The Valley

And here I thought I was choosing.

One person or the other. The old me or the new me. But now, as I rest cautiously in the valley between, I see that neither side really works.

If you met me years ago, you’d think I had this already figured out. I took daring steps, threw my head back and laughed at it all. But inside, it was always a lie.  Inside, I despised the game that I couldn’t stop playing. I was a puppet and puppeteer all at once.

If you met me a month ago, you’d think I always told the truth. Comfortable in my own skin, even as I spoke of how much I hurt.  You’d think I had this already figured out.  I took cautious steps, lied my head down and cried. But inside, it was always a lie.  Inside, I despised the game that I couldn’t stop playing. I was a puppet and puppeteer all at once.

And now I rest between, forced into this place by loneliness. I try to stop thinking and simply feel. There is a calm in not knowing if this is all going to work out, yet knowing I don’t want to go back. I want neither ridge, neither me.  I want something different.

Is it possible to truthfully tell what lies inside, without destroying myself in the process? Would it be possible to ever trust someone with what’s inside?

The old me tried, and was left angry and alone. 

The new me tried, and was left confused and alone.

But in the valley, I am still creating.  The what ifs seem more possible, yet further away, everyday.


The butterflies are back, and I’m beginning to understand why.  I used to think they were my nerves.  Sharp darting sensations that fill my body when my brain is lost in translations.  But I was wrong. These butterflies dance through my body, whisking away the loneliness.  Their wings flap swiftly, dusting away everything that hurts. If I give them enough time, they’ll sweep away it all, my brain will take back over and I’ll be fine.

But for now if I stare into the distance long enough,while letting those butterflies dance, I find the irony. It’s in the words of course. The ones people keep saying and seldom mean. It’s a place of opposites…trust me really means good-bye.  The words and the actions are always tied together, and directly oppose each other.  My thoughts trip on the moments between.  Is it me? Or is it possible it has nothing to do with me. Aren’t these really the same thing anyway?

In a world where I love you and I’m sorry are constantly tied together, what is left? I can’t find my breath. But I’ve been here before. I can follow the path I created for myself. Move on. Pretend I’m not dying inside. Be strong. Smile…

Or I can let those butterflies dance, let the tears come, be alone…and remember that if I tell myself the truth long enough, someone else will too. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll choose me.

The Barrier

I am not here to verify.
I am not here to answer

I feel now like I am lying in the ruins of a place long destroyed.  Dressed sparingly, but not cold, I feel like a child confused…but not scared.  I think its all in my eyes…spanning slowly, taking it all in.  I tell myself this will all make sense tomorrow.  And I don’t panic.

Opposites require small distinctions. Never and always are  really just a breath away. I am both here and there, all at once. And it is just a breath away. One choice, and everything alters on a dime.

Water and fire are not alike, but they both destroy.  Small distinctions, and where you see it from is always the question. I am still the same as I was yesterday, except that I am not.

They say most snakes shed their skins once a year.  Losing the hard, semi-transparent skin requires a process.  A barrier is formed between the new skin and the old, requiring this resilient creature to rub itself against rocks until the old layer is loosened from the barrier. Once ready…the snake literally walks out of its skin.

I am in the barrier.  Slowly massaging away this old, tired, semi-transparent skin. Moments of suffocation give way to moments of breath. I am both new and old at the same time.  And i continue to massage, until the rest falls away.

Early on, I thought it would happen slowly and not at all at once. Now I see I will massage, bend, twist, feel…until I get up and walk right out.

For now, I will consciously occupy this place, for it is not fate that brings me here, but will. My will, my choice.  I’ll hold it in the palms of my hands and it will hold me, as though I am in and of this world all at once.

Forever Young

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.

It felt like it would be the last time he held me. And as I focused on how that felt, I was struck by the stiffness in my arms.  They couldn’t find that familiar place~ the place they always rested during an apology.  They would lie lightly at first, afraid to touch too deeply. But as he squeezed tighter, I would latch on again…let out a deep breath, and all would fall away.

