A Vengeful Tangle of Thread

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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.

–fin
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Bright Young Thing

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Bright young thing with tired feet,
Bright young thing with tired mind,
Rest your feet and suckle sweet
Dreams aligned for you to find–
Truth and beauty singing soft praise,
At youth’s fountain imbibed with agéd wine,
Bacchus in a blaze, whilst his gifts laze,
Freshly picked vines, erasure of time’s line,
Strings pluck’d by unceasing hands,
Perfum’d air, intoxicatingly rich,
Cascading sands to fill many lands,
Placed in glasses which awe and bewitch.
Time expands and collapses, sleepy child,
Old wounds ache and new wounds smite,
In one age we are wild, another, notoriously mild,
Offerings to god as contrite, surrendering souls to delight,
Bright young thing with many tears,
Bright young thing with many masks,
Let not your fears rewrite your years,
Dread not the ask; it belabours the task,
Promise me, sweetly dreaming soul,
That when god asks you who and how,
You’ll point to mine heart’s toll and cupid’s bow,
Relax your furrowed brow, we were nothing ’til now,
One last sip, suck’d dry from eden’s dew-dropped rose,
Glimpse the sun’s triumphant ascension of shared prayer,
Drink in the lover’s throes, eased by soft-kiss’d snow,
Devoted desire this rare suspends daydreams in the air.
Awaken babe, to muted chirruping birds,
Banished, heavenly visions dissipate ere long,
Bright young thing with oft lost words,
Bright young thing intoxicated by love’s song.

–fin
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On feeling all the hues of blue.

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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,
Word Play
Xx

Books & Me – Thoughts for the Ether

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I am reading The Parade’s End Tetralogy. I love it. I am at 90 pages, and the book is fantastic. I have been raving about it to everyone I who has stopped to say one word to me. It’s a really clever book, and I want to share that magic. I am disappointed at myself that my first impression was an unfavourable one. But, I think I have that way about me. I tend to dislike first before I fully love. For instance, Mika. The first time I heard Mika and saw his videos, I thought it was ludicrous. I was in high school. I was catching a few minutes of music videos on the television, and he was dancing with a fluorescent light tube. Judged. I was the judge, jury, and executioner. Did not like him. At all. But then, I saw his video again, maybe a week later. I looked it up on youtube.

Instant Love: 


A life-long longing was thus imbibed. I really liked his music and his character. I liked his fluidity of character. I liked that he was sexually ambiguous–in every way. In a world of rules and meaning, he just went with this ridiculous flow. He liked Freddie Mercury. He liked Grace Kelly. He told big girls they were beautiful. He did that for his mom and his sister. How could you not like the guy? It even began a life-long battle over who has rights to him between my best friend and I. I found him first! haha. *mmhhhhmm, but all her looks were too sad. So I tried a little Freddie. I’ve gone identity mad.* I just really loved this song. I loved what it was saying without saying it. That we create identities and niches for the world to consume, rather than for our own consumption and joy. The unfair world also inscribes prejudices and disadvantage for many. 

Let’s bring this back to reading. I suspect that, for me, reading is this undeniable consumption of joy and pleasure. Not always. Sometimes, you have to read A LOT of drivel before you get to the book that makes your heart race and has all those chemicals in your brain swirling in a soupy tub of pink mess. Yes, authors put these ideas out there to be consumed–hopefully profitably (Thanks to Charles Dickens’s work on copyrighting texts; check out Nicholas Nickleby ALSO, check out Edward Lloyd, who ridiculously plagiarised Dickens and also published Sweeney Todd). Sorry, that was rather a stupendous tangent. Anyway, I was using Mika’s Grace Kelly as a metaphor for reading and satisfying yourself rather than seeking to find the approval of others. Most people won’t really care about all the books you’ve read. I’ve read many books, and a lot of people I know probably don’t care or don’t think it’s important. That doesn’t make them bad people, because it doesn’t make me a bad person that I don’t read for them or for their approval. I do it for me. Often, I will try to make others engage with a text for which I’ve fallen, but that can be met with boredom, contempt, denial, and avoidance. But, if a book makes you happy, you’ve got to share that joy. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have Mika dancing with STUPID FLUORESCENT LIGHTS!

