I don’t want to be swept off my feet. My god, I want someone to collide with me. I want to be knocked off my feet, to be under their weight and be engulfed by everything they are. I want to be look up into their eyes that make the sky its greatest enemy, rivalling its beauty. I want the breath to leave my lungs in the most suffocating way and when I breathe it back in my skin burns and flowers are sprouting in my collarbones with life that’s never been there. I want to be held so tightly that I can no longer tell where they start and I begin. I want lips to wonder over my neck with no real purpose. I want laughter to be the loudest echo ever heard, I want it to reach the rays of the sun and fill a warmth in my heart I didn’t know existed. I want hands to draw patterns into my skin with an ink only I can see. Let the world watch on as I become a poet with no purpose and 1001 feelings.
It was the end of November, all the verdure of the garden had disappeared, the trees were nothing more than skeletons with their long bony arms, and the dead leaves sounded on the gravel under my feet.
A vivid memory: October, early morning, age 13. I am camping with my godsister. The grass frosted over in the night and crunches under my feet. Everything glitters faintly with ice crystals. I build a fire with some difficulty - my godsister balances a cast-iron skillet on the logs. I wrap myself in a wool blanket and watch her deftly crack eggs into the pan one by one, tossing the eggshells into the flames.
“If you burn eggshells, they explode!” says a notoriously crass older relative, whose only form of affection is teasing. I maintain eye contact with him and purposefully shove an eggshell further into the flames.
He laughs. “Not so gullible now that you’re all grown up. You like to tempt fate, don’t you?”
I ignore him, entranced by the way my godsister is cooking eggs. I am envious of her skill and the ease and confidence with which she does such a simple task. Did she grow up without telling me? Someone has recently told her that she has a “strong feminine energy”, and she glows with pride and strength. I do not feel as though I have any sort of mysterious energy - just a thousand things to worry about and a growing sense that the world is full of chaos. I have a constant, gnawing suspicion that I am the butt of some great cosmic joke, and that the punchline will catch me off guard any moment now.
My godsister fries eggs. I chew my lip, bracing myself for failure, for rejection, for nuclear warfare, for the world to come crashing down. It doesn’t come, but the eggs finish cooking, and I eat them with gratitude and a fair bit of envy.
Whenever I finish a work, I always feel lost, as though a steady
anchor has been taken away and there is no sure ground under
my feet. During the time between ending one project and
beginning another, I always have a crisis of meaning. I begin to
wonder what my life is all about and what I have been put on
this earth to do. It is as though immersed in a project I lose all
sense of myself and must then, when the work is done, rediscover
who I am and where I am going.
there are places i wish i never went to and people i wish i never met and i’m sorry i can’t let you in. i’m sorry mostly to myself, for potentially missing out on a good thing. i’m sorry if you look at me and see only a blank space where my emotions used to be. i’ve gotten so used to covering up, so used to being anything but myself, so used to second-guessing my words to the point where i don’t speak at all, i forgot you’re not like everybody else.
but you could be, that’s the thing. you could leave and never look back. you could find somebody prettier, smarter, more selfless than me. you could sweep the rug from under my feet. and i can’t go through it. i can’t. so i keep my mouth shut and do anything i can to look pretty. so i ignore your calls and the nice things you say to me. so i’m sorry. i’m sorry. i don’t know how to change things.
“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” ― Haruki Murakami
—- Sunday, September, 27th, 2015 —-
“dirt. the original proving ground.”
this weekend, with the pine tree smell of Christmas, the fallen leaves on the ground, the cold, autumn wind, and the dirt under my feet, my overwhelming love for the trails, the mountains, and running was ever present. happiness at its finest.
I hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains alone, there were barely any people, I couldn’t hear anything but the dirt crunch under my feet, and my breathing.
I thought about the mountains & the ocean and how beautiful and purposeful they are - how beautiful and purposeful I am. God made the mountains and the ocean and He made me, too. The last 6 months have been the struggle of a lifetime - learning to love myself, my body, my spirit - and the weight of my realization on this hike proved to me how far I’ve come. Not there yet, but moving closer all along.