One of those weeks

I stopped caring. About all the things I lost, all the faces I forgot… and all the stories that were washed away… splattered ink… red and all horns like the devil. I stopped dying. Killing myself again and over again… for the sake of asking the same questions again and again.

I stopped falling in love with falling in love.

Instead I opened a new page, wrote a new chapter, prefaced it and let it end on a cliffhanger.

I stopped falling in love with my destruction. I stopped falling in love with romance gone ugly and began to really ask what I wanted, knowing what I very explicitly do not want. I stopped to admire the flowers, the beliefs with deep roots, spirits of trees with tall branches.

I hit pause for a while and asked why I write the things I do. I hit snooze for a while and sleepily listened to the storm outside my window. I get up, woozy and unbalanced and get on because I must do something important to me.

People rush to cram themselves into 7am trains. I feel sad for them. There’s an implicit feeling of being in the everybody else is doing this train.

I like the couple of travellers who aren’t part of this routine because they smile.

I fall asleep.

Worlds sift, change and emerge.

I’m here. Hours fly by.

I candidly speak of Saturn and Pluto meeting in the sky like two opposing archetypes getting into the same boat as the day comes to a mountain moving, slow yawning close.

Words and realisations come through with clarity for me. I didn’t realise Mercury could be on my side but there goes my propensity to personify. I know planets don’t take sides.

Someone asks me twice in the same day if I’m vegetarian. I say no. I prefer to avoid eating meat but I’m not a vegetarian, I explain.

I know the layers of my choice and the whys of them but what really matters is that I like the feeling of my choices.

And as the crazy week comes to a slow meandering, soft landing… I remember I cried three hours straight this week and felt raw and crystal clear the next day. Kind of like waking up with a clarity you can feel in your body. Surprise took a gentle hold of me as I observed this. It was like I cleared out the debris.

People don’t remember what you say to them… but how they felt with you. I remember thinking I’ve changed. For the first time in my life I gave myself permission to cry without forcing myself to stop. I hear my grief and I know deep down of its existential roots. Meaning made out of life’s events… and within them, my capacity to feel… surprises even myself. It never emerges until it really emerges… the human body’s capacity to carry and hold so much grief.

It’s familiar.

Briefly I encounter the notion of quitting this life again. It passes across my mental landscape like a tease on the breeze, gone the next day.

I remembered a lovely conversation in the park with the light dappling through the leaves as the very cliche phrase I was going to use to remember the feeling.

Cliches are shortcuts.

Respect. I felt so much respect for the wisdom of those here before me and the work they’ve done and continue to do.

Ten years from now, I will remember this as one of those weeks.

~*~

Softness in the wilderness of surrender

(I don’t own this image. If you know who it belongs to, I’d love to credit them, or I’d be happy to take it down, otherwise.)

I

What is the magic that you hold to your chest?

In the thrums of your heart, beating its rhythm against your bones?

You are living poetry.

~

I don’t think the past is something you want to go lugging around… I don’t think the past wants to keep being dragged, mercilessly into the present, because I don’t think the dead want to crawl out of their graves to entertain your sorrows. They are only your sorrows because you’ve refused to let them go.

~

please… hold onto them as long as you like… treasure them as meticulously as the cranes you are folding… counting yourself to a thousand.

~

close your eyes and make a wish.

~

because you’ve spent half your life, making space for it, it’s time. time likes to flow as the seasons do – change – observe – mountains with clouds floating by, make good sceneries for zen poems… love poems… and soft kisses.

~

but now it’s time to love this soft human, warm blooded body of yours, because how long are you going to breath in this world through your skin and your magic? the one in your chest, beating its rhythm onto your bones. the thrum, steady thrum of this life of yours.

~

with time, even mountains change.

~*~

II

Sleep chases after me as I try to find words to fit into my heart, my mouth, words slipping out of the pores of my skin. Somehow, I cannot find them, I cannot contain them, I cannot morph them like a smithy cleverly sharpening her tools. I forgot… that because these are words, I cannot make them something else.

