Live Your Verb

Become a person of action.

Tag: let it go (page 2 of 2)

Candid

To say I write poetry sounds pompous.
I write truths.

Now let’s not have that old debate
about truth being mere perception.
All love and pain is a truth.

The divinity of the universe,
the few constants, are also truths.
The sun will rise and fall.
Our muses will be born, wither and die.
Pain, no matter how sharp, will fade.

But love will not.
Those that we love exquisitely
will always be with us.

And so
I also write hopes.

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Today

A memory flickers at the corner of my soul like the flame of a forgotten candle, a diminishing glow, burning and fading, burning and fading…

I imagine it will intensify, fill my vision with a final brilliant burst of orange before flickering for the last time, conceding as darkness settles over the room. And I will step outside, lift my face to the sunlight until night falls.

Soon, it will be tomorrow.

 

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Lost and Found

I used to wear a thin silver ring printed with the words “may your wildest dreams come true”. It was sort of a good luck charm, and sort of a reminder to hold onto the hope that I would eventually get to where I wanted to be. I wore it every day, absentmindedly using my thumb to twirl it around my finger.

A few weeks after I moved into this house, still raw and reeling post-breakup, I inadvertently dropped the ring down the bathroom drain. There I was, in a state of emotional, financial and physical devastation, and I had just dropped my lucky charm into the depths of a decrepit plumbing system – what a perfectly poignant illustration of my anguish. It seemed such a fitting mishap that I never tried to retrieve the ring. 

Fifteen months later, my circumstances have changed very little. I am still living here, working an underpaid job, far from a new love and the life I want. But I am profoundly different. I have taken back control and rebuilt myself, cell by cell. I have rediscovered my confidence, my balance, my idealism. And I have learned how to dream again.

There is a place on the horizon where this life intersects with the threshold of my dreams. It will take some time until I can cross over, but I realize now that I can cover the distance and arrive - surefooted, curious, ready to create and explore and savor a little piece of the beyond.  

I had thought about replacing my old ring now that I am dreaming and living and thriving again… But instead I have my eye on another ring by the same artist, possibly a year-end gift to myself. It says “learning to fly”.

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REM Cycle

My dreams have been invaded. The ghosts of solitude come stomping through night after night, toppling the tiny sanctuary walls I have been so painstakingly constructing, leaving me exposed, disheveled. Leaving me, for once, silent.

There is nothing mysterious about my dreams; maybe they are too overtly symbolic to inspire any bittersweet romanticism or wonderment…

I repeatedly have a dream in which I arrive at his house to borrow something - a bowl of sugar, I think. After he greets me at the door, I follow him up a towering flight of stairs for what seems like hours. When I reach the top, dazed, clutching a white, empty bowl, he is nowhere in sight. And so I stand there and wait again.

This needs no dissection. I arrive at his house and ask him to give me something I don’t have, then climb endlessly behind him, then lose sight of him, then wait longer. I’m actually disappointed in my subconscious for not coming up with anything more creative.

A few nights ago I had a new dream. I open a tattered, white door and enter what is apparently his house. I walk through countless empty rooms, all impeccably clean, trimmed in white walls and wood grain, bright with sunlight. I hear him in the distance but never see him. I finally reach a small closet that is brimming with my clothes, then begin to empty them out.

Again, no enigmatic undertones.

What is noteworthy is that these dreams aren’t really about him; instead, they seem to be centered around the walking. It’s like they stall in the middle and I become caught in perpetual movement, step after step after step – a constant, monotonous walk. It really feels like I walk for hours.

What am I supposed to learn from this? Am I bound to keep walking toward an end I can’t see, toward someone who isn’t there? Am I trapped in the solitude of these empty houses?

Can I turn and run?

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Perfectionist

If there is a loose string, I am compelled to pull it. I cannot leave it there, let it go, admire the beauty of the many other perfect knots. I will keep coming back to that one stray piece again and again, itching for a way to weave it into the pattern; I will examine, smooth, braid, tuck. I will turn over the fabric, then turn it back again, then repeat. And, inevitably, my fiddling will be the true reason for its unraveling. The end will fray or the length will weaken… And then it will come undone.

Like an old, worn sweater. Like the edges of a hand-me-down rug. Like a disregarded love.

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Aerial View

Live     verb \ˈliv\

intransitive verb
    8: to have a life rich in experience

transitive verb
    3: to exhibit vigor, gusto, or enthusiasm in
    4a: to experience firsthand
   b: to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

I’ve spent most of my life in preparation for something, constantly anticipating, expecting, planning. My mother raised me to be a worrier, which, I suppose, is a fairly typical byproduct of growing up with a terminally ill parent. Our daily lives were a schedule of pills to take, appointments to keep and emergencies to evade – and, when the emergencies were not evaded, last-minute stays at various relatives’ or friends’ homes, more hospital visits and even more pills. By the age of eight, I had learned to always carry a packed bag, a list of phone numbers, a book and snacks with me. This kind of setting certainly does not encourage spontaneity or frivolity, even for a small child; it’s difficult to relax and be happy when death and turmoil are part and parcel of the daily conversation.

While I learned some useful life skills from the controlled chaos of living alongside a terminal illness (upside: I’m definitely the girl you want to have with you in a crisis situation), the predisposition toward being ever-so-tightly wound has taken half a lifetime to overcome. I spent most of my twenties as an intense perfectionist, allowing no room for error in myself or others, the consequence of which was an undertone of disappointment that gradually infiltrated the folia of my life. I kept loved ones on a short leash, held grudges, built emotional walls, picked myself apart when even I couldn’t meet my ridiculously high standards. And it resulted in a very low rate of return for a whole hell of a lot of work.

In the past few years, I have gradually learned to set down the worry (gently tucked into the corner, within arm’s reach lest I feel the impulse to lunge for it in a moment of panic) and to get on with this whole process of living. And as I’ve become more intent on doing so, I’ve discovered that far more of us don’t reside in a natural state of “let’s roll with it”. Enjoying ourselves and embracing what life throws at us is apparently a learned skill. Who knew? To avoid shades of hypocrisy, I won’t dole out advice on this- but I will say that the best memories of my life have been those moments in which I have let go, let up on myself and just let it all happen. The snippets of pure bliss that stay with me – dancing under spotlights, ziplining down a mountain on Maui, playing in a freezing cold ocean, those kisses that can change your whole world – these are what I try to cling to now. Not the stability, the predictability, the plan, but the promise of those moments of joy and abandon somewhere off in the distance. They will always be fleeting, inevitably followed by some level of sadness or strife, but I know now, with full faith, that the journey through the tempestuous times will always be punctuated by the arrival of something new, surprising, soothing – something worth waiting for.

There is a distinct difference between merely surviving and really living.

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