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Archive for the ‘words’ Category

The Blue of Distance

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too many books

I want to write everything down, so as not to forget, not to lose the pages of shattered bones and missteps, the descriptions of grief and marked time, the illogical holding and eventual letting go, that coming to know things only loss can show you. How else can I learn all that others have to share? OWL runs down hills, out of arms reach. The stacks grow and multiply.

An unexpected phone call and miles. Essays and meetings over dinners. A quarrel on the stairs and the sweetness of reunion. I want to write my  words. My heart moves faster than my hands. I am restless, out of breath, walking to work, late, skipping over potholes. My boots scuff brick, concrete, asphalt. The wind lifts a corner of my coat, snakes through my dress, slip, tights. Words I cannot say.

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The summer was a pause that often felt like held breath when it was supposed to be a reframing. I know it’s not over, but the autumnal weather of this Monday morning is tricky. And as I usher through yet another transition, my heart is open to the message of the breezes and clouds and potential for rain. The leaves look suspiciously altered against the grey of the morning sky. I am ready for this change.

In the face of the flight from the radio and the yellow kitchen table, chipped and marred and worn thin by history, I write 6 pages by hand and feel the start of a new place, or rather of finding what was already lurking beneath, in wait. A darkness and frankness seen with open eyes, run on sentences and the skillful use of commas. A mind of madness punctuated by an occasional line of grace. Of forgiveness and audacity.

Falling asleep, I lose myself  in fantasy as distraction from the unceasing panic. The boy who kissed me last Tuesday and then called the very next day. The anticipated sweetness of seeing Seth and Geoff next month, collapsing into Vermont, in tears, (because I’m a girl who always cries). Sky Lake Lodge. The battle between the simple letters of M.A. and M.F.A., of Boulder Utopia and standing up right here. This may be my final flight of madness, and it will either kill me or I’ll pull into a new form – still me but less blown over and torn apart. At times I cannot honestly tell which it will be.

And when I think I have nothing to say, I’ll keep writing it down anyway, in one sentence, 22 words or less.

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A book would feel better. Something that requires my eyes and not my hand, these hands that seem incapable of sense or beauty, of holding anything, of completing thoughts.

With a lowered gaze my eyes wouldn’t betray what a stalled hand shows. Lack of movement, of invention. In that stillness the absence of intimacy, of connection. Tip to fiber stains the page in blue with unintelligible marks, poor penmanship, lost life & memories. Only remnants remain.

You are, maybe, a writer I write to myself just before sleep.

The next night, I refine my previous statement. You are, mostly, a writer, because it’s high time I assert some control over the ability to self-define. I walk and ride my bike to get familiar with self-propelling forward motion.

Then I tell myself you are a writer because I’m trying to practice maitri. I am trying to say to myself that I forgive you. I am trying to encourage this one small ounce of faith that has yet to extinguish, even if it’s fake it ’til you make it.

Walking home from the store, stinging behind my eyeballs from a this darkness that has re-enveloped me, born of a terror I’ve yet to name or befriend, your voice. A sweet imprint on an answering machine, across miles. To say hello. Been busy but all is well. Looking forward to some time off next week. A sweetness that will always be. And for a moment it is all so simple. The next moment it is mixed with tears from missing two amazing friends.

You are a writer. This is not decided by the New York Times or The Sun or that anthology you haven’t heard back from. It is not decided by the people who think you should definitely not get an MFA or the people who don’t invite you to interview for a job that you know you would absolutely kick ass at. It isn’t even determined by the one person who loves you most of all, who refuses to let you on the computer without insisting on “watch da whales jumping.”

Another two days pass. Sob wet confessions behind closed doors, absent of logic or rationale. Touch on the old, older, oldest. The lies I believe over and over again without realization. Some of the strings that keep me trapped, tied up in the past-never-to-be-future. My mistrust of all things shines through and illuminates an even still deeper fear that although I’ve come to whisper it time to time out loud (and only to a paid professional) I can only touch for a moment at a time. One breathe at a time then hold the rest.

And suddenly that fire that was consuming me is like smoke. It is long and dark and trailing, its toxins soaked deep within my skin and organs, but smoke nonetheless. Transparent patches. I feel its heat and thickness but walk right through it, still unsure if I’ll ever find the clearing.

In yoga with a new teacher, I find my Warrior after months of it feeling gone. I move consciously from a diagonal lunge, with intention, into Warrior III without using my hand. My foot firmly planted, stable on the earth. My leg shakes like nothing I’ve ever felt – a tremor rising from the inside, up and outward – but I am steady. Prana. I glide into Standing Split, light touch to the floor. We rise, Exhalted. I am still steady. In transition. Prana revealed.

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