Sign Posts Along the Way

Do you ever find it amusing

That in childhood

And adolescence

We were so quick to give in

To the throes of despair,

Horribly distraught

And convinced our lives were utterly unbearable,

Completely ruined

By the hiccups along our path;

But, in “adulthood”

When real tragedy strikes

And the weight of years of bad decisions,

Or unkindness,

Great injustices,

Crush our resolve and everything

We fought to build,

We tell ourselves not to be dramatic;

Imagining the embarrassment

Of expressing the depth

Of our devastation,

And learn instead, to live with the headaches that result

From holding our breath

So as to focus on resisting the pressure

Building at the backs of our eyes?

Little did we know,

When we were children

And dreamed of all we would do

With the freedom that comes with age,

Our dreams were illusion

Based on adult facades

Silently misrepresenting all life

To our tiny minds.

And the truth was,

Has always been, for most,

That “adulthood” doesn’t come with a starter pack

Of answers

And “Get Out Of Figuring This One Out Free” cards.

It’s simply the transition that occurs

When we learn,

Or have cause to feel,

Shame.

Guilt.

Obligation.

The pressure of making decisions,

Grave and life changing decisions

For ourselves

And those who dream

Of rising to our position

That we wish like hell

We could have somehow

Been lucky,

Or clever, enough

To avoid.

The Inspiration of Seasons

Art offers the promise of entrance into some secret club, where minds are sharper, emotions both more raw and rich, and the word “we” holds a private magic, vague and exclusive. The written word especially, for me, bears profound enchantment, as though each letter was selected with me in mind and I want to tattoo all of them onto my soul.

Perfect poetry has that ethereal quality, each shimmering word carefully selected, like stars plucked from a decadent indigo canvas. I can get stuck in one of two ruts in my own writing, because they’re comfortable to me, but may become monotonous to hypothetical readers.

One is the pleasant dream/afternoon sunlight  motif; a place of golden light and gossamer curtains. Hope and regret. Memory and slightly bored peacefulness. A place where cats sleep on warm wooden floors and flowers bloom in pots on the windowsill. Leaves, in their most majestic attire, flutter through crisp, cloudless skies that are always scented like something familiar, and snow transforms the world into a secret hideout, where only the brave venture.

The other mental room in which I often write is vast and cluttered, like a living trinket box. Floor to ceiling shelves, desktops and chairs are stacked with post cards and tattered envelopes, sparkling rocks, empty pill bottles, bones, half read books, journals with pages torn out, scribbled on and crossed out, burned and thrown to the floor. Photos of terrible memories and mementos of failed friendships hang on the walls and litter the floor. Everything is mania inducing inspiration; ¬†bittersweet, harrowing, unquenchable, eternal- these are the words that live here. This is a room I enter alone and cannot leave until something is exorcised, lest some part of me remain trapped there. I loathe interruptions when I am here, and what comes out of this place is for me and me alone, raw and uncensored because nothing can help me if it isn’t brutally honest. I share only because it may help others, or at the least entertain, and then my plight is less useless. The danger in this writing is recognizing the thin line between purging and wallowing.

Little hurls me headlong into one of these two spaces more than the change of seasons, or happiness; the latter simply because it has always been such a foreign concept to me that it is still nearly always bittersweet. All of this is the thought behind a new category, posts inspired by the change of seasons.

Now, with summer looming like an ominous wave, exciting only to schoolchildren and teachers, and our return to an old haunt (the place of the bus’ marooning), my mind spins through memories of summertime sadness. Thunder storms and the scent of lemons, old days on a dirty lake and my first whirlwind of freedom that nearly ruined me for good. There are older memories, of hedgerows and imaginary games, the “family rug” and treehouses I built for my dolls out of bamboo placemats on the rungs of bar stools (though my parents left out the word “bar.”) These are the most bittersweet memories, because my days of innocence and wonder were spent isolated in a dark and vile place, ruled by fear and contempt.

This summer offers second chances and triumph; malts and the rebirth of the M.U.T.S. bus. I have nothing to lose, and everything to remember.