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I’ll Let You Know December 31, 2014

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When goals are unmet, dreams unrealized, do we change what we want, or do we merely stop wanting at all? Through a treacherous eating disorder I learned that eventually the physical body travels both these paths. Restriction of forbidden foods, those loved, dangerous by virtue of some sugar or fat content, or simply too difficult to stop eating are eventually replaced by safer cravings. I suddenly only wanted salads, a bit of fruit, only the whites of the eggs. I was emotionally satisfied with my limited, allowable menu. Eventually, those harsh limits caused my body to stop wanting at all. Hunger pangs disappeared, hair growth, dulled reactions, and hyper energy conservation protected my frame and I was able to go through the day not feeling nutritional need at all. The chocolate chip cookies, gooey brownies, the aroma of theater popcorn, or spicy street taco lost all power over me.I was immune to both the joys and the miseries of food. Nothing short of a miracle could shake me from an empty form of peace.

Emotionally, when many of our possibilities turn to no, do we change what we define to be our happiness goals, or do we give up, lose our desire to attain personal goals, and only tend to the ones forced upon us by outside forces such as jobs, partners, or children? I have often changed direction, aimed my arrows at different targets when the initial arc was either truly unsustainable, not actually in the best interests of myself or those I love, or required a path not usable to lack of resources. For example, a couple unable to have biological children must choose differently, either lifestyle or means of achievement; an abused spouse must abandon a marriage or abandon self worth; an injury forces one to reroute their professional sport’s team desires. A multitude of brambles may cause a change in course.

So how will 2015 progress? New goals? Happiness there? More roadblocks? Weariness or new reserve? Will I succeed, give in, or give up? Tell me your story, and I promise (one I know I can keep) I will tell you mine.
I look forward to travelling with you. I hate going it alone.

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Happy New Year December 29, 2014

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There are a million ways to break a heart between sometimes and always, between attachment and abandonment, between possibility and probability. I am amazed how writing follows the patterns of my heart and my head…divergent, scattered, a windfall, then nothing. My heart desperately wants to lean toward the always, the daily, the habit, the knowing but my head knocks against the sometimes, the infrequent, the not at all, and my body follows in abandonment of all I find comforting, exciting, or tied with a joy ribbon. I used to pull the ribbon, full of anticipation for the possibility of what lie ahead. Lately, and with the word “no” playing a redundant melody in my passing lane, I am intimidated by probability, so I leave the ribbon unattended. Just like my writing. The words must hide in a box under an old tree with faded trappings. My resolution for this year, any year, any day the tide will turn and come in are this: pull the ribbon. Watch it fall. Breath. Maybe twice. Find the courage to open the box. Even if the tiny, twirling dancer sings “no”, pull her off the miniature stage, toss her beneath the rotting leaves, her hair is faded orange, her costume barely bathed in pink. She can dance one last dance then rot. The box no longer has to be perfect. The faded satin still holds all the trinkets of your fortune. Look. Quiet the head. Double wrap the heart. Prepare for the inevitable no. Then ask a new question. Dig up a new treasure. Reline the faded crevices. New dreams are ready when I finish crushing the old nightmares.

The Bystander August 13, 2014

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I peek through a crack in your skull,
spy your possibility.
Any mercy you bundle swims trapped under murky water.
A fence marks the line between allowing me regard,
and the field where you lose your own glory.
What breaks if you dump a bucket at my feet,
instead of scrap?
Crumbs; no banquet…others, more distant and disconnected from your path,
dine raucously.
I study them, more perplexed than envious,
before I weaken like ice shrinking under a scalding stream.
The only feast before me abundant tears, loss, waste.
Where is my shelter? Separation, starvation cause me shivers.
Invite me to feed.
I will dance with,
but cannot always dance,
for you.

The House June 23, 2014

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I found a house ten stories high 
I softly, silently slipped inside 
The rooms were empty, the walls were bare 
except scrawled signs everywhere:

“Turn around. Go away
 There are no rooms here today.”

Room after room, no one at all, 
but the same words on every wall. 
I touched the floor; still was warm. Someone certainly was here before.

 I need a room please. May I stay? Not today, child, not today. 
you surely see, I’m ill prepared for company.

 I’ll wash the windows, unboard the doors, 
paint these walls, mop the floors. 
Or if you’d rather, I’ll make you tea, we can be, just you and me. 

