Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Full


Sometimes abundance appears before me - effortlessly - ripe on the vine, bursting with color and flavor, kissed by the sun, surrounded by fragrant blooms. Even before I pluck it and bring it to my lips I can taste its sweetness, feel its juice dripping down my chin.

Those moments pass too quickly.

In the between when the world goes from fertile to fallow, veiled in gray, I must, I must, taste the sweetness again. But how, when my eyelids are heavy, my energy stores empty? Like a desert wanderer, I squint and see - whether by imagination or inspiration or a heady mirage - the water and the juicy morsels. It is enough to get me up and at 'em, to light candles, to pour a drink, to mince, to chop, to stir, to cook up nourishment for the tired traveler.

Tonight there was pasta, simply prepared with garlic, nuts and herbs, adorned with a small pile of curly parmesan and a sprinkling of crushed peppers. It looked ordinary steaming in its bowl, but I swirled it around the spoon and took bite after bite. The oil pooled on my lips and as I slowly licked it away I tasted a different kind of abundance with its own brand of sweetness - the kind I can create.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Self


I am the light touch
the well-timed smile
the glistening eye
the playful banter.
I am ease and enjoyment
a soft place to land.

I am the passionate embrace
the tear-stained cheeks
the deep conversation
the question with no answer.
I am struggle and surrender
an ocean of feeling.

I am two sides of a coin
flipped in the air
heads and tails
heads and tails
spinning in motion.
I am multi-dimensional.
I am not at odds; I am not even.

I am outstretched arms
open palms
beating heart.
I am present
willing
ready.
Are you?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Descent


even the small poems mean something, they are
often whales in the bodies of tiny fish. 
-nayyirah waheed

The alarm sounded at nine on Thursday morning. It was just a drill.
All the same, the suits went marching down 23 flights of stairs.
Fearing an avalanche of shirts and ties if I slipped
I sang to myself, Step, Step, Step, keeping cadence with the rhythm of my feet.
I reached the bottom safely, muscles long asleep quivered awake.

Today another bell rang, but not the office safety kind. This was not a drill.
All the same, I went marching down 14 years of memories. Engrossed,
I forgot my fears of the avalanche. I slipped, stumbled, recovered my footing.
The familiar song Step, Step, Step chirped in the background.
Tired, but whole, I reached the bottom, muscles long asleep quivered awake. 




Monday, January 12, 2015

Please


“all that was 
taken
from me 
is still here.”
--Nayyirah Waheed, “root | immortal”


Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Ask her
What does it feel like?
She might tell you

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Listen
Listen to the answer
Like a dark hole I’ve fallen into

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Let him cry
For as long as he needs
Tears are the tunnel to pass through

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Ask, Listen, Let
There is no greater gift
Nothing better you can do

“when I am lost
touch the back of my water
and 
i will return.”
--Nayyirah Waheed, salt

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On Falling in Love



I wrote this many months ago when the exquisite feelings of being newly in love were both a wonder and a challege.  There's been time and space to bask in and process this experience, but these words are still true.

* * * * *

Not long ago I was standing on tippy toes, head and chest bent forward, straining to see the bottom of the vast Sacred Empty. I took in what I saw and made a decision that it would not be left uninhabited for long.

Now I'm surveying the insides of another open space. I'm not just using my eyes to tell me what it looks like. I'm engaging all of my senses to define what it feels like. 

For some time, I have feared that this space - like the Sacred Empty - would never be full. I feared that this hidden container, seemingly tucked away and long forgotten, the one bashfully marked  "Romantic Love," would never again have water inside.

This particular space was previously damaged, corroded away by love lost, and I have been slowly and thoughtfully repairing its walls through solitude, soul-searching, nourishing relationships, and intentional self-care. 

For so long I have wondered - sometimes fretted - over the question, Will I ever love and be loved again? Then, seemingly just after I'd come to the conclusion It may never happen, a dam broke open and that once dry vat is being filled anew.

I find myself drenched in a love that's clean and pure, a love that wants to be held close, to swish and swirl between the walls of this container that I have spent so much time and energy restoring.

It's a wonderful, rapturous experience and I would not trade it for the world. But it's not without traps and pitfalls.

The container that holds all this marvelous love has been patched up and repaired, but the spaces in my heart around it still contain wounds and scars. As the waters lap up and overflow onto them, I often find myself wincing. The pain I feel is the kind that heals, but it still hurts, and there has been a ripple effect.

After having my heart broken once, I vowed never to treat love flippantly again. I vowed to guard and protect and watch over what's mine. In so doing I both consciously and unconsciously set little trip wires throughout my insides to let me know if I was ever getting close to danger, ever walking a little too near the edge of the cliff over which one falls and lands in heart break.


Even though I find myself in wonderfully safe terrain, there are alarm bells sounding - some softly and some not so softly. While the love I'm in is gentle and kind - cradling me, humming in my ear like the sweetest lullaby - my heart still tremors, and the warning signals are still flashing You could get hurt; and yes, I'm afraid.

The wise part of me knows this is all part of the process and is quite normal. The less wise parts are just plain scared.

Trip wires or not, love is always a risk.

But I'm planting my feet here anyway. I'm letting myself love and be loved. I'm watching the waters whirl inside this vat earmarked for this very experience, and I am giving myself lots of tender words and patient reassurances while I adjust to this new terrain.

I'm leaning into the scary, knowing that it - like all the emotions I have felt thus far - will not consume me. The scary is merely a passageway, a bridge to something better, a gateway to peace.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Let Us


My darling, my love who I adore with such intensity that the thought of you fills my eyes with tears and my chest with a tingling ache, you who arouse such tenderness and desire as I have never known: let us always remember these days.

This love we pass between us – as if it were a brightly colored beach ball floating through the sky, dancing in the wind – may not, after days and months and years in the light of day, always appear to be as full of air, magic, and color. 

The exchange we treasure now may become predictable, less exciting (though the heart in my chest protests It cannot be! at the very thought); it might. It just might because love – this kind of love – does not stay young forever.

So let us not forget what it feels like be in each other’s arms, forehead to forehead, palm to palm, heart to heart.

Let us always remember our sweet hellos: your tight embraces lift me off the ground and I feel buoyant and weightless in your arms.

Let us not forget our drawn out good-byes: running fingertips along skin, kissing foreheads, cheeks, lips once, twice, three times.

Let us always remember today, this day, when we want nothing more than to be side by side and walk hand in hand.

Let us not forget because, darling, though the days of this kind of love may be numbered, they will always be part of us.

It is in this fertile ground, in this place of sweet satisfaction, that enduring love – the love that does not merely stir the senses but presses roots deep into soil - grows. So let us give ourselves fully to this love that bubbles up and overflows because all that lies ahead will spring from the ground which we now water.

This kind of love may not last forever, but it feeds the kind of love that does. 

Let us always remember, my darling.  Let us linger and savor now so that we never, ever forget.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Want You


I want you
not the way
young lovers want
all appetite and impulse
longing and angst

I want you
the way
waves want sand
to wash over
to rub against
then recede

I want you
not the way
a babe wants mother
needing nourishment
craving security

I want you
the way
sky wants clouds
seeking contrast
white and grey suspended
in soft blue

I want you
not the way
I used to want you
in raw desire
but in assured strength

I want you
the way
earth wants rain
enjoying tickle and splash
then letting
sun evaporate

I want you
not because I am
not complete
without you
half of a whole

I want you
because I don't
have to have you
because I can
still want you
and want me too