It’s been a month-long week. Here’s some poetry that boils it down. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whoever and whatever you’re spending your energy on–I hope it is worthy of your time and love. Take a breath…or seven-hundred.
The Gift of Silence
What the silence gave me
was the horror
of having to sit with my own
car-piled up in my head
like an apocalypse of trauma
each vying for attention
on the quiet stage
I can’t whack-a-mole them down
without ten more sprouting up
the what about and
the have you forgotten when...
I'm the resistant owner
of a vice-gripped mind
constantly expanding with
What the silence gave me
was one full breath,
an ocean wave in and out
before the panic of being alone
in the frayed mess of my life
took that air
in short, shallow gasps
and suffocated my dopamine.
What the silence gave me
was the truth
that I’ve packed it all in
for too long
But I cannot ‘give’.
I was not built to throw away
I was not taught to let go.
I cannot sit in gifted silence
because I cannot stand the sound
of my own shit show.
Raging its insecurities
like expandable insulation
in the cracks of my gray matter.
I cannot accept this gift
because my thoughts
are far too loud.
“Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world.”
This is a brief blog today. I’ve got a lot on my plate this week and I have to boil down the process. First, thank you for sticking with me through the new changes and I hope some of you are enjoying the writing exercises on Thursday.
In the next few months I’ll be walking a tight wire, wobbling side to side in the effort to stay balanced and I am committed to making sure my writing is still something I carry with me, despite the extra weight it sometimes brings.
So today, in honor of some of my new obligations and the every-moment-filled reality I’m currently living in, I wanted to drop a gentle reminder.
This world we live in is unbalanced and filled with sadness. Each one of us carries a weight that no one else can completely understand.
Each one of us is on a tightwire.
Sometimes it’s razor thin and sharp. Sometimes it’s wide and steady.
But the drop is all the same.
I urge you, in whatever cycle of the wobble you’re in, to remember three things:
Breath. In, Deep and full. To the very tops of your lungs, plus one sip. Exhale, heavy and slow, to the very bottom of your belly. At least three times, three times a day.
Go out of your way to be kind to others. It costs nothing, not even much of your time in its truest simplicity. But it can mean the difference between that razor edge and solid footing for someone else.
Be kind to yourself. Not one of us is perfect, and we’re not meant to be. Give yourself grace, to wobble, to tumble, to rest and retry.
On Thursday I’m going to start the blog off with some fantastic first lines from contributors as well as my own. I hope you, and your badass kind self, can join me.
Oh…and about that Poetry Anthology…Thursday. I promise, something on Thursday (she said, wobbly and arms outstretched).
Happy Wednesday good people of the world. Extra Happy Wednesday to the bad ones…since you probably need more happy.
Today, I’m writing about the beauty of the human senses.
The human senses are invaluable to a writer, being the most surefire way to engage your reader in what the main character is feeling/seeing/hearing/tasting/smelling and, if you’re really good at the descriptive narrative, making them feel as though they are feeling/seeing/hearing/tasting/smelling the same things.
Senses are powerful. The words you choose to describe them must be impeccable to harness this power.
I realize, if you aren’t a writer, you may feel left out. Well I never leave a person behind, so hang on.
Why in the hell does a human need to explore their senses if they’re not showing someone the glint of moonlight on glass?
Well, hear me out, human.
Every single one of us, writer or no, deserves to indulge in our senses.
Why? Why is it important?
Well, shucks! Thanks for asking, new paragraph that makes my self-questioning seem rational…
Because part of living beautifully, is living with purpose which is closely tied to living in the moment, and living in the moment has everything to do with connecting to what is real, around you presently…not the feeling of a chair you sat in five days ago, or the way spring will smell eight months from now.
I’m talking about being present through the use of gifts you’ve been given.
Sit still for Christ’s sake. Seriously. Just sit.
Someplace safe and comfortable, turn off your goddamn phone, close your eyes and listen.
Take a deep breath, really hear the wave of it rush in and out against the shore of your throat. Listen to what you can only hear when you stop moving, and worrying, and obsessing. Bird chatter, the quiet hum of the neighbors AC unit (hey, not every sound is some natural wonder sent to give you soulful clarity.) Maybe it’s the squeal of tires outside or the school bell in the distance. Now, before you start having judgments or memories, or ideas that are inspired by what you can hear in silence, let those noises go. Let them pass through your brain like clouds in a sky. Take a deep breath.
What do you smell? Last night’s dinner, the oily basset at your feet (who’s probably cracking off the most horrific clouds of flatulence you’ve ever suffered through—wipe your eyes, try to get past it).
Maybe it’s soap (the decadent scent of a man newly showered) or maybe you smell the old books on your desk, the bed linens behind you and all the interesting smells that reside there. (Remember, basset or sheets, reserve your judgement.)
Open your eyes, focus on the small details, try to descern the exact colors, watch the play of shadows and the shimmer of reflections.
When you walk through gardens, through stores, through life, hold out your hand and touch things (no butts please…or unwilling butts? Don’t go touching unwilling participants is what I’m saying…stick to the inanimate). Touch fabric, leaves, dead branches and icicles, let the dog passing by snuffle your hand and leave its viscous slobber behind. Touch your hair, the arch of your foot, the base of your nose, tug on your ear lobe…how different it all is! How does it feel to be touched in those strange little places? Get to know your own body and the sensitivity of your fingertips.
When you sit down to eat, really taste your food. Keep it on your tongue and think about what’s going on there. When you kiss someone, taste them, their lips, their breath, the
flavor of them and their body chemistry…it is different for everyone and that’s something fascinating to explore.
Finally…and this is an important one…your gut. The so-called sixth sense. Intuition. IT’s there. IT’s often drown out by the madness of our modern world, the overstimulation and cultural rules and denial of the naysayers who believe humans are so far above ‘animals’ that we no longer need such ‘witchcraft’.
Tell those voices to stuff it. Listen to your gut. Listen to your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You’re still an animal and don’t forget it. Don’t get too lost in the modern world. Remember, use the gifts biology and genetics gave you.
IF you are a writer, use these exercises to bring clarity and realism to your work.
If you’re a normal human with a ‘real’ day job (oooo self-burn!), use these exercises to be more present in your own life—to slow down time and remember what you are; A beautiful, messy human being with magical guts, wandering eyes, soft to the touch, with angry squirrels chattering on rooftops, smelly bassets underfoot, and a taste for the sensuality all around.