Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Letter to a (new) Lover, Version 2


*maddieonthings.com

Dear Lover, 

I am proud of who you are. 

You are strong. You pause to listen to the whispers of your heart. Your soul shines brightly through your teeth and pushes out through the crevices of your body with joyful animation. 

You are aware. You carefully consider your place in the world. You recognize your impact and value. You see clearly through the eyes of others with compassion and acceptance. 

You are wise. You seek joy. You live in abundance. You find gratitude in the morning sun.

I am proud of you.

You are brave. You take risks. You trust. You fly freely through the ether on winds of curiosity.

I am are kind. Your generosity flows like ribbons through the air. The world dances in your wake.

I am so proud of you.

Thank you for your comfort, lover. You put me at ease. When you reach out to hold me, how I melt under your embrace. 
Thank you for seeing me. You are not confused by the entanglement of humanity and divinity. Your sharp eyes capture our totality. 
Thank you for your sweetness. The way you care for me, hold me, love me.
Thank you for your love. The way you open your heart so fully, so honestly, so purely. As though you’ve never known hurt.
Thank you for your thoughts. How you adore me, as though I’d hung the moon. You believe in my success. And I am certain of yours.

My stomach flutters and my heartbeat quickens in response to your approach. I breathe a thousands breathes of your name and close my eyes to the sweet reverberation. 
I love you with all of my parts in all of the ways. From the tips of my lashes to the stretches of my soul. I surround you where you go and protect you on your way. I am your master defender. Your pupil and your guide. Your body joins mine - like separated limbs of the same vine grown together once more. 


Welcome home my darling. 


*Maddieonthings.com I can't say how much I adore this photography! Check it out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Letter to a Lover

Cochamo, Chile


Remember when I came over that night? I said I couldn’t see you anymore. Remember how I asked you not to contact me? Because I needed to move on? Remember how your face dropped? I saw your eyes fill with water. Do you know it wasn’t until that moment, that I realized how you cared? 

Why hadn’t I realized before?

I let you hold me as we lay down on your bed. I let you say goodbye, but I wanted to leave. And when I did leave, I felt lighter - like it was the right thing to have done. 



And so months passed Lover, and I swam along smoothly. With powerful strokes I coursed onward in my quest, seeking your replacement. The one I left you for. To him I proclaimed, “break my heart!”… but he didn’t stand a chance. 



Then by magic you returned. Unknowingly I called for you and you came in a message that cracked me open in a way I’d never have expected. Love, elation, remorse. The expansiveness was too much to bear. Then came the unfolding…

Though many months have passed since that first night I said goodbye, my mourning just begins. I think of you moving away to be with her. You must really love her. My stomach twists and I don’t want to imagine her. Just you. You, happy. You, excited. Because I know you are. And I know this feels right. 
And it all seems too perfectly appropriate. 



I see you pace on the street outside my house. Is your heart racing like mine? What sweet relief it is to pour my thoughts out of my head and touch your flesh. I cannot help but to smile at your face. 

I stand in the presence of the love I never left myself have, and I feel it so potently now. I’m saying goodbye to you now my darling Love. 

Is there anything in the world more bittersweet than a goodbye?

Through thick wet drops, muck from years shuffles out. Though pages of my journal smear and become soggy, the girl is becoming clear.
Who knew she could find so much space inside of one small chest?


From within this expansiveness I see the road brighten and extend. You’ve gifted me new eyes Lover, and new spaces in my heart. You will never truly know how glad I am, that you were written in my story. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Fissure



The world of feeling escapes down my cheeks in hot, salty drops. Grief feels like joy and I can't decipher whether I'm laughing or crying.

Life is weird and awesome.

Goddamn it feels good to feel!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In My Head




I’m often wrapped up and absorbed in my own thoughts. This is probably why I startle so easily when others casually walk into the room…
But generally speaking, my mind is a peaceful place to hang out. My thoughts are warm, optimistic, friendly. I’d be quite happy to reside in this safe place indefinitely! 
However, life sent me an invitation recently through the words of another. 

The ‘pop’ I felt in yoga class the other night wasn’t my hamstring (thank god), rather it was a pop of clarity. The yoga teacher’s words: “You say you want love and then don’t even taste it when it’s right in front of you,” made me wonder…. Is that true for me? 

Sometimes I sit and visualize the manifestation of perfect love. I scribble musings in a journal. I slip on my running shoes and as my brain fills with endorphins it weaves an intoxicating story of the greatness of the human spirit - I feel alive, I feel inspired! … but I am also still safe and isolated inside my own head. And when the opportunity for greatness appears in the flesh? When perfect love knocks on my door? I act stupefied. As though I am completely unprepared for a situation like this.

There comes a time in life, when belief is not enough. When opportunity knocks, and we must grab belief by the lapel to bring it along for the experience

Thoughts aren’t meant to be shields, and my head isn’t meant to be a hiding place. 

The invitation is to hide no more. To stand naked. Vulnerable and free. To bravely bare my skin so that I may welcome the invigoration(!) of experiencing life wholly. 

—————


I wrote that a long time ago. But today I find it again with a different face. 

Climbing into my sheets last night, I told my friends my heart was cracking. 

I can no longer stay here. 

The reoccurring events of the past few years of my life will continue to reoccur, if I stay.
I may be comfortable and safe, but ask me the question: What do you want most? and it’s not safety.

I want to be alive.

I want to live fully. To sing loudly, love deeply, cry with passion, and I want to know how I can be transformed by the power of saying “yes” to all parts of life - even the scary parts. The parts that don’t reveal their outcome. 
If I give you my heart, you may toss it aside. Am I willing to let that happen? If I give you my heart, you may cherish it forever. Am I willing to let that happen?

