a staggering compilation

but do you feel stimulated and does the warm air wrap itself around your ankles and whip at your neckflesh and do men hold your face in their hands with tenderness and does the wild eye of the sky keep pouring hot rain onto the pavement? happiness is trite. the world is full of color and turquoise magic – horror terror and crimson hue/blood sad and wet faced worry – do not appeal yourself to the simplicities of what contemporary modern life says is the way to measure your life. you are a staggering compilation of dissonant cells and atomized neutrons and you are a fantastic imagining of clay still fresh and unglazed and you are a parcel of bones strung together and you are a finely laid arrangement of electricity. and do you hear the insect choir on a summer afternoon and does the highway extend out beneath your feet as you fly along and do you have a brain full of drummed thoughts tapping hot and measureless? you are, you are, you are doing just fine. you are doing straight black magic just breathing earth oxygen potion. you are doing just fine. you are everything you need to be at all infinite points on a compass. you are always on the path you are on and that path is always unfolding the only way it knows how to – domino, domino, domino, stange mystery of labor twirling outward – you are always a thousand ways that your cells are not dissolving. you are still held together with invisible electron glue. little gravity sorcery. you are still a phantasm/a creation creating. you are doing just fine. you are a miraculous breathbag heaving. still, still. do not worry about happiness, or silly rulers the world tells you you must measure yourself against. you are a magnificence of electro-magnetism. the world is not spinning you apart just yet. the laws of physics are still alive in you just yet. you are still breathing just yet. you are still filled with hydrogen possibility just yet. you are still a miracle just yet. you are a human being just yet and you are strange and aflame and you are brave for still breathing. for rising to meet the day. you are enough. you are doing just fine. if you are feeling a myriad of things, you are lucky. if you are feeling anything at all, you are lucky. if you know not one thing for certain, you are wise. you are doing just fine. you are doing cataclysmic, majestic things each day. like breathing. like existing. like being.

you are doing just fine. You are alive; you are making magic.

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.

rockface

But the aching crags that pummeled under my feet – the harkened breath sumptuous in my chest – the curled chill of mountain air twirling my skin – the firmness of step, the grasp of leap, the stumble of jump, the voracity of adventure in your heels, the the quake of your muscles as you lean in to a new footing, as you lean in to a new trust – in yourself, in the rock, in the flow. And the physicalized ritual of confronting, greeting, being with bravery. Testing your own limits, literally challenging yourself, genuinely finding where bravery sits inside your bones and harvesting it. This is invaluable. This is a rockface. This is climbing it. This is coming in to your own strength again.

 

And I say thank you, thank you, thank you again. Thank you mountainscape, thank you stunning sunset that happens everyday – that I miss so many days. Thank you for the opportunity to see it again today. The cataclysm of the sunset happens everyday. It is us, who forget to take notice. It is us, who forget to find the magic, to witness it, to thank it, to receive the majesty all around. Cupped hands, cupped hands, we forget to cup our hands, and receive what is always directly in front of us/behind us/surrounding us. Air, air, and magical mystery.

the 1st of august

i’ve got all of the above inside. i am what i am what i am. my own wounds and insecurities placed just above the ribcage. they sing when they are jostled. i try to play dumb, to slice off my cancer. but hey, if this is your heart in your hands, this is mine too. this is my fear, my insecurity, my bundle of complexes. here, here it is, will you hold it in your hands? i am trying to do the things i said i was going to do when i broke up with ceilidh. i told him i needed to come in to myself, to know myself as a single person, as a person unreliant on another. i need to know my own rhythm, to go slowly, to hold space.

let go, let go, let go. keep trying to find your own rhythms. your own life held in your hands. try to hold your own heart. learn how to hold it, how it feels, what it needs. see if you can give it what it needs.
and i think about you girl, my angel. this day, 8 years ago. your life, your light. the prettiest girl in the world. you were joy, and you are love. you give me bravery, when i am scared. i think about you, what you would have done, and then i fucking do it. i leap in to the cold water. you were bravery and beauty and love and all things bright and worth living for. you are always and forever. keep blowing in the wind, dear, keep crashing in the waves. i’ll keep trying to dive in, to be brave and alive and fearless for you.

