April 30, 2010

night terrors

I had an awful dream last night. I could feel it coming, and in my head, before what I knew was going to happen could happen, I changed it a little. Just a little. Just enough so that I was in control, and the things that followed were not quite as bad as they would have been. But it was horrifying, still.

I woke up with my heart pounding erratically and my breath coming in flutters and gasps. In a panic, squirming fitfully under the covers, I couldn't decide if it was worse to open my eyes or keep them closed. After a minute or so I found the wherewithall to turn on the light, and tried to calm down. How could I have thought that was better? I wondered. And then I realized: it's what I've been doing my whole life. Growing up, I would look at the things that happened to me, and I'd tell myself, at least it's not like this. It's not that bad.

But it was that bad. And sometimes it was worse.

April 27, 2010

even when they are not there

We each love someone, even though they will die. And we keep loving them, even when they are not there to love anymore.

Anne Enright, The Gathering

April 25, 2010


I keep glancing at the clock and reading 10am instead of 2pm, as if unable to remember which side of the looking glass I'm on. I've had that feeling all day. Perhaps I simply woke up on the wrong side of the mirror this morning.


I have so much to say, and none of the right words to say it with. As if English were not my language at all, and yet all that I have. If my thoughts don't get out soon I feel they may start seeping through my pores while I sleep, whole paragraphs bled onto my sheets and pillowcases, making their appearance one way or another.

April 24, 2010


I am allowed to write something imperfect. I am allowed to have crappy handwriting, to insert random drawings and to cross things out. I am allowed to not make sense, or to be irrational from time to time. I can even swear, if I feel the occasion calls for it. (Damn right, I can!)

I need reminding, still. The girl I used to be suffered much for the appearance of perfection, and I don't want that life anymore.

with every breath

Lexie: What am I supposed to tell my kids when they ask why this happened to us?

Novalee: You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take. We both know that. And you tell them to let go of what’s gone. Because men like Roger Briscoe never win. And you tell them to hold on like hell to what they’ve got. Each other, and a mother who would die for them, and almost did. You tell them we’ve all got meanness in us, but we’ve got goodness too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. That is why we’ve got to make sure we pass it on.

quotes from Where the Heart Is

April 23, 2010

sugar and spice

A little girl was born today. When I heard the news my immediate impulse was to jump up and down, and run and throw open the front door and shout "I LOVE YOU!" to the sky, in hopes that she and her daddy could hear me even from so many miles away. I contented myself with offering wide-smiling congratulations via cellphone and bouncing excitedly on the couch as I listened to the details of her birth; then I let my friend go so he could continue to spread the good news. Because a new life is Good News, indeed.

I was full of only joy, at first. I am still full of joy; but when I thought of holding her for the first time, of exclaiming over her own individual sweetness (for she's sure to be terribly sweet), and feeling the warm weight of her in my arms, I started to cry.

Oh, baby girl! Welcome to the world. Already you have a piece of my heart. I love your daddy so so much; he has been a dear friend and brother to me for so long and through so much -- and I love your mommy too, because he loves her -- and I love YOU, because you belong to them, and because I wholly believe in love at-first-sight... and love before-first-sight, too. I am so excited to get to know you, and to be connected to you, however tenuously.

photo via weheartit


All I have to do is figure out the steps that are in between...

April 21, 2010

how we are strong

+ source


The clouds have finally made good on their day-long threats, the rain pouring down with sudden ferocity, heavy and insistent, on the rooftops and windowpanes, drowning my thoughts and interrupting my dreams.

April 20, 2010

when all else falls away

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened up by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance in wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in empty moments.

from The Invitation, by Oriah

for my little ones, and those to come

Poems by e.e. cummings

I will read these aloud to you, one day. The words will be woven into the tapestry of your childhood, and whenever you hear them later, in your college courses, or elsewhere in the wide world, I hope you will hear my voice again, speaking them to you. I hope that it will help you to remember: I've loved you since before you were born.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

April 19, 2010

Lady of Silence

by e.e. cummings

Lady of Silence
from the winsome cage of
thy body
through the sensible
quick bird

(tenderly upon
the dark’s prodigious face
scattering perfume-gifted
suddenly escorts
with feet

the smarting beauty of dawn)

April 18, 2010

I won't let him win, but I'm a sucker for his charm

don't fly away without me

I haven't written anything in so long. I kid myself, thinking: Later. Later I'll feel like writing, and it will all come out then. But the longer I put it off, the more difficult it becomes.

Every time I go out of town, it's like a fog has lifted off my brain. I can see and think more clearly, and believe that things are possible again. Then I come back to the valley. It's paralyzing -- the landscape alone! Pretty, in it's own way. It has its moments. But it has been the backdrop of all the horrors of my life, and I'd be content to never lay eyes on those foothills again.

Still, it is not so simple. Or rather, it is simple, but not easy. I say what I want to do, where I want to go -- but time after time my words float away from me, insubstantial. If I release them with more force, they fall to the ground with a hollow thud, like lead balloons. The words don't carry me anywhere. I squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath and hope, and when I look down my hands are empty still, or holding something that can't help me in the least.

I'm missing some secret, I think. Probably something a mother would have been able to teach. Or a girl who had not been so traumatized might learn on her own. I feel like I'm on a rugby field swarming with professionals, and I'm the only one who doesn't know the rules. Also, I am wearing a summer dress. And no shoes. And what the hell is it that I am supposed to be doing here?

April 3, 2010

a fine future

It is one thing to be promised a fine future and quite another to sit and wait for it.

Elizabeth Garner, The Ingenious Edgar Jones