there’s a part of me still unlocking the front door

of our small saskatchewan apartment,

and there’s a part of me still

simmering in the heat of new york.

small infinities remain within,

etched, yet faded, by the passing of time.

Fear is irrational.

Fear is irrational.

I know this because, when it is away,
I can take steady breaths, and be an
anchor for myself–keep calm–whilst
preparing for the storm that threatens to
shake the only ground I know to stand on.
Survive.
Like I was created and evolved to do.

It is irrational, because, although I am of
sound mind, it becomes terribly hard to
fathom anything other than the poisonous
nectar spreading throughout my chest
from the seed planted in my gut
all those years ago.
Something that’s inside and outside of me,
all at once.
Surrounding me, as I overflow of it.

It is irrational, because, once it’s there,
I forget how to be.
Anything.
Everything I am becomes a technicality,
something that needs a handbook.
I forget that I am so much more than
what it has reduced me to.
I forget that I do not need to justify myself
for facing it.

It is irrational, because, whilst I have the care
to not wish myself dead,
in moments when it ensnares me,
death doesn’t sound so bad,
because it seems like a means to an end.
No more failing to escape it.

It is irrational, because, although I know
that what I’m facing has been faced before,
is being faced as I speak,
and will be faced long after I am gone,
I still feel like the only one.

Fear is irrational, because, when feeling it
we so often believe that we are alone,
and that we are incapable.

This is not true.
Please have the courage to remember that.

 

Sep. 13, 2015

It feels as if I have two people in me.Two very distinct, and different people within me.
One who’s vibrant, and talkative, and challenging, and confident, and as let-go as she can be. Someone who’s daring.
And then there’s the insecure one.
The one whose mouth shuts, and her brain freezes, and her cheeks burn, and she’s mute.
She opens her mouth to speak but nothing leaves.
Someone who has a storm growing in her stomach. A ball of stress.
And her insides burn.
She can feel the cold-hot flash make its way up her esophagus from her gut.
And she’s so awkward. So unnatural.
She tries too hard, and it shows in her every move. She tries too hard for approval from others. She tries to act “let-go,” and it doesn’t work for her.
It’s so obvious she’s putting her all into it.
She has trouble sleeping at night.
She has trouble accepting that things are this way.
She’s scared.
She’s so scared.
She’s scared all the time, even though she does everything she can to not think about it. The things that scare her.
And she gets away with it. Most of the time. But it’s always there in the back of her head.
In the weight of her chest.
In the stutter of her heart.
It’s laced into her every thought.
She turns shadows into monsters. It consumes her.
It consumes her.
She feels paper thin. She in numb with fear.
She is hard to accept.
She is hard to protect.
She is hard to have faith in.
She can’t do it. She doesn’t have it in her. She doesn’t think so. She cares too much about what others think.
How could she not?
How could she not when all she can do is observe and form internal connections to them?
She’s insecure.
She thinks others are better than her. But not in the way you think. She knows they are human, and she is too. She knows she has been through her fair share of experiences, as have they.
She knows that, so far, they are equals.
But she thinks of their eyes looking at a very vulnerable, and naked part of her, and it hurts. It scares her. It-the thought of it-feels unbearable. Feels unfair.
That they get this very exposed piece of her to judge, and study, and share. That they only get that part without knowing the rest. The rest of her parts. The better parts. The ones she’s more comfortable in, and confident of.
But it’s hard to show those parts, as well.
It’s hard because it’s easy to pretend that they are the only parts.
And highering people’s expectations of you only serves to add more stress.
She’s crumpled up paper.
All bumps, and tangible pauses of awkwardness.
She’s the motion of writing on a piece of paper that’s laid upon a gravel road.
She confuses me.
She confuses me because I want to box her up, and hide her away. Pretend she does not exist.
But, I also want her to grow.
I want to water her, and put her under the sun, so that she may grow. So that she’s strong enough to handle all that comes her way. Just as I would a dear friend.
But I’m not dealing with a friend. A separate being.
I am dealing with myself.
And I can’t escape her fear.
I can’t escape my fear.
I feel drenched in it.
As if I’m being marinated in it.

I know what I have to do;
I’m just too afraid to do it.

Some days I wake up
and all I feel
are the fractures
in the flesh
that covers
the only me
I’ve ever known.
Some days,
it’s those exact
fissures
that let the light
hiding inside me
pour out
and cover
in gold
everyone
that found enough beauty
in the cracks
to stand
close.

-Tyler Knott Gregson

 

May 21, 2015

Before you, the most alive
I had felt was while eating
a za’atar sandwich under
a clear, starry sky
during a warm, and quiet summer night.

And I was so happy at that
moment, because I felt it.
I could feel the moment being made.
I could feel the moment poets
wrote about, and artists tried
to capture. I kept on thinking
about the line that was mentioned
in that one Indian movie I watched a while back,
“I now believe I exist.”
I did. Who wouldn’t?
I could feel the whole world
beneath my feet, and I couldn’t
fathom the endlessness of the sky
above me. It was scary.
It was amazing. It was everything
I wanted it to be.

But it isn’t the most alive I’ve
felt. Not now.
When I think about the most alive I’ve felt, I do not
think about that night spent
amongst the stars.

I think about the afternoon
Daddy got us Yummy Rice
for lunch. We were in the kitchen.
I had a few bites, but I couldn’t
eat. I didn’t want to. And that’s not only
because shock and sadness sorta tend to get rid
of any appetite you had, but I had
also realized that while you had just
been put in the ground to rest
till the end of time,
I was possibly doing one of the most “alive” things one can do.
I was eating.
And I have never felt more aware of the life in my body.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann (Read by Tom Hiddleston)

 

I’m going through a rough time right now, and hearing this poem has somehow made me feel better. The poem itself is honest and it hits you in all the right places, but hearing Tom Hiddleston read it just made it better. He has this voice that reminds me of my dad reading bedtime stories to me and my sister when we were little girls. It’s soft and calm, and safe, yet strong and clarifying, and it gave me a feeling my dad’s “reading” voice gives me.  I hope you enjoy reading and/or hearing this. And if you’re going through a rough and not so great time as well, I hope you get well again soon.

Max Ehrmann

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.