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Monthly Archives: July 2017

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“To know love we have to invest time and commitment…’dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keep us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love — which is to transform us.'” – bell hooks

The pebbles on the window pane were percussive taps of freedom.

I was told:

Only with a boy would I be safe in the world.

I could not go—unless, unless, unless

There was a boy to protect me.

Sounds like love but it’s trade.

Never trusted to be on my own.

Alone.

I broke free and left anyway.

Thinking.

I would die.

Because I was taught

Never

Never go without a bodyguard.

Seemed barbaric to me then.

But now…

Looking back

I understand her fear

It’s all she had

Fear

Not because she chose it consciously

Because she barely got out alive herself

Fear

Shackles clenched in opposition

Opposition to love.

Love

To love is to trust from the gut

To stay in touch with the head

To navigate these things

And sometimes

Trust

Trust in the face of past betrayal

Trial loves

And failed friendships

Liars posing as lovers

Words attempting to replace the action

of caring

All of that betrayal

Takes you to her path

Fear

But your gut says no

No!

Love anyway!!

DO IT!!!

Well

That’s just NUTS!

So

Love is crazy

It is

It’s crazy trust to stand back up

Dust off

And dance naked in the light of joy

And, if not joy

Honesty.

Cannons pointed

Ready, Aim,…

But, you don’t duck

You don’t run

Because

Because fuck that

You saw where fear got her

You saw that right?

She landed in a land of fury

Unable to speak she spat

Fire

She became a destroyer

In the name of being destroyed

So

Love

Love anyway

That’s what I do

So can you.

And, yes

Love is crazy.

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“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

That stillness.

Do you know it?

That stillness?

The old terror

The new friend

The nothing

With a beauty

That blinds

Do you know it?

 

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“An audience is always warming but it must never be necessary to your work.”           -Gertrude Stein

There she was facing the sun again

With all of her glory and her light

There she was communing with the sky

Silent chatter in the night

There she was having pushed through

So many grains of resistance

She was there

Floating

air

defined

the seed

that died

to create

this

divinity

(even if no one else sees)

There she was

She

Was

There.

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“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”  -Edgar Allen Poe

She came to me not a desperate raven atop a door perch of my darkest ways.

No.

She came to me a Great White Egret. At the sea where I’d sat alone for days.

I drifted up outside of my shell to see what I could see. Having cherished the darkness and the lack of air it was the safest place for me to be. Until suddenly I realized I couldn’t breath and all of that darkness was drowning me. I drifted up one rainy day and sat beside the sea.

It was there she met me. It’s where we locked eyes. It was there her grace was seen. No matter what the human harm or how violent any of it seemed, she was still right there in front of my eyes dreaming all of her dreams.

Unlike the nevermore spoken by the raven her words were soft and bright.

“Why sit her on this dampened shore when the world is so full of light?”

“Why”

Was her sound and it stays with me now and follows me wherever I go.

“Why be so sad? Why spend your time on people you’d rather not know?”

“Go!”

I kept that white feather and I left that old shell and I got myself back to my home of old.

The honor is mine, for having her fly -never dying- inside of my soul.

Evermore.

 

 

 

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“By Hecate, the goddess I worship more than all the others, the one I choose to help me in this work, who lives with me deep inside my home, these people won’t bring pain into my heart and laugh about it.” -Euripides

“You already know this.”

She sent me this message every day at least once a day.

“You already know this.”

What a thing to say. Six months. Every day. “You already know this.” hmmmm. What do I already know? “This darkness”.

The dreams, day and night, they came too. Face down. Floor of mud. Torches on the wall. “Get up.” But I didn’t want to get up. I wanted to melt down into the mud. Done. “Get up.” But I don’t want to get up. “You already know this.” What? “Get up.”

It took months. This vision went on. First slowly turning my head side-to-side. Then, resistantly opening my eyes. Into darkness. Hard to decide what is real and what lives in my mind. “Get up.”. But, I don’t want to get up. “You already know this.”

Trying to get my palms under my shoulders I realized there was a thing in each hand. A torch, like the ones on the walls, one in each hand. “Get up.” But,

Weeks went by and I was able to sit up and my eyes adjusted to the flickering light. Warmth on the walls so different than the wet dampness of the floor. A torch in each hand and no idea if I was alone or surrounded by other lost souls. No care.

“Get up.”

I stood.

Staring at the possibilities ahead. All dark. Except for the light in my hands as the torches on the walls moved further and further behind me. I was stepping. Being pulled by my heart and a thought “You already know this.”.

