Born of Fire

create, Love, save the whales, therapy

There’s this picture that my boyfriend took with his arm splayed out as far as he could stretch to fit our whole family in the frame. That photo, four wide smiles all piled on top of each other, that’s my life. Do you know that Jos Stone song, Spoiled? It’s that kind of love. And now he’s sick. I want just one person to tell me how I’m supposed to feel okay about that. In my heart of hearts I’m just so sad.

The Galapagos Islands are an active volcano hot bed. The islands move at rapid speeds, they survive for millions of years and then slowly prepare to die. As their land turns barren most of the native species leave to live on the other islands. But the problem is that some of them have evolved on that island. The Waved Albatross and Sea Lions still travel to the desolate seaside cliffs of Espanola’s  south side. The Waved Albatross, is a huge bird with an eight foot wingspan. They fly for six months to reach the island once a year. The way back to those cliffs is ancestral and instinctual.

These birds can live for up to fifty years and they pair for life. They will wait on the shore for days until their partner to arrive from another part of the world. Once a year the world’s entire population of Waved Albatross are on this island at once. A blanket of white dots stretched across the rocky terrain. When the mates find each other they start executing a dance of sorts where they clack their beaks together in a way that reminds me of the gentleness that takes over when playing swords with a kid, gentle but playful. They take turns incubating their egg, each one sitting for two weeks at a time. They raise the baby and then fly their separate ways. Until they meet again the following spring.

That’s what this love feels like. Like coming home. An old familiar home that I can feel in my bones. This is simply not our first spring together.

I would fly for six months without stopping to see you again.

Bandstand 

soulfood, therapy

There are only so many times that I can hear, you don’t matter, before I ask that person to please exit the box seats of my heart and find a spot way in the back. The nose bleeds are a perfect place for people like you. Suddenly, your opinion becomes more and more faint. I will never control what comes out of your mouth but those sounds now are just a whisper lost in the crowd of cheers. Your face just a pixilated blur and I’m tired of squinting to find you. 

I want to tell you

create, Love, soulfood, therapy

Once upon a time there was a little blue eyed baby born in Kansas.

Why the universe decided that this lifetime was to be spent with you people I may never understand.

It is probably for all of the right- hard- reasons
that with time will start looking more and more like a perfectly executed ballet

bad choices and consequences on point, stippling around all of the majestic parts, waving their arms.

I sit down and have breakfast with death every single morning.
It resides in the belly of a man who likes an over easy egg and a piece of toast.
I think about legacy, leaving one, mine, and what that even means.
It feels like the only why,

but then again Walt Disney turned out to be an asshole.

And somehow she lived happily ever after.

The End.

You’re Rubber I’m Glue

domestication, soulfood, therapy

I’m a jacket with Velcro closures, stuffed into an over packed front load washer. A detergent of Do The Right Thing carefully measured, poured atop. Fabric softener skipped, we’re cutting back on household expenses.

This damn washer screams a piercing beeeeeeeeep, at the end of every cycle. Okay, okay, I hear you.

Pulled out, heaved in to the dryer above. Stuck to me- the sock, the scarf, all of the soft things. The tear of fibers enmeshed akin to nails on a chalk board.  Torn apart, heaved and hung. I’ll dry out. I’ll keep you warm then.

And you’ll breath in the soothing scent of the freshly laundered made even sweeter, because you didn’t do the washing.

________________________

Today I was reminded that the spoken and written word are always open to interpretation. Try not to be too attached to them. Let them from your fingers and lips freely. Hush your ego when it want’s to jump to their defense. Those words are no longer yours, they live outside of you. Just observe.

 

 

 

Visiting Home

Love, soulfood

Every year because I’m nostalgic as shit, I sit down and write a birthday post. I reminisce about such and such and how it made me feel so and so. We all leave wide eyed, mouthing-over share much God damn. This year you got a taste of that, okay I huge whiff, but it wasn’t really reflective as much as it was let’s all cry for Reagon and her poor little crushed dreams. Sorry ‘bouts that, some days that’s the best I can do.

 

Last night after two cocktails (because I am astoundingly sober and legitimately have a ½ a drink limit) I was scrubbing away at my house as I often do reflecting on my adulthood. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m t-w-e-n-t-y n-i-n-e. I know I know, just a baby. Which I’m sure will feel more true in another ten years. At the moment it feels like I’ve lived 1,000 life-times in the last ten years.

 

I’m not here to attest, another year wiser. Because though it’s cumulative, every year has been different. Each a new lesson. All cataloging themselves in my mental rolodex of this shit feels familiar. Let’s look at that a little closer shall we.

 

19- Grief and despair shape shift from week to week, weak to weaker.

