Morning Pages

I’ve made a habit of waking up at 12:20 every day. I don’t think it comes from depression. I just think I like to sleep a lot. Well, here’s the other side to it: if I can sleep one more hour I shave off a little bit more time that I might have spent moping.

I’m not going to mope. I’m going to be productive. Because it’s all I’ve got. I’m going to work my fingers to nubby little bones that bleed all over my keyboard. Not because I’m overworked. No, I’m choosing the amount of time I’ve been putting into my writing. But there’s an urge inside of me–an anxiety that is only quelled by sitting down and writing.

“I wake up, there she is.” That’s what I said in my last post, and it remains true.

This morning I woke up and the first thing I did was check her instagram. I know… obsessive. I know… you’ve got to stop stalking her, Zoey, it’s not healthy. And of course it’s not. Especially because it’s only a picture. And while pictures might be worth a thousand words, I don’t really know what those thousand words are. So my restless mind, which tends to go crazy under circumstances where information is lacking, fills in the blanks with sad, painful things, like a suffering-theme game of madlib.

And then I saw this post on my facebook called ‘Morning Pages’ which talks about waking up and writing and getting things out of your head first thing in the morning, so they’re not swirling around in there like sad little clouds.

So these are my morning pages, and this is what I’ve got to say:

I’m happy with what I wrote last night–not just the blog post, that was good, mind you, it was raw, and real. And I even started crying at one point while writing it and if that’s not the best possible outcome of writing (besides laughing, which I also did) then I don’t know what is. No, no, I’m happy with what I wrote in my novel. I’m happy with how much creativity and imagination is flowing through me. I’m not afraid to sit down and start writing. I’m not afraid to slip my way into a nice flow. I’ve learned it may take a little time but in the end what’s an hour of digging versus six of sheer absorption and flow? It’s well worth it.

And then I read someone’s post about how people are always complaining they don’t have enough time for the things that matter to them. Which I think is true. We make excuses for a lot of things. Like right now even I’m making excuses for why I’ve put off my next article for the sports blog. I’m making excuses as to why I’m not working on it right now. But anyways, this is about something much bigger than that. For me, this is about making time for my dreams–for the things that beat inside my tender heart, the things within my control that I wish to bring to fruition.

And wouldn’t you fucking know it? I AM making time for that. Time is all I’ve got right now. It’s quite wonderful. Even though there are moments where I look at my hands and I see all the time I’ve got on them, and it freaks me out, and I think shit I should get a real job. Shit, what am I doing with my time? Those are bad thoughts–well at least the “real job” part. It’s not unhealthy to examine the ways you spend your time. Which is probably why I started this post talking about how I wake up at 12 every day and why that’s justified. Maybe it’s not. Maybe I could wake up at eight and accomplish some important things (like securing my healthcare for the coming year. like writing my statement of purpose for Iowa. like finishing my next article.) But nooo, I’d rather sleep so as to avoid the possibility of having to live in a world where she’s gone, even if it’s only for one hour.

But then I’ve got my morning pages. And by writing this, I do see how my obsession with her takes away from my life. I do see how the pain it engenders does eat at my time, does compel me to want to sleep instead of waking up with a smile and getting some things done so I have time to read a book in the afternoon. I do see that, really. I see how the energy I put into this obsession, into this attachment, is energy I could be directing elsewhere. After all, it does nothing for me, but cause jealousy, anger, resentment, and at the worst of times dissociation.

But I don’t want to be dissociated. I don’t want to be jealous or angry or resentful–at least not all the time. She should be able to live her life–to be happy–to explore, and maybe if it’s right find love again. And I should be able to do all of that too. I should have the chance at love and passion and happiness and stability. I do have that chance.

And I have the chance for peace. It’s right in front of me.

Right now, it’s foggy in little Lamporecchio. Up on the hill it looks like the villa is floating in a cloud.

And just now, Giacomo calls to me. It’s time to help him with his english. I’m enjoying this tutoring thing. It makes me want to come back to America and practice my language skills again. I feel like Americans are so behind in regards to language. Everyone in Europe speaks at least two languages and in America you’ve really got to pursue it to learn anything else besides english. So I’m going to come back and get to working on my Spanish again. And I also want to take the TEFL so I can start traveling and tutoring families more. I think I could get used to this sort of lifestyle. It means a lot to me–helping people learn how to communicate in different ways–and I learn too. That’s another benefit.

