The page sat empty; full of its property to be,
An equation appeared, solve it to be free,
Discuss. Solve. Explain. Understand. Know.
For full marks, all your work you must show,
A pencil scribbles symbols, meanings, and truths,
An alphabet of day-dreams abandoned in youth,
Cognisance amongst those who comprehend,
The simple, diligent task of making amends.
As memory eats our heart-ridden sleeves,
One paces, lusting for a last-minute reprieve,
Words unsung, songs unsaid–a silence to hear,
Rethink our days, nights, dreams–tremble with fear,
Is it God’s revelations that we search for in skies?
For I’ve seen God’s truth in the glint of your eyes–
Of death and of life, I sigh and moan their beauty,
Caged together, wrought by love and by duty,
Slumber’s cold breath rattles my spine,
Restless thoughts abate as we entwine,
Like swimming deep in an endless sea,
At first we fear our path to timeless serenity.
When words become chess pieces across a board,
Prudently spent, a censored life is flat and unexplored,
Shades protect our eyes from too much light,
Withal, be wary, lest ye forget sight,
Look at the page with the equation on it,
Not one step in its solving do you omit,
Logic and training bring forth its solution,
Annihilating binary affinity in favour of one,
The formula untangles anatomy,
You become You and I become me,
The result conceals, rather than illuminates,
A vengeful tangle of thread littered by the Fates.
I wanted to write a post about feeling blue. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to say I was enveloped with sadness, and I didn’t want to say I was feeling depleted. Neither of those things are true. Even when I was selecting the image and text (above), I wanted something that piqued curiosity and inspired love. I had a tinge of the blues, but in their complex entirety, my emotions were far more than one bristol blue hue.
For instance, I just had good news that my doggy is doing better than before because of the care we give her. Every time I look at her, my heart fills with this incredible fullness and lightness that makes me feel like I could float away to the moon, with the appropriately fitted NASA gear, of course. Additionally, I am reading two books at the moment: Oliver Twist and Torn Halves. Both texts inspire different feelings, emotions, responses, and intellectualities. I am making that word up, like personality but for your little firing synapses. Haha. One is fictional, and so deliciously written. The other is literary and cultural theory, and I feel like my brain is a jumping bean waiting to explode with joy, curiosity, and, at times, mild confusion over newly learned words. Such as,
aporetic, meaning: ‘an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory’.
Hum, what an awesome word. I’m just going to repeat that a few times to myself. Aporetic. Aporetic. Nicely done there, with that lovely word.
But you see what I mean. There is this internal desire to just say I’M DONE. TTYL PEOPLE. RUNNING AWAY (with the no money I have) to….A HIDDEN PLACE (because I couldn’t go anywhere farther than my closet). At the same time, I have this extremely overwhelming curiosity. And this is making me think that our brains like the challenge. Reading is sometimes slow and loopy language is clouded with the metaphoric or analogous, but it so beautifully sends our minds whizzing in so many perfect directions. Even if those directions lead us no where physically, we have grown spiritually. I always refer to my inner self and well-being as my spirituality. For each of us, it is different. And that is perfect and infinite.
That’s why I won’t say I’m feeling sad. I have moments of insecurity and self-doubt. We are meant to. We cannot have all the answers. We should want them. Maybe that’s a westernized concept, but I think it’s okay to hold your hand to the stars and wonder and feel in awe of the universe or multi-verse. It is okay to let your imagination dream in numbers, sing in riddles, and fly in miracles. It’s okay to dream of being held tight by someone to whom you don’t really talk anymore. One time, and I still laugh thinking about this, I had a dream that it was super sunny and a friend of mine was tickling me. I am pretty sure I was joyfully laughing from sleep. Sure, to the person who had to see it, it was probably pretty creepy…but I am grinning bigger then Cheshire Cat right now. And, I have some negative memories about this person, but I also know that there are so many happy memories there too–a jouissance, if you will. (Don’t read too much into that). I find it comforting, that, although we’ve had this negative experience, my sense is to recall the joyous times and let that negativity become overwritten by peace and bliss.
