a return and a revelation…

well, hello blog world.

i’m not sure how to begin this one, as i feel like i’ve been away from an old friend for some time and there is lots to say. do i begin by talking about how busy i’ve been and explain all the reasons i’ve not kept in touch?? Or do i just begin where i left off, the way it is when you’re with a friend who understands your soul?!

i feel like May Sarton when she writes in “Journal of a Solitude,”

“I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my ‘real’ life again at last. This is what is strange–that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened.”

i’ve let time pass on by without writing much of it down, without letting myself discover what is happening and i feel rather….disconnected….i started a new job on my birthday this year and now, less than 2 months into it, i am wholly tired and uninspired. i put my 2 weeks notice in at the beginning of this month and will be finished after my two remaining shifts this week. some friends joke that it is my inability to commit that keeps me from staying here, but i know really that it is my unwillingness to surrender my imagination and dreams for a 40-hour work week just to pay the bills.

so instead, i’ve decided to cut back my expenses and invest in pursuing the things that make me most alive, like art and music and reading and writing and God. I even announced my plan to move across the country and go back to school next fall and, though i’m still terrified and full of unknowing of what really will happen, i feel a sort of freedom in making the decision. i’ve said it aloud now 15 times and i think that’s gotta be worth something.

perhaps this is the part about growing up where you learn to at least have some sort of vision for where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. my biggest fear for this though, is thinking of myself entirely in terms of what i do instead of who I am or somehow becoming locked in to some sort of “plan” that may turn out not to be what i wanted after all. but then again, it’s only a fear and i’m working through it…

(or maybe my friends are right.)

as i write now, i’m sitting in the dark, my face dimly lit by the light of my computer screen and the multicolored twinkle lights on the Christmas tree. there is some nostalgia in the room, what with the sparkly lights and the silence. i can see my glass ballerina ornament dangling through the branches on the tree and i remember days passed where i would gaze up at her, dreaming of pretty dresses and twirling on my toes. i don’t ever want to lose touch with that little girl in me who keeps on dreaming and keeps on twirling.

    

in the dark tonight, i can’t help but think of my life last year at this time.
i was with him and slowly fading into the deep heavy darkness of my own shit.
I was mean and cold and distant. It wasn’t fair.
To be honest, I don’t know why he stayed as long as he did…

Now though, I feel different, new. less heavy, less fearful and anxious and rude.
I am here now. I’m not there anymore. Not with him.
Life is carrying on and I feel taken over by a mixture of panic and faith at the truth of this: Life will keep going. I miss him sorely, though I feel confused by the pressure to ‘move on’ and the deep desire to just be ok. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving him, but I’m learning at least to let him fly. He wants to be free and I want him to be happy.

I look at the love that surrounds me now, the new community and the strengthened friendships. The hidden loves, and desired love and
I am thankful for it all.

But over these several months, something has slowly changed as I’ve quietly turned my love towards myself. It’s as if my world has blossomed in full and wild color and I can breathe again. It feels good in here, inside my skin. & I am excited to journey on with this girl inside me, this amazing creature who can move and breathe and dance and cry and love and learn and forgive.

i’m ready for whatever is now. for whatever is next.

i just don’t want to miss these tiny moments that make up my life nor do i want to miss out of the opportunity to reach out to myself and to the world in vulnerability and truth. i see myself as i’ve been in the past weeks since i’ve written, rushing and maintaining and working and preparing for what “will happen next,” and the worries and plans that go along with it. i’m sick and tired of getting ready for life and not being in life right now.

here is the truth: i am enough as is.right now. a work in progress.

and so, to myself, and to anyone reading somewhere out there, i say a wholehearted yes to life right now. i begin again, the way the world begins again each day, and i commit to not taking myself too seriously and not trying too hard to figure it all out. i’m back on track and ready to rock this writing world, for, like laughter, it is good for my soul and good for my health.

i don’t know if there are any real readers out there, or only my imagination and the whirlwind of internet searches, but should you be reading this right now, curled up in your bed at home, or nestled quietly behind an office screen, i invite you to come. join me in reuniting with the secret depths of this life, where the soul quietly gives out its own secret. i will be writing more, so get ready…there may even be some pictures in store. let’s tumble on home then, shall we, and be returned to find that we are right where we need to be for now and even if all we do in one day is take a deep breath, that is enough.

don’t forget to write.

this poem by maya stein is inspiration for me today. i’ve admittedly been striving to figure out my life & in the hustle and bustle of it all, i have forgotten to write down the moments that make up the days that make up my life.
life is now. life is magical. and it deserves to be written down.