Anyways, for now I don’t have much else to say. I wrote last night that I’ve got to wake up and do it all over again, and that’s what I’m doing. Each day I’ve got to relax enough to see what’s happening around me–like as I write this, I look at the clock and see that it’s 1:11. I’ve been seeing 1:11 a lot lately, and 11:11. You may not think so but it’s a good sign to me. It’s good to see these numbers. No matter what their significance really is, I gain support from them, encouragement to keep going on this path. And I don’t know where it’s leading but I’m happy with how much work I’ve put into this path.

It’s like it took me all these years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life–even though it’s what i always wanted to do, even though it was always staring me in the face. It took me all these years to realize that writing was actually my purpose in this life. And now that I’ve figured it out, I haven’t worked this hard on anything in my whole life. And if that’s not something to pat myself on the back for then I don’t know what else is. And if anything else, it just proves how committed I can be when I care about something.

So I’m going to keep this practice up. Maybe I’ll write morning pages every day. Maybe not, but for now this is my saving grace. This is the manner by which I’m going to keep myself from falling into oblivion. Or at the very least, if I’m going to fall I might as well write on my way down.


Peter Pan’s Shadow

This week has been a tough one for me. And I feel like Peter Pan constantly grappling with his shadow. The obsessiveness has come back. The passion. The extreme emotions and feelings. The endless deluge of sad, broken, hopeless, despair. The old fears of abandonment and unlovability. All fixated and filtered through my attachment to someone whom I’ve loved deeper than anyone else in my life–which is saying something because I always love deeply. It’s my blessing and my curse. I love to my own detriment. To the point of my own destruction. I love until I’ve wrung my relationships into dry, crusted rags. I love until I fear. Until she’s gone. And then I obsess. It’s all I think about. I wake up, there she is. I go to sleep, there she is. A haunting specter of my own failures. My own worthlessness. If I was worthy of love, wouldn’t she be here now? If I wasn’t so obsessed, wouldn’t she be here now? What’s wrong with me that she won’t come back? That she wants absolutely nothing to do with me?

I am insatiable. No amount of another’s love can satisfy me. No amount of sex, or admiration, or facebook likes, or nice comments. No amount of praise, nor affection. It’s all shite. Absolute shite.

And I’m just stuck in it like a hamster unable to get off the wheel, unable to stop running in place, unable stop from tiring herself out.

THIS IS SAMSARA, the sign on the door reads in Ye Olde English font, then in smaller lettering: YOU CAN’T LEAVE HERE, NOT WITHOUT DYING FIRST.

But I’m not ready to die. I’m not ready to let go for some reason. I keep holding on even though it brings only pain, only suffering. If I could only have a bit of breathing room, a bit of perspective, maybe an out-of-body experience to jar me from my small sense of self, something to show me the true divinity of my nature, the true eternity of Me.

For now, all I’ve got is my writing. I spent ten hours writing today. Seven on thanksgiving. Once I get going, I’m just in it. Almost completely absorbed. And I don’t have to deal with other problems, other concerns. I don’t have to pay attention to my obsessions, or my attachments, or the things that make me sad, lest I want to turn them into something beautiful, something artistic, something meaningful. Which is good. It’s a good place to be. It’s a good way to transmute my passions. At the end of the day, I know I’ve always got my writing to come back to–I’ve always got my writing to rely on. And it need not be published. It need not spark a literary or cultural revolution. Or win the Pulitzer. No. Those are lovely things to aspire to. But I’m beginning to think the purpose of my writing has almost nothing to do with where I’m going, and everything to do with where I already am. Get it? I don’t need to write a New York Times Bestseller. I don’t need to be selected to Oprah’s Bookclub. I need only make myself giggle, or cause me to marvel at my own ability. Cause ultimately it’s all so fleeting and all I’ve got is the present so I might as well do what I love the most. I might as well bring my dreams to life in the here and now, in practical ways, mindful ways, little ways. And then, tomorrow, I can wake up and do it all over again.

Cause if I don’t, the darkness comes back over me like a guillotine or a steel hood. And I can’t escape it. I can only sink into it. Give in to my own self-destruction, to drinking, to smoking weed and cigarettes, to way too much masturbating–yes, masturbating. Sometimes it’s the little things, the little deaths, le petite morte, that gives me a break from the anguish. Other times, it’s just sleeping for ten hours, eleven if I can hack it without feeling shitty for wasting my day.

