So many worlds to funnel in to, so many dreams to tumble out of, so many lives to keep living. Let the words wander me there.
Create your own cosmology. You are your own spiritual authority. Intellectual bricolage. It’s all right. There are no wrong answers, just words that are never real enough to capture the vastness of complexity and minds that are too wrapped up in ego and minutae to see the whole picture. I can never see bigger than my own two eyes. And that is all right. The mystery is where it is.
Algae mouth and lily pad eyes, I am hunting for the girl who knew nature again. Sickly sweet smells of the spring, I am intoxicated. Is the past finally no longer reaching towards me like a claw? Same woods, different section. What does it feel like to dance through the rings of a tree? I cannot pick these flowers until they pick me. And who knows how to dance but a river? No one will ever love as much as the Earth loves itself… Allparts bleeding into one another like puzzle work in four dimensions (10 if we’re being honest). Who taught the trees to listen to the grass? Who taught the grass to know everything? Why am I so much smaller than a blade and when will my feet run me home again? I am an angling sparrow of another age and the air has no age and the age of my breath is me. Split an atom in two and buy one get one free. Buy one get one for me. More atoms than you could ever eat.
How did I become myself?
And sliding down the 3am streets, the pavement slick with warm rain, the billow of street lights refracting all over the water. River water, puddle water, rain water, canal water, all gleaming yellow-gold with street-light suspension. All heavy with night-black shadow and moon-dribble reflection. All hidden away down River Road, down slippery tree-lined passageway. All hot with May breath and sleep drizzles drumming into the steering wheel. All dreamy with half formed kisses and wide wallowing river groans. Little bridge that teeters, totters, tangles like teeth and tunes itself to tone of tinkling tires. Little bridge carries me from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, slender with slumber slinking into its sides, worn tight with time and tired from too much tinkering. Night carries me home, little white stars blinking in the water, little darknesses creeping into every root. Night carries me home, tucks me into my corner of the world, lets me listen to the wafts of the sky. The world lets me dream beautiful dreams.
And now May curls its toes back, winds me up and lets me wander into the warmth. And now I am trying to remember gratitude every minute of the day. And now I get to wilt about in wonder.
I am amazed at how cynical I’ve become about marriage.
And so much of how I perceive the universe has changed.
But I do stand by mythos. The endless dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. Meaning systems that enliven. I stand by the creative power of the collective consciousness, the collective unconscious, Plato’s cave and the worthwhile quest to get out of it. Ritual. The power of being present.
The problem is in the oversimplification. Generalization. The need for logical, rational, simple answers. The inability to live in the complexities of things, with wide angles and sharp turns and groping, gasping landscapes of meaning. That contained within a single word is a luscious infinity of complexities and meanings that all lay up on each other. We need to abstract ourselves, to live and breathe in a world with less edges.
Life of this strange and wonderful world, please let me breathe just a little bit longer. Please let the spring days swell to the brim, fold over and collapse as summer swims in. Please let this little piece of my life last longer. Please let me sit inside of this warmth, this glow of new light, this peace of hot hope…just a little bit longer, just a little bit longer. Let it linger, let it listen to me and let me listen to it. Let me listen to the world sing. Today and all days. Let me remember how to hope. How to be that girl with wide eyes, open hands and bare feet. Pounding across pavement with something to say and something to write and something to discover. Let me be that youthful gaze again. That love-filled lingerer. Let me linger. And remind me how to hold on. How to cherish. How to savor. How to breathe deep and let the oxygen melt into my cells. Remind me how to full again.
And please help me to write again.
Oh and my birthday. So now I am 26. So now I am peeling through my days. And what love, and what family, and what friendship and what grace has been given. And what thanks can I possibly give to such a world that allowed such love to be given to me? I need nothing.
Cold weather winterized laughter. Laughter is ringing through the trees. Some days like May that want to call themselves today will wander aimlessly through the bundle of your brains.
Jamie had night terrors last night and it was the most horrifying thing.
