No

NO

PREFACE: I used to think it was important to only share recovery, and on that same wavelength, I used to think only love poems were the kinds that were important to share.  Today, I am reminded of the process and how I had to hear experience, then strength and hope in order to heal.  Knowing that you’re not alone is key to releasing the power that traumatic experiences have on the mental, emotional and spiritual states of the person who has been disturbed.  I am reminded that both light and dark exist together.  The following might be triggering for some assault/rape survivors.

My dream last night was about James.  He was the sweet neighbor boy who lived around the corner from my house growing up. We would ride our bikes around the dirt roads together.  One day he “forgot” his bike, so we had to walk, and he grabbed my hand and held it all afternoon.  We would go swimming in ponds and pick blackberries and on one evening, he gave me my first real kiss when I was 13 in the back of my mom’s car.

I remember wearing his football jersey to school on a Friday to support him for the game that evening.  Feeling important and trusted, I wore it like a badge of my status, popularity and commitment to my new and first boyfriend.  After the game, he kissed me again, this time in front of his friends.  I was amazed at his confidence and bravery in liking me.  He was a year older at 14, and fellow friends envied that an older boy was dating me. It gave me this image of “maturity” where locker room girls asked for dating advice.

James and I didn’t date long, however, age differences at that time of puberty made a big difference.  Girls at 14 were starting to make-out with boys, get felt-up, even play below the belt.  But I wasn’t ready.  Nervous to even french kiss him, that didn’t seem to be enough for his current appetite.  However, we remained friends all throughout junior high and into high school.

We went to parties together often, although he typically would socialize with the more popular, athletic crowd.  Whereas, my group was a little more rough around the edges.  He was never judgmental, though.  When I wore too much makeup, or a shirt too low, or when rumors began to spread of my sexual conquests (apparently I slept with an entire football team at another school and got 7 abortions one summer), he remained my friend.

I often thought he was one of the kindest, truest men I had ever met.  I trusted him wholeheartedly and even thought that one day we might end up together when life balanced out a bit.  I could see us on the farm raising a bunch of babies, working the soil and having too many animals. He loved dogs and I loved pigs and we both already had at least 5 cats between us.

Within a single evening, those tender daydreams turned into rocks that were thrown into my perception and shattered my reality.  Parts of me broke all while I slept.  At 17, he raped me in his dorm room when I was unconscious. The once sweet boy who I shared so many memories with became a horrible nightmare for 13 years to come.

I got very drunk at a party one night. I knew I had overdone it and was worried about my safety.  As a smart girl, I knew that boys could take advantage, so I called James to come get me since he lived in a dormitory nearby.  It was no secret that I was fall-over drunk. I was young, still trying to figure out my limits with alcohol and as some children from disturbed childhoods do, I was self-medicating. Even as I write this, I find myself justifying.

I don’t remember much after returning to his dorm room.  Just laying in his bed and trying to fall asleep, my shirt coming off and telling him I was cold.

I woke up the next morning completely naked beside him. Confused, embarrassed and sore. I got dressed and left knowing that I didn’t want to have sex with him, but I had, or he had with me. Feeling like it was my fault – for years to come. Scared if he had or hadn’t used protection.  (He hadn’t). If only I hadn’t drank so much.  If only I could remember what happened.  If only I was awake long enough to tell him no.  If only…

I drove home missing a part of myself.  I drove home never wanting to see myself naked again.  I drove home with my skin tensing with disgust and anger.  I drove home to a place where I was not safe to tell anyone about what had happened.  I drove home in silence and alone.  I drove home looking at a sunrise and feeling like nothing would ever look beautiful again.  I drove home empty and numb.  I drove home passing his house.  I drove home.

That night, I was given three things: an inability to get close or trust men for nearly a decade, a tendency to disassociate with myself that spawned many more years of abuse, and I was given chlamydia. Which my parents nearly disowned me over.  (Back then parents were notified of sexually transmitted diseases if the child was under the age of 18.) Fortunately, one of those things was treatable with a tiny little pill.  Unfortunately, everything else wasn’t that easy to overcome.

I wrote a poem that day, it later won some prestigious thing that’s not even worth mentioning – but here it is.  A poem I haven’t read in 13 years that all of a sudden today, on the eve of 2018, somehow feels important:

No
Hold my heart out on my sleeve,
Take a breath and watch me leave,
Caught in passion that I didn’t want,
Act as if you’re nonchalant.
One can’t be after such an assault.
The heart is in remorse and life comes to a halt.
Hide my tears and never tell a soul,
My body is numb and my love is cold.
Never regain consciousness from this perdition I’ve been placed.
My life is over.
I’ve been erased.
Not so fast, this isn’t my fault.
Don’t ask why, one could never understand,
Why this man could have laid his hand,
His hand upon myself in an outraged way.
Don’t ask why, for on that day,
You will take your life away.

