less than three
more than infinity
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski
City aint so prestine. SF 2013.
Today my heart is achey.
It aches for lives I cannot live. For people loved and lost, and those tumbling out of my hands, like sand slipping through the cracks of my grasp, my heart, my life.
It aches for an undetermined future. For a past I miss. For a present I don’t understand.
And all I can tell myself, over and over, as each heavy drop rolls down the length of my cheek, is that this is temporary, that I will be home soon, and the future will unfold, and I will remember the feel of my own skin, and there will be love and laughter and the instinctive grasping of tiny hands around my weather-worn fingers.
"We cannot enjoy life if we spend our time and energy worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow. If we’re afraid all the time, we miss out on the wonderful fact that we’re alive and can be happy right now."
Thích Nhất Hạnh (via creatingaquietmind)
Sometimes I don’t even remember what I’m afraid of…and what the hell is the point in being afraid of something unknown? Unknown is just that, not known. It may be fear worthy. Or not. It may be inspiring. It may lift your soul above the clouds. It may warm you, from the inside out. It may be the best steak you’ve ever sunk your teeth into. The best chocolate cake that ever rolled past your lips and onto your tongue. Why on Earth, or in the stars above, would anyone want to fear delicious? Or even the possibility of delicious? And that is what I need to remember - not what I’m afraid of, but how to let go of that fear - for the possibility of delicious.
Stand naked in front of a mirror for a long time, under unflattering light if possible. Trace the rises and falls of the little ripples on your skin — the scars, the dimples, the cellulite — and think about how much you try to hide these things in your day-to-day. Wonder why you hate them so much, and if this hate stems from somewhere within yourself, or as a result of being told all your life that it’s wrong to have physical flaws. Wonder what you would think of your body if you never looked at a magazine, if you never thought about celebrities and models, if you never had to wonder where someone would rate you on a scale of 10. Look at yourself until the initial recoil softens, and you can consider your features in a more forgiving frame of mind.
Listen to the music which makes you want to both sob and dance with uninhibited joy, and allow yourself to repeat any song you want as many times as your heart desires. Think of the person you are when you have your favorite song in your headphones and are walking down a street you feel you own completely, swaying your hips and smiling for no good reason — remember how many things you love about yourself during those moments, how much you are willing to forgive in yourself, how confident you are for no good reason. Try to think of confidence as a gift you give yourself when you need it, instead of something you have to siphon from every unreliable source in your life. Dance because the music makes you remember how much you love yourself, not because it allows you to forget the fact that you don’t.
Write a list of all the things you like about yourself, even if you think it’s a self-indulgent and narcissistic activity. Start as early as you like in your life — put down that time you won a trophy playing little league soccer when you were eight and then got an extra-large shake at the DQ on the way home, and don’t feel silly for remembering it. Try to understand how many sources in your life happiness can come from, how many things you could be proud of if you chose to. Ask yourself why you so tightly limit the things you take pride in, why you set your own hurdles for happiness and fulfillment so much higher than you do with anyone else in your life. Let your list go on for pages and pages if you want it to.
Touch and care for yourself with the attention and the patience that you would someone you loved more than life itself. Rub lotion in small circles on your elbows and hands when it is cold and your skin is dry and cracked. Make soup for yourself when your nose is running and curl up, with your favorite movie, in a pile of expertly-stacked pillows. Light a few candles and let their glow flicker against your body. Admire how gentle they are, how delicately their warmth touches you — wonder why you don’t let yourself do the same. Soak your feet in warm water at the end of a long day, until they have forgiven you for walking on them for so long without so much as a “thank you.” Listen to your body when it aches to be touched, and don’t be afraid to give it every orgasm that you may have been too ashamed to ask for in someone else’s bed.
Be patient with yourself, and don’t worry if a switch doesn’t flip in you which abruptly takes you from “crippling self-doubt” to “uncompromising self-love.” Allow yourself all the trepidation and clumsy, uneven infatuation that you would with a promising stranger. Try only to be kinder, to be softer, and to remember all of the things within you which are worth loving. Listen to the voice in the back of your head which tells you, as much out of sadness as anger, “You are ugly. You are stupid. You are boring.” Give it the fleeting moment of attention it so craves, and then remind it, “Even if that were true, I’d still be worth loving.”"
Hiking to Fragrance Lake, Bellingham, WA
by Mary McDonald
(Submitted by Mary)
My head has been filled with all kinds of sappy shmoopy lovey dovey thoughts recently. Groves of trees and riding horses and holding hands and beer and kisses and silly faces and tears and understanding and tender and strong and soft and kind.
How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said. - Victor Hugo
love can be such a curious thing sometimes. you think you know your heart one day and then the next you have no idea what it’s thinking or feeling or doing. falling in love with someone, particularly from afar, can be even stranger, because half the time you don’t even know who or what exactly you’re falling in love with, and yet there you are, falling, all the same, and just as hard. in this day and age long distance communication is hardly a barrier, but still, you get to know somebody differently in person versus over the computer or phone. conversations take on a different flavor and flow. topics weave in and out of one another with seemingly no relation to one another and yet in a coordinated dance that makes all the difference. from afar you learn things almost by accident and sometimes they hit you, like a ton of bricks. you’re left to interpret and wonder about vague sensations or ideas, left to marinate with your own foggy thoughts, until the next time you’re able to talk. it can be challenging. it can also be just as beautiful, maybe even more so, when that person consistently demonstrates that they are exactly the person you thought they were and remind you time and time again exactly why and how they first captured your heart.