The Fountain

I wrote this a few weeks ago, at the behest of my longest, dearest friend. The one who has stuck by me through good times and terrible. I was having a bad night, and he told me to write. Begged me to write, for release. Just for me.

You see, I was sitting in my car, in a store parking lot, and we were talking on the phone. And the dam burst. I had had a bad day, a bad week, and the deepest cries of my soul burst forth into him as they have so many times over the years.

I’m sharing it now.

For me.
For you.

For Tomás.

~

Watching the clouds roll in, she could feel the mood shifting. It shifted in the way a wounded animal’s mood shifts. It shifted in the way a broken heart shifts. It shifted in the way a distraught soul shifts.

The mood of the Universe was shifting.

She observed the rich but deepening blue of the night sky grow increasingly dark.

Ominously dark.

It was the clouds. But calling it a cloudy night is spurious, a red herring to throw one off from the event unfolding. It wasn’t a cloudy night. The mountainous wall of thick cloud laid waste to the sky, laid waste to the light, as it marched forward, assaulting the beauty of the night and robbing her of the glory of the Cosmos.

She was one with Cosmos. It had always been so.

She could feel the pulse of the earth.
She could feel the wind’s breath.
She could feel the raw power of storms thundering through her body.
She could smell the salt sea and sense unexplored depths.
She could smell the crisp clean air of untamed mountains and wildernesses.
She could feel the humid, damp earth of the forest floor and spot the slick and shiny slime trails of banana slugs and wonder upon their journey and purpose.
She could feel the shuddering earth as herds and hordes raced across the land, to greener grasses, to better mates, away from danger.

She feels the moods of the Cosmos. They are connected in some ways deeper than the connection of lovers.

She weeps when the Earth weeps, when the sky weeps.
She aches when animals are in pain, and she shatters when humans tear each other apart.

And she yearns. She aches. She needs.

Always looking up. Attuned to both the Earth and the Heavens. In awe of the unique and nightly paintings splashed across a shifting atmospheric canvas. In awe of the sea of stars carpeting the night sky. In awe of powerful light sources that looked so dainty to the naked eye, but were in truth powerful enough to burn one alive should one approach too closely, their beauty too much to behold in full.

She is not empathetic. She is empathy. And only the vast and mighty Cosmos understand her, and she it.

empath-challenges

And tonight, she wonders, and not for the first time…

Am I feeling the pain of the Universe?
Or is the Universe feeling mine?

Is the mountain of clouds drowning my light?
Or is my own darkness shrouding the universe in a cowl?

She tilted her head up, unruly curls whipping wildly about her head, and gazed up at the terror unfolding. The Others seemed oblivious. Doing their shopping, scolding their children, honking their horns to hurry, hurry, hurry. But not her.

She was attuned to things others ignored or had never been aware of at all. She could see that which was real and dismissed that which was not. She could see into the eternal. Searching in earnest for a sign. Any little sign that it would all be okay. And just as she was about to hang her head and weep, she spotted it.

A single rogue star, peeking out from the shroud.
Her breath caught, her pulse quickened, and she emitted the tiniest little squeak of joy.

And then.
And then it was gone.
The star was overtaken.

She gulped back tears, and the pain in her chest intensified with every advance of the mountain. It was overhead now, and as she gazed upon it, she could see in its darkness a swirling, seething mass of heartache, loss, lack, loneliness, pain, hate. It overwhelmed her gentle soul and seemed impenetrable. She collapsed to her knees on the pavement, one hand gripping loose asphalt, the other gripping her chest.

The Cosmos were dying, and she was dying with it.

Her heart pounded and hammered and raged against the dying of the light, until slowly, slowly it became the tiniest flicker of the tiniest ember. With the last bit of strength she had, she forced her head up through the viscous mass of cloud. She could see nothing. This was no mere darkness. This was a complete and utter lack of light. She slowly, uneasily and with growing frailty rocked back on her heels, thrust her hands up into the mass and up toward where she knew the heavens hid.