 

Come to Me

COME TO ME

Come to Me
Open your eyes.
Don’t look away,
I want to show you my body.
I daydream every day
About lifting my dress over my head.
Feeling the contrast
Of your hands on the warmth
Of my velvet skin.
You have yet to feel the strength of my thighs.
Or how delicate my fingertips can be
On the curve of your low back.
Our eyes whisper
Forgotten articulations of intimacy
More complex than walnut burl searing
In a healthy winter fire.
Lips like crushed figs
Swallowing with anticipation
To kiss you, please let me.
Trembling, quivering, pulsing.
Nourish me with the sparkling contents
Of your smile as you see my vulnerability.
And then don’t make me wait.
I have felt the pressure of your excitement
Against me,
Subtle movements pressing closer
The bulge of your affections
And I want it.
All of you.
The way I had you now and then.
The glisten of sweat,
Boiling the blood
Like a kettle I will let you know when I am ready
But take your time.
Taste me, I’m sweet
And I want to hear all of your noises.
See my secrets, my scars,
Smell my sexuality,
And move into me.
See my fevered eyes
As I rake my fingers down your chest.
I want you in my hands, in my mouth
I have felt you everywhere but there.
Make me pant, hear my gasps,
Write your name inside me.
Bury your face into my hair
As I push myself selfishly closer
Covet me. Cover me.
Come to me.
Oh my dear,
How I miss you.

A Tale of Two Lovers

CREATIVE ASSIGNMENT: FINAL PROJECT

A Tale of Two Lovers
There is a profound sadness in her.
Bathed in responsibility
And graceful with acceptance.
Passersby can’t even see her hiding
That sweet, calm smile,
Selflessness worn like a familiar sweater.
Worthiness a tattoo written backwards on her shoulder
A silent reminder.
But not many, only a one,
Can see the poor girls heart.
The one that sings louder in cars
Or alone with her pillow.
Or in a bathroom with the water running.
Her prayers hang on the wind
Sorrowfully tussling the leaves.

“May he find that love.
One that is patient in silence, like mine.
May she kiss his lip when he bites it.
And may he hold her hand long enough to split realms.
I hope her body effortlessly tangles into his
At night, with the candlelight
On the ceiling at just the right angle, the way he likes it.

Allow him a home.
And for her to be braver than I.
I want her to look him in the eye,
and say with clarity, with vibrancy
Without hesitation,
Or fear of exploration,
– I know you,
– I love you, my only one.

Have her kiss his back, and the soft spots on his wrists.
The parts I have yet to kiss.
When she touches his neck,
With ease, he will settle into her.
May she delight in his humor,
Make her clever –
I know she will be so beautiful,
More beautiful than I. ”

She wistfully watches
As two birds dance and flirt in the sky
Above a building,
High over her head and thoughts.
She remembers him,
And the way they bumped into her car
While falling in love, and holding each other
Like teenagers do.
Paintings on the wall ask her,
“What do you want?”

“For him to think of me.
From time to time,
But not all the time.
When laying with his back on a rug
Or when that song comes on.”

Her love of him, it does not end
That’s not what this is
This is slow piano music played in the dark,
It’s the smell of a memory once loved but not forgotten
Slipping toes in sand,
The sensation of stars dripping from the night sky.
A first kiss, before sullied by time.
Or the way she felt with a new book when she was younger.
Hopeful and complete.
Eager to read on, a seemingly endless and fascinating tale.

Are You Ready? Winter Solstice, Full Moon & A Meteor Shower This Weekend!

MOONLIGHT ASSIGNMENT

I don’t know if you are as hippie as I am, or if you’ve been feeling this lately as well, but there is a freeing sensation in the air.  An awakening.  I’ve been lighter these past two days. The grief is present but it’s not aching, I have finally slept 3 nights in a row without nightmares and my heart is settled and planted firmly in my chest.

I was wondering what this was all about, because the last time I felt a shift of this magnitude was during the autumnal solstice. I did some quick Googling, (sidebar: I really don’t like using “Google” as a verb), only to find that this weekend is not only the winter solstice, but it’s also going to have a full moon and a meteor shower. I am vibrating with excitement!

During the autumnal solstice, I was not ready.  I was unstable, anxious as all hell, missing my partner who was out on tour, and our wedding was like 8 days away and everything felt like it was falling to pieces.  Fortunately, for this solstice, I am super ready.

