We’re not the shooting star, we’re the sky.
We’re not the avalanche, we’re the mountain.
We’re not the wave, but the inclement sea.
We’re bulk, not fragment.
Our vastness cannot be fathomed.
Someone handed me their judgement
So I flushed it down the drain
Didn’t bother even looking
Let it wash away like rain
They tried to hand me doubt too
And its troubling cousin fear
I threw them all into my porcelain bowl
And then casually necked a beer
Took the expectations I was given
Flushed them like a terd
This time I watched and smiled
Their whooshing descent all I heard
Now I can’t stop flushing things
I’ll be doing it ’til Summer
My disinterest in other’s plans for me
Might soon mean I need a plumber.
We’ve been roamers since the caves
Human ants emerging from our sandstone burrows
Scurrying across Earth’s surface like grains on a breeze
Step after curious step we seek what’s outside us
Or flee what harms us
A perpetual migratory quest
There is no stopping it
The world will orbit again
The ant hills will open
The roamers will roam
You can’t unfling the already flung
The scattered cannot be unscattered.
Change is an awkward guardian. Knocking on the door when you’re cozy and comfortable. When you could stay as you are forever. Letting it in brings uncertainty and discomfort, a gut punch of fear. It smiles but it also swings. Open the door. Let it at you until your blood runs clear and clean.
We make our best stuff out of the bones, out of the empty rotting carcasses of pain and despair. Life’s sewage becomes our aquarium. Gazing through the murky slop we catch glints of gold and retrieve them with care, knowing they’re the only things that will keep us alive, and sane. We collect them and make something; a shield, a map. Our ceaseless quest for beauty is found blossoming in the unbeauty, where it grows, on the dark side of the rocks. We go there to make dazzling light from shadow. Creating becomes breath itself, darkness no longer a threat because it contains that which gives us life. We learn to see the sheen glimmering on the surface of shit. Nothing is wasted.
Ten years ago the day was warm and blue and untouchable. There were sunflowers and smiling faces and bad church music and perfect candlelight and us, light as air as we held hands and made promises and giggled and twirled around with our loved ones. We laughed so hard at the speeches we thought we’d die of joy and wiped each other’s tears with the backs of our hands and closed our eyes hard willing time to stop forever inside that old lantern lit building by the lake. We clambered up boulders on the water and everyone joined and held hands and swayed together in a gem-toned haze and shoes got stuck in rocks and no one cared because they were only holding us back from more rollicking and when we danced you broke out into a theatrical solo number and everyone cackled uncontrollably and I could hardly feel my body from the bursting of love that filled every crevice in the room and we didn’t want any of it to stop so we took friends from both continents with us to the ocean where we ran into the water at dawn wearing glow sticks and splashed about together telling stories that had no end and there was no time for sleep only picnics and waves and sun and rapture.
Ten years ago. But it’s been a decade of giggling and twirling since.
Dreamt I was on the side of a road sitting on a curb. It was twilight so the sky was dark but still full of purples and pinks and everything was turning into silhouettes. I got up to get where I was going in a hurry and passed a car with a woman in it. She’d parked on the shoulder and was leaning out of the window looking up with her chin resting on her arms like she’d been there awhile. Like she’d lost something up there and was trying to find it. I asked if she needed help. No answer. She just started talking about the sky and UFOs and wondered if the moon tastes savoury or sweet and if a coyote’s howl is actually a laugh and why does everything have a name. Then an animal started laughing in the distance. She got out of the car, threw me the keys and bolted into the bushes towards the sound. I looked down at my hand and her car keys were made out of pretzel. One of them was half-eaten. I woke up hungry. And curious. Which I guess is exactly the point.
Just over here contemplating how expectations and norms are all constructs built by others to serve their own interests and living life instead as a blank canvas with inner voice as muse and guide will always be a truer and purer path to the infinite universal wisdom already inside of us and how the only way back to it is comprehensive unlearning and intentional silence but I’m aaalso contemplating whether I should make quesadillas or salmon with dijon tonight.
Lately, all the words have been stuck inside. Packed into my brain like sardines marinating in their own salty brine. No room for the air to get in and loosen them up. No words or description at all. Like grabbing a passing thought in your fist and examining it as it lays in your palm. You can see its colour and shape and feel its temperature against your skin, but you don’t know what it is yet. What it’s made of. Its material. And so the words don’t come to define it. They’re lodged inside. Its isness hasn’t revealed itself yet. You’re just looking at this thing, this thing that is something but is also nothing, holding it, sitting with it, watching the light sparkle on it, knowing that it’s worthy of holding even if the isness never becomes yours to define.
We were never in control. We never knew. We built a world fast and loud in all our supposed knowing. Mistaking our progress for power and control. Waiting for peace always just at the end of our ambitions. We didn’t know it was already here. Just paved over. The dirt-trodden path to our deepest wisdom was too slow beneath our hurried feet.
But then. An end. A beginning. We were exiled back into stillness, stripped of our defenses. The outside world got quiet, we quieted too. A silence we didn’t recognise. It was excruciating. We suffered. Resisted. The unknown. Loss. Anxiety and fear. Ever-ceasing power. We gripped it so tight in desperation that our clenched hands quivered and bled. We still couldn’t hold onto it. It slipped through our fingers and fell crashing back into the Earth. The sound it made was an alarm. We mistook it for an explosion.
In our forced surrender we started to notice. Things we hadn’t before thought or felt. What was dormant awakened.
Our growth felt like pain and our surrender felt like defeat. But the wound was actually a cure. The assault an intervention.
The force that came to destroy us had saved us.
The sound it made was an alarm.