stories and ideas

Everything, everything, everything comes back to the stories we tell and the ideas bound up in them, this constant riot of interactive expression that encompasses and shapes who we are. At the heart of all communication: the exchange of ideas, the trading of perceptions. The bigger the idea, the harder it becomes to make ourselves known.

At the heart of all storytelling, the desire to express who we are, who we were, who we might be. Personal and universal fear and truths, the ideas that drive and define us.

We’re all just a collection of stories and ideas, rippling through pages of thought and hope, looking for the connections that make us real.

and then.

in the quick flip quiet slip
of fingers tracing lines
of poetry

he asks me:

are you looking for anything
in particular?

I’m looking for everything,
I tell him

and he smiles.

sunblissed solace and
words on pages
prayers and promises

and the places they take us

things that are broken
and things that have opened

and the sometime stirring
of lingering maybes

where hope was swallowed
silent, in the unexpected

press of yes, of you,

sudden, consumed.

so, anyway.

You are razorblades and hope

And I am thin-skinned truths,
dwelling too close to the surface,
everything and nothing
anybody wants:

the loudest quiet
teacup tempest
reigning unrestrained
raging temptress

howling mayhem
unchecked and uncontained
feigned indifference,
unbidden, indiscriminate.

You are all of the questions,
and I am none of the answers.

I am the current rushing,
unruly ideas,
impossible.

You are sense and I am
incomprehensible,
unexpected, unbearable

You are thought
and I am action, reaction
swirling disorder and disarray

You are the push
and I am the edge

You are here
and I am now

the quicksilver flash
of hope

and razorblades.

there and back again

I’ve had a hard time keeping my head above water for much of 2013, which meant I was off radar and out of touch for a lot of people who are dear to me.

This was the year I lost the plot, lost the map, lost my sense of self. Again. I fell down a lot. I learned more about what I don’t want than what I do want. I guess all of those things are necessary sometimes, but it really wasn’t fun.

I took on challenges I wasn’t ready for, with predictably disastrous results. (No, but seriously. Beginning the year with intensive academic demands while simultaneously going off medication that dramatically alters my brain chemistry seemed like a great idea at the time.)

I decided to try out something more than a wild romantic fling for the first time since my marriage ended. Aaaaaaand I sabotaged the whole endeavour by choosing to fall for the least suitable, least available, most awfully wrong choice I could find. But y’know, at least failing on purpose means I’m still in control. And there was some spectacular adventure involved. No. I probably still won’t tell you about it, unless you get me really, really drunk.

2013 saw me confronting the multitude of ways I fail, or intentionally subvert my path to avoid the things that scare me … even when they’re things I want. It was hard and ugly and lonely and it was the year I created for myself.

But I still managed to do some really amazing things this year. I landed myself in the writing program of my choice and I loved and hated and aced the first term. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and pushed me in every direction out of my comfort zone. I still have no idea where I’m going. But I feel like I’m probably going to be equipped to make it somewhere. Maybe. Which is about as decisive as I feel safe being for now. It’s progress, right?

And while a lot of it was lonely, some really important people walked into my life this year as well. People I’ve laughed with, learned from, and fallen a little in love with. I’m so grateful for all of the gifts they brought with them, grateful for the continued kinship of everyone dear to my heart. More convinced than ever that the most important thing we can do is build and foster community around us.

So that’s what I’m inviting into my world for 2014: Less fear. More community. Connections that spread in tendrils of wonderful, unexpected things. Love and hope and wonder and growth. More art, more laughter, more trust. Just … more.

Bring it on.

every new beginning …

End of term is closing in and I’m freaking out. I thought I was freaking out because end of term means an avalanche of deadlines and crucial assignments and being judged and what if I fail because really I probably deserve to, right?! (Never mind that my current average means there is no way I could possibly fail anything.)

It hit me today that I’m freaking out because end of term means end of term. Over. Complete. And … I did it. And I did it means I’m capable of more. I’m freaking out because … success. Success is just as scary as failure. I don’t know if I can handle it. I’m pretty sure I can’t live up to it. Maybe I could just hide now?

Also problematic, end of term means finally processing the massive shift in self-concept that may or may not have taken place over the last three months. I don’t know. Three months is just not a lot of time to have your whole entire sense of self turned inside out, y’know?

And it tweaks my C.D.O. to lose a routine I’ve grown comfortable with. Don’t get me wrong — I’m looking forward to the time to read what I want, write what I want, and do what I want. And catching up on housework will be a huge relief. (Speaking of things that tweak the C.D.O.) But … I’m going to feel a little bit lost and a whole lot shell-shocked when the doors close behind us on that last day.

And finally, that. Right there. That “us“. This group has become an us, and there are relationships that have claimed space in my world.

Which fact is the weirdest and scariest of all.

So, yah. School is doing its job, I guess?

because, too

Steady me.

I am nothing less
than precarious

stretched

whirling dizzy
high beam faltering
high wire suspended
and the snake

pit

beckons.

fallout
falls in

dropping echoes

they conjure the slow pitch rhythm
of your broken

hello

and it steadies me.

by inches, forward

It’s all a muddle. I want to tell you about before. I want to show you now. I want to explain the way it all comes together. But. The rush of sense, ungoverned doesn’t translate and my vocabulary stretches to encompass a thousand ways of knowing. Truth and stories live in every gesture, gifts of breath and blood and secrets colliding.

Gather me, scatter me, undone and unbecoming, yet. Becoming. This very moment, everything. And nothing.

Begin with careless heed to know and then, begin again. It’s always and never the same, so. It goes. By inches, forward, and I wander through, now.

And before:

Thoughtfish won’t swim. Resistance to offend, reluctance to reveal. Mind slides elsewhere, anywhere but the places I want to explore. I can submit to anything aside from myself, it seems.

Meanwhile, universe continues in elaborate efforts to make some point I am steadfastly refusing to grasp. I die a thousand little deaths

reincarnate as myself again

and again,

too obstinate even, to consider alternatives.

a whispered chant of galaxies’ notions

the lingering ache of things that didn’t ever fit

roles cast thoughtless and cast-offs

scattered heedless, lines

cast regardless,

Thoughtfish dart, reckless.