Posts Tagged ‘breaking up’

cicada dreams

Walking the dog, it comes. Out of nowhere, or somewhere almost forgotten.

If my words did glow
With the gold of sunshine

A song.

Out loud. Into this ordinary day, I sing.

This is the first time in months my voice has opened like this. It is not the first song, no – there’s always the radio, always mugging for neighborhood kids.

But like this? Just the day, the dog, and me? I am new all over again.


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Tordjman Sorrow 3

Two months, no tears.
Drought or deluge?

Touch the earth.
Watch the sky.

Image: Yoel Tordjman, “i will go by fire and water”

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Verlinde Bed

Six years divorced.

Only now reclaiming the middle of the bed.

Image: Claude Verlinde

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Because now we must save the whole world, my son’s bow slips from the strings. The last reverberation hums against windows closed against night. So does the cold flash of his gaze when he slaps the songbook shut.

He refuses.

I walk out.


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flying bike

On bike, top of hill, foot down.  Red light.  It was green as I was climbing but turned yellow before I could get through.  It’s a quiet Saturday, holiday weekend.  A few cars cross in front of me, no one behind me.  The rotation complete, my turn next, I step on the pedals and inch out.  The light stays red, though.  It is red as oncoming traffic starts to enter and turn left.  Because no drivers had joined me on my side of the intersection, the signal never kicked to green.  I could wait here all day at a red light that stays red.  Instead, I press through.  The oncoming drivers pause for two extra beats to wait for me before turning left across the empty lane.

A man jams his body halfway out of his driver’s side window.  His head, arm, torso look like they’re about to climb out after me.  He screams across the road, “Why don’t you obey the law, you fucking idiot!”

I catch my breath and keep riding.

Through my head race all the answers I would say if his were a real question.  Louder than my imagined response is the clang clang clang of his fury: “You fucking idiot, you fucking idiot, you. . .”  For the next mile at least, I tense at every approaching engine, sure he’s whipped around to come after me.  Will my helmet work when he clips me and I flip onto the side of the road?  It’s a quiet, leafy neighborhood.  People are out.  Surely someone will see it and call 911.

You fucking idiot, you fucking. . . (more…)

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The trees are stage set,
a Las Vegas cabaret
on this suburban strip.
Lightning bugs in their drunken throb
dip and tumble
loose as the purple rope
of night falls
open. They couldn’t care less
who lurks here gaping
at their naked hunger.

Oblivious to the shape of you
emptying out of me,
they fill it the way they do
every hollow place, the way light
always does
but for just that blink
no matter how long we want it
bright and no matter how tight
we seal the lid. It goes out
again, a strobe
pulse, a chemical
flash burning to photon
guttering to black
before we can pin it in place
on this map of shadows.

Somehow the flicker
is enough, more
than enough, each firefly’s rutting
insistence a fizz that tickles full
the belly like sky
even with all that air
between each burst of light.

Image: Wolfepaw, “Pregnant Lightning Bug” at Deviant Art

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paredes 2

The injury aligns with the breakup, a window sash in its jamb.  One smooth slide to a perfect seal.  In stays the still air.  Out there, bees and dew and all the fecund detritus of summer.

This forced meditation is only welcome because it came in with its trunk and has evaded any attempt to pin down its schedule for moving on.  All I can do is make it feel at home.  I fold myself in beside it and listen to it breathe.

All familiar routines are out of commission.  Before this, any hint of stillness was a signal to go find a Zumba class or kick out the door in my running shoes.  With a busted knee, the simplest thing would be to sit back with Netflix and ride out the pain.

Before this, any internal chatter was a signal to pick up the phone and call my Mister.  Now he’s not mine anymore.  The social buzz whips around this empty living room like a downed power line.  It sparks, it pops.  Without a companion to ground and receive, the simplest thing would be to cut the juice.

The window is closed but outside sears right through.

Daylight has a way of complicating the simplest things.

