Vingt-VI

26 was a funny age. I’m glad I saw it, I’m glad I’m letting it go. No pro necessarily outweighing a con, just a centredness, which, I guess, summed up 26.

My girlfriends  and I were talking recently about regular millennial things – podcasts, tv shows, Mindy Kaling, partnerships, hip-hop hot yoga, when it dawned on us that 26 could be a more pivotal year sometimes than 25. And in more ways than the American loss of that comfort umbrella that we call a parent’s insurance plan (this particular group of girls were mostly immigrants anyway). Perhaps it is because 25 leads right up to it with all its expectation and promise; the expected quarter life crisis that always comes before or after that milestone age. Perhaps it’s the feeling of stepping away from something young, even if it is just your early twenties, and youth’s firm, unblemished hand is still firmly gripping your shoulder.

26 is perhaps the age, we decided, where you first realise you just might need to put your hand up in a yoga class when they ask about any pains or injuries. Because you suddenly realize you have some of those, and they might be lingering aches rather than fleeting injuries. And then there’s the second puberty – where did these hips come from??? 

It is for all accounts and purposes, supposed to be a filler year. Nothing of significant glamour is supposed to happen; nothing with significant weight is supposed to shift. And that is perhaps what makes it the most surprising – the continued realization that our calendars are arbitrary things and that wisdom and erosion can and do occur at any age. (But somehow these are aged concepts one doesn’t really linger on till after 25).

This last year I chased festivals and faffery, fortitude and fuel, fiercely. I asked new questions about old things – lineage, culture, status quo, and searched for peace, as the self-knowledge I had previously been seeking brought its fair share of turmoil.

In the end though, 26 came and left, just like I wanted. Cheers to 27.

Journaling

The Undertone

Mary stood on a stoop alone

Righteous and alone

Flawed and alone

Relying on precepts that wore her out

like stone on the more malleable stone

of her own resolve.

 

Mary stood on a stoop, tall

Soaring and tall

Flailing but tall

Afraid that her perch could not hold her weight

Afraid that she would fall

 

Mary stood on a stoop to shout

To clarify but shout

To defend and shout

No one else knew what Mary was about

Her perch was too tall –

“Why she yellin’ at us, for clout?”

 

Mary stood on a stoop to love

“How can you love from above?”

“How can you love from above?!”

You need to stand on your own two feet

to love.

How’s Mary gonna understand if she’s above?

 

Mary stood on a stoop to be heard

To be seen and heard

To be felt and heard

For years and years, she had cared so much

but couldn’t be heard

She’d whispered for love  but no one had cared

to whisper back

 

So Mary gave up her stoop forlorn

Aching at the scorn

Misunderstood and worn

Wondering why she’d ever been born if

it wasn’t to find a stoop of her own.

 

Prose et Poesie

Save.

Come, pour it all out to me. In a moment of true need.

 

Shiiiiiittt. You woke up hella late, slept through hella alarms, and cost yourself 20 bucks this morning. Best believe you’re broke enough right now that that makes a difference. A huge one.

You’re having a rough day – can’t you tell? Can’t you smell the doubt, anxiety and self derision – sulfur fumes rising from the well? You’re tempted to gather, to push through, to self-love, to pull loose of this infernal grip.

But today? No. Today, you could have maimed a man in a UPS outfit, if he’d turned out to be a burglar.

Save.

You don’t save. You haven’t yet managed to save yourself. It’s been years in this war that you’re fighting; Constantly engaged and projecting to the world so you don’t have to face yourself. So you can face another and hate the shell. It’s hollowed out – that hologram, because the mirror’s a hoax.

You can’t project your worst on to the world and then face the demons that stare back because you can’t slay a reflection of a problem when the problem is you.

Save.

How can you save others, how can you save yourself? Service. Full service pain. Full service problems. A continental strain.

Why you can’t win at this war? Why you’re always losing? You’re not being you. You’ve been hiding under years of rock and shield. Under years of cover from soul. Sometimes you can’t feel it anymore, what you would do. You see it sometimes in quiet bursts. In eclipses of fear-defying proclamations. You see it hide, retreating tactically as you backtrack your ‘lapses’ and pad over the cracks in the sculpted suit you present as yourself. You see it. Can you save it?

Can you save you from you?

Being honest to yourself is a war you have been losing. But the war, not the battles. You see the truth through the chinks in that armour. You will save yourself – piece by stone, hard, metallic, piece. Then you will save that armour. To remind yourself of what it is to live in the fear, in emotional squalor.

You’re having a bad day.

No one can save you but yourself.

Because no one else can save you from yourself.

Journaling Prose et Poesie

Change II

“He is wrong,” the Storm Father said. “You are not a hypocrite, son of honour.”

“I am,” Dalinar said softly. “But sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a person who is in the process of changing.”

The Storm Father rumbled. He didn’t like the idea of change.

 

Inspiration

Gifted-Public-Figure Has Died at Aged-age

“Gifted-Public-Figure has died at aged-age.”

 

Seldom do I swim in a sea of envy. I lie.

Envy waits patiently for me at my door each night and stands sentry till morning. It accompanies me – walking ahead on my route each day, morphing into fantastic shapes of alternate states of being. It pops out at each corner to say “I’m an option, if you’d heed it”. It draws in with play-fighting and truth-meandering; faux soul-searching.

Envy fears all things

Gnaws all things

Seethes through things

Corrupts good things – envy never mends.

Gifted-Public-Figure has died and I, I was inspired. And envious.

Not of their death, or even of their life. But of all those who are finding or have found their purpose, and are thriving in pursuit of the thing, even at 39. And then, I was envious of their mind.

But then that left no space to grow!

That left no space to ponder my own issues and grab my own weights.

It left no roads on which to be bare-back, worn down, weary, and soaking.

It left no reason for me to find a valley to fill with a sea of my pain and dive into, so I could swim to the other side and sing. All it did was encourage me to drown.

All I heard were songs at the corner with tempos of mourning, of cries to drop down, dig a hole and bury my soul. Then use all my powerful potential to water the seeds of waste and prune their poisonous vines where I had laid them.

All it showed me was waste when all I desire is grace.

 

Today hit’s different. Because I saw a light, just the one.

Then others quickly rose to affirm it. So I knew it was the light at the end of a tunnel and not a train hurtling towards me on the tracks.

Gifted-Public-Figure has died at aged-age. And I took my envy of perceived accomplishment and I put it on the road. I shaped and carved and filigreed till I was sure it would hold. Then I set it beside my other fears and worries, anxieties, doubts, and excuses.

I set it with no spaces between the cracks as my next stepping stone.

Journaling

You Did Not Die, You Lived.

So. You were bested.

Was it not temporary? Will you not stand again?

 

Did you not get back up? Did you not survive? Did you not breathe again – deeply?

Don’t you just hiccup now at the thought?

 

At the time, in the very beginning, it seemed that all was lost.

It was not.

It held together as most things tend to do, when will is the glue piecing them through.

Save your victory lap, though. Get to the end and that was not the end. It was a part of the journey. That

Was not the beginning. You remember the beginning.

This was one stumble.

One out of a great many, parsed out over the journey.

Convoluted, hard,

Not an easy route.

Save that which you can, and remember to breathe, when you can.

Deeply.

Just so. And when you consider it later, I want you tempted to hiccup at the thought.

Close your eyes and savour it. But just for a moment.

I need your eyes open to continue down that road. And to know you will not die.

It will not kill you. Not till it is your time. And then, even then, you will breathe- deeply

As you go.

Prose et Poesie