Archive for January, 2013

not all sky is stars

January 31, 2013 2 comments

your life is your own
even when it’s hammered
into something else, something
you don’t recognize. there is
always a way, always a way out,
a light,
a chance,
a hand.
nothing is all darkness,
and not all sky is stars –
but each scrap of life
is important. you cannot just
get by, or get through,
you must wring it out,
every inch of it,
every last laughing moment.
when something is offered, take it.
when love is given, revel in it.
when truth is revealed, say thank you
marvel at everything
and don’t look back.
out there, there is a tomorrow
with your name of it.
it may be a girl
who loves you
despite your fear, despite
the things you’ve hidden
from yourself. remember:
not everything is darkness,
not everything is light.
there is always a way in,
there is always a way out,
and all truth – all chances –
begin in the heart.

the things not clearly marked

January 30, 2013 Leave a comment


Today, the wind is blowing hard, hissing and wailing through all the walls. The world shakes. It is warm outside, but everything is grey. Right now, that feels right. That looks how I feel, except I’m quiet. All thoughts turned inward, churning and chewing themselves up. There are no answers, only feelings. Emotional debris upended like tilled earth.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of a right decision. The right choice. The right thing. There are things where I just don’t know what that is. Where things look great on paper, but they’re not actually great. Where things are complicated and sticky, and right has left the building. Because rarely are things as black and white as we pretend them to be.

If there’s a clear cut right and wrong, life is neater. Easier. Able to be hospital cornered and tidied into smooth creases. A perfectly made decision, sharply done. Easy to identify. No muss, no fuss.

But in all honesty, the important decisions are rarely that. They’re messy and layered; they wreck and raze things. They’re not clearly marked good and bad. Sometimes, there is no perfect answer, no right one.

At the end of the day, I believe in following your heart. Sure, it may take you straight off a cliff – into shark infested waters – but nothing in life worth having is EASY. Or safe. Or pristine. All of the good things are wonderfully, horribly messy. They’re chockfull of complications, missteps, saying too much, and loving harder and more fiercely than you ever imagined.

What, though, do you do when you love two things? You can’t drag out a scale and weigh one against the other. You can’t haul out a tape measure and find the tallest form of love. You cannot assess which matters more or most, or if the first somehow overshadows the second.

Make one choice – break one heart. Make a different one – and you break another. But broken hearts are funny things. They don’t shatter, like glass. They develop scar tissue. They are resilient. More resilient than we often dare to acknowledge, because it’s a nearly terrifying revelation. The possibility and potential might, then, be infinite. Bottomless. And then what?

I don’t know. I truly don’t. But I do know that one love does not negate another. Just as one choice does not make others vanish.

Life, at its best and worst, is chaotic and messy. It is what it is – but it is also whatever we dare to make it. Think about that for a minute, and it’s kind of amazing. We may get blown around by the wind, sometimes. It might get cold out there, and it might seem like winter is forever. But we all have an invincible summer within us (to paraphrase Camus). Reach in and find it — and there’s nothing you cannot do.

“Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~Anais Nin

“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.” ~Neil Gaiman

pull me down

January 29, 2013 Leave a comment

I struggle with logic, sometimes. I struggle with being reasonable. In my dealings with people, I strive to be calm and levelheaded (this, despite appearances, is not my default). It is important not to shut down or shut off and talk. Even when the world is spinning, even when my heart is trying to kill itself by bashing into my ribcage, and the words are all coming out wrong.

And then comes the cold, creeping knowledge that there are certain that even I can’t fix. That sometimes, maybe love isn’t enough. That maybe I’m not enough. That there are choices that are already made, before I even realize there is a question.

I am all heart. All of it. Down to the marrow of my bones, pulsing through every atom. I don’t love easily, but I love to the very ends of everything I am. I cannot turn it off. I don’t know – not really – how anyone possibly can. You can only push feelings aside for so long. They bubble up. They resurrect. They appear and insert themselves into thoughts and moments.

Here is what I know. Some feelings are so strong that they demand certain things. You have to confront them, deal with them, and come to terms with them. Shoving them under a rug will not work. It solves nothing, accomplishes nothing, and bottling them up almost always makes them worse. Like shaking a can of soda and popping the top off: it will probably explode. And so will you.

I think, in life, there are always three choices: accept, fight, or run. I’ve never been a runner, even when shit gets hard. I accept things when I can, even when it’s difficult. And if my heart is involved, fighting is a foregone conclusion. Except, sometimes, the question of how to fight arises. Because it isn’t enough to just start swinging. You have to know what you’re fighting. You have to know that you’re not just shadowboxing yourself. Everyone is always fighting their own battles. Some are situational. Some are internal. Every struggle is valid. But so is every feeling.

