Archive for April, 2014

his famished look*

April 30, 2014 3 comments

Everything that’s not you has settled into the wreckage of my bones, living between the hairline cracks, sneaking into the marrow. There’s no exorcism for this. This is no ghost. Only wolves pacing inside my smile, all my love wondering – wandering – by moonlight obscured by clouds. This is how a wild thing learns to keep silent. This is how silence offers itself as an ally, only to offer a knife to my back.

            Today, I am made of questions. Today, I am borne of the unknown. Today, I am missing you exquisitely, as if I’ve never known anything else. With you, I never know what will happen, only that something will.  And everything becomes two hands made of lightning, and I’m lost in the dark without them. The wolves are pacing, love. Pacing like their very lives are on fire.

            Don’t mistake me: I am not craving the past. I am not content with old memories, turned inside out. I want new earthquakes and blind destinies. I want to forget the ruin we’ve sometimes made of each other – all the hope bottled up as sudden grief, sudden separation. I want that gone. In its place, I want you.

            Should is a word the betrays hope. Should is a coward’s refuge. Should looks like mercy, but it has vicious teeth. It always goes for the throat. It demands that you start a war with yourself, one you have no intention of winning. Is that what you want: to trap yourself with your own fractured reasoning? The world is prison enough. Don’t you dare thank your captor for the privilege.

            If you listen carefully, you can eavesdrop on my heart. Hold your ear up to my chest, and a thousand wishes will pour out. One will be your name. Another will be our story. A third will be a dream I can’t give up – a voice I can’t shut out. Today, silence is my gift to you.

            I have burned every bridge I’ve ever stood on. I’ve loved every shoreline as it turns to glass. This is my arson. I never said I was easy, never claimed I wasn’t dangerous. But I’m no longer interested in maybe and sad stories. If you want something, you have to take it. And you know exactly where I am.

            I want every bit of war you ever allowed into your touch. I want fallen cities and brave mistakes. Because this is no dream, no fantasy. This is not pristine and perfect. This is a mess made of good intentions. These are flaws made of an open heart. And my reason has begun to lose its temper. Eventually, everything will out. Even the wolves are waiting for the forest to burn. I wonder:

            How long has my body been made of gasoline? And how long have you been holding that match? 


*title shamelessly stolen from Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin 

Categories: Uncategorized

let the constellations keep you

April 27, 2014 Leave a comment


In order to see the stars, you must first see the night. The sun overshadows starlight, and it’s only revealed after all the light is gone. Have you ever noticed that when everything is dark, stars arrive like magic, appearing one by one, too fast to count. Little bright bastions of silver, taming the wildness of an empty sky. For every point, there is a counterpoint. For every fear, there is a hope. For every weakness, there is a strength. Even nature holds a balance. This is something we forget when we start to take the sky for granted.

Some people are like that, too. Miracles borne of twilight – the bright hope that keeps you going when the sunlight has gone away. Do not take them for granted. Look for them when everything has gone to hell. Remember them, those who have touched you and kept you. Last week. A year ago. A breath ago. Or, perhaps, they are long dead – but like stars, the light still carries.

Hold to the things that chase away the dark. Fill your life with starlight. Gather love the way children gather constellations: with absolute certainty and delight. Map your world by what fills you with wonder. Live it by indrawn breaths and arresting surprises – that which stops you in your tracks. Don’t be content with what does not nurture you. Don’t curl your fingers around your pain or that which seeks to hold you in your place. Don’t merely count the hours until the sun comes back out. You cannot outpace the moon. You cannot conjure a sunrise.

Find the magic in everyday things. Resurrect your will to believe. Don’t chart your course with wasted words and rung out reasoning. Trace tomorrow by Orion, Draco, and Ursa Major. Live your life by starlight – that is how you find your way back home. No, that is how you find your way.

Home is a heart; the destination varies.

an open door

April 23, 2014 4 comments


    Yesterday, I had a revelation I didn’t expect. I suppose that no one expects a revelation. It’s like the Spanish Inquisition. It’s got SPAM in it. Wait, that’s not right. Let’s get back to the point: I’m not a perfect person. I don’t intend to be. Sure, I try to make the right choices, do the right things. But at the end of the day, I’m full of flaws. I’m insecure. I worry. I have a tendency to keep my mouth shut when things are bothering me. I’m more inclined to worry about you than I am to show that I’m having a bad day.

