Something old

I found this buried in a notes app I rarely use. It’s not that old (last December) yet feels so long ago. A different lifetime. A different world. But the feelings are the same.

//

It is a wonder to me that as we grow older I watch us become the people we once admired. The grown up adults making a difference in the world. Building a life and seeking adventure with abandon and humility.

I write. I change. I continue to write. It occurs to me as the new year approaches that so much if my writing is about the loss. The grief. The future left unlived. The stark pain of a fresh wound bleeding through the page.

I continue to write. This year with a new theme. I don’t expect to write devoid of heartbreak. It is a familiar passenger in this journey. After all healing is a process not a destination so I fully expect the wounds to bleed again.

But it is not longer a river.

No longer feels like my body is cracking open with every breath.

Your name no longer feels like a secret.

The numbers change. The days lengthen. Still I write. Still I dream and question and grow and wonder.

//

– L

Hold your loved ones close

Hold your loved ones close.

This phrase keeps repeating in my head. Hold the ones you love close enough you can feel their heartbeat. Close enough you can share their warmth, close enough you can see the world as they see it. 

Hold the ones you love close enough you can keep them safe. 

But in these uncertain times, how do you really know what safe is? If the world was really ending, would it matter if I stole another kiss? A final hug? A few moments of comfort in your arms? 

Maybe.

In these uncertain times I ask myself, what would I do for you? Anything. What would I feel for you if you were in danger? Everything. What would I cry for you if you were gone? Oceans

And yet, part of what makes this so surreal is that even as it burns, the world is still allowed to be beautiful. 

/

The world is silent but for the hum of the car on the highway as we make our way down to Joshua Tree. It’s dark but in the distance the hills are….glowing? I think they’re lights from houses, but there are too many of them. Too many and they’re flickering. Like embers. And I realize…

The hills are on fire, literally burning in white hot flames. 

It is terrifying. 

It is beautiful. 

It makes me want to cry. 

/

The other day I went for a walk and was struck by the colors of the flowers near my apartment. Vibrant purples made all the more dreamy by the late afternoon sun. Don’t they know that the world is holding its breath? 

No. Of course they don’t. Because that is not their business. Their only business is to live. To blossom and die.

/

Even in uncertain times

Hold your loved ones close

Because the world is always allowed

To be beautiful.

– L

b – birthday

Entirely unplanned but the last letter in this year long project is ‘b’, on the night of my birthday, appropriately marking the end of my 26th year. I don’t really do regular retrospectives, though I have often wondered whether I should start. This blog has served a bit of that purpose.

A year ago my birthday was not a particularly happy occasion. It was the night I cried, alone and so terribly sad. Sad from heartbreak. Sad from the grief that sometimes never seems to leave. Because while so many people had reached out to me in love and well wishes, I had secretly been waiting for one message that never came.

Heartbreak is a bitch like that.

It can take all the good around you and flatten it into shadow, hidden by the stark contrast of that one missing thing. How terrible it is to live in the negative spaces.

This year my birthday has been soft. Unplanned and a bit unexpected with not one but two delicious cakes. There was nothing in particular I wished for and nothing in particular missing. It has been textured without being jagged, with moments of beauty, joy, embarrassment, loneliness, gratitude, and wonder. I feel like I am living in the humblest sense of the word.

It’s been almost exactly a year since I started this project and honestly, it has not turned out the way I’d expected it to. I thought I’d do more long-form pieces. Or ramble-y posts around some theme or word that I’d picked out beforehand. In reality, many of these poems came to me either in fragments or in a rush of emotion some solitary night, with the title often arranged only after the piece was done. I tweaked my made-up rules and randomly forced myself to follow others. There was very little rhyme or reason to most of it and this project leaves behind many, many poems that didn’t fit a letter quite so neatly.

Which means I should think of another project theme to publish them under.

But until then, here I am, one year older and still not wiser. Thanks to everyone who reached out to say happy birthday, who coordinated secret cake surprises and spent time with me, whether in person or online. To anyone patient enough to have read all 26 of these randomly arranged letters.

You have all my love.

– L

 

 

j – judgement

It hurts to know that you don’t regret it. That your advice to others is to break up. That when you see your friend unhappy, when you hear about their doubts, you conclude that it must mean that they are too different.

Leave her, you say. 

I can’t, he responds. 

Your loss, you think. 

It hurts to know that you think you are better off. Without me. Without us. That you cling to your judgement like it is the only thing that can save you. 

Maybe it is. 

Do you ever doubt? Ever wonder if you were wrong? Do you ever worry whether our love was the greatest love you will ever have? Or are you still wearing the blinders that tore us apart. The blind optimism that turned to pessimism, neither one something I could change. 

But I can promise you, you will never find someone who loves you the way I did. Maybe that is a good thing. Just as every person has a different genetic footprint, every person has a different way of loving. A different way of seeing things. Judging things. 

If only our verdict had been a little different. 

– L

y – you

I want you. 

All of you. 

I want to swim in your veins 

And let it carry me 

Through every inch of your body. 

I want to hold you so close 

I can no longer tell whose heartbeat 

Is drumming in my ears.

– L

k – kindness

To all the boys who loved me more than I could love them back: 

I could only love you as much as I loved myself 

Is that how love works? 

Does it exist on a spectrum 

That is and forever will be 

Bounded by how we feel about ourselves. 

I could only love you as much as I loved myself 

Because to love you more 

Would be to give up on myself 

I am not a savior nor did I want you to be mine 

please 

forgive me 

To all the boys who loved me more than I could love them back: 

I hope that you are happy now. 

Better now. 

Safer now. 

I hope that the magic we had has made your life 

A little brighter, 

A little softer

As it has made mine.

– L

g – grief

I have known how

to spin beauty from sadness

for as long as I can remember

it was an alchemy

that I was born with

but

I want to know how

to separate the substrates

find light without darkness

does it even exist

or do I need grief

to live?

– L