I guess what I am saying is that…I’m giving myself permission to explore those moments of sadness, but I am no longer going to categorise them as the same feeling. Those moments are so nuanced that they need to cover a spectrum of colour that far outreaches my feeble visible colour spectrum, known as ROYGBIV (red orange yellow green blue indigo violet). Haha, also, I remember in grade 7 not remembering that infrared rays were slower than the visible colours, and my science teacher totally yelled at me. I’m pretty sure she thought I should know better. But, come on, it’s not like I had met with all these rays and timed their speeds. Since then, we’ve ran laps, they’ve all creamed me each time, but I got ultraviolet to do the timing, and she’s pretty reliable… Newton was proud.
For me, when I feel blue, it is because I feel like I have no where to express those feelings. I try not to give into the stigma of shaming sadness, but I was pretty hardcore shamed by some people when I was younger. I still fight against that. I do also think that because of that shaming, it is easier for me to label my sadness in the same box of my undoing. [Of course, none of this can apply to anyone else but me. It is not meant to. It is my experience. Others may share it, but I don’t try to speak for them.] Like I said, I am going to try and work at not having that reflex which automatically traps me in a mood of sadness. I am going to learn how to communicate, even to just myself, my discomfort. For me, I think that will be the start. It kind of reminds me of when I don’t feel like doing something, for any number of reasons, and when I start to work through why I don’t want to do it, I am able to articulate that there is some fear at the bottom of it. I don’t know that I can promise to be fearless because I will always have a spider thing. Instead, I am going to work on mindfulness and deconstructing my aporetic.
Heaps of love,
It was an island. A temperate climate may be assumed. Caribbean? Perhaps. Maybe farther north? south? east? west? Perhaps. But there were no people there. It was warm, but that’s only unnatural in the extreme climes of the world. A sandy beach shrugged its disillusion with the world. If the beach were full of people, the sound of the waves would be drowned by the sighs of relief gasped by its patrons. As it was, I lay there alone. Like a stingray, I buried my body into sand enclaves waiting for movement to pass above me. Everything seemed safe.
Lonely, yes, but very safe. The sun hung in the sky, but I was not bothered by its presence. I felt neither burn nor squint affect my being. The generous mist from the water did not cling to your skin and burrow into your bones. It generated life and feeling, but it did not overwhelm you with the beingness of living. I lay my head back and allowed my head to mould into the sand bed around me. My arms extended and nonchalantly buried, as I opened my hands to the universe absorbing its micro-vibrations.
Pulsating through my body, I could feel life. I was alive, but it was the second thought. First I felt life, then I felt alive. They are two different feelings. Their order depends on your connection to your inward being. Life stirs in you, gently nudging you into existence. But feeling alive, those are the explosions that abrasively thrash you into being. The sweet pleasure of biting down on a sore tooth. A sour orange that causes you to shrink your face in delight. The feeling when a lover lingers over your face, slowly, tantalizingly, teasingly leaning in to kiss you. The passion. The delight. The love.
It was calm and slow-moving. An eternity had passed, yet it could not have been so long. Without clock, calendar, or sooth-sayer, time was immaterial—as it always is. Hah! I could not awaken. I lay there feeling that eternity within me.
A disturbance caused me to stir. A small beast, asleep nearby, hiccoughed in sleep: yelp! yelp! yelp! The frightened being twitched at the resonance of each yel- and fell into deathly stillness at the p. I rolled over, hair falling into my face, sand raining from my body, and I placed my hand gingerly upon the heart of the beast. Suddenly the fear was snuffed and a small smile could be felt throughout our bodies. Gentle, operatic snores replaced the fear within the beast. Smiling, I moved back to the imprint of my body. In a mock outer-body experience, I smiled at the negative space. Appearing much larger than my form, I confronted the duality of the space. Here I gazed; there, I no longer was.
