Home for the Morning

There’s a way of waking up that’s better than the others. This may be relative but, truly, everything always is. When you’re happy you’re happy, and that happiness is yours. Does that make anyone else happy? Maybe if you’re lucky, but generally no, so take your portion of the positivity as it comes.

There’s way of waking up that’s soft and breezy; a way that welcomes it. The body doesn’t rest even when “resting” until it gets the chance to breath at its own pace, and that pace is here today. The food comes when it needs to, not when it has to, and there’s time afterwards to clean things back in to shape.

There’s a way of waking up that reads before it asks you to speak while the sun is still in the east. There’s tea, eggs, and toast with jam, but the first are the blueberries to touch these lips. The sweetness of the watery blue is a perfect companion to earliest light of the morning.

There’s a way of waking up that knows the melodies of the mind are best left alone. Throwing stones in the water might churn it and give it a ripple but the natural flow? That natural flow is what travels landscapes and rains dreamily on to far off places they could have never dreamed of finding themselves. The music it chooses to play needs time as much as the music I choose to.

There’s a way of waking up that I know is for me.

powerless

Looking back, I see ashes clumping in the grass; the trees bare like the aftermath of a fire. The dog barking isn’t something I remember and neither is how far the sun had set. Holding open the gate to the fenced-in yard I only notice the sounds of screams and yelling, pulsing out from the poisoned heart of the “home” with waves of toxic blood. It sounds so far away as if for dramatic effect while also unmistakably clear and close. Even knowing what came after doesn’t change how I felt and continue to feel when reliving it, and it’s a curious thing to look back on. Although I feel like I’ve moved passed it I also have to wonder how many of the decisions I make are just side-stepping and wanting to avoid anything resembling that. Am I a part of that? Do I still carry it with me? Are there moving pictures of that night in my wallet where a normal person would put faces they love?

That’s the worst of it: the not knowing. Like having to second guess if you’re a monster or doing the right thing, I don’t know what I’m not. I’m probably a little of both enough to divide the people I’ve known and keep the one constant, myself, trying to make sense of it while also trying to understand my own identity.

Like grotesque, macabre statues preserved from the heat and debris of the eruption I see what stands from the event. Nothing but reminders are those empty shells while the people that made them have lived ever since, and while they aren’t same as they were it’s still their faces, twisted and sick, that I see. If I touch the echoes they dissipate in to ashes, but they also rebuild like horrific snowmen with perfect accuracy.

This isn’t the only Pompeii I remember; different grave-yards surrounding the same haunted house. I simply can’t, whether for my childish benefit of running from it or letting go, forget. I can’t learn to re-love the faces, I can’t learn to excuse the act, and I can’t forgive the people who failed to turn when the could quite obviously see the approaching curve. If I could I still wouldn’t, because I don’t think it’s OK to treat people however you want because you think blood is such a strong leash.

Soma Holiday

I flew out of the city one hundred miles away. It was far but not enough: still I could feel familiar faces passing by on the street and my ties leading up to kites watching from above.

A little bit of patience would have maybe waited the lingering cobwebs from the old dusty house out, but my patience was weak while the burdens were strong. One-Hundred thousand miles more I soared through intent on putting that unwanted prologue behind me, but even before the underside of my foot touched ground I knew this wasn’t enough. I could still hear them; louder than I knew them to be before I had even left. Even in my hands I couldn’t shelter my head completely.

Once more, without much wasted time, I abscond another hundred thousand. That was it: no more money to spend or leaps to risk. I was dropped off and gave faith to the wherever I had gone. It worked, and though the remains of everything stayed tucked away at the corner of the desktop I could at last be nowhere. Free and lost, unaware and far away, but fully in time like a spoon dragging through honey; the thickness of it rounding in to every curve and edge perfectly.