I can’t stay here in safety any longer. 

So take my heart and do what you please because standing in front of you and withholding feels much more tragic. 
Might something beautiful be revealed by standing in vulnerability?


And as I woke up this morning, the cracking of my heart felt a whole lot more like a cracking open.





Thursday, May 7, 2015

Screwdriver


You think this is a story about fear, but it isn’t. 
It is a story I hid for a while. A story I didn’t tell on purpose. Mostly because I knew it would send the worrying minds of my beloved parents into overdrive. And not only them. Anyone who scans the news for the dangers of travel, or the dangers of Mexico specifically. Well, here is some feed for your fear stores, use it as you please.
---
It was our first day in Mexico city, and we were visiting a state park. It was bustling with activity. Locals riding ATVs, eating treats, horseback riding, paint-balling, you name it. Up above the park grounds, a sharp rock protruded from the mountain side and a trail climbed through the forest up to the top. It was an easy route, though steep in places, but the vast views of the surrounding landscape were well worth the climb. 
I was traveling with my roommate and another friend, and we were being hosted by my roommate’s extended family: Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins of 9 and 10 years old. The mountain top was prime for photos and laughs. We felt alone at the top of the world with only the fresh air and each other for company. As we loudly made our way back down the mountain, we passed a fellow hiker, gave him a nod and a smile and continued chattering away— me practicing my Spanish, Aunt and Uncle obliging my efforts.

In a hot instant, everything changed.

Halfway down the mountain the light hearted mood melted and confusion dropped it’s veil. The hiker. There he was again standing on the trail in front of us, far from where we’d originally passed him. 
I felt the rest of the group stiffen. Aunt’s voice was rapid, high pitched. What was the hiker asking? Was he lost? He moved a bandana from his neck up around his face to cover his mouth, still I was in disbelief. Uncle’s voice grew loud, beseeching. I looked down and saw the heavy screwdriver gripped tightly in the hiker’s right hand. It was then I knew I knew.

The world became strange. 

My face went slack and I felt my legs tremble. Tremble! and on their own accord- pillars of jello supporting my torso. But < I > suddenly disconnected. I floated away from my body, and I dropped a veil of my own. My heart beat forcefully, but my jaw was firm; I felt protected. 

Somehow the hiker made the decision to chase after the children and my two frightened friends at the front of the pack— in an instant he was gone. I was left standing behind Aunt and Uncle and focused on making my way down the mountainside swiftly. CALM, said my mind, STEADY, it repeated. 
I felt the armor around me thicken. 

Foot in front of foot I neared the bottom, and there he was again coming back my way. 
I shifted to the opposite side of the trail and pulled my purse around behind me. That was when I noticed the my friend’s crocheted bag clutched in the hand opposite the screwdriver. 
Bastard. 
Dame tu bolsa. I don’t understand. NO.

I can’t explain why, but he stayed away from me. It seems shocking now, but he believed me when I said NO.


Later on down the mountain, there were the others. Trembling. My roommate had wet eyes and the corners of her mouth pulled back and down as if by hooks. Our friend. The one without the purse. Her slim, milky shoulders hunched and a trail of saliva carved a stream through her makeup from the corner of her lip down to her chin. 

It’s easy to say we were shaken up, and for a good while. That’s natural I think, but what’s surprising… is our resilience. 
Why did this happen?
I could not answer for them, and I know my response was weak to their ears, but for me.. for me I realized how protected I am. My resilience. That an hour later I was galloping down the street commanding a horse at my leisure, feeling the freedom that drives me to places like Mexico. I sampled the physicality of fear, and found that what remains, is strength.
It’s almost embarrassing to share this minor anecdote, knowing that others have faced far worse. Horrors that I won’t imagine. But this is my own experience. 

All I can say is this:

Getting robbed sucks. 
Getting over the fear of getting robbed, is liberating. 

I am powerful. I am resilient. I am protected. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts


Don't we all overthink things sometimes?

I sit here in front of my computer thinking about what to say; which, out of the many, streams of thought should I choose?
Does your brain run like mine? Ceaselessly? Thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking.... Thoughts must be very important to our evolution if we spend so much time thinking. Nothing is sustained if it serves no purpose. 
I think the rub is when our thoughts begin to own us. To control our brain, our body, our being. Where is the line between You and your thoughts? Many, many humans have spent an eternity without ever having found it. 
Can you use your thoughts without them using you?

And so someone said:

 "Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much, and just go where your heart takes you."



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Milkshakes

He sits alone at the bar in passive anticipation. Every once in awhile the door rings out a single ding! and he turns his head just slightly, mildly gazing in the direction of the late afternoon light filtering in from behind the painted letters of the glass. 

“Another round?” 

“Yeah, today feels like a 2 milkshake day.”

The thick chocolate oozes up the straw and brings a smile to his face. Nothing beats a chocolate milkshake, he thinks. 

Ding!

His eyes find the door and in she walks. Short skirt, hair in curls. Just as he’ll always remember her. He blinks, capturing her image in his mind forever as she taps her way across the floor. Click-clack, click-clack, pause.

“Whatcha got there?” Her mouth bunches up on one side of her face, smirking.
She pops herself on the stool and shakes her head, sending her curls flying. 
Fingerprints linger on the outside of the frosty glass and the corners of her mouth turn up into a huge grin. Like father, like daughter.
“Glad you made it, squirt.”

They sit side by side one the stools sucking down milkshakes. Cold, sweet dreams, until the sun fades towards the horizon and the little jukebox starts to hum sad and slow. 

Ed Freeman Photograph
Ed Freeman Photograph - Love this collection!