She opened her eyes to the darkness. She allowed it into her. She became one with the darkness and felt all of the pain. All of the anguish. All of the love and loss and heartache and death and betrayal and war and famine. All of the poison. All of the lack. She felt it all. Overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, she gasped for breath and clutched her chest once more.

Please, she whispered.
Please, she pleaded.
If I’m causing you pain, I’ll do better.
If I’m feeling your pain, please help me.
I’m dying under the weight of your pain
.
Share it with me.
I’m taking your pain into me; take mine.
Be one with me as I am one with you.
Let us heal each other
.

When the first fat raindrop plopped onto her cheek, she brushed it aside as yet another tear. But then another and another and another raindrop followed, until she understood and looked up, bathing her face in it.

These aren’t my tears at all.
They’re yours.
Let us bathe in each other’s tears and cleanse each other of this palpable darkness.
Let me love you.
Let me love you, and others will follow.

And the tiny ember of her heart kindled once more into a crackling warmth. And she knew, she knew all would be right with the Universe. With herself. And so she did the only thing there was left to do. She stripped down to her naked skin and gleefully bathed in the fountain of the Universe.

Because no matter how thick the clouds.
No matter how dark the void grows.
The fountain always appears; the font never dry.

They simply have to hold fast through the storms, through the darkness, through the pain.

Together.

And the fountain will rejuvenate.
Restore.
Cleanse.
Heal.

~

Thank you, Tomás.

For the words.
For the listening.
For the kindred.
For the soul.

For the unconditional.
Love.

For the fountain.

Splish
Splash

 

 

An Alice in Chains Kind of Day

Do you ever feel alone?

So. Fucking. Alone.
So. Fucking. Hopeless.

I shouldn’t be listening to Alice in Chains. I shouldn’t have Layne Staley’s beautifully haunting voice in my head this morning, mirroring my mood. Feeding it. Fueling it. Strengthening it. But it’s an Alice in Chains kind of morning.

I was up too late last night. I took my meds too late. So, though I was quite exhausted, I had a hell of a time getting to sleep. Then one of my cats, the Orange One, decided to go dumpster diving at various times throughout the night. You see, I thoughtlessly left the giant sack of cat food accessible to the cats. I had no idea that the Orange One would bypass his food bowl in favor of climbing up onto the bag and eating out of it instead. That loud crackling, crinkling racket coupled with his munching woke me up no fewer than three times in the night. (Yes, I moved that bag first thing this morning.)

All of this led me to oversleep this morning. Of course. Which fucking sucked, because I had to skip my shower. I like to take one every morning. Helps me feel clean (First World water consumer right here) and is equally important to help me feel awake.

So. I’m “hoping” that those factors combined are why I feel so…subdued…today.

The alternative is far more upsetting.

The alternative is that in spite of the meds and positive changes in my life.
I’m beginning the downward spiral back into a depressive state.

It’s been a while since the slow creeping venomous vine of depression bound me in its grip. Where it cuts and burns and squeezes and binds. Until it enters every orifice and spreads within you like a slow, painful death.

It has hold of you now. You hack and hack and hack away at the vines, but they’re stronger than you are right now. Because the venom of the vine seeps into your body, into your bloodstream, into your very consciousness, into your soul. And the venom?

Lies. Cruelty. Darkness. Hopelessness. Suicide. Worthlessness. Fatigue. Loss. Pain. Malaise. Apathy. Despair. Anger. Hatred. Loathing.

The venom is insidious. But you’re in no state to fight it.

Depression is what we call it.

We want to fight it. We want to break through. We want to break free. But it’s not always so simple, is it? Sometimes it’s simply time. To be depressed.

I hate being a Depressive Person.
I hate having Major Depressive Disorder, Clinical Depression, Bipolar II, PTSD, GAD.
What. The. Fuck. Ever.
Whatever it is. Whatever the labels.
I hate it. I don’t wish to feel this way. I do not choose to feel this way. I do not enjoy it.

But in a strange way, I can at least be thankful.

Thankful?
Thankful.