Home is calling now whether I’m ready to return to it or better off away. The heat of the sun on the haze of the air is the first and last thing to make it clear that I am home. It’s all that’s really needed as after that the details write themselves in familiar beats of even more familiar characters, and they un-pause in a long -held exhale of a caught breath.

Cardinal

There sits the quiet bird on a mossy rock. The woods and the air the trees breath about their own business just the same as the little bird, and they share a harmony that is also independent from one another.

In the ground, on the water, in the bushes, and held like a saucer by the branches up above are the homes of the forest, simple but essential; a reprieve from the wilderness held together by the bits of it. Gathered by sticks and mud, they create and protect something for themselves and for the little ones they welcome to the world there. Speckled eggs, as pale and blue as the sky they rest under, tether the bird with a call as strong as the one that will call her once their occupants break free. She leaves the rock for hunger and at the snap of twigs like fingers clicking together.

By night the wings of feathers give the air to the dark wings of bats. Without song or a dance do they go about their parts while the insects buzz around and below them. The deep call of owls come sparse but are still there as a reminder that not all of the birds sleep with the blue-jay, and even through the loud night filled by the buzzing of insects their soft wings can be heard, beating like sheets in the air floating gently to cover a bed.

By dawn the world of the night embraces sleep and the space is clear for that of day. Like the stream nearby the life of the woods flows steady and without thought.

Far away, a person rises just the same. On the ground, in the houses, in the cars, and held on a bench like any other taking seat are the homes of people, complex and forthright by not even the lowest fool. They pass their days with a noisy connection and isolated to every moving part around them. Open wide are the eyes and ears while stretching out hands, and they take fistfuls of everything there is to take. When its all let go, by minute everyday, it’s the ground touching our feet that feels its hands filling up.

The people hate mess and don’t think it belongs, and quickly what doesn’t belong in the environment is scooped up from the concrete so it can be taken to its rightful place. Still these things are given as fast as they can be taken, fist over fist over fist, and in the ground, in the water, in the bushes, and among the saucers and innumerable other used things they go.

On the metal of a fence sits the lively bird; red and pointy at the tips. The noise of the city keeps it away but if it truly tried it would learn to love it.

Stoichiometry

The suitcase I pull behind me, along side me, and sometimes ahead in frustration, fails stoichiometry. It wobbles after the slightest bump and breathes canyons of air in to every crack in the ground. I want to leave it behind every time I feel it veer and reach for the ground like its kneecaps just gave out.

The trip is monotonous after the thousandth time. When the wheels roll without a hitch I can ignore the clamor it makes even though it makes us a beacon in the otherwise quiet final hours of the day, but even those smooth travels make it hard to feel content. What if there was a less worn, quieter suitcase to pull along, tires spaced well enough apart? It could be a nicer color, more subdued, without a logo sharing itself with any stranger that comes near. It’s only a little embarrassing, but I wonder why it couldn’t be different.

When I get it home I park it as soon after as I can and hardly notice the difference. I’m weak and frail, sloppily carved out of fatigue like a spoon dolling out mashed-potatoes. Over by the door the case stands-still, the handle still extended. I only now realize just how diminutive it is when considered among others like it and almost feel bad. It’s just fabric though, and it likely isn’t broken-hearted when there’s plenty inside to keep it filled and hold everything in place.

There’s another walk or dozen ahead of me with the suitcase behind me, failing at every crack and bump. It’ll roll along well until then but it’s nowhere near well enough.

Where the Nest Sits Best

“There’s a toll to go forward.”

She stared with blank eyes that were trying to figure out far too much at once. The words they spoke saved her the trouble of saying anything aloud.

“What will you pay?” She was asked.

“I’m sorry?”

“What will you pay?” was repeated, and she felt fear panic and rattle in her chest.

“I don’t have any money.” Her voice was as shaken and weak as her knees.

“Can you work for it?”

Her knees were trembling and she wasn’t sure if she could stand much longer, “I’m exhausted!”

