An Ode to Poetry

I have an entire Rubbermaid bin full of my writing dating way back to when I was about six years old and still using monochrome computers in school. One of my first computer-typed stories was titled, “The Wolf’s Tree.” I recall my brother assisting with the edits of this very short story involving a wolf trying to save the trees from being chopped down in the rainforest. I’ll save that amateur story for another post but I wanted to share a poem I came across in this Rubbermaid bin titled, “Have a Safe Flight.” I’m pretty certain I wrote it circa 2007/2008 before submitting an entire manuscript of poetry to an anthology. I rarely write poetry these days though I still maintain an affinity for the style. Anyhow, I give you the downright sappy, in young love, “Have a Safe Flight.”

You kissed her lips as she waved goodbye and then you muttered, “have a safe flight”


You held her tight as she cried herself to sleep in your bed that forsaken night


Brushing the hair away from her face, you gazed intensely into her tired, brown eyes


You made love to her on the sand and told her she was beautiful so many times


You nursed her to health when she was sick and convinced her it would be all right


You played her that song, the one about despite the distance, everything would be fine


Even confessed to her friend how you loved her and felt so lucky to have her in your life


You told her you wanted her and only her, making it all seem so worth the fight


When she returned, you told her you’d walk the many miles to her house late that night


Refused to drive until she gave you those kisses while holding up traffic at the green light


You slow danced with her, just the two of you in your room, amongst the candlelight


You invited her over, surprised her with dinner and even white wine


You ran her a hot bath, rubbed her back, played with her hair and still, stood the time


She gave you her everything because little did you know, you changed her life.

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Dear Readers

Dear readers, I simply wanted to drop a line, this evening, as I am diligently writing to complete a story that is near and dear to me. I have a couple of weeks to meet a deadline, for a prominent literary magazine and to have my story repeatedly edited and polished for submission. I do not wish to neglect my blog nor especially my readers so please accept this as my humble apology for the fewer and far between posts as of late.

When I decided to embark on this new chapter (no pun intended) of submitting my writing to professional literary magazines and other media outlets, I wasn’t certain if I wanted to share it or keep it under wraps for fear that “nothing will come of it.”   I realized that nothing coming of it was impossible because I can submit my writing over and over to a hundred different places and they can all end up rejections but at least I’ll know I have tried. And most importantly, at the end of the day, I am doing what I love, what ignites my soul. That is certainly not nothing!

I also had to remind myself that I have an amazing support system of people, near and far, dead and alive – people who wish me well and want to see me happy – people who read what I have to say. I will never take you for granted.

So, this is a blog post of my sheer gratitude for your patience, your kind words throughout the last couple of years and your curiosity. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I will always do my best to respond in a timely manner to each and every one of you. If there were something you want to hear more about, something you have a question about, anything, I would love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I am going to leave you with this letter I stumbled upon during my recent collection of my mother’s belongings in Kansas City, a trip I tried vividly describing in Pi Miles to My Destination. I thought it befitting considering my mama was and still is my biggest cheerleader.

LETTER 2 MAMA

Dear Mama,

By the time you are reading this, I will be on my way to Los Angeles, California, where I will be living on my own for quite some time. This is not meant to be some sort of cheesy letter telling you how much I love you, but more like a “I’m growing up and doing my own things” kinda letter, an appreciation expression letter…though if it makes u cry or feel any other sort of “sappy” emotion, I apologize. Haha…Anywayz, I know it’s not like I’m not going to talk to you often or anything, but there are just some things I want you to know before I leave for such a long time and we are unable to see each other. I know that I have done some things that neither of us are very proud of, but I’ve also done some things that we can both be very proud of. Well, I hope that my moving to Los Angeles to attend Fashion school and do whatever else I choose to do will not only make myself proud, but I hope that you will be proud of me, as well. It is amazing how you learn something new everyday and since the day I was born, I have been learning new things everyday in Kansas City…Now, I will be learning new things everyday that I can’t just “come home” and share with you. I just pray that the outcome of whatever I learn and do will make you proud. I know that what I do from now on is my own decisions, but you really have been an inspiration, and I think everyone wants to make that one person happy and proud. It seems that no matter what I am doing, even if it is making me happy…I have to have the approval of my mother. And as annoying as that can be, it is inevitable. All the times I said that you weren’t supportive or encouraging, I realize that you always were and always have been…in more ways than one. I hope that someday you will realize how appreciative I truly am that you are allowing me this opportunity to go to California and attend this Fashion Institute. It is hard to describe the gratitude I feel. I dream that someday I will be able to repay you monetarily, but through your own little country home and all the other material things you’ve aspired of.

I know that I am not the nicest, sweetest daughter that I always could have been and I am truly sorry for all the times that I seriously hurt you and your feelings. I always say that I have no regrets because everything happens for a reason and u learn from your mistakes, and I still believe that with all my heart, but I learned in an unsatisfactory way. I am sorry.

