you press your hand into mine – an immeasurable gift; i trace your still-tiny toes as they tuck up against my belly under the blanket — you smile some knowing smile i know not when you grew into – some bundle of knowledge that has blown through your brain ; i look at you and sometimes astonish myself with how large you seem, how grown up – the maturity just beginning to peak out in the smallest of features, the way you look when you’re concentrating on a problem, the tuft of your nose beginning to sharpen your features ever so slightly – the small mannerisms of language you add to acknowledge awkwardness or self-awareness of your own social foible (i cringe at this awareness, as i prayed you’d never have to meet it) ;; your giggle still sounds full toddler-abandon, when i get you to belly laugh from way beyond social convention , you still gaze in awe and wonder at beautiful things, ask for rainbows, sing to your stuffed animals, the sweetest pitch of a voice climbing over a perfect hill — you still ask for snuggles, greet my hand with welcome, nuzzle on to my leg — but you tell me you know things too, when i remind you of them ; you start to wander down your own path, when we walk together in the woods ; you start to groan when i ask you how your day was ; sometimes i even feel the first twinge of embarassment from you when i ask hold you at just too public of a moment — you grow up and out and away and towards, and still i know the love i have showered all over you was the best thing i have ever done with my life ; still i know it comes up endless and endless, and it will never stop being my greatest accomplishment : loving you, and watching you grow just your own way
the roll of wooden chairs on in a red light – burning a hole in the stage, my character shoes piercing the dust, the chalklines of europe etched onto the paint — our laughter, our light, the gravity of history ; curled hair bits and short black wigs and fishnets and garter belts and all the ways i am tied and twisted into costume ; the way that melody warps its way around us all, the hum of our feet hitting the notes, the swell of our bodies rolling and rotating towards each other / the flush of greys, tans and german accents / the flow of trust, the curtain of sensuality, the rush of the band, the glow of the lights, dim; select – the tap of our heels as we tiptoe backstage, trying not to make a sound, the blue light of the wings swelling about wooden planks – the endless rush, the joyous sound, the love of creation, the curl of friendship / dragging my fingers across my legs, balancing on a wooden stool, placing my weight just here or there to make sure this rickety old thing carries me; heaving through sickness ; braving through personal trials, and endlessly finding comfort in the stage; comfort in the wings, in the glow of the lights, in the forgetting of problems and the finding of community; i would never trade it for anything – it will never stop curing my heart of any pain ; it will never stop giving me strength and clarity ; i will never stop being inspired and in love with the theatre ; the boards, the wings, the lights, the journey, the creation — gratitude is the only everything i take away
new orleans sinking like a bottomless note to the edge of the country – dipping its toes in the Mississippi, shaking off the excess for always ; friendship in the dazzled sunshine and street walks to vegan grits, jambalaya, liquor and coffee / the race and rush of bourbon street a song in my ear – the humbled splay of beads dancing out of every canopy , the flush appearance of grass and swaying pines ; of jungle leaves and dappled pastel houses like paintings pulling themselves out of the sidewalk // paint dripped on every corner, hushed lullabies of haunted windowscapes — voodoo wish words passed down through the ages — funneled in to some big brass instrument and swinging out for every jazz jingle that hunts its way down the bayou / yoga on the back porch in the sway of january breeze, gumbo and quiplash and air bnb wine and the dungeon and the bounce frenchman street ; of walgreens and CVS and stripper’s eyes – the mundane made magnificent, the glamour of a sunday afternoon paled in the french quarter and baked in something past cultural significance — the city swinging like a note or two out of place from the rest of the country ; held, like a wish star floating ; suspended by the billow of music within
((a little late in posting))