“don’t forget to write.”

while you are piecing together the map of your life,
stepping as nimbly as you can out of the mulch
of your thoughts, the busy traffic of your heart,
while you attempt grace and magic and the blessing of
your soft, surrendered kiss, while you are fathoming the stretch
you will need for the wide and rocky jungle of your own happiness,
while you are hunkering down to a piece of dark bread
and the odd, welcome relief of hunger,
don’t forget to write.

write this day, its too-early morning and the birdsong
you cursed into your pillow. write the way the dog
looked at you as forlornly as your own shadow.
write this blanket, this cup of coffee, the irreverent
clatter of the neighbor’s lawnmower. write the bees
that bend forever to their task. write the July heat
and the laps in the town pool that cleave you from
this earth, the over-solid grip you have on everything.
write this hour, tired and awake all at once, the distractions
you can make of breakfast or a calculator or the remote control
lying flaccid on the living room couch.

write the dead mosquito on the bathroom floor, the small
clot of blood on your forearm. write the careful arrangement
of the bed linens, the yellow of the walls, the way the
garden hose snakes around the back porch where old boxes
are bending under their own weight and where spiders
have begun to take control of the tomato plants.

write your white legs and your short pants and
the constellations imprinted on your skin. write
the dusty sex toys in the bedside bureau, the silvery
condom packages nearing their expiration dates.
write the wet sound of love in the middle of the night.

write the blackberry bush and its sour fruit,
the mailman in his cheerful hat,
the neighbor who confuses you with someone else,
calls you a name that’s not yours, write the feeling
of lost identity and disappointment and some letter
you’re perennially hoping for.

write the words for failure. write the words for hope.
write the tightrope dangling above the canyon,
and down below, the electric water furious and free.

write green. write violet. write blazing orange.
write the smell of grapefruit skin, the eyelash
on a cheekbone, the hand you hold in the dark.
write the first, honest paragraphs of sunrise.
write everything, or nothing, but don’t forget to write.

hello world, i hope you’re listening…

for months now, i have been dreaming up this blog, thinking about it again & again. wishing it alive. hoping it just appear into existence. i’ve had exciting days pass and no audience to share it with, lessons learned, laughters, loves, bruises, breakdowns, and yet, and no world to scream it to.
life is too beautiful. it needs to be written down.

unfortunately, my simple wish for this is nothing. life does not happen to give me just what i simply wish for, though hope is a dazzling and untrammeled necessity. i know in writing, like life, you have to start somewhere. you show up. you put the pen to the paper. you let go. you breathe. you keep walking. and sometimes, once in a while, you catch wind, your wings expand and you soar.

for now, even this, a messy, crazy, no-idea-what-i’m-doing beginning, feels like flying. you see, for too long, i have been holding back, or maybe held back, and ultimately, silenced. dark, heavy walls embraced me and sticky, muddy blocks tied down my feet. some days, the darkness threatened to choke me, and though i cried loudly for help, my voice made no sound. the colors stayed beige and black. there was no sweet music, and i wanted out. i wanted to be free.

and now, though i am not the same soul i was, though my hands may be swelled and my heart worn, i can see some light again. a glowing, dazzling, light. its taken some time, some friends, lots of tears and chocolate, good therapy, good movies, and good heaping amounts of courage, but the light is returning now.
& i shall not let it go.

it feels as if i am awakening. to myself. to God. to the colorful world around and in me. i am awakening and i am singing the song the Ohio december skies stole from me. a song is written inside me and i want to sing it. for me.
for the world. loudly.

naturally, i am not a loud singer. i am too afraid to sing loud because i will probably get a note wrong or be off pitch and really, what then will they think of me? but i am tired of pretending i have a perfect peace or knowledge. i am tired of pretending i’m not fucked up. instead, i am fucked up. & singing. and singing makes the demons lie down. singing makes the darkness lessen. and singing, painting, dancing, drawing, believing is really about becoming me.
loving the skin i’m in. and then i will be free.

so this place, this blog, is my new home. a safe spot. a freedom enhancer.
as the lovely anne lamott says, “writing and reading decrease
our sense of isolation.they deepen and widen
and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”

this place is a where i can let my imagination wander. where i can marvel at the wonders and worries of life. and encourage myself to do uncomfortable things.
i believe its good to do uncomfortable things.

so for myself, i commit to you, world, to keep singing. to keep dancing. to keep hoping. to keep writing. & if the darkness tries to take me down again, if the tide comes rushing in, i will not move. i am like the psalmist who says, “He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” this is learning to walk again. and here i am, stepping one big toe forward. let’s go.

when i know i am the ocean, i am not afraid of the waves.

“To be nobody but yourself
in a world which is doing its best,
night and day to make you everybody else –
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being could fight;
and keep fighting.”    ~ E. E. Cummings