Twisted sheets, mind on stutter
Unable to sort through this midnight clutter
Put it away for tomorrow
But what to do with my gnawing sorrow?
I circle soft blue on color book pages
Hoping the repetition eventually assuages
The raw edged reality of lonely dark hours
Filling the void with Crayola flowers
I paint by candlelight
Soft glow on even softer strokes
Bringing me to a time when softness was all I knew
Sitting before a blank canvas, the rhythmic breathing before giving birth
I have not been blessed with such creation but as a woman, I know
Creamy edges twist pictures, a kaleidoscope of color
High mountain mothers with cool, starlit-sparkle brooks flowing
Gray wolves howling from their peaks
Sweep across this space in deep green wonder
Blazing, heart-of-fire crimson sunsets
Rich and brilliant, coming to bright life in the darkness
Then fading into shadowy white pull of half-moon silver
Charcoal, violet, deepest black
Ink stains across a lonely sky
My heart beat stutters in memory
Trembling hands pull the flame closer in hopes to bring warmth
For shades of winter glaze my vision over with ice, with cold
Spectacular cyclic formations stabbing through the tendons of my fingertips
The chill a stark reminder that I paint like Hel
Half in darkness
Half in light
Like most writers, I like to think that I know everything there is to know about the relationships between people and the way they interact when, like most writers, I just make it up and really know nothing about the way it actually works.
We always want to show the characters that we create as completely independent entities but we can never create someone who isn’t inherently us, or a version of someone that we know. I cannot write a heartfelt male that doesn’t struggle with his own morality or fear or self-doubt because that is what I know; it’s who I am, and it’s who my characters always emulate. My own worst enemy and my greatest companion.
I watched my mother chase after my father for 24 or so years. All she wanted was his love. His attention. She just wanted to be his friend. And I watched my father grow more distant with every “Please,” more interested in his hobbies or his career. In himself. But she never stopped, and I don’t think she ever would have if he hadn’t found in someone else what my mom was looking for him to find in her.
These are the people who taught me my first lessons about love. They showed me that love is not give-and-take, not a two-way street and never equal. Love is an unbalanced scale, a one-way lane, where one person gives everything while someone else takes even more.
And, try as we might, we all become our parents. My relationships are one twisted form of this or the other. Trying too hard to win the affection of someone who takes or selfishly ignoring the adoration of someone who gives.
I don’t know how to tell the truth. I have grown up hearing that honesty is the best policy and that lies are the Devil’s gate inside, but people have never truly shown me what it is to tell the truth. My father never once, in all those years, said “I am not happy.” Instead, he showed me how to repress. To push the truth down and cover it over with gravel and cement. A foundation built on un-truth is a foundation built on lies. My mother never told me that she was unhappy with herself, insecure and depressed. Instead, it was all clichés and self-diluted hope through unexplained tears. Rose-colored glasses over watering eyes.
So now, I am able to see the beauty of the world in the mundane or the tragic, but I am also very untouched by it. I don’t know how to feel happy. I don’t know how to be angry. I don’t know how to grieve. I don’t know how to ask for help when I need it because I almost never know when I need it. I spend my time telling myself that everything is alright and it is just my perspective that is flawed.
I am bound by my fears. My mother left my father to try and start a new life for herself. My father left my mother and did start a new life for himself. But my mother hasn’t found anyone else and my father is miserable. One made no decision and the other decided and went for it and neither one have found any more happiness than they had when they were miserable. I don’t see how I can avoid that fate. So I continue to make choices (or make none) that leave me continually unhappy.
I have a daughter that I cannot have. She lives on the other side of the country with her mommy and a man who is not her father but is her daddy. While here, on my side of the country, I am daddy to a little girl who is not my daughter. I love her but I resent her for something that she knows nothing about. And as much as I dream of being her daddy, I cannot commit to her for fear that I will leave her without me.
I am constantly plagued by my morality. I want to do things (or not do things), but the morals that were instilled tell me that those things are wrong (or that I need to do them whether I want to or not). So, I try to live piously, holding firm to the ideals that my heart was founded on, and fail. Because I am a human, and humans were beasts before they were civilized. I live a life that is torn, tortured by wants and desires and captive to what is right. It has made me cynical, and I doubt very much that it is possible to exist happily as an optimistic cynic.
I know it sounds like I am trying to blame my parents for the way that I have turned out, and by rites, I guess I am. At the same time, I haven’t mentioned any of the things that make me, in spite of all of this, a pretty great person. But those aren’t the things that I have qualms with right now…
I am uneasy with what I know. And even more-so with what I do not. Knowing may be half the battle, but not knowing how to win is the harder half…
Sit with me in silence.
Hold my hand with the hand
Of your mind.
I'll be your shadow; you be mine.
We'll rest in two dimensions.
Watch ourselves in 3D.
Safe in the warmth of
Our common intentions. A womb,
A room for you and me.
Let's communicate like mountains;
Be like solid, silent giants.
Sit with me in silence.
A river dug into purest stone after
Uncountable years reflecting
Sunlight, moonlight, stars and blue
Skies unrejecting. Dark clouds too,
In some divine alliance.
And deep within it's deepest deep,
Two single, uncut diamonds.
Until we're ground to grains of sand,
Sit with me in silence.
Lay me out half naked
Cells truly see-through show a different shade
When they sizzle
Soaking up the great Ra
Thirsty for Atum's kiss
Teasing the just-below-the-surface urge to start running
I'll pick up like my Romani ancestors
Follow the warmth that ensures
Tomorrow will be ever sunny
I may have been born mid-winter
But I hope I always crave the sea
Eyes frostbitten blue before turning to whiskey amber
Breaking free under full moon silver
Still dreaming of my mother's ocean
Knowing that it swells inside of me
Fading slowly into Fall's fantastic wardrobe
Of chill kissed edges
Burgundy so rich you can drink of it deeply
Flaming orange who's heat you can still feel
Corn stalks as high as my daddy's shoulder
Who's height I crooked neck at to gain eye contact as a child
They sway gentle in late August breezes
I dance to the melody of their ripe harvest call
Apples hang heavy on juice laden branches
September slides down my chin like July watermelon
Both leave a 6-year-old's grin
And the knowing that soon all will be sleeping
Naked at midnight in January
Frost forming on lit windows
I wish I too could hibernate
Age old age old the golden rule is true
However I would alter it a little
To say "Do better unto others than they unto you"
You may find that you will be taken advantage
Used and abused
Do not let this bruise your spirit
For it is not only hope but you that you will lose
I have always been a giver, a maker, a wisher
Spilling out golden sunshine where ever I go
Lucky in love, zesty with life
I wear my happiness like a coat of rainbows
That's not to say I have not had my days
Where clouds threaten to smother
I just blow them away with what wind I have saved
Hopeful tomorrow will not see their cover