2018 in words

(some words from my 2018 morning pages)

unearth – love – let – go – friend – within – think – write – yesterday – victim – ideas – exposed – crucial – difference – soft – cry – hide – comfort – first – world – me – too – seven – judgment – character – liberated – loyal – trust – kayla – companionship – choose – feel – recognize – habit – guilty – cultivate – warmth – go – home – childhood – stories – spark – changes – always – with – equanimity – protect – run – success – kind – ego – health – perfecting – future – nobody – sundays – music – fear – projection – aloneness – together – crave – david – pleasure – adolescence – direction – pursue – break – i’m – sorry – stability – metaphor – flexible – gentle – reading – expanding – care – divine – fuck – trump – defensive – accomplish – mourn – forget – your – imperfect – day – routine – emily – morning – sleepy – creative – program – wish – privilege – diminish – rational – voice – impress – anxious – rest – body – current – growing – impossible – critical – arrival – hold – uplift – energy – progress – conviction – inefficient – guidance – action – closure – swimming – numbness – sacredness – respect – begin – sting – afraid – grounded – dylan – spacious – breathe – deliberate – attention – leaving – searching – past – melancholy – compassion – enough – know – heart


20 things that currently bring me genuine contentment

  1. Watching raindrops create tiny ripples as they fall on the ground.
  2. Mom’s muesli with honey for breakfast.
  3. Planning and organizing.
  4. Lavender essential oil.
  5. Climbing into bed after a long but satisfying day of hard work.
  6. My coworkers.
  7. The warm sun on a cool, clear day.
  8. Watching Gilmore Girls and drinking tea with Kayla.
  9. The smell of vanilla and pumpkin.
  10. Warm blankets.
  11. Afternoon breaks with Emily.
  12. Taking a hot shower at the end of a cold, dreary day.
  13. The way my bathroom smells after I take a shower.
  14. Reading a really well-written chapter of a book.
  15. Morning stretches, afternoon stretches, evening stretches.
  16. Listening to the Life Coach School podcast during my lunch break.
  17. Auburn-colored butterflies.
  18. Chatting with my student assistants.
  19. Quiet evenings at home.
  20. Getting a really good night’s sleep.

kid a

The first moment I really listened to Kid A, I was resting on my twin bed, in my old room with light pink walls. Maddie had burnt the CD for me. She loved Radiohead because her brothers did. Mostly I remember her listening to 104.5 in her room, texting the kind of boys I never dared approach. Their house smelled peculiar, like wood and laundry detergent.

She burnt me all of their albums. But it was Kid A I always returned to—the second track to feel sadness and yearning, then Idioteque to feel possibility, weirdness. I’d never heard anything like these songs. They made my heart rush with adrenaline as I dreamed of different worlds, other lives, the potential for life to hold anything it pleased. To gaze up at the ceiling in bed, as a young girl, to think of life beyond girl-ness and boys. This is what Radiohead taught me: to think of the thing itself.

When I told Maddie of another musician I discovered who made me feel this way, she looked up at me from her silver flip phone: “Her only good song’s Hide and Seek. Everything else is crap.” Later on I discovered the origin of her opinion—one of her brothers, the youngest of the two who wore a runner’s watch and liked math. I smiled, elated by my own wisdom, knowing even in my youth and inexperience the cheapness of pretension. “I disagree.”

an utterance

IMG_0897 (2)

fire, water, air, earth.
a retrospective, a dance, a method, a plight.
bear with me, i say, it’s been awhile. it’s been some time.
a profound change, newness, a difference, carve the way.
prepare, renew, admit, recede. it’ll take some time.
this openness, this beingness

to hide is no option. it is me and the words, the sky.
observations fresh—bursts of experience—but mostly reflection,
mostly repose.
isn’t this what i always said is more pure,
more pure than experience itself?
the iteration of it.

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ring of fire (reprise)

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

Double vodka soda please
Yes, the usual (a lemon and a lime)
This time, the madness arrived
By a well of cheap poison

It tripled in size, threatening
Never to cease—a promise
(Heartbreak turned existential)
Of unrelenting pain, violent loss

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

“I would get up if I were you”
The warmth of the concrete
A cradle in my drunken haze
He had free reign to hurt me

I wanted him to hurt me
Everyone to hurt me
I thought I’d reached the end
The climax: my final act

But I didn’t act I ran
Home to my empty apartment
There—at least—was the semblance
Of what used to provide comfort

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

ozzy osbourne

You made us this way
Uneasy, tempestuous
Crazed and searching

But never finding
Within ourselves that which
We sought from you

We seek from them
As if their love
Could make us whole again.

You never understood
Love unconditional
Only the bawl of midnight drunks

The look from your father
That made you shiver
With cold, wet fear.

With us you tried
To heal your wounds
Cherishing your favorite

Because tenderness
Was something you never knew.
So you made love conditional

Something we had to prove
To fill that hole in you
Creating two holes anew

being vs. self

I have glimpses, at times, of truly limitless being—of what it would be like to live without fear. It is always when I let go of my self-constructed narrative, the pain that was crucial in making me. I feel the bloom of freedom in my chest as I forget myself. I am mere consciousness, breath. The earth around me fades, my personalized view of reality disintegrates—I transcend time, space, bodily existence. I relinquish my role, the fervor with which I cling to identity construction and authentic expression.

I aim always to capture the truth of being and of feeling, the hidden meaning behind what we say and how we perform our roles. Through the active, performative iteration of my Self, I believe I can awaken the construction of the self in others. But the self is separate from being and from true humanness. The self is merely a guise we subsume, a costume we don as we wake from our dreams.