I wish I could just reach into my own unconscious and wrench everything out of it. Like existential surgery or something. Do they have surgeons for that? Paging Doctor Wishbone, you’re due for triple bypass heart chakra surgery in ten minutes. Please report to the OR immediately. Paging Doctor Wishbone. 

I’d also just as easily saw my shadow from my feet and sell it to some bug-eyed bazaar pirate. Get your shadows here! Get your shadows. Dark, compulsive, and murderous habits of all kinds. Perverse attractions. Addictions to power and control! Get your shadows here! 

“Excuse me. Do you happen to have that in a size eight?”

But that’s wishful thinking. Living in my fantasies thinking. Deluded thinking. There’s no unclipping my unconscious. It drags behind me like a bridal train covered in hundred pound weights. Like an RV filled with rotting skeletons. Excuse me, do you know why I pulled you over? Is it because I’m towing an RV filled with rotting skeletons, officer? Yes. Yes, it is.

It’s like the Devil’s suitcase. Or one of those rollie bags you see a lot at the airport, except this one has a Narnia-style portal inside of it that leads you straight to the coldest corners of Hell, where one-legged prostitutes cram rusted cheese graters up your rectum for all eternity. After a while you’d think your butt couldn’t fit any more cheese graters, but whaddaya know, this is Hell? There’s always more room in your butt.

Or maybe the portal leads straight to the frigid rocks of Pluto, where everything is cast in ghostly pale bluish light, and your exes are dragging different versions of you around in ball gag and dog collar, while you wait for another spanking. Or maybe you’re the one doing the dragging, and behind you, in a row of chains, is every lover you’ve ever had. They wither and die on those chains, wilting monuments to everyone who’s ever loved you deeply. And there’s no where for them to go, no way to escape. They can’t abandon you. After all you’re on Pluto for God’s sake and the nearest Space Station is at least three billion miles away.

Yes, yes. This is the shadow. This is the stuff I don’t want to look at. This is the stuff I don’t want you to see. My darkness. The things that make me rage. The invisible forces lurking in my depths. The things that seem to make me unlovable, psychotic, compulsively sexual, an obsessed, desperate freak, longing for love, and squelching it as soon as it comes my way.

Oh… there, there, Zoey. It’s not so bad. You’re not a bad person. You’ve got a heart as big as the moon. And so much passion you don’t know what to do with it all. Someone’s going to come along and love you for exactly who you–

DON’T SAY IT. DON’T FUCKING SAY IT. THIS ISN’T OVER. IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL I SAY IT IS. WHO THE FUCK DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? WALKING AWAY FROM US? FROM ME? I’m going to get her for this. I’ll never forgive. I’ll never let go. I’m going to drown us both if I get the chance.

Jesus Christ, calm down.


People don’t treat you that way, Zoey. People love you. Don’t you see that? Don’t you see that you’re lovable?

Then why is she gone? Why won’t she talk to me?

You’ve got to let her go, Zoey. You’ve got to let her go. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. Okay? Maybe it has nothing to do with you? Maybe she’s afraid of how much she’s capable of loving? Maybe she’s just as afraid of herself, and she sees it all reflected in you? Maybe her leaving isn’t about you at all? Maybe she just needs to go and live her life. You know, become a whole person? Individuate. Differentiate. Maybe she needs to do that and maybe she needs to do it without you.

Without me what? Weighing her down? Holding her back?

No, no… well, maybe. Isn’t that what relationships do when you’re trying to strike out on your own? Don’t they just become a hindrance?

I guess so…

Didn’t you miss out on so much at Naropa because of how obsessed you were with her? Because of how unwilling you were to go out on your own?


And haven’t you done a little bit of that on this trip, too? Haven’t you? 

Yeah, I have…

So is that how you’re going to finish out this incredible trip? By sulking? By obsessing? That’s how you want to remember the time you went by yourself to Tuscany to write a fucking novel? As the time you couldn’t stop thinking and obsessing over your ex-girlfriend, the one who’s supposed to be your Twin Flame? Do you really want to hang so much weight on her? Give her all this power she doesn’t need, all this power she isn’t even asking for? 

No… it’s just… it’s just that it’s a lot to deal with. It’s a lot to process.

