Harvey Milk (via moaka)
Hell yes, yes, and yes. Won’t hold back!
I found myself in the heat of the day thinking once again about the symbolic fires we all survive. It must be natural for me to draw to the imagery of fire, I am a Leo after all. I thought about the journey through the fire, through the struggle, and more the aftermath. Is it only I that finds that even though you’ve walked through the fire and survived and you’re on the other side with beauty in your heart that you still can’t help but cling to that fire? Almost as if you are convinced it may swallow you whole again? Are those remnants fear of the pain you’ve endured? Doesn’t that turn into self-sabbotage? Look around you, friends. It is done. You are safe. You have arrived. It is beautiful. Look at the people who’ve held your hand through it, they are still there. You are loved. Those that are not were burned up in the chaos and your life will be lighter without them. They cannot harm you any longer. It is done <3
I cannot be the only one in this world who has the affliction of a ridiculously hot “inner fire.” What sparked it today? Brandon and I went to see Iron Man in the theaters and as we watched the “super hero” saving the world I can’t help but look at him and want to do that myself. There is this spark, this strength, that ignites in me and I think, “I want to do that.” Even just writing it right now is difficult because I give attention to the feeling and my focus goes out the window as emotions overrun it. It feels like the only release is to explode out of my body. I know it’s the part we don’t pay attention to. The part we are told that doesn’t exist, the part that makes these people “super” or “beyond our ability.” I think it’s great what the movie industry is doing. They are portraying these characters in a relatable light and showing all of us “normal” people that they aren’t anything alien. They are “normal” people that listen to the harkening of what makes them unique. They listen to it and put it to action. Am I the only one who sees that EVERY-SINGLE-ONE of us have it? So I can’t build a virtually indestructible metal suit that flies in the air. But I know what gifts I was born with. I can look into the future of my own and see what potential they can bring. That’s what dreams are. They are not unattainable! Nobody’s dreams are! They are only dreams if you let them become so! We are all great, we are all super! I cannot be the ONLY one who sees this? We all must have this fire in us somewhere, something has to set it off in you too. What is it? Listen to it! Give it life! DO something.
I cannot forget the night I drove home, eyes stinging from the salty trail pouring over my lashes. My chest rattled between heaves as I begged into the air of my truck for the one thing in my life that had evaded me. The foundation of strength I had worked so hard to build had cracked with a single truth, and I let it in. The stereo turned out a tune about being afraid to find the one that you want and I gasped for air wondering if I’d make it to my exit off the empty freeway. I grew up blindly certain that soul mates existed but denied myself the belief in adulthood. The past three years loomed ominously over whatever hope remained and kept me in the shackles of skepticism. I drowned out my sorrow with bitter memories and muted my pleas with a jaded veil in order to get home.
Laying in bed, the ghosts of my past kept me lucidly awake, as his memory moved in the shadows of my bedroom. There hadn’t been a day since I left that I didn’t think about him in some way. At seventeen, it was impossible to understand what sits in the palm of your hand. We were inseparable for five years before the pain of unexplored independence burned mercilessly through our bridges. The air felt thin as I tried to hear his voice in the still of early morning, but only heard my own sorrowful hum. I drifted to sleep in the honest realization that I missed him.
Weeks passed in suffering, thickened only by the monotony of being a mature adult. The truth spit fire in my bones as I lifted bales of hay in the heat of early evening, day dreaming torturously about what our lives would be like together. I imagined his tall frame sitting casually next to me as we worked the horses. I could hear his laugh in the curve of my ear and cried when I remembered how he held me. One of the horses kicked the bars in impatience for dinner, bringing me out of my bittersweet reverie. The romance in tending the horses was tiredly replaced with the grave I’d dug myself.
The next morning, I rose in the darkness I drifted off in, the alarm clock harping me for the cyclic feeding schedule. The barn owl flew in silent understanding as I drug bales with a heavy heart. For a moment I felt the comfort in a wise companion of nature. When the sun rose, the bleak light nudged at my cheeks, and I went to check my mail with a mug of tea warming my fingers. I lost my breath. There on the computer screen glowing like a defiant beckon of fate was a letter from him. I swallowed hard, my heart staggering in shock. Old memories raced like acid behind my eyes. I knew to be careful what I asked for. I had asked boldly for this, and here he was as hot as a wildfire in front of me. My palms grew damp.
I spent the day shaking and jittery in my boots, setting the horse’s nerves pulsing with my own before responding. I wrote carefully, cordially, to his reminiscing of a shared memory. I took a deep breath; there was no turning back now. The letters passed in waterfalls of emotion and in a moment of flooded perspective, I confessed I wanted to see him. We planned for Sunday; only two days time. I spent it frantically burning loose ends and breaking ties of heart ache.
The cold weather, or maybe the sight of him that Sunday, sucked the air from the space between my spine. He was standing against the side of his pickup; a ball of nerves under his wool coat. All the separated time fell beneath me and I knew. I stepped out fluidly into his restrained embrace, his torso tight from the past three years of longing built between us. All I wanted to do was latch on and never let go.