No matter what I do and where I go, I will always remember where I come from and I know you are thinking that that is easier said than done, but you have taught me the simplicity of life. You have taught me that you truly can be happy with the “bare minimum.” You have taught me so much. I’ve watched you, for 18 years, now, go through so much shit and still come out strong and I just hope that that is a characteristic that I possess of yours. I am going to try so hard, every day, to not take anything for granted! I know that I still have to learn from my own mistakes, but at least, I have someone to look up to.

If I had myself as a daughter, I probably would have killed me before, but you didn’t and you would never. Do you know that I feel like I don’t deserve you and some of the things you’ve done for me? In fact, I know I don’t and of course, I’m not finished. There is more to be said. It is amazing to me when I think about the past years and how fast they came. I mean just six years ago, I was throwing a “Sevvy” party with Jen at her house. Now I’m throwing a “going away, we’re gettin’ out on our own, movin’ to California” gathering. Haha J I know that it is going to be hard not seeing you for a long time but if I have your motivation, ambition and strength, then I should be just fine. J

Call me whenever you want to, remember to set the alarm EVERY NITE please! Also, remember to do the things that make u happy…gardening, painting, being creative…where else do u think I got it? I will miss you and I love you so much. I thank you for the first 18 years of my life, and being the greatest mama you could. Once again, I’m at a loss of words, but I think you get the point. I love you.

Much Love Forever & Ever,

Your one & only daughter,

<3 Linds

What If

American writer and essayist, Flannery O’ Connor once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” I believe this is why I write and more so right now than ever.

Yesterday afternoon and again, this morning, I was presented with that ugly two-word question that’s usually followed by some sort of action I didn’t take. That question that no one enjoys asking oneself because if you’re asking it, it probably means you’re conjuring up the unrealistic possibility of an alternate reality that only could have come to be had you made a different decision or series of decisions in your past.

Cognitively, we’re all aware that “what if” only serves as a self-loathing mechanism, right? Because the truth is even if you had made another decision or series of decisions, you may still be sitting right there on the living room floor of your Toluca Lake apartment, in front of your computer screen, typing these words and enjoying the company of your two felines and the taste of your Trader Joe’s dark roast coffee.

I believe the problem with asking ourselves “what if” is that we’re implying that at the historical time of judgment, we must have made a poor decision that led to an undesirable outcome today. But maybe if we ask ourselves, instead, why we made the initial decision in the first place, we’d discover that it was a perfectly sound and sensible one given the circumstances of that time and in turn, we’d be being kinder to ourselves.

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Trusting the Universe or God or whatever guiding spirituality or lack thereof it is that you follow is not a simple task but once we do, asking ourselves “what if” kind of falls to the wayside. We’re more confident in our past and present decision-making because after all, being conscious and present leads to better, more informed decisions.

The belief that our souls are here to learn lessons has always resonated loudly with me and perhaps this is one lesson that my soul is to learn – I can ask myself “what if” and I’ll probably never have a good enough answer to justify any, even minute, amount of self-deprecation so why do it? Why make myself miserable in my now? I can only trust that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and better off having made the decisions that I made that delivered me to this now.

Self Inflicted Misery

I have mistakenly discovered that writing is a sickness of the self-inflicted variety – not a virus but a disease. An earnest writer, one with candor and humility must drive a dagger through her heart, allowing the darkened, profuse blood to spill out, never cowering under a band-aide, never permitting sutures to make her whole again.

She must lick her wounds willingly, knowing that each and every lockbox of stored, past memories will be forever opened with a single master key amidst the dagger’s path. The key – damaged, unable to lock anything away again. The writer must trudge forward with the open wound that inevitably carries with it an unavoidable illness – an illness so lethal, it will one day kill her. And she’ll die – glad that she let it.

Some of the greats have described this is in other, more concise words…

Hemingway – “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

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Steinbeck – “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”

Bukowski – “He asked, “What makes a man a writer?” “Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”

Misery, I tell you. Complete and utter misery. The indescribable though palpable passion to write is the acceptance of one’s downright madness, embracing it like your closest kin. Vulnerability becomes a consistent way of being.

And when you’re not writing, that, too, is absolute misery. There is no escape. I chose to tell my truth and there is no going back.

Someone once ignorantly said to me when I informed her of my planned return to the west coast from New York, “I can’t help but think that you’re trying to run from your problems.”

At the time, I probably scoffed, shook my head and ensured this person that this wasn’t so. I didn’t feel the need to explain because the truth is, my problems, in fact, most people’s problems are not problems that can be ran away from. If the solution to my problems were as simple as a cross-country move, I probably would have made that move a lot sooner.

Alas, my biggest problem then and my biggest problem now are learning how to live in a world where my mother doesn’t exist –  A world where I cannot pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end, a world where she is nowhere to be seen or heard. There are no solutions and there are no cross-country moves that will ever make this okay so I will just write. I won’t run and I won’t hide – I will simply just write – About that – About life, love, and my experiences. I will sit at my computer or my notepad and I will bleed.