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.)

song for the world weary

when your heavy bones
wish to sink to the depths
go now to the quiet place
where the world cannot
overcome.
remember:
all of these things will pass.
thoughts
--
feelings
--
pain
--
heartache
--
all will dissolve someday
replaced only by light.
your decision lies 
in the dissolving.
will you cling bitterly
to sinking stones
or will you swim
flailing & gasping
to break the sunlit surface
& let that which does not serve you fall?
it is always our choice
yours and mine.

this is our power.

why I deleted my blog…and started again

HPIM3090

Four or five -ish years ago, I had the urge to start blogging.

One of those nagging longings that stuck around in the back of my mind so long, I knew I had to take action.

I found the perfect name scrawled in purple graffiti on a harbor pier and located its origin in the poet Rilke: Face to Face with the Sky.

I started a Tumbler.

It went nowhere.

A year later, I discovered Word Press, and launched Face to Face with the Sky again.

That also went nowhere.

My content sucked. It lacked focus. It lacked depth. I wasn’t sharing what was real and on my heart.

Another year went by, and my mental health, which I have struggled with all my life, was deteriorating.

Writing became my refuge, scribbling and typing my solace.

I started another blog, The Wishing Well, focused exclusively on mental health. In one year I had over 500 followers and lots of activity on the blog. The content was good. It was real. I was sharing what was on my heart.

So what do you think I did?

I deleted the whole thing.

Steven Pressfield wrote in his wonderful book Turning Pro about migrant workers who “rode the rods,” or stole away on trains across America. The migrant workers have a saying about abandoning one place and moving on to another: “pulling the pin.”

Train cars are attached by a single “pin” holding together their joined parts. Pull it out, and the car rolls away, no longer attached to the train.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve “pulled the pin,” or completely bailed out of things in my life.

When it comes to writing, I don’t want to do that any more.

Fall seven times, get up eight.

Start a blog seven times, keep it up eight.