We spoke with stinted breath and careful manners, both struggling to wrap our heads around the reality making shy glances over the steam of coffee cups. I couldn’t ignore the maturity that time had put in him. His silver blue eyes seemed clearer and the velvety tone of his voice had deepened. But his quiet gentility had not changed. He spoke delicately after I confessed to the violence that marked the years he’d missed, looking at me like a frightened fawn. His fawn.
“This feels like a movie,” he breathed, shaking his head.
I laughed in agreement, forgetting for a moment to keep myself in check. The night giggled happily above us in inky satisfaction. I had work at four the next morning, but we talked into the midnight hour, separating somewhat fearfully as if it might break whatever spell drew us back together. The time sped up as I drove away both surprised and thrilled at the electricity passing through me. It was a feeling I was certain had died. He promised to take me to the beach and my heart raced through the week in anticipation.
We sat with our toes in the sand when he first played the dobro for me. I wanted to wrap my arms around him as the steely notes floated in an air of melancholy he was trying to forget. It was not lost on me that I was fighting to revive the man I wanted more than anything in this world. I sobbed that night, coiled tightly behind the steering wheel for the pain he’d endured, believing for both of us when I’d abandoned hope for love. He did not touch me as I wept, presumably battling with his own demons. We sat quietly, swimming through the darkness of the past in thick desperation to find the tenderness not brave enough to overcome it.
The walls of the cab were stifling, so I sidled out for fresh air. The heaving in my chest settled as I focused on the moon fussing over me in between stormy clouds. Of course she’d be hanging in full glory. His own sadness only made him more handsome as he stood stonewalled in a silent dialogue of his own.
Matters of the heart rarely make sense and it is the despair of the world that this truth is what drives us away from it. The few who do not are often subjected to ridicule, but I have a suspicion they did not mind. They laughed at the sad souls too afraid to break the barrier of what we are told to do. The matter of my heart was begging me to be followed, the fiery need to rebel pulsing hot in my veins and yet I stood frozen. Rebel! Rebel! I begged but knew I could not alone. Rebel. Rebel. We must rebel together, but won’t.
When he kissed me for the first time in years, my mind went blank and I melted against his chest, his strong hands framing my face. I had never been so happy to feel utterly helpless. He spoke so quietly as I rested my cheek against his solid body, nerves drawing patiently on his freshly lit cigarette.
“I love you, Becca.”
The rain fell in silent sheets not daring to interrupt the words that tumbled in disbelief from my swollen lips.
“I love you too, Brandon.”
I find myself sorting through the layered gift of Trust. What really is trust? I don’t think it largely has to do with the person receiving it as I used to, but more of the person giving it. I think it can be equally definable of each person involved, though largely in the perspective of the trust-giver. In my perspective, I feel that there must be a certain amount of comfort and familiarity passed between the relationship (be it friendly, relative, or romantic) to start. On one’s exterior perspective they must view the other person as capable of acceptance and also worthy. Thus, trust-worthy. This is plain to see. But I feel that perhaps in this world and time we sometimes tend to forget to consider the interior perspective of this word, Trust. Trustworthy. How would someone define the perimeters of what that means? Certainly it would be an interior reality, it would mean something different to everyone. Personally, it would mean the other person would be worthy of me. That I feel there is a mutual or higher respect given to them in my reality. Here is a looping thought: Look at who you trust. Are you often let down? If you feel yes, then you must wonder why you place so much trust in such “disappointing” people. If trustworthy remains defined in the same opinion I hold, then what should be evaluated is your own self-worth. I feel keeping low/strict standards of yourself will project onto what you deem a worthy person exteriorly and therefore you may not value your vulnerability (a personal opinion of displayed trust) as you should. Secondly, I feel a layer of understanding your self confidence will help in defining your choice of trust. Insecurity breeds a nervous desire for approval. No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and when we don’t listen to/love ourselves where else would you look but outward? Perhaps one will impulsively reveal insecurities through “secrets” searching for an approval they can’t give themselves. But in such excitable moments we may become thoughtless as to whom we are reaching out to. I am also a firm believer that one is not capable of receiving love/security/etc until they have first learned to give all that to themselves (birds of a feather flock together. Hurt yourself, be hurt by others). And again, there is the healthy mix of interior and exterior past that shapes how we choose to experience trust. Yes we have all felt betrayal in our lives at some point. Yes we all perceived these experiences on different levels of impact. But I feel, again, that you mustn’t hold too tightly to them as they cannot be changed. I feel it’s the decision you make in aftermath that defines someone’s character. You cannot hold one person to the wrongdoing felt by someone else. We cannot make generalizations in these arenas for all of us are so unique and deserving of an individual perception. Not to mention on a self-level, you are only closing yourself off to the potential of more inspiring experiences.
