To sit and think and write of the agony and despair of being tortured by endless supplies of surrounding loss - is to wallow in our weeping. To place grief on a pedestal, and press pause. Our tears slowly turn to clay, sculpting endless supplies of surrounding…words. Our frowns struggle to lift us to places forgotten, to avoid falling into the still of life’s estranged but necessary other half. When it’s not planes, trains or hugs that gets us there, it’s the pen. Retreating to now, the moment that leads the way to those forests -where all sides of trees are veiled in rusted moss- those cold and heavy forests, where we begin to connect with nature, and rustle through a sense of being nurtured. We’re forced to embrace void and fear, our long-lost siblings. Soon we’ll say goodbye to our Winter in Spring, knowing that as long as there is life, it will come again. And Summer will come to burn the shade off the trees. But for now, we weep. Wallowing in the moment, until we can put the pen down and allow the clay to become dust.
I was gonna write about how today marks the anniversary of meeting an angel. An angel who - while disguised as human -came into my life like a tornado, bringing heaven and the stars with him, only to as quickly -as the just fed happy hummingbird- fly away, leaving a necessary, and wonderful, lasting impression. But…we’ve all heard that love and life story, and I might tell it later.
Instead, this morning I received the always dreadful news that another good guy has left us to cancer. (this cancer stuff is getting old, by the way) He’s a best friend to one of my closer cousins. All of us the same age, at that point in our lives when priorities surface, self-awareness speaks to us through the language of birth, loss, career transitions, and through the restlessness of the realities of a monotonous life. Our realities a little more settled in (just a tiny bit more), making it easier for us to understand each other.
So the other day, when my cousin communicated to me how devastating Oscars recent cancer journey has been —for him, my cousin— I realized the impression that Oscar has made on his friends. I again, was reminded of the power of friendship, and how powerful a lasting impression can be for one another, just by nature of being a good person.
Oscar leaving us, is a tremendous loss. I’ll always remember him as the badass UCLA left guard, who in high school stood out from the rest of my cousins friends because of his teddy-bear heart and because he was a vegetarian. His pro-football career cut short by his first battle with this horrible cancer demon, he instead became an amazing father, and remained very close friends with many of the same people he grew up with; a testament to his character. It wasn’t until recently, after twelve or so years, that I started to catch up with him again, and easily discovered what a wonderful father he became, and the loving soul that remained.
May Oscar rest as he lived, in peace.
“The winds that sometimes take something we love, are the same that bring us something we learn to love. Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us, but, yes, love what we have been given. Because what is really ours is never gone forever.”
In this society,
to love with your entire being
is a curse.
A curse that all souls
should be committed to
and that I’d bet my life on.
A curse to proudly secure
in the trenches of the space hidden
in the pause of entanglement,
love briefly put on hold.
A curse that warms like the sun,
building foundations of time,
memories to unravel slowly in.
To love, as if society doesn’t exist.
Civilization begins and ends
when we become cursed by love.
...the inspiring awe of a Teslin Lake, embedded into the curves of a simple smile. The fishermen have shown me the certain greatness that lies beneath the magnificent beauty of the still waters, and beside the restless trees that embrace them. A life so beautifully delicate and complex that even men yearn, as women do their families, to foster a particular process of sharing time with, and to better understand, what’s hidden below.
And now, perhaps in my journeyed existence as a young woman, I’ve discovered that even beyond this life in the waters, stirs an even greater purpose. As a clown disguises his sadness in his false smiles, the waters cry out to us, not as sadness but as proof, that a smile is what we should seek to take when we explore its robust, still body. A smile that reminds us that it’s the world that we should make happy, and we merely follow. Our lives belong to this world, and the essence of our being lay still in the water. It’s the all-recondite joy we should share and remember, without asking why. Happiness doesn’t begin or end with a view or photo of a lake, nor with the fish caught from it. Happiness begins with awareness of the fragility of our lives and our response to all that the Earth has given us, including that smile in the lake.
2013 memory of Teslin Lake, Yukon 2005
Not understanding constitutes the magic that drives us to the forest; rich with vertical stories as tall as Merton’s seven storied mountain. We can’t explain what can’t be conquered, what shouldn’t be reached, the echoes that can’t be heard.
Yet, somewhere in that unexplainable, sleeps an answer. An answer that will wake when the sun rises. The sun that never sets; the one that shines eternal. Edison would bask in this everlasting sun. This certain brilliance that lights the way to our happiness. The light in all of us.
And after this, who shall say a God doesn’t exist?
At the end of a day, a religious one such as today, I try to remember that all religions and non-religious “belief systems” are tied by a string made of the same material. These fibers form a basic pattern, in the form of symbols, consisting of—a calling, a pull, a need for something “else”, a goal, a journey, an all encompassing love. All of these play a part in the story that is life. The story that binds us all. It’s up to us to keep that story going. It’s the antagonist, that continuously tries to create obstacles while in the midst of that journey. It’s my belief that in the end, the antagonist NEVER wins. In the end what ends up winning, is life, the way it happens…which is precious and purposeful and above all - mortal.
You know the one, the small town girl with the big city spirit. Her smile comes alive at the stop light. Red and green signals stare through her see-through brilliance she calls a dress. But ask her if she knows happiness. She'll tell you all about helplessness. She'll struggle as she speaks, stuttering through her breathe, wearing fear on her tongue as it slips from one man to the next.
And then...she'll disappear, borrowing your big city spirit, for a taste of happiness. Forever praying that you'll want the small town girl to return instead.
some of us are born of roads
bare footed, clothed in lonely hearts.
forever hiking through nightmares,
paths of burning pangs,
longing, seem necessary.
unraveling majestic farms
of our carnal sins, serenading us
along trails guiding us to earthly waterfalls.
Travel tames the wild mares. If you let them go, they'll return to where the heart makes a home.
in the end
there are no swan lullabies.
no memories of uncomfortable stories,
to bring us comfort.
no bitter-sweet last minute offerings
of secrets, no final surprise.
no last chance at an unfamiliar hope.
not a smile for unsung bliss.
no church bells to harmonize
a timeline of glory, agony, defeat…
not an embrace to leave us
warm and loved. only a body removed.
a soul left somewhere for the living to rescue.