Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ekphrasis

Sometimes your mind spills.  I don't know if you think I can't feel you, sitting up there, running your hands through your hair.  Your sighs are deafening.

Something about the moonlight brings imaginings to life.  The first time your mind brushed against my face, I thought the apocalypse had come.  Jolting up in bed, fists clenched in front of my face, eyes closed as though that's the way to meet one's doom.  Nothing more touched me, but a persistent rustling.  I squinted one eye open.  Your room -- our room -- was a snow globe of leaves.  I was halfway out of bed to shut the window when I saw it already closed.  You sat on the edge of the mattress, white skin gleaming in the moonlight, head bowed, breath deep.  I touched your shoulder.  It was warm.  You murmured something and the leaves moved a little slower.

Some people sleep walk.  Some sleep talk.  You sleep summon.

The next night, I lay rigid, overly-aware of your back pressed against mine, eyes wide open to the dark expanse of my room -- our room.  Waiting for you to move.  Waiting for something to happen.  You barely shifted all night.

You had me fully convinced it had been my dream.  But it happened again.  I woke to scales slipping across my cheek.  Peeked open my eyes.  The moonlight again.  My room an aquarium, filled with air and goldfish as long as my arm.  They dove in and out of dresser drawers, following the currents of our breath, spinning in torrents around your head, still bowed.  You sat.  I pretended to sleep.

I tried to tell you once, but the pancakes had just come to the table and you seemed more concerned with your syrup than tales of moonlight.  I let it go, drowned it in tea.

Are you lonely?  Last night was thunder clouds and wetless drops pounding into your room -- our room --, blue from the moonlight through your curtains.  Fireless lightning.  Noiseless thunder.  Like a scream under a pillow, under the water. Spilling.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Imitating Kerouac

So on an island when the rain falls down and I hide in the ancient shadow-borne cloisters hearing the cold, cold wind rush through the strait and feel the deeply tangible weight of an unfathomable history embracing years and places beyond my imagination, and all the feet treading, all the pilgrims praying in the immensity of it and in Seattle I know that the strangers will ignore one another in the city where they let strangers ignore one another, and tonight the sun'll stay up so late, and who would have thought the fire could be that white? the solsitce sky will be fading and dimming its brightest shades over the wild ocean, which is blue but never black in a way that blesses the earth, lightens all lands, reflects off the sands and shines on the waves, and everyone, everyone knows that the days are only going to get shorter from here on out and there's nothing that can stop our spinning, I write you a letter, I even write you a letter that can never be sent, I write you a letter.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

one. or the other.

I figured it out.

I am either completely and utterly enamored with every single creature around me all at the same time.  Except one.  (Calm down.  It's not you.  Well, actually, it might be this time, but cool your jets: it changes).  And that's the limit; there always has to be that one person who is not allowed to be a person.  That's the balancing point. And it's not fair.

But the other alternative is completely and utterly loathing the thought of even footsteps from anyone else on earth.  Except one.  (That one is you, all the time, each time.  You deserve it: to be my Person).  And there's something comforting within that.  Because -- who knows why? -- for some reason, I still get to receive love in the midst of my inability to be a person.  Which is more than I deserve.

They're isolating extremes.  One person to hate.  One person to love.

All those years of begging not to be lukewarm paid off.  Apathy is the enemy.

Well, except toward that One.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

because you are.

Cleaning my room.  Found a journal from last spring.  There are a grand total of eight entries in it, spanning from March 20th to May 15th.  It's a chronicle of the dissolving of my faith.  So interesting to look back on.

From April 16th, 2011.  SPU Women's Retreat at Camp Casey, day after the Day of Silence.
If you could hear this wind
You would weep.
Not because of sadness
Though you're almost sure
Your heart is more cracked than not;
Not because of happiness
Though you'll say that "yes,
It's happiness;"
Not because of God
Though the air rips tears
From their places.
No.  You'll weep because
You are.
With cheeks wind-bitten and
Lips chewed up;
With skin peeling off your palms:
You'll shake
Because you feel.
You'll breathe
Because you live.
You'll leave
Because you're cold.
But you'll weep
Because there's nothing more
(And nothing less)
That you can do
To be.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Make Me Stone

I write to run. When the words stop, I am too much.
I sit in this hard-backed chair, surrounded by strangers and their stories.
I watch them read and work and study and be.
They leave and arrive.
I sit in this hard-backed chair, surrounded by strangers and their stories.
They are unaffected.
They leave and arrive.
I am affected.
They are unaffected.
I want to mean something. To me. To everyone.
I am affected.
I feel so much.
I want to mean something. To me. To everyone.
I do not know where my worth is found. Is it found in you?
I feel so much.
I want to feel. I want to feel. Make me stone.
I do not know where my worth is found. Is it found in you?
I watch them read and work and study and be.
I want to feel. I want to feel. Make me stone.
I write to run. When the words stop, I am too much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

But complaining is much more fun!

