Go gently in the night, my love

I’ve been granted a reprieve

But my heart is not yet free

I love as much as I can

But there are nubbins squirreled away

Awaiting the Spring that has yet to come

The pink of my heart lays under hard-packed drifts 

Be patient, my love

One day the big thaw will come

And my heart will bloom once more

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt 

Split Decisions

I have been thinking a lot lately about trusting life.

I have come to realize that I have been living, but not trusting, life.

What does that mean?

It means that when I was six, things occurred that were so traumatic that decisions were made on an unconscious level that 1) the world was not a safe place, 2) I could trust no one and nothing, and 3) life was not meant for me.

Fast forward through decades of living from the decisions of a wounded child who felt that what had happened was on some level her fault and who also thought that she carried responsibility for the whole world as she knew it.

What does that look like?

It is exhausting to live but not trust life. I am exhausted. I have been dragging my soul through all of these years, cheerleading myself every day to show up despite feeling on deep unconscious levels that life was not meant for me.

It has been a strange dichotomy: wanting to live so badly, to work so hard to have a happy and meaningful life, yet to have an equal and opposite drive in my telling me that life is just not for me. That I was not meant to be happy. To live “in spite of” not feeling as if I deserved a good life or even was a worthy or necessary part of the world.

I have loved life. Needed life. Wanted life. Fought life. Almost killed my own life. But I have not trusted life.

And not trusting life, it has been hard to trust myself. I mean, if you do not trust the very force that sustains you, what can you really trust anyway?

I did, indeed, survive. Miraculous, indeed, because when you live from unconscious wound-influenced decisions from a child’s psyche, you tend to make some very, very poor and unhealthy choices.

I look back at all of the choices I made from those 6 year old’s decisions today, and I am truly in awe. I used to be embarrassed, ashamed even, at how poorly I have managed for some times in my life. But today, I am astounded at my resilience and my ability to bring myself through it all. I survived, and I live to write this.

But I have not yet truly thrived.

I have healed so much. But here I am, having cleared away so much wounding, seeing these decisions that were made about life and my place in it, and I am exhausted.

And it is time. Time to finally trust life.

I have blamed Life for what happened to me when I was six. Life and God. But mainly Life. And I understand why. The pain and shock of what happened was just overwhelming to me at 6. I just could not trust after that.

One of my favorite lines from a play is from Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz. “Most people don’t have to make a step-by-step decision to stay alive, most people just basically want to live. I am not one of those people.”

I have always deeply identified with that. It has taken me work each day to push through the energies around those early decisions to find the strength, courage and hope to face another day.

But I want to address that. Really see if I can forgive Life — it was not Life that did anything to me. Life is not to blame.

Life has held me through. Life has loved me no matter what. Life has always just bee there, offering me breath, love and trees.

I don’t know how I will heal this or how long it will take but I am ready and willing to try.

I can start by making a list of what I think that might look like. If I were someone who trusted life, how would I act? How would I talk? How would I make decisions? How would I love?

Will my smile be different? My laugh? Maybe my very breathing will change.

I am eager to live in these questions, this exploration.

To take my six year old lovingly and gently by the hand and take over the reigns. Give her a soft place in my heart to go play in and reassure her that I got this now. Yes, my child, it is time.

Here we go.

Ghost of a Chance

Yes, you made an impression on me.

Didn’t you see the way I stopped and waited for you to pass by me once again?

What did you think I was doing? You silly thing.

Nobody is that interested in an ad for a car service in this app-driven age.

And besides, I was pretending to take down the number and it was all 7’s!

Not much to me if I couldn’t remember that, now would there be?

Is that why you didn’t turn around? Didn’t come back to “find” me again?

Surely you couldn’t be that shallow. Not you. Never you.

I was ready to say hello. Ready to start a conversation. Ready to…

But no, you just walked on and out of the station. Not even a quick glance back.

You left me with the ghost of the you and the us that might have been.

The arm that you brushed as you passed me by still tingles from your touch.

You silly thing. I’m very cross with you. I’ll never talk to you again. Until the next time.

I’ll be there tomorrow around the same time…by the car service ad? (Our spot?))

You can make it up to me then…I seldom hold a grudge. Life’s much too short.

But a first impression…lasts forever.
Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: impression

Malnourished Heart

Numb from shock

Arisen from the depths of you-hell

Sooty and scorched

I made a catapult from leftover heart shreds

And slingshot essential soulparts

To the netherlands of the void.

No map, no key: safe from seeking human grasp.

Whatever was left of my battered soul

I tried to serve to the world.

But tough in-spite-of life meat

Makes for a bony bounty.

Anemic and spent

I am calling me back.

There’s a welcome home mat

In my hungry-heart self.

I will feast on my fullness

Grow meaty layers of love.

Then pinked-up and throbbing,

My catapult in hand,

I’ll release to the stars

Any memory of you

To burn into ash as I rise.


Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: catapult

Sea Wish

I bob and weave/gasp for air

Choke on the waves of my own home-self.