Well of course it is. Jesus. Look at you. You’re up for the third or fourth night in a row at 2am, writing like your life depends on it. Like maybe if you just keep writing and writing, all your problems will be solved? Doesn’t that seem like something someone who’s going through a lot would do? At least you’re not swimming in a bottle of whiskey, or cutting yourself in the bushes, Zoey.

I would never do that…

No but you’d let yourself suffer for no fucking reason. You’d give up your consciousness, your powers of awareness, your mindfulness, to sulk and bathe in your own sorrow. 


So how is that any different than cutting yourself? It’s just psychic versus physical pain, and if you ask me–in the long run–it’s the psychic pain that’ll kill you. The cuts will heal; they’ll scar over. It’s the wounds you can’t see that really hurt you.

Yes I know that. Why do you think I’m always trying so hard to see them?

Oh hush. You’re not always trying so hard? You meditate like maybe once a day, if that, twice if you’re feeling super spiritual. Let’s be honest here, Zoey. You’ve actively chosen to spend your time in unproductive ways. You’ve actively allowed harsh, critical voices to run the show in your head? Even I sound like a bit of a judgmental asshole, and I’m nothing more than a projection–a creation of YOUR imagination. I could disappear at any moment and you’d be all alone with yourself again. Is that something you can handle? Being alone with yourself?

I’m trying. I really am.

Okay, great. Now just stop trying. It’s not something you need to try to do. Whether you like it or not, you’re alone with yourself until the day you die. And maybe even then you might still be, if your beliefs about the immortality of the soul prove to be true. Then again, Zoey, this is all just a matter of realizing you are that soul, you are a thread of the divine. Everything else. All these wounds. All this baggage. All this suffering. It’s just congestion. It’s just dirt and smudges on the lens. None of it’s true. NONE OF IT. And you don’t have to buy into it. Not even the illusion of separation, cause that’s false too.

Okay, okay. Right, time and space are illusions. Physical matter is really just compositions of energy in a larger void of energy. It’s all lovely new age pith, but when you get down to it, it doesn’t really get you anywhere. It doesn’t get me anywhere to talk about enlightenment. You know what gets me places? Admitting things. Coming to terms with my darkness. With the things that scare me–the places within that frighten me–the aspects of myself I want desperately to hide from people. I don’t want them to know about my insecurities… I don’t want them to see how fragile I can be, how obsessed I am. These parts of me… I think they are unlovable. I think they’re too much. I think they’re off putting. And I don’t blame her for leaving. I don’t blame her for giving me the silent treatment, for blocking me. It makes sense.

Well you know, if you’re just going to believe it all then yes it does make sense. But there’s more to it than that. Yes they’re shadows. But you’re responsible for shining light on them. And you know what that looks like? It looks a hell of a lot like this. It looks a hell of a lot like splaying them all out for the world to see, knowing deep down that you’re good, that you’re worthy of love. And the more you accept who you are, the more you accept how deep your feelings go, the more you’ll be able to express them in positive ways–LIKE YOUR WRITING. Do you honestly think it’s a coincidence that you’ve got so much unconscious material to work with and you also happen to be a damned good writer? No. It’s for a reason. You have a gift, Zoey.

Yeah… that’s what everyone else says.

I’m fucking serious! You’ve got a gift Zoey. And I’m not talking about your writing. I’m talking about your shadow. I’m talking about your insecurities. Your obsessiveness. Your compulsiveness. Your self-absorption, your ignorance, your poor boundaries. I’m talking about your possessiveness. Your desperation. Your greed. Your anger. I’m talking about all the things you try to stuff deep down. THAT’S THE REAL MATERIAL YOU SHOULD BE WORKING WITH. THAT’S WHERE THE GOLD IS. And you’ve got a real chance to mine every last bit of it, even if it takes you a lifetime. Don’t you see that? Don’t you see how much of a gift you’ve been given in this life?

Oh it’s such a gift. I’m trans. I don’t look at all like how I hoped I would when I started transitioning. I’ve got psoriatic arthritis and I depend on a medication that severely limits my ability to travel. My nose is too big. My feet. My hands. I get called sir and man more often than some actual boys do. What is there to actually like about how I look? What is there to actually like about my body?

Is that what this is about? Your body? You think you got robbed or something? Betrayed by the Gods? You think you were supposed to have a slim waist, olive skin, small-lipped porn star quality pussy, a chin like Mona Lisa, breasts like Venus? Hips and ass like Kim Kardashian? You think a surgeon might be able to make it all better? Make you… desirable? You think that will heal your wounds?


