Potential

And it's like a seed bursting disastrously open in the hopes that something comes out of it. Maybe it can be the tree it's been told it is on the inside--as comically far-fetched as it feels to dream of tall, sky-gracing branches while buried underground. It is dirty and messy and dark. It will take hard work and miracles. It is everything inside you waiting for the rain. It is everything inside you reaching for the sun. But it is possible, friend. It is possible.

Shame

Every word spoken
A testimony
"You can believe me"

If I may
be so bold as to ask--

When I get back to the place
where I can
make eye contact again
with the person looking back at me
(in the mirror)
Can I look into yours?

 

Well, I'll be.

Well I'll be--if I didn't reinvent my story
So it would fit inside your ear
Land comfortably in your mind
Spill confidently out of your mouth

If I didn't find myself on your wheel
Keeping it spinning
Thoughts running
With every word you wanted to hear

If I didn't lose myself in your vision of me
Who a strong woman ought to be
What a strong woman ought to think
Where a strong woman ought to sleep

Well, I'll be.

Gravity

Sometimes I turn my face towards the sun
Close my eyes
Feeling its daunting heat on my skin,
I melt into the awareness of my existence

Were the sun just a few inches closer
Or the oxygen a little less in supply,
I would know that my being here has very little to do with
Conscious eating
Or responsible bill paying

I would know that my being here has very little to do with me at all

Except that it is me here.

And these atoms don't belong to me
(Who do they belong to?)
Yet they are mine

And this ability to move my feet
Isn't my invention
Yet I am the one who tells them to move
I am the body they carry through spaces I cannot explain -
Matters of physics and biology -
Only to arrive at a place that I call my home.

And are these thoughts even my making?
And how did they enter this mind?

The arrogance
Of claiming ownership

The irresponsibility
Of denying it

I am made up of seven octillion atoms
(There are three hundred billion stars in the galaxy)
More reactions in this body than the Milky Way
And I alone am one of seven billion

It is a miracle that I am here
It is a mercy that I belong

"Ears don't have lids..."

"As a delivery device for moments of inner emergency, no art form can approach the immediacy of popular song. A novel cannot assault you while you wait in line at the supermarket; a painting cannot reach out and turn your head as you walk on by; a poem’s feet cannot chase you down the street; a movie cannot screen itself. A song, though, can steal upon you in the dark, on a road, far from home, blow out your tires and leave you sobbing, in gratitude, at the wheel. All other art lives and dies in a medium that mandates we engage if we are to receive its gifts. Songs live in the air. Ears don’t have lids that can keep the songs there." 

-Wyatt Mason, Three Iconic Musicians on Artistic Creation--and Its Importance Now
 NYTimes Style Magazine

Will You Show Up?

What will you do when things don't come easy--
when rubber meets the road--
when privilege has taken you as far as it can go?

What will you do when
it's up to you--
in the quiet?

What will you do when
it's not just you--
in the noise?

When the crowds aren't roaring behind you,
will you lose your voice?

Between the Lines: Bluets
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(Image from Alldayeveryday.com

My best friend Marla bought me this book (for Christmas, I think?) knowing that I had professedly claimed the color blue (specifically that deep, thick indigo that you get lost in) as my soul-color. It couldn't have been a better fit for my 2016. Maggie Nelson's writing is unabashed and understatedly sarcastic, silly at times and side-railingly devastating at others.

Last Night in My Parent's Living Room

It wasn't cheap forgiveness
Wasn't a bandaid
It was the costly statement

"We've been there."

It was the phrase
"We're all human"
Said with certain eyes
That had so many stories to tell

It was a gift I couldn't have asked for
The one that we all have to offer

It was love in the form of
A life lived
And given

In the form of
Two hands on my shoulders,
Two eyes sharing my heavy gaze


"You're okay."