In Favor of Bravery

Bravery felt like…

agony, for the longest time.

like a jostling of waves in a water-balloon-of-a-heart,

holding a shipwreck, exploding, contained only by the pale pink latex of its walls.

It felt like spiraling into a bad dream you choose,

on a pillow case overstuffed with doubt,

and waking up to find like a cat,

it was sitting there — on your face — every morning,

for a year.

It felt like running to the window with stubborn persistence,

to find the sun –

perpetually dressed, in a black cloak.

“It was chic,” he said. “It was magic,”

he laughed.

It felt like opening the door to find that you’re not much starter than he,

you left the house in a scratchy thick sweater,

made of butter,

in July.

It honestly felt like…

everyone in the “world” was doing the “normal” thing,

except you.

I(t) felt like, giving up, like coming up short.

It was an argument. A fight.

It felt like this, in fact — until it didn’t.

When I realized “normal” was black and white,

and I wanted to go chase the rainbow.

And then. Ha. And then…

it felt like the breaking of dawn.

Like the fullest breath I’ve ever dared to take, again and again.

Like walking to the ocean. Like taking a hike.

And then… I felt like doing it again.

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Adulthood

Shopping.

I went back to look again at the sheer zip-up jacket, no hood. Black with a pink and red floral pattern. It was creative, impractical, pricey. Lovely. Should I buy it? Yes. No. Yes! I’m not sure..

Cousin.

She walked over in her 10-year-old smiling self. Red purse draped around her neck, not bothering to wear it “properly” – two headbands strategically placed lopsidedly on her head, one a band of gold, another silver with metal flowers, tags sticking up like bunny ears. Her innocence casting these fashion finds in toyish gaudiness just enough to make you reflect on the important things in life – to remember seeing the world like a child. A shift in perspective.

Receipt.

The reality that we so often paint around us in adulthood is but a glittering illusion of expensive dust.

Concession.

I have no qualms with the designer of said jacket. I think it’s wonderful.

even the darkest nights have stars

in fact, that’s when they shine even brighter

and the ones that were invisible before – this is when the world first sees them glimmer

(but don’t you know, they’ve been shining on their own all along).

we aren’t left to fend for ourselves in the dark –

each night, we are tucked in with a translucent blanket of majesty – threaded with periwinkle-navy and deep blue,

glittered with layers and layers of frosted twinkles – if your hand could reach out to touch it, you’d move the stars.

you can’t beat the air here, especially after it’s rained – dew brings you an ice-cold brew (essence of tree bark, the red kind). night mixes it with cool. nostrils try to sip in summer’s glass, but the flavor always just lingers on the tip of the tongue – taste buds singing for more.

so you lay down, cold sidewalk beneath, and dream.

and you get up – and dance with your arms held high.

the state of (in)between

the process. the practice. the journey.

we think of it in agony. sometimes. often. panic/excitement/anguish.

we forget that it is…

the art of making. of baking pies (blueberry). the anticipation of sweet reward. that which makes making so sweet. and sour.

but have hope. take courage. squeeze out every bit of confidence. because once it has passed. it is only memory.

“Everything you need you already have.” – Wayne Dyer

The Sun squeezed her energy out like cool splashes of citrus running down from heaven’s invisible glass. The Wind let himself get tipsy from it.  

A woman stood in the parking lot. The one unwavering spirit in the midst of busy bodies making bee lines here and there. Standing on an elevated block, she quietly slipped her hands into pockets. Wind blew towards her and she took a deep breath as if they met for the first time. Everything loud and busy around her. But she, she exuded a quiet present-ness, soaking up the current moment for all that it was. Careful not to miss a drop, but not wanting for more.

And that was enough.

Seven Billion Kinds of Cookies

Sometimes I get tired of the cliche phrases on cat posters –  to”follow your dreams.Maybe I just have something against cats. Perhaps it’s because the phrase is just so short and framed as a command: you must buy me. The words sold so many times their meaning generic, lost in the routine.

As if following your dreams could be crammed into 3 tiny little words and fit into your back pocket like a shopping list. “Honey, don’t forget to pick up the dreams on your way home.”

Follow

Your

Dreams

They’re not even your dreams anymore, they’re just dreams, as if everyone should have the same ones. Manufactured in large quantities for a profit. Where people you don’t know determine their labels, how they’re made, what’s inside. Bland – like bags of flour. Easily purchased at your local grocery store. Packaged, sometimes with a recommended serving size. Obscure ingredients and nutritional values recorded. Approved by the Federal Dream Administration.

No one really talks about how hard it really is. Or how long it really takes. To “follow your dreams.” Those 3 tiny little words sell dreams for cheap, like you paid for this epic story of 1000 pages – but instead, you got just 3 words. And then, you bought it so many times, you actually forgot you were getting cheated.

But maybe to “follow your dreams” isn’t so bad of a phrase. Perhaps I’ve just been misinterpreting it – fixating on the right side of the sentence, forgetting the left. Forgetting that the journey is a part of the dream. The verb used is to “follow” – which is about the journey. And some people still bake cookies with flour.