Unknown Futures

I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating lately about the paths and journeys we take into unknown futures.  Here are today’s ruminations.  (first draft, very rough)


How do you live best? Being true to yourself is being present in the moment.

We’re all on a pilgrimage. Often overwhelmed by circumstances. Look back to where you came from. Look forward to the horizon. Look up. What is your relationship to the horizon? To the future? Who will benefit from the place where you are? Who needs to receive your song?

The transitions of our lives are like living with storms, weather, rain. We need to shape our lives to meet the demands of the weather. In the presence of something new, we don’t yet know how to be in conversation with the new circumstance. We have to get over ourselves. We have to get out of our own way.

Do the brave thing. Take the path to your future. Begin by not denying any part of yourself. Bring the frightened parts of you along the path. Look at the parts of your life you don’t want to look at. Finding these parts comes out of silence. Listening to our deepest interior voices. Are there wells you don’t want to drink from? Grief? Regrets? Mortality? It’s tempting to give ourselves easy, unsubstantial answers. Speaking to ourselves in trite clichés. Spend time in silence, listening for the wisdom to speak. Then speak out of silence. Tell the story. Make your story.

Don’t run from vulnerability. It’s going to become the foundation for where you’re going. Helplessness comes with great loss. We don’t appreciate what we have, until it—or they—are gone. Helplessness and loss are like medicine leaving a bad taste in your mouth. We turn away from these experiences, not realizing we need to go deeper in. The full depth of the experience of loss brings knowledge, wisdom, and a reshaping of our lives we would’ve never experienced without the loss. Don’t wait until their deathbed to reach out to loved ones with your true self. Do it now. Be present fully in the moment. Be your authentic self.

Be the person your future self will always remember with thanksgiving.

~Debi

34jkie

Storytime: Kitchen creepiness …


Several weeks after my dad installed a new sliding door between our kitchen and laundry room, I heard my mom laugh. A good, solid belly laugh. I ran to see what could be so funny. Mom was nearly doubled over, pointing at the far end of the room and stuttering between sobs of laughter, “It’s Satan! HAHAHA! It’s Satan!”

I looked where she was pointing, but I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Yellow walls, a new door, turquoise and copper cannisters, a goldfish bowl on the counter by the sink. Nothing that could earn the title of Satan.

She laughed harder. “You don’t see it, do you?”

I looked at her as she removed her cat’s eye glasses and wiped tears from her eyes. The laughter seemed less hysterical now, but quiet chuckles still shook her shoulders. She leaned against the countertop and looked back at me, laughter still lurking in her eyes.

“Oh, gosh. You must think I’ve gone crazy.”

Um, yes. The thought had crossed my mind.

“Look at the new door, Sweetie.” She walked over and began running her hand over the grain of the wood. “Look. Do you see the two horns? Here are the eyes. Here’s the pointed beard. Do you see it?”

I looked at the door as if I were looking for shapes in clouds.

And then, suddenly, I saw him. Satan’s head took up the entire door. His horns branched from his head at the top of the door. His beard just touched the bottom. I had a brief momentary shudder. The face was frightening. And then I laughed. I laughed at the humor of finding the Prince of Darkness looking out of our kitchen door as if it were a portal from the Underworld. I also laughed with relief that my mom didn’t have a straightjacket in her future.

After that day, whenever a new friend came to our house, I would take them to the kitchen so they could meet Satan. I’d trace the wood grain as mother had done, describing the facial features, one by one. And then, suddenly, that magic moment we’d been building toward. Recognition. They saw him! Sometimes a scream. Oftentimes a shudder. Many times a hand clamped over a mouth. Always horror in their eyes.

My friends didn’t like to come into our kitchen or sit in the dining room where they had a view into the room. It’s understandable, though. Satan lived in our kitchen door.

[Sadly I don’t have photos of Satan in the door. I guess people don’t think to take photos of their kitchen door. Or at least my family didn’t.]

 

You Who I Will Never Hold


I may love your forever
you, who I will never hold
a relationship based on intimacy
of feelings, of thoughts
always yearning
always disappointed
never satisfied
never full
the desire to die
or to be fulfilled
wishing for the hunger to cease
or be satisfied
the flame to be extinguished
before it destroys
how do I live with this desire
this hunger
this flame
we met at the wrong time in this life
too late
but even so
I may love you forever
you, who I will never hold

Poem: be aware


Short excerpt from the new book-length erasure poem, BAD THINGS HAPPEN.


