Monday, March 26, 2007

so clear

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

Excerpt from Mirror Analysis, Sylvia Plath

I am swallowing life as never before.

My father's health improves daily and there is color in his face and the light in my mother's eyes has returned. My friends are filling my days with laughter and love. I am rejuvenated at work, feeling inspired and driven and resolved to make a lasting impact and to truly serve my beloved community. There is a new brilliant streak of red in my life that is making me laugh and feel alive and its visit to my world has been exactly what I've needed to break free and be unafraid. I have maybe even found a place in Portland to hang my hat, lay down some roots, begin again, renewed, refreshed, with a sense of who I am and what I want that has never been clearer to me.

Coinciding with spring, life is transforming from cold and colorless to warm and vibrant. The contrast of "now" to "then" is so obvious I would have to be rendered senseless to not notice it, and I'm savoring my current lucky streak for all its worth. The fog has lifted, and I'm taking it all in, every color, every note of music, every taste, every smell, the softness, the rough edges, every last single bit of it. I didn't even know I was this hungry for life.

Strangely enough, this hunger sits side by side with an inner calmness. Something profound has happened within the deepest core of who I am. A realization, an awareness. A discovery that the mind has layers and layers of consciousness, each one beautiful and different and transformative, that the heart is resilient and able to heal, and that at this moment, my soul is like a lake in the gloaming...tranquil, unmoving, like a mirror. If I've ever felt this way in the past, I don't remember it.

And while I fully realize that lucky streaks always end, I am not afraid of what's around the bend. I have discovered that what makes me strong is fearlessness, and when i dare to be it, the payoff is...stunning.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Something in the way
she breezed through the door,
arms filled with groceries
and her favorite sauté pan
I’ve come to make you breakfast
and then went right to work,
standing over the stove,
hands on hips,
sweet-talking the eggs,
coaxing them to perfection.

Something in the way
she laughed,
eyes wide and watering
head tilted back
hands flying
as she sauntered
back and forth
between the stove and me,
and talked of her work,
her dreams,
her five-year plan
to rule the world.

Something in the way,
hours later,
she turned and looked at me
as she was leaving,
hair a little messy,
shirt untucked,
out of breath,
out of time,
and with a smile
that promised at least
one more day,
one more moment,
one more chance
to feel this awake,
this aware.

This completely alive.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I should be full of words.

They should be pouring
out of me
like water
through a broken dam.

There is water,
water everywhere.

Enough to drown words,

enough even
to drown thoughts.

But not (nearly)
to smolder
my skin
that is
so delicately

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Spring teased me yesterday by popping its head out after the storm, and I spent much of my afternoon shoveling heavy, wet snow and listening to the background music of hopeful birds celebrating the warm sun. One especially burdensome load of mush reminded me, in a not-so-subtle way, that I am not 25 anymore when I felt, and heard, an ominous crack in my lower back. And so the long driveway sits half finished, ebony and ivory, one part black pavement, one part white crust and ice after last night’s chill. I muddled through the rest of the day crooked and bent like an old woman, surfing the TV, the internet, the cell phone, and finally, bumping into the walls and walking through the corridors of my mind with restless sleep.

The winter months lived up to their reputation...cold and dark and often melancholy. But the days are getting longer, and like the coming spring, happier times flirt with me. Impulsively, I wink back. Sadness is melting away, and what’s left in its place are pools of realization, experience...acceptance.

There is no way out of pain, just a way through it.

There is no time limit for grief, or recovery.

There is grace and beauty and remarkable love all around you, if you only let it in.

And just when you think you'll never want to walk outside again, you wake one day and see the red sun burning a hole through the February ice, you catch a glimpse of a blade of grass forcing its way through a shrinking blanket of snow, you can almost feel your heart thaw and soften, and suddenly a sense of hope and renewal fills you.

And you have no choice but to respond.