            Honestly, the past month, I have been a total mess. I have been a mess for a specific reason – or, more accurately, a combination of reasons. I don’t really talk about it. Because I don’t want you (figuratively speaking) to know I’m hurting. I do this as a defense mechanism. I do this to put another person first. I’m trying to be the bigger person and hide everything, only that doesn’t do anyone any favors.

            So, here’s the truth: I’m not talking to someone I really need to talk to. For a while, I blamed myself. For a while, I looked in the mirror and saw the carrier monkey. For weeks, I assumed that this is what I get, for being open and naïve. And then, yesterday, I realized: this is not my fault. Moreover: it’s unacceptable. I may be impulsive, impetuous, and impractical. I may do dumb things, take crazy risks, and dance in the middle of a parking lot. I have been nothing except honest, available, and loving. Despite the inherent insanity that may entail. I’m not one to shortchange anyone – and I know that I often go above and beyond for those I care about, happily.

            A friend, a few weeks ago, asked me why I wasn’t taking care of myself. Why wasn’t I getting what I needed? Why was I always worried about someone else, not even considering myself? And the truth is that I don’t often take care of myself. I put others ahead of me, especially those I love. I make compromises. But the secret about that is that they only work when two people are compromises. If one person is doing all the bending, you’re nothing more than an emotional pretzel. Someone’s going to come along, sprinkle you with salt, and have you for a snack. And not in a sexy way.

            After that email, that’s been swirling around in my brain like water circling a drain, I’ve been thinking about what I’m not getting – what is it that I need? There are relationships that I deeply cherish, but in order for them to truly work, changes need to be made. Because objectively looking at things as they are, this is not how I want things to be. This is not how they should be. There are at least two people in my life that this applies to, possibly three.

            After a conversation with Suzanne Palmieri yesterday, I sat down and really gave everything some thought. Because lately, man, things have just been hard. Too hard. They don’t need to be this hard. Further still: they don’t need to be like this.

            So, here is what I need: action and proof. Not words or even silence. Here is what I want: everything. Nothing short of a miracle. Nothing short of revolution. Here is what I deserve: just that. Exactly that. This is not unreasonable. This is not even asking a lot. This is how things need to evolve.

            I may not be perfect. I may be outrageous at times. My behavior might surprise you. My heart may startle you. But no matter the relationship or situation, I give everything I’ve got. At the end of the day, that’s really all we have: our ability to invest ourselves in the pursuit of something or someone. To shape our lives, no matter how scary it is, for a purpose.

            For perhaps the first time in my life, I’m giving myself permission to run. Well, not exactly run. Sometimes, doing nothing is the same thing. Sometimes, all you can do in a situation is…stop. It’s that easy and that hard. But it’s time for someone else to bend. It’s time for someone else to try. Show me what you’ve got. Show me what you’re willing to give. Show me what you’re willing to do. Or realize that if you don’t, then this is how things are. There are two questions, love, that you should be considering:

            Do you really want to lose me? And is this really all you think there is?

            The truth is that I will gladly fight every battle alongside those in my life. But I will not fight for you, if I also have to fight you and if you aren’t willing to fight for yourself. Sometimes, love is a battlefield. Pat Benatar had that right. But sometimes, love is also being willing to let go.


mermaid in jeans*

April 21, 2014 1 comment


I can think of a thousand different ways to explain the way I miss you. It’s like the world is made of water, and all I have are lungs. It’s like the moon has forgotten its place in the sky, all but disappearing. The stars are a circus, and we are performing acrobats, flipping through emotions like wonderful experts. Only, there is no net. Only, there are lions. Only, we are the lions – and this is our cage.

I wonder if summer misses winter like this – like a season dancing out of turn, passions outstretched in a whirling dervish. I think we’re all missing something, someone. Absentmindedly, I wonder if I’ll be warm again. I wonder what it’s like to pull a feeling out by the roots. Does the heart grow emotions like weeds and wildflowers? Mine would never be roses, not even sunflowers. Mine spring up, resilient, defiant, a blossoming little promise. A petal of a dare. Mind the thorns, but breathe in the fragrance. They will arrive again, but it’s never the same bloom twice.