Today is my last day of being 25 and that is a strange thing. The strangest year, the most full, the most radiant and changing. Thick, tough, disarming, wild, cantankerous. And I really don’t give a shit what people think of my story anymore. My story is my own and they have no idea what strange potholes I had to fall through to get here. But I got here and I am grateful for the pain that brought me to this rediscovery of myself. I am grateful for the sorrow and the disillusionment that allows me to see clearer. I am grateful for the wind that blew me down the river, for now I know how to paddle. I know how to wade, how to wait, how to float, and how to take steps towards flight. I know how to run. And no one gives you permission enough to do that, sometimes. Sometimes, when it is necessary…you have to give up. And that is ok. That is not failure. That is releasing yourself. And finding yourself. Listening to that silent call buried deep inside your ribcage and being courageous enough to follow in that direction. To piece together the pieces to imagine which way to go. In the hope of hope. I feel brave, I feel empowered, I feel accomplished and most of all, I feel more like myself than I have in years. I feel happier now, more in line with what I actually am and what I actually want…and I don’t feel like I failed in the slightest. Not even a little bit. I am on this journey and I am doing the best I can. We jab in the dark, make the decisions that we can in the moments that we can, based on the trillion firings of neurons that bound us this way and that for all sorts of preconceived reasons and ideas. This is the way this journey unfolded. To bring me through the woods, to wisk me around the train stop, and to send me on the back of an elephant back a new home I never knew I didn’t belong to yet. I can only follow my feet where they are walking and I am not ashamed of a single step I have walked. They are all part of what is bringing me here. And here now. And here now. And there now. And there again. And back to here. Different, older, more experienced, more thoroughly walked. I am grateful for the wisdom that crawls into the divets in my skin. These are the stories I get to carry, the experience I get to wrap around my waist, the thorough living I get to own. Nothing is a mistake, or a failure. This is a life, not an arrow shot at a bullseye. This is a whirlpool – just try to swim against it, why don’t you?
Quicksand and fire, send me on my way again.
I am grateful for this fuckery of a year.
Let me cultivate more fire. To give light to my shadows, and to give shadows to my silence.
Oh morning light, come play in my hair. Come dance in my dribbling shape, come warm the tops of my feet. Oh morning light, come blow me sideways, dream me upward, wash me earth-ward. Oh morning light, let’s spring and be sprung – hung half dangling over the arms of the season. Hot tongued and new-leafed, let’s change this world from grey to dizzying green. Make it green, make it green. Make it a wide, breathing machine. Pumping fresh love into the air. And we’ll breathe what only we can breathe.
Somehow life keeps wrapping its arms around me and carrying me through these slender days, one after another and time is slipping by so fast. The world approaches, the world retreats. I am happy.
Rain’s soft spring fire is trilling down on my skin and where am I but everywhere that is bright and boundless and billowing. Everywhere that is here is presence I no longer remember how to be present for. But I am trying, and in my trying, I am creating something new. A new way of being present. A new way of engaging. And I feel more whole, more real, more honest than I have in many years. And life is a gift, and love is this ground I walk on, and time sustains me. Rips me apart and rearranges me. Time wanders me around in circles and gets me dizzy enough to forget what path I’m supposed to be trodding. I always forget what path I am supposed to be trodding. At times it seems impossible that you will ever, ever forget. You seem so sure in your footing. And then, one day you find yourself years deep into a pathless passing and you can hardly forget that there was ever a path to begin with. At the same time, I am more and more okay with not needing to accomplish any of the things I told myself I needed. Not in a lazy way, but in a contented, peaceful, older way. My artistry is in my existence. My creation has value simply in being created. If I’m not published, or in a gallery, or on Broadway, or in a movie…that is not where my artistry is. My artistry is what it is what it is and has value simply in existing. In working its way through me. This is not giving up, this is not a lack of ambition, because those things still thrill inside of me…but I have a larger peace to create, to give, to receive, to feel, to exist. To let my creations exist and let it be. And if it is seen, it is seen. But that is not where the artistry is. Maybe I’ll never “make it” because I can’t get behind the capitalist, results-driven, accomplishment-or-it-doesn’t-matter commodification of art and of artists. The soul-selling and the personhood selling and the pushing and shoving and hours in front of a screen. Maybe I won’t succeed at that at this point in my life. But what I will do is create. And breathe in creative breaths. And that can’t be taken from me. And that is a tiny revolution in itself. To create around the edges, in the corners, in the sideways yearnings. To be alright with yourself. To find accomplishment simply in existing in the most honest and present way you can. To raise a child. To give to children, to teach, to listen, to learn. To operate outside and to feed the earth with thanksgiving. And to know that your creation, your art, your existence exists outside of the codification of what can be defined as accomplishment. That life and the living and the experience of experiencing the love of this world is a stronger accomplishment than I can list on a resume. That creation matters in the minutiae, in the minutes, in the moments, in the everyday revolutions, in the tiny caverns and crevices. That measurement is futile, that the stars and the universe and the galaxies and the matter and the speed of light break our silly human measurements into a trillion spinning nonsenses. That we are silly for ever trying to measure our lives. Against one another, against nature, against the natural glory of being alive. That measuring will only take you so far, and that creating will take you anywhere.
