Wednesday, July 19, 2017

epic expectations

"but no, don't you ever do anything small?"
he says to me, and yes! i think of the in-between,
the chapter-fillers, the details that make the reader
bond with the character, see something familiar in her, 
want her to succeed...
but i'm still waiting for my plot twist, the reveal, 
the deep love, the climax, the moral, the resolution 
of the pain and conflict and darkness...
but no, it's only me, making tea, sending a letter,
looking for work, reading too many books.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


there might be a point at which a heart has nothing left to break
a fragile feeling, being made of crystal that used to sing
but only if touched gently and consistently...
i told her my heart had finally been broken too many times-
that truth resonated and filled what is left of me but didn't hurt
the world has too much suffering to be saved from human disrespect
the last seed of hope was crushed in someone's teeth instead of planted
the phoenix turned out to be a plain grey bird up close
there is no return or repair or revolution
only walking resolutely forward into the smoldering fire
anticipating pain, hoping for empty darkness at the end

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

knowing that you're loved no matter what

i find myself in time
don't worry, don't fall, go on
everything will come around
singing old songs with those words
and as my voice soars i remember the
acoustics in my mother's house
and how she loved to hear me sing so much
and tears crash my voice
we never agreed
but she loved my voice unreasonably
i haven't sung for anyone else in so long
my stereo sings and i echo
the comfort of sorrow
the familiarity of grief
i forgot
to tell you
i love you
i carry your home with me
when i sing, i sing for you
maybe you can hear

the smell of hawthorne

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"today is the day" - Poe

Rule 35, ostensibly from Shams: "In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insan-i Kâmil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief."

And from Rumi: "Things become manifest through opposites Since God has no opposite, He remains hidden."

And Hafiz: ' Who can believe the divine kindness of God? Who can comprehend what happens when Separation ends? For now, Because of my union with Reality, Now, Whenever I hear a story of one of His prophets Having come into this world, I know I was a tree that stood near, Leaned down and took notes. I know I was the earth that measured the infinite Arch in His feet. I know I was the water, I know I was the food and water that nourished Him--- That went into our Beloved's mouth. Pilgrim, If it is your wish, you will someday see You sat inside of Hafiz And it was with the lyre you gave me We sang of truth and the sublime intimacy: "I know I was the water That quenched the Christ's thirst. I know I Am the food and water that goes Into every Mouth." '

Sunday, April 23, 2017

these are not my demons

There are more ghosts with me these days.
When I was 19, I had only two. And those were quiet, just grief and ancestral insistence. Now there are three more. One is quiet, and gave me a hug once when I needed it. One is cold and far away, but constant, like starlight. One I thought was gone, but feels as if it has claws, and blood, and strings tied to me it can pull.
I don't know how to get rid of the demons that haunted that soul, who now seem to want to stay with me.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

pendulum calendar

This is how the year feels.
January is when my second mom was born.
                                                                        February is when my two cousins were born.
April is when my mom died. And when Grampa was born.
                                                                        May is when a sister was born. And a nephew.
                                                                        June is when a sister was born. And a niece.
July is when my second mom died. And when my mom was born.
                                                                        July is when a sister was born.
                                                                        August is when a sister was born.
September is when my Gramma died. And when my father was born, apparently.
October is when my Grampa died. And when my Gramma was born.

It makes sense why people have children.
It changes the calendar.
Trying to remain in the black with your grief:joy ratio.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


sitting safe
sipping wine
reading philosophy
i feel the world spin
i feel my heartbeat in each fingertip
this too shall pass

