Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

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It’s coming. / It’s here. — These are your options.

Because, if you don’t believe Happiness is here, or that it’s on it’s way — it isn’t.

I keep telling myself that Belief is about something more soulful — more spiritual. But, I’m finding, a lot of the time — it’s not. For me, Belief, is as simple as trusting my own timing. Try as I may try to simplify the challenges in my life — the resolution finds me on it’s own time. Not on mine.

Timing can rule our Happiness. And, I think, innately, we know this. It explains why we constantly curse the uncanny consistency of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We always tell ourselves that there’s something we should have done differently. If we’d been some other way, things would be better — we would be happier.

But, Belief can only mirror our hypothetical lives. In reality, Happiness works around the constructs of timing. Belief builds on our timing and it’s constant imperfection. Where Happiness is concerned, our missteps are just part of the process.

Stop asking yourself if this is the right time or the right person or the right place. These kinds of questions don’t get us any closer to Happiness. It behooves us to ask them. They slow us down. Instill fear. They open the door to perfectionism which, really, is just our fear in disguise.

Sometimes our timing does, in fact, suck. We’re left wide open to failure. And then — it actually happens — we fail. It’s a terrifying lesson that I’ve learned over and over again. And, would you believe that it only took me thirty-two years to figure out that my failure is the number one thing that I’ve got going for me? — Because, from the rubble of my failures, I have created myself. And, today, I’m really liking the person I’ve become.

Timing is our greatest teacher. All those jobs, relationships, and family fall-outs that left you broken and confused — how many times did you throw your hands up and ask, why? Why do I have to go through this? Do this? Be this? Lose this? — And, how many times were you able to answer those questions, years later?

All the seemingly insurmountable obstacles I’ve faced — turned out to be the seeds for a Happiness I am only, just now, starting to watch push up from the dirt. For as long as I can remember, I have hated my timing. Things came too late — left too early. Or so I thought.

Timing is like the sky or the ocean. You can map the storms and the predict tides — but they can’t be controlled. And, if you really want to experience it — your Happiness — you have to understand that it’s something you’ll never really comprehend. Timing isn’t ours to manage. And, releasing yourself from that responsibility is nothing short of life changing.

Let yourself be exhausted by the puzzling and unpredictable adventures of your life — not by trying to conquer the unconquerable. Belief in our timing is akin to freedom. And some days, failure is the name of the fucking game. Quit beating yourself up. — Tomorrow, the sky will still be there. The ocean too.

At some point in my process, I started to realize that all my questions about timing were just ways for me to avoid what made me uncomfortable. — Not the right time? There’s always next time! Not the right person? Bail. Not the right job? Quit. — I never gave anything a chance. Mostly, because I was scared. Blaming your timing is a really great way to miss out on the things, places, and people that have the power to change you and help you grow.

I have been uncomfortable for the majority of my life. Prone to overthinking, over-analyzing, and anxiety. — I’ve waited for things to change or fix themselves. For people to love me. For bosses to appreciate me. For parents to approve of me. For friends to back me up. I didn’t demand anything because I was waiting for time to give it to me.

Happiness is not a waiting game. You need to hustle. Put all your eggs in one basket — let that basket be the timing of your life. Let it be the Belief that all the inconvenience, absence, and disappointment, led you to this moment — a moment where things actually pan out. The bumps and blemishes on your life’s timeline leave you with an appreciation for your Happiness. Timing is about owning your discomfort.

Being uncomfortable will map your obstacles on the way to Happiness. Face them. You’ll see where your failure has meaning. Belief in your timing is just another form of surrender. — And time reminds us of just how much we have to give. We allow ourselves to become cogs in a bigger machine without even noticing it. And, to operate as a part of something instead of apart from it, is timing’s greatest gift to us.

Happiness. — It’s coming. / It’s here. — Get a fucking basket.

Burn, Baby. Burn.

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Martyrs are crazy, man.