As I nestled into the comatose reality of being and non-being, a sound recalled me to the world-as-it-is. A familiar voice called my name. Ah, the friend-of-a-friend, for whom I nurtured a soft-spot. His mouth curved over my name and butterflies soared. Actually, they soared. A canopy of them swam from the sea and entangled themselves in the affairs of our hearts. He ran deliciously across the beach towards my unrealities. Suddenly, questions of being and non-being were throttled back as the physical world of doing overwhelmed the tenses that confused before. A new verb, if you will.
He grabbed my hand. “Hello!”
“Hiya!” I softly cooed, happily.
“I didn’t think anyone else was here.” He said. I didn’t reply. Sometimes, when you have a lot to say, nothing can be said. He looked at me, expectantly. Still, I said nothing. “Hm,” he mumbled, “so, have you heard from Agatha lately?”
“Actually, yes. We spoke yesterday about this book I was reading. But, I’ve been changing books faster than a race car driver shifts gears. Only difference is that I never finish one. Weirdly.” It was a poorly statement. Indeed, inside, I had retracted my promise to live in the present. Before my eyes Huysmans’s Paris swam before my eyes, little cafés filled the air with the merging scents of frosty white wine, freshly ground coffee beans, and petite madeleines. How does one share those thoughts? How do they become communicable?
“Right,” He said. “So, do you want to come run an errand with me?”
Compelled, I responded in the affirmative. He guided me towards a vespa. We climbed upon it and began our journey at a comical pace. Yet, now that our bodies were so close, conversation flowed easily. Is there a relational proximity that dissolves self-awareness, inhibition, and fear? Does physical presence reduce the desire to slip into the cognitive abyss?
Recently, he had been on an trip over the hills and under the mountains. He detailed how his travels had shaped him, changed him, altered his senses of reality. Now, he was different. Before, he claimed, he had just been a shell of a being. Of course, these claims always sound so mystifying and intoxicating as the speaker says them. Magical. A spell is cast over my soul because I covet growth. Growth shows passion and love for the world, an intrinsic curiosity that sparks my soul.
I gasp at all the right places, laugh and giggle, and flatter. I share my own stories of my travels, unsure that I’ve grown at all. I feel slightly un-dertraveled, un-knowledgable, un-worthy. Occasionally, I discuss things I’ve read. Is it still my life if I’ve read these things from another’s mind? No, stop it. Pay attention.
The scenery unwinds into luscious valleys of trees. Gentle and rolling hills push and pull our bodies clumsily into one another as we drive on. This all feels safe. We arrive at a set of storage lockers. The island felt uninhabited, how can there be storage lockers. As we dismount the vespa and check our teeth for bugs, we walk towards the lockers. A key glimmers in his hand.
He looks down at me from his tall, graceful stature. I lift my hand towards his with the key, but he pulls this one away from me. He opens his palm and shows me the key.
“We have to deliver a package. We’ll have to go into the waters and swim to our destination,” he says. I do not question this. We walk into the centre of the maze of lockers. Fearing a minotaur, I keep track of the twists and turns. It would be ludicrous to start unravelling a ball of yarn now! We arrive at the locker. He attempts to steady me with a meaningful look, but I am not prepared for what is inside.
A sea of white.
Package upon package of what seems to be a drug. “Cocaine,” he whispers. I am not sure I can back out now. I swallow and, eyes wide, I nod. He does not tell me that he has to do this to save someone. Nor does he tell me he is doing it for the money. He just does it. I do not question it. Remember? We changed verbs. He lifts the package and places it in my arms. He grabs another package. I sweat and suppress a soft chuckle—the yarn seems less ridiculous now.
