Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not All Of These Memories Are Great, But They're Mine

I thought about my life. About my life, the embarrassments, the little coincidences, the shadows of alarm clocks on bedside tables...
"You've lost everything" she said, as if we were sharing a secret, "I can see". If I'd been someone else in a different world, I'd've done something different. But I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.

Modern medicine will not do. It doesn't heal the way ink bleeding from a pen would. I've also been so distracted and disoriented that I've completely forgotten about "mind over matter". With this, and the fact that it took a whole month and three doctors to diagnose my respiratory infection... I could have been healed and healthy by now. But I smile wondering if it is some special form of empathy. I skipped Christmas dinner and spent it cuddling with my grandmother in her hospital bed, both of us coughing and having heart palpitations. Both for different reasons. She told me stories of the "old days" and the secret to a successful marriage. And her bread recipe.

This city is so full of reminders, memories that lurk and mug me. December 27, 2011 changed my life. I will work hard to remember exactly who I was on that day. How inspired I felt, and how I am closer than ever to KG. I admit I struggled. I couldn't ignore the one-less place setting this year. The bench at the end of the table we used to share. It was tight but I never needed space between us. The lack of words and photographs, in fear of bringing sadness to the room. We all felt it, tears on the verge of spilling down our faces while taking notice of the empty space. Our thoughts thinking themselves so loudly, yet none of us say a thing. 

When we were kids we had our own special place at the farm: the wishing rock. To us it was really a boulder. Maybe it wasn't that big, but everything seems so huge when you're so little. We climbed up on that rock and in our little sundresses, closed our little eyes, held our little hands together and wished with all our might. 

I'd take back all those wishes.

Merry Christmas Kylen Groeneveld. Two months without you. Here's to beauty and strength. Run the land, darling girl. Love you forever.

We laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently. We were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored. To build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged. It was one of the best days of my life. A day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Only Remedy For Love Is To Love More

“So yes, I laughed. I laughed at the pain and the futility and the frustration and the heartache to keep it separate from me. And while it may seem like insanity to you, it is the thing that prevents it, for me.”

I believe in following your heart no matter where it leads you. It knows what you don’t ever want to admit and there will be times that every fiber of your being will disagree.  Those fibers will be wrong and they will steal the perfect and untarnished beauty of making perfect choices that just might be perfect risks and catastrophic failures. That being comfortable in the skin you’ve worn since the first moment you shouted your life started is the only way to make it through all we’re supposed to make it through. That all we really are is what we imagine we are, be it brave be it bold be it covered in the ash of burned dreams or watered down and drowned with the waves of uncertainty and fear, we are what we imagine so we need to let those imaginations loose to create the very best version of ourselves.

I believe in long letters and handwritten notes no matter how sloppy the handwriting may be, how wrinkled the paper and how much ink ends up on the sides of your palm that rests atop it. Words are some of the most valuable currency and should be spent wisely and on what matters the most to our silly lives. The construction of a sentence can be done by anyone anywhere for any reason but the construction of an emotion with the very same consonants and vowels requires the blood of the writer, not the ink of the pen, to stain the pages in a way that will move the eyes that read it.

I believe in myself and that I hold the dust of stars in the veins that carry the blood that carries the strength to pull me out of bed each morning.  That I am capable of all things but most of all that I have an infinite capacity for love and for giving that love away freely, no matter how it is returned or how little I receive back. That I give to give and getting will always be a bonus, a lottery I never intended on winning.  That I am capable of enduring such great pain but am also capable of embracing such haunting joy. I believe that I will never stop and never give up and never let go and never forget how to find the miracle in all this mundane and the eye of the storm and the silver in the lining and the half full in the cup no matter how shattered that cup might be, no matter how many pieces it rests as on the floor and how many cuts it caused on my hands that held it.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

“But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”

Sometimes when I cannot sleep, I listen to Andy Garcia reading poetry by Pablo Neruda on repeat. I drift off to the dreamlodge and wake up hours later; Andy Garcia still reading. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

I ask myself daily, where do we go from here? Perhaps it's not wrong to have asked myself this daily even before the tragedy. Always wondering what the next step is. What's the next big move? If I am at A, where is B? And what is the exact distance? Andy Garcia still reciting Neruda's lines while I'm in a mid-sleep haze. How could one not have loved her great still eyes

Sometimes not being okay is okay. We set expectations and we break our own hearts. I am guilty of this. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. I am content. I dream and I fantasize and I pray. There are things I want, but not things that I need. I am content with waiting as long as completely necessary, I am content with working as hard as humanly possible

Kylen had given me a collection of Pablo Neruda's poems. One of my last gifts from her. A framed painting she made, Neruda's poems, and a book of short stories titled "No One Belongs Here More Than You". You can imagine the ache felt deep in my core when I found that book beside my bed the day after she left us. The words in the title were the words I repeated in my mind for days. What does it matter that my love could not keep her?

Life really blindsides you, doesn't it? With the intent to completely shatter and break you. To see if you have the strength to put yourself back together. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. What a cycle: on top of the world one day and not wanting to get out of bed the next.

Months ago I wrote a piece about the stories my body parts will tell long after I've expired. The scars and marks and transformations my body experienced over the years would lead one to predict the life I lived. Oh how little I knew about losing pieces of my heart. Not just observing the cracks in this thing between my lungs, but the pieces broken off and forever gone. Oh how little I knew.

I havent yet caught up with my life. It moves much faster than I do these days. My habits are starting to catch up with me though, as I found myself this morning in coughing fits, unable to get out of bed. Leaving raspy voicemail messages for the people I should have seen today.

There are many things to be grateful for. My colleagues who feel my forehead and endearingly tell me to get the hell out of the office when I do stroll into work because staying home is too boring. Friends that bring me soup. Friends that bring me frozen soup for when they're unavailable to bring more the next day. Waking up to messages expressing hope that I'm sleeping and not scared. 

My biggest challenge lately: Sleeping. Not being Scared.

Love is so short, forgetting is so long

Monday, December 19, 2011

We'll Always Have The Obvious

It reminds us who and where we are.
It lives like a heart shape, like a jar that we hand to others and ask:
Can you open this for me?
We always get the same answer: "not without breaking it"
More often than sometimes I say: "go for it"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's When You Cry Just A Little, But You Laugh In The Middle That You've Made It.

One is never intrinsically strong, just by nature. You must have been through something. Strength has to be acquired. You don’t know how you acquire it. Suddenly you’re standing there and things that are deadly to others are no longer a danger to you.

Laughing with tears in my eyes. My key to the universe.