We are beings so exquisitely capable of creating new experiences that we are constantly doing so. That is life! Why waste any new journey on a tainted memory fixed behind you? They are all learning experiences. Take a lesson from it and kiss it fondly goodbye. Certainly some lessons sting worse than others, but that makes them no less beautiful. Listen to yourselves and the sting comes less often. Know yourself and you will know Trust. Trust is the reward of awareness and acceptance, not an expectation of others. Hmm. Expectations. That will be another day soon, indeed ;)
No one is to blame for your own insecurities but yourself. No one else is responsible for soothing them and no one else is the reason they exist. Insecurities often derive from experiences of feelings we don’t yet understand and it is the discomfort of the unknown that causes them. Sometimes it is the conditioning of society that makes us feel subpar. But it is your choice to feed into that. Your insecurities are important reminders to love ourselves. Sometimes they are triggered by traumatic pasts, but we must not look back unless we plan to go there. These experiences were extreme lessons to teach us the hardest things to understand. Accept this with the grace of knowing you don’t have to learn them again. That you don’t have to push yourself back into darkness. You are good enough, you are secure, you are safe. Step out of the shallow grave (yes shallow), out of the darkness you are digging into and bask in the sunlight offered for free. Don’t labor for ugliness when love surrounds you with no effort. Focus wholly on what is best about you and laugh in surprise at how fast the feelings of insecurity fade. Repeat them. Repeat them until you’ve forgotten entirely what you were ever upset about.
The reassurance of loved ones should be the reward, not the necessity.
This is a piece I entered in a themed contest a while back…
The White House was tarnished and sighed with neglect. Dust had been carefully allowed to collect in the Oval Office. The President stood reminiscing over all the desires and plans that would never be reached. Windows were broken and wind rushed invasively through the hallways. President McClellan passed through decisively and unafraid with concise, profound steps. Reaching the front door of the historic building, one last, loyal guard opened it. An autumn gale rustled up the president’s legs, swirling anxiously around suit buttons. The surrounding city lay in shambles to the hopeless, to the unwavering people swallowed in fear of change.
“Are you ready, Mrs. President?” the guard cooed.
“Yes, Allen, I believe I am.”
Amy McClellan, first woman to be elected President of the United States of America, stepped forward silently harkening to the ancient civilizations that defined history before her. The most genius people in history were ill regarded in their time of existence, their bravery and persistence being the only sustenance they had. She gripped their memory in her fists as she abandoned the United States of America.
Before her election, she knew women were viewed as too irrational, too emotional to be considered for presidency. Amy’s campaign took hold of those differences and threw them back at the scoffing faces. Baring her soul for the nation to see, she begged that it’s the seemingly irrational, unique thinkers that trail blaze to new utopias, new answers, to new beginnings, and enlightenment for an entire nation. When the masses said that women couldn’t stomach violence, a necessary evil, she looked evil dead in its black eye and claimed it would take a woman’s strength to protect her children, a mother’s nurturing heart to encourage a halt to hate. Amy promised with great honesty to break decades of patterned failure and lead her promising civilians to a better country.
Now, she drove down empty highways with great peace. The last of the country’s thinkers were gone from the wreckage. Cities passed by her window in death; dark and absent. The eeriness of an erased greatness loomed in breezes echoing through the aftermath of abandonment. Sandy hair whipped around her chin as she bid goodbye to the land built by wild men and women who refused to take their freedom sitting down. Gone were the people who came running from the flames of hell for what they loved, defending their country with pride. The skeleton of material belonging remained crumbling before her, and it reminded her of how odd the Mayan ruins must have looked suddenly without human life. She glanced over and smiled at Allen, tinged with the bittersweetness of a child leaving home for adulthood. The last President of the United States of America looked one more time in the rearview mirror before fixing steely hazel eyes on the road ahead to rebuilding the truest civilization of its time.
The rain has kept its word and falls in soft and inconsistent spurts as the morning goes on. My creative habit seeps joyously from my soul on days like this. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least and I haven’t a complaint about it. Getting rolling into the rhythm of writing proves choppy at best after so many life changing experiences, so I find myself looking to my trusty free writes to smooth out the wrinkles. My faith in my symbolic reality has been celebrated in full as I watched the animals I see every day following a path of similarity to mine. My red hawk, who has been with me for almost a year now, found a mate and I enjoy watching them hunt together in the afternoons at the barn. I have befriended the hummingbirds that buzz alongside me as I work Tough, who has finally realized the potential bred in his bones. He never ceases to amaze me. His heart and passion for getting the most out of life is a constant reminder to do the same in my own. He’s picked up quite the interest in barrels and finds himself wide-eyed at his own speed capabilities. I’m excited to see where the two of us end up in a couple of months.
I remember saying to myself that I wanted to live 2013 in love and it’s amazing to see what I’ve manifested in just the few months I’ve had in this year. I have never been so certain and so happy with the road I’m walking down. Every detail of my life is right, or headed that way. I’ve found my flow with the character I’ve delved into with my book and it feels empowering and soul opening to be there. I’ve even been inspired to paint again, finished a few projects, have a few more on the horizon. Life is beautiful <3