It has been happening lately that when I try to find an answer to a subjective question, instead of looking in the outside world (which feels hopelessly insufficient), I start to write about it and tend to find exactly what I’m hunting. Maybe it’s the inner wisdom we can tap into if only we try, if only we listen, if only we pay attention. The process is not without some pain but you’ll find the pain is a tiny price to pay.
A longish while ago i was on a train when out spilled a little poem about killing the king and the queen who live layers & layers below the flesh. I read it often, realising over and over again that sometimes the words for which you’re searching outside, words that you hope will speak to your soul, are patiently simmering within, waiting for you to give them shape.
you burn us
In truth I smolder and burn down my heart. It has been on fire too often.
I destroy myself in a slip dress. I’m buried in dirt. I dug too deep.
It is annihilation all over again. Familiar wounds blaze and I suffer the inevitable rage of loss.
on this day 54 years ago left human existence to illuminate other unlit realms with his distinguished inextinguishable spark E. E. Cummings who lives forever (or “beyond the clock”) in the heart of every person his magical poems touch. who knows how many worlds he has kindled with his words. who knows how many entire universes would not exist without his poems.
I cannot write. I am so scattered that I cannot collect my pieces long enough to be coherent. Maybe there is something in that. Like drops of mercury, for a longish moment, it seems as if I have it, it is in my grip, i see it whole. I start to pour it into a vial and it spills and disintegrates again into such small spheres that I cannot gather them all. I cannot. It is lost. I cannot write enough. Will it never be enough or will I never know when it’s enough? The drop has fallen and shattered into minute wholenesses. I don’t know where it is and I want it. I want every little particle. And so go on my days and so they end.
Sometimes so much happens at the same time that everything seems to go still. Or maybe just you do. Things people said gnaw at you and you know those things will consume you if you let them. So you ignore them. When you think about it you try to convince yourself that their intentions were not all bad, that maybe they came from a perfectly good place. But there’s a part of you that doubts. And it is that part that is loud and hungry. So what do you do? You pay no attention to it, try to drown out its voice with other sounds, hoping that if you ignore it, it will be silent, calm down, go away. But that’s never really how it works, is it?
Sometimes you have to fence off a place inside yourself where you can safely keep the thoughts, desires, plans, dreams that are precious to you. And you have to be sure that you don’t put them in the midst of people who you already know are unable to comprehend them in the way that they are meant to be. They have shown it to you in the past. They have proved that your words land nowhere when you speak to them. The pieces of yourself contained in those words fall down a gaping abyss and you feel a little twinge when that happens, like you gave away something you shouldn’t have, something you should have held close to your chest and babied a bit because it was not ready to be mishandled just yet. Those people don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know how to connect to that part of you in which they don’t see their own reflection. And they have no other way of connecting, of relating. And you can’t teach them. Who knows if even you are any good at it, and if you are then who knows if you’re any good at teaching it? And how do you teach something that the other person doesn’t even know they need to learn? And when did it become your job to help them learn it? Isn’t your energy best reserved for other things, the things that make your heart soar and make you smile and sigh in contentment? And that you don’t get from others. That’s within you. Safeguard those precious pieces of yourself. Don’t let them be touched by those who don’t understand their importance to you, in your life. And if, because you’re only human, you do let them, take them back, though it be an effort, and polish them again, showing them the love and care that you know they deserve. Give them back their life within you and they’ll do the same for you.
i thank goodness
for cold grey wet dreary
days like today
for days like these
do not employ naked sunshine
and golden warmth
to somehow lure
me towards the outdoors
and days like these
let my favourite thing to do
be the ideal thing to do
which somewhat invariably
involves sitting at odd angles
in a large comfortable chair
to my dear heart’s content
that i am missing some little
of weatherglorious or actionrare
i don’t even really care a damn about to begin with.