Friday, October 30, 2015

lately

lately i've been wondering about fragments. i've been wondering at how my heart breaks off a little bit of itself each time i have a departure. i've been wondering at how part of me stays behind with certain people and with certain places that my heart has fastened itself to.  it mostly does this without my awareness, does this sometimes brashly without my consent. 

i've been wondering about how many pieces of it i can afford to leave.  how many fragments is each heart made of?  because each bit has a heart string attached, which pulls on what is left inside of me.  this stretches me in multiple directions at once, making movement in any direction a certain hyperextension of the heart.

lately i've been wondering how much of this i can take.  what is the line between chiseling away for proper defining of our shape and going over the capacity of fissures that causes the whole sculpture (that is each of us) to crumble into dust?  but, i also know i can't take the pieces back either.  they were seeds from the start, fallen on fertile soil.  they eagerly took root.  they've already become saplings.

i've been thinking that i don't remember giving permission for my heart to do this.  i don't remember chipping off a morsel of myself and putting my own hands in the soil to bury it in the ground where i long to linger in myself.  it seems unfair that the piece is able to remain when i have to leave.  i'm not selfless enough to willingly let it do so and to then suffer from jealously.

lately i've been wondering: wouldn't it be better if, right before we had to leave something good, it became a nightmare instead?  if all those our hearts become firmly affixed to could become monsters, so repulsive we can't get away fast enough?  or at least malicious jerks who burn our favorite books, cut down old growth forests, and break our legs so we can never hike again (insider information - if you want to be a malicious jerk to me, this is how to do it). what if the places we'd found a sense of self in suddenly became a burning building we had to run from, were being singed by?  if such places suddenly felt like an alien planet, void of oxygen, and with a very heavy sense of gravity?  wouldn't that be nice? wouldn't that be easier?

instead, these people and places become ghosts, sweetly haunting the edges of our chipped and fissured heart.  both a sorrow and a solace. because, although our longing thoughts of them are a transparent reminder and poor replacement of the real deal, such thoughts are also a means of tracing our fingertips on the wound marking that which was hard to let go of, that which part of us remains attached to.  it becomes a talisman permanently burned into us so we can reach to it for pain (which is really a kind of courage) no matter where we are.

lately, i can see these left behind pieces as a sort of bread crumb trail, that traces the journey from where we once were to where we are now.  there is sense of fortification there, a safety net, an exit strategy.  we know we could follow our heart strings back to each piece until we are at our beginning.  even if we never do this (or only do it just briefly) the mere knowing it is an option is enough to keep our heart together.

lately, i'm thankful that i have people and places that are hard to leave. i'm wondering if perhaps our whole life is learning how to adjust to the reshaping of our heart as we leave bits of it behind, or as others take bits of it with them when they go.  maybe all the heart strings attached to those pieces are one big tapestry that is the story of how our life is interwoven with others.  the stretching of thread is something painful as we go, and seems a mess at the start, but the pattern is becoming something well defined and beautiful, just imperceptibly.

how lucky i am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
- a. a. milne

Friday, October 23, 2015

betrayal

why does our heart
betray us when we sleep? 

not every night
not with kind predictability.
and this leaves us off guard,
in the greatest vulnerability.

it lets us drift with the tide
all our defenses down
lets us nuzzle into the fiction
willing us there to drown.

how cruel it is,
letting us be wrapped in light
letting us drink in the imagined
with all the misguided delight.

and when we wake
still under the veil of the dream,
in whiplash suddenness
we realize it was all a scheme.

because in earlier waking hours
we had made a deal, had come to sense
we'd tossed out impossibilities
and built up our defense. 

but our heart cleverly deceived
and shelved such things instead
only to dust them off in dreams
and bring them to life in our head.

we are then only too willing
with rationality at rest
to invite such delusions
to simply "be our guest."

but when we wake
there is the hangover-of-belief,
from that period of contented faith
that was painfully, tragically brief.

the dream now burned in remembrance
as real a memory as the truly real
but it "was just a dream"
"its really no big deal."

however, these dream memories
haunt us in the day,
revealing our heart's treachery
of things in which we have no say.

each betrayal dream is a hallowed hope,
a shadow thought we will to stay
we just can't help ourselves,
can't bear to banish it away.

we could have done so
before it was a thing we fell for,
before it was a thing with life.
so we concede we've lost the war.

and now in both waking and sleeping
we beckon this ghost to return
not caring for the re-wounding
nor the deepening of the burn.

why does our heart
betray us when we sleep?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

sparrow


there it is again,
that same old feeling,
that hallowed-out cavity
and its misguided reeling.

wings folded in again,
mistrusting the wind’s direction,
fearing a kidnapping,
desiring its own protection.

sometimes it dreams it’s a jay, a tanager,
some species colorful and bright,
but its feathers lose their color,
and it is a sparrow again in the daylight.

it keeps its wings folded in
why risk testing their strength?
why risk seeing if they could carry it
to that distance of great length?

because these empty branches,
are a haven, not a hell,
their architecture so familiar,
the sparrow falls willingly into their spell.

it is no icarus.
it does not crave that height.
it’s well suited for shadow.
it’s estranged in something so bright.

the jays dive in the currents,
the kinglets flit in the breeze,
the finches dance in the gusts,
but the sparrow is perched in the trees.

curious what it would feel like,
to have feathers of a different hue,
but only ponders with detachment,
pondering it is quite known to do.

but never quite wishing to be other
than a sparrow, plain, but true.
and watching the flight of the others,
its daydreams stayed and grew.

so there it is again,
that same old feeling,
that hallowed-out cavity,
and its misguided reeling.