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.
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 rain is all but drizzling through me
in the same way your thoughts course
from your lips to my palms
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
land softly upon
the top of your head –
like freshly fallen
snow, on a dark
They are for you.
Reach out your
before they melt away
each with a
melting on the tip
of your nose.
Can you hear what
the cold air is saying?
secrets carried down
from clouds we cannot
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.
Most will accredit music as the moving force in all of us (except for maybe my big brother who will tell you he’d rather play the Batman movies in his head than any tune, melody or lyrical ensemble). In my personal experiences, music is what gets me from point a to point b; it’s a portal into myself that comforts, aids, heals, stirs and shakes, and in both simple and complex ways – makes the world make sense. We find identity in the genres and artists that we claim as “our” music. We either bop our heads to the songs on the radio, or discount them as repetitive and bland. We hear a new song and fall in love with it and want to share that feeling with the world, in hopes that we are able to connect to someone else through the emotion that was evoked within us.
Whether or not music simply does nothing for you, we all have a very personal connection to the nostalgia accompanied by a given sound. A line, a beat, or a specific song has the power to carry us to happy, sad, memorable or not so memorable moments in our lives that we shared with someone else. Any and every song by Van Morrison will always remind me of my dad making breakfast in the morning, the music moving through the entire house while everyone else is still sleeping. Hootie and the Blowfish songs that immediately take me to Wednesday nights out with my best friends in college, singing out the words at the top of our lungs over a pitcher of Shocktop. The soulful ballads of John Legend that evoke the long ago memory of love, loss and a broken heart. Music moves us. It guides us. It dwells inside of us, but no matter what – it connects us to each other.