I remember reading about Joan of Arc for the first time when I was a kid and thinking: This chic is fucking nuts.

Yet, I turned each page, unable to tear my eyes away from her gruesome end. Her expression, stoic, as her face disappeared into a haze of smoke and flames. I couldn’t fathom a world where someone would burn for her Beliefs. But, the older I get, the more I learn — people do this everyday. And, usually, it’s not for God’s sake.

The truth is, like it or not, we’re all a little bit martyr-y. I’ve been picking this theory apart, because — it bugs me. I don’t like the idea of people killing themselves, literally or figuratively, in the name of something else — especially expecting praise.

Since my Year of Happiness began, I’ve devoted a lot of time to discovering how my Happiness has been thwarted by my own martyr-like Beliefs and actions.

I’m gonna lay some Belief smack-down on y’all: We’re all selfish, narcissistic, idealistic, and self-serving. — Some of the time. — It’s called Being Human. And, I’m here to tell you that you’re supposed to fuck up and, occasionally, be an asshole. If you’ve been conditioned by your parents, family, coworkers, significant others, children, or friends to believe otherwise, you’ve got some serious martyr-issues to deal with yourself.

People who tell you that they do everything from a selfless place — are liars. Even the most selfless people get pleasure and happiness from the good acts they perform. Martyrdom, by definition, is self-serving. That is to say, to a martyr, to serve God is to serve one’s self. And, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Serving other people is THE BEST thing we can do. But, the thing about martyrdom is — to do it right — you can’t expect anything in return. That’s the rub. And, the part where most people fuck up. Unless, of course, you’re Joan of Arc.

But, I’m not here to talk-up theologian mumbo-jumbo. I’m here to tell you that your Belief and commitment to your own Happiness, doesn’t come with a list of prerequisite actions. You’re not selfish or idealistic to a fault if your priority in life is Happiness — Your Happiness.

I think that was the crux of my problem. I always felt that I owed someone — that there was a price to pay for feeling happy. — I had to have a certain job, look a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way. And, because I never lived up to my own impossible standards, I unknowingly held a fundamental Belief that I didn’t deserve better. And, that Belief was all-encompassing.

This week, I tackled a lot of the Beliefs I grew up with. Some from home, some from school, some that I’d created, myself, in adulthood. None were very positive. But, more importantly — none of them were true.

As we grow into adults, our little-kid Beliefs grow too. We never revisit the flawed system into which we’ve built ourselves. And, we forget that we wrote all these Beliefs during a time in our lives when we didn’t have the capacity to comprehend the doctrine to which we pledged our faith.

We’re never taught as kids that — Belief is flexible. — It is.

So often, we find ourselves feeling inadequate, powerless, and alone. But, if we leverage our Beliefs, we’ll find that this is never the case. We are, in every moment we live — Worthy, capable, and supported, each of us, integral parts of this incredible celestial ensemble. If your life is a testament to the things you value, shouldn’t the first thing on your list be Yourself? Your Happiness?

This is your gift to the world. — You. — Your unique being and all the gifts you already posses.

Happiness, I’m discovering, grows from a very small place within us. It has an uncanny ability to permeate into all areas of our being — if we let it. But, first, we must hold a Belief, even if it is just a small one, that we are worthy of the Happiness we desire.

I was a dumpy kid. I didn’t have a lot of friends, and, the ones I did have were dumpy too. We supported each other. But, we never believed that we belonged — not at the cool table, or at the pretty-girl-clique parties, or to get picked for school sports teams. And, maybe, that was true back then. But, I think, it’s more likely that we let a little bit of chub and big crew of mean girls get us down.

We were always good enough. But, we never believed it. And, for me, finding Happiness now, is about revisiting those things I internalized long ago. Eradicating ridiculous, outdated Beliefs that were never true. Finding my Happiness, largely, has been slowly silencing the voices that have been lying to me for as long as I can remember.