Haha. One time, I went for a 57 KM bike ride with not enough water on a REALLY uncomfortable bike. So, I was racing back to try and catch the ferry back to the mainland. Well, I started to sing Mika’s song Blue Eyes at the top of my lungs. I had been alone for most of the day. And this moment, an act of desperation to the gods of mercy and love and endurance, this man with calves the size of small cows rides past me in all his glory. I almost fell off my bike. Haha. Too funny.

I Love Lucy / Lucille Ball

My particular taste in books is 19th-century Victorian and postcolonial authors. So, I tend to fluctuate between those genres. The Age of Empire (with many authors denying this or hiding their privilege behind other privileges or even blatant racism) in contradistinction to postcolonial authors who sometimes choose to use opacity to reclaim the system. I get it. I appreciate it. Sometimes, we want people to have to work to understand us. If they won’t work for it, would they be there for the tough bits. In my experience, no. At the same time, there is nothing more refreshing than a clearly stated argument. So, I will make that my mantra and caution to others. *nods in a supremely wise manner* *pokes eye on computer screen* 

What I find most fascinating about this, and I am going to refer to a quote from the book I’m currently reading, Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End. I’ll get to my convoluted point hereafter.

And Tietjens, who hated no man, in the face of this simple-minded and agreeable schoolboy type of fellow, fell to wondering why it was that humanity that was next to always agreeable in its units was, as a mass, a phenomenon so hideous. You look at a dozen men, each of them not by any means detestable and not uninteresting, for each of them would have technical details of their affairs to impart; you formed them into a Government or a club and at once, with oppressions, inaccuracies, gossip, backbiting, lying, corruptions and vileness, you had the combination of wolf, tiger, weasel and louse-covered ape that was human society. And he remembered the words of some Russian: ‘Cats and monkeys. Monkeys and cats. All humanity is there.’

(Parade’s End, 79)

To me this problematises how we read things. If a Person tells you a story, you learn from them by the way they use language, the analogies employed, the mumbles and stumbles over certain vocabularies and styles. If a storyteller shares an excerpt with you, you may also learn things about their style, register, and motivations. But when a Person shares a story, you acquire a personal connection with them. When a storyteller shares a story, we are at a further remove than a personal connection. Does it matter that they drafted and edited the story? For all we know, we’re not the first one to hear the Person’s story. Maybe they’ve embellished, added or cut for time or suspense. When we hear the story face-to-face, are we more willing to trust it from the source? Or are we more likely to question tone and meaning? If they say that they are empathetic, but there is a weird twist to their smile that seems questionable, do we then not trust them? If we are removed from the storyteller’s tale, we may not feel threatened in the same way by the (lack of) personal connection. I don’t know. We are always careful not to read too much into the author’s link to a text. Freud is debunked. But ask any scholar, and they’ll tell you that’s a lie. Pick up Derrida, Deleuze, Lacan, or (my favourite) Kristeva– Freud is there in one way or another. Instead of trying to understand the author, because we feel that it has long since served a true purpose to the understanding-industry, we focus on character. Maybe this is where we leave off with Paul Auster’s anti-character in City of Glass. Will the real Paul Auster–imposter–please stand up?! 

So books and storytellers are, then, the ways we can learn to see the world as a vault of individuals, rather than seeing it as a depraved mass of peoples. Isn’t that always the case? We put our fears before our hearts. Compassion never stands a chance? The rich fear the destructive powers of the proletariat. Whites think everything will go to pot if things get ‘too equal’. Men claim that women just want to eat cake. Straights think gay peoples will make them gay. But all of these things are false assumptions. Claims based on faulty evidence and fuelled by fear. Everyone says you need to be acclimatized to your fears. Well, before you put that spider near me….challenge your own fears. Okay? 

