When do I come first?
No, that’s a real question.
Is it after peeing and before taking my probiotics?
Is it after my tea brews and before I check email?
Is it once Jackie is walked, pissed, pooed and fed?
When do I show up for me?
After cleaning up the kitchen and before the clock hits 10am?
After taking out the trash and before the rest of my to-do list comes a-knockin’?
Am I worth the investment?
Time for me hits home the hardest when I see someone else doing it.
A “Wow”, a respect, an inspiration; sometimes an anger, a jealousy, an envy – all of those feelings come flying out of —
My heart? My soul? The little voice within?
I struggle with balance everyday. I know you do too.
Call mum (it’s been a while), connect with best friend, look boyfriend in the eyeballs when he shares a story, hold off the worry/panic/stress/concern/time racing. Leave that at the door. For now. This here. A moment.
You can start now.
In honor of The National Day of Prison:
M. A. Jones
You ask what it’s like here
but there are no words for it.
I answer difficult, painful, that men
die hearing their own voices. That answer
isn’t right though and I tell you now
that prison is a room
where a man waits with his nerves
drawn tight as barbed wire, an afternoon
that continues for months, that rises
around his legs like water
until the man is insane
and thinks the afternoon is a lake:
blue water, whitecaps, an island
where he lies under pale sunlight, one
red gardenia growing from his hand —
But that’s not right either. There are no
flowers in these cells, no water
and I hold nothing in my hands
but fear, what lives
in the absence of light, emptying
from my body to fill the large darkness
rising like water up my legs:
It rises and there are no words for it
though I look for them, and turn
on light and watch it
fall like an open yellow shirt
over black water, the light holding
against the dark for just
an instant: against what trembles
in my throat, a particular fear
a word I have no words for.
1982, Arizona State Prison-Perryville
I found this writing on stillness within my journal notes from 2011. To think I’ve been on this train since then…
Stillness is the ground of being from which all else emerges.
It is within and behind every breath, every thought, every action.
It is my starting point, my resting place, the home base to which I can return again, and again.
In stillness I notice how time and space disappear.
All there is is the present moment and my willingness to listen …
To allow the stillness to speak.
The stillness takes me into a realm of conscious awareness
that transcends my identity as body or mind.
Stillness offers an experience of being
and a recognition that my being …
my essence …
is a part of all Being, all Essence.
– Meditation and Rituals of Conscious Living
Nancy J. Napier & Carolyn Tricomi
A month since my birthday.
The birth of this body, this time, this heart, this mind.
A time to celebrate.
A time to reflect.
A time for silliness.
Fingers, toes, legs, arms, all in place.
Skin taut and elastic (for now).
Heart wide open.
Mind even more expansive than yesterday.
Curiosity killed the cat, not quite yet.
Here’s to failing.
And failing again.
And failing one more time.
Continue reading “a month since”
“The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour
Now is the only time we own
Live, love, toil with a will
Don’t wait until tomorrow
For the clock may then be still.”
You got an hour!
Like a prison alarm – BAAAAAAANG!
Sit and write.
Close that door and swallow the stillness whole.
Throw it back like you mean it.
Take it, it’s yours.
Cuz you know that Quiet creaks opens the magic door…
Where the Still Voice lives.
The Still Voice, you know the one
Like an echo of an echo that whispers, “What about me?”
What about that book?
What about that play?
What about that movie?
What about that job?
A pain so sharp, it cuts.
Senses are lost in a fog, come back soon.
And there’s a void.
A real one.
Why did he have to go?
Heart beats heavy sighs and legs demand a slower pace.
It takes a million years for arms to move this way and that.
Three weeks is a very long time..
And yet, benign.
I think of those who’ve passed.
Like the pictures of Ron Heren, taped to the fatal pole, the one that ended his life.
A corner where Jackie and I must wait for the lights to change.
Leaving your loved one is like a death.
And yet, so benign.
Continue reading “tomorrow”