2019 in all its fumbling beauty. to moving you in to your new place, the aisles of target, the tumbling new objects up new stairs; the excitement of new carpet and a room that is yours. winter discoveries in big tan chairs; snuggles and laughter – we giggled at Matilda at the walnut street theatre; Aida, the cold chasing us up river rd to lambertville, Karl, singing in the car, false eyelashes, black wig, warm dancing feet — super bowl party in Manhattan stumbling out of a shower; 12 seconds to judgment at the arden and fabulous hot dogs; valentines day in philly in a dusty little comedy show ; to austin and roaming about, vegan ice cream cones and sunsets on the water while the bats nestle under the bridge; chasing buses and mapping uphill new city names;; march and the world beginning to unfurl slowly, slowly — key west and this bikeride i took across the island while the sun dipped under the horizon – when i chased it to try to find where the moon was hiding the stars; when i pulled myself out onto a dock deep into the water and watched midnight blue all around me settle onto the dust of the oceantop — open call equity auditions — my first extra work – marvelous mrs. maisel and the deuce, early morning crack of dawn arising; the pancake of makeup, the curl and rush of hair and costume, creation and waiting, huge spinning lights and wheeling cameras — our silly little lawyer commercial, on a cold day in the middle of nowhere: discovering jim thorpe on a magical st. patrick’s day festive day, the glow of a fire outside a beautiful set of buildings pulling themselves out of a mountainside matthew’s 21st birthday and our bareburger + bar extravaganza; rehearsing for judas iscariot and pure medea at the same time – flying my way to philly and back to the little shed at the edge of the delaware river back and forth as the sun peeled the earth back into spring; and the drop, the shock of Benny April 8th — the way the world spun on its head in the middle of the magic gardens and i could feel all the creation around me reflecting some sorrow i didn’t know how to digest yet – your funeral doused in music and covered in photos, laughter, tears; the tears, the endless tears that seemed to go on and on past the human body’s ability to make them // judas iscariot and the layers of beautiful planks that formed the beautiful set we all dressed ourselves with ; the words, the rich words, the beautiful people, the aching creation ;; the end of game of thrones and writing and writing endlessly;; pure medea and the rough-hewn brick room that housed our words, all our beautiful rehearsal spaces carved out of this precious city, the hollowing back of my projected monologues, the love of dancing in the street while you sang falling slowly to me, and i twirled around in a purple dress and a bow in my hair on my birthday – you gathered up the reasons you loved me and wrote them down for me; we laughed playing corn hole in old city – we danced on cinco de mayo in a fabulous whirlwind of mirrors and philly frills (we danced always); on father’s day too, in a little bundle of stones in the city and tossed our father stories into the wind; i flooded myself back to the city, in hot upstairs rehearsal rooms and in a tiny little blackbox in Mayfair – All This Intimacy – a helmet strapped to my belly to form a pregnant belly, thai food in the rain, and barcade + garage and celebration ; jamie turning 5 in a pirate party [hot tub laughter and secret hitler late in to the night] Bloody Bloody and friendship; laughter and cardgames and sleeping on haybales in a huge, hot barn; the july air wakening us in the morning to come to life – to sing, to dance, to pound our hearts into a stage we built, and unbuilt. to Church + State – our magical commercial, stuffing amazing meats into our mouths, dripping with sweat and tasting the view of bucks county from atop an old tower; to san diego, racing through dry hillsides, telling my dad to stop working over hard kombucha in a bar in ocean beach, to brother dan, to sunsets and shaking lemons from a lemon tree; to august warmth wrapped me like a pair of solid hands – langhorne players dancing around us, the old firmaments too solid to be shaken when you climbed inside the doorway that could barely fit you – the stonework and wood gone moldy still holding our laughter in, our good work, our good efforts and listening – the cohesion of us 4. to Photography. new work and scary work – facing fears, getting comfortable, playing the part until i was the part – of photographer, ready to create, ready to face any task. finding the light, finding myself in the strangest of circumstances – rising to them. finding myself unsure and answering the question for myself. finding myself delivering on promises, building myself up; taking risks, working hard, carving out my own career by myself — to vermont – skating up through the mountains, surprising casey with love, laughing in the rain with boxes full of vermont cider, giggling down the state to woodstock – to vegan ice cream cones and sweet bowls of noodles, wander feet and gushing streams over exposed roots, tumbling back home towards the sunset – no one needing us anywhere but the road — to september, moulin rouge and jeremy’s wedding, to jamie beginning school – a soft september walk up to the new yellow school bus, all new, so new ; to september rolling forwards like a bad dream, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the amazing friendship of Matt, the blessed words i got to speak, the great work we got to do, the wonderful play we got to engage in, indian food and a room in the newtown methodist church, the beautiful newtown theatre opening up like a woven tapestry of wood and new memories — my phone getting stolen out of my bag, the emotional wave of fire and ice – the capsized boat – the turntable of reality — the words i got to wish out of my mouth – the head and the heart, nahko, the rennaissance faire, halloween come clean and glowing for me , tunneling down some lambertville street, laden in costume and taffy sweet jamie smiles — november come like a swarm of bees – tia’s party in all the glistening gold, Cabaret and this new set of souls to swim with ; old friends and new friends and new pants and laughter and strange ramblings through hun school gamblings – thanksgiving rattling down to pittsburgh, my brother and i singing songs all the way down the turnpike and back; to december, red hair, rolling wishes, dear evan hansen and jagged little pill and laughing fever-dreamed sleepovers, half-baked christmas cookies and josh over for christmas day; laughing and games and something framed by the word family, cold, hobbling and wind whipped searches for a tiny house; new year’s eve back in your arms, laughing all the while
