October 28, 2010

Flowers from my hands

Would you believe it if I told you
that this morning, I awoke,
with flowers sprouting from my hand?

The sweetness of their fragrance made me woozy

The weight of bouquets
upset my balance,
and the moisture from the nectar
dripped down my arm

Confused and high on honey-suckle
I stumbled out the door,
smearing pollen against the wall,
waves of yellow streaks against concrete

Out the front door I ran, panicked,
as red and purple petals
feathered to the street,
trails of color filling out my footprints

i paused at the sight
of a child, wide-eyed and curious,
who stared at me, then
pulled out two stems of tulips

and then another child,
in stripes and smiles,
grabbed my hand and uprooted
a daffodil,
which he held like a yellow balloon

thrusting my hands forward
and bowing to my knees, I waited
as person by person plucked
petunias from my palms

And when all my flowers
had been given away,
I stood up.

Looking at my hands in wonder
of only flesh and veins
I slowly ventured home, alone.
Laughing at my day-dream.

Walking silently down the street,
a gust of wind chilled my core
for warmth, I rubbed my hands together,
and gasped

as soil slipped through my fingertips
sprinkling seeds into
the cracks of the sidewalk.

October 11, 2010

Stop Should-ing on Myself

Considering I was in school for 22 out of the 27 years of my life, the fall always seems like the start of a "new year."  A time of year when I want to go to the store to buy freshly sharpened pencils and new notebooks and highlighters.  And a time of year when I want to set goals for myself academically and athletically. 

Although I am taking one class this year, I'm not enrolled in school.  Yet I still feel that itch to start fresh and set new goals.  So instead of waiting till New Years Eve, I'm making my new years resolution now. And one of my resolutions is to take a lot of my usual yearly-to-dos off my list.

Unlike some people who have bounds of energy and/or time, I realized (a long time ago) that I cannot "do it all."   And I'm finally learning that this is ok.  I can't cook all the time (or often), train for a marathon (or even a half), have a full time job, make weekly visits with my closest friends in and outside of the city, make new friends, spend quality time with Alex, have a disciplined writing schedule, spend quiet time with God, go to all of the hip places in New York City, take up painting, attend weekly meditations, volunteer, complete my homework, and research techniques for healing trauma victims.

My first reaction at not being able to "do it all" was slightly depressing.  I felt guilty taking life goals off my list considering that there are people in my life who appear that they can do everything and still function.  And if you are one of those people, well, good for you.  (Show-offs.)  But this isn't me.  It's not when I'm doing everything that I live up to to my true potential. My true potential only blossoms when I'm taking care of myself, and taking care of myself often entails a lot of letting go.

So my new years resolution includes crossing things off the list so that I can focus on the things that pertain to my simplest and deepest desires.  This year, I'm freeing myself from my pressures to be a good cook (or just "a cook"), to be in great cardiovascular shape, to find the trendy NYC spots, to take an artistic class, to go vegan (or just vegetarian), and so on.  I won't bore you with what I'm giving up...but there's a lot.  As my mom often reminded her children, "stop should-ing on yourself."  In sum, I'm letting go of what I think I "should be" doing.

And let me tell you, there is freedom in giving stuff up.

October 2, 2010

the arrived season.

I knew that autumn arrived today
the morning came too soon
and I awoke to the coolness of the tip of my nose

Tossing a knitted blanket aside
I slither out of bed, slowly exposing
inch by inch of me, my eyes still closed till
my toes shivered at the touch of the varnished wood floor

Rummaging through dresser drawers,
I find an old cashmere sweater,
and slip it over the bareness of my goosebumped skin
drafts of air tickle my hairs through its holes

smelling faint hints of burnt logs
I tiptoe through the stilled chilled room
the sight of light through windows awes me
its softness kisses dirty buildings gold

draping back the now yellow-lit sheers
I open the balcony door
accosted by the crispness of its coming
it dissipates the humidity of summer
still stuck to my lungs.

I breathe deeply my first breath
of the arrived season.