~*~

III

Surrender. She is a curious creature with a soft belly, a warm hide, basking in the delight of Summer’s heat and Springtime rain. Surrender… is like a river… flowing to the Sea… this is a metaphor… I love, that the Sea is a body, my body… your body… the Earth’s body… the depth, the deep, murmur of unconscious… wisdom… and also fear… the womb, the place of birth, creation… and the rivers… our veins, carrying our blood, carrying our death, our pollution… our waste… our healing? What do the rivers carry? What do they mean?

She said write… honestly… she said… examine your traumas, fears, wounds… face them… there is a healing…. in this kind of poetry… of letting it be.

~*~

IV

I stare at a blank page and wonder what words I can put across it, to soothe the restless, to invite the softness, now, the softness, of a beating heart, quietly rising chest like the maps of a well traversed terrain, breathing…

~

At what surrender feels like. these moments in time, these lessons in silence, in sound, the breath, is going home… sinking a little deeper. I remember the feeling of the cold stream on my feet, I remember the feeling of burning… and the coolness of the waterfall, soothing this earthly, fleshy carriage… vehicle… sanctuary… temple… I reside in. I remember what it felt like, to lay my heart bare, in whispers, in the heart of stillness, in the embodied invitation, words, inviting you back home.

~*~

V

Reading Rumi felt like my heart had been thirsty and I didn’t even know. Hearing the truth, seeing it in its squiggles, particular squiggles that my mind had been taught to coalesce into meaning… felt like the subtle hand of something else, beyond these walls, beyond the rationalism I mistook for over-thinking and judgement. I didn’t think I could believe in god… I don’t think I do, not God, layered with dogmatism and concepts too narrow and constrictive, to breath properly. But whatever this feeling is, whatever this feeling is, softness, surrender, movement, flow… joy, ecstasy… I could believe.

~*~

VI

You know, you are here. in this moment. take a look around… at all the beauty in your life… even the cracks… are blooming now, with sunlight and wild surrender. Wild, wild power. You know, when you follow those winding paths into the woods of your unconscious, you’re learning to take responsibility for the healing of your wounds… you think… but when you get deeper into the shadows, when they engulf you, swallow you whole, what do you realise? the joy of being. the truth of your experiences. the (w)hole of nothingness. the deep, deep pool of reflections, revealing your sharp teeth, dishevelled hair and sharp claws. the primality of that creature you see.

~*~

VII

feel her.

~*~

Sand

Letter to Sixteen: Dear Numbness, Dear Suicide, Dear Depression

Hey… N.S.D. … if you were a character, I’d give you black bangs along one side of your face… you would look pale to me… a little ghostly and gothic. All black and white with drooped devil may care shoulders.

You would have a little of the rebel in you… after all… that’s what you are… inadvertently… quietly in your own way, unable to fit in… deeply unwilling yet unconscious entirely about your unwillingness except for how sad you are, how numb… and how little you care. 

You’re stuck… forever in this late phase of adolescence… to me. You haven’t matured enough to know how beautiful the world can be… you haven’t experienced enough to know… what pain and suffering feel like… except in this little world of yours… with the colours turned way down… nothing feels good and nothing is good and nothing looks good… and nothing is nothing is nothing is nothing is nothing. 

Actually, you know, that’s what I love about you. You don’t care… and in your lax mischievousness, there’s no malicious intent… only a numb state of being. 

Except you chose that. You like it that way. Because when the colour returns… when the blood comes back… when all the feelings come back… it’s too much, when the sun kisses your cheeks warm… you won’t be able to hold back the tears. You won’t be able to hold the heaves in… you won’t be able to hold the cries in… you won’t be able to move through this world like a ghost… pale like a shadow… half here… because numbness is how you keep the pain out. 

Numbness. 

When you choose to feel numb… did you choose it because it was acceptable? That numbness was more acceptable than the messiness of feeling everything? 

I think… it’s better to feel everything… than to feel numb. And if everything is too much and you feel like suicide is your only recourse… I want you to love yourself. I want you to believe that you can teach yourself how to love. 

How to love. 

It’s easy to love all the good things in life. It’s easy… to love what others love about you… it’s easy… to confuse what is good and what is the opposite… it’s easy… to forget that love is really nothing but everything. Love is how you become real… and how you step onto the gentle winds of fate and let them sweep you halfway across the sky, following the stars to the center of the universe… love is nothing… but… everything. The emptiness between your sighs and the spaces between your words… the breathes in and the breaths out… the beginning and the ending… love is your favourite colour… and love is also… someone elses favourite colour. 

