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
of a life that goes on
We create our worlds using tools acquired from past and recurring experiences. If only we could clearly deconstruct them – lay out our actions, behaviors and beliefs as tangible objects on the floor – examine for flaws, cracks, wear and tear so that we might attempt to repair the damage. Which is a distraction from reality – the damage having already made a home for itself. The desire is not to fix the moments that lay in our wake but rather prevent new ones from formulating from the same faculties that have alluded us. It’s less about change, more about uncovering the mystery; what keeps us at arm’s length from full awareness, hazy and all too trusting of what is?
Leaves float softly to the ground,
and I stand there – ankles deep
in a puddle, the breeze wrapping
its arms around my waist –
wondering if it is you,
sending me leaves
placing pools of water in my
opening my tired eyes to the
moving world around me.
if it is you,
pulling strings over my head,
breathing gently in my direction –
and thank you.
I’m tangled in branches, coated in dirt, wrapped in leaves that embrace parts of me I cannot see. The far-off echo of birdsong guides me to clear waters in the dark dusk of early morning; before the sun’s rays have had the chance to dance quietly upon mountain ranges or reflect hues into deep oceans and traveling rivers. I hold still – listening for the wind to carry hope to me from somewhere I have not been.
Floorboards creak under my bare feet
Inviting the past to creep up through
The cracks and crevices
Running like veins through
tarnished oak, splintered
with stories of pitter and patter
Touching the soles of soul after soul
Some desperate for the foundation
To open wide and swallow them whole
Long panels meet cornered molding
For the first time
It would seem
Unclear as to who provides the adhesive
What can only be assumed to be
Longitude and latitude colliding
To form a perfect enclosure.
I will paint you with colors
you weren’t able to see yourself in.
For every chance you will never take,
I will leap with your bravery.
The center of your world
is unknown to me –
But I will navigate through the labyrinth
you built around your heart,
for as long as it takes.
Pain is universal, while also being so unique to a given cause. Emotional, mental, or physical. The pain we ourselves feel or the pain we feel for someone else. Being hit in the face or being told unkind words. Being betrayed or lied to, let down or disappointed. Our bodies bruise. Our hearts bruise. Our ego and our pride bruise. We try like hell to avoid it, yet are followed around all our lives by its unwanted shadow.
Some say the more often we feel it, the stronger we become. For most, pain is poison. It can weaken the soul if we let it, devour every muscle and bone, every fiber of our being until it consumes us. We can learn from pain, to never place our hand in the fire twice. But we are often foolish, either forgetting the sensation or attempting to feel the flame in a different way; always yielding the same result, always burning.
Pain evolves. It assumes a different form if you hold onto it for too long, taking on new shapes and tastes of constant acidic bitterness. Pain feeds on pain. It thrives on our need to cling to our daemons and dwell on our pasts. We carry our pain, lock it up in suitcases or wear it like a jacket. We might hide it under the bed or hang it up in the back of the closet, but whenever the time comes to move, be it onward or forward, we make sure to take it with us. It belongs to us. It becomes us. Taking up too much space to allow anything else in, it can become all we make room for.
The weight of our pain only gets heavier and harder to carry with time. We can choose to travel light. Rather than tucking our pain away, or giving it to others to deal with, we can unpack it. Take a good look at it and decide to take the lighter jacket instead. Leaving the pain behind, we just might find there is plenty more to keep us warm.