homecoming blessing

may your life
imitate your art—
may words nourish your soul 
as long rain to august—
may your heart be content 
to enjoy the little things—
may your sleep be sound
but should you lie awake
may your thoughts drift only
to your many blessings—
may your life be long 
in good enough moments
though your moments be only few—
may your name be heard 
in a loved one’s prayer
as you hold them
in your own—
may you fall in love not once
but infinitely—
may your heart remember 
in its darkest moments
that there was once someone
or something
that made you want to drop everything
& live—
may the faces of those you love 
be never far from your thoughts
& the grace of listening to stillness
be ever a breath away—
most of all
do not despair
in the loneliness of it all—
only nerves rubbed raw by the cares of the world
know what it is to return home.

mercy

this is how it’s supposed to be.
you’re supposed to be begging 
for mercy.
your knees should ache from kneeling 
& your chest should be heavy
with the weight of it all.
if you don’t fall to your knees now 
& then, swearing up and down
you can’t take it any more—
how can you know the limits 
of your own heart?
& if you don’t cry out 
for forgiveness
all the while hoping in secret 
that your folly can continue—
how do you know what it is 
to be humbled?

pain/remedy

the truth is contained in your weeping.
you will be in some form of discomfort every moment of your life
of that you may be certain.
 & sometimes discomfort gives way to pain & pain to grief
& you will pray because other than death
there is no place to go for relief.
but notice as you weep how sweet 
is the sound of a loved one’s voice
or the vision of their memory
in your heart.
feel the sweetness when the right music 
matches the cadence of your sorrow
or the delight in your bones
when a single word offers comfort.
yes
of pain you may be certain
but be certain also
of the remedy of Spirit.
they go hand in hand
it cannot be otherwise.

medicine

you may find one day you have a bruise or a sore or a rough patch somewhere. & you touch it with feather fingertips & oh, does it sting! but you breathe & you keep fingers against aching skin & you ask your body is this medicine to you? & you hear your body say yes & so you breathe into your fingertips until moments later the stinging is only a faint whisper.

dissonance

healing
requires humility.
it’s not about finding
the right friend
lover
or therapist
who perfectly validates
your story of suffering—
it’s about finding people
who challenge you
& tell you things you
don’t want to hear because
they love you.
love sometimes requires
going against the grain
of comfort.
cognitive dissonance
is a prerequisite.
have the utmost respect
& compassion for yourself
yet
refuse to cast yourself
in a tragedy
in which you are a victim
alone
unique
& misunderstood.
above all 
know that no matter how much it hurts
you have a choice.
your life
is in your
own hands.
there will always be things 
beyond your control.
your mind will always be
tempted to cast itself
in the perfect drama.
stay rooted in the belief
that you can be well
even if
(especially if)
you don’t feel like it now.
you must face your greatest fear: 
accepting your power to become
who you truly are.

an imperfect piece of writing

I am alive
and sometimes, being alive sucks.
Being alive means painful feelings,
unhappy endings, stupid decisions,
and days where you just want to curl up in bed and call it quits.

But who ever said being alive felt good?
You know those times when people say
“I feel so alive?”
That’s the adrenaline talking.
And it’s only pumping in their veins
because they took a risk
and are two steps away from either falling flat on their face
or crowing in triumph.

Sometimes being alive means eating ice cream even though it’s bad for you,
or listening to someone because their story moves you
even though you’re exhausted and would much rather climb into bed.

It means days where you think “I can’t do this,”
but somehow you make it through the day
even though you doubted yourself the whole time.

It’s being with people who may drive you crazy
but who are there for you in a heartbeat.

It’s that moment when your heart is breaking
and it hurts to breathe but somehow
you look at the sun and you are broken but okay
that you know you are in the middle of a really good story.

——

(I wrote this in five minutes while eating a scoop of ice cream that my rational self told me not to eat but my alive self said stop that car right now and get some ice cream and sit down and breathe.

So I did.)