Give me a break, Zoey. The point is to love what you’ve been given–all of it, shadow and all. The point is to accept with open, even gleeful arms who you are, what you are, and what you’re made of. Otherwise, how is anyone else ever going to love you the way you long to be loved?

I guess that’s true.

Of course it is. Now can we please watch Rick and Morty and get some sleep? I’m tired. I need to rest. I need to stop thinking about all this like life depends on it, because at least for tonight, it doesn’t. And then tomorrow, we can wake up, have some coffee, and do it all over again, and again, and again until maybe we will have let go enough to actually breathe and enjoy the moment.

Okay… yeah I’m pretty tired myself. Besides, I wrote so much today. I should be proud of that. I should be proud for what I’ve done, what I’m trying to do.

Yes, yes. And you should be proud of WHO YOU ARE, too, regardless of the things you accomplish. 


So can we be done with this now, Peter Pan? Is this enough shadow work for the day?

*Sigh* Yeah, we can be done. Besides… I really need to pee.

My Heart

This is my heart. Perhaps, if I can show you what it looks like, you’ll remember your own. Just be gentle. Be so gentle. The heart cannot be held with cement hands. It yearns for a soft touch. A mother’s touch. A warm embrace. Tender. Open. This is my heart. Perhaps, in it, you’ll see your own.

Picking Olives

Blueberry blue. Violent purple. Parakeet green. Mucus gold. Squishy. Slish. And rotten.

9 am. Breakfast. Scrambled eggs. Lettuce. Coffee.

930am. She put her boots on. She takes a face from the ancient gallery, and she walks on down the hall.

945am. The sun is a jaundiced pearl the Goddess forgot to wear. The sky is a placid periwinkle squeezed of its clouds. The valley is a tree studded bowl of almond milk mist. The braying donkey cries for her lost lover, eating fallen apples off the muddy soil. The dogs go mad barking and howling. The birds serenade each other in unknown languages. A butterfly stops to tell me it’s okay. I divine the meaning of tranquility in her wingbeat, black and Persian orange. The honeybees buzz at my fingertips. A pair of praying mantes kneel at the grassy pew. Grasshoppers swing their jagged legs. The day is young.

10am. The nets are out. Bamboo bashers prop on crooked branches. Wicker baskets under arm. Thwack. The berries rain down. Thwack. A bit of olive leaf. Thwack. I’m awake.

10:30am. More of the same. For a moment I pause to gaze upon the Tuscan mountains. They don’t roll so much as stumble endlessly over each other like a coop of blind dromedary chickens. I can’t imagine my trip without them. I can’t imagine myself without them.

11am. Green tea with a spot of cream. Humming in the grass. Picking twigs and leaves that resemble flat slices of tiny green footballs. Sorting them from the olive pile. It takes forever but I’m in no rush.

1115am. The law of diminishing returns. I’ve sunk finally into the still of my body.

1130am. Gather the nets. Pour the olives. A fleeting drum beat of djembe cascade. The most satisfying sound.

1132am. Begin again. The next tree arches over the terrace and sops up the sunlight. You can see it in the olives. They’re big and pregnant with unpressed oil.

1140am. Dew cakes leather, soaks in the socks. My shoes are not built for this. Where are the wellingtons?

12pm. Is it lunch time yet?

1201pm. No. Not until the bell strikes one.

1230pm. Another tree stripped bare. Pruned to let the light in. Another schizophrenic drumbeat. Eight bins of technicolor olives.

1pm. Lunch time. The valley is quiet but for the morse code poo-tweet of birds.

3pm. The work day is over. Can I read my book now?

4pm. Yes, I can.

5pm. Weed the cat purrs in my lap. She’s keen on healing the aura of my sickly bones.

6pm. Blah blah blah. Donald Trump. Blah blah blah.

630pm. There’s an apricot in Phoenician robes stretched and smashed over the horizon. The sun is setting.

7pm. The moon is a golden crescent rising in the clouds. A bear claw rests in her pitted cradle. Breezes sweep through the fig and walnut valley. And still Doris the Donkey cries her bleating ode to loneliness. I go to the fence to feed her more apples. She looks at me until I cry. Those big hazel eyes pierce through my veil. She misses her love. I miss mine too.