My torches were earned. One for surviving abuse. The other, incest. My light was earned and my heart was being pulled…

somewhere…

I didn’t know. And to be honest, a large part of me still didn’t want to.

I grew stronger. My legs were power and my eyes could see and I was moving with others not knowing what would be, only what was.

Now.

“You already know this.”

My voice begins to come back. It’s slow going but it begins to come back and I stand in the skin of Hecate, lighting the way. Almost. Almost. Almost. Ready to speak because…

I already know this.

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“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.” -Brene Brown

In that stillness she was a stranger.

A stranger to herself and to everyone around her.

She used to be flashing through life. A streak of color and sometimes sound. She’d been a blur to herself under the guise of “important work”.  But now, now she had no choice but to be still. To be still and to grieve. And the thing about grief is, it has no compartments. It is its own sea. And there’s no separating directions or depths. It is. Grief is a thing that can drown a person. So, she had to learn to swim in it. To do backflips and turn herself into a human fountain.

She was washed ashore with remnant of the raft that would sometimes hold her up. She found it hard to say goodbye to the last thing she could touch of what used to be. Nearly impossible.

All that was left was stillness now. Stillness and lazy nights and memories of rushed time, memories of laughter, memories of defiant acts of justice, of late nights of lust, memories. All of them. In one sea that could still be seen but was no longer reachable.

Such loss.

What a beautiful sight.

Her life. Her life had been a beautiful sight to behold and she’d mostly only ever felt the battle until now. Until the stillness of now. It came with old echoes. Accusations of all that she never did right, the blame of misery had been piled on her head, and her heart almost couldn’t bear the weight. Until.

The sea.

The deep sea of grief took all of it. There was nothing left for her to carry. No burdens for her shoulders to bear. It was gone. The weight was gone and the fatigue of the journey was real.

So she looked out over all that had been past the wanting for it to never end, she came to understand it already had, it was gone and like the stars overhead all we were seeing was history shaped by light.  What remained was this terribly scenic view. And after so much sleep which came after so much sobbing she was still. Quiet on a lazy evening.

And with the little light off it the distance came a joy. More than joy, a filling up of heart. All that had been decayed and broken had fallen into her sea of despair leaving her so empty. Until the tears and the sobbing and the stillness brought a fullness from her life. She was no longer in the sea swimming through, now she was simply breathing the salt air that seemed to have the ability to heal everything.

T came back to her in that moment and said, “see? everything has its use. it’s purpose. Let it be.”

And then the part came that she really didn’t want to hear but she opened up and let the thoughts flow through her like air to, “now go live.”

And there was a knowing about love then. About the vibrant and eternal power of love. But that knowing is too much for words. Too massive for understanding. We can only brush the edges of it and be healed.

It filled her up and over and back into the truth of everything.

 

 

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He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it. -Herman Melville

What to do with the tears and the rage

The rage in the rain

the thought…

She will never be again.

 

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Because I could not stop for Death – 
He kindly stopped for me –  
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  
And Immortality.-Emily Dickinson

She didn’t plan on touching down

She preferred the soaring heights

Those little torpedo water pellets decided her life’s blight

She didn’t plan on touching down

She made love to the lifted sky

But in the storm her vision crept out to cause  her soul demise

She couldn’t see

So she held still

Searching for the line

That place where the horizon touches God

And a woman’s life’s divine

But the weather would not permit it

And so she perched -exposed- with grace

Because the weather wouldn’t allow her life

She left us all in haste.

 

 

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Not yet, she said.

I’m not ready.

Won’t be.

The darkness is too much.

Not yet.

(Well…how about now?)

No, not yet. Not ready yet.

Too scared of the dark. Too scared.

Monsters live under my bed. And sometimes they try to eat me while I’m dreaming. Not yet. If I see them I will die. I will drop down and melt and die and be gone forever. I can’t look at them, it’s Biblical.

Not yet.

(When you’re ready the light will shine. Just tell me when you’re ready. The monsters will be the ones to melt as soon as the light shines. When you’re ready, just say the word.)

Not yet.

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don’t miss julia; no one’ll ever believe you stepped down, they’ll say you fell-Miss Julie, Jean, August Strindberg

I don’t know the woman in this photo. I watched her for five days as she ran her small business. Pulling canoes in from the water. Answering phones. Throwing her orange rinds into the minnow trap so that later, when she wasn’t looking, her husband would come and scoop them out. She wore long sleeves because she didn’t want to get skin cancer and the fabric blocked harmful rays, but she was hot working in the sun. I don’t know this woman but she reminds me of someone.

