Friday, December 30, 2011

To anyone who's ever...

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song "The Chain," #23 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

The raw inside, tender and chaffing.
(I'm letting myself feel the missing of you.)
Remember every detail, panic
when one portion of the picture in my mind blurs
and I have to fill it in with what I think was there
(this is a new kind of faith, a different level)
I don't imagine you perfect, and I haven't smoothed out
your lines or made excuses

for your cracks;
I only know that I melted into them
without knowing how it happened.
(some parts of me are hiding
in your pocket when you walk,
behind your eyelids
when you close them in sleep.)


Thursday, December 29, 2011


(Pre-Script: This poem should be read as the song "The Other Side Of the World," #33 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. Hint: If you have earbuds, it sounds better when the music is being pumped directly into your head. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I'm learning to hold back,

the power of subtlety

instead of unraveling all at once.

I'm going to let my strings out slowly,

I'm going to let myself be caught,

instead of tangling your hair

instead of getting caught up in my own net

instead of tangling all up in your hair.

When I say "I'm learning," I mean I have heard of the concept,

I mean I like the idea,

even though I am not good


(I like hummingbirds,

and I like angel fish,

and I like knowing my own secrets as treasures

on a sandy shore

in the middle of a glistening ocean

which turns turquoise when the sun

hits at just the right angle.)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


(Pre-Script: This post best recieved as the song," Mysterious Ways," #4 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

This year for Christmas, I was thinking of giving everyone a rock from my rock collection with a note explaining why this particular rock reminds of me this particular friend. Like "This rock is perfectly round and smooth, fits just right in my hand, just like you in my life." or "This rock is bright and sparkles in the sun; it reminds me of you." I would be thrilled if someone gave me a gift like that; most of my friends will not appreciate my rocks.

"You're so weird!"

I've heard that for years; I hear it often.

Hearing it doesn't make me act less weird, though.

So many people are trying to figure out who they are, or are afraid to let other people actually see who they are.

But I've been through crap; I know who I am.

I'm a girl with a rock collection.

I don't just pick up any rock I find; I have to like it, for some reason. A perfect, round rock with enough weight to it feels good in the palm of my hand. I like to hold on while I walk. Heart shaped rocks are always keepers. I like to think that God put them in front of me to send me a message. Sometimes I pass these on to other people when I know they are going through a hard time. I don't worry about what they think of me; I assume no one's ever given them rocks before, and I don't care if they think it's strange or unusual, because I know it is. But it's a reaching out, anyway, and it's the reaching that matters. People don't reach out enough.

I find most of my favorite rocks at the beach or in rivers.

I like to explore.

Today, I went to the beach with a friend. This friend was in a cranky mood, at least towards me.

Quote from nameless friend: "I am feeling irritable. You are not helping."

Me: "Well, I'm glad I know that I'm not responsible for your feelings, because I am in a great mood."

I said that even though I felt stung, and then I walked away, and then I didn't say anything and we split up to do our own solitary things.

Interestingly, this is one friend who can appreciate my rocks and where they came from. This friend will "ooh" and "aah" over interesting rocks with me, marvel at the significance of where a particular rock came from, say things like "I've never seen one like this before; look, it looks like the face of a whale when you hold it this way."

I will look and say "Yes, I can see that."

I was going to find a rock for this friend today while beach walking, but I also know that nameless friend is getting ready to go on a long journey far away, and does not need any extra rocks right now.

And I also know that this friend has told me in the past, "when you leave, you leave a lot behind," and also, "you are not always good at receiving."

to which I had said "Well, I received that."


"Thank you."

Or something.

I did not give this friend a rock today.

(but I did give one to my friend's sister, a perfectly white sparkly quartz, and she said "OH, thank you! I used to collect these, I thought they were so neat!" So you see, I'm not the only one.)


