january: resist everything that would destroy you: apathy, entropy, tyranny
february: your pain always has meaning; go to the fucking doctor
march: you do not need the right words or any words at all to be worthwhile; they will love you anyway
april: love and fury are indivisible
may: death isn’t interested in you nor, for the first time in your life, are you interested in her
june: this is how you breathe
july: yes, it is worth the extra work, time, and money to own AC
august: you will spend weeks longing for currents and snowmelt and the summer will pass before you can get a breath in edgewise
september: high collars and independence become you
october: you were not meant to live alone
november: that urge to diminish, to be less, is the antithesis of strength
december: nothing lasts forever and that fact will always be a blessing
what i have learned this year
Evolution is not an inevitable march forward into perfection; it is an unending, unyielding, messy red. Like death, he visits us all. Like death, he is not cruel.
The current iteration of our world, our bodies, ourselves is the best it will ever be! The great bias of history.
We forget we are the next in the line of progression to be bumped off eventually and maybe we are the failed branch in the family tree. It is not for us to know. It will be those digging up the impressions of our bones on rock our names and dreams forgotten who decide.
Cremation is cheap but the laws stating that bones cannot be left whole appall me. I want those significant and alive to have my hair and teeth to make with them what they with and I know with certainty that I do not want to be embalmed and buried in steel and concrete. I prefer to go straight into the ground, in a shroud– some fabric that will rot but maybe embroidered with runes and blessings– but where? Bury me in the Sierras on the East side of Rose below the treeline. Bury me with flowers. Horsemint and melissa and columbine and sage. Burn dragonsblood graveside so my father will be welcome there. Pour wine over my stone marker. I’m weak and afraid and I want to be remembered.
Where does freedom begin?
With the absence of fear. Where, despite the void or because of it there is a river of potential heretofore unnavigable, unknown. The water rushes and sings grey-green off the mountain dragging down moss, old bones, bees, poison hemlock. You never learned how to swim but the best part about being free? No one will push you into the water. Come and sit on this boulder in the dappled sun and let your toes get a feel for the snowmelt water rushing past and let the cosmic radiation burn the rot of stagnation right off your back. It’ll hurt a little but you’ll be better for it. Sit a while and talk. Stretch and take up all the space you never could before. Take up all the space you need.
Everything smells like blood. I can’t tell if it’s my body or if everything actually smells like blood. I’ve been taking rat poison so long, walking the tight rope of “just enough to keep me from dying”.
I would like to stop taking it.
I would like to wake up without tasting iron.
I would like to finish a novel.
I would like to be left alone with a one-bedroom apartment, a good night’s sleep, broken eggshells with no remorse, no more thinking in fours.
I would like to shrug off shame with the same ease with which I curse the bad angle of a door swinging shut. “Shit. That’s fine. I didn’t need those knuckles anyway.”
If wishes were horses beggars would ride.
Fortunately for bitter English proverbs today my locus of control is more internal than external and I’ve got an idea.
The Introvert Girl Gang is the first place anyone ever told me that running away is easier if you’re already going somewhere. This was something experience taught me but I’d never heard it said before and I almost cried at how much it explained. This was why I shrank at the thought of vacations. This was why I hadn’t applied to more than one college — because that might mean not leaving but having to return home. Not that that’d made much difference. I went to college anyway. I ran away anyway.
A slow study in pressure. How much travel could I handle, how long could home escalate before I decided no more. It happened slow, bordering on silent, smothering magma-hot and black until I could see no horizon.
The summer I visited Mo is a blur.
Brian had been worse than ever and I had been living in a fog of flashbacks and ash. Nightmares about my teeth splitting apart in my mouth, falling flat against my rotting tongue followed me into the morning. I could always smell him and taste him and hear him breathing. Even at night the house wouldn’t quiet.
I visited Mo. I had nothing to lose.
Her mother was compassionate and rough and waited with me through panic and had no patience for my pretending at spinelessness. Her laugh was a balm for my nerves. She did not flinch at cutting away those dead things that no longer served a purpose. She was kind.
I simply could not leave again. The perfect excuse to carve out a place where I could breathe fresh air and madness and rain and remember that there is nothing quite like volcanic soil and rot for growing things.
It’s easier to run away when you’re already going somewhere. It’s easier to stay gone once you’ve planted something there.
There are days, rare days where my lungs are enough and these are the days I live for.
The eyebright days. Sunwise curlwild mindsharp toothsome days. Days when I write too much too fast to get ink on my hands —
— but somehow rake ink stains through my hair between every sentence anyway.
When I could kiss the Sun until she shook or anyone as long as they don’t put a stop to the words that couldn’t stop if I wanted them to. Days where it doesn’t matter whether the Sun shows her face because I am shining,
burning bright enough for all of us regardless of whether I’m happy
I am Hubris and that is enough
I am enough.
I’m dying of laughter.
Tell me everything.
I showered, I’m over the moon, I wanna go back to bed, I look like a space being. I’m a hot mess.
But you’re my hot mess.
She just left. It was surreal, like I just saw a cryptid– more organic flesh than crystal and stone. It may be a person’s name but “light mountain” is still a cool concept like how every universe we create has to have sheep.
What the hell are we doing? I don’t know. It’s amazing how one letter changes meaning so much. If all else fails we can still afford a tiny house, a caravan of broke-ass millennials laughing about sheep.
We’re geniuses. We could take over the world.
I’ll buy your plane ticket tomorrow.
Today keeps getting better and better and I am telling you this without an ounce of cynicism or suave sarcasm. I woke up with the sunrise and my cat’s purring vibrating the pillow beside my head. I spent fifteen minutes taking pictures of bees among spears of lamb’s ear in the hopes of making a brilliant girl smile. The sun has been the barest kiss across my skin; she’s shy this spring but I do my best to encourage her. I spent another fifteen minutes smiling my own smile like a loon because of the smell of iron and sagebrush and salt beneath clean laundry and his arm around my shoulders. I could spend all day in the sun and I would never feel quite as warm and soft as I did in that moment. If I could I’d spend the rest of the day braiding my hair with honeysuckle and the scent of Earth I caught from him but instead I’ll smile and write and keep count of the gifts people don’t seem to realize they’re giving me.
Once my dearest friend told me she was afraid she was a black hole, that no light would ever escape her again. I reminded her that the quasar of a black hole is the brightest thing in the whole universe. That surrounding her was a light that could never be matched composed of every element she could name, burning. Where all matter refused to go gently into and loved too fondly to be fearful of the night that lies at the end of all things, the heat death of the universe, the unknown stillness at the center of a black hole. The night in the center of her chest where sometimes there is more darkness, more hurt than breath that she is certain it will swallow the world whole. There is more light and life and brilliant mutiny surrounding her, made by her, caused by her, intrinsically tied to her, in existence solely because of her than she can imagine.