I woke up this morning with one single thing on my mind. I will go to bed tonight thinking of the same. Tomorrow will not be any different. I may be fragile, but I am not made of glass. I may be strong, but I am not made of walls. I may be brave, but I am not without fear.

I am doing the best I can, even if I don’t know what I’m doing. But I know this: things should be given freely, or they should not be given at all. You don’t ask for a heart. You don’t ask for love. But it happens, anyway, mostly when you aren’t looking.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” ~Neil Gaimn

red lipstick, love, and laughter

January 28, 2013 7 comments

I don’t believe in perfection. I believe in working very hard. I believe in kindness. I believe in the power of coffee, red lipstick, love, and laughter. I believe in people. I believe in risk. I believe in taking chances, being braver than you credit yourself with/for, and saying I love you when it’s meant. Not before. And not too late. When it’s true. The same goes for apologies.

I don’t believe in perfection.

I believe that sometimes you have to sing out loud no matter where you are. The car. The grocery store. The shower. Some moments must be sung. I believe that there are some days that can be turned around by baking cookies. Or having wine. Or curling up with a good book or a good hug. Do not underestimate the power of a good hug. Do not underestimate the power of a good kiss. Kiss well and kiss often. Always dance around the house. It makes life more fun.

I don’t believe in perfection.

I believe that love is bigger than we want to believe. Love can be scary, but it can fix the unfixable. So can friendship. These two things together? Unbeatable. It’s like Buttercup’s speech to Prince Humperdink in the Princess Bride. She was right. As you wish.

I don’t believe in perfection.

I believe in phone calls at 3 am. Or in the middle of the day. I believe in honesty. I believe in communication. I believe that things can change. That things should change. And that the easy things are easy for a reason: they’re entirely too safe. Safety is often mistaken for duty, comfort, and reason. There is nothing reasonable about stagnation.

I don’t believe in perfection.

I believe in dressing up for no reason. I believe in tequila. I believe in rum. I believe in lace underwear and cute bras. I believe in skirts and dresses and grace. I believe in raincoats, leather boots, and smiling. Never underestimate the power of a smile, or the way a man will brush your hair from your face. Love is more than just words. It’s the way someone looks at you. It’s the way someone holds you. It’s the way your voice turns soft when you say the other person’s name.

I don’t believe in perfection.

Tell me what you believe.

freefall, the arrow, and the apple*

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment


A prose poem. Because I don’t write enough of these.


I love you so much it scares me. There. I said it. And yet, even though it scares me – overwhelms and undoes me – I’m not looking to run. Unless running leads to you. I keep this quiet. I keep it to myself. There are days where I wonder if I am just too much. Too open. Too honest. Too much promise. Too much possibility. I am six cups of coffee when all you wanted is two.

I am not going anywhere. Well, neither am I.

There you are. Not flinching. Not fleeing. Not questioning the way that I question everything. The look on my face says too much, I know. I can’t help it. I can’t say that I’d want to, if I could. I’d rather love be too much than not enough. I’d rather be too full than half empty. I’d rather choose you than anyone else.

I don’t know if you know that. I don’t know how you could not.

Still, I try not to push you. I try not to ask for too much. And yet, I’m dangerously close to asking for everything. With you, I talk too much. I can’t stop. I can’t shut up. I am full to bursting, desire replacing all the blood in my veins. I close my eyes to find your smile. I curl my fingers and feel your hand. Yours is the breath that I exhale. The song in my lips. The lyrics are yours. The melody dances in the curve of my back. Together, we are a symphony.

I meant what I said to you, even if I haven’t said it again. I love you. I’m yours. There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for you.

My heart is tangled with yours. Given a choice, I will always choose you. There is no better way to know us than as two wolves come separately to a wood.** The cold doesn’t matter. I’d set fire to everything without concern for the match. Just say it. I’m listening.

I love you beyond words, in three different languages. No interpretation required. Even the stars keep their distance from this. Their light will fade in the day. Ours does not.

I am not really scared. This heated rush is not fear. I am just wanting. Needing. Breathing, and yet holding my breath. This is freefall. And I feel everything.

I would not change a thing.


*Reference to Daphne Gottlieb’s prose, found here.