31m2vqk1gvlthe evil
in this world

troubled
human history

call for help

LISTEN

in confidence ask
begin to understand
discern wisdom

LISTEN

open your eyes

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

be aware

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

they have been
deluded
they bought into
deceit

words
deluded them

LISTEN

you were captive
to traditions

you were buried
you were dead
you were hostile

you judged
defrauded
your mind

BAD THINGS HAPPEN

your freedom
distressed people

LISTEN

you learn
significant truths

BAD THINGS HAPPEN


Poem: the immortal sea


the immortal sea
spread like snow
white caps of salt
and seaweed
walking the carpet
of a white beach
dreaming of flying
imagine the white
endlessness
the clean swatch
of infinity
waves of salt
returning the white
water to the white
sands, the ocean’s
immortality


Just messing around with format

Sometimes I play around with different ways to present the same words on the page.  This is a redo just out of curiosity to see how it works in block format rather than more traditional lines.   If you’re interested in seeing the original, you can find it here.  I realized I haven’t really shared much here lately, but I have been working on some things, but not ready to show the newest projects yet.  So I think I’ll just starting showing some of my “process” of writing the assorted things I’m messing around with these days.


inspired

neither god nor muse on a train in a nasty mood coming from the outside from the inside the source is unimportant the poet is the poet is the real thing Yeats is Spicer’s ghost father the poem drives the poet parasite dictating to us (the Martian) Yeats’ wife possessed by spooks “I’m here to give you metaphors”


inspired


neither god nor muse
on a train
in a nasty mood
coming from the outside
from the inside
the source is unimportant
the poet is the poet
is the real thing
Yeats is Spicer’s
ghost father
the poem drives
the poet
parasite dictating
to us (the Martian)
Yeats wife possessed
by spooks
“I’m here to give you
metaphors”


Ready?


The First Time at the First Place

But I’m not ready to go home yet.
“But you can’t stay here forever.”
I know. But I’m not ready.

I don’t even know what ready means, or what ready looks like, or how ready feels. I just know that this is not ready. Thoughts of returning to the same circumstances that sent me to the hospital in the first place bring on panic attacks. I don’t think that’s ready. When I can’t stop crying whenever I think of going home, I don’t think that’s ready, either. When I shake so much I can’t eat, I suspect that’s also a sign I’m not ready.

“All, right. You can stay for one more day, but only one more day. That’s the best we can offer. You’ll need to use that day for preparing to go home. Can you do that?”
Yes. Okay. I understand. I will.

I do understand. I do. But even so, I don’t think I’ll be ready. At least they offered me one more day. One more day of safety from myself. One more day to breathe freely without fear that I’ll give up on life again. One more day to think about the thinking that led me to thinking that I needed to be in the hospital. One more day to accept the reality of life on the outside. One more day to steel myself for returning to the grief and loneliness. To return to the reality of pain and rejection. Of never-ending sadness. Of emptiness. Of hopelessness.


The Latest Time at a Different Place

The last time I was in the hospital, they sent me home before I was ready.
“We do things differently here. We won’t send you home until you’re ready.”
But last time I was told I just had to get myself ready and I couldn’t stay any longer, even though I was afraid to go home.
“If you feel afraid to go home, then you’re not ready. We won’t send you home until you’re ready.”
How will I know when I’m ready?
“You’ll know when you’re ready. We’ll know when you’re ready. We won’t kick you out, we promise. You can stay here until you’re ready.”
Oh. Okay. Thank you.

Is it weird to say I cried when the doctors told me I wouldn’t be going home for a while? I cried from happiness. I cried from sadness. I cried from sheer exhaustion. I cried from releasing the fear I’d been carrying. The fear of having to return home too soon. Perhaps this time will be the last time if I’m able to stay for enough time to finally discover what ready looks and feels like. What ready actually means.


Reading Ecopoetry on Patriot Day While Sitting on the Back Deck


hummingbird soundtrack
distant rumbling
thunder? no
train yards
impersonating summer squalls
alone
sunlight scented skin
quiet rustlings
dry leaves
red umbrellas
Patriot flags
poetry pages
flapping open
shut open shut open shut
in a passing breeze
suspended in time
between stillness and movement
warmth and cool nights
morning and forever
mourning and
open shut open shut open shut
life’s pages flap open shut
hints of fall
uncertain futures
one more lonely pass around the sun
dandelion wishes
daisy loves
and love-me-nots
vanish for another year
deep distant rumbling
thunder? no
shuddering moments of loss
the sun shines still
quiet and still
warms this sun-kissed
tear-stained
pink-skinned mammal
one more day