perpetually sudden

i think about how I’ve never really known what’s in your head; the grey matter; the fizzing goop that drips through your cerebellum, you strange beast…but that I have seen it ticking from the outside for half my life;; dizzying clockwork and happenstance ticks i know so well ; i see the everything gushing from within some socket – i wish i could plug the dam for you, let you rest in sinewed arms, take away the racket and the rage, let it wash out in the rain, i wish i could soften the gears, release the valve, unfurl the sails, let fly the fluttering eye

// just the right amount of pain, right to the bloodbones, to the corner of your brain still flooded with syrup and cotton

/ my little broken treasure

/ a little puncture in the side of your brain // what is this thing we call a heart; a ball of layer upon hayer of some howling wishes cast together; hot like iron – like glass – like metal – like a forge of something past and present and never fully had

the ever present present unfolding ;; like a little handful of Jack’s ; spiky and round at the same time

/ and you, barreling towards everything as if my heart was just a placeholder / wiping my i-love-you’s off your mouth as if they dirtied your imagination / and me, a sudden gust of wind perpetually blowing; perpetually sudden

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wide-angle

mother and mother and i am always searching for land. for something to dig my soul into.

i walk across the canal – now, a bundle of frozen clay earth and a dimpling frozen waterbed. i catch my eyes on color – i recognize the season’s hues – the reds showing themselves in roots and shoots, the green holly leaves still clinging to branch, the red twinkle berries still round – nothing else abounds. the greens and reds, occasional – markedly hued against the backdrop of brown and greys. i hunt for my footsteps; my footsteps hunt for me.

I think about how badly I want to photograph the moment / I think about focus; about dilation; framing; I think about the shot; I think about my eyes like raptors; I think about the camera angle wrapping around my skin like a pair of claws ; following me / I sit with the desire to document the moment in a way beyond my eyes.  I sit against the canal, back against the woodline ; face against the ice ;  A man walks by with a huge dog on a leash – he makes a passing comment that I am little red riding hood, and he, the wolf.  I laugh / eyelash / I find folk tale tremors on my lips, in the ice in the melted bits of water / are they melted or did they never freeze /  Have they not yet frozen will the Winter freeze them will I be there to see it —  I think of the fairy tales following me; of the toxic romance that gave me a sick and weak heart –  I think about how important the stories are that we tell; how we must find better ones / I think about the reflection of the branch in the icicle spine that is cracking in the ice

And the Sun still warms ;; well not warmth, but light
the light stratifies every plant, every strand of golden hair rising from the earthsoil; the light hits with a different glaze; a different gaze; Winterises my polarized eyes
the cold codifies
the solstice light sinks closer to the horizon – looks for comfort in the mother – tries to cling close to the skirts of the solid – the sun holds fast, dips quickly, fearlessly, runs to the other side of the world – lights up my beautiful Australia with dripping season of color and fragrance – tips the balance, curls the scales, swells mangoes to fall off the branch. the sun plays with me, with the body of the earth dancing slowly; i remember there is no objective horizon, just the closer and closer from the further and further ; just the memory of an edge of a manufactured boundary ; a trick of sight ; a trick of being a flat vision on a round bauble ; of being a tricked one – an audience member — the show is grand; grandiose; full of grandeur. the show keeps spinning – the curtains hold back the tricks – so we can feel the magic. so we can believe in the magic. the funny sideways horizon line – the trick of objectivity, of subjectivity. it’s summer over there, don’t you know – just behind the curtain. this winter spell is a scene. is a song. this cool and icy distance is just a dance. one pirouette away from the swelter of summer. and all its realities. and the earth is dancing the other way round right now – showering my Australia with late afternoon swims and 9pm sunsets and twirling vistas that glitter with warm blankets of starlight. and here i pluck around the reeds and bones of plants gone dry and try find anything that isn’t a casket. and the showmanship of the horizon keeps glaring at me like a finality – like a rule. but i know it’s only the edge of the frame. the wide-angle camera shot set on a tripod, low to the ground, high shutter speed. i know it’s only the shot – the simple, cheap one-camera set-up. the room is round, honey, and let’s not forget that we’re spinning.
let’s keep spinning forward.
“the world is round, and a messy mortal is my friend. Come walk with me in the mud.”

he found his breath

rolling body, my body is a forged steelsmith from the plains of america. my heart is a wheel, i am a firetruck. you cannot always beat the monster, sometimes the monster beats you. and jamie curled himself into the fetal position in the middle of the airport and screamed over and over for me to help him breathe again. it felt like a panic attack. he was overwhelmed and overtired and hungry and jacked up and scared about traveling from here to there to there to there. and i lay on the ground with him in the chicago airport and tried to teach him how to breathe. he looked up at me, eyes all a river and tried to breathe with me. and tried and kept trying and kept looking at me for help. kept telling me verbally that he needed me to help him breathe. and he found his breath, and i held him and rocked him on the ground in the middle of the walkway until he came back up for air. until he found his breath again. and i think this is the only important thing i do with my life. and i think everything else is selfish nonsense, in the end – and this is the only important thing i can do. hold another being until they can find their breath again. teach my son about the waves and how to ride them. how to breathe through them. how its okay to feel. and hold him until he can find his breath again.


