Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My story was told wrong

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert,
repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your 
body

love what it loves.

~ Mary Oliver


I read almost every night now,
again,
to my kids

I feel like Ursula
rising huge in purple painted laughter
Sea Witch by michellemoniqueconfident
triumphant

Redrawn the way we redid Maleficent

Because I would never take the
fins
or wings
or voice
from anyone

My story was told wrong

Death and grief restructure you
and still, I never would have done that

Your armor, if you embrace it right
moves with you
flexible as pine branches
twirling and whipping in hurricanical winds
bending, unlikely to break
Growing as you grow
bending with the healing of your heart at each stage

We tango with holding what we love, cheek to cheek
passionate, quick, deliberate
doing a deep dip slowly, looking longingly into each other's eyes
and see the beauty of letting go
at last
when the boundary has been slashed

and the gray storm of a Pixar spell
envelops you
swirls around you in a cloud-like stole
and the vapors
cloud your eyes
choke you

My story was told wrong

Life is not a series of struggles
leading to exalted, exaggerations of joy
after perfectly structured
tales of adventure, issues, and ends...

the stages are real
they exist
they swirl and sneak around your spine
and structure everything

but they do not end
not until you do

and if you slow down
like when you were little
laying in the golden majesty of that evergreen grove
sacred in its mist of nothing special
and everything that ever mattered

perhaps your vision might clear so that you can see
that the imperfection of every moment
is where the beauty lives
the dimpled brown dents in pure white striated daisy petals

The evil queen
the bedeviled bitch
the nasty women
the feminazis

Those
    who know what they want
and ask for it
    who know when they feel insulted
and say so
    who refuse to be belittled
and push back
    who live deeply in a way that SINGS that they are loveable
and will never.  Ever. Listen when you say they are not

Maybe we aren't what you painted us to be

And maybe the good men aren't gone.
Maybe we need to stop scaring them away
from holding tight
to their emotions and the pine trees
and clarity and honesty and tears.

Let them have their tears back.

Perhaps the tears will wash clean all our hearts
so the goodness can find a way back.

My story was told wrong.

I always thought I would read to my kids every night
No matter what

At least I'm back at it
again.

Paint over it, around it, and make it your own.
I'm not done living yet.
And I am still saying "yes" to the things
upon my path


"You never know ahead of time what something's really going to be like."
~Katherine Patterson 




Monday, February 19, 2018

Hope, having found him



If nothing else, I’m learning there is hope…still.  I’m learning TO hope.  Again.  There is a man.  He makes me laugh.  Kind of a lot. 
We went too fast, er, are going too fast?  Except, it is right where we are meant to be, and the farther it goes, the more comfortable it gets.  He’s done so many different things in his life, been through so much.  His level of adventurism matches mine quite well. 
Sometimes, I’m a little jealous of his oldest daughter and how much he loves spending time with her…until I realize that that is silly because I pause and apply it to an understanding of John loving Cecilia.  He is a fabulous father.
He is ridiculously sarcastic in a dorky way that I love. 
The way he touches me makes my body burn like coal.  At first when we kissed there was a hardness, nibbling at each other, and it was good. On Valentine’s Day, his lips softened, and now when we kiss, it’s like our mouths briefly melt into each other’s, and it is so much better.
In two short months, we have navigated two issues of mine and one of his.  His issue played out in not answering the phone or responding to my text messages.  I tried to channel John, because running is what I used to do, what I pull to even now to some degree.  And he would not let me run.  So I talked with friends to figure out how to manage my issues and not let go.  And he finally answered the phone.  So we talked, and I learned things about him…about his fear and his processes…and I hope he learned about me. 
Even just typing this, my body lights up with the memory of his touch.  He holds my hand and doesn’t let it go.  Even when it’s awkward to keep holding it.  I like it even though it’s weird.  Maybe because it’s weird. 
He tells me I’m beautiful all the time, and when he holds me, touches me, kisses me…I feel more beautiful than I have in years.  I don’t think about my belly.  I don’t think about being a widow.  I think about laughing and touching and loving.  I think about being loved.
I do not need a man to be happy.  I do not need this man.  But connection is a massive comfort to me.  And I cannot fake connections.  He touches the smallest fibers inside me somehow.  It’s like from the moment we met in person, our souls started to weave themselves together.  With each meal we share, each time we make each other laugh, each kiss planted and pair of entwined fingers, each time we misunderstand each other and face the fear and hurt to talk about it and choose to touch each other again, the weave thickens, becomes more intricate.  I am learning to hope again.  I’m learning to trust in love. 
I know that all of this is just a beginning.  But it is a strong one, full of beauty.  And I’m so happy to have found it.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

dancing when the stars collide

In my mind, I imagine a moment with you:
A wrinkled blue blanket spread on green prickly grass
You are sitting crossed legged and laughing
Your eyes
Actually twinkling
Whose eyes do that?!
You are looking up at me
And I
Am more me
Than I have been in years
I’m barefoot
Laughing, spinning, my chin tilted skyward

That’s all I see
It’s all I need to see

Because it’s like the eyes are new
 
Something about the power of our
Connection
Magnetized
Polarized in the right
Direction

A neural-magical fusion moment
Where neither one of us can pull away
And anger-grief-loss explodes
Into the perfect candle lit chandelier
Spinning dazzling rainbows of
Splintered, real, broken imperfection
Just exactly
Somehow

