REPORT A PROBLEM
Driving into further developed spring
past the stairways of giants
all covered in green velvet.
Hills like the heads of old women with thinning hair
and gently fainting clouds.
Four different states today in a mad dash
not counting the one where I began.
I am such a flatlander.
I look to the horizon
and find it is too high. I am in a land bowl.
My eyes are constantly tracking
patchwork tree patterns,
intricate designs on the rock walls,
a multitude of signs spread for miles
the same messages with
slightly altered language.
Expressways are good for glimpses but
there is no truth here.
I always feel lost at this point of a journey. I am miles and hours from home and only slightly less miles and hours from my destination. I woke up in an unfamiliar room today, already further south than I have ever been before.
First thing, I check on the car. Some people on the second level were watching us rather closely as we unloaded last night and I found a mistrust in me insisting on vigilance. I do not know these people but I still wish I hadn't worried.
The point of travel is to see and experience, welcoming.
There is a shark
in my ocean dreams- a distorted shadow shape
circling and darting
wide then thin
twisting and gliding.
I feared attack in the sea,
stingrays and man-o-war.
“Someone was bitten at that beach last week.”
“You are more likely to be struck by lightening twice.” he tells me in response.
When the shadow comes
I feel frozen
yet boiling with fear.
I flail and yelp
as I realize the pointlessness of both.
A glance above just before I fall from terror
and I see the kite.
I wake aimless today. We had possible plans that we know can't happen and no idea what can. Our perfect hosts (are there any better than grandparents?) provide us with breakfast and a destination. We will go see the wounded manatees. We will watch them eat from the hands of those dedicating themselves, all volunteers, to the healing of these beautifully gentle giants.
I see in their faces and hear in their voices the love they have for their charges, the passion they have for protecting those that need it for life and making the water safer for the rest.
Where does it begin and end? My voice is the shadow of the thousands that come before and after. My thoughts are brought by the variation man in my head and the one in his. Who's variation man am I? Infinitely within and without, a mirror reflecting itself as far as the eye can see and further. Where does the buck stop? If I misbehave, which of us will stand on trial?
If I am an endless compilation of events and hidden code, how can I ever expect to explain myself to you so that it's true, so you understand?
One hour of sitting and creeping. By rights, we should be 70 miles from here, with different trees, other rock walls. Inexplicable Kentucky jam. Frustration builds from an unfulfilled need for rushing wind, watching the gas gage sink, the warning light alert and no end in sight to the incessant waiting.
Even the semi sounds exasperated, startling me with its annoyed exhale. Annoyance offers invitation to other unhappy thoughts, a chorus of worry held silent by awe. They party loudly against the overcast sky, demanding attention.
I expect the reason, once finally revealed, to be on par with this irritation.
I think there is in each of us, even the most self-proclaimed passive, the instinct for battle. Someone presses themselves a little too hard on our existence and we flare up and prepare to defend what is ours at any cost. The ancient, bloodthirsty component of our hidden selves is awake and insists that something be done to correct this injustice. We must have revenge. We must return that individuals gift of pain with extra.
She has entered my field, my arena. I've chosen my weapon and wait for her to show her face.
I am confidant of victory.
He makes a picture that he wishes for me to immortalize in my own way.
I will paint it in the colors of a long vanished sea, glistening white grains of sand mixed with glinting clear salt crystals, blue and green echoes of the cool dried depths. I will form it in the clouds, colored with the heaviness of a thunderstorm, the rainbow and the sparkle of lightning.
Someday these pictures will come from the depths of you. The visions of others will give you the confidence you need to create something that is all your own. I eagerly wait.
The words will not come. I know what I want to say but the how is out of reach. I sit here and look at the white screen, black line blinking its accusations at me.
“You have nothing to say. You should just give up, go read your email. Who do you think you are, anyway? Why do you think anyone would want to read what you write?”
Some days these words pass with barely a thought and on others it takes everything out of me to get halfway there. Where is my mind today? Why can't I focus today?
