A Forest Fire

She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire,” Charles Bukowski so eloquently once wrote about a woman or women or who knows but I know I am magic. There is no lie in my fire. So many, including my ex-husband failed to recognize this about me. They failed to acknowledge the magnificent fire that burns within me, around me. They failed to fan my flames leaving me to wonder if there is anyone in the world willing to do so, better yet, desiring to do so.

I have spent thirty-one years fanning others’ embers, inciting a forest fire but rarely succeeding because unfortunately, not everyone is magic. I may sound like I’m speaking in circles or sideways but I’m speaking musically, metaphorically, reminiscent of great works of some of my favorite artists.

Bon Iver and James Blake wrote,

I’m saved by nature
But it always forgets what I need
I hope you’ll stop me before I build a wall around me
We need a forest fire

I have been approached twice now since being single and in both advances, I immediately responded with adamant, “I am not interested in dating right now.” This is the present truth but it goes much deeper than any potential suitor may realize. I am not interested in dating right now but I also foresee no viable future in which I am interested in dating at all.

These sentiments remind me of my mother after she divorced my father. She never sought out companionship with anyone and if she were around today, I would seek out her emotions and thoughts during this time in her life. This makes me angry that I cannot do so now. If I’m being completely honest, it’s like how come I was there for her when she was going through what she was going through but she’s not here for me when I’m going through what I’m going through? Cognitively, I understand it was out of her control but my brain and my heart are two very different animals.

I simply don’t believe anyone will recognize my worth the way I recognize my worth – no one will see my magic and treat it accordingly. Many have seen my magic and have been willing to fan my flames only once all is said and done and this provokes so much rage, it’s inconceivably difficult to describe. It leads me to believe I am nothing but a lesson in this lifetime. People only belong in my life for a short period of time, long enough to exchange a valuable lesson from each other. I want more. It only makes me human to want more. Surrounded by so many who have more, witnessing the more that so many of my loved ones possess, I, of course, desire this, too.

I need a forest fire.



There aren’t many men in my life that I can state have been there for me when I needed them, at least not without some ulterior motive to be met. I can probably count on one hand in all sincerity. This began with the first man to ever have a significant impact upon my life, my dad. He was very good at instilling fear and anxiety but very poor at instilling faith, confidence, and security.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve stopped blaming others for my anxiety, grief, fear, faults, etcetera, and realized he or she only has the power to cause negativity within my life if I allow him or her to. In some cases, this means I’ve had to cease exerting my energy toward a relationship I may have had because maintaining one sided relationships are counter productive to my self improvement. In order to break a cycle of seeking the familiar I must confidently step outside of my comfort zone and seek what I’ve always deserved.

Finding myself utter names I haven’t spoken in years with disdain and anger in my heart is a wake up call. I had no idea I had been suppressing so much out of pure human instinct. We suppress to protect ourselves from painful realities but I’m ready to unpack. I’m ready to face those realities with every ounce of muster I can conjure up.

From being forgotten after elementary school days and waiting what felt like hours for my mother to fetch me and being inexplicably dropped by so-called best friends after ten years of friendship with not so much as a word of clarification, I’m ready. From witnessing my drunken, passed out father from the age of five to his erratic, unpredictable drug-addicted behavior at sixteen, I’m ready. From being the ex-girlfriend of so many once beloveds who have since found their life partner, created a family and overcome personal obstacles to losing both of my parents within a span of four months to losing whom I once considered the love of my life two years later, I am ready.

I have been disregarded, forsaken, and taken for granted by so many, especially the men who have come and gone in my life, but at the end of the day, I love myself and I know my worth. I am now ready to unpack the heavy load I have carried with me for thirty-one plus years.

Nine Lives

I’m entering into, for lack of better terms, a new phase in life – one where the silent, uneasy solitude will be my best friend whether I like her or not, one whom I must become familiar with until I do like her. Her company will most likely reveal the desirable and not so desirable filthy corners of an old soul, coercing me into, yet another, inadvertent spiritual cleanse.

