Monday, September 7, 2015

So far

So far
most of the time 
I am strong enough
In so many moments of difficulty 
that rise day to day
I know how to pull up my grit
from the depths of me 
But there are times
that my serving spoon
scrapes the bottom of the pot
and lifting the ladle 
becomes exhausting 
Questions stir 
Why don't I get to let the panic rise in my chest like hunger
Why don't I get to ask 
Why 
out loud 
in a pleading voice 
that sounds the bitter taste
of the desperation I sometimes feel 
about how difficult things are 
how difficult things can be
I want to ball up my fists 
and pound the table on either side of the plate
that sits in front of me 
I want to rattle and bounce 
the silverware and china 
at the place that I have set 
with the dinner 
that I have made 
and scream 
no 
this is not what I wanted 
Why can't I have what I wanted?
I didn't get the recipe right 
This isn't what it is supposed to taste like
Why don't I get to crumble like my culinary failings 
Why don't I get to curl up
into defeat 
and plead with the head chef
Please, please, please 
let me try it again

However, I know 
that you can't make the same meal twice 
it's impossible
If I discard the first mess
without appreciating all of its subtlety
fully and completely 
then I will still be hungry
So instead 
I take a deep breath
I sit down at the placemat I have made 
from old napkin scraps of previous savoring 
Pick up the knife and fork 
which wait patiently 
beside each side of the serving
I use both utensils 
Prepare my fork with all the ingredients
and slowly take a bite 
I identify all the flavors
The ones I got right 
and the ones I did not
I taste the understanding 
of how all the nuances are now mixed together 
creating something unique 
a whole and complete dish
and I allow my whole heart to break
for the perfections and imperfections 
for my abilities and inabilities 
for the gift of this moment 
that may be irreplaceable 
Now I will have this refection 
I will clean my platter
I will clear my table
I will fill the sink with hot soapy water
I will scrub the pots and pans
And if I am so lucky
to be granted another day 
in the kitchen 
I will welcome the pangs 
I will open the pantry
pull out the recipe books 
and get to work preparing
the next most delicious feast 
that I have ever made
So far

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Queen

There is a game
we all are trained to play
We become
chess masters 
from the very beginning
We learn 
what we are supposed to do
to be seen and not heard
Do what I say and not what I do
The rules are laid out
by the slightest disapproving glance
or a blistering backhand
We are engrained
we are inscripted
we are accutely
cognitively
encoded
with directions
on how to
curb
smooth
edit 
censor
and gage 
the truth
before we even know it
and then, before we know it
we cannot handle it
It's not that we can't handle hearing it 
it's that we can't handle telling it 
And if you leave this 
human 
being
without telling your whole truth 
your raw truth 
your pure truth 
about who you really are 
then your time here 
will feel incomplete 
Your travels to the other side 
made even more rough and painful 
Is death not scary enough?
When I rest 
I want to rest in peace 
because I surely do not right now 
for those in my life 
who will not tell me their truth 
because they can't
they won't
they shouldn't 
they're afraid 
they don't understand 
or they do
are full of bullshit 
will 
not 
waste 
your 
time
because I refuse to waste mine
So 
do 
not 
waste 
my 
time
because you should not waste your own
Life is too priceless
to spend on mindless exercise 
such as strategy
I am not a pawn that begins battles for you 
or a knight who serves and protects
I am not a sly rook
Nor a stable bishop
Certainly not an idle king
I am a Queen 
who can move in any direction she wants
So if you approach me with the mindset of playing a game
be ready for what I toss back at you 
because my life doesn't follow the rules
my truth usually breaks them 
and I am tired of trying to figure out my opponents strategy 
this isn't a game to me
You may be having fun
but be careful 
Consider this your fair warning 

have 
nothing 
to 
lose
and that may make me dangerous 
because I am not playing, 
anymore.

Golden Apple Work - Monotypes







Golden Apple Residency Work - Painting studies





Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Now

I don't recognize who I am anymore 
I used to walk fast
I had a quick determined gate
Long strides
leaning forward
I had places to go
Where
I do not know
Now 
I find myself in a strangers lumber
I stand taller
My chin is lifted
but my jaw is not set
nearly as often
My hips are settled and sway
I walk in relative slow motion 
In relaxed contemplation
I think 
'who's skin is this 
that I am so comfortable in?'

I used to smile a lot
Not that it was unnatural 
or forced
but I felt the impulse to lift someone's face 
before I even saw them
My dentist would ask me
'Do you grind your teeth when you sleep?'
and I thought 
I don't know about at night
but I sure as hell do during the day
Now 
when I see someone
I wait
I look first
To see who they are
To see where they are
because maybe a smile 
isn't appropriate 
for them 
or for me
I am conscious of my own space first
Aware of my soul as it extends out ahead of me
I allow it to signal back to my heart and mind 
Just before my body catches up
A little easier to do
Now 
that my pace is slower

I used to joke about everything 
'Cause everything was funny to me
Anything can be
if you look at it that way
But my jokes were made of steel
Armed with raw truths
Stocked with personal insight
Jumping the gun 
with depreciation 
before anyone else could even think to load
I still fall back sometimes
from flesh wounds 
self inflicted by my own revolver
Now
it's more like Russian roulette 
Most of my jokes light 
like the air in an empty cylinder case
Harmful to no one
except for a single bullet 
I save for myself 
when an unfamiliar duel 
introduces itself
All I can do
is continue to 
pull my gun out of its holster
and throw it in the dirt
Now 
that I think about it
maybe I should just take off the damn holster

I used to have lots of opinions
Be brave 
I thought
Speak up
Let your voice be heard
I would say to myself
and every time I did
My heart would pound
My hands would shake
My mouth would run dry
as my mind scrambled 
to find the perfect things to say
Now 
I listen 
I listen longer
Harder...or maybe softer
More completely... I hope
I listen to what others are saying
and what they are not
I resist the urge to fill the silence
with wit or intellect
Instead
I listen to what my heart murmurs 
Underneath the heart attack of my thoughts 
I listen for what I need to say
Regardless of whether it's right or wrong
Sometimes I don't have to say anything at all
I spent the first half of my life digging for a voice
That got buried a long time ago
and it's funny
Now 
that it has been unearthed
I don't feel the need to use it all the time
The cadavers of the past are much too heavy to drag around
It is unnecessary energy spent on forward momentum 
which only makes me aware of the weight that is pulling me back 
when all I am trying to do is walk
upright
from one minute to the next
Slow time down as much as I can
so my soul can move forward
Just enough 
to be able to seeee meeeeee
Even if I only exist
Now
within the moment
within the motion 
within the movement 
of walking