So I’m doing alright, yes, thank you. I’m creating every day, yes, thank you. Yes, that’s enough for now. Yes, that’s the most I can do for now. Yes, I can find my way to being okay with that. For I am raising a child and a child is raising me. For I am working a job that I love and learning the ways into that creation. This is not a sidestop, this is my creation now. Informing my past, my present, my future, the ways in which I create. This is a puddle of inspiration I am learning from every day. This is my life right now. This is this moment right now and this is my creation. This is more to draw from than I could ever imagine. This is the living, this is the gift, this is the place where I am. And no, it doesn’t have to be a step in a series of other steps to take me to some larger, elevated place. This is the place right here. This is accomplishment in itself. There is no hierarchy of living, only illusion and unnecessary stress. And inside of this peace, there is life sitting right before me. There is creation drilling right through my fingertips. And there is inspiration gathering in a swarm around my skull. For right now, for my life, for my body, for my being, for my love is my creation.
I can always strive to do more, to be more, to breathe more, to create more, to flesh out more of myself, to shake out more of my strange rotten cells, to capture light inside my lungs and to curve my heart around the synapses of the world. But that peace, that inner contentedness with existing, with being alive, with what you have already created, with what you create every moment, with what you know is possible within your bones…that inner solidarity is far too often overlooked. What have you created? Your own fucking blindingly brilliant soul. And that affects the world far more than what you think you’re supposed to accomplish. Give, give, give. Love, love, love. And love creating yourself. And love giving of yourself to the strange creation you are always making. This life which wanders you down those strange, impenetrable journeys. Those wild, winding roads which splay out at the center, bulge out at the top, and set you free. Find the path, fuck the path, review the path, look at the path from afar, be alright with gazing at the path from a million miles away, find the path again, walk on it, run away from it, and float down the fucking river to wherever you will. You are your creation and you are enough. You are always enough. You are the path.
We are enough. We are always enough. We are the creation we are creating.
What do you want Art, if not to inspire growth? That deep, real growth that gives us life.
It’s in the letting go.
Fire breathing heart of mine, be still.
The air is thin and precious, elegant and warm. The days are delicate and May is a truer song than words. May, my friend, my little wisp of wind. May, my life blood trills for you.
Life and love are holding each other’s tiny woven strings like patchwork looming close. Stories I’ve missed, stories I’ve told all wrong, stories I’ve never remembered but somehow feel. Life is my storied tangle of mess. Love is a rhythm I know how to dance to. Without shoes, without feet. With my holy heart leading the way.
Some days are too sweet to write about. Some songs are too soft to repeat.
Somehow I’ve barreled myself to May. To Yardley, PA. To a thousand new adventures. To a new life. To divorce papers. To a trillion things unfolding and a million leaves unfurling. Life is happy these days. Full of moving and traveling and rearranging and playing. Walking on the canal and discovering puddles. Jamie is joyous and discovering and fiddling with his first attempts at words. Home is transient and tracing itself across state lines. The hurricane is settling.
Mother’s day makes me feel proud. I have accomplished so much. And it has been so much, and so rewarding, and so full. And it has been a lifetime, and it has been my life, and it has been the most beautiful choice I ever made.