Holes

I wonder if I am just finding myself in the same cycles of life. Each chapter feels new and different – but as things ramp up, it all starts to feel too familiar. When repetition faces us, we wish we could identify the underlying theme; our instinct being of course to go straight to the source – the commonality being ourselves. I must be the problem, the reason things go down the same path. The dirt under my feet remains the same – even if the scenery around me changes. Here I am again, lost in my emotions, unsure if I am doing what is truly best for me for the long haul, or just appeasing myself in the right now. Is this what people mean when they tell you ‘live in the moment’? I feel like I am doing it wrong. I feel like I know what I should want but can never quite get my hands on it.
There is this hole inside of me that nothing will ever be able to fill. I think I was born with it. I think it is meant to be there forever. I think it has become a part of me, a recognizable feature, something I would feel empty without.

My hole makes me whole.

It keeps me searching, asking questions, my eyes inward rather than focused on the chaos around me that I cannot change.

I used to wonder if other people had holes like mine. My concern used to be with if I was alone in feeling this way. I don’t wonder that anymore. I could not care less if I am alone, because I have grown comfortable with feeling that way.

My alone. My hole. My wholeness.

It has nothing to do with anyone else. There is nothing anyone can do – no matter how deeply they love me (or think that they love me) – that part of me is out of reach to anyone, everyone, all others that cannot see me. It makes me wonder if I am ever meant to be truly seen. We all just want to be understood by someone else in this world. Some might even say they want to be accepted. I don’t think I care so much for others accepting me – but being understood…that is something I think we would all like very much to experience.

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Treaded

i cry for answers

silently from the tops of mountains

snow-capped and untouched

the future – snow-capped and untouched

– feels as if it is being treaded upon

heavy boots printing patterns

across yet-to-be-defined paths

open and vast

stretches of something

far away

i cry for anything

but my cries are lost

in a vast something, which was

once snow-capped and untouched.

A Natural State

An acquaintance with nature and the outside world is something so easily taken for granted. Surrounded by trees towering at seemingly boundless heights, I am reminded of my childhood and the time I spent every moment possible exploring the natural world. There is still so much of that in me now. Where I once found imagination and playful adventure, I now discover peace and wonder at the world around me that simply exists, without the tampering or meddling of the many chaotic complexities we apply to our lives. A kind of worship unfolds under the canopies of trees, on the shores of lakes and oceans, in the quiet of a meadow hidden away – far from the constructed noise that surrounds us day in and day out.

I feel an immense gratitude for simplicity; for the gift of being able to step outside my thoughts, the loudness of worry, insecurity, uncertainty – and just be. There is no room for judgement here, just the open arms of the breeze, the sun coming up over the mountains, sweet songs of birds echoing from all directions. A part of me comes from this place, is born here and desires to surrender for however long I’m welcome.

The After

Someday –

I will find you here, in the place where
you now stay and will remain forever.

The after, and the before.
the accessible and the invisible.
You appear to me
and I am reminded that you
are a figment of my heart
willing your presence to be
as tangible as you always were.

This is the after.
I’ve yet to become acquainted with it,
still feeling the vacancy
of the before.
The place I can never again visit.
I will not find you there
no matter how desperately I long to.

I would like to stay awhile in
the memory of you.
So that I might take with me
all we once were able to see
in that place.
You’re here now,
but I think I choose not to see you.

My heart breaks a thousand times
in just one moment spent
here – in the after.
You have moved on.
I am struggling to join you.
You have departed this world,
and yet it is me who feels like a ghost
unable to embrace
the reality
of a life that goes on
after you.

To Know You

Your eyes sweep impatiently
across my face,
as if you are searching
for me in my features –
hoping that the curve
of my cheek will open a
door into the past, telling
of pain I have endured.
The pink in my lips may
betray me, showing you
all the words I dare not
speak, but wish to hear
out loud. Studying shadows
that linger beneath my
eyes – eyes that are
staring straight back to
you, working tirelessly to
not be found out, by a
swift blink or downward
glance.
I feel you not speaking –
fearful, perhaps, of
missing a moment when
the light may fall upon
my lashes, communicating
all the ways the world
has left them damp or
rubbed raw.
I do not ask you what
you are thinking
I too am searching –
waiting. For any sign
that you want me to
know you,
the way you are endeavoring
to know me.
Faces turned inward,
cascades of silence
flow through gazes
speaking volumes of love;
deafeningly loud and impossibly
clear.

Soaked in Sorrow

Moments encroach upon us in which the peace slips away. Just as swiftly as the quiet engulfed the senses – like a rush of fresh, crisp air – it escapes our consciousness, leaving behind the stale shadows that follow us around so adamantly.

These bouts of lament are not welcome, yet are ever so comfortable to sit with – like a loyal old friend. As if this is the state in which we were born; aching to the core, soaked in sorrow, drifting in and out of contentment like a dream we are unsure we have woken from.

Moments pass, and we are again consumed by a sense of serenity as the calm returns and the sorrow sleeps for a spell. We can only hope the darkness will keep away for just one moment more than it chose to stay. Standing still, we watch as the moments swirl around us, the coming and going of shadows and peace – passing before our sleepy eyes.

Something That’s Got to Be Remembered

November 1, 2017

Dear Papa,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I want to be remembered. Not just after death, but most importantly in life.

I miss Auntie Julia more than my heart will ever be able to comprehend. But I am comforted knowing how deeply I loved her, and the way in which she loved me back. Her spirit was with her, out in the world for all to see each and every day of her life. What I remember of her in passing is what I remember of her in her days on this earth. Her legacy was a living one.

There is a quote I wrote down years ago and recently came across: “Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Something we were born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be taught to you or learned. Something that’s got to be remembered.”

How are you remembered, Papa? What is it you were born with that is your truth, that you live everyday? I’m thinking it is important to reflect on this about ourselves but also those we share our lives with. What is the point in waiting until someone is gone to start remembering them? I want to be remembered always, and I think we all do.

I remember you almost everyday. I think of you, and my love for you and all the wonderful things you’ve experienced in your journey. Your stories breathe life of travel, family, love, bravery, loss. These stories are the narratives of our lives, they shape us along the way, molding the clay of the “something” we came into this world carrying in our hearts.

Loss has shown me a lot about the world, and the world has shown me a lot of loss. Grief can be both overwhelming and clarifying. It forces you to let everything else fade and fall away, to see what is in front of you and toss aside the crap that is nothing more than distraction. If only we could experience our lives this way without having to stare into the face of loss. But then we would not be human. Time will take its course soon enough, and our hearts will not forget, but they will heal. My heart is forever changed, but I carry with me the clarity and love and the something special I came into my life with – whatever that may be.

As always, you are so very loved and thought of – missed and remembered.

I love you.