Because it’s only for the darkness that I’m able to see the light.
If all of my life is spent in sunshine,
Do I recognize it as sunshine?
Can I appreciate it if I don’t know that darkness exists? What it looks like? What it feels like?

If all of my life is spent in darkness,
Can I appreciate the sunshine?
If I don’t know that the sunshine exists,
What gives me hope? What reason have I to persevere? To keep hacking away at those vines?

Perhaps I need the depression.
Perhaps it tempers me.
Perhaps it reminds me what is real.
Even as it tells me lies about myself.

~

Sometimes it’s the very things I hope for. The very things I cling to. That shift my sunshine into the darkest of nights. Perhaps I want too much. Need to much. Ask too much. Expect too much. Perhaps I am my own undoing.

~

I want to live a life apart.
I want to escape civilization.
I want to damn expectations.

I don’t give a fuck about elections.
I don’t give a fuck about money.
I don’t give a fuck about fearmongering.

I have zero fucks for celebrity.
I have no interest in things.
I am sick to death of working for the man.

I don’t wish to spend my life rotting in front of television.
I have no desire to tour the den of lies that is Washington, D.C.
I have a big, fat fuck you to societal rules and norms.

Fuck your McMansions.
Fuck your things.
Fuck your self-righteousness.

Fuck your racism.
Fuck your xenophobia.
Fuck your nationalism.

Fuck your ownership.
Fuck your entitlement.
Fuck your judgment.

~

John Muir is My Hero

I want a companion.
I want to explore the wild.
I want to take the road less traveled by.

I want to learn.
I want to question.
I want to observe and absorb.

I want to immerse myself in different cultures.
I want to meet and embrace the other.
I want to see life through your eyes.

I want to hear your perspective.
I want to feel your soul.
I want to reach into you and bathe in your essence.

I want to get lost on purpose.
I want to relish the adventure of finding my way again.
I want to discover the untamed beauties off the beaten path.

I want to make love on a blanket of grass under a sea of stars.
I want to run naked through a meadow of wildflowers.
I want to cleanse myself in unpolluted waters.

I want to giggle for no reason.
I want to belly laugh until it hurts to breathe.
I want to spend hours simply making faces at each other.

I want to have deep, tangential conversations until three A.M.
I want to make a pillow fort and sit in our underwear and tell ghost stories.
I want you to see me and let me see you.

I want to smoke a joint and tell stories in the middle of a rainforest.
I want to wash my face in snow melt and move on.
I want to walk the cobblestones of an ancient city, then get fucked in a dirty old stairwell.

I want to be loved unconditionally.
I want to be allowed to love unconditionally.
I want my quirks to be appreciated.

I want you to see my tears as beautiful.
I want you to let me kiss yours.
I want to live inside your soul.

I want to live.
I want to love.
I want to be free.

~

The problem is: I don’t think this is too much to ask.
I think: This is the reality that people have been brainwashed to not see.
I want: That which is truly real and meaningful.

And when I don’t have it.
When I can’t have it.
When I am denied it.

I sink.
Down.
Down.
Down.

Into the depths…
Of my mind.
Of my desires.
Of my aching lack.

Want me.
Need me.
Love me.

Adventure with me.
Learn with me.
Challenge me.

Show me something I’ve never seen before.
Let me show you things you’ve never seen.
Let us carve our own reality.

I’m waiting.
I’m wanting.
I’m ready.

~

Is this too much to ask?
I think not.

And you know something?
I feel better already.

A Note of Thanks(giving) on Christmas Day

I didn’t do a post on Thanksgiving. And I’m not doing a post on Christmas. These times of the year used to be so special and precious to me. Now they’re just reminders of how lovely things once were and how alone I am now.