My advice? If you really want to be happy, don’t be a martyr for the sake of the self-deprecating voice you created to explain the unfairness of your youth. That voice is ridiculous and has no bearing on the person you’ve become. That voice only silences the one you’ve been given by the Universe. The one that serves you and everyone around you.

Martyring yourself for accolades doesn’t make anyone happy, especially you. More importantly, it doesn’t change the past. Real change takes place when our Beliefs reflect the people we have become, today.

Belief is flexible.

And, with few tweaks, I think you’ll be surprised how fast Happiness will light you up.

No inferno necessary.

 

A Sinking City

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I took a long walk along the promenade in Brooklyn Heights.

I stood against the black iron fence, leaning into New York City’s skyline. I am still waiting for it to embrace me again. But, it only feels tired. Tall cranes and buildings rise, holding themselves up, heavy, against big, grey clouds. Jogger’s treads fall hard against the pavement. Couples in black coats on benches, pressed hard into one another, stiff, like magnets. And I walk, leaden, moving slowly toward Cadman Plaza.

I remind myself that the weight, the heaviness, isn’t forever.

I try to be patient and allow this time in my life to pass without argument or complaint. I let the city rise before me, flooded in darkness. I feel tired. The weight of too many narratives threatening to sink me and this island.

Stories will wait until I have words enough to write new ones.

Meanwhile, I listen for Guru and wait on the sun.

This Stretch Of Road

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Meeker Street/Morgan Avenue Exit — It wrecks me.

I’m driving home from an amazing weekend when, suddenly, I see it coming. I pump the brakes. — But, it’s too late. — The horizon hits me hard. Breath knocked from my chest, I gulp for air. The thick, orange sky cracks me open, impales me, my guts spill out across the console, soaking the floor mats, seeping into the metal frame, and drip out onto the highway.

Our old Lombardy Street apartment, still remains, unimpressive and industrial, a concrete ghost hiding behind McDonald’s golden arches, staring at me, the highway level with its window eyes.

This darkening sky is a memory I’d long forgotten. Sitting in traffic on the expressway, the smell of gasoline and rubber — the smell of the city. I remember this. We were always returning. From weddings and weekends and snowboarding trips, tired and achy, with blisters and bruised knees, longing for the comfort of our big, red couch. — Drinks in front of the television set in my baggy, black sweatpants. Meeker and Morgan was the exit I waited for, my socked feet propped up on the dash. Meeker and Morgan announced us — we are home. We were home.

The sign is the same. Green, with peeling white letters. The sky too. A color that mixes the blues and whites of winter, but where its line meets the Earth, warm reds and yellows pool beside the sun, warning me that in just a few weeks, days, moments — Spring will arrive. Too soon. All this time. Gone. All this pain. For naught. And you, erased.

I think about the past too much. I know that. I probably talk about it too much too. How things looked and felt. How the air smelled. How, back then, home was a place — not a feeling. I beat myself up for doing so much wrong. Wrong jobs. Wrong people. Wrong comforts in the the wrong places. But, this highway can’t be blamed for any of that. There is nothing to change in this place. Nothing that makes it better. Nothing that can make it disappear. Nothing that can make it right. It is its own place, free of my assignments. I cannot erase these miles. It will always be here, this stretch of road. The sign is just the sign. The sky is just the sky. And, neither of these things will bring him back. Nor I.

I tell myselfΒ  — This is it Sarah. The moment that, for better or worse, you need to just let go. I pick up my phone off the passenger’s seat and snap a photo. Capturing it in my hands so I can try to release it. The light. The traffic. A deep breath. The exhale. — He’s gone. — Let go. Please. Sarah. Please. Just let him go.

The sun sinks lower. And, I have passed the worst of it now. — Metropolitan Avenue. Wythe Avenue/Kent Avenue. Tillary Street. Cadman Plaza. Atlantic Avenue.

Now, it’s just me and the BQE. Gasoline and rubber. My blood dripping thick drops onto the dividing line. Driving away from the feeling I called home.