I hate money. I hate the amount of my headspace that is devoted to it. I hate that I have to constantly worry about where it is, how much is there and where more of it will be coming from. I despise that the majority of my problems can be explained by a lack of it. I want to help people but I can't because of money. I would like to give my son at least half of what he asks for but can't, money. I want to practice making interesting and exotic foods but I can't because of money.
It rolls in before the storm- thunderous applause
a beat of the drum
Your house sits on a crowded hill
the trees stretch
crooked as lies
waving and creaking in a wind-swept frenzy
they beat against the house
a contrasting rhythm
chalk board screeching on
Cracked and peeling shutters
swing loosely against boards
green and black with mold
crooked as broken fingers
another piece of the house's shell
The sky shatters and beats the roof
on your house
freezing liquid pity.
She wakes to another cloudy sky, cold day. She thinks about coffee or tea and breakfast. She wonders how productive she'll be, what projects there are that need completing. She ponders the people she should call, friends she has been neglecting in her depression. Would it be worth it to spend time with them? Would they listen to her fears, her failures, her silly musings? Will they care?
She examines the blood spot on her finger from a piece of skin she removed. She's shedding her skin like it is the wall between her and happiness. She frowns, not today.
Dreams exchanged with
the speed of necessity.
Twin tales of
you sleep and
Pitch and ivory,
experience and memory,
mechanical and organic.
you create the world
in your head
I in mine.
Each of our tales
on the completion of
feed and love
breathe and pleasure-
There is no time except
Nothing is real but what is
and exchanged from
body to body-
belly to belly and
mind to mind.
We are everything here,
you and I.
I was watching. The slight rain spread over the pavement mixing with the oil on the pavement, creating rainbows. I was watching as you stepped in it, expecting the rainbow to be painted on the bottom of your shoes, to bleed up the sides and cover you in the shimmering color. I was watching as you stopped to look though I didn't know what you expected to see.
I stopped watching and that's when it happened. I felt the shatter before I heard it. The glass split into its thousands of pieces and I felt each line on my skin.
I hate it when an individual presents the frequency of something as some kind of justification of it, like I'm supposed to accept this thing just because so many people do it. It doesn't matter. Each of us is here to evolve into the best people we can. We make mistakes along the way. People in a position to influence us don't behave well. This does not mean we should follow their example. We need to be better than our base instincts. There are consequences for our misdeeds. Take responsibility for your mistakes and your purposeful wrongdoing. Learn from them.
This is a day of fear and it will not be the last, no matter how much he may want it to be. There are always reasons to be afraid. There as many reasons for fear as here are living beings on earth. Some people say that if you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention. I say if you are never afraid, you don't understand.
The point is not the fear we feel. It is how we process it. It's the things we allow the fear to do to us. It's what we allow the fear to make us do.
The colors appear with the light. They paint themselves across the sky, drama queens, attention whores and yet deserving of every moment. They welcome the sun to the sky while they greet you at the beginning of your day. Embrace them as you wipe the crusty bits of leftover sleep from the corners of your eyes. Let them speak to you for a time before you let the rest of the day intrude on this moment. Listen to the song they sing. Ponder on the things they tell you about patience, love, respect, honesty and perseverance. Then begin your day.
I can see you watching. I know you think the screen hides you. I wonder why you are so interested. What is it you expect to find? I think you are hoping for misery. You want to see me in the same pain as you. If you can't have that, maybe you are looking for my secret. You want to know the thing that allowed me to win the hidden contest. I'm sure you thought you had all the advantages.
You don't understand; his pity would never have gotten you anywhere. You can't make someone love you with your misery.
I already miss the dirty trees. I suppose the Spanish Moss can't live in the cold. I wish I could live in my big city and surround myself with trees draped in the stuff. I want to wake up in my cement and steel jungle to a little private jungle of my own. I want the chaos of various greens clashing and overlapping. I want trailing vines and large floppy leaves. I want trees and flowers that tower over my head. I want the sound of hidden birds and the rustle of sneaky snakes. I want this in my room.
Hundreds of little people as far as the eye can see. All of these little people are supposed to be learning but they just want to run and jump. Somehow, I'm supposed to possess the magic of control, where one word from my lips makes them obey, one look calms their nerves.