and glow little fire, and burn fast in the shadows of my heart.

i feel sad. profoundly sad in a way i didn’t expect to. i feel touched in a way i didn’t expect to. i pummeled my heart onto the stage in a way i didn’t expect to and was unbelievably grateful to the way my castmates pounded their souls into the floorboards. the way they all gave it their all. left it all out there. sang their hearts out and pounded the ground with rage and sorrow and beauty. it was a magic coming-together of a thousand moving pieces. and it came together. and it took everything i had from me. a great chunk out of my heart and gave me back sevenfold in spirit and fire and spark. it opened my ribcage and let a tidal wave of light pool out of my chest in blues and violets and reds. it filled the shadows, it stung the lights. it is everything theatre should be – vital and real and harrowing and thick and inspiring and poetry and pounding and violins and cellos and blood and sweat and tears and honesty and touch and tenderness and meaning. meaningful words, meaningful chords, meaningful darkness. fire and grace. i am thankful. i am thankful for purple summer, for commitment, for creation, for being inspired. i am thankful for the rituals. for bogad’s words, for bogad’s direction. i am thankful for the starlight sparks of stage lights bouncing through your body, hiding in my skeleton, shadowing up my spine, curling my soul out of my mouth. i am grateful for the music, sliding around my skin, cupping my hands in movement. i am grateful for the joy, for the cast, for their passion, their power, their endless talent. i am grateful to be in something serious, with people taking it seriously, that is seriously effecting people. that rises audience members out of their seats. i am grateful for every single time my castmates hit it hard, grit their teeth and poured out venom. for the gaping, open wounds they laid bare. for the ribcages they spread wide to let everyone see in. i am grateful for the vulnerability, the trust, the strength, the sadness, the joy, the laughter, the creation. i am grateful, and i will let this blue wind blow through me, and try to grasp the gratitude as it whistles through the lonely wind; the long blue shadows falling.

i am grateful that this show exists. for the profundity and poetry of this show. and that that it was accessible enough, meaningful enough and beautiful enough that it caught fire. that people at large could sink their teeth into something deep. that something profound and deep could be beautiful enough and good enough and touching enough that it gained mass appeal. that story matters to me. the little poetic engine of a meaningful piece-of-art of a show that hit it big and captured a generation’s hearts. that something that was dark and profound and real and poetic could speak to so many people, could bridge the gap between popularity and real magnificent art – that has always been an incredibly inspiring story. one that grabbed me by the throat and dragged me through high school. on fire for something meaningful that was so fucking good that it reinvigorated an appetite for real art. that spring awakening ever became popular, that it won the tony and changed a generation – that is one of the most satisfying stories of my life. people have the capacity to engage with meaningful, poetic, artistic craft. people have the heart for it, and people reach out when you reach towards them. that is the deepest truth that set my heart ablaze when i was 16 watching the forest fire catch. people get it, people get it. if you give them profundity and beauty, they will consume it. they have the appetite. you just have to be brave, and punch your chest to let the demons out, curl them into song, and sing them straight out of your soul. sing it out. sing the song of purple summer. and people will hear it. and people will get it. and if you reach out, people will reach back.

and we can all be better than this. richer, deeper, thicker, more connected, more engaged. and spring awakening reminds me of that. people get it. at their core – people all get it. people are so much more full than we let them be. so be brave. make art that strums that chord. that splays out the soul. that sings to the core. that fights for the fire, the light, the shadows and all the starlight in between. do that. it’s the only good fight there is.

and all shall know the wonder.

maps to the moon

and i opened the door, flurried-faced and rushing and i heard that old familiar weep coming from my mother. the one i had learned to put away. i curled around the corner in slow motion, lurching every little wooden floorboard. you had notepad on your lap, and words scribbled on it that rubbed against my eyes, that sandpapered against my ears. harsh words, new words, vocabulary that hasn’t been revisited in a long time. stage 4, inoperable, chemotherapy. resolute words. words that tell a story within themselves. you said i can’t believe both my parents are going to die from cancer. i felt the air leave the room, the shock tingle up my spine, the resoluteness come to sit on my shoulder. all of the sudden. all of the sudden.

i think about time. about the unsteady, guilty, lack of clarity to how the timeline will fall out. how you’ll feel guilty for not doing more, for not being there. i think about sickness, i think about all the people with irresolute time. all the people waiting. i think about ryan. i think about fairness, and what a silly frame we put on our time. what we think we deserve. i think about what a fucking awesome life my grandfather has had. how he has been bold and strong and inspiring and smart and witty every single day that i known him.

