living proof

if I may be anything
let me be living proof

that one can feel
the unbearable darkness
yet be whole in Spirit;

that intermittently
through the dark
will be moments of blinding light

& to be overcome
by the weight of it all
does not make you wrong

does not make you unholy
unclean
or unworthy

most of all
it cannot take the light from you.

let me be living proof
that you can be
both light & dark

it doesn’t make you crazy

it just makes you
a fervent student of acceptance;

you cannot control the darkness
nor can you banish it forever

but you can decide
to receive the light
to clear a space for it

invite it
with prayer
reflection
or tokens
of your most precious
memories & dreams;

clearing the space
may be messy
maddening
& seem
like more of a mess
than when you started

(clearing
is not the same
as cleaning)

but you’ll know you’ve cleared space
if inside it feels lighter
if you can breathe easier
if you feel you’re not alone
& despite the shadow
that trails behind
you’re ready
to carry on.

intention

good news
for the hopeless:

to set an intention

means to plan
for hope
even if
especially if
you don’t feel it yet;

to set an intention

means to plan
for faith
not because you feel it
but because you dare;

intention
comes from the Latin
for stretch

& set
is an old word
for sit;

so

to set an intention

is to sit with yourself
no matter how hopeless
burned out
weary
even faithless
you feel.

& as you sit with yourself
& all of your pain
in time you may find
your spirit moves
stretches
reaches
through it

in a way that can only
be described as
miraculous.

so sit with yourself
dear one
& reach.

one day you will dance.

it is right for the human spirit to have endured something.
this is why we must not shelter ourselves overmuch.
it is something to have been in distress
yet find yourself undeniably alive.
to have fasted
& find yourself still whole.
to have been panic stricken
yet find your legs standing.
but if by chance they give way beneath you
& you don’t get up for an hour
a day
or even a decade
it doesn’t matter
so long as there is a day that comes
that you dance.
my own grandmother
bedridden
danced under the covers.

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.