Inkling

I begin to think something, an inkling of something. Possibility. My potential capacity to actualize aspiration. I feel the edges of my unlived life and quiver at its magnitude. I begin to think I am capable of incredible feats. A life of health, wholeness, joy, and deep commitment. So what stands in my way?

Rising

I can feel myself growing with each day. 

New opportunities are presenting themselves. 

For love. 

For work. 

For art. 

I am leaving behind what distracts me. 

And working hard to face what is in front of me. 

Breaking out on my own. 

Finding a space that is entirely mine. 

Setting boundaries with people. 

Finding myself within my own field. 

Cultivating peace and inner security. 

It is my inner strength that is bringing all this to pass. 

Taking refuge in the jewel of my own heart 

And thriving there. 

This is a new world I’m treading in. 

A new world of possibilities and satisfaction. 

Of needs met and passions pursued.

What starts from within will inevitably make its way out. 

And so I am beginning with the blank canvas of my soul, 

Forging ahead with a new life. 

One grounded in love and care and strength and resilience and fluidity. 

And I am excited for the day when finally my dreams come to pass 

Somewhere there is a layer of skin I no longer need, 

A shell going back to the earth 

While I rise 

Little by little 

Into the heavens. 

In Circles

Funny how life turns in circles.

How we come back around to the same lesson

The same story.

The same drama living inside us.

It happens without our knowing

While we sleep

And dream.

The circle comes back around.

My life is a series of concentric circles

Flowing outward and into each other.

Yours is too, if you didn’t know.

I am bound to something

Something inescapable

Something which breathes a life
Greater than the one I have known.

It is on the other side of this old cycle.

Remembering never to underestimate

The enemy within,

Nor the soul

Which knows its true North

No matter what.

Spinning round we go

Ever deeper into the meat of things

The real gist. 

My depression lives 

In that liminal space 

Between Winter and Spring.

It is never very loud.

But when the frost is fading

And the bulbs are nipping at the soil,

That’s when it rears its head.

I lose faith.

I begin to give up

When it seems that my truth

Is a lie;

And each time I come back around.

Riding the circle.

Laughing at my forgetfulness.

Weeping at my struggle.

Though I falter,

Though writing becomes a chore,

A burden,

A shackle,

If I live to see it die,

If my father does not see me

Become the being I am destined to be,

I will never forgive myself.

I could never forgive myself.

I’m sorry for forgetting. 

So many times.

Again and again.

But I suppose that is the nature of life.

Always spinning in circles.

And sometimes it’s easy to get dizzy.

Acid in my Lunchbox

I remember standing there

With the Giant Sea

And the Watercolor Sun.

My heart rattled like a broken maraca 

That fateful day when the sky looked

Like something Van Gogh would’ve painted

And two deer, a buck and a doe,

Nuzzled each other in front of me,

A squeeze of my hand 

Reminded me of Michigan

Of beach grass jungles

And sticks-made-swords

And the sound of you

Nearly inaudible inside of me.

God was a soap bubble that popped

In my brain

While the waist-high lake

Gargled and said,

The anemone of my anemone is my friend.

You were a fast fall down a steep dune,

I might have fallen on my butt 

If you hadn’t been there,

But you were the distant water gleaming

In the sun.

You were the pillows of warm sand beneath my feet;

The sail boat

That looked like a snaggle tooth

On the horizon;

The crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jelly

In my sandwich;

The acid in my lunchbox;
The twinkle of forests I once camped in.
You were the vivid image in my head
Of some electric eccentric paradise

Some desert mirage on a hot beach;

Some kid’s laughter,

And another kid’s sand castle.

You were the wind in my curls

And the song in my step.

And you are still with me.

The warmth in my sleeping bag,

The giggle on a river,

The silly groan of old stinky pups,

The crunch of dying leaves

Beneath my flat feet,

The yoo-hoo of six forest sprites 

Whose purple wings

Glow green in all my photos.

You are, if my hunch is correct,

The chip on my shoulder,

The biscuit in my tea,

The cow sniffing my shoes.

And you are the waterfall,

And you are the campfire,

And you are the pinecone,

And you are the air.

And most of the time,

I forget you’re even there.

But I remember now.

I remember you.

Digging Totems

I dug up my totem pole yesterday.

It had been sitting in the middle

Of my ex girlfriend’s living room

Gathering dust

Looking shriveled and neglected.