Another woman.

A woman I worked for who also ran a small business. Another beautiful woman, petite with blue/green eyes and blonde hair and tanned skin. This other woman was so busy she had eyeliner and lipliner tattooed onto her face. That way all she had to do was jump out of bed, wash up and brush her hair. She was camera ready. She was off to be superwoman and take on too many tasks reasonable for any human being in one day. And she did it with a smile. Percussive claps on the whole notes, “chip chip carry on away you go!” “Don’t run, it makes you look weak.” “Learn everyone’s name, there’s nothing a person likes more than hearing their name.” she said it all with a British accent.

Barbie never turns 50.

That four word sentence has been circling in my brain since Jane’s funeral. I turned the corner when they were wheeling her casket into the room, opened. She shook tinily side to side with cake makeup now on top of her tattooed makeup. Like finally there was time for foundation.

Too late.

There was a private viewing for her family from England on one side of the building and now she was being brought to the other where lines of people waited to put eyes on her through a tiny labyrinth of parlor rooms oddly decorated with loveseats and Victorian detritus. The flowers were held in old memories that no one knew anymore. The only thing that remained was the forced floral smell insisting on a beauty that had been erased and the outline of what was supposed to be proper. A life unlived smells like too many carnations in a too small room.

That woman.

It’s complicated.

Divorce.

7 year old son.

Small business.

Debt.

Sleeping pills.

Champagne.

That woman.

She drove me nuts. I confronted her. More than once. I quit working for her. She pissed me off. Underpaid me. Made me work harder. I showed her the numbers. I wrote out the math. I told her it didn’t add up. I had earned more than she had paid.

All she could say to me?

“Well, you’re very smart.”

Yeah. Why has that always been such a setback for me?

I walked away from the dysfunction. From the first world exploitation of my labor. The end of shift clean up on my knees with a dustbuster in each hand. The four class four birthday party day that challenged me to keep singing keep playing. That Gymboree nothing-job that allowed me to heal my own child within and to cultivate so much of my Alexander Technique without anyone being the wiser.  I was paid to play. In socks. On 9.12.01 the infants were inconsolable and everyone became family. I loved it. And I couldn’t take it.

On my knees.

Sucking up the crumbs.

An honest living.

That divorce.

He stole. He lied about their business debt. He was so dishonest.

He eulogized her.

By promoting.

His.

Next.

Failed.

Business.

While their son watched.

Then he mentioned her.

After.

His sales pitch.

In front of

Her dead body.

At her funeral stateside.

Before her family would “take her home”.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’ll never believe it.

He stole.

Stole from the people working for him. Stole their insurance premiums. Kept them. Probably tried to pay off some of his millions in debt with their sweat.

Jane.

She was depressed.

I never knew it.

Her smile was tattooed on her face.

But she was depressed.

Medicated.

Suddenly without insurance.

When you are talking to an apparent privileged woman who has Stockholm’s Syndrome you can’t believe the words that come out of her mouth. You can’t believe how she betrays herself. You think she’s betraying you. But, it’s not that. It’s that she betrays herself and kills off her own opinions, needs, desires. WHY? Because it looks like the only good option. It looks like the only path to happiness. It is the road to hell. And I saw it. And I told her. And she smiled and giggled.

She wrote a note to her seven year old son. Said she was going out for a drive. Got herself a bottle of the best champagne she could and a full bottle of sleeping pills. Pulled off and parked in a strip mall near Tysons Corner, VA and toasted herself to death.

In the cold.

Weeks after.

Her 50th.

Birthday.

Because…

Barbie never turns 50.

It’d been years since I stepped away from that dysfunction. I was in the top two performers at their company. My old coworkers called me back. To tell me. to pull me back in.

I walked away.

Fuck!

I walked away.

She killed herself.

When we talk about white women and how entitled they are and wonder why they aren’t saving the world like they should be or why they are adding to the trouble as the greatest deceivers of all, I think of Miss Julie. I think of Strindberg.

The class divide. The expectation of the white woman to be beautiful and to shut the hell up and take the next atrocity with a Barbie smile. I KNOW that the abuse, the generational abuse is deeply spiritual and psychological. And I wonder.

I wonder why.

Why we are still so hated that when we die the only thing that matters is how beautiful we look laying in that box.

With that pungent smell all around to drown out every thought.

Why?