The journey back to the beach seems less easy-going. Of course, everything has changed. That is glaringly obvious. A cloud of being trapped eclipses all earlier feelings of freedom. To be or not to be is irrelevant. He tells me that we’ll both swim with a package to the next island. The waters are free from any threat and not cold. In fact, he says steadily, they’re quite warm. I don’t ask how many times he’s done this. How many love-sick friends he’s tricked into this. But I wasn’t tricked, I didn’t ask. I never asked.
I dove into the water. The warmth of the water immediately warmed my soul. One cannot continue to feel overwhelmed by fear and anxiety when they reach their element. Submerged, I swam. The water parted and played with my hair. Gentler than wind, the water kissed my skin and urged me forward. Swimming was beautiful. Fear was an unrecognized concept.
We reached the next island. An island surrounded by choppy waters. Inhospitable. I wondered how cocaine could serve anyone on this island. But the thoughts were short-lived. The water powerfully jostled us as through we were in a bowl of jello on changing fault lines. We arrived, and he took the package I brought with me. He left me, and he disappeared inland. He returned. He brought coconut cookies and coffee. We sat in silence.
“So,” I choked out, breaking the silence, “are we going back?” He studied my face for some time. Perhaps it was too indefinite a question—leaning towards abstraction. How do we go back from that? He answered my question in the practical and literal sense:
“No. We go home.”
We arrived home. It felt broken. Everything. As I walked through the front door of my house, hair tangled and free flowing, I saw them. The police had camped outside my door.
Reality. A real location. Real consequences. Cops stood in lines…endless lines of donut-chewing cops. Coffee cups littered the street. A true crime, I thought. Surely, not what I did.
I walked into the kitchen—sobbing. Barely able to breathe, the pressure of the truth collapsing my lungs. I tried to explain as my parents stood around me. I could not speak. I saw it all spiralling into nothingness. Negative space triumphant.
Again, another outer-body experience. The scene played before me. The music of the scene was full-bodied, like the taste of a rich-flavoured chianti. The actual sounds of the scene muted, as the violins wailed their truth over all. Slowly angelic voices cried their sorrow. Their implicit judgement over badness telling the audience how to see the scene before them.
She deserves this.
Where was the beast who would awaken me from this nightmare?
Our feet moved slowly through the centre of the road,
Our eyes stared star-ward, we watched as they glowed,
The moon hung, suspended in our deepest belief,
As the signs of autumn wore away with the last falling leaf,
Darkness engendered the fear that tugged us to stop and glance.
Wondering, if, in the face of danger, we stood a fair chance,
Apart, but together, our minds crawled doggedly on,
Inwardly guessing how long those stars actually shone,
A stalemate of stillness awaits the mallet to sound,
Withal, reticence persisted as, in silence, we drowned,
Onwards and inwards we search for nourishment,
Sought after dreams of smiles and encouragement,
I cite history as the source of my displeasure,
Awaiting the sign, which, of course, is your leisure,
Recall, that time flees the scene of the crime,
Just as the poet chimes perfectly posed rhymes,
Intellectualize and sexualize the words on the page,
More often than not, this is our calamitous plague,
Equilibrium vets the provocateur and jets the esoteric,
Monotonous ages of desire, thus, eclipsed by a titillating philosophic,
The brightest body we see is a reflecting body, mostly cast in shadow,
Reminding us of fairy stories told oft once, long, long ago,
Truth is obscure, abstracted, and loftily denied,
Morals are clear and craftily contrived.
Once upon a time, they reached their happily ever after,
The crowd cheered, resonating their lust to the rafters,
Fairy stories make-believe the love we wish to be,
For, only young artists sing songs of such courage and bravery.
Scenes laid before the humble philosopher-queen,
The jouissance of questioning what it is to have been,
To be, to we, we are, I am–the syntax, the grammar, the allegory,
Couplet and Capulet, troubled and toiled, tell this duel-householder story,
The visions collapse as sisters disperse to quaff coveted goblets of brine,
Whilst, above, the suspended apparition of the sandman shines,
Reminded of the laboured movements that idle our hearts,
Wondering, still, if it is us, who Eros eternally thwarts,
The noise in the shadows leaps forth from our throats,
Equal in horror to no other sound this author had wrote,
Fretted in terror by things of the hoary night,
Reminded, in banality, that this fear, I did write.