**Ted Hughes wrote that, not me.

Categories: prose poem


January 22, 2013 1 comment


I cannot name this.
I thought it was love, and now
I wonder if there is something more than
love. I am uncertain of what to do,
or say, but the words
are in my fingertips –
can you feel them
and the prayer on my lips?

so, collide.

everything ignites
like kerosene, and I watch
the night burn into tomorrow,
for the space where
dawn meets possibility,
where I meet you,
and where we stop being
but equal, two countries
with a border that collides.

so, collide.

right here, right now.
don’t speak. don’t breathe.
don’t ask. don’t translate.
i want to lie down.
i do not want to sleep.

so, collide.

seven years, plus seven more –
this is our beginning.
this is our ending.
this is you and me
and us and we,
and we are here
and nevermore.
we are what we are,
and it is what it is.
there is no naming it.
there are only the hours
in an afternoon
when we honor each other,
and this nameless heartbeat
that is both moth and flame –

so, collide.
i am tired of being without.
i want you within.
i carry the thought of your body
in my body; this
is no accident —
and neither am I.

do not ask what.
do not ask why.
stop pacing.
heed your heart.
it is, and is not, fragile.
it loves. it loves. it loves.
it cannot lie,
and i am unable to rest; i am
reason, abandoned.
there are no directions
for this, and this
desire is no small thing;
my kisses are lost without you –
let us fill the hours
with things other than questions,
let us exhaust
the idea of something
more than love.

Categories: Poetry

on being kind: the little things

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment


To be accommodating is such a small, simple thing. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what we want, or need, or think something should be. It’s much harder to put someone else’s needs before your own, but that is, interestingly, what love is. Plain and simple. (That’s not to imply that anything about love is EVER simple. If it is, it’s probably not love. But I digress…) That’s caring about someone else.

I forget, sometimes, that not everyone is like that. I forget that what seems like such a small thing to me – may indeed be a big thing to someone else. Because so often, people forget to be kind. And it really matters. It can make the difference between a bad day and a good one, a fight and a discussion, and a stalemate and a compromise.

The funny (almost contrary) thing is that I love plans. I love knowing things. There are times where being flexible does not come naturally to me (do NOT say what you are thinking; that is not what I was referring to, you dirty birds). I know why this is. I like the security of knowing that x, y, and z is going to occur. I like knowing how to plan my day. I like to remove doubt. (The psychology of this can probably be traced back to my childhood.) Sometimes, I like to be able to look forward to a Thing. But being flexible is important. The truth is that when I venture outside of my comfort zone for someone/something else, it is always deliberate. It is never an accident or a mistake. It is always a choice. Even if it seems hasty, it isn’t. It’s something I’ve worked on and am still working on. And I suspect will forever be working on. That, though, matters – working on something. Trying to improve.

But improvement isn’t the point of this post. It’s that it costs nothing to be kind. It is a small gesture, a tiny offering, a little thing. And yet, it’s so much more than that. There are days where I forget that. There are days where I am stuck on things in my own head. My own wants, desires, and thoughts about how something [life, love, relationships, moments, opportunities] should be. But that is selfish and possibly very stupid. It is also unwise. Because no one is an island. And life can be complicated, sometimes in the very best way.

The little things matter. Especially to me. Grand gestures are, well, grand. But I don’t need someone to show up with a suit of armor, wielding a bouquet, to impress me. Someone once made my day by bringing me muffins. He probably won’t remember that, but I do. It mattered. It matters. It will always matter. Because those little things are what set us apart from everything else.

Who Are You, and What Do You Want: Things We Do for Love

January 18, 2013 1 comment

Who are you, what do you want?

Those are two very basic questions. And yet, often times, people can’t answer them. Think about a person who makes you feel small. Think about being afraid to show who you really are. Think about holding back and holding in for the sake of an image or idea.

Then answer me this: if you aren’t true to yourself, how can you know – or go after – what you want? You can’t. Not really. You’re too busy living a lie, filling a role, playing a part, wearing a mask. You’re too busy hiding yourself from, perhaps, yourself. In last night’s Scandal (A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar), there were questions and secrets, revelations and facades, and revealed motives.

In a flashback, we met Fitz’s domineering, demanding bastard of a father (called in to help, during his campaign for President). As soon as he entered the scene, Fitz literally shrank in stature, stopped making eye contact, and put a wall so spectacular that you could probably see it from space. He, interestingly, fell into his cups – which appears to be a habit whenever he is abjectly miserable. Everyone seems to be kissing Jerry Grant’s ass, except Olivia, who also seems to be the only person who sees Fitz basically internally flailing. Of course, when his anger turned inward finally spurts out, it’s misdirected at campaign workers and Liv calls him out on his bullshit. I know you, because you let me know you. Then, later, Show them who you are.

Such a simple statement. But it is the best advice. You cannot win a heart, or the heart of a nation, if you don’t show yourself. If you aren’t honest and even vulnerable. If you are false, eventually people catch on. Some quicker than others. Which brings us to a question: who is Liv? In this flashback, we see her FINALLY – after a wonderful, wrenching scene with Cyrus, in which Jeff Perry is fucking brilliant, invading her personal space and generally being mad persuasive – consent to rig the election for Fitz. And we finally discover why she did it. The others, their gains were readily ascertained. But Liv? Liv did it for Fitz. Liv did it for love. Liv got her hands dirty, compromising herself, so that Fitz benefited. It was selfless. This, interestingly, is in contrast to present day Mellie, who forged Fitz’s signature, which forced him to leave the hospital and put his health in danger in order to keep her out of jail.

