a retrospective: this should be sung

Our secrets are exposed as nervous laughs and sighs of hope.

Hope is the energy that fuels this story of how we got here, or maybe this story is really about how we have changed in the process of wanting more. If hope is the energy, then gratitude has been the structure from which we are able to draw breath on our own.  I have finally accepted that this light, with its various hues of apricot, and if fortunate, shades of ripe grapefruit, warms by promising new beginnings.

This was a year of submitting, writing and then revising; asking for it because I wanted; and taking breaths so deep my lungs collapsed. There were days I woke up broken, days I did not know how to sustain vulnerability, and many more days I woke to an acute feeling of being alive, a feeling deeper than bruised bone. I was witness to fog so grey it pulled the blues from the Bay.

These dances, this rhythmic gradation of give and take, have transformed old fault lines.

Below are ten things I’ve learned during this cycle around the Sun:

  • the best decisions are the ones that fade the quickest
  • immolation through the act of pressing pen to paper is my valued haptic practice
  • the knowledge I have embodied was shaped by intimate failures
  • crosswalks can be catwalks with the right song in your ears
  • bravery manifested has exponential rewards and consequential risks
  • justice is a habit I can’t break
  • inability to forgive yourself is a cardinal sin
  • it is true that the world continues to revolve with or without you
  • how we see matters
  • I really enjoyed eating a blueberry muffin naked in front of you

This post is dedicated to nearly nine years of maintaining this space of inquiry and intentional deconstruction. I wrote to survive, to have a voice. Each sentence is an act of breath, a release of internalized tension and anxiety. This call and response has been my baptism by epiphany.

Crassula ovata

Walking past the flowering jade trees
recognizing its sign as winter
pulled toward tradition, patterns, order

Tree leaves, yellow and small, fell like snow
as a Santa on Mission Street wore
a red hat, black boots, a Che t-shirt

Habits, a natural architecture
bending to break and holding to form
desires, biologies, structure

Miracles are seasonal rewards
a whole year’s worth of intentional boundaries
shaped by practice, action, effort

shifting

It is cold enough to see breath.
Predictions of an epic winter storm never materialized.
I should have known better; California you are a master of hype and fantasy.
The visual meditative state of witnessing exhalation suspends guilt
temporarily
and reflects action.
Traditionally, this form of indulgence is transitory
for this purpose it feels good to think that transgressions can be forgiven.

In a darkness that only winter can afford, I took a new bus route home.
A route born from too many walks home alone
knowing $2.10 was the price to suspend the need to control, a different kind of letting go.
Transported past houses with illuminated front rooms
I internalized why deserve is a word that triggers so many strong memories.
These desperate opportunities of wanting more are not a crime
yet I hold them like a criminal.

Is the tipping point when the perfume on the back of your neck smells familiar to me?
Muscle memory contains the same difference between perceiving versus seeing.
The pornographer demands uncompromising attention to detail;
we should all be so aspirational.