I can think of a thousand different ways to explain the way I miss you. And yet, I have no words to unlock this door. I have no words to call you back. They have all gone, swift as any thief. I am a magician without weapons, a conjurer without panache. I am broken mirrors and trap doors that won’t open. I am drowning in an ocean made of the word absence. I am lost, even knowing exactly where I am.  This maze I built is mine, mine, mine. And I am afraid that I am the monster at the heart of it. Now, there is the truth: I am afraid.

And it’s fear that keeps me silent, here.

*from Silent All These Years by Tori Amos

Categories: prose poem

Letter From a Modern-Day Persephone to Hades, During Spring

April 18, 2014 3 comments



            There are lies I could tell you. Lies that would seem reasonable, easy to consume. Call it emotional fast food – empty calories that leave you crashing later on. Empty promises that are a cold comfort. Temporary fixes for ever-present things. These lies would patch you up, not heal you. The bullet hole covered by a band-aid. The hurt smothered by rum. The love shoved under the rug, in the corner – down, down, down until you swear you don’t need it.

            How many years have you been longing, wanting, feeling empty? How many years have you been unsmiling, absent, and feeling like there’s nothing left? Worse: you’ve lived through it standing still. Your courage is an in-drawn breath. You’ve got to exhale to make it matter. You’ve got to let go to make it count. You’ve got to drag out the truth as dirty as you know it. Pretty truths, darling, are nothing more than fancy lies. Singular dimensions that cast long shadows.

            There are lies I could tell you – things I know you’d want to hear. Things that would release you under the illusion that this is nothing more than a fleeting heartbeat. Oh, yes, I’ll be alright. No, I’m not crying. No, I’m not breaking apart. No, I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. This is just what I look like when I’m smiling – don’t mind the unmet eyes and shaky hands. Don’t mind the lack of sleep. Don’t mind the fact that I can’t make it through a minute without missing you.

            The truth is, no matter what happens, I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew what I wanted when I looked at you. I knew what I was facing, knew the consequences from the marrow of my bones. No one tastes fruit by accident. Forbidden is just another word for untouched. And I want to be touched. I want to feel your hands.

            My secret is this: when we are apart, my heart is in winter. There’s no summer in the sky for me. I am borne of waiting, counting the days until I’m back where I’ve chosen to be. My obligations elsewhere are only that: debts. A thing owed and owing. Nothing more, nothing less.

            I have given no fire to man, yet I suffer. Instead of my liver, my heart is torn out – and torn out and torn out. Have you ever seen me flinch? Have I ever worried when I’ve seen your face? Have I not given you every possibility I could offer? And all I ask of you is this: wait. Wait for me. I will come back. You’ll see.

            My love, I am no small girl. There is no weakness in me, only love. I will not tell you lies. I will not tell you to let me go. Instead, I will remind you that my heart is like a pomegranate. It will feed you. It will keep you. It does not matter if you are far or near. Love is not simple, not easily explained. But, my darling, you must trust it. There is no love that can live in the shadow of fear. Leave the dark to underworld. Do not look back toward what might disappear.

            Tomorrow is ours.

            Your Queen

Conflict Resolution

April 17, 2014 1 comment


My heart says: Call.
My brain says: Don’t.
My fear elbows in with:
You aren’t worth it. Nobody’s going
to fight for you. Forget it.
My courage shouts:
Fight for yourself.
My insecurity muses:
How? The situation is impossible,
because you are impossible.
My pride rebels:
Fuck impossible. Impossible
is just an excuse to quit.
My lesser self reminds:
You control nothing. This is not
your choice. You’re nobody’s choice.
You’re just a fool.

Then, last, like a lunatic –
love sticks its neck out,
love steps onto the train tracks,
love stands out in the rain,
love takes a bullet,
love opens its arms,
love jumps,
love stops pretending it doesn’t exist:
be furious in what you pursue,
don’t leave yourself resolved to less,
and let everything break
if it must –
there’s nothing beautiful about regret.

I say:
I love you.
What will you say next?




Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Feeding the Absence: Moving Forward

April 15, 2014 2 comments


  Almost every day, I drive past a man who is a crossing guard for a school. He isn’t the kind of man who makes eye contact with drivers, but I’ve seen him chatting up pedestrians on the regular. Last week, it was actually sunny and warm out – something that I thought would never happen again, forever, given the atrocious winter that bespoke the White Queen from Narnia. To be fair, I did have a rather large amount of chocolate over the winter, which might make me Edmund. Damn it. I hate this analogy. Let’s get back to the point: it was sunny. As I was driving past the school, I came to a full stop. You see, the crossing guard had the stop sign in his hand raised up. I didn’t see any incoming pedestrians, but I deferred to the guard’s authority. It turned out that there weren’t any pedestrians; he was just blocking the sun, thus confusing the hell out of me, and I imagine everyone else.

            Again, he didn’t make eye contact, even though I tried to catch his attention. That’s not relevant to the story. It’s just a pet peeve. So, that little escapade stuck with me. It made me think about we do one thing with a particular intention, but it often has unintended side effects. And we may not mean for our actions to be perceived a certain way, but they are taken at the obvious, face value – not the less easy to assess way we might’ve intended.

            Last week, although later in the week, a friend said something to me in an almost offhand manner. It was smack in the middle of a smattering of other things, and to be honest, it didn’t really strike me until later – much like the crossing guard’s unintended/intended meaning. The statement my friend made wasn’t intended to be harsh. It was something, I suppose, borne out of concern. And yet, it pointed to a gaping hole in the middle of my heart, a circumstance and a fear that I have absolutely no sway over. It’s the kind of thing that happened at the right time – that is to say, a vulnerable time. No matter how much I’ve attempted to shove it out, I cannot evict that bastard of a sentence with any kind of crowbar. In truth, it has collided with a perfect storm of unease and a few staggering realizations. The past weeks have felt like there are battles on every side and my foxhole isn’t quite deep enough. Dramatic? Maybe. But it isn’t untrue.

            So, I’ve just been sitting with it – that one, remarkably ordinary sentence that wormed its clever way into my insecurities. I mean, yesterday, I was searching for a quote online, and I found one completely unrelated to the kind I was looking for. But there it was, all gloriously honest and gutting. It was about feeling alone after losing a parent – because you’re going into every fight without feeling like you have that backup that you used to have. I’ll be honest: that hurt like hell. There’s something painfully isolating about losing your mother. Or, perhaps, about losing my particular mother. My mom and I did often argue. We didn’t always see eye to eye. But no matter what was going on, she had my back. No questions. No debating. Even if she thought I was wrong. Maybe especially then. I guess I’ve been feeling that absence keenly lately.

            And the thing that my friend casually said? Well, it fed into that absence, that unbelievably tender spot. It’s not the kind of thing that heals, I’ve realized. It just hurts differently. Now, my friend was just trying to help me see a situation clearly. My best interest was the motivation. But like that crossing guard who simply intended on blocking out the sun, but ended up stopping traffic instead – the actual impact is far deeper and much different than the original meaning.

            Sometimes, how we mean something and its actual impact are vastly disparate. Sometimes, we say one thing and mean/do another. We are strange, inconsistent creatures at heart. But I often find myself puzzling at how we see ourselves in those moments, when our actions have unintended consequences. Make no mistake – we’re all guilty of it. We all try and block the sun, only to end up blocking traffic. Figuratively in most cases.

            I suppose that the lesson here is this: when you’re stopped, you cannot rely on someone else to shove you forward. You are the one who decides where you go from this moment. You are the one in control. Because, yes, someone did something to you – and it had an influence, an impact. But you’re the one in the driver’s seat. You’re the one who decides. Don’t let a momentary snag – a momentary hurt – keep you from going where you intend to go. Don’t let someone else’s foolishness keep you from what you want, from what you love, and from what you deserve.

            Don’t settle. Don’t wallow. And darlings? Don’t hold back.

