Reconciliation to self.

My sister wrote this poem and sent it to me the other day, and it was so exactly right, so exactly how I am feeling. I haven’t had the will or the strength to come up with my own words lately, but hers have filled my heart and spoken for me. I am learning how to hold the good and the bad, the light and the dark, because as long as we are in this world we will have both. We will live through both. Life is learning how to live in the tension. Learning how to choose good, to choose the light, and learning to forgive ourselves when we don’t. Learning to forgive the people we love when they don’t. And learning through all of it to remain rooted and grounded in love.

 

I promise to go away

I promise we will travel and see all the places we said we would

And we won’t wait, we’ll do it now.

I’m sorry we failed, I’m sorry we feel

Like it is not enough

To just lie on the couch and think about life

Because life doesn’t look like something we planned on

We will drink more cups of tea and less alcohol

We will hug more friends

And less boys who say they like to be with us

I like to be with us

I like to be at home

All alone,

Because I never feel lonely when I am at peace with what I choose to be.

I am sorry to my stomach for treating it like steel and

Sorry to my heart for pretending it was immune from feeling

And I’m sorry to my friends for the lies I’ve told them about where I’ve been

It is so isolating to hurt on the inside

Without being able to get the true words out from inside my mouth.

In my head I am trapped

But it will not be forever

I believe there is forgiveness and a bridge to walk over

To a field where there is peace

And freedom for the past

I have a friend there

He doesn’t need me to speak

He knows

And he felt the ache in my stomach

And the cold bathroom floor

I can feel he is with me

And I will meet him there

 

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A Moment

My life is quite full at the moment, but here is part of poem from Thich Nhat Hanh that spoke to me this morning. Take a moment to breathe and be and meditate on love and compassion.

 

The only thing worthy of you is compassion-

invincible, limitless, unconditional.

Hatred will never let you face

the beast in man.

 

One day, when you face this beast alone,

with your courage intact,

your eyes kind,

untroubled

(even as no one sees them)

out of your smile

will bloom a flower.

And those who love you

will behold you

across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

 

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2016

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I can’t remember what words I’m supposed to use to talk about the past. I can’t remember words about my heart. I can’t remember words about how I feel when I go somewhere new. But let’s try for a moment to remember. This year was more than I ever thought a year could be. I didn’t know I could fit so many different moments inside my body. I live in New York now, but really I could be anywhere. I feel like I am everywhere. Because this year I went everywhere, always always always waiting to come home, and that’s when I found home in my own skin.

The first day of the year started in London with old magic that was wearing out, but the second day I went to Paris for the first time where I found new magic and I moved forward. For real this time. And the year went on like that tired and awake and always moving forward.

I turned 25 and my 25th country was a mountain

I wrote and I wrote and I wrote and I told no one

I got angry in the most righteous way

I burned bridges in the way I do, smiling and praying and filled with peace

I ended a whole life, an entire version of myself ceased to exist

I was brave in the exact way I wanted to be and it broke my heart

I fell in love with the sweetest regret

I didn’t regret it, not a single thing

I moved so many times, carrying everything on my back

I ended up in a city I never wanted to be in but it is exactly where I want to be

I lost people to the wind and I breathe them in every second of every day

I fell to pieces on the bathroom floor on Monday and picked myself up again on Tuesday

I carried on that way for several weeks

I blew over the last cardboard walls of false belief

I turned into love, more and more I turned into love

I held more secrets than usual

I opened my heart more than usual

I was brave and broken and brave again

I am in awe of my heart. How much it let in. How much it let go. How much it changed. This year was hard, ok? And next year will be hard. But it will also be good.