 

i am trying to be patient with myself, with my own journey towards finding patience with myself. i am trying to be kind to myself, to my body. i am trying to stay present and i am remembering, finally, what it is to take it all in. to breathe in the moment through your cells. to feel the moment on your whole body. to feel the rush and power of the ocean pummeling you. to feel a vista sweeping around you. to bow your head to the sunset. to take the five minutes to walk through the tree-lined path. to bramble through the roots. i am happy to be back home, to reconnect with my own rituals, my own processes that ground me and keep me sane. i am grateful for the summer night, for the buzz of the insect choir in the darkness. for the warm fluid air that fills and peels.

soon, soon, your heart will pump clear blood again. the riptide rumble of toxic funnel will pearl its way out of your veins. i’m sure, i’m sure, love will come running – fire will come tunneling. sun will come hurling like wings. someday, someday, I’ll have enough time to tie myself to something firm and basket-sized. something i can place things inside of. something i can place myself inside of. i’ll tuck myself into bed, i’ll tuck my time under the sink. i’ll clean my blood – my fuzzy edges, i’ll clean my fear. some day, some day, you’ll hear me again – songboat melodymind and riverwide heartbeat drums. do i have love – a place to funnel it? and whose mind is it that i am always searching for?

am i always a river, headed west? will i one day funnel out into the ocean?

happy, i am a bottle of aperture and fstops – with my little boy I am a funnel of tunnel vision – satisfied light captor. i am a lens – photographizing every moment. the way the light plays in your hair. the way the grass sinks into your toes. the way your singsong voice comes thrilling through the air. i am devoted, little one. i am devoted to your heart. that is something that never wavers.

keep pulling the light towards you, keep tugging it tighter. keep walking away from the violence, keep funneling the abuse into something powerful. keep doing it, keep breathing. you have to keep finding strength in his fury. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy.

step back, step back. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy. i’ll say it again, i’ll say it again, i’ll say it three times too loud – the patriarchy hurts us ALL. not just women. and men get swallowed in the current of not being allowed to be men just as violently as women get swallowed by the back side of the shovel. it hurts us all, it hurts us all. the false pretense of the male form. the false rejection of vulnerability. not giving our men tools. not giving our men freedom. to feel, to understand, to cope. we equip and we equip and we equip women with the tools to learn how to learn how to have emotional intelligence. we practice. we say its ok, its ok, feel, feel. talk about your feelings. honor them. talk to your girl friends about it. process, process. this is part of your gender, this is good. this is good. and then we fucking send three signals three different ways with men. we shame vulnerability, then we shame them for not know how to be vulnerable.

that doesn’t mean masculinity should be shamed. masculinity should be honored. femininity should be honored. and vulnerability should not be relegated to one sex or the other. emotional tools should not be given to one sex and then used to beat the other up for not knowing how to begin to fashion tools for themselves. we feel very comfortable saying that it’s time now to teach girls to be strong, to be empowered, to fight. and we rarely sit in that place of deep knowledge of what it is we must do to better equip our boys. to let them be. strong, scared, vulnerable, manly, light, bright, dark, shadowed, rageful, hopeful, wide-eyed, fearless, terrified. it is not weakness, it is not weakness. to tremble with the recognition of yourself. to survey yourself. to understand your emotions. to reflect. to breathe, to pause. to learn how to open up. these are not feminine traits, nor are they the anti-thesis of manliness. when will we get past this? get past the “man up”, “stop crying”, “don’t be a fairy”. when will we get whole? when will we even recognize that we need to get whole in order to fix the whole problem? stop the cycles. stop the cycles. you want your little girls to stop being abused? give little boys a respect for their emotional life. teach them how to communicate, how to open up, how to be vulnerable, how to process anger. do not glorify a violent response. do not glorify violence. do not glorify an angry rebuttal, a fistful of answers. give little boys questions. and ways to walk themselves into them. to sit with them. to be patient with the confusing tumult of emotions. do not keep convincing them, through imagery or otherwise, that a violent, aggressive, or angry reaction is the manly way. and that apologizing is weakness. and that self-reflection is self-pity. and that strength lies in winning. and that your manhood can be found inside of your venom. suck the poison out. snakes can coil, but do not them choke. manhood lies in something deeper, something wilder, something free-er than the bonds of anger and the simplicity of violence. these are not the brave choices we have been taught they are – they are a trembling animals’ self-defense mechanism. glorify the real man – the new shape of manhood. the firmness of heart, the fortitude of spirit, the ferocity of forgiveness and giving and growth. the strength beyond gender. the strength within gender. the fire banked down deep. the one you cannot spit out of your mouth or cower behind meanness – the one that spills out of eyes – fumbles out of warm hands – curls over a hurricane spine. he a storm, he is a river, he is a meadow, he is a wanderer. he is his own; and he belongs to the world. he gives back to it. he knows what it is to give. to receive. to feel. to hunger. to ache. to make whole. to search. and to find.

let’s glorify that manhood, shall we? and everything in between. nothing is wrong – except the wheel that keeps spinning blood from blood. break the cycle of abuse. we know better now, don’t we?