I wouldn’t have thought to sit outside, with the air as cool as it was. This must be why we keep friends, I thought, so we’re not just doing what we always do, in the way we always do it. I wouldn’t have considered the blankets, and the warmth of the dogs, and the feeling of fresh air filling my lungs. It was my friend’s porch. Across town was my house, where we’ve experienced two drive-by shootings on our street, multiple stolen car chases, and a flat-out murder in our front yard, in which the wounded man stumbled down our driveway, finally collapsing and dying in our backyard by the lilac bush, where my partner found his body minutes later. Often, as I stand on our front porch drinking coffee, men will stop to inquire if I have a boyfriend, and if I work out, as if that is their business, as if I am inviting them to ask, just by existing on my own front porch in the morning. Across town, being outside has felt less relief, more risk. Outside, we’re at the whims of the natural order of things, but with guns. But here, in my friend’s neighborhood, where there hasn’t been a wayward gun shot for years, we took our blankets out to the back porch as the sun set in the evening. The light was a cool blue, sky still bright against the swallows and bats that flew eastward, mysteriously only flying in this one direction. We posited that maybe it was actually only one bat, flying in circles, just to confuse us. But this was simply a silly story made up to amuse ourselves as we sat there. We talked about the crops we were planting (zucchini, fruit trees, tomatoes) and what time of year was best to plant seeds. We talked about the work we were doing on our houses. We talked about how healing from trauma is non-linear, but how processing it seems to alleviate symptoms. We sat in silence a lot of the time. We talked to the dogs. We breathed in the air. Our nervous systems relaxed after each of our separate, scattered and stressful days. We watched the light die and noted how the longer days had somehow brought life back into our bodies. We talked about cycles. I wouldn’t have thought to sit outside, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
nothing is ours at all
there’s something in the way we
catch at words,
gently tucking them away
into the softest parts of ourselves.
it’s not The Truth
(that so quickly dissolves into
chaos, obeying entropy
over our ornery need for absolutes)
it’s not Comfort
(a myth that seems to
out of reach)
it’s more the clinging, quiet
moment in which each of us discovers
how small we are
or, rather, it’s the thousands
of tiny, breathing moments in which
we remember, all of a sudden,
for a fleeting inhalation,
that nothing is ours at all
or, rather, the visceral
stirrings that belong only to us.
we have taken in more than we can bear.
we have held floods.
we have failed to protect ourselves.
we have asked for too much.
this is not a salve, but rather
a snag in the balance,
when the world can’t help
but stop and listen.
No, this is how it is
This is how it is: the morning hour, when, alone, I walk barefoot to the bathroom to face myself again. This is how it is: slipping into the small, eastern room to let the oblivious sun envelop me before it fades.
This is how it is: the heavy head tilting towards the kitchen steam, battling shame.
This is how it is: war, when surrender would make for better company.
This is how it is: the hour when, precious and alone, I am not Woman, or Worker, or Teacher, or Separate.
This is how it is: the hour, when, seemingly alone, all I expect of myself is everything.
This is how it is: an intentional prolonging, stretching the illusion of solitude.
No, this is how it is.
i am not special
i am not special
i race to nowhere
i am not special
i hang sunset flowers to dry
in the west-facing window
i am not special
i eat discount applesauce from the plastic bottle
i am not special
i am always looking for reasons to want
One Post a Day
My vision is this: write and share one blog post every day, whether it is a 3-line haiku or a 3 paragraph feminist analysis of the book I just read. Write even when I don’t feel like it, even when the writing is mediocre, even when it seems useless to write.
My reason is this: I am gathering material, voice, tone, and skill to write a book. Writing a book takes time, observation, and consistent effort. It is not magical.
My worry is this: that writing every day will be difficult to “add” into my already packed routine.
My conviction is this: that the gentle tug in the pit of my stomach must be heeded, and that this is the way to listen. This is necessary.
My reminder is this: that it doesn’t matter if people read what I write. It only matters that what I write is true.
Here we go.
what the world can take
moments of feeling
like I am not enough
that I am too much
for this world
I am astounded by
to know anything
about what the world can take
or what I can
On German Food
Food descriptions in Munisch och Garmisch, Deutschland
huge Turkish sandwich stuffed with lettuce, tomato, fresh parsley springy and green, hot sauce, yogurt sauce, onions, root vegetables roasted and fried, wrapped in a soft bread, like a large, flat pita
blood orange juice, washing over tongue with tang and ache and lust, deep release
fresh-squeezed orange juice, pulp excited jostling in the sweet liquid sunshine
tomatoes red on the vine, waiting ripe and heavy, expectant, in the rough wooden bowl
brambér jam is thick and startling! more flavor bursting and somersaulting than expected, dark and airy at the same time, tangy and bright but also musty and sacred (blackberry jam)
frambér jam is like sauce, or pie filling (strawberry)
hazelnut sweet bread, coated with sugar
strong strong strong, thick coffee at früstück
loose-leaf Earl Grey tea, aromatic and cutting
pretzel and bright orange cheese dip – strong, aged, like a shockingly sharp cream cheese, topped with red onion and green scallions
carrot, apple, ginger, orange juice – overwhelmingly sweet and full of eager carrot pulp
“classic chocolat” creamy sweet clouds of cocoa-filled warmth
a sandy, bitter, and rich “butter” that I guessed to be tamarind paste, but turned out to be tahini date paste, and now I’m wondering what tamarind paste tastes like
white, bloated sausages, large and phallic, floating in water. Chris and I were a bit too repulsed to try them
white, slightly sweet grits, thick and sticky
On Cafe Daydreams
Character sketches at a cafe in Garmisch, Germany
thin waitress wearing light gold glasses and white shirt, very focused and quiet, not interacting with her coworkers much, except with thin-lipped eye crinkles to show appreciation and respect
woman pushing a stroller wearing jeans and a silvery, mirror-like raincoat that falls down to her knees, covering her arms and shoulders, reflecting the light in rainbow pools
dark blue t-shirt on a tan, blond man with a chiseled face and deep-set eyes
blond woman with light blue jeans, dark sandals, and embroidered pants with a rip in the knee
two women with short hair, severe faces, and biking outfits
heavy lash makeup barista with dark red hair tied up in a high ponytail with a thin silver scrunchy, wearing a dark outfit with white stripes down her pant leg and thick white sneakers
woman on her phone wearing a raspberry-colored wide, long dress and a creamy muslin hijab, thick and sturdy covering her head
wide, built woman wearing jeans and a beige t-shirt with gold dots on the front, holds herself as royalty or great beauty
I have forgotten
if I could do better
Please, I just want
to feel like
it’s okay to let go a little.
it’s okay to feel a lot.
your thin smiles
your spontaneous tears
your cravings for touch
it’s okay to not be okay.
hope may not be an uncontrollable force,
but a surrender.