Save Me

My knight in shining armor rides up.

He steadies his stallion and scoops me up in his arms.

The danger from which he removed me rapidly fades from my mind.

We ride together in a direction unknown to me.

I cling to his torso and I feel safe.

Tomorrow, I may hate him, but today he is my escape.

I shudder at the memory of my place before his rescue.

I sleep sound in the warmth of his embrace.

And I dream of the day that, at last, this damsel shall become the heroine.

25 Degrees

I step out of the house and the severe, biting cold hasn’t hit me yet.

I hear a voice yell, “Bus,” to my left and I see the yellow boat careening up the road.

I look over my shoulder to find the source of this noise.

A boy, maybe fourteen, in jeans and a hoodie, is running out of his house.

He looks back at the door, nervously, and yells, “BUS!”

This time, with an unmistakeable trill of familiarity and fear.

An older boy comes racing after him in shorts and a t-shirt

and a girl in jeans and a flannel follows on his heels.

I look down at myself, dressed in sweatpants, a large down jacket, scarf and beanie.

What they can’t see is hiding beneath:

wool socks, tights, a t-shirt and a sweater.

As I walk down the street,

now feeling like the Michelin Man,

I giggle to myself, “kids…”.

I take a right at the bottom of the street.

I spot a game trail just beyond the dead end with a sign that reads “No Motor Vehicles”.

As I walk through the neighborhood corridor of backyards,

spacious and fenceless,

I ask myself if I am allowed to be here.

If someone sees me, will they know I’m an outsider?

Will they know I don’t belong?

I don’t own a home here.

I’m not even paying for the AirB&B.

In my mind, people only deserve to hold space if they can pay for their place.

Where did this idea come from….?

I return to my pace, my breath, my frozen face.

In this world, in this body, on this trail.

What a beautiful experience of being here.

Of all places, I am here.

Sandwiched between two homes,

two worlds,

and countless lives.

And here I am, walking on this thin path speckled with lemon and lime-sized stones.

I turn another corner and come to a forested expanse of sporadically placed deciduous and coniferous friends.

At the last house to my right, a dog barks desperately.

He stands at the sliding glass door, begging to get in,

warm and included.

I exit the embrace of others’ homes.

I suddenly feel completely alone.

I raise my eyes to the glow of the sun cresting the horizon.

The forty-foot trees are greeted by the sun just at their peak.

I picture the moment, not long from now, when that very light touches my own crown.

My nose squeals with excitement.

The land takes a dip down to an old dirt road.

I allow the trail to guide my steps off and to the right.

I hear the birds here.

Scarcely.

Their peeps sound faint,

not from volume or body but distance away.

I squint to the tops of the trees, now sixty feet from me.

I imagine those chipper little peepers bathing in the warm morning rays,

up there, in peace.

It feels colder down here.

Moist and contained.

The front of my thigh tells me I’m cold.

I pay closer attention to the sensation which precipitated the thought.

My thigh, it feels tight.

I can feel it drawing in.  Or stretching out.

The vibration is minimal, yet palpable.

I ask blood to travel there,

to my thigh.

To juice it up.

To bring back the life.

My lip feels numb.

Like I’ve been given a shot of Novocain.

I check to see if I’m drooling.

My hand, along it’s trajectory, grazes my chin.

I realize it is still there: my chin.

It’s numb and burning, simultaneously.

What a strange experience: how cold can burn so differently than fire.

My friend says she likes to feel slightly cold;

it reminds her that she is alive.

Requires her system to rev it’s engine.

To push,

to try,

to ignite.

I return to the top of the hill.

I search for the sun; a little treat.

I find a spot near a tree and I turn.

“OAHHHHHH!!!!”

Angels sing in my mental choir.

Sunlight hits my eyes.

I blink.

I breath.

I close my lids tight.

Water squeezes out and I smile.

City Girl Goes Home

When I am in the city I am obsessed. Obsessed with what I’m wearing, what I’m doing, who I am being.  I need more.  I don’t have enough.  I have so little.  I’m always low on gas, almost out of make-up, never having enough clothes to look as cute as the girl next to me.  My style is so blah.  Maybe it’s time for a new cut and color.  A pedicure.  A manicure.  A new purse to match my shoes.  My house isn’t large enough.  I could use a new couch.  I want the premium channels on tv.  I want someone else to cook for me and I don’t want to clean, either.  I need a vacation.

When I am in the woods I am free.  I love the sun and the breeze and the trees.  When there are clouds in the sky I am so grateful every time the sun pops out.  I love the sound of water trickling down the rocks.  I love how you can hear the ants moving around if you are still enough.  The transition from damp forest floor to rock slabs and small shrubs.  I think about how glad I am to be alive.  The granola bar that I usually don’t like is suddenly the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  Seeing people becomes a special moment shared on Earth.  A plunge into an icy pool makes my whole body warm and tingly.  I am alive and I am grateful for this moment.  I want this vacation to last forever.

Tati’s Cat

This bitch won’t leave me alone.

This little kitty is going to be the end of me.

I can’t get any space to take care of my shit without this needy bitch clawing at me.