This weeklong recuperative holiday from work is intended to let me heal from surgery on a torn meniscus.  It’s offered up a twin opportunity to grieve the end of a 3-year relationship.  Isolated in my house, work on hiatus, endorphins on strike, and Netflix as a numbing agent at best. . . this reads like the Idiot’s Guide to Letting Depression Win.

Creative character development is my saving grace.

Who can I be, if I can’t be the person I though I was?

Where does a single lady with a limp get her kicks?

In one script, injured and alone gets you starving slowly to death in the woods.  In this, a different story line emerges thanks to a series of small set changes:

  1. Surround the bed with books.  Literature, history, science fiction.  Books of surrealist art, books of essay, books of drawing tips.  Stack the bedside table with journals, sketch pads, jars of pencils and markers.  Cue up music.  Doodle, write, doodle, read, doodle, drift.  When the eyes are too bleary from painkillers to make sense of WEB Dubois, close the book and sketch instead his black-and-white portrait from the cover.
  2. Invite a friend to visit.  Ask for the curry, the berries, the small texture your tongue misses.  Answer the door in your pajamas.  Invite friends to come play board games.  When you’re feeling well enough to drive, ask friends to meet you at the farmer’s market.  Sit in the shade and gossip over gyros while the bluegrass band plucks and croons.
  3. Say yes to the invitation to attend a cookout at the acquaintance of a co-worker in a neighborhood you’ve never visited.  Even though only three people out of the 20 there know you and you have to hobble across the deck to shake hands, find a seat and ask all the questions.  Dance your way into conversation with the NPR journalist who teaches at Duke now, the retired Navy officer, the dude who lives half the year in Ukraine who’s personal friends with John McCain.
  4. Crash the neighbors’ cookout in your own back yard.  Yes, these are the same neighbors whose failure to invite you left you grumpy and hurt last year every time they gathered at the common picnic area right outside your door.  But this is a new summer, and this is the re-write of that tired script.  When your kiddo says “let’s go,” go.  Take your own tablecloth and bag full of the dinner you’d planned to eat inside.  Share your your baked beans, your sparkling water, your bug spray.  Let the kids careen around as a pack.  Notice that by the time the sun sets, everyone is at your table hooting and gabbing, and you’ve got playdates and new numbers programmed into your phone.
  5. Knock on the neighbor’s door and invite her to join you at the town’s Memorial Day festival.  Wander the booths with her, sampling Mary Kay makeup and gathering schwag from the local banks and dentists.  Weave your way through the hordes of kids sticky with cotton candy, parents waiting in line for the tilt-a-whirl.  Throw a blanket down on the grass and listen together to the band playing purple dinosaur songs while flushed little girls spin loopy circles under the midday sun.
  6. Go solo to the wacko sci-fi movie night on the rooftop of a local bar.  Help the organizer hang a bedsheet and get the projector humming.  Sketch in your journal and giggle along with the aging geeks and baby-faced engineers at the psychedelic freakiness of La Planete Sauvage.
  7. Go to the gym and lift weights.  Go to the gym and walk in the shallow end with the retirees. Water the plants on the balcony.  Hobble to the corner with the dog and stop to let her say hi to the kiddos on the corner.

When clouds roll in and a damp sky brings the weight of pain, limp back home.  Ice the knee, slide into the nest of books and pens and paper and music.

Float for a minute in the cool and loose feel of him.  Let his phantom thread its silver limbs around yours.  Long for him.  Thank him for showing you this art, this weirdness, this courage, this shiver.

Wish him rest, wish him flight.

Then slide that window closed again and turn towards the colors of your own page.

Write the story.  Flourish the edges with the scent of honeysuckle. This meditation is only a visitor, despite all evidence to the contrary.  Wrap your wound around her instead.  Ride the current of her breath up to your unfolding arc.

Image: “Le Jardin” by Cecilia Paredes





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