Sunday, December 25, 2011

All of this beauty

(Pre-Script: This poem will explode in your mind if you read it as the song, "Closer," by Joshua Radin, #30 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

The world isn't falling apart,
but some of the people in it are-
we shatter in effortless beauty,
like stained glass
before it has been reassembled and glued
into a window through which light can shine,
through which you can look out and see,
like the first time you saw the automic bomb
and thought, "orange in the blue sky-
unheard of colors exploding right in front of me-"
we watch and tell each other,
"because all of this beauty,
the world is not falling apart."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Driving there

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "The End of the Innocence," #39, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Confession: If I am stuck in traffic with no way out and wearing nail polish, I will start to peel away at my nail polish like I'm peeling off an extra layer of skin, even though I know how demolished my fingernails will look once traffic lets up. I am not so good at handling a lack of margins. Some people can handle a lack, or they hide secret addictions to get through. Create space in a room inside where you are suffocating. I want to drive through life knowing there is a shoulder always there, always there, just in case. But some roads are too narrow. Often life feels like yesterday, when I was trying to merge on to the freeway that was going to take me someplace beautiful, wild, and free, but a large semi truck was blocking my way, (decide now, decide by your actions) and when I looked in the mirror to see if I had room, I caught a glimpse of a small girl with pigtails looking longing out the window and next to her, the boy with the bluest eyes.


Monday, December 19, 2011

After Yesterday's Flood

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Shadowfeet,"#12 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

This morning, I woke up while it was still invisible dark outside. The waking felt like I had traveled from a long, deep place and there had been a dream there, and it had been vivid, but I couldn't hold it in my mind on this side. It slipped out as I stood upright. After yesterday's flood, I thought some caving in might crush me from the inside out. I didn't know if I could touch a solid thing and walk, mostly spirit. I yawned, got dressed in my running shoes. I made a blueberry smoothie and tea, then turned off the kitchen light and was blind, hand feeling my way to a door that was still where I'd locked it last night. I opened to a black silent world. But as soon as I stepped outside, I heard a raindrop, and then another, and then another; a slow building up of sprinkes until the noise on the roof was a full rain shower, which sounded like well timed applause. The sky was cheering for me, and all I had done was walk through a door.

I got into my car quickly, feeling shy.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

If I had a pet bird

(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song, "Blackbird," #22 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

If I had a pet bird, I would get a second pet bird, so that the first would not be lonely. But I would never get a pet bird. I think taming a creature that was created for free flight is a sorrow to everyone, especially but not limited to the bird itself, since the idea of keeping creatures that were built for soaring in the open air over the entire planet in a few feet by a few feet cage is cruel. So I'd have to let my lovelies go, and by letting them go, I own that they no longer belong to me, and never did. They would be free and flying and would quite possibly not ever come back to roost in my trees. But if they did, it would have been their choice. so I'd rather not have a pet bird to begin with, just to save myself from all of that unnecessary guilt and sadness.
I like to think that I live in an alternate universe and I have pet birds there, they belong to me, because I named them, but they are free to fly anywhere, there are no cages and the sky is the limit. In my imaginary alternate world, I have two birds, and I name the first one Lucy, the second one Diamonds, and they are in the sky with each other.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Mean," #42 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