And if I confront her, banish her, punish her, then she turns to a pile of mush that I can’t resist.

I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean it.

I love you.

But this cat, you see, is like a devilish princess, constantly in need, wanting to play with my hair or help me with my work.

I tell her to stay away.

I am busy.

But she persists.

And when I want to play or snuggle or lay, she’s AWOL or she’s pissed.

Demon cat, take a hike.

Angel cat, I love you so.

Peace and Sleep

The breeze,

as it passes through the trees,

is made audible by the yet fallen oak leaves.

One of these leaves detaches,

takes flight,

catches on the wind,

and then lands at my feet.

I sit here above the creek with turmeric tea steaming in my face.

My belly is full of veggies and I am sore in places I didn’t think possible from a hike.

I see three tumbleweeds nestled up on a fence nearby.

They seem so out of place,

like three irresponsibly discarded bottle caps.

I sigh a full and bountiful breath out.

Tonight,

I feel cradled between a rock and a warm, soft place.

The water whispers goodnight and the moon sings me to sleep.

Prelude to Union

There is a world of seeking.  It is equally simple, yet wrought with unfulfillment, This world is filled almost entirely of dreams.  In this world, I am a shattered mirror with the sticky tape still holding its shape.  Everywhere I search, I see myself again.  I am confused.  I can see beautiful prisms of rainbow light in my periphery.  I turn to catch them and they’re gone.  When the backdrop is removed, I am in shambles on the floor.  What remains is merely a reflection of my brokenness with no structure upon which to project.

The Union of Head and Heart

In a simple world, I am a simple girl.  My mind and my heart are the best of friends.  They walk together, hand in hand, skipping merrily to the melody of their union.  My day consists of simple tasks.  I know my place in the world and I do my duties with care and contentment.  This world is a dreamless one.  Acceptance and gratitude reign supreme.  Every day is as it is, and I am pleased by its sheer existence.  At the end of the day, when my work is done, I rest easy knowing that I did my best.  Tomorrow, the sun shall rise again, whether I awake or not.

 

Quick Fix

It’s 9am and I can’t get that coffee cake off my mind.  I know it’s not the best fuel for my body, but I JUST WANT IT.  I’ve already gone off protocol this week, so Fuck It!  But it’s less about the protocol and more about the pleasure.  Usually, I wake up early, do yoga and meditate.  Today, sleeping in and eating coffee cake are much more alluring.  That’s because they provide so much more dopamine to my brain.  Eat the cake, BOOM, boost of dopamine.  Instantaneous.  Meditate….maybe long term effects will be experienced with regular practice.  No guarantee of immediate gratification.  But now that cake is in my body and the negative consequences are beginning to take shape.  Stomach ache, headache, lethargy.  No desire to do much.  Until it’s appropriate to get my next hit.  When I decide to pull myself off the sugar again, it’s going to be rough.  But I’ll feel better and I’ll start appreciating the little things in life again: waking up with the sun, downward dog, savasana, taking a breath, the sun meeting the top of my head, a walk around the neighborhood, vegetables. You know what slowly pulled me off course?  My mind, and cheese.

Critic

Oh, hello there, Stephen.  I recognize your scent, your taste, your touch.  You’re hanging onto me like a backpack or a koala cub.  I shake furiously to try to get you off, but you are a stage-five clinger.  You have impeccable grip.  So, it seems we’re stuck together.  In which case, it’d be in both of our best interests to make the most of it.

I hear what you have to say, but I really don’t want to believe it.  You say I’m fat, or well on my way, and that sucks.  For various reasons… First, it’s just flat-out not true. And second, if it were true, so what?  Would it make me a flawed individual? A bad person?  Failed at human school?  I strongly disagree.

Also, you say I’m judgmental.  But here I have a real problem because my suspicion is the judgment actually comes from you.  Yes, you!  You are projecting.  This is the epitome of projection.  You’re a critical fucking asshole and you go around calling me that all day long.  You know what, I’m not willing to accept it anymore.  I’m going to give you your judgments back.  Thank you for offering your opinion, sincerely.  I can see how these beliefs can help inform my decisions.  But by no means do I live as the best version of myself when these opinions dominate my thoughts.

Let’s address another qualm I have with something you keep suggesting: that I am lazy and irresponsible.  This one really is striking a chord.  I find myself paralyzed to think or be.  Now, does that idea really serve me?  To be more motivated?  To be more self-starting?  Fuck No!  It’s like a tranquilizer gun.  I’m frozen.  And again, let’s take a look at the validity of this thought.  So wrong.  So not true.  I am, on the other hand, truly enjoying finding the balance between being and doing.  Yesterday was a being day, with a little doing mixed in.  The day before was definitely a doing day.  And for today?  Well, let’s see what unfolds.

I think you need to lower your ridiculously high standards.  I used to blame L for saying these things, but my God, it was you all along.  I’m not going to deny the value of your voice.  Sometimes I really do need to be discerning, and my friend, I know who to call in that case.  But for right now, I invite you to fuck off.  Take a rest, take a break.  Go to your happy place.  You can sleep easy knowing that you’ve worked hard and I’m sure you will again.  For now, I bid you farewell. ❤️