Surfacing, I am adrift, again –

Singular, supine, searching.

The shore in sight but always foreign

No matter how many times I land.

Longing, leering, leaning –

Never touching what I reach for.

Though the waters are troubled

I know who I am in them.

To be a fish, no mind to muddy the picture,

Must be better than this compass-less life.


Prompted by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: adrift






I slipped my moorings today

Just like that

All this time they were mine to release

I thought the knots were untieable

I thought only he knew Marlinspike ways

These straining years

This drydock life

Now left behind on the shores of past pain

I have my own anchor now

I’ll set it down where I please

I slipped my moorings today

Just like that

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: unmoored

Night Moves

This was it.

The night of graduation. Four years complete. The party had long since started.

I’d taken ecstasy and was well into hours of drinking, running from party to party offering intensely felt goodbyes and impassioned promises of staying in touch forever to pretty much everyone I ran into.

Emotions were high, and so was I.

It was at the fountain, as Deborah and I danced around the falling waters, that he passed by. I realized in that moment that I had been looking for him all night, or perhaps just my body had.

We both yelled out “Heeeeey!!!!” as he passed by, and then I impulsively said, “I’ve been looking for you!”

“So have I!” he stopped and said.

“Let’s meet up!” I said.

“Yeah! Let’s meet up! Your room, midnight,” he suggested.

“OK!” I gleefully yelled at his back as he ran on with his fraggle (gaggle of frat brothers.)

My high ratcheted to interstellar levels.

I’d been in love with him all semester, since the choir ski trip. He finally noticed me one day on the bus when I made everyone laugh by reading a cheap romance novel aloud in a sexy voice.

After that he started leaving me hand drawn cartoons and notes, and then we started meeting up and hanging out here and there.

We never went on dates, exactly. My sorority and his fraternity did not mix, so it was a bit like the Capulet – Montague situation going on. I guess you could say we kept in on the DL, though that phrase was yet to be coined. I was so bedazzled by him that I didn’t even notice that it was happening.

He was just the most amazing guy. I had a huge physical attraction to him and he made me laugh so hard. He was creative and smart and I just got weak in the knees around him.

Though we’d fooled around, we’d never taken to the next level. Not that I hadn’t wanted to.

But I was not super comfortable with my sexuality then. I still felt conflicted about really owning it (all that inherited and social conditioning that a “good girl” didn’t admit to liking and wanting or even having sex.) So I tended to sort of deny my own sexuality while at the same time pursuing it.

But I knew one thing in that moment that night when I ran into him at the fountain. I wanted that boy.

And now here it was, the last night of school. My last chance.

After the fountain, the goodbye tour continued, as did my drinking and drugging. I had no purse, no watch, as I had long ago learned that I would lose anything not on my person. I remember riding on the back of somebody’s green moped through the night to hit all the spots, laughing. I was giddy with anticipation, and hazy with inebriation. In the back of my mind, all I could think about was meeting up with him.

At a certain point I suddenly snapped to attention. What time was it?! It felt late.

I grabbed the nearest wrist and strained to read the time. The big hand was on the 6, and the little hand…fuck! It was 1:30 AM! Noooooo! My last chance! And I missed it?!

I starting running at full speed across campus. Maybe he got caught up too. Maybe he’d be there, sketching funny drawings of me dancing around the fountain,

When I finally reached my dorm room, my heart sank into my gut: it was dark. I fumbled for the key under the mat and entered the room, tears welling in my eyes. I blew it.

Why had I played it safe all semester? Why had I passively let him call the shots? I really liked him. I really wanted him. I may never meet another guy like him again. Damn my stupid Protestant good girl upbringing. I’d missed yet another opportunity to really live.

I closed the door, and as I turned, my body became aware of another body in the room.

My eyes, adjusting to the darkness, began to discern a shape in my bed.

“Cal? Is that you?” I asked, my heart doing flip flops in my chest and my mind, reaching for possibilities. Maybe my roommate had gotten into the wrong bed…was that Kim? No, she was already gone. Maybe…hope against hope….

“Yeah. What took you so long?” That voice. He was there. In my bed. Thank you Jesus.

In what felt like the most bodacious move of my life, I slipped my dress off and stood there, in my naked desire.

I whispered out into the darkness, “I want to make love to you. I know we’ll never see each other again, but I just really want to. I just want this one night. OK?”

I risked humiliation in his rejection or total disappointment in his gentlemanly restraint.

I risked my imagined-but-until-that-moment-still-crucial-to-my-self-delusional-upbringing-repressed-sense-of-my reputation.

I risked my own potentially life-long regret in the light of day.

I took a deep breath, and I think in that very moment, I changed in some very crucial way. I already knew on some level that no matter his answer, it was my asking that would always matter.

I waited through seconds of heart-aching agony and anticipation for him to reply.

“Yeah, sure, me too,” he whispered back.

My entire body sighed in relief, and then vibrated in pure desire.

I walked the few steps over to the bed where he lay, looked down at his face in the moonlight, and began to descend.


Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: descend