . .

. . . I would like to tell you that you will be found, that a neodymium magnet will pull your little paper clip self from under the couch where you have landed. But you don't want something that impersonal; you want to be found by a human being.

Ah, I wish that I could tell you that all lost things are found, that there are people adept at finding even the most far away gone, but I would be lying to you.

Do not worry. These words will never reach you. For a lost thing cannot hear that which is not spoken directly to it.

I cannot hear my own words. They are lost to me, or I am lost to them. Who can say for certain.

She wondered . . .

. . . how the sky could be that beautiful, how the stars could be that clear, how everything above her could move her to awe and wonder when she didn't think she could feel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I am not strong enough . . .

. . . to withstand these winds that bluster the soul. Holding still is no refuge from their blows. One most go inside, let the motion meet the home's protective walls.

What respite is there for me, though, if I am already "inside"? If this body is not steel or wood but flesh and blood, making my spirit vulnerable.

Monday, January 7, 2013

If I could . . .

. . . send a message through this starlit night, I would, and it would say that we are ever-earning degrees in all kinds of specialized topics ranging from kindness to real estate to jewelry-making to mentoring to first aid. We are ever-learning qualities and attaining knowledge vaster and more significant than any BA. If I could send a message through this starlit night, I would, and it would say please don't measure my significance or intelligence or capability by four years or six, please don't let that be the measure of my achievement or worth. For yes, there is a point to this missive sent beneath this starlit sky: the measure of a person is her mind, her heart, her actions and interactions, her choices, and the desires of her heart. The measure of a person is the person himself, and what he chooses to learn and read and be.

On this starlit night, I would deliver this message clear across the continent to you, if only I could fly. Then you would know what I know.

Oh, when will I earn wings? I need them now.

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