Ultimately, this is the beauty of reading. Thinking. Perhaps, we don’t glean much of the true meaning of anything through these exercises of placing the verbs in the right spot and recognizing an author’s nuance, but we do get pleasure. That’s worthy too.

So, I’m about to let my heart swell and my mind dance. What book are you reading?

Definitely within the Madding Crowd

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God, Thomas Hardy is like magic. So innocuously placed, these phrases paint a landscape of subtlety and delight. Loving my current fling–Madding Crowd and all. 

The hill was covered on its northern side by an ancient and decaying plantation of beeches, whose upper verge formed a line over the crest fringing its arched curve against the sky, like a mane. To-night, these trees sheltered the southern slope from the keenest blasts, which smote the wood and floundered through it with a sound as of grumbling, or gushed over its crowning boughs in a weakened moan. The dry leaves in the ditch simmered and boiled in the same breezes, a tongue of air occasionally ferreting out a few, and sending them spinning across the grass. A group or two of the latest in date among this dead multitude had remained on the twigs which bore them till this very mid-winder time, and in falling rattled against the trunks with smart taps.

Between this half-wooded, half-naked hill and the vague still horizon its summit indistinctly commanded was a mysterious sheet of fathomless shade–the sounds only from which suggested that what it concealed bore some humble resemblance to features here. The thin grasses, more ore less coating the hill, were touched by the wind in breezes of differing powers, and almost differing natures–one rubbing the blades heavily, another raking them piercingly, another brushing them like a soft broom. The instinctive act of human-kind here was to stand, and listen, and learn how the trees on the right and the trees on the left wailed or chanted to each other in the regular antiphonies of a cathedral choir; how hedges and other shapes to leeward then caught the note, lowering it to the tenderest sob; and how the hurrying gust then plunged into the south to be heard no more.

Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (Toronto: Penguin Classics, 2013), 8-9.

Absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of when I go for a walk, by myself or with my dog, and I just stare into the distance. The way I notice the trees that line the variegated sun-setting sky. All you can do is breathe in the magic. Hardy’s lines are such beautiful examples of being a crafter of words and the subtle experience of existence. It feels like breathing. It feels like fresh air. It gives life. 

Clasp at the moon and drink in the stars

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Recall the words you’ve read, well and true,
For, one day, they’ll be asked of you,
Chime them back with zeal and truth,
Memory is a frivolous quality of youth,

She enchanted lines and sang with grace,
In her, words sweetly dance and deeply embrace,
To memorize the words of those before,
Was something she had little, anymore,

She hid in fear of being found out,
Imagining they’d wonder just what she was about,
But, to her, phrases were not so easily memorised, 
For, they oft took on many a subtle disguise,

And phrases are not just words stacked together,
There are letters that are joined and tethered,
Sounds and magic combine to depict,
Those rascally words that you’ve picked.

Beneath those letters matter is revealed,
Elemental truths, spiraled and congealed,
Sup at the table of earthly delights,
There you’ll find words oft lost in the night,

Like stars appear bland in the sky full of clouds,
Words seem silent until they are shouted out loud,
Swirling in murky desires and forgotten wars,
Droned and confused by many a chauvinistic bore,

Beguiled by journey and distant arrivals,
Penning words to challenge and surreptitiously rival, 
Climbing over letters only to stumble in brambles,
Choosing slow contrition over which we amble,

Blow away the fog before your eyes,
Reach and look towards the night skies,
Clasp at the moon and drink in the stars,
For these particular words are ours.

Fear; A Love Story

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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.

My Freedom on Wings

<<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. 

He said; She will reveal the artist

‘Beautiful things,’ he said, ‘are the only things.’
‘You love the one to your soul he will sing.’
‘Stars in the sky; we stand in the gutter to see.’
‘A book is not good; just written well or poorly.’

These words pulse throughout my soul,
Like the music vibrates throughout my body,
I feel wordless and senseless;
How can I cure my soul by my senses,
If sensuousness seems to drip
like a broken faucet crashing down
one million times broken.