Without him, the sign is just the sign. The sky, just the sky.

 

 

Millennials: Big Hearts In The Big Void

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There’s nothing like a good corporate questionnaire to highlight all the things you’re not.

I sit at my MacBook Pro, just one double-click away from zombie status, filling in field after field of yet another online job application. This is just one of the many questionnaires that I’ve completed in the past few weeks. A repetitive, mind-numbing process that reminds me I don’t quite fit the mold into which I am constantly attempting to pour myself.

I keep reading all these articles about Millennials. Fucking Millennials. — The problems we face. The problems we create. We’re asked to face the destitute world that the Baby Boomers have so lovingly left for us to burn down, meanwhile — we’re moving back in with them, staring out longingly from the windows of our childhood. Our lazy, privileged existence, devoid of any work ethic or gumption. — The whole conversation makes me angry. Infuriated. Why are we the generation that no one can figure out?

I hate the sweeping designation that’s been bestowed upon our flailing age group. Not all of us are representatives of the Lena-Dunham-GIRLS culture. — At least we’re not trying to be. I find myself wondering, how should I designate myself? How do we set ourselves apart, step up, and place ourselves on solid ground without compromising our values and abandoning our dreams? And, please, don’t tell me we need to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps.

In searching for the keys that unlock the mysteries of the kingdom, I’ve answered my own question. We Millennials, are the seeking generation. And, for us, today’s commerce lies in the search. So much is available to us. And yet, we choke. There are too many places to begin. It’s no longer the pool of pensions and 401Ks that our parents waded into years ago — security is a thing of the past. Now — this river is wild. And, if we’re going to survive, it’s about finding our true calling. Our purpose. — Heart-based business, baby.

A Baby Boomer once told me: “No matter how good you have it — work is work. You’re never going to wake up everyday and find yourself satisfied and excited to show up at the office. That’s just life, kid.” Um. That’s some bullshit and I’m not buying it. — An antiquated excuse born of another era.

To the dreams Baby Boomers lost in Vietnam we hold up our own. — The Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan — this banner of unending war, which has served as the backdrop of our lives, now more than ever, a sobering reminder. — Our work is worth fighting for.

Privilege, if nothing else, has afforded us Millennials hope. Work is not just work to us. It has to be our heart’s work. Work that feeds us. So, it’s worth waiting for — worth seeking out in this generational void. We, at the cost of returning home, regressing to our 17-year-old-selves, will wait for something that fulfills an unmet need in us — in our world. Oh, and I guess it should pay the bills too? — Therein lies the real gap. The economy is only just now starting to catch up to our wide-open hearts. And, we’re still left wanting.

This questionnaire asks me if I “Strongly Agree” with this? Do I “Strongly Disagree” with that? And, I keep finding myself in this position of being lukewarm. I am trying to remember what it feels like to get riled up about something. To run hot. Where is the heart I so easily find in my writing or in the faces of the smiling regulars I’ve greeted at my plethora of service industry jobs? Why can’t our joy also meet our dividends? I didn’t get sober to lead a thankless life, redeemed only by my employer’s willingness to offer decent health benefits and to match my Roth IRA contributions.

During this process, filling out this heartless questionnaire, my purpose is jolted. Awakened — it remembers. I make the shift from disheartened to inspired. This piece-of-shit questionnaire, now revelatory. A reminder of all these things I’m not, it begs me to put forward all the things I am.

Would you say you are: Stubborn as fuck? Mildly manic? Conscientious? Coyly critical? Empathetic to a fault? Occasionally work-inappropriate? Passionate for people? A wide-open heart? A rabble-rouser? A dinner-table-debater? Tired and poor and yearning to breathe free? Ready to Burn. This. Shit. Down.?

Yeah.

Yeah, I’d say that’s correct. — In fact, put me down for “Strongly Agree.”

 

 

Freight Hopping

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A self-proclaimed-self-help junkie, I find myself in a predicament.