 

but the night before – we were vibrant song-children. we were shooting off fireworks in the yard, getting told to keep it down by the police, rolling drum sets out of the backs of vans. we were cobble-headed moonbeams, we were violet-light singers. we all stayed up so late laughing we watched the full moon rise over the tops of the highest trees. we were 2am grilling and feasting on smoked meats. i kept checking the stars, i kept watching the moon rise, i kept filling my eyes with the sounds bouncing around me. i kept watching the moonrise.

and even now – the fireflies are dancing upwards in the grass as if they know everything. as if they know that we know nothing. that time is a dream. that dreams are alive. that magic is a whisper right in front of your eyes. that the seasons will keep birthing. that the fields of wheat will still roll in the wind, will still bend in the storm, will still grow in the morning. and even now – the fireflies are glaring their mystery show for tiny peaks and upturned valleys – little fire dance whether we are watching or not. whether we are watching or not.

 

i think about you and i hope for no pain, for wide breaths, for a few more sunsets. i hope you can watch a few more fireflies rise in the twilight. i hope for a few more pies, some decadent naps, some blissful dreams, some fresh july blueberries. i hope you get a few more summer storms, a few more races down the highway. i hope everyone tells you they love you. and i hope you feel no pain. i hope you know how strong you are, how loved you are, how inspiring your life has been. you wrote the maps to the moon, grandpa, and no one can take that away from you. i hope you get a few more moon rises, that it shines glassy-eyed and full, and that it gives you enough light to see in the dark.

i promise to honor you

and when the moment comes, you’ll know it.

and the moment came. and I gave Jamie his last milk tonight. and i felt so fucking proud of myself. for breastfeeding him for 3 years straight. for giving it my all. for giving him everything. my body, my life, my time, my strength. and i felt sad. no, sad is not the word. simply overtaken. with the momentousness of raising a child in your hands. of holding him with patience until he is able to hold himself. in being able to give that to someone. in the gratitude i have that the best person i know in the world is my son. that i get to lie with him on the bed and look at his sleeping face and see this person that has come into the world. this fucking amazing human being. that will one day be a man of his own. that is already growing in to a boy of his own.

i promise to honor you. to stand by you. to try my best to give you my best. to remember you in innocence and know your truest heart. to keep my promises. to talk honestly and with patience. to be patient with you. to let the moments of your life unfold and to try to give you the foundation to be fearless. to be wide-eyed and full of light. the way you have been every single day of your life since you came in to my arms three years ago.

the moment came, and it was on a sun-dappled afternoon in july. it was warm breeze through the open summer window, it was 7-o-clock golden light dancing through the pane. it was the month you came tumbling in to this world. i finally pulled myself from your longing mouth. i saw how my body had grown yours, first inside of my skin, then outside. i saw how strong and true and beautiful you had grown. i let you lay there on the pillow next to me, blissful and dreaming. i let myself cry a few tears. i knew i had done well for you. i knew you were strong. and i knew i was strong, for walking the strange and lonely path i have to this moment. i cried because of the incredible journey we took to this moment. i cried because the moment was beautiful, because the moment was sad, because the moment was bittersweet. i cried because you were so beautiful lying there on the pillow. i cried because the moment was ending – because you are growing up – because i was able to pinpoint this moment along a constellation of moments that are before and in front – and that the train is going to keep barrelling – faster now, with your own stride and your own wings about to catch up with your body. and soon you will learn to flutter, to flap, to fly. and i will be floating here – frozen – on a bed, dappled inside the 7-o-clock summer sun. and you will never know this moment but in a primal ticking on the inside of your brain. and i wish you could conceive of how precious and sweet this part of life is – i wish we all could. i wish we could all remember it. honor it. hold on to it. make the glow of the summer hum through the window pane last and last and last. and here you are, lying on the bed now – so little, so big, all at once. i allowed myself to cry for only a moment. and then i curled myself off the bed and let you dream. and let you breathe. and let you grow. all by yourself.