It’s like reincarnation because I learned a long time ago that life isn’t a continuous piece of string looping through jungle gyms and obstacle courses. It is several different pieces of string that we’re dangerously swinging from, holding on tightly with weakened hands, possibly with a direction in mind, but always falling or unintentionally veering off course. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not always unintentional. Sometimes one decision, no matter how big or how small, can completely alter the direction our lives have been taking, empirically shifting almost everything about them. It’s like we’re cats with nine lives.

I’m not certain which life I’m headed into right now though if I had to guess, I would guess it’s somewhere around eight. And if I’m right, I better make this shit count! And just in case there’s any confusion, I’m not talking about some hippie, drink only lemon juice and cayenne then meditate for twelve hours cleanse or life, either. I’m simply describing that almost transcendental feeling of ruminating on the past and feeling as if a couple of years ago was actually lifetimes ago or as if it were possibly someone else’s life that I’m merely retelling a story of. Perhaps it was even a book I read?

Either way, I must carry what I learned and experienced to the present and utilize it for the greater good of those around me and myself. I’ve begun to feel as if I was put on this earth to only plant seeds, to be a part of someone’s life for what feels like such a short time because once you truly love and care for another life, time is irrelevant to the emotions. A lifetime can feel utterly insufficient. Enter lesson number 9,153 – My mother always reminded me, “The price of love is grief.”

Better Without You

What if the first song David and I danced to was “So High” by John Legend instead of “Forever” by Ben Harper? What if my mother had never died? What if my dad had never died? What if I hadn’t moved to New York City? The number of what-ifs I could ask myself and whoever would be so kind as to listen are endless but that was the thought that entered my mind this evening as “So High” began playing on my Pandora. Probably because that was the song I always foresaw myself getting married to should that day ever present itself. The eerie what-if entered my mind as a sort of superstition as if something as simple as the song we first danced to as an official married couple that hot, July afternoon could have anything to do with the outcome of our marriage; The dozens of pictures of us in each other’s arms, slow dancing in sweet reverie to Ben Harper begging, “Give me your forever…”


It probably has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome but one can ponder, especially when one is out of divorce limbo and in the finality of grieving a great loss. Though, I’ve reached the point where I can confidently proclaim that the immense loss isn’t so much mine as it is his. Sadly, I’m not sure that is an accurate depiction of David’s feelings but what he feels is simply irrelevant to me now and not because I wanted that to be the case but because after all this time, it had to be.

There was a time when I truly believed we’d conquer all odds, overcome any trials and tribulations that stood in our course, for better or for worse as we vowed – we were better together as we reiterated countless times over the phone across great distances, echoing Jack Johnson’s aptly named tune, and whispered in the middle of the darkest part of the nights to each other as we fell asleep, hand in hand. The present reality is that I’m better without him though better having once loved him. I’m surprisingly reaching a conclusion that finds me feeling deep gratitude for that tumultuous three plus years of my life. Whether I have been making progress toward this point the entire two years and ten months since we decided to part ways or I simply didn’t realize I was already in the midst of this gratitude until I held the finalized divorce papers in my hand this past Saturday will remain a mystery.

Is That a Wrap?

People come and go from our lives to create what feels, at best, like a handful or two of completely separate lives lived – almost reincarnation like. Oftentimes, people come and go because people grow apart, they choose different paths that lead their lives further and further away from what once was. There’s a mutual understanding of why you are no longer characters in one another’s next act, or reincarnation, if you will.

And sometimes, people simply begin living their life apart from yours so that one day, you wake up and you don’t even think about that person for twenty-four hours and then the next day, forty-eight hours and the next, seventy-two and so forth. Until one day, when you’re looking back and unpacking some baggage, per se, you realize, there is no mutual understanding, no explanation, no sense and perhaps, most difficult of all, no closure.

So, how do we say, “That’s a wrap” and put the final cut on what feels like a past life? How do we insert a resolution after an incomplete falling action? Can these feats even be accomplished given that the desire to reach a denouement has the possibility of being mutually exclusive? Is a rewrite attainable when only half of the parties involved may have such desire? Or do these unfinished acts simply go to the vault never to be reopened?