I know too much. The trouble with all this starting over crap is — whether you’ve moved coast-to-coast, left a relationship, or are totally revamping your outlook on life — at some point you have to stop starting over and, well, — just keep fucking going.

Self-helpers, like myself, will often spend much of their time building themselves up, hoping to arrive at some very specific end result and — they never quite get there. We can’t finish what we start. We give up. Or, worse — we settle. And, we find ourselves starting over. Again.

It’s an existential hamster wheel. And it’s especially cruel when you’ve read something like 80 books on the subject: Starting over. Creating yourself. Recreating yourself. Healing yourself. Losing yourself. Finding yourself. Finding happiness. Creating happiness. Losing happiness. Keeping happiness. — I know my fellow Seekers will understand. Because, we know. We’ve read the book on that — 80 times. We can watch ourselves fucking it up — in slow motion. We know exactly where we’re missing the mark. But, there’s no stopping that train once we’ve boarded. We’re freight hoppers. It’s this: A one-way track. Stay or jump. — But know, jumping off now will hurt.

Since moving back East, I’ve been trying, relentlessly, to deconstruct this goddamn train. I’ve exhausted myself. And so, I’ve had no choice but to give myself a little leeway. And, after watching the same landscape speed past my train-car window — it dawns on me that, this time, starting over won’t require that I design some grand master plan. I just have to ride this runaway train — and try to enjoy it.

The truth is — I’m in love with all these unfulfilled parts of myself. I admire my own willingness to trudge through mistakes and misery to get what I want. It makes me proud that I haven’t settled for someone else’s version of me. I revel in my highs and lows — I would hate for my own story to be linear. While I may be sad, I will never be stagnant. I’m still a kind of mystery, even to myself. And, sometimes, I find some real joy in my own elusiveness.

On my good days I seek patience, forgiveness, and — when I can muster it — a little tenderness. When I get even just a taste of these things, I’m able to locate some hidden part of myself.

There are moments, however fleeting, where I remember who I really am, without making apologies for her. And, when I find myself in those places — starting over doesn’t seem so pressing. I’m reminded that it is in the pursuit of my happiness that I have been most happy.

Keep fucking going. The train will roll on. Without brakes. Seekers, we don’t need them.

We trust the track — and we ride.

 

Photo Credit: Mike Brodie, From “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity”; http://mikebrodie.net/

A Llama For Your Thoughts

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We’re supposed to be visible.

But sometimes, it feels like I’m not here. I get caught-up in mechanical motions, and it feels like I’ve ceased to exist at all.

Simple things, even ones with heart, become so routine that I begin missing the point. — Devoid of place. Time. Importance. — I struggle being present half the time, if at all. I am so convinced of my own insignificance, that, I’m sure, everyone else is too. The world, limitless and beautiful, slowly loses all color and meaning.

Things fall by the wayside, and I let them.

But then — a package arrives.

My wily and wacky Aunt has sent me a hand written note accompanied by a small ceramic dish that bears my initial, “S”, and with it, three, small, paper journals. Pink, blue, and green. — All adorned with their own, ridiculous llama. Each batting their bright eyes, flashing chiclet teeth, wielding unruly, pink tongues, and carrying colorful, tiered packs on their ridiculous, llama backs.

I squint as I read each line of her perfectly penned greeting. Cursive. Tiny. Black and inky. She writes, “Hey, you can’t always have your laptop handy when inspiration strikes.” And, apparently, the llamas are meant to help in these situations.

“Here.” I imagine her saying. “A llama for your thoughts.”

In the kitchen, I feel tears creep into the corners of my eyes. It’s nice. I suddenly have this — an unexpected note from my Aunt.Β  And, with it, ridiculous llamas that make me feel visible again. Something light in all this heaviness.

Most days, I resign myself to feeling forever lost — misplaced among God’s little things. But, here, somehow, my Aunt managed to find me, even in this place where, I’m sure, I don’t belong.