When I was 11, I had a friend who was some days nice to me, like "you're my best friend," nicknaming me "Mickey," which no one had ever called me before, and sometimes was cold, distant, and aloof. Before this, no one had mentioned to me that girls in 6th grade and on sometimes turn into mean villainous monsters. I forgot to turn into one, myself. So one day, I asked her, "Why are you sometimes mean to me?" she looked at me and said very innocently, "it's like, I can't help it. You know?" but I didn't know; I was like, blink blink, "well, I sort of feel like I just want to be nice to each other every day. So no, I don't get it." and then we went through Junior High and High school, and so on until we lost touch. It's taken me this long to realize that she may have not been my nicest friend, but she was probably my most honest friend. Ironically, this particular girl was discovered to be a chronic liar, as the years went on. There was a scandal which is not my story to tell, so I will not divulge it. I only knew that through all of it, I just loved the girl. It took me being out of high school a few years to realize that, so that when I did finally see her again around town years later, after we'd chatted a bit of small talk, I looked her straight in the eye and said "you know, I don't know what was true or what wasn't all those years ago, but what I want you to know is, it doesn't matter; I would have loved you no matter what was true. I just loved you, and I always will." She said "aw," and "thanks," and changed the subject like a master pro. But I hope that my words penetrated deep, to a place usually left untouched, and it sparked something dormant there, something beautiful left dormant too long. But that's not my story to tell, either.
My story to tell goes something like this: I was once again at the beach treasure hunting for sea glass today. I have a friend who lives right above the ocean and will text me when the tide is low to let me know it's a good glass week. This friend didn't ever look for sea glass until I told him about it, and now he finds it when I am not there and gives me what he has collected just because he knows I like it. There is something to be said for a friend who looks out for the things you care about not because it's what he cares about, but because he knows that it means something to you. I honor that logic. The problem is, I don't necessarily follow through from my end. I was on the beach today, with my head down, and when I saw other people up ahead also looking down, I thought "Don't you dare be looking for sea glass, all the glass on the beach today is mine is mine is mine, you can't have it, and there is no such thing as share." I don't believe in sharing, have I mentioned that before? I am not a mom who tells her kids, "you have to share that" because I don't believe in being a hypocrite. I don't let them eat off of my plate, either. It's like, this is my food, eat your own. So I was walking along, thinking these thoughts while the song "Mean," by Taylor Swift blasted into my ear buds via Ipod, when a smiling stranger tossed me a silver dollar sized piece of clear sea glass. It was perfectly smoothed, no rough edges. He said "I don't know if that's a good one or not, but I figured I'd give it to you." I said "It's perfect!" and thought "HOW did he know I was looking for glass??" He walked on, and I looked up and didn't see him again, so I was sure that he was an angel sent to teach me a lesson. Then a smiling girl walked up to me with a handful of sand dollars. She said "Did you find anything good?" smile, smile. I showed her the glass I had found so far. I said to her, "It looks like you are looking for sand dollars." She said "That's just all I've found so far." as we were standing in a plot of sand loaded with gravel, colorful rocks, fossil rocks, sea glass, and seashells. But whatever. She seemed content. She said "Happy hunting!" and kept smile walking. Then my sea glass tossing angel appeared again. This time, he had a green rock in his hand. He said "I don't know if you think this is cool or not, but it's green and flat, and I thought it was kind of cool looking." I said "Cool, it looks like a piece of smashed chewing gum," because that is exactly what it looked like, and he said "yeah, it does!" and I said "but it's not one I want to keep." So we tossed it, but he was very friendly and smiley through the whole exchange, promising to give me any cool pieces of glass he found from that point on. Very kind. I never saw him again. So you know, I guess it was time for him to go back to Heaven, or at least lose his flesh and blood human form for awhile. His message to me, the mortal human, had been imparted to the best of his ability. I wasn't sure how deeply it had stuck, though, as I approached an older couple with their heads facing the ground, in a plot that looked to be promising as far as glass finding went. I smiled at them through theoretically clenched teeth as I asked "what are you looking for?" The man said "heart shaped rocks." at which statement, I unclenched my metaphorical teeth and smiled more genuinely than before. Like, oh, is that all? Cool. And then I exposed my vulnerability. I said "I like to look for sea glass." The woman, who had not been a part of that conversation, then approached, and I, feeling extremely relieved and therefore jovial, said "So, you're looking for heart shaped rocks?" she said "No! I have a ton of those already! Just interesting looking shells now." and she showed me a few. Still feeling relieved, I said "cool, awesome," and the man, looking sheepish, said "heart rocks, interesting shells, and the occasional piece of glass." That was all it took to bring the snarl and hiss back out of me. May my giving angel of sharing and giving not be too terribly disappointed in my character flaws. But the thing is, when I am searching the beach for glass, I feel like a kid, do you know what I mean? I never ever get tired of it, and I sometimes gasp out loud when I find a particularly incredible piece just laying there near the shore. I don't care what your passion is, I hope that everyone in the world has one, something that excites and brings the child likeness inside out, because it's the simple joys in life that make you so happy throughout the days and weeks and years of a lifetime, and THAT is the lesson I want my children to pick up vicariously from me, if it wasn't accidentally already passed down through genetics.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Cold the Whole World Over

(Pre-Script: This poem best read as the song, ""The Chain," #23 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I no longer want to be the girl
who sabotaged her former self
to sell a painting to a man in Times Square
for 32 cents and a bagel.
I no longer want to be the girl
who looked at the pretty things all around her
and drew a line through the middle of them
with her permanent black marker

one week before the antique dealer

was about to make her an offer
she could or couldn't refuse;

it would have been her choice.
I no longer want to be the girl

who ate her way to the North Pole

only to find that it wasn't a land mass,

and nothing grew there,

it was just the frozen form

of ocean no longer waving
no longer roaring

just cold just deep old cold
the whole world over.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Slide Quietly Out

(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song, " The Scientist," #41 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Slide quietly out of a comfortable chair,
then March

to the window,
and March

out the door,

while the sky pours,

while the sky scorches,

while the sky changes from raining to scorching,
knowing that

whatever is in between won't be felt.
(i thought i could look at your picture;
i thought a lot of things i hadn't yet done