I am ready to embrace this season of transformation.  I have been in darkness for months, I have felt the pain, the loss, the depression, the shadows and I am learned.  I have new discoveries in my heart and in this moment I feel prepared to self-reflect and free them into the powers of this moon and welcome the light to come.

The winter solstice is a time of major change.  On the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest night all year.  On the southern hemisphere it is the longest day.  With such a sharp contrast, it reminds everyone that with darkness, light will come and with light, darkness will follow.

It’s not about longing for one, or being distressed with the other – it’s about accepting that both are present at all times.  There is light and darkness in the world, in each of us, in all things – there is a sun and there is a place of no sun.

It’s about allowing these polarities to flow through us as the universe allows both the sun and moon to gravitate around Earth simultaneously.

Alongside this time of acceptance, we have our beautiful first winter solstice full moon since 2010, with the next one not returning until 2094.  A special occasion to be witnessed.

To some, this moon is also called the Long Nights Moon, or the Cold Moon. With the power full moons bring, it really delivers the weight of introspection, heart-searching and renewal.

Full moons often remind us of our wisdom and our intuition and if you’re in a calm state of mind, you will receive some very positive influence during this winter moon.  But, if you’re feeling a bit chaotic or disoriented, the full moon could increase your emotional state due to her powerful energy. Be gentle with yourselves and know it’s okay to be quiet.

With this beautiful combination of the wise full moon and the reflective winter solstice, I feel the urge to dive inside.  I’m reminded of this time to hibernate, to recharge, to fatten up.  I’ve been storing all of this darkness, and foraging for education in the experiences around me and now it’s time.  It’s time to allow the cold moon to light up my inner silent voice.

With the end of the year being a phase of completion, I’m looking forward to honoring the light and dark inside myself.  I plan to greet myself wholly as I am and becoming more fluid with my solar gravitational pull.

Now, if both of these weren’t incredible enough, the Ursid meteor shower will also be taking place Friday and Saturday nights.  We’re expected to receive about 5-10 per hour, but some have said that in the country it’s possible to see upwards of 100 in a burst.

The showers can be seen between the big and litter dippers – Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, from which the shower was named. The showers will start around 1:00am in the north-northeastern sky.  But with the full moon in bloom, the viewing might be affected from the harsh glare. The pre-dawn hours are usually the most favorable for viewing.

It’s a time to delight in!  It’s a season of mistletoe, cinnamon, nutmeg, deep reds and lush greens, pine cones and wood.  It’s rich and earthly everywhere and the warmth of the people are all around.  If you are in the darkness, hibernate and listen deeply while the sage moon guides you into welcoming the light.  If you are already feeling the sun rotating your way, open your home and heart for it is a time of generosity.

Veneration
Have you ever lived in a dream?
“I’m in one right now,” whispered the little blackbird.
My song is the most beloved,
And I like it best after a rain.
Usually I sleep at night, but not now,
Tonight, there is a beautiful refrain.

Just Words

JUST WORDS

Just Words
I will spend my lifetime searching,
Wandering the pathways,
Pacing through the corridors.
I have already hiked down an Austrian mountain
And yet, I haven’t found them.
I drove across the country from a small town farm in Michigan
Sleeping in my car for days
Winking at the moon and blowing kisses to the stars.
I once saw a baby greet a Christmas light with the tip of her tiny nose
And yet, they still allude me.
Sunsets have poured over hills and valleys,
I have heard lonely trains ring out in the night.
I flew in a helicopter with a glass floor and marveled at the grass below.
But where are they?
“Longing” sounds too friendless.
“Wanting” sings of desperation.
Those are not the right ones.
I’m searching for something sweet.
A seeker, traveler, an old nomadic people,
A people who make love everywhere except a bed.
We are out there and we are adventuring.
All in the hopes of finding them.
“Adore” feels commonplace
“Rapture” has an aftertaste of leaving
“Treasure” is not rare enough.
Yet, I have not grown tired,
Nourishment and apostles lead the way.
My footsteps are one of many, but they are of my own.
With every mile and exhale of relief, I hear your names.
Painters are drinking sangria in Madrid,
Musicians are caught flirting with their eyes
All the while, I am sleeping just to dream about you.
In South Africa, a baby black rhinoceros coos for her mother’s milk,
And bright blue nameless birds fly over a harsh and tanned grassland.
The clever wind knows where to take me, another nameless bird.
Like the soft and marbled clouds, I float and watch and wonder.
“True” inching closer…
“Providence” there is wisdom, but there is no pulse.
What language do the God’s speak?
Have they found them yet? Or were they the first and forever hopeful mercenaries?
Will I always be too human to hear them?
Children and babies have slept in my arms
And so did you, once.
In my love for you, in my pursuit of you,
Oh my dear,
I will one day find the…

