Anonymous asked: why should i carry on living?
Birthdays. Setting fires. Holding hands. Making stew on cold nights. Mountain climbing. Sleep. First dates. Vacation. Spending the day in bed. Buying wedding rings. Exploring a forest. Playing peekaboo with a baby. Watching someone smile genuinely. Camping. Stargazing. Counting rings on a tree. Realizing that someone loves you. Returning that love. Getting drunk for the first time. Smell of old books. Looking through black & white photos. Learning your ancestors’ names. Laughter. Hot chocolate. The feeling of getting back up after falling down. First day of college. Last day of college. Acing a job interview. Screwing one up and realizing it’s not the end of the world. Collecting shells. Sunbathing. Listening to someone’s heartbeat. Sound of waves crashing against shore. Rain hitting a tin roof. Heartbreak that turns into heart-healing. Your own house. Decorating that house. Coming home to someone you love. Hearing the sound of their footsteps on the stairs. Honesty of fall leaves. Their colors. Fresh snowfall. Singing favorite songs off-key. Seeing love come into someone’s eyes. Watching your parents look at each other like the very first time. Sunrise. Sunset. The way fire burns into ash. Smell of a campire. Waking up with light spilling over the sheets. Breakfast in bed. Living long enough to watch wounds heal over. Change. Wilderness. Forgiveness. Change some more. More change. Spring. Flowers blooming, opening up like you can. Good memories. Learning how to forget bad ones. Warm feet in a cold bed. Sleeping with the only person you care about. Waking up to their mouth and arms. Smiles that reach all the way to the eyes. Letting go of balloons like dead weight. Floating in water on your back. Skydiving. Risk. Adventure. First C on a test. First A. Favorite teacher. First poem. Last poem. Holidays with family. Roadtrips. Changing the sheets. Your father’s gnarled hands when he grows old. Grandchildren. Children of your own. Their first day of college. Their graduation. Their wedding. Anniversaries. Making daisy chains. Smell of freshly-cut grass. Pride. Feeling good about yourself. Loving what’s in the mirror. Not being afraid anymore. No more heaviness. No more grief. Survival. Picking berries til your fingers are stained dark. Frost on windows. Holding someone without sex. Sex with love. The joy of swearing. Counting the years you’ve lived. Another candle on the birthday cake. Another mark of victory. That bellyache laugh that hurts all over. But hurts so good. Breath freezing in winter. Feeling that breath on your skin. Someone’s eyelashes blinking into your palm. Accomplishment. Self-worth. Love. Triumph. Sitting under willow trees without weeping. Apologies that get accepted. Understanding that comes from forgiveness. First fight. First makeup afterward. Less hurt. More good.
The hope of a happy life is a charming bag of shit. You do not deserve perpetual happiness. No one does, and no one has it. Any person that professes to live a life full of bliss is either missing core areas of their brain functioning, or they are trying to sell you something.
A picture in a magazine is not eternal. It is not something to hope for. It is only a tiny, insignificant glimpse of something far too large and messy to contain on a page.
No one lives in happiness. Life is sadness, boredom, joy, sacrifice, misery, fear, excitement, loss, contemplation, anticipation, satisfaction, love, rage, ecstasy… Life is actually more than I could possibly bother to write. It has to be, it’s that large, that complex. So stop selling yourself short by wishing for something as simple and inane as a happy life. Live large. Feel the full depth and capacity of all of this life’s ups and downs. You deserve it.
Every morning she did the rosary while sitting in his favorite, worn spot on the couch. After finishing her second cup of coffee, she’d catch the bus downtown to the Second Avenue parking garage, and sit inside the stairwell next to the ticket pay station.
Most people assumed her homeless, tossing a few dollars her way before passing her on the stairs. She would smile and return the money saying, “Oh no, I’m not poor. I’m just here to listen to the machines.”
Her husband worked as a security watchman at the garage for the last twenty or so years. December would mark their 50th wedding anniversary and a year since he’d been gone. Every day she would sit patiently waiting for someone to pay for their ticket at the automated ticket machine. Her husband’s voice would then tumble out of the machine: “Take your ticket with you and use it at the exit station as you leave, thank you.”
She must have heard that sentence thousands of times but it never got old to her. It was the only way to hear his voice, and it was such a nice voice, not one she’d ever want to lose. So each day she’d keep it fresh in her mind. Each time she’d hear it, she loved him more and missed him less because even though he was gone, she’d keep him alive in her mind, in her heart, and in every part of her body that now felt hollow without him.
My body is a candle flaming on the bottom instead of the wick.
Consequently, I burn myself trying to understand my own skin
whenever I make New Years resolutions that involve surviving
to the next New Year instead of enjoying the current one.
If someone were to crack upon my chest like a…
Rain — Rain is best when it is heavy. Rhythmic, grey, cold, the rumble of thunder to wake the skin on my chest. The scant patter of a drizzle is deplorable. A light rain only itches, annoys you like some pestering child; leaves too much space in the air for humidity to stalk about, swinging his thirst-laden jaw. No, a heavy, curtain-shaving rain is best: a cooling jet, a close, enclasping ocean.
This is “The Rules.” Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Start?
He fell in love first with her bad punctuation. It was like she did not care for the rules. The text that had done it was: Want to meet, @ Costco. No question mark. Just a simple period. Plus that intrusive comma, like a finger slipping in a sweater. Another text (i.e. Congratulations I’m hungry?) made him impossibly dizzy. A birthday card she had sent pulled him out of the reach of gravity: Happy! birthday; I’m hoping, you have a great! one happy birthday!!!!!!, you are…old now? He was a mess with each new and bewitching choice of punctuation. Which left him all the more vexed and heartsick when one day she wrote to him: I don’t think, we are right together; sorry?
There is a circle of musicians that gather in Washington Square Park on warm, sunny days. Their talents vary widely. Some of them play guitar quite well. Some not so well. Others struggle just to keep beat with the tambourine. But everyone has a great time– especially when the sun is shining. I normally drop in for a song or two. I become part of the group, dance with the music, and make encouraging eye contact with the other members. Even without an instrument, I feel that I outrank some of the weaker tambourine players.