i’m an articulate soul who is constantly seeking verbalization and understanding. i’ve kept this part of myself crouched in a very small closet for a long time. maybe i needed that; maybe i’ve done myself a disservice. but disregarding the lose-lose trial of what i should have done, i think it’s time to open the door and step out again, to stretch my cramped muscles. who knows what strength has been gathering in the semi-darkness of my heart? who knows what i am capable of now?
strangely enough, some of my best writing often emerges in emails to friends. something about the blank rectangular confessional of a compose window calls forth my deepest, most profound energies and insights. i wrote to J. this morning:
i want you to know that being in the west with you has begun to teach me to be better to myself. there’s a sparkling bottle of bombay sapphire on my counter, there are vegetables in my refrigerator, and i stay up late watching movies or listening to music if i want to. i’ve become incredibly rusty at being independent even though i’ve spent the majority of my time alone for the past 3 years. i want to get good at it again. so i’ve taken to wearing nothing less than 4-inch heels and taking my time sauntering down the streets. behind my sunglasses i’m thinking:
this strength, this beauty, it’s only for me.
so if you want me, come and claim me.
these beautiful “Colors” paintings from Jen Ramos have my eyes and my heart all aflutter this morning. the almost hurried, non-fussy texture and style of these pieces speak clearly to me: refresh and be bold.
i do love a complex, thought-provoking piece of art that can be interpreted any number of ways. however, the arresting kinetic simplicity of Jen’s work leaves me with no excuse but to open my eyes a little wider, walk a little taller, and know without a doubt that there will be an end to the heaviness of these days.
something about this gave me pause this morning.
every once in awhile, when i get out of my head enough to think straight (ironic, no?), i realize that one day i’ll want to kick myself for trying to rush through these long days. there are moments i think the only way to get through all of this is to lean forward with every ounce of strength i possess…but what if there’s another answer? (a voice in my heart says, there is always another answer.) what if that other answer is not to yearn for easier breath, but to learn to breathe more deeply? what if instead of wishing for any circumstances other than these, i’m actually supposed to put down roots in this rotten forest floor? there are nutrients hidden like ancient treasures buried deeply in the ground. there is strength in falling down. there is a vein of life so thin coursing through the death of things once held dear that i’ll miss if i don’t slow down.
i saw myself in this photo when i stumbled across it just now. purple skirt on, map in hand. slowly absorbing information and churning it out in daydreams. standing on the shore of a great and bottomless sea, ready to wade in, ready to leave you, ready to finally breathe.
the best advice (given by myself, to myself) upon returning to the congested hellish suburbia that for now feels like a forgotten purgatory:
- haul your suitcase upstairs and dump it unceremoniously in the middle of the hallway.
- kick off your shoes and trade them for flip flops.
- dump your carry-on carelessly on the bed, and leave your baggage (all of it) be for awhile.
- text him, just because.
- leave immediately for the grocery store (whose power is out but is still open anyway).
- prowl the darkened aisles, jump a barricade or two if you must…especially the one blocking the liquor aisle.
- gather your supplies: lemons, limes, red onion, tomatoes, tonic water, bombay sapphire. (there’s so much more that you need, but save that for another day.)
- go home. get lost in the repetitive motions of chopping the vegetables. mix yourself a drink. sit down. stop. begin.
i miss the west already. after stretching my wings there, i’m not suited to this place anymore. i’ve seen what is possible and i’m no longer satisfied living a half-life. i am a swan, a tiger, an eagle, perched on the rooftops, looking at the sky, gauging my path of flight against the face of the moon.
i am learning to return, and i am learning to say goodbye.
the vast and mysterious sea. it holds the power to destroy and the mesmerizing tranquility of the tide. being near water soothes and unnerves me all at once.
so little hope
holding everything together