Once it was bacchus’s delight,
But I’ve seem to have lost this fight,
No more does sweet, delicious ambrosia
trickle past rosy lips to quench a thirsty quaff.

A heart breaks.
Does it make a sound?
A mind shatters,
Does it leave shards?

Voiceless.  Senseless.  Absurdity.

Just let the words be felt.
Let them flow like a stream ready to burst.
Burst from me.

Be free.
Fly.
Burst from me.

Away.
Closer.
Burst from me.

I feel the wind rage below.
Which witch?
Burst from me.

I am sticky.
I am fluid.
I am not sheen.
I am not a reflective surface.

I absorb.
I feel.
I AM.

Through pain, I have become.
Sartre says this is true.
As one is stabbed by the pen-knife, blood flows…
Creativity is alike.
As one is stabbed by the pen, ideas flow….

I am.
I feel.
I ABSORB.

I am sticky. I am not sheen.  I am complex.

I am lost.

I need to be found.
Only I can find myself.

I need to search.
I need to choose this adventure wisely.
I have been to Mordor.
I have been to the crux of it all.
I have destroyed the ring.
I have.

Now, it is time to will.
I will.
I am brave.

I am breathing.
I am breathing fire; power; stability.

I have words.
I can hear them rushing forth; ready to be purged.

He once said…the artist hides himself.
I will not hide herself.

This artist will not.

Turn out the light and kiss me.

Turn out the light and kiss me.

 Every day the sun hammers down, driving its force upon the earth.  We may not see it, we may fail to see it, we may not appreciate it, or we may love its tremendous force.  The light that gives us life also gives us colour, variation, processes, action, death, and stagnation.  Sometimes things are obfuscated by such light and undying determination of belief; sometimes we are are so certain of a truth, and its bearing upon our lives, that we submit to it entirely.   So there we are, constantly dividing our femininity by our bust size and saddling larger horses to take us on even greater adventures.  Our graceless hands reach towards the sky in an everlasting effort to unite female earth-spirits and maleness of the sun.  We are left to constantly and vigorously remind ourselves that this just gives us comfort and actually holds no meaning at all.  That’s the curious thing about the taste of nothingness, we search eternally for a new sensation and pleasure.

You don’t really believe that do you?  No, because your undying fire has been kindled by the tiny soul perched on your shoulder who tells you that there is beauty in everything.  Beauty is finding someone who speaks your language, one who you can understand without having to explain or demanding explanation.  IT IS NOT SUBLIME BEAUTY to expect silence to fill the void; it is the beauty of having explored the world alone, finding one’s self, and continually challenging one’s beliefs.  To have had ample time to think, to know, to explore, to exist, to challenge, and to demand these similar and perpetual experiences of self-discovery of your peers is not uncalled for, it is a right of life.

Silence is exciting, it is tantalizing, but silence means that other senses must be active: sight, touch, scent, vertigo….  You cannot leave someone in glaring light and expect silence to be enough; there must be variation and nuance.  Leaving someone in full possession of a truth blinds them further.   They will challenge this truth, test it, scratch beneath the surface, and roll around in the evidence they’ve found.  expect this.  Silence is not loneliness either.  Silence is not abandonment.  Silence is beauty.   There are moments where silence overpowers your soul, flooding your body with a still-racing-passion that ignites your soul and chills your spine.  It makes your head spin as you stand powerfully against the wind that threatens to unground you.

Fear not.  I fly upon the gusts of winds, to soar to greater heights and swim amongst fluffy marshmallowy clouds.  I will caress the cold air and delight in the sun’s heat.  I will sing with wild abandon, as I slowly and lazily graze the tops of still and fast-moving waters.  I will allow my heart to swell outside of my body and encompass the earth.  I will deny the earth, I will be the soil, I will be the fire.  It is all possible, so much more possible than you might think.

Just close your eyes.  Then we’ve turned the light out and have learned to live again.

~fin