story/magic/world

am i not, to some degree, a summation of stories? a summation of the stories i tell myself? a summation of the stories you tell about me? the stories we create about ourselves and the way we retell them?


whisky water tinkle machine –
copious amounts of clarity and
dream-works weaving


i think about guilt, how to sit with it/where it should sit in me/if i should carry it and how/what it serves, who it belongs to


i think about gratitude. about the thrill of adventure, about the experience of new road under my feet – heralding me forward, wrapping me around a roller coaster, ejecting me across an architecture of metal at impossibly inhuman speeds. i think about wonder, about imagination. i kept thanking the world for making the imaginations around me in Orlando, the world-building, the dreamings. i thought about someone’s idea for a children’s book coming to physical life around them. a manifestation of imaginings in a young single-mom’s head. that thought felt so touching to me I thought I might cry. i thought about what this story she made had meant to so many people – the escapism and willingness to dream – what that had given so many people. the outlet to something magical and real all at the same time. such a cliche joy that place gave me. in the most wonderful way. i am okay with the unpretentious cliche sentimentality of it. i was okay with the fervor – with the unmistakable stench of merchandising and profiteering and cashing in. i allowed myself to not get angered about that. because there was also an unmistakable, overwhelming passion baked into the artistry, detail and rigor of the place. of genuine love and care. people that really cared about a story about magic really cared enough to imprint their own artistry on the creation of something to fulfill everyone else’s shared, collective imaginings about a story. and that felt meaningful. and there were traces of meaningful and traces of real artistry caked into the fake, warnerbrother walls. and so i was okay with the hocus pocus of it. i was okay with the falseness of it. because the meta-meta strangeness of creating such a place felt like such a beautiful human endeavor, on the core of it. and you could feel the honest love for story that was there. i have no patience for high-wire american capitalism sucking the soul out of something filled with soul. but this felt slightly opposite. it felt real – it felt doused in soul – it felt it had a heart still beating. and i was thankful to be a part of the whole creation. to give it my eyes. to have my own imaginings become part of the collective. baked on to all those walls. all the faithful, magic-believing eyes that come to fill it up – maybe that’s what i was feeling. all the collective love, all the collective imagination being projected onto the tapestries and painted lanterns. all the eyes that laid their own meaning on the fake siding and the poured-concrete. all the desperation that wanted it so badly to be real. all the wanting. all the traces of that wanting still stuck on the place. all of the ability of the mind to just push a little bit further forward, and fill in the dots. all the tricks and trades of our powerful minds. all the tricks of our senses. but no, it is not a trick – it is the power. the power of our senses. it is not a trick they are pulling on us, universal and warner brothers. it is the power of our own mental force that we are engaging. to engage in collective imagination together. to engage in collective play and belief in story. in magic. in life just that much more meaningful. it is the honoring of aesthetic and the power of sensory experience. it is a trick. and it is a willingness to let go of the nonsense of the falsities of the adult world. to find that other world. to create it together. to build towards newness. towards strangeness. towards exhilerating discovery of what is possible. it’s building a strange replica of an imaginary world that was dreamed up in a dreamer’s head. it’s a strange thing that humans did. it’s a homage to the power of aesthetic and the power of story and the power of creation. and it meant something to me because i am not afraid to say that things mean something to me. because i want things to mean something to me. and a thousand little and big eyes that all felt meaning inside of themselves pressed their eyeballs and hands onto fake stucco walls and made it meaningful. and the meaning lingers on the wall. builds like layers of paint. smothers plastics in real, human soul. and over time, begins to live. a collective organism of people’s love breathing and festering on something that capitalism tried to feed off. but we are feeding off of imagination, not merchandise. we are sucking on the marrow of something real, and the sideshow of price tags is just catching the lucky drippings off of something meaningful. something that the cynical, deflated people of this country and this post-post-modern world still find refuge in. story, magic, creation, imagination. something strange and free. fantastical and alive. because we want it to be. and that is our power. that we have not yet learned how to grasp. we have not yet acknowledged just how powerful and magical we all are. the power of our mental capacities.