Love’s little notes, — Cursive. Tiny. Black and inky. — are the paper proof that I’m actually here.

Without my laptop handy, I turn to the first page in my little, pink-llama notebook.

And, I jot that down — so I don’t forget.

 

 

 

 

 

A Year Without Ghosts

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Resolve.

I scrawl a bunch of words on little slips of paper. Names. Places. Feelings. Each small note, something I want to leave behind. This year, along with the previous 7 years, are folded among them. I’ll burn them up before the year is out.

I’m not one for New Year’s celebrations or resolutions. However well intentioned, they are always laced with disappointment.

But, this year something is different. Tectonic plates have shifted. My position has been compromised and something needs to change. I’ve made mistakes — big ones — on a number of fronts. And, everything has culminated in a literal and figurative move — away from myself. I’ve failed myself. 2015 marks an algorithm I cannot decipher. An un-crackable code. A failure I cannot correct. There is no bandaging this. I can no longer reassemble my pieces and make some new, refurbished mosaic. — There is only leaving it behind.

“Goodbye” is much harder than “We’ll fix this.” It’s why I fight it. I stay in relationships, at jobs, in the company of toxic people — too long. Always avoiding goodbye. Harsh. Permanent. A boundary that cannot be breached. Cold turkey. The difference between resolve and resolution. It’s devastating.

I moved to Oregon in 2009 with incredible spirit and the promise of more to come. My love. My dreams. I became a pioneer of myself. Free. I moved in and out of my own independence with trepidation and joy. I was fearless in my own creation of myself. — I was to become the woman I had dreamed up on the floor of a railroad apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, while I was 25, sitting on a mattress without a box spring. And, it was a thrill.

But Oregon, with all it’s beauty and freedom — took everything back. Piece by piece. My spirit. My love. My dreams. First, untethered and so sure of myself, then, suddenly, a captive of something I could not see. With each passing year, I found myself battling new ghosts.

Lost there, in my beautiful city of beautiful bridges, I was a quiet wind that blew in-between the pines that wrap around Reed College. But, the rain and damp sank so far into my my bones, they began to rot. So, I took what I could salvage and I fled. Back to Brooklyn — a place I hardly recognize, save for these same ghosts who, now, haunt me on street corners and in subway cars.

I watch seasons bleed into one another from the window of my parent’s house. I try to remember what it was that girl sitting on the mattress wanted. I think of little else. But, the more I look for her — her dreams — the more bereft I become. She is lost.

Resolve is this — I am done looking for someone who is gone.

I write my own name on a scrap of paper and place it with the others. She’s not here anymore. And now, there is enough paper for a nice, slow burn. When it’s all ash, I’ll scatter it like the dead. Carbon for the Earth.

For the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to it — The New Year. — One where I let go. Where I find the courage to say goodbye to that which anchors me in the past. Where I light the way of new dreams with the lessons learned in pursuit of old ones. Where I release the ghost of the girl I was and make room for the real woman I have become.

A New Year, where we find ourselves, always — alive — in the here and now.

 

 

Artwork: Cover art from Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now”

 

 

 

 

Radio Silence

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7:54AM. The sun hits the off-white apartment building behind my parent’s house. Wide awake, I stare blankly at my computer screen. — I hate this blog.

I’ve plotted countless ways to end it, this “project.” I’m still unsure how it continues, now, an almost two-year long endeavor. — How can I bow out gracefully, I wonder? A poignant, little story about nothing at all? A dramatic goodbye? Or, maybe — I just disappear. No post, no nothing. Radio silence.

In 2014, while my ex moved erratically between his heroin binges, I committed myself to writing a weekly blog. I needed an anchor. A piece of my own life that kept me outside it. Something I could show up for — and I could count on being alive. Something quiet and uncomplicated. Something that didn’t throw things at me when it was frustrated. And now, as I sit here contemplating throwing something at my laptop, I think, maybe, I understand him a little better.