Good things happen. The sun did not die today. You did not drown in the bath. The bus – though it may have been late – eventually arrived and transported you somewhat miraculously at your destination so you did not have to walk or wait for your neighbor to drop by with her covered wagon to wagonpool with you and her horses are notoriously distractible so surely the bus was faster.

Good things happen each second of each day. You did not just develop gills; thus, oxygen enters your bloodstream via your lungs and you continue living as these words sit on the page.

Oh, but these are commonplace things. They aren’t good things. They are just things.

You are too hard to please, my friend. You say that continuing to live is commonplace? Do not blame the world for a lack of goodness when you are bored with the entirety of your existence.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

a rant about dishwashers

It’s funny, the ways we all see the world. How we travel around in little packs or by ourselves, claiming independence. How are we all so different? You would assume, with the vast number of people you’ll run across in your life, you’ll eventually find someone who overlaps with you in all the same ways: someone who drinks as much tea as you do, or who organizes their dishwasher the same way, or who would rather be by themself or be quiet or play a game or who is just the same as you. Someone who is a slob six days out of the week before panicking and disinfecting everything in sight. Someone who loved surprising people but hated being surprised. Someone who didn’t know how to deal with their life all the time and so hid behind smiles and nice thoughts and all the distractions the world can possibly dish up. You’d think another person just like you would exist, because wouldn’t that be nice? I think it would be nice or reassuring or something to know that someone else works in the same way. Because when you’re in your head being your own person, sometimes it’s a lot easier to see all the similarities that other people have that you’re left out of and feel very, very by yourself all alone lonely. And it might help things make a lot of sense if someone could say, “No, I understand why you do these things, why you make the choices you make, and say the words you speak, and go the places you walk at the pace you pace,” and someone who it would just be ok to be you with. Because none of us are right or wrong, but it would be so nice to not have to keep that reminder in your head all the time, not having to compare things, just to be able to be; that would be so nice. But we’re here and we’re people and not really sure who we are and the only thing we have to sort of check in on ourselves is the people around us and trying to keep track of what’s going on through the lens of comparison. And that’s the worst. Ugh. I don’t want to be wrong or right anymore. Those things aren’t important. I just want to be me and have that be enough. I don’t want to be competing with anyone anymore. That’s as clearly as I can say it. Because this competition is exhausting and there’s no gain at the end of it, either way. There are no victors or losers, just a bunch of very exhausted people who have come out on the other side of all this bickering and comparing and competing with an even greater lack of knowing who they are, doubting more and more what they’re supposed to do with their lives or who they are or what anything means any more. 

We have to stop attacking ourselves. But no one has taught us how to live otherwise.

See? Right there, that’s the excuse that will kill us eventually. The moment of but I didn’t know any better, this is what everyone else was doing, and on. We see what’s wrong, maybe we even recognize that we need a solution or – bite your tongue – figure out what a solution might look like. But we won’t. Because that would mean acting against what we’ve been taught for our whole lives, since the dawn of man. We’re begging for survival at the cost of happiness or peace or internal stability. We have no idea what we’re missing, so we continue on, trudging up the hill, against all reason, because that’s the only thing we’ve ever been taught. Or even if we haven’t been taught it, that’s the only thing that we can see and so we cling to it, desperate to fit in, to be what the others are, because even if we’re all miserable, at least we’re miserable together. Because – who knows? – the alternative could be worse. And that’s something we’re not willing to risk, while we’re all clinging on to the cliff face with bleeding fingers and scratched-up faces, even when the smooth path, with handrails and informative signs, is only meters away. Because it could be worse. And if no one else is taking that path, it must be. Because who would choose pain and hardship and comparison and diminished self-worth when the alternative was so easy, so close this whole time, unless the alternative was actually a lie? Because we’ve all been lied to our entire lives. The truth doesn’t mean anything anymore. We’re all just telling stories, again and again and again, until the plots all run together and the characters sound the same, and the words get shorter and shorter. And you’d think eventually, two people would end up with the exact same story, when the words combined the same way. But we all have our little differences, and the letters don’t line up perfectly, like mismatched cups on the top rack of the dishwasher.