but who knows your soul like i do and who writes fire like i do / whose eyes see the magic in you and the magic in me and how our minds touch just so – how our bodies line up just so – the way ours do when we press into each other in the midnight light — because ours do; ours do
Nashville rotary, motor, hull-mumble guitar pick-stumble — rattle shack cold and flecks of Tennessee snow through the slits in the neon lights — the river pulling up to bridge light, now ancient swing pulling the future towards the endless sound of music,, now the music pulling is towards the endless sound of the south pointing north by northwest ; now a sequence of hipster gold leafed, fine calligraphy, bulbed, flecked, rusted wood ornamentation – now floating , now rushing , now playing an old song through a new bedazzled vision – crushed red brick and the manufacture of sound, a commodity sandwiched between magic and craft beer — now the reverberation of applause stretches it’s tinny sound towards the reflection of the sky ; turned butter grey with January smile,, now I hunker towards the isolation of freedom – i grasp it with both hands – and pull. And listen
rapture fire wrapping up a continent in the consequence of constant careening away into carelessness — the charred fragments of millions of years, the indecency of the sky to relent; the tumult of gum trees ; and silent afternoon sounds i still remember, the hum of insect choirs bouncing across the land – the sun a little more golden, a little more holy than anywhere else;; the air a little more clean, a little more rich with sensation than anywhere else — a country that still calls to me in my deepest dreams, some songline screaming out — some prophet, some shaman of aboriginal dreamtime singing this is what you always had coming, when you turn your back on what is holding up your feet;; when you rip the ancient names away from the hillsides, when you tear the ancient knowledge from where it is hiding – in the cracks in the dry soil, in the windswept tumble clouds of dust that swell over the plains – when you plummet into the soil to suck what magma has turned fossils of old magic into your profit ; when you tear through the great barrier reef with ships that slice through coral like so much flesh being peeled — when the conquerers conquer nothing but stolen forgetting / when catastrophe rings like a thunderclap ringing back – no lightning here, but enough smoke to smell who lit the fire in the first place ;; no names for these forests anymore, the ancient or the new ones – now they blend into the night sky, all ash and charred root systems gone silent, no longer speaking, no longer singing the songlines through the continent — where are the songs now — do they travel as deep as the fossil fuels? baked in to the crust – are the songlines safe? can the singing be heard? is it escaped now – pluming up into the great cloud of smoke (the size of europe) — reaching its filthy hand towards the southern cross? caught red-handed, caught black handed – wretching towards the ones who stuffed a pipe into the songlines’ ancient throat, until it gagged, burst up singing flame — and sang until the song ran dry and the sky turned black – the notes drifting back into space like so many stolen stars returning home
it’s christmas and i miss you, of course. i feed my heart through a tube, i pull my musculature sideways through doors that used to fly open; i push through the melancholy; i miss your hands, the way my hand fit in yours, i miss your shoulder, and my head resting on it, i miss your laugh and the way your eyes light up when i say something that makes you laugh; i miss the way we get one another
this day won’t last forever; this moment won’t last forever; but here you are, 5 years old and curled up in my legs, all of our limbs reaching towards one another, in love; we look in to each other’s eyes like lovers – you ask for me to stay forever, i know it will never be hard for me to promise; the very best thing i’ve ever done; i bundle you, your little soft hair rubbing under my chin, a sickness in your chest that i can feel in my own body;; two everythings beating together
so much gratitude to be had; so much perspective; so much learning to be had – every day, the great unfolding, every day, partnering myself, holding my self close and teaching myself about how i want my life to be; about how i want to be – endlessly more patient, more loving; how i am doing so little if i am accomplishing personal goals but creating disharmony with the people around me; giving my life as a healer, in service to those around me; this should be the greatest accomplishment i focus on