8pm. Wine and quiet.

9pm. Back to my book.

10pm. Peter’s asleep, drowning warthogs in the down covers.

11pm. Zuska strolls the moonlit vineyard. But she looks like a wandering Mary Magdalene. Are we all waiting for the lamb?

1130pm. All but Juls and I have gone to bed. A long slender Italian vogue smolders in her hand. A rollie in mine.

12am. Shot glasses of Limoncello gleam in the lamp light. Juls and I are mushed. We talk of writing, of the Cosmic Quartet, of an Iranian street boy telling stories of a father he never had. We talk of character development. Of learning their quirks, faults, and motives. Of falling in love with them. And putting them through hell. Of pushing our creative limits. I can see fate smiling in the fading embers of the fireplace. Weed still snoozes in my lap. I’ve taken a shine to her. Her and Doris the Donkey.

1am. Where is the time going? Same place as the Limoncello. Same place as my tears. Same place as the literary charges of our conversation. Same place as the bear claw moon.

2am. The valley is thoroughly asleep. Only the stars swing in gentle frenzies. Juls retires to bed. I stay up to read until my eyes begin to cross.

230am. I’m in bed. I pull the covers over my head, turn my phone light on, and open my book once more. I’ve returned to childhood. That girl with the Harry Potter tome and a room of her own, comforter draped over her like a fort built for one. Heart the soft of silk. Heart the beat of a sleeping tambourine. Heart that sings in the realm of imagination. The Sound of Music meets Song of Myself.

3am. My eyes twitch again. I reread the last sentence. Twitch. Reread. Twitch. Okay… Ms. Curls. Meet Ms. Pillow. You’re both gentle lumps.

301am. Hope I dream of you tonight.

302am. Black. Crow bitten. Screech Owl. Who? Screech Owl. Who? SCREECH OWL. 

303am. Sleep.

Blueberry blue. Violent purple. Parakeet green. Mucus gold. Squishy. Slish. And rotten.

9am. Breakfast. Scrambled eggs and lettuce.


10am. The nets are out. Bamboo bashers prop on crooked branches. Wicker baskets under arm. Thwack. The berries rain down. Thwack. A bit of olive leaf. Thwack. I’m awake.


3 am and I’m missing home. Maybe cause I’m tired, and a little sleep deprived. I wonder if I’m making the right decision, if heading for the hills of Italy is better than going to the land which you currently call home and spending days there. I am tired of the city. Tired of the cement. The concrete. The brick. I’m tired of seeing rats scurrying into grates. Of walking and smelling the offensive effluvium of vinegar soaked rubbish. I’m tired of worrying where my money is going to come from. One day I’m tired of wandering. The next I’m back at it. So I don’t fully trust my momentary inclinations. Nor am I willing to tailspin for my emotions. I’m just tired. Need sleep. Need my bed. Need cuddles. And deep breaths. I need the world to leave me alone for a while. Except now I’m going to Italy to do a work exchange, and though it will be beautiful will not a part of my rebellious spirit, fatigued by my time as guest in the space of strangers, rear its head? Surely it will. Surely life is fraught with things I don’t really want to do and I’ve got to do them. Anyways I don’t know where this is going. I’m just ready to sleep. So goodnight.

A Rock of One’s Own. (Frankfurt and Fairytales)

I’m in Frankfurt now. I’m realizing that having a blog requires a level of dedication to accessibility and openness that I don’t have right now. This trip is by far the most solitary experience I’ve ever had. My thoughts are my own. My feelings. My desires. My observations. My inclinations. I’m finding great solace in myself. In keeping a great deal to myself and to my writing. But this blog asks me to open the window and let some of this waft out. And I’m not really interested in that right now.

I’m interested in being lost. In people not  knowing where I am or what I’m doing, as much you don’t want that, Mom. I think it’s what I’ve always dreamt of.

The freedom I have is unrivaled. Today I am in Frankfurt, Germany and I don’t speak a lick of the language beyond ich liebe dich. Tomorrow or the day after I may go stay in South Tyrol. Or I may build a rocket to the high moon of Jupiter.

Once upon a time I believed in fairytales. Once upon a time I believed that true love came knocking and that, if I was lucky, it would carry me off to foreign lands and speak foreign words to me, and I would understand all of it. Once upon a time I believed that ‘meant to be’ carried weight, that lovers could never really become strangers, and hearts, if tended well, would never close.