 

20- Ignorance and determination are bed maidens, and sometimes they’re all you’ve got.

 

21- Love will fill craters of inconceivable depth. Hopeful innocence painted the most tender year of my life – Ever.

 

22- You are your mother’s daughter. Can’t and slow down quiver in your presence.

 

23- Ignorance is not bliss, girl. You keep your eyes wide open and steel your heart.

 

24- Loneliness is the most foreign, carcinogenic lump in a rejected throat. And still you will swallow.

 

25- Well I’ll be damned you are fucking physically beautiful. That’s yours. From you, for you. Guard that with your life.

 

26- Run. Explore. Quit. Just go. Eternal love holds your hand when you cross the street of change. You’re still strong and beautiful, that’s enough.

 

27- And you’ll be wrong, like you’ve been before. And you’ll be right, like you’ve been before. What you’re not great at is caution. And I don’t know that I want you to be.

 

28- Why hello love, my old friend. Intricately woven, the fibers sang family, finally. It was all I’ve ever wanted. I pulled that blanket up to my eyeballs and lay in that bed all year.

 

29- You are just a girl. A woman most days. You are not in control, but you wont stop grasping for stability. Balance there is hard. Love, sadness, power, grief, joy and there you are stuck to the side of the drain like a wad of fallen hair. It’s all swirling around you, hurling down the drain. Hey Mom look! It’s a tiny tornado.

 

I love a real storm, when everything falls silent, the sky turns purple, the flatness of distant rain hits your nose. It still finds me in the desert, I inhale deep and let out a thrilled- it feels like home. Watching, hell chasing tornados, is what you know. But don’t you forget that you are just a girl, and it’s undiscerning, vicious, lethal.

 

Twenty-nine, man, and only twenty-seven days in. I don’t know if I should sound the alarm, hide in my bathtub with a mattress pulled over my head or drag a chair out to the front lawn open a beer and take in the show.

 

“Jesus Christ, look, the crazy neighbor is out on the lawn again”.
Heard.

a doer or a being?

social awareness, soulfood

As of late I have been trying my hardest to grant myself patience and appreciation in the process of finding and defining my career. It hasn’t been easy and for the past three months it has literally been a daily meditation – let it be – let go of expectations – trust the timing of your life.

Today I listened to an interview in a series with Krishna Das (the Keith Richards of hippy dippy- mantra chanting- cult following- Eastern informed pop-music). In it an audience member asked are you a doer or are you a being? Honestly, that question sends me into the same cognitive overdrive that, that one semester of astronomy did. So, my succinct answer is that I have been a doer. That my default state is to do. Yes, I do with precision, thought and compassion but I always do. Doing. Being.

One of my most beloved professors lived in Nigeria  for many years. She shared the commentary that in most of Africa people don’t ask, “What do you do?” but rather, “Who are you?”. This distinction corresponds directly with the rate of unemployment (a Western construct) in the area. “What do you do?” situates the opposing party into an evaluation of worth based on circumstances largely outside of their control. “Who are you?” evaluates a person on who they are as a person, their thoughts, their actions.

Full circle, this summer I went to an intensive women’s retreat where one of many soul bearing exercises was to ask as many women as we could over lunch, “Who are you?”. When they answered you were to continue to press, ask three additional times “Who are you?”.

I went into the gathering with my mental notes in order: Mother, Medical Administrator, Student, Writer, Getter of Groceries, Cleaner of Toilets, Information Consumer, Artist. BAM. Iron clad with retort, I pose the question to the unassuming middle aged, grayed, Teva wearing woman in font of me in the buffet line:

“Who are you?”
“I am the human expression of the divine”.

 

“Uhh”. Let me regroup.

“Who are you?”

______
This is about a year old. But still something that I’m trying to get a grasp on, how to be.
Photo Cred: Yuli Serfaty

I’ll Call You Mama

Love, soulfood

I’ve been very conscious of the human tendency to dwell in the bad. To embody pessimism. To forget all of the good times.

Now while I’m driving, which is always, I try to think of more. To remember those sweet times.

When you force fed me milkshakes that dark anorexic summer. When you pulled one by one the cactus needles out of my screaming five year old flesh. All of the you are my sunshine lullabies.

How many nail polishes that I slipped into the shopping cart that you pretended not to notice. The pies, the breads the resounding hugs that kept me whole those few crushing times.

The day seven years ago when the whole hospital flashed, alarmed and panicked, all that mattered was your eye contact, your forced this is totally normal. All of the times that I have brushed up against rock bottom and your presence reminded me- you’re not alone, you’ve got this.

The space for my own expectations, my own me, authentically who I need to be in all of my seasons. The irrelevance of your opinion: gift or curse, I can’t be sure.