Love… is a metaphor for forgiveness. Love… is a metaphor for how the world became the world… and a metaphor for how we all died. Love is the absence of love… and the presence of knowing it because you couldn’t see it. Love was the heaves coming from your body… the sound of an angel singing you to life… the voice of an angel on the shores of fate. Every cliche and every rebel… began in the seeds planted… love is the only way it could’ve grown… could’ve bloomed… if the sun never kissed the earth… if the leaves never breathed… if the sea never washed us out… if the mothers never cared for their young… if fathers never protected, if the winds never whispered and the leaves never changed colour… if the world never spun and the stars never died… how could this human mind… fathom such a concept as love? 

Then… judgement is just… a confusion. Passion misplaced… thoughts… in disarray… and judgement… is the truth of living in a world that is dualistic. Judgement… is inescapable. Judgement is the result of freewill… of choice… of choosing one way of being over another… of choosing one way of thinking over another… of choosing one colour… over another… of choosing one race… over another… of choosing one place… over another… of choosing one person… over another… of choosing… because that’s the strangest dichotomy to exist. Choice. 

Judgement… is the presence of choice. 

Choice is dualistic… and freedom for chaos… is frightening. What do we know of chaos? What do I know of chaos? What do I know… of our histories and all unexamined truths? Is it possible… to live in a dualistic world and never choose? To live in a dualistic world and choose everything? To honour paradox may feel like an invitation to chaos. A departure from order. A departure from structure. A departure from the known. 

How could we not love the darkness equally? How could I not love the night sky… that has shown me the beauty of the stars? How could I not love the darkness… that has taught me to appreciate the beauty of the dawn? How could I not love the total darkness… that has taught me fear… and the beauty of the light falling through the trees? 

How could I not love the parts of me… struggling with this duality. How could I not love the parts of me… living this story as though I am it entirely… and not also the observer… the creator… and the character? 

How could I not love you… playing the embodiment of fear… so I could know courage? How could I not love you… playing the embodiment of cruelty… so I could know compassion… how could I not love you… playing the embodiment of pride… so I could know humility… how could I not love you… playing the embodiment of authority… so I could know my own. How could I not love you… playing humility… and yet… it is through the pain and the contrast, that I have learned the most. How could I not love you… playing compassion? Because I know cruelty, because I have played cruelty, I weep at your compassion. Because I have known fear… I value the strength it takes to be courageous… I value the sweat, blood and desires that were spilled in the knowing of this. I weep at your kindness… I smile at your candour… I smile at the truth, as naked to me as the stars in the sky. 

I have desires, and there are desires that have me. Everytime I feel this pinch, it’s the middle way I want to walk. I want there to be more happiness. To be more freedom for happiness. To be more freedom for love. To be more freedom for courage. Freedom for truth. Freedom for kindness. Freedom to love the darkness as well as the peachy things in life. To watch the duality unfold and sit back, laugh a little or a lot and enjoy the ride.

 Dear Sixteen,

You haven’t experienced nearly all the things you want to experience yet. There is wisdom in the adage, This too, shall pass. 

It’s good… to make friends with Numbness… with Depression… with Suicide… and like all things in life… to remember that change is the only constant, what goes up will come down… what rises will fall as well. 

Learn to commit to the ideas you find worthy. Learn to commit to what excites you… and not what someone else suggests is right and proper if it doesn’t make your heart sing… Learn to develop and hone the quality of Discernment. Discernment… is judgement refined. Learn to admire the beauty of where you are… experiencing this blend, this flavour of life. Learn to commit to walking this path you chose… because choose it, you did… and choosing it… was your choice. 

Sand

Human Fragility

Oceans filled with the lost, a quiet storm on the edge, raging inside, thoughts beating against the mind. desperation blew through and a yearning unfurled when the storm sank, all that remained, glittered in the dusk.

Human Fragility

November 2016

All that we perceive as fragile is not a weakness but very much a part of our shared humanness.

Sand