Show them who you are.

We are, I think, what we do for love. The parts we surrender, the parts we offer up. Love isn’t fact-based. For instance, Liv’s boyfriend Edison Davis can explain what her moods mean, if she’s angry, she’s hiding something. She, perfectly, refuses to answer her questions. She has walls. She has secrets. He knows her, but he doesn’t know her. That is a major, inexplicable difference. He can’t get under her skin enough to make her reveal herself, not really. In fact, Edison only manages to provoke Liv – which really made their last scene together kind of…suspect. He PROPOSED. They broke, and he proposed. It seemed a little odd to me, and then I remembered: they were engaged once before. Is this a pattern? When she’s about to walk, does he just randomly pop the question? And Edison, really – if she won’t the name of her last serious ex-boyfriend, she doesn’t trust you. And if she doesn’t trust you, that isn’t exactly something to build a marriage on. That’s quicksand.

Speaking of trust – or a blatant lack thereof – throughout the course of the episode, Mellie is simply pleased as hell that everything is going according to plan. Everything is coming up roses. Sally eventually resigns as acting president. Cyrus moves back into his office. And the status quo is returned to normal. Except it isn’t. Because Fitz is different. Fitz isn’t normal. Fitz, as Liv pointed out, nearly died. This tends to change a person, because it puts into perspective what really matters – and who really matters. Life is short. Too short to be spent in the pursuit of things that do not matter, standing beside people who don’t completely, totally, and madly love. In the last episode, we saw that Fitz immediately wanted to talk to Liv when he woke up, not Mellie. Liv. At the close of this episode, poor injured Fitz is in bed. He looks terrible. Exhausted. Emotionally wrung out. He’s put his health of the line to save Mellie. And she’s sitting there, chattering like a magpie of ridiculously superficial importance. She is talking, but she doesn’t see him at all. It’s like he could be anyone. There is no kindness or tenderness there. He’s a prop. A well-placed political prop. He nearly died, and Liv showed him more sweetness and concern in a single kiss than Mellie did throughout the whole episode. She doesn’t ask him how he’s doing, how he’s falling. She’s talking at him, not to him. She doesn’t see him at all.

And, almost foolishly, she asks him: if you could have anything, what would it be? And Fitz, without missing a beat and with all head injury-induced word drama, says a divorce. BAM.

Who are you, and what do you want? Answer those questions honestly, and it reveals exactly where your heart lies. Because who you are, and what you do for love, is what matters the most. And Fitz, have been through a traumatic event, finally can stop being the image of what people want and expect. He can stop playing a role, face deep in Scotch, and be true to himself. Because, President or no, life is too short for it to spent in a cage, even one as pretty as the oval office.

because it should be said

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment


my passion knows nothing
except its own thirst.
i am drunk on it, from it,
because of it. everything
i am reaches for you –
i wait. i love. i need.
you are worth every hour,
every question.
you are worth needing,
beyond the why and how.
you are worth loving
because i love you.
your name is the clock
i’ve set my heart to.

i offer you a hand.
then, everything else.
i am not maybe. i am should.
i am yes. i am yours.
this is an invitation. i suggest
you do not run. i suggest
you get undressed.
give me what i am asking
for, take what is offered you –
skin and flint, a body
made of promises, a love
that fights and forgives.

my passion knows nothing
except its own thirst,
but love is far more dangerous,
it is a knife-edge, a balm,
a reason, a wildfire; it is
divinity without chains.
it does not know its own hunger,
or its own weakness. it has no needs,
desires, or demands.
it simply, perfectly or imperfectly, is.

I’m here. I love you.

January 14, 2013 11 comments

Sometimes, all you need to say is I’m here. I love you. Even if you can’ t actually do anything. Even if all you can do is listen. Or hug. Or just be there – in whatever way possible. Letting someone know they are not alone? It matters.

I happen to be a fixer. I love the hell out of words, but I’m a doer. If someone has treated you horribly, hold my earrings. You tell me a problem, and I want to solve it. If you have a bad day, I want to help. Yet, there are times where this is not possible.

I’m here. I love you.

That’s it. That’s all. That’s two sentences. But it’s everything, really. It’s everything that matters. When your back is against the wall, when the walls are falling down, when the day is really shitty – and you just want to punch something? I’m here. I love you.

It seems like such a small thing, but it’s what gets us through the difficult times.

I’m here. I love you.