But I met a man in the grocery store Wednesday morning, a man who shook my world a bit and brought much needed clarity and perspective. I was in the produce section, picking out onions, when I heard singing. At first, I decided to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening. Isn’t that what most people sheeple do? I was having a pretty bad morning. I’d already been to the rheumatologist, where I had more tests done and more tests scheduled. Mention was made of an MRI and a specialist over two hours away. And I had crashed hard and felt heavily sedated from some new meds I’m on. So I was not feelin’ it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him. This little old man, small, frail, harshly stooped over. Pushing his cart at a steady clip and singing his heart out…and in a rather brusque manner, I might add. And I couldn’t help myself; I smiled broadly at him.

Are you laughing at me, young lady?

“No! No sir! I’m smiling, because your singing has brightened my morning!”

Good girl. Music is good for the soul. A little Nat King Cole is good for you.

He went right back to singing, and I do mean he was belting it out. The lady behind me, waiting to get at the onions, remarked, “I don’t know how anyone can be so happy in the mornings.” He heard her.

Happiness is a state of mind. I’m simply choosing to be happy.

I thanked him for bringing a much-needed smile to my face.

He wandered off, seriously pushing that cart hard and fast. He was on a mission to get his things and get the hell out of there. I saw him again on another aisle at the other end of the store. He was still singing his heart out.

“Hello again,” I greeted him.

Why, that’s a song, isn’t it? I do believe you have music in your soul, young lady.

I grinned at him and thanked him once more, letting him know how pleased I was with his music and spirit.

Thank YOU. For seeing me, for hearing me, and not just seeing a crazy old man. Merry Christmas to you.

“Merry Christmas.”

Oh no, I’m far too old now. My Christmas passed away years ago.

And he pushed his cart away, resuming his singing and heading for the checkout. I stood there, frozen in place for a few moments, mouth slightly agape and tears coming unbidden. His last words broke my heart. And yet, his spirit endures in spite of his loss and pain. He went into the grocery that morning and sang his heart out, not necessarily to spread joy but to maintain some within his own heart.

I saw him at the checkout, as I stood there. And he stopped singing momentarily and asked someone I couldn’t see, “Are you laughing at me?…You’re really laughing at me? You think I’m stupid, don’t you? Well you’re a jerk!” Then he picked his song back up and continued singing.

I saw him again as I was driving home. He was walking with his groceries. My heart sank. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t get to him in the traffic. I glimpsed him in my rear view after I passed him by and saw him darting across the road to some assisted living housing.

I don’t think he has any idea how he touched my heart, but I hope so much that he felt the hope and peace he gave to me. And the important reminder that happiness is an action as much as a feeling. We have to seek it out, work for it, find it in the little things (that aren’t so little after all), appreciate it…and share it.

So thanks to that angel of a man, I’m going to choose to be thankful today rather than moping around feeling sorry for myself. I’m going to at least try to be present and thankful. Because even at my lowest, I have much to be thankful for:

I’m thankful for you, my awesome blogger buddies. My Peopleaneous. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you cry with me, you crack jokes with me, you share your music and your lives with me. You come and check on me and show so much patience and understanding when I crawl into my cave and don’t reply to messages or emails for days. I’m more thankful for you than you know.

I’m thankful for being welcomed into the geek fold at work. I don’t get to talk with them often, because we’re in different parts of the building. But it’s nice knowing there are people there who are friendly with me and actually enjoy my company from time to time.

I’m thankful for luxuries like running water, central heat and air, a working washer and dryer, a home with a solid roof and a comfy bed. I’m thankful for a running fridge, stocked with food.

I’m thankful for my two cats, one of whom is my cuddle buddy every single night. He snuggles and purrs and makes me feel needed.

I’m thankful that I wasn’t born in a country where I’m being shot at or bombed every day. Where I don’t know when the next time I’ll have clean water or a full belly will be. Where I’m not allowed to educate myself or speak my mind.

I think of a lot of silly things I’m thankful for: like #2 Black Warrior pencils, double A batteries, flip flops and Welch’s grape juice. I’m thankful for butterflies and tree frogs and dainty earrings and belly laughs.

I hope that you lovely people will take time out of a day (usually) filled with lots of gifts and things and sometimes a lot of stress and personality clashes: take time out and remember to be thankful.

be thankful

Happy Holidays, y’all.