“Alright.” The voice remained silent while she remained standing desperately. It returned and said, “Alright.”

“I don’t understand!”, but her knees gave way and the exchange was ended.

*************************************************************************************

She was older, bored, and felt the days pass like trees lining a highway while she drove rather mindlessly along.

“Are you happy?”, The voice said to break the decade long silence.

“Happy? From what?”, She asked, breaking through some of the familiar apathy with an axe of indignation.

“Would you like to try a different method of payment?”

She felt found that the past ten years had almost ceased to exist and was back to feeling as she had before, except she was older now and had given up time.

“I’m sorry but I…”

“Do you have a payment to offer?”

“Stop!” She interrupted, “I don’t want to being giving something up without at least knowing what it is!”.

“What has past since we last spoke?” It asked without a hint, allusion, or seemingly a care in the world.

She thought on how she had lived her days and nights alone, preserving but working to build up something for herself. She felt good and had fortune but nothing special called back to her heart.

“I want to feel like I’ve experienced things.” She said quietly, and with that there was no more.

*************************************************************************************

The bench caught her as she took a seat, her weariness calling an end to whatever she was hoping for.

“Are you happy?”, She heard, hoping she was going mad.

There was no reply from her just yet. She felt her legs with her hand and the true fatigue of them weighed her down on the spot. She felt it the most in her neck and shoulders and felt her eyes begin to water.

“No.”, She said, “No I don’t.”

“Is there something else you’d like to give?”

The voice echoed around her with déjà vu and somehow magnified the pain throbbing in her neck, lower back, and knees.

“What difference would it make?”

“Are you not feeling pleased with what you’ve done?” It asked, and she saw the nights pass. New nights and days of adventure, life being lived to the fullest while she took every chance she could happen upon.

“I don’t…think I am.”

There were people walking by. There were all so different in so many different ways that she found something fascinating in the way they were. It was enrapturing and mind filling to observe and think on these strangers as the time passed. She walked to a nearby café when she needed a break, and with her coffee in her hand she watched again.

As the daylight dimmed she felt the coolness on her skin and knew she must return home soon. She whiled the quietest route home and was nearly there when she was spoken to again:

“What will you pay?”

The buildings she past were lite inside with warm orange glows. The streets around her were quiet and the air still, and so through some of the open windows she could hear people speaking (both in anger and in casual conversation), music playing, and through others wafted the smell of food.

“I’m not going to.” She at last replied.

“What about happiness?”

She was several blocks from home when she stumbled came upon a grocery store. She entered and browsed without any real purpose. While looking at the different varieties of bread she remembered that she had headphones in her bag, and so she put them in her ears and picked something to listen to.

“What about it?” She asked.

Nightingale

There’s a need that’s needed as much as the actual need itself; The resistance holding you down so you don’t run like a wild tire, unfastened and broken free.

In the day it keeps your mind afar while the bits left behind breath shallow; muscles fasten tight as cable. Likely nothing but the thoughts of lists checked off and lashes of red where the half pleasure goes will make that devil, not on one but a claw on both shoulders digging nails in while he rides, bite its tongue for more than a second while your own teeth are half way through. Likely nothing will break through the toxic atmosphere that you’re struggling to build rockets for, and nothing will tell you that’s you’ve done it, even if you could, and let you feel the weightless freedom of an astronaut sucked out in to space and lost forever.

You’ll be pulled home and saved, grounded and burden by the putrid demon wrecking your posture, but you’ll always be a bird. Even in the night as you pull a blanket around you to keep the comfort of being covered, much the same way that the need covers you by day: your wings are there. You need, I need it, and we always will, but even when we concede we can still unglue our wings and beat the air with them in our own miracle of flight. The sky can fill with our old plumage and be made beautiful in the changes we make.

There’s a need that’s needed and there are those that aren’t, and the answers we fill in don’t have to be the cages we die in.

 

***Photo source: http://wiwords.com/word/nightingale ***