Navigating Relationships and Choosing Sides: Recapping Scandal’s The Fluffer

April 10, 2014 4 comments



All relationships are built on choices. We choose how vulnerable we allow ourselves to be. We choose how we reveal ourselves. We pick battles. We decide when to stay, when to trust, and when we walk away. Every relationship has its own unique dynamic. No relationship just happens to you. It’s not as if you’re crossing the street and, by no fault of your own, you get hit by a lover. Nope. No. In last week’s episode of Scandal, Olivia is (initially) nowhere to be found. She’s still smarting over Fitz biting her head off (albeit accidentally – he was having a moment. Who hasn’t snapped at the wrong person in a MOMENT? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ll be over here in my glass house, too) and over the fact that Fitz seems jealous over Mellie’s relationship with Andrew. More on that later. I have THOUGHTS.

The episode opens with Abby (hilariously misreferred to as GABBY, by pretty much everyone) doing her best Olivia Pope impersonation, complete with a white coat. But Abby, as awesome as she is, is no Liv. Because she cannot command a room, at least not that room. And everyone from Fitz to Cyrus basically leave her standing alone, like the proverbial cheese. (Mmm, cheese.)

In possibly what might be the most ill-advised alliance in the history of what the fuck are you doing, Liv?, is Olivia taking advice from Papa Pope. Papa Pope who promises her that he will not touch a hair on Fitz’s head, when Liv asks him to swear he won’t harm Fitz. Notice the precise wording that he used. He said he wouldn’t physically harm Fitz. That is not the same thing as making sure no harm comes to Fitz. Papa Pope is clever. Papa Pope isn’t someone I’d trust, and here’s why: he is an opportunist. He’s someone who has been ousted from a position rife with power. He’s not simply going to shrug and say, “Ah, well. My life was B613. I think I’ll actually work at the Smithsonian now. Because a boring, easy life will suit me so.” HELL FREAKIN’ NO. So, as the audience, we have to assume that he’s up to no good. Worse yet, he’s manipulating his own daughter – and it’s not the first time. On the surface, it seems like Papa Pope is trying to help Liv shut down B613 by cutting off its funding. When Liv brings this ingenious plan to OPA, Huck is horrified. You don’t trust B613. And yet…

See, Liv is really off her game. She’s hurt. Her mother is apparently a terrorist. And she’s actively in pain over Fitz’s jealous reaction to Mellie doing the no-pants dance with his friend and VP candidate, Andrew. Hi, pot – I’m kettle. Because you don’t get jealous when you don’t care, right? Really? I’ve seen in happen. Someone you’re no longer with is suddenly with someone and happy – and there’s a pang of jealousy, because it’s not you making that person happy. Even though, logically, you know that the relationship was crap for whatever reason. Or, to offer a second reason, consider the devolution of the Grant Marriage: Mellie won’t let Fitz touch her. They stop being intimate (not just sex, people – they stop connecting). The audience knows why, but Fitz doesn’t. Fitz just knows Mellie won’t even look at him with warmth and that (at the time), she told him that having children changes you. That she just wasn’t into sex. And then it turns out, she just didn’t want FITZ to touch her. Andrew, on the other hand, is welcome to Sexy Town any time he wants. (For the record, Andrew and Mellie are TERRIBLE at covert sex, because they apparently have never heard of TACT, SECRECY, and LOCKING DOORS. But I digress.) It’s one thing if your wife tells you she doesn’t fancy anyone. It’s another if you come to find out that she doesn’t fancy you. Meanwhile, Andrew is sporting a shiner, Mellie won’t talk to him, and he basically tells her that he loves her in the middle of the White House hallway. Mellie actually looks shocked, because she’s spent so much time being ornamental and not functional, it doesn’t even occur to her that someone else might, or could, love her. So, yes, I’m rooting like hell for those two, because Mellie deserves to be loved, too. Don’t we all? Anyway…more on that later.

For Liv, she doesn’t know where she fits into Fitz’s life. She wears so many hats in their relationship, because she works for/with him, that it is hard to decipher where Work Liv and Lover Liv stop and start. I can’t call her a mistress, because she’s not some seedy little chippy. I can’t call her his girlfriend, because he’s never called her that. So, they’re lovers. Anyway, in a brilliant speech, Liv basically shows her vulnerability by admitting she doesn’t know who or what she is to Fitz. She doesn’t know where she belongs. She doesn’t know, exactly, how she fits into his life – she questions what role she’s really filling/playing. She wonders, like we all wonder sometimes, how important we really are to someone. She comes to the relationship at a disadvantage. It’s hard to assert yourself in a relationship where the other party has a spouse. Allowances have to be made for extenuating circumstances. Especially in this situation, where all parties involved want Fitz to get reelected.