<<Read here>> (click here to hear me read it)
I used to sing out loud, waiting for you to hear,
I used to write sweet words, to draw you near,
I sang a song that only your soul should have heard,
Even so, I was lost in myself, gravely self-interred.
It took me time to push the daisies from this earthy burrow,
Rising stiffly, just under the surface, from six feet below,
I stretch and groan, a song to salute the sun and skies,
Slowly opening long-closed and sight-forgotten eyes,
The world is new and full of rich abstract colour,
Awoken from a deep slumber, where senses were duller,
Apprehension and anxiety that once burbled steadily,
Dissipates as my mind eases to the calm of the slow sea,
Infinity may not be compromised from the mortal abode,
Endlessness consumed as digesting time slowed,
You delicious curls rivalled the Odysseus’s godlike brow,
And you snarled and hissed, face resting in scowl,
The tears that flowed from your eyes were laced with hate,
For a many an age, I deluded myself to lust after fate,
When we danced, my hand met your hand, your hand on my waist,
Always expecting, always demanding my smile remained chaste,
The years past us by, dust settling like snow on those curls,
Tears dropped from my eyes, more precious than pearls,
You pushed me and pulled me, I was a doll on a string,
But I’ve finally grown them, my freedom on wings,
In, I breathe, Out, I breathe. Snow melts at my pyre,
Spring suspires life from the putrid, festering mire,
Towards the depths, I feel my body contract and inflate,
This is the choice of a lifetime—a pearl or fiery gate.
I am free now, after all of this time;
Saddled to lyric and many a rhyme;
I bellow the fires that alight from within,
And cradle the pearls as I begin again.
When I need it most, the words escape tangentially,
Sanguineous emotion yearning to surge expressively,
Trapped in eternal damnations, buckling under shame,
Ravenous lamb astounding the lion you’ve tamed.
Excreting words without meaning, and meaning without purpose,
Trembling troves of buzzing elocution secreted by the nervous,
Nightmarish apprehensiveness colludes with the power of fear,
Making it impossible, improbable for my words to hear.
URGH! What message is there hidden by this muting potion,
Rapidity of death as sharks prey upon me in this unending ocean,
Tender organ racing as I am beaten by life’s brutish, bloodthirsty fate,
Deluge of alarm as I succumb to this foreboding sensuous spate.
Riddled with meaningless intent, puzzled by intentioned meaning,
Anxious that the absurdity has taken away life’s silver gleaming,
Up and down; down and up–broken but mended by verse,
Ceaseless, unscrupulous unsleeping are the tell-tales of this curse.
The antidote is the poison by which I am drugged,
Rendering me engorged with polluted yet cleansed blood,
The sweet scented day-dreams are filled with passions aplenty,
But the same mind’s eye desiccates the heart, leaving it empty—
[whispered from afar]
Remember, my dear, sweet-tempered child,
All my love and joy is within you and riled,
For when I first looked upon you I was beguiled,
All you ever have ever done, angel, I always smiled,
The skies are but filled with efflorescing long-lost souls,
Awaiting the moment when they’ll become again whole,
Glittering stars that sacrifice existence and give tranquil respite,
As if only for you they dance and twinkle all through the night.
Fluttering worries begone from this sacred ground,
For upon this face a jubilant cherubs’s smile is crowned,
My angel, you are strong and beautiful and powerful yet,
Because of your vivacious vitality, I will always be in your debt,
No, do not think these are just words to fill a page,
Or actors carousing upon an imagined pantomime stage,
My love is a storm that changes the face of this earth,
I’ve felt that since the moment of your birth.
While life feels difficult and so very severe,
I have every faith that your goodness will persevere,
So smile, my sweetest delight,
And show the world your brave might.