I’ve battled the urge to abandon this blog before. I’m pretty sure whatever “Saucy” I had left in me, has long since dried up. I lay in bed and wonder where, exactly, it is that I’ve gone? I chase my own tail. I can hardly locate myself long enough to write 250 words on the subject.

Each week, I advise — and maybe advise is the wrong word — I inform people that sobriety is more than putting down a glass or a needle or a pipe. It’s an unpredictable, and often unpleasant, choice to be aware. Aware of the good. Aware of the bad. Aware of the unassigned.

A brave choice to be present.

It isn’t about the substance at all. It’s about grit. Choosing to be fully there — engaged — even when your inclination is always to do the opposite. Grueling. Tiring. Painful. But, also, incredibly Beautiful. I have experienced sobriety in profound ways. Joy and numbing sadness — I did not imagine this.

I’d tell you that I wouldn’t trade sobriety for the world. — But, the truth is, because of sobriety, I know the world isn’t mine to trade.

There is a part of me that wishes I could end it today. Radio silence.

But, a little bit of truth remains — junkie boyfriend or none — I am in need of an anchor. A piece of my own life that keeps me outside it. Something I can show up for — and I can count on being alive.

Something quiet and uncomplicated.

I watch as the morning sun draws the lines of the fire escape down the side of the building across the way and — I write.

 

Artwork: Nancy Herman, “Fire Escape Shadow”

 

 

 

That Antique Mojo

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I had it. I lost it. I need to find it again.

Mojo.

And, not just any mojo. That antique mojo.

I’ve been feeling as good as dead for months. But, I know from experience — it’s possible to rediscover yourself. To uncover that thing you’ve lost. It’ll be a little rusty. Its hinges will need a little WD-40, for sure. But, rest assured — good mojo, however ancient, can look like new with a little spit’n’polish.

I imagine my insides look something like an apartment on an episode of hoarders. — Dusty, disorganized, used up, dingy, and dinged. And, yes, maybe there are a few dead mice. — That doesn’t mean its not worth fixing up. I’ll admit, I’ve been stock-piling my emotional garbage for awhile now. But, I don’t have to trash it all. Right? I mean. Really. Seriously. — Don’t throw that out.

Has no one seen Antiques Roadshow? Come on people — cut open the back of your proverbial paintings. That’s where you’ll find the treasure map that was hidden years ago — when things were good. A message from another life. Another era. A happier time. I’ll bet money it’s still there. Though, it’s hard to be certain with all the looters that have been in and out of my head of late. But, I’m like a motherfucking squirrel. — I know how to hide a nut.

So, I suit up. I brave the unsteady ladder and ascend into my head space. I stumble around, grasping for the string that’s tied to a light bulb somewhere in this shit-hole of an attic.

Sure, the air’s old and stale up here. But, it’s almost winter. So I put on a old sweater that I don’t mind getting proper-filthy and I throw open the window. Sun streams in and holds a cloud of glistening dust in its golden spotlight. Cold gusts of air upset the dust bunnies that have been collecting like plaque in the arteries of my tired and cynical heart.

I take it in. Assess the mess. And, it’s not as bad as I thought. It just requires starting. Beginning where I am. — Clearing. Out. The. Crap. — Finding the mojo.

Tired of being pissed at myself, I decide to ease up on the criticism and laugh at this mess instead. That’s the biggest part. — Acceptance. Walking right into it. Getting dirty. Because, that’s when it happens. That’s when you stumble upon it.

Under some old newspapers and a boxed up game of Trivial Pursuit from 1973, I find it. — A well stashed nut. — My mojo.

And sure, it’s a little worse for the wear. But, whaddyaknow?It’s salvageable.

Truth be told, with a little heart — most things are.

 

Artwork: “Tales from the Hidden Attic”; By: Michael V. Vinalo; http://www.artgypsytales.com/2014/04/michael-vmanalo-surrealism-fantasy.html