No child. Not today. Can’t you see I like this way?
 There’s only room for one, that’s me. Go away. Let me be. 
So I called out; no answer came. 
I left no trace, except my name.

Teach Me June 21, 2014

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Teach me how to unlace every finger from your own,

Unwrap my thighs from your hips,

as I try to pull the strands
 of memories and plans
from all my images of you.
Teach me how to a navigate a life where you are captain.
With all the tributaries I have carved into days entwined with yours,
 teach me how to draw back, empty my thoughts, then try to reroute
 around the trenches that I only wish to fall into.
Teach me to dream again from inside a cave
 instead of the stars.
Teach me to stand again, to hear music,
to hear anything other than my own grief blasting through my skull
then settling into my chest
before suffocating my very desire for anything
but you.
 
Or, teach me how to love you, again.

Limits May 14, 2014

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 I love you, until unrest reaches alarm.
 My giving  limited by my past, my fears, my dread of  loss less recoverable.
 I do not blame you.
 I just know you. Now.
 If only sooner, before I became spent.
 I love you to the ends of possibility….my possibility.
 Depths are finite.
 I imagine boundaries widening,
 but met with barbed wire, so I tell you the truth.
 This world is flat,
 One of us will fall from the edge.

Pain March 25, 2014

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.

I thought I knew pain.

I had no fucking clue. 

I discovered a heart breaks; the whole body is swept along.
There is nothing salvageable left behind.
No knees to bend down.
No eyes to find pieces.
No hands to rebuild.
What stays is the darkest, blackest void and
A wishing that there really was nothing.

But the wishing, and the black, and the hole, and the pain gather like a starving tribe.

Yelling, gnashing, pounding, desperate for something to feed upon.No one comes.

No white horse, no morsels, no light, no relief.

That is when one screams, pleads for nothingness to arrive.
Numbness knocks, but refuses entry.
I close my eyes to be one with the darkness, but I am no longer capable of reunion.
I am married
To my pain.

I’ve Forgotten…. March 25, 2014

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I miss you tomorrow already today,
the feelings of want never go away,
and I wait, and I close my eyes,
I drink…
surprise.

I fill my brain, ponder my calling, and peace,
I wait at the door….no feast.
I watch my soul open then close with a slam.
I have forgotten who I am…
without you.

I raise a flag in triumph;
Tears, fears at bay. I smiled, laughed, looked to a day….
that again will seem
too far away.
I have forgotten who I am
without you.

I hold open a door, that leads to a hall
and the hall leads….nowhere.
At all.
Until I see you, in the light, in the end
in the white,
catch me.
I will fall
without you.

Addiction…the Attack February 7, 2014

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I have forgotten how good safety feels. My body rails under attack by its own volition, a brain gripping damaging thoughts like a vice with endless teeth. I think my struggle with addictions and their ghosts will always be lurking down a sinister hallway. My strength to fight the demons always weaker than the demons themselves, sighs a complacent sigh and begins the steps into the spiral, steps that eventually will end in submission on a bathroom floor, a hospital if I am lucky, and, hopefully alone. No one should bear the pain of witness. What does it look like to blow an esophagus on the floor? I can research what scene my kids will encounter, but I cannot prepare for how the trauma will feel.  My mind feels weary, tired of battling manipulation, judgement, distrust.

I run between the goal posts of mind numbing, relentless emptiness, where questions are easily left unanswered, and a life so loud with requests and screamed responses that I cannot hear sense or sanity from any other source. This is the place guilt lurks, doubts flop like landed fish, and risk stretches across the end zone. Then I silence the boom by by simply dreaming of a life more lived, but never actually living through it.  I feel myself retreating: working my way back to a place where letting everyone scratch the surface feels safer. No one hurts me there; a void; nothing, no ups but no downs either. Is it safety or perseverance? 

Life is older. Maybe the risks of youth are folly. Maybe the time has come to sit back and watch, let others play the game. I used to always want to throw on the jersey and run onto the field. Now I must decide, is second string enough? If I cannot play full time, would I rather sit and cheer?
Black. White. I’m not a grey, half way kind of person, and the bench is looking warmer, but, somewhere I know I am running, fully engaged, scoring…healed.

Cindy

Fear August 23, 2013

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We have a very natural and understandable reaction to fear: we try to diminish it, make it leave.
We must make sure that we can live without the thing we are afraid of, because in all our pushing, we push that away, too.