One Thousand and One Nights

“Is it possible, that by telling these tales, one might indeed save one's self?”

Month: September, 2013

A Night Full of Talking that Hurts

“A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held-back secrets. Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.” – Rumi

Smoke by the railroad tracks, the 5 o’clock train to Philadelphia rattling leaf and stone alike, the shudder of a waking up. Sunset through the trees and a long conversation— the unveiling of a story between friends with ten years of absense between them, a long catching up, a coming together of stories and even stranger tides, of two young women with nothing but time.

I don’t think anyone can say they are the same person they were a decade ago. Then, I was fourteen, an idiosyncratic mix of mischief and silence, a girl displaced from the quiet suburbs of upstate New York to the flat, crowded menagerie of diners and Jersey culture. Unlike my younger sister, I never felt at home in New York. Packing my bags left me with little nostalgia, and settling down in some new land made me feel like a midwestern pioneer setting out on the Yukon goldrush. But I never felt at home in New Jersey, either. I don’t belong in any one place.

Seeing the changes an individual undergoes is terrifying and exciting; we become strange, dark opals polished by tossing and turning, some colors magnified, others scratched away. Even biologically, by the time we die, there are no molecules left of our bodies from the moment of our birth. We aren’t statues in some garden that changes and reshuffles around us, but rather an oil painting set atop a water canvas, a masterpiece that grows and shrinks and eventually drifts apart.

Who are you, in this moment?
What parts of yourself will you keep?
Lose?

Sitting on the remants of that old, stone bridge, wandering with a longlost friend through sunlight, smoke, and stories, I felt the nostalgia that I should have perhaps felt when I first moved to New Jersey, that “at-home-edness” that had been missing for so long. Love takes many forms. Its shoots can be cultivated into so many shapes and varieties, some short-lived, others perrenial and unassuming, dormant even, but not dead. The long period of silence between us made me realize how important it is that we take the risk to reach out, to express ourselves even when we’re afraid, to strip ourselves of the armor that will tire us if always worn.

I’ve learned this much: language was created so that we may understand eachother, to light the dark thoroughfares of doubt between people; silencing our thoughts undoes this purpose. Find the words that make you feel the most vulnerable, the most naked. Find what you are most afraid to say, and ask yourself, what would happen if I told this person everything?

Then talk to me,
even if its a night full of talking that hurts.

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The Waves

“Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.” – Rumi

There’s always an image. Words, too. They are the contractions and expansions of the same beating heart. Birds sing outside, crickets, a crescendo of cicadas rising over the din like the foam of a breaking wave— then silence, more of it, the space between beats, a contraction. An inward pull.

I’ve told Rachael, in various hospital rooms and late night “situation porch” conferences, that I feel like we are always on the breaking point of a wave, that we can feel the momentum of every circumstance moving beneath us, yet all we can do is wait, wait for one tear in the fabric of the water, for the collapse and unravel of the impending into the occurring. Predicting is not the same as knowing. Reflections change in moving water. I’m changing, somehow, I think. But everything I’ve thought in recent months, predicted, expected, or even daydreamed, has been distorted by the jolt of circumstance. The result can be beautiful, but it’s always uncertain. The water surges and the reflection changes. An expansion. An unknown push.

I don’t know what will happen with Wayne’s cancer. I don’t know anything. I only know that I need to work as hard as I can and to love everyone as much as I can before the wave breaks, whatever wave that is, because every person in my life is precious. You all mean so much to me and there aren’t enough words or images to convey the depth and sincerity of my sentiment. This endless contracting and expanding of circumstance would be unendurable without you.

Prelude

People ask me how things are— to be honest, I feel guilty for discussing what’s going on because some of these happenings are somber, and I don’t want my every conversation to cast a shadow. Trouble finds everyone. That’s just the way of it, I’m afraid. I don’t want to make anyone a captive audience out of anyone, but at the same time, I’m eager to express myself without the risk of monopolizing conversations with a rap sheet of personal melodrama.

So, enter this blog.

Here there be ramblings, rants, updates, and anecdotes. If you’re wondering how I am and are afraid to ask, or maybe you did ask and you don’t believe me, or maybe you’ve been picking through my trash for months and can’t discern anything other than what my favorite flavour of yogurt is (give coconut a chance!) then consider this a window into my tiny corner of the world, a place where I spill my guts in an almost psychotic need to bear everything, if only to myself.

This way, you are not my captive audience.

Come and go of your own accord.