Fitz reminds Liv that the relationship didn’t just happen to her – that he didn’t happen to her. Like I said before, you don’t cross the street and get hit by a passing relationship. It’s a choice. We choose. And they’re chosen each other. They each have to deal with the odd repercussions of the confining dynamics. Fitz is wearing so many hats, too. He said before in the Rose Garden speech that if he could, he’d run away with her. So, Fitz the man? He chooses Liv. Fitz the president? That’s more complicated. Does he choose Liv the Fixer or Liv the Woman? Can he choose both? Only time will tell.

The whole Mellie/Andrew thing is quite short lived, because Fitz finally admits to Liv that in order to win, he needs Mellie. Think what you want, but their public façade is not unconvincing. With a fake tell-all book about Fitz’s sordid fake affair with a former White House staffer, and Sally Langston playing the angles like an expert, Fitz needs to consider his career over his heart. Which, by the way, is basically what EVERYONE does in this episode. Especially when Liv seduces Jake for her own gains (prompted by Papa Pope), uses him to gain access to B613, and shuts it down. Honestly, that scene between Jake and Liv was horribly unconvincing in that Jake wakes up from a dead sleep to find Liv in his kitchen, nearing shooting her – but having sex with her is so narcotic that he doesn’t wake up when she untangles herself from his arms and plays spy? Does that make Jake the worst spy ever? Yes, yes it does.

Meanwhile, the Grant campaign eventually teams up with the Langston campaign, because Governor Reston is snaking votes away from both parties, due to his, “Look! I’m awesome! I visit my murderous wife in PRISON. Saint me, quick!” Except, we all know that his wife is in prison for a murder he committed. It was a delight to see Abby and Leo, Sally’s version of Cyrus, cozy up to each other. I kind of, maybe, ship them a bit.

The episode ends with B613 being shut down, just as Quinn and Charlie are staking out Momma Pope the Terrorist and her merry band of misfit bombers. (Lovely to see the angel Raphael from Supernatural, btw.) Momma Pope, honestly, feels like a one-trick pony, lately – she has one emotion, and it’s as if she’s stolen it from Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil. I hate how flat and one-dimensional she seems to be, and I feel like Adnan’s potential (as a character) is being wasted. There was such a set up with Harrison being horribly afraid of her. They knock boots and few times, and then she’s relegated to Hot Lacky, the minor sidekick of Momma Pope. It is strange. But I digress.

With Papa Pope’s prompting, Liv shuts the shit down out of B613, leaving the organization in the dark, just as Momma Pope acquires a bomb, presumably as part of a plan to kill Fitz. Which Jake kindly spits at Liv, right after her barges into OPA, chokeholding her across the room and into a wall. He then tells her, essentially, that Fitz is going to die and it’s all her fault. And that’s the episode’s ending note: a bewildered Liv, hearing the worst thing ever, while all the OPA folks (including Huck – where is his Super Spyness when we need it?) gaping in total shock in horror. Except for Harrison, whose face somehow seemed to express a feeling on what looked like mild constipation. But again, I digress.

Whenever Liv is emotionally distressed, she cannot function. She was compromised during the whole Amanda Tanner debacle. When Liv starts mistrusting her gut, she starts trusting the wrong people. Namely, HER FRAKKIN’ FATHER. I do like the fact that she’s started to express herself to Fitz, despite the mess it makes. But real relationships are messy. And if you don’t expose the fears, insecurities, and difficulties you’re grappling with, that’s when things start to fall apart. The fact that Fitz and Liv argue? It’s actually a good thing.

One final thing: Andrew and Mellie. In order to get Fitz what he needs (instead of what he wants), Liv shuts that down. She informs Andrew that he has to make a choice between banging Mellie and being VP. She pointedly tells him that Mellie wouldn’t want him if he wasn’t a political player. And he can either stop having sex with Mellie or she will ruin him. Andrew chooses the VP slot, and Mellie then goes and slaps the HELL out of Fitz. Which…he pretty much deserved. Because glass house, stones. Pots and kettles. And all that jazz. *does spirit fingers*

PS. If the title of this episode didn’t make you giggle like a 13 year old, you have no soul.

