a smell of hope in the wind

today
i let the wind
blow
my anxiety away
today
i let myself
feel
the happiness that resides inside
me
today
i let myself know
hope.

a quick smattering of words. a quick sketch. i don’t even remember writing this one little page of hope amidst mine troubled pages. but i do remember the feeling.
or, rather, i know the feeling.
when i was in my early twenties, i was in therapy. i know, right–me? in therapy? anyhoo. i had this awesome therapist who wouldn’t let me cut corners. she was tough.
and one day, i had a breakthrough.
honestly, the stuff of movies & novels.
i went from being terrified of the dark, to not fearing anything. i went from never knowing happiness, to having a glowing spot of joy in my heart.
i could feel it.
i could feel it in my heart. and i was terrified of losing it. i told my therapist this. i said it would be like flowers for algernon and i would lose my joy & know i was losing it because i had gotten to feel what it felt like. after a childhood of fear & unhappiness. it would be cruel.
my therapist assured me i was crazy & that i had the happy now in my heart & forever in my heart.
she was right. i check sometimes when things seem darker than than anything a person could survive…and the little glowing spot in my heart is still there.

when i want to feel it strong & bold, all i have to do is stand in the sunshine, watch the fluff of the clouds, and feel the wind blow over me.

maybe that’s why i am still here today.

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not so bad

if i stop
to take inventory
i’m not doing
so bad
not so bad
if i stop
& take inventory
i see that
i’m actually
kind of
amazing.

if i stop
to see who i am
i see that
i’m not so awful
not so awful
as i’d thought
if i stop
to see who i am
i see that
i’m
actually
quite a good person
after all.

last night i kept myself from being drawn into a fight with dusty. a fight via texting. a fight we have had many times. furious messages flashing back & forth between his smart phone & my dumb one. (his messages flash a bit faster than mine.)
i did respond, with minimal engagement, to let him know i was getting his texts and that my feelings on the matter were indeed final. if i don’t respond, he will become more & more hysterical & paranoid. i can’t have him doing that while he is with our children.
but obvious ploys to evoke a response, i let them slip past me like keanu reeves in the matrix.
so i was actually quite proud of myself for that.
and
though i have an almost full bottle of whiskey, i chose instead to do yoga and have a cup of jasmine tea.
look at that, y’all. it’s like i’m growing up or something.

bonus for anyone who made it this far…i did a rough draft/sneak preview of moses jones page four. very rough…in fact, the final draft might not look anything like this….

mjepisode3p4rough

my empathic heart

when my empathic heart
opens wide
it is a kaleidoscope
of emotion
washing over me
burrowing inside me
traveling through me
borrowing my tears
& my smiles
my sorrow
my anger
my elation
& no drug–or other person–could ever
make me feel
like i do
when my heart is wide open
& i am safe
to feel
just feel
the world around me
all of its beauty…its light & its darkness
this is me
this is mine
this is who i am & who i want to be
an open heart

when the minions are away, i have the opportunity to do things i cannot do when they are here. this is one. spreading my art all over the kitchen table. i love doing that. then i work on it, walk past it, add to it, debate over it, smudge & splatter and just be my art. ink ink everywhere.
makes me happy.
other things i do when i am alone:¬† talk to myself, revel in the bathroom being clean, binge watch shows on netflix, focus on myself & my healing….

sometimes being alone is a good thing.

pixie

i got several text messages from my ex-husband today. he is lost and wants me to find him.

he started out asking if we had snow. we don’t. he does. “is that different from when you were a kid?” he asks about my snowless winter. he knows i worry about climate change. his question is a question about that. instead of comforting me, he likes to provoke my fears.

but i’m really not in the mood. not anymore.

“doom & gloom” i text back to him. he thinks i am referring to myself. i let him know that i feel he is always trying to get me to think about the worst.
i let him know i am done thinking about the worst.
& i am done with him.

he tells me he wants to be my ally.
i ask, why, he never has been before.

he tells me he wants to support my dreams.

he tells me he has been doing crunches.

after awhile i stop answering his texts. after i tell him that there are so many things wrong with the world that all i can do is to choose to be happy.

i am happy. strangely enough.

i am happy.

 

dark flame

when i was nineteen i went into therapy for the first time. i was dating a man who would lock me in his basement/bedroom to keep me from leaving. escaping is one of my go-to defenses, so this was pretty devastating to me. he was one of the most awful people i knew and i knew this before dating him–and still felt attracted to him. so i started therapy.

i was unhappy without knowing i was unhappy. i mean, i considered myself an optimist even though my mom said i was a pessimist and another boyfriend labelled me a nihilist…or was it a fatalist?

anyhoo. i was unhappy without realizing it. or maybe it was that i had hidden my happiness so far away that i had forgotten where it was. i was also afraid. ever since i was a little kid. terrified of the dark. so afraid!

but in therapy, one day, it felt like a miracle, i found my happy. and i was no longer afraid. i didn’t realize i was no longer afraid until later that day…or that week…when a lightbulb needed to be changed in a storage room in the attic of the rooming house i lived in. to whomever was with me, i said, “i can’t go in there. i’m afraid of the dark.” and then, without thinking, i walked right in, fearlessly.

the miracle felt like a glowing in my chest. i could feel it like i can feel myself blinking, breathing, my heart beating. i could feel it in my chest.

i confessed to my miracle-worker of a therapist that i was afraid i would lose it again. that it would go away. i compared my fear to the story flowers for algernon. where someone is given the gift of intelligence, and then has to watch as it slips away again.

she assured me that it was mine to keep.

and it has stayed there. i check on it. sometimes it is small & hard to find. sometimes it is bursting out of me.

lately i have begun to wonder if i can share it? can i spread it around? infect others with my own happiness?

i remember that i have at times infected others with my seething anger. pushing & pushing it out of me until it clings onto someone else and i am free of it….

two days ago, i accidentally pushed too much of my happy out and left myself empty.

yesterday i left my happy unprotected and allowed someone to crush it.

today i am recovering. wondering how to do it right. do i keep trying? do i hide it away again? i don’t want to ¬†hide it away anymore.

when i open myself up, i can feel it in my whole chest, glowing. a brilliant flame. it feels amazing.
so how do i share it without depleting it? without losing it to careless strangers?

darkflame1

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