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?
I can feel myself growing with each day.
New opportunities are presenting themselves.
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.
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
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 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,
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.
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 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.
I dug up my totem pole yesterday.
It had been sitting in the middle
Of my ex girlfriend’s living room
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
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.
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.
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.
All things considered
That I’d have mastered
The spastic movements
Of the nomadic life
With its comings
And its goings
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
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
From the day my mother
Carries me out of the hospital
To the day my body shuts down
Leaving will always
Be the hardest thing I ever have to do.