This is not what I wanted out of today. I long for thirsty-mouthed oblivion, a celebration of plant and fellow man. A chance to clear the mind and appreciate the taste of life. A time to watch the visions inside and forsake, for a time, everything else.
a jumble of voices in the rain,
the sky slowly falling
in its collapse
washing away the sediment of millions of
she will not tell me what she wants
she knows I will not listen
the wind howls with sympathy for
it understands a fixed state
but will still fight
to knock down the rigid
she watches and
tiny and beautiful
swaying in the storm
with the chaos
reveling in the change
I will always be here
singing into the sky
she is lost
Belinda is a practical girl. She doesn't believe in magic or mystery. She doesn't pay attention to anything not immediately proven useful. When the box shows up on her doorstep, she sets it in a hidden corner of her apartment to consider it. It is a wooden cube cut with sharp corners and covered with decorative gold foil. It sat there with a dark somewhat menacing air. She could tell it opened, she just didn't see any reason to do so. She finds it easy to ignore until one night she wakes to find her fingertips dancing over the surface.
I have an interest in my past. I think about the people and events in it. I wonder where they are now and what they're up to. The thing is, all I do is wonder. If there is a way for me to check in on them without making my presence known, I do so. I see no reason to have a reunion. I have changed a great deal since I knew most of them and have found that they can't handle the fact that they need to treat me differently. It gets awkward.
There is no point getting started.
I have heard of the ideal job. It's in a law firm. It is an unconventional office. They don't worry so much about dress codes. I can go in with my piercings proudly displayed. The pay has a potential to be good enough that there would be no reason for me to get a different job until after grad school. The only requirements are an ability to type and a comfort with technology; they are willing to teach me the rest. I can bring my son into the office or work from home.
If only they would call me back.
There's this girl. She's stuck in my system like a piece of grit and I haven't quite figured out how to flush her yet. I had an idea for a poem last night while I was brushing my teeth. It was going to be about her in a way that only she would recognize. I was going to post it on my site (that she stalks regularly). I went to bed even though I knew it would probably be lost by the time I woke up. I was tired.
Yeah, I've forgotten the details. I should have written it down.
She woke again to the face. It was the same face flashing in her mind as every other morning as long as she could remember. She didn't know who it was or where it came from. In her younger, flightier, silly with romantic thoughts days, she was sure this was an indication of some grand destiny. This man was someone she would meet and he would change her life forever. They would instantly recognize each other. Days, weeks, months and then years passed with no dramatic first encounter, not one sign.
Now she just wishes his face would go away.
The chaser has become the chasee. He realized this in the narrow light of the dawn and wondered how many other things would become their opposites. How many of these thing will there be for his viewing pleasure as soon and the light was strong enough for him to see? He wondered how long it could go on before some sort of stability was reached, if that was even possible for something so shift and fragile as a human being. He knows it is what they desperately need but fears they are doomed to trade these exact same roles forever.
Is it an egotistical act to wonder about the existence of things when you aren't paying attention? Is she the same pathetic vulture when I'm not looking, watching her watch me? If I stop looking, will she go away? I'm tired of her face.
Sometimes I wish for a spotless mind. One person, a sequence of events, a slew of nagging suspicions gone and I could have one less thing robbing me of sleep, of peace. She could go on watching because I already know that the one thing she wants, the thing she thinks she needs will never happen.
I feel a sadness on me today. Blue with the sunless sky and cool as the breeze across my shoulders, it sits in my chest waiting and I have barely opened my eyes. This sadness is filled with the frustration at the ways things have been and the lack of hope that they will ever change. It drags at my heart and makes me want that last sigh, the last closing of eyes.
I will not let it live here. I will give myself twenty minutes to hug his pillow and wallow before I force my mind onto other things.
Looking over the last two months of daily writings, I am saddened by the frequency of the one theme. I think it shows just how much I really do dwell on these things and it demands a change of thinking. I wonder if this presence that I want so desperately out of my life is here because I let it stay, invite it even by my focus.
Here is the deal. I will not focus on the things I have no control over. I will learn to tell myself to let go when it is something I can't possibly change.
The Tip Jar