i am thankful for my body in all its parts, strength and athleticism; thankful for my heart, it’s endless loyalty; thankful for my heartbreak, the way it keeps teaching me
Tonight I feel you everywhere. Your caustic voice, your rippling laugh, your eyes on me – a secret joke – your rough scratched beard a promise ; your caretaking a memory. The lights glow with that familiar warmth, the chords sing with some ancient harmony // the cup-sized friendship still holds water – your absence is everywhere though , sitting on the couch ; I do not want to glower in this feeling of aliveness; it feels somehow wrong ; I remember the care you gave others, the resonance of your sincerity, your advice, clear like a knife, rich with experience ; I remember your stories ; your late night lettuce theiving ;; some joke you are always playing on the world / the impossibility of your absence, the firmness of your presence in all of us ; the way our hearts are all scarred ; the way our scars show faultlines — tectonic plated ; aching love that burns deep ; rivers that peel canyons into stone // leaves marks ;; like so many scratched prison tattoos you pressed into your own skin ; like so many handmade tattoos you tried to teach me how to make – on some summer night when the music flowed out onto the side patio and the warm night air flooded the LED lights you brought to bring light to our magic – and my own virgin skin, my precious lack of understanding, only conceiving in imagination the reality that you bore, the thick reality of piercing yourself with handmade instruments in the loneliest of places – in solitary confinement, ratcheting new dreams onto your skin as a prayer, as a promise, to one day give your light, your art, dreams, back to us, and me, in my fragile understanding, undeserving of this momentous gift – the love and understanding you bestowed, like a prayer, like a promise, and the good works I must follow to the edge of visible light, past hardships I cannot conceive of except in imagination – to spread the light, to keep the promise, like so many handmade prison tattoos scratched into my skin – be that honest. Be that giving.
More than your conception can imagine.
hollowed city shell, laced with anthracite powder ; the coal sucked out of the ravines and side-stepped hills – heralding houses on houses; pulled, like molten ghosts – steel rapture , wrapping the rivers in a rolling fixation with the resemblance of reliability — this city pulled itself out of the hillsides with tools and black treasure, fumbled its way onto the landscape with sweat and sidelong glances into the future (that slowly but surely peeled away from it) ; rocket teeth, the brick and mortar make-shift rubber-wired splinter cell of this growth of steel and cement curls towards the new century, abandons its skeletons of iron and forge and builds shopping malls and sidewalks – i try to pronounce the native american name of this river in my head like a mantra, try to press that reality back into my consciousness / to honor the way the water ran before it was filled with soot and ash / i imagine , in some part of my brain that works beyond language , the names these hills once held, before they were marked and numbered for the black artificial gold within them ;; the energy it took to pull our country into the modern wasteland — the energy we squealed out of the earth ; the price we paid to lose our own magic \\ and this friday too, singed black on the edges , filled violently with the rage of consumerism bolting ; like the reanimated zombie energy of our black coal hands lighting into the night ;; let the night turn black again – released, gently, momentarily, into the golden endless light of stars laughing at us
I am chasing this little pink flash across the sky , on this, what is almost certainly a winter sunset now ; I am tracing the outline of the bare branches in the reflection on the water and trying to find the places where I went wrong / where I cracked in the growing outwards of my branches / I’m trying to learn / I am gazing up at what is a quickly darkening haze of hues and trying to place myself inside of my own world / trying to reach towards how to know what it is I need to know at any given moment ; on my long confusing journey towards this endless horizon we can never reach ; that is always just dipping beyond the edge of visible sight ; that is always just meeting the night where the day ends , somehow effortlessly at a fixed point in our vision ; like a dream of a static universe we are never actually standing in ; in a dream, as if time is one small step in front of the other ; and not an endless circling ; and not an endless expansion ; as if the trees are not rooting in deeper and reaching out higher – always for more light, more strength – never a fixed point in the soil, but an endless connection of bones and bloodlines ; like vertebrae through the happenstance little bundle of cosmic rock we happened to bumble out of // Hello sky ; hello to the endless calling out to the sky ; waiting for it to circle back around again