No one was home so I went in

With a variety of shovels and sheers

And dug and dug

Until the carpet was uprooted

And the bedrock foundation had been cracked

And dirt was seeping through the newly formed fissures.

After considerable push and pull

I unearthed it completely

Then carried it out over my shoulder

Without looking back.

There is a glade behind my house

With craggy trees, bramble

And a thin little creek trickling

Off toward somewhere.

I found a flat spot of earth

And placed the totem there

Carving a hole into the soil

Planting it firmly until it neither

Swayed nor rattled in the wind.

When finally I completed my task

When finally it stood strong and motionless

I tied a rope around it

Fastening the other end to my waist

Laughing all the while.

And I danced

And I ran

And swung like a tether ball

Around and around the totem.

I did so until the moon

Was bobbing among the woods

Like a Chinese lantern,

And the squirrels had retired to their dens

And darkness enveloped the neighborhood.

In the morning I awoke

To the sounds of birds chirping and pecking

At its wood-carved faces.

With my coffee and my book of poetry,

I sat at its feet

The white blue Sun draped over my back,

Knock, knock, knocking

At its solid walnut bole

Breathing in and out

To the satisfying rhythm

Of completion.

Then, when my knuckles tuckered,

And my wrist grew tired,

I plopped against it,

Tipped my cap over my eyes

And napped until it seemed that

My spine had fused with the totem itself,

Until there was no arguing

No quibbling or questioning

That I was anything but centered,

Anything but happy,

Anything but home.

 

 

The Mountains and the Market

At certain times, certain periods of my life, I find myself grappling with an old demon. It rides on my back, its long curling claws hitched into my flesh, fastened at the shoulder blades. It likes to whisper in my ear. Sometimes it tells me to press on the gas of my car and never look back. Other times it tells me to whimper and yearn, to feel small and needy. I have thus far been unable to shake or shed it. 

In love, I am a computer fraught with conflicting systems of operation, old and new. The old, a desperation. The new, a liberation, an empowerment. A freedom. Trouble is, I associate each of these with place. In archetypal terms, let’s call it the mountain and the market.

In the mountain I am alone free, unhindered by others. But I am without community as well. Without relationship be it romantic or friendly. And inevitably I become aware of my need, my yearning, to return to people, and to the market.

In the market I am together, with others, but without a sense of groundedness, without roots, with stability in my day to day. For I am without home. The result is imbalanced, unhealthy dependencies in relationship. The result is feeling anxious and giddy to run off once more to the mountains, to return to myself.

Get it? In the mountains, I am with myself. In the market, I am with others. But wherever I am, I am denying a fundamental aspect of myself. In the mountains, it is my need for social connection. In the market, it is my need for solitude. 

It is innately an imbalanced situation. Ultimately unfulfilling in both respects. Ultimately unsatisfactory. 

If I am to be home, it is quite simple. I must have my space. I must have roots. The nomadic lifestyle is good and beautiful and nourishing but it is tiresome, ever changing, and spiritually impairing on a certain level. For I am without my family, blood and built. 

And yet with due consideration, I reach this essential truth: 

What I desire most is this: a bit of land, a home of my own, a woman who wishes to share their life with mine, who harbors the same nomadic and domestic urges, space and time to write, to read, and contemplate, a community. Yes, all of this. Situated somewhere between the mountains and the market. 

Leaving

You’d think

All things considered

That by now

I’d be a pro at leaving;

That by now

I’d be able to hitch a smile 

Across my face

A soft gaze toward the horizon

Without the slightest sign of tears.

You’d think

All things considered

That I’d have mastered 

The spastic movements

Of the nomadic life

With its comings

And its goings

Its ebbs

And its flows.

You’d think that the final sight

Of a lazy river

Or a blue hooded mountain

Would fill me with a lucid

Understanding of time

And beauty,

Would leave me breathless

But nonetheless happy;

That getting in my car

Was as easy as eating a banana;

That bidding farewell

To a bunch of old dogs

Would be no more

Tragic than stepping out of the shower;

That music could carry me anywhere,

And the endless cycles 

Of flitting between homes

Would loosen my grip

On this world.

But you’d be wrong.

For there is a truth

I have learned,

A bittersweet knowing

That leaving,

From the day my mother 

Carries me out of the hospital

To the day my body shuts down

And dies,

Leaving will always 

Be the hardest thing I ever have to do.