Friday, April 14, 2017


this is the first time i've intentionally drunk a bottle of wine by myself in a year.
because, mostly anyway, today i read about bombing syria (and missing) and killing civilians, again, bombing afghanistan with the largest bomb in existence that hasn't been used before, with who knows what implications, and threatening N korea knowing S korea would simply be sacrificed if something started... imagining the sweet family who got momentarily famous a few weeks ago who lives there, and an ex that lived in guam with the navy for a while...
the alcohol relaxes my restraints on emotions and thoughts.
i think about teaching meditation, and how maybe that's all i can do. if i can.
i imagine a job where i am allowed to do what i believe in, but am quite uncertain that is possible.
i feel the loss of my mom, my second mom, my two grandparents i loved so much. and the fact that i've been easy to leave since my dad wanted nothing to do with me since before i was born. i want guidance. reassurance. to not feel alone right now when another world war seems imminent. because of "us".
i am quite certain that i have missed my chance at love and a family. and i wonder what will be fulfilling in its place, if the world ends (for humans) or if it doesn't, and if i am an irredeemable failure already.
and i text my best friend who's on an island.
i talk to my best friend upstairs.
i write to myself here.
i compose in my head the (sober) letter i'll write in the morning to my best friend in santa fe.
i remember my other sister is skiing this week.
i wish the things i love were easier for me to hold onto.
and then. i really do love a good corsican rosé. minerals, astringent fruit, and crisp florals.
maybe if the world does end soon, i'll become a sommelier.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It's almost comedy how, after years of meditation, I can simultaneously notice, allow, understand, and be annoyed by my mind avoiding something unpleasant.

Today, like every day, I went in seeking truth. And also not really wanting to see it.

I am the blind men describing the elephant- except I have only blindfolded myself, and seem to sometimes intentionally fixate on the toenails or ribs of the elephant, rather than allowing myself to understand how each part makes up the whole of it.

my Work: my intention to relieve suffering - my refusal to submit to a system I despise: my Inaction.
my Love: my desire for relationship and connection - my repetition of past patterns: my Solitude.
my Home: my longing for belonging - my loves spread all over the world: my Restlessness.

Independence, Gaining Knowledge, and Relationship. These were the three things my mother helped me identify as my main motivators. I am persistent, enthusiastic, and love to teach. I've been told I am passionate, nurturing, and brightening.

I went in today seeking truth. Instead I saw how everything connected, I felt the skin all around the elephant, I felt my mind refuse to name it, refuse to take the blindfold off, and I turned away imagining a to-do list for my evening meeting.

I wonder when I will finally open my eyes. And what I will see.

Monday, February 20, 2017

life from death from life

So last autumn was rough. I fell through the net I'd incautiously woven. To a rough landing. But I landed.

Strangely, during a slow recovery and decision to try to live again, I found myself at a meditation retreat in October. This ended up being the place where I let myself go all the way through to the other side of suicide. I experienced the only birth I remember, without having to harm myself or anyone else to get there. After all the years of thinking about this and avoiding it, I was able to see my death, and my life, and return to my body in an entirely new way.
My first birth involved my cord around my neck, a noose made of my own cells and my mothers', the connection to my past and my life source that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, near to killing me because I didn't know how to remove it myself.
I sat in the loft of a barn. I sat with several others, many times over a few days. One afternoon, I became brave or reckless, and looked at my thoughts about wanting to leave the earth, wanting to leave my life, to leave my personality, and then, as follows, my body. And I wondered if one could choose to leave. And I wondered if one could choose the time. And I wondered if I chose right then what would occur.
And I saw it. My eyes closed, my breathing calm in meditation, my mind intense and focused on this line of questioning.
I saw my body suddenly crumple to the floor as my spirit rose above it.
At the exact moment I was overcome by a wave of love in my chest so strong I could only cry out in my mind "oh, love, no no no no no I'm so sorry I didn't mean it!" at my abandoned collection of cells, symbiotic bacteria, neurons, organs, suddenly left without animation, a doll tossed aside by an ungrateful child.
The wave of emotion was completely separate from my mind or thoughts, it was an instinct, exactly the same as if a close friend's child had suggested no one loved them or they deserved to be hurt, exactly the same as if my love had said someone had abused them, exactly the same as if I were my own mother, but still myself, and had heard my child, myself, say that life was not worth living, that I was so alone, that I never did anything right, that I was no good to anyone or anything.

And so it was that I learned what self-compassion felt like.
I will never be the same.
Thanks be to all that is good in the world.