What each of us needs

Thursday, January 18, 2018

laughter unleashed

I bend my body
to tilt my head

just so

so I can breathe in bits
of your breath

I get scared
sometimes

a deer in headlights

and will run, not walk,
in another direction

Your long, soft gaze
followed my form
onto the haze of the dance floor

spinning away from infinity
I felt your stare
from 20 feet away

I would rather dance
with the non-embrace
that lives in the distance
between your eyes
and my body

than with anyone
else

I know how to rattle around
in my own moaning brain
finding ways
to grow, slow, baby steps

so long
they last weeks drawn out to months spread out
to years

and now
the whisper songs inside
my silence
have a sound
that sings
a rhyme quite like
like
your name

the touch of you
lingers
like the cool kiss
of snow-like-fur tingles on the back
of my fingers

Your smell surrounds me
filling my pores and curving
around my jaw, my neck,

a scent so new

like an invisible embrace
that tickles my swollen lips
the way a dorky porn mustache might

It works
even when pictures
don't do it justice

and for the first time
in who knows how long

it's giggles
not tears
that echo

in my halls.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wind- bending toward hope

Wind
-inspired by Lilies, Mary Oliver-
-and you-

I have been thinking
About living
like the wind
that caresses each figure in its path

it comes from everywhere
and nowhere
 lifting, stirring the waters
cooling the edges of your skin

It belongs to no one
And touches every
One of us
Like an old sensation from
The bedroom when you were 16
She whisper-sings wordless melodies

That bend us both
Into feathery fields
Of magical memory
Where things change
And fear faded
And we both
Wanted
Safely
Meandering through a maze that only WE were meant to solve
A maze
Called consent
A maze
Called incredible desire
A maze called
Trembling limbs and secrets sent through
The slowest mail

A maze, a labyrinth
Winding toward a wide open center
With no wrong turns and
Where ravishing lavender

Melts
Without protest
At your touch
On your tongue
And the dragonfly floats
On the tendrils of the wind
Winding its way across
Every
Single
Second

Of our skin
Together.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thankful after Thanksgiving- loving in return

There are so many sizes
of steps
and so very many
choices

I remember choosing to not close off my heart
I was 16
compared to my hard as nails and mean as a snake grandmother
In the moment:
a horror
In retrospect:
a filthy crown gift more powerful than any princess
dream

There were insults
taken too far
and moon sight wishes
whispered over the phone
into the ear of a hopeful, lonely child

Steps don't seem like they should be so
hard

And yet...

I remember choosing
 to do the very things
they accused me of...
because, well, of course
And why not?

until it almost killed me

I remember realizing it was NOT
them that actually sent me down that path
but my choice
thus leaving the power
with me
to unchoose
what they force fed me

I remember years where I was desperate
to curl into the warm womb of someone's love
and then
I remember what it felt like
to do just that

For real.
With trust

I remember holding his hand
choosing to stand beside him
put my job in jeopardy
because this world is about love
and the best super power we have
is to honor it
to pause
and breathe
and focus ourselves in reverence
to love

I kissed his feet
and wiped his mouth coated in crusting white
dipping moisture onto the lips that kissed mine
and I never
left
his
side

But
I kept breathing
and stepping forward was stepping
away
and I didn't want any part of
those steps

I took them anyway

I fell
I crumbled to my knees over
and over
and others looked down on me
in pity
with no words
and walked away

I danced
and walked
and fell, trembling
screaming
scratching at the walls
unable to breathe
 and hyperventillating
all at once

And still
I stepped forward
a monumental feat

again
and again

time still stops
in the spinning cyclone of life
and today, I looked down at a tray
of rocks

and saw my mother, grandmother,
mother in law, my ancestors
whole and healed and softly glowing
a whisper of all the strength
I've ever needed
and He and I were in the center

seeing
Being seen
holding space

living into
each inch
of our space

and the soft tears
were the only strength
I've ever needed.

Because I remember
what it feels like
to be
loved

Sunday, November 12, 2017

what I see when I close my eyes

in the image,
I am barefoot, standing
with my feet hip distance apart
my hands together in front of me curved
to form a bowl

I can feel the tears pouring softly, silent
steady rivulets
filling my open hands
with all my anxieties, my anger
but as they hit
like a magicians trick
they solidify
curve into each other
melding into smooth white feathers
until my hands are full
of baby doves

and with a breath sucked in
cool and refreshing
the tears slow
and I raise my hands close to my lips
and blow

the candle flame of all that
pain extinguished
as the doves' feathers rustle
and they fly away

the tears slow
drying
and now
my face lined with arroyos
I am able to smile
slightly

my arms drop to my sides
with fingers soft
wrists loose
and I can look inward

where the hole is

His hole

and finally, as if I had walked through
the waterfall
to find an open, fecund land as yet
un-farmed, perhaps, even, untouched
I know
what I could not even allow myself to feel

The hole his death made
will never be filled

was never meant to be filled.

In order to move into the lush land before me
I must hold that space
for him

Like sheet metal pounded and curved
There is work to be done
to strength my stride
To give stability to this hole, I must now acknowldege
that work...
a random hole weakens the integrity even in metal
so the work now
is to groove the seam surrounding the edges

It is not going away
and nothing will ever fill it

The next step is soul work
self work
learning to make the hole
a strong
accepted part of me
and not a thing
to fear