That didn’t happen this time.  I didn’t want to touch him. I know how his body can pull things from me, convince me to believe, turn me into dough.  And since I can’t go back, I must find new places on his body to touch…nothing familiar. I found a hip bone…and I rested there awhile.

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong

But he squeezed tighter still. He knows me and he’s relying upon that knowledge…but I have changed.  Every time he pulled me a little closer, those breaths came out.  And so did the sobs.  Finally. My dreams came feverishly now, the ones I’ve always had and must free.  The ones that confuse me and trick me to stay.  Say goodbye.  The sobs were growing, taking over the silence, and at times I actually gasped for breath. I didn’t want them to stop.  I wanted the tears to fill the bedroom and wash away the lies, the past.  And those dreams…take them too.

May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

And without a warning, his sobs came last.  Mine and his together, the only thing left to be shared.  The sobs danced with each other, slowly sifting the songs of a dream that never quite came true.

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Down comes the rain

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I’m still suspended here, quietly waiting for the sadness to come. It usually comes in small pieces and this confuses me.

Years ago, I would sob violently in moments such as these. Always on my bed, one hand clenching my comforter, and the other in a fist…pounding the bed beneath me. The salty taste of my tears would fill my mouth and my ears, staining the pillow with mascara.  I could have wiped the tears away, but doing so would require releasing that comforter…the only thing left to hold on to. There I lied, all night…drifting in and out sleep. Riding a hazy dream that was never certain if it was beginning or ending. It was always there and never there at the same time.

These moments seem quieter and much shorter. I focus on letting them come.  I am comfortable with the violence of these tears. The pain they wash away. But I can’t seem to cry.  My sobs trip on that breath.  I try to free them, but they can’t seem to come.  They take 2 seconds, and then let me rest.

I don’t know what this means, but I think there is a lie here somewhere. Deep inside me, still haunting this body. Not ready to be released.

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The Release

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It shouldn’t take much to tell your fingers to release.  I practice often.  I imagine that my brain has magical powers and if I stare long enough at these fingers, they will let go. My concentration and sheer determination is remarkable, but it does not work.  There they sit, clenched, veins pulsing…they will not budge.

I’m trying too hard, I’m making the simplest of gestures…large. I am giving them the power.  Let it go, let it be. These are no longer questions. Here, I find that breath again. The cleansing kind, the kind that releases.

I always thought the moment after I let go, would be a mad panic.  It isn’t. It feels quiet.  I’m more humming-bird, dancing lightly on the wind, then a large flailing body crashing to the ground. The tight rope held the pain…charged with electric currents. The fall frees the wind…and I sway silently.

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The Tight Rope

I hold on and hold on and hold on until I don’t anymore.
I believe and believe and believe until I don’t anymore.
I love and I love and I love until I don’t anymore.

Letting go should be harder and yet easier all at once.  But there are in fact, two parts of letting go.  The brain’s decision and the body’s reaction. It is both quick and too long.

The message has been lost in translation for what feels like an eternity. I don’t know when I started doubting, but it feels like I always have.  My brain has told my body to let go a million times.  A million times it sent the message…let it be, let it go…but my body never listened.  Knuckles clenched on a tight rope…they would not release.  I know why.

My brain was not sending the right message. It was sending poison…to each of my limbs and to my heart.  A venomous snake that kills it prey slowly…paralyzing its remains. My brain the last to freeze…all the while fighting to remain alert, it both created and reinforced that poison time and time again.  As tho my own brain was in deed killing itself.  Lies are poison. The ones we hear, the ones we tell…they devour us alive.

But my body remained tightly clenched to that rope. The wrong dream, the wrong me.  Cruelty is a mystery that begs to be misunderstood. I am cruel to myself. I am cruel to my body.

The cruelty, the poison, the lies…they are all the same. They are mine.

I hold on and hold on and hold on until I don’t anymore.
I believe and believe and believe until I don’t anymore.
I love and I love and I love until I don’t anymore.