You Got Me

April 9, 2014 3 comments

            There are times where I don’t know what to say – because I want to say something, but each time I think about it, the words come out all wrong. There are times where I want to reach someone, but I don’t know how. I don’t know the magic bit of phrasing that will open a door or turn on a light bulb – or even, in the toughest cases, act like a wrecking ball. Walls, in my opinion, are only necessary when you are protecting yourself from actual harm – not, say, when you are afraid. Or trying, in theory, to protect someone else. You cannot do that.

            Granted, it does take courage to let someone in. It’s never entirely easy, and it can be scary. Because, at the end of the day, it leaves you vulnerable. Sometimes, we are taught that openness/vulnerability is a kind of weakness – but it’s usually only when that openness has been exploited by somebody. That does happen. And it can leave a person feeling raw and gun-shy. But I think that no matter how many times we get hurt, we get back up. We dust off our hearts and bruises, and we try again. We give people chances. We dance in the dance. We dance in the dark. We strip it all done and leave ourselves bare – because the risk is worth the potential that we gain when we do that.

            I believe in people, even though humanity at large can be disappointing. I believe in letting people in, even when it isn’t pretty –even when it is downright ugly as hell. Real life and real relationships aren’t always squeaky clean. I don’t believe in perfection. I believe in flaws. And flaws are okay. And so are mistakes. Life is messy. Love is messy. And that mess, however unpredictable and difficult, can be so damn beautiful. When someone allows you to see their mess, that’s an honest connection. It can happen in small ways. It can happen in big ways. But it’s important for it to happen.

            But back to my initial point: there are moments where I just don’t know what to do or say. I want to do or say something, because my first instinct is always to help or protect. If I’m claimed you as my people, part of my tribe – no matter what the circumstances – I will always want to lend you a hand, or an ear, or a hug. Whatever I can do, I want to do it. So, when I find myself in a situation where I’m not sure how to proceed, how to help, or even if that help would be welcome…it leaves me feels off-kilter. I’ve gotten better at patience in this respect, but it isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I can be the most patient person on earth, but sometimes that just goes totally out the window – and I find myself chomping at the proverbial bit. I want to fix. It is just a thing I can’t really tamp down. And, really, if I could, I wouldn’t want to. It is an important part of who I am.

            This morning, I’m trying to decide if keeping quiet is the wiser course of action. It goes against everything I believe. But it is also a matter of realizing that not everything is mine to fix. And sometimes, it isn’t easy my place – or I’m not sure that it is. Relationship dynamics can be weird. Still, at the end of the day, I think it’s important for those we love to know that a) we love them and b) they’re not alone. Knowing that someone has your back, knowing that someone loves you and is just there – it makes all the difference in the world. And the truth is, if I love you, I’m always in your corner. I’m always here.

            So, maybe, it’s not a matter of finding the right words, per se. Maybe it is merely a matter of letting someone know they’re loved. Something as simple as, “I love you. I’m here.” Because there are times where you really can’t do anything. But that? That reassurance? It can change the tide. It can turn the tables. I’ve said it before, that something as simple as “I love you. I’m here.” is powerful. And you can bet your heart that I believe the hell out of that.

            If you’re having a bad day, a bad week, a bad whatever – I love you. I’m here. Whatever you need, whenever you need it. Lean on me. I’m stronger than I look, darlings. And if you don’t know that by now, darlings, you’re not looking at me hard enough.



April 4, 2014 Leave a comment

I am more balance than burn,
less flame than air, and yet
my heart triumphs like a well-spread
rumor, living for the secrets it keeps
better than it keeps itself.

Have you ever counted out
the things you do not say? Have you tried
to weigh them against reality, desire
peeking out from behind patience,
fingers wrapped around
love like the hilt of a knife?

I am more heart than mind,
less earth than water, a gift
that gives until it gives out,
an echo throwing itself into the dark.
Challenge it.
Challenge me.
Challenge everything.

This is what I do not say:
A single word shaped
into a single weapon. I say
nothing. This is not my war,
and yet –
I want it to be.

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