The Fog

THE FOG

The Fog
The fog was alive in November
The time when we remembered.
It was a Sunday night,
And the man in the eccentric clothes never walked his dog.
No one could have known,
That the temperature had been just right.
That the birds were softening their sight.
As the mist began to grow
Only one house had laughter within it.
Piercing the street with sounds only lovers could make.
The hypnotic dance had begun,
Echoing and enchanting not just one.
Two young moonflowers unfurled in the dim haze.
Trumpeting their petals, swaying only with each other.
Circulating was the thick cloud, as if searching for her mother.
And just then, consciousness became her.
Delighting was the chant of the silent whisperer.
The twirling new blossoms inhaled the ancient world.
Recalling, enthralling,
The Earth was still somehow revolving.
But there was no proof,
The Bible should have written this.
The flowers were sighing
As the air started drying.
Only the smell of cinnamon remains in the empty field.
The field where significance once sat.

Loneliness Is Just A Label

LONELINESS IS JUST A LABEL

Meditating last night, I found myself chanting “sit” on repeat.  Going through my mala beads at least twice, maybe three times consistently reminding myself to “sit.”

“Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit..”  and so it went.

Having been born in a house of chaos, it’s been challenging for most of my adult life to sit still in times of uneasy emotional circumstances. Instinct tells me to run away from the feelings, either by moving to another apartment, city or even state.  Instinct also tells me to lose all the friendships I’ve made, destroy or abandon them all and start anew.  It’s fear-based, it’s fear that people are getting too close, it’s fear that tells me to run.

I’ve moved 20 times in the last 12 years because of this flight-based instinct.  I have recreated my life and developed new friendships more than I can count.  Only showing people what I want to show them and leaving the rest as the past, fearing judgment, criticism or inability to relate.

Sitting in uncomfortable moments where our anxiety is high, our emotions are abusively loud and our hearts are aching, are signs of true growth.  If I can sit quietly with my pain long enough, I can uncover the root of the disturbance.  In this circumstance, like most children of alcoholics, my root was and usually is, loneliness.

I was alone in my childhood.  My dad traveled 90% of the time. He was home for maybe 1 weekend a month for 15 years.  When he was home, he was devastatingly drunk.  To put this into perspective, my dad usually drank about a half gallon of vodka a night.  So when I say he was drunk, I mean he was terribly drunk.  That led to fights, slurs, stumbles, accidents, hurt and eventually him passing out with a lit cigarette in his hand – to which I often put out at the end of the night when I heard it was finally quiet, and safe.

My mom started out as a very loving and doting mother.  But, from the years of isolation and an inability to self-reflect or grow on her own, she too began to drink as a coping mechanism.  Alcoholism ran in her family as well so it came as no surprise why she married a drunk or why she herself found it easy to treat her symptoms with alcohol.  However, that left my sister and I very much alone.

I responded to this by becoming a classic internalizer.  I felt so much of the responsibility in my household that when problems arose, I turned the blame on myself and wanted to mediate the entire family until there was peace again.  Which, there could never be because alcoholism doesn’t allow that.  I often found myself depressed, anxious and drained by the internal voice in my head constantly criticizing and accusing me of things I’d never really done.

Because of this internal monologue, I decided it was probably better for me to just live in the woods, so that’s what I did.  I retreated inward, into my dark cave of anger, confusion, hormones, self-hatred and dying light of childhood and went into the woods.  I slept under the stars, exhaled the sunrise, listened to fawns gingerly walking towards me on the ever-so-loud crunchy autumn leaves.  And in this solicitude, I started to find some semblance of peace.  But, I also found loneliness.

It took me another 10 years to figure out how to quiet my mind, sync in with myself and my world and my love and realize that I’m never alone.  It took me 10 painstaking years of dating, promiscuity, drinking, drugs, depression, anger, boxing and eventually deep-healing for me to fill that often-referred-to as “God-sized” hole inside of myself.

Now, when I hear myself chanting “sit,” I remember that fawn walking on those leaves.  I see the slideshow of grief and moves and echoes of myself – and they all remind me that I am here, I am whole, I am worthy and I am forever surrounded by love because I am love.  Fear was only a self-induced mechanism to aid in my survival.  Loneliness was just another label for something I didn’t understand, which was quiet.

“Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit..”  and so it goes.