and that is our power. that we have not yet learned how to grasp. we have not yet acknowledged just how powerful and magical we all are. the power of our mental force. of our creative consciousness. of our collective consciousness. of our belief, of our creative forces, of our imaginings, of our meaning making machines. imbuing things with meaning, and then they are meaningful. we are endlessly magical, if we learn to see ourselves through the right kind of eyes. get out of your head, get out of your silly head. look at yourself through the bottom of a glass bottom boat – through the lens of a thousand twirling macroscopes – we are a strange and magical creature. we have mind on our side and consciousness to discover. and all you want to do is worry about your taxes. and bitch about the tiny things. and never look at the strange, big picture. and weep at the beauty. and rapture yourself into wonder at the majesty of consciousness. what a strange world, what a strange world. what a magical world. fucking honor it. do it mother fucking justice – this thing, this thing of being a human being in this strange sensory body – what a mother fucking magic. what a mother fucking magic.

own it.

youth on wheels

we are a muss-puddle of new words, new feet, new tramplings over new memories. we are a mud-liscious appetite for Florida summer storms on the horizon, dousing us in hurricane-heavy rain. we are a pair of cousins again, two feet, one feet, 6-feet-tall and four-legged between us. we step in stride again, theme-park pouncing and twirled hair tingling. we are thorough – pummeling through the parade of perishable presences – a thousand attractions filling our eyes, 3D-virtual-reality rolling through the richness of our grown-up heads – somehow believable, somehow believing. we are wizard wheezing – full set decor and finely tuned magic miracle-ing about us like youth on wheels. we are a seussical – a weird oracle of happenings/herculean and hopping mad. we are walking, walking, walking/youth on wheels – pummeling an amusement park with bemusement, wizened eyes that still turn on their sides and a cynical laugh towards commercialism. capitalism flying high – turncoats and tophats a-plenty, begging for profit on every street corner – shameless and slimy – replete and resplendent in its rapacious glory. all a-flutter, all a-twitter, the unabashed decadence of a country in demise, the repulsive resonance of every chord being strung at once – the strange music of a tightrope on fire saying walk this way, walk this way, we have nets to catch your fallen possessions. we have possessions to catch your fallen souls. we have souls to keep possessed. we have amusement to magic you away. we have magic to mirror reality. we have reality to rush you in circles. to tire your legs. to tie up your legs. to get wheels on your feet. to get your feet replete with the dance, with the circle, with the need to get wheels on your feet. we have youth on wheels. we dance for tips. we tip for youth. we spin in circles to watch you spin in circles. so you’re always too dizzy to catch your feet. to catch your breath. to breathe.

we are a muss-puddle of new words, new feet, new tramplings. we find new ways to breathe in our own new rhythms. we find new breaths to breathe in between.

summer blood

june bugs come swimming into my spine/summer blood comes pumping into my veins/heat stroke comes filling behind my eyelids – i am aswelter with ferocity and love. grace and grass stains. bug-bitten and love bidden. the season somes swimming towards me – teeth bared, firefly singing, sweat-faced flying. curled up little mountain roads – sighing up catskill corners, floating into upstate new york. up, up, you can see the horizon dipping over new paltz, you can watch the little lights glow on the hillside at dusk. you can feel the stars pulling themselves out of bed – peering through the blanket of the sky – curious, wondering, wandering – stretching their bones, curling their hair. ready, ready, are you ready stars? are you ready for another season of junebug magic and ferris wheels?

stage lights – are you ready? are you filled with cataclysm? with the echoes of voices ready to catch – to reverberate – to sing back to a hollow chest pumping summer blood, firesweat – wilderness heart? do we have the heart – are the hearts still beating?

follow that rhythm. it will follow you back. second star to the right and straight on till morning.