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Photos by my magic friend, Crystal Anne

A Poem for Your Tuesday

The Close

For these are the things
that flow from your heart,
almighty mind.
Crumbled walls of splintered hands
broken by children riding bicycles,
and you are there
bound in the winding vines
of your jungle.
Speak, rose, of your thorns
and also of your color.
You have listened and so learned.
You know now what to say.
Your heart is not defined
by your face.
You are not symmetrical.
You are skinned knees,
for open wounds can let in light.
You have loved the wrong thing
and he has taught you
that there are worse things
than being crushed.
Begin now, to understand
that you are a mountain
covered in the expectations
of well-meaning daffodils.
See that they are beautiful,
but don’t listen to their words.
Don’t blame them either.
He was never wild.
He was only a small grey stone
for you to use
to shatter the glass around heart.
Break free, dear heart.
You will be a mountain that moves.

 

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Some days are hard

I say a bad word in this post… You’ve been warned.

“For the ones who are told only to speak when they are spoken to and then are never spoken to.” -Anis Mojgani

I have yet to decide what this post is about. I just need to write, so here I am. There is something that I want to say, but I’m not sure what it is. So, I’m going to list (my favorite pastime) some things that this post is not about. Press play on this spotify playlist, and I hope by the end you feel less alone than you did before.

 

What This Post Is Not About

-It’s not about how my grad school applications are in and the deadlines have passed and all I can do is wait and wait and feel inadequate and wait.

-It’s not about how seemingly everyone I know is getting married or engaged or acquiring a boyfriend and the only boys who are interested in me are the homeless men on Marta and even though I’m a feminist to the core I can’t help but have moments where I feel like I’m not good enough.

-It’s not about how it has been 2 years and 3 months since I’ve been overseas which is the longest I have gone without traveling out of the country since I was 13 years old and I feel like I cannot breathe this Georgia air one minute longer.

-It’s not about how Syria won’t leave my thoughts or my heart and I find myself standing in the grocery store trying to decide on which almond milk to get and I hate how much food I have to eat.

-It’s not about how “Facebook strait up ruins lives” (that’s a sister quote) and social media is the worst… I say as I type on my blog

-It’s not about how fall makes me feel dead and alive all at the same time.

-It’s not about how I just want to sit down and write a poem or a story, but my inspiration is dwindling and I worry I’m running out of things to say.

-It’s not about how the guys sitting at the table next to me in this coffee shop are playing chess.

-It’s not about how beautiful Atlanta has been to me lately.

-It’s not about how hard today was even though there was nothing in it to make it so.

-It’s not about all the feelings I have bursting from the tips of my fingers and top of my head and breaking through my rib cage and exploding from every part of my body except for the one place it would be useful: my mouth.

It’s not about any of those things (except by listing those, I made it about them). But really it’s not, I promise. I’m writing in spite of those things. I’m writing about hope and peace and being ok in this moment in this body in this place. Because it’s really hard sometimes, and I know I’m not alone in this. Things are hard for really dumb reasons. Life is heavy and you can’t articulate why, but that’s ok. Here’s what I want to say. Shake the dust. When you make a zero on your Spanish quiz because, well, senioritis, shake the dust. When you can’t walk into Walmart without thinking about orphans, shake the dust. When you get tired of going on adventures by yourself, shake the dust. When every photo or mirror makes you feel ugly and hungry and tired, shake the fucking dust. When seeing airplanes flying over your head makes you cry, shake the dust. When you’re tired of driving and thinking and walking and thinking and sitting and thinking, shake the dust. When the future is terrifying and you’re tired of explaining why you don’t have a “real” job or a boyfriend or any idea what you’re doing with your life, shake the dust. Why do we hold on to it? Why do we let it sift down into our souls and pollute the way we breathe? Why do we cling to our human hearts no matter how black and cracked they are? We are so free. The heavy things are always going to be heavy, but we are not. We are full of light. But it’s the dust we hold on to. We could brush it off so easily, but we let it gather and block out every good thing. Hope lies behind the dust. And it’s time to let the hope in. Do you realize that these walls surrounding your spirit are simply walls of dust? You thought it was stone, didn’t you? So did I. It’s not. The stones broke and crumbled such a long time ago. This is what is left. See it for what it is. Call it by its name. Dust. Blow it away. Brush it off. Shake the dust. Let love come in like the wind and stay like the air we breathe.

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Thank you Anis Mojgani for the inspiration.