Once upon a time I believed in us. Now I only believe in what ‘us’ has shown me. I believe I am on the path of my true heart, my true soul. I believe in my writing. I believe in my dreams. I believe in myself. And I’m beginning to believe true love has nothing to do with romance, and everything to do with stillness.

Once upon a time, I needed you. I needed a savior with loose auburn blonde curls and eyes the glow of afternoon forests. I needed someone to tell me I was good enough. Boy did I need that. Now, more than ever, I know I am beyond good enough; I know I could give one and a half shits if anyone else thought differently. Okay maybe more like three fourths of a shit.

Once upon a time, on the precipice of great transformation, when finally I had decided to voice my truth to the world (my first truth; there are many others in me), I wrote down a line, not so much a line as a command, not so much a command as a doctrine, not so much a doctrine as the Christmas Star, my true north, my guiding words, my ideal, my most sought after goal; I wrote–to a version of myself that knew little of what she was capable, or for that matter who the fuck she really was, a stranger still to herself, fraught with a yearning to know her True Name–I wrote:

Be your own rock.

And here I am, not a shoulder to lean on but my own, which is actually really difficult; have you tried leaning on your own shoulder? Necks aren’t meant to twist or bend that way. Eventually you have to sort of lift your arm up and nestle your bone into the crook of your ear. Then if you’re lucky you might hear the gentle sloshing of the sea, or the endless tango of atoms that make up your shirt sleeve. It’s quite a symphony.

Be your own rock.

Lay down your worries. Your heavy bags. Rub some muscle salve on your back. Rest your head on the still spot of your heart. Hear the wisdom of your feelings.

Put one leg in the air like a flamingo and squawk quietly to no one in particular. Burn three bouquets of white sage in the basement chapel of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sing German hymnals in D minor to a cold slice of Dutch Apple Pie. Focus all your attention on the wiggling of your toes. Smile like your dimples are trying to get as far away from each other as possible. Laugh like there’s a bumblebee telling jokes in your esophagus. Place five lit lavender candles on the floor so that they resemble the constellation of Taurus. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance backwards with a stroopwafel in your mouth. Eat baklava oozing a strange green syrup. Fix your hair up nice so your curls catch electromagnetic transmissions from space. Put your leg down. Sit in the rain and don’t think about getting wet. Just get wet. If the wind blows, follow it. Don’t push back. There’s no use in that.

There is a time in life to be wild, to be primordial, to be a hermit, a nomad, a Bedouin in the fashion of your farthest ancestors. It is a time only your heart knows. There is a time to cast off your gilded shackles. To know it’s only a matter of time, and money, before you realize time and money are illusions. There is a time for fairytales–and that time is childhood. If somewhere in the King’s Court of your spirit there is a princess awaiting rescue, then that means somewhere else, perhaps the Royal Forest of your soul, there is a knight burning also with unfulfilled desire. And if ever the two shall meet, which I hope for your sake they do, they shall realize they were never apart. They shall realize; nay you shall realize, you have been waiting for yourself. By the same rock where you left your truth.

And I told you I didn’t want to talk about this but damn it you’re a good listener. You must have a way of getting people to open up.

I’m in Frankfurt. Beside me, on surfaces of their own, two Chinese women are sleeping. They toss and turn a lot. Occasionally one of them coughs. I can hear them breathing. It’s that quiet. The host has gone to the gym. He has a kindness about him. As does the world. It’s not like the news tells you. Fear is a sham we eat like french fries. These humans, like most humans, know how to love. They know know how to share. I cross borders, but the borders do not cross me. Everywhere I go I am a woman without a country, a child of the stars, a happy wanderer. For I follow no one’s compass but my own. And the funny thing is, along the way I meet so many others doing the same, living for love, for joy. I think we should shut off our televisions and our smart phones and go get lost in a strange land. There are fantastic versions of ourselves waiting there. I have met them. And they breathe freedom like dragons breathe fire.

I’m in Frankfurt. And everywhere Germany is resting as God did. The market is closed. The coffee shop down the street. I’ve no sights or sounds to report beyond the huffs, heaves, sighs and snores of my temporary roommates. And now, quite because I feel like it, I’m going to take a shower, then sit out in the cold sun with my book. And if I’m lucky, God will be out there too, sitting in his frog pajamas, sipping his late morning tea.