a reminder.

i've posted this before. but i'm beginning to think that when i sit down with my coffee each morning, this should be the first thing i read--as a daily practice, a reminder, the mantra by which all other mantras are eclipsed.


The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

in defense of self.

learning is a funny thing.
information builds on itself.

this year
(all two months that have hurtled by in one gigantic whoosh)
has been a time of exponential growth.
understanding what i want.
priorities and their placement.
what i believe and what i can live with.

the importance of praising one's self.
of saying to hell with arrogance,
this much i know...

it is important to be able to look at ourselves,
to turn the camera and look through the lens
and to focus on the good as well as the bad.

i'll be the first to say i'm not the kind of girl who...

wears matching socks
knows how to cook
has her life figured out

(the list goes on and on)

and that i like these things about myself.
and so i praise myself through what i am not.

but what about through what i actually am?

i wake up each and every morning and face my demons.
i look them in the eyes,
say their names aloud,
welcome them at my breakfast table.
i give thanks for the many blessings they have bestowed on me:

i take the time to examine where i am and what i want
and adjust to the teetering plate that is my life.
i am awake.

it was not easy to choose to step away from acting.
i thought of all the people i was disappointing,
of the four years of school dedicated to that one thing,
and all the money that went into it.
but i recognized that my health and happiness had to be
the first priority.
that if i were to every truly pursue acting,
the time away would be the most important and influential decision--a gift to myself
and my future.
and that it was a gift only i could give.

i recognize that it is not for me to judge anything harshly.
it is not for me to judge at all.
the path is long.
it wends and winds
and we cannot know where it will lead.

a friend recently asked what it is i want,
what is my goal?
i want to wake up every morning and feel like i've chosen my life.

i am not at a place where i know what the future holds,
but i am okay. with that.
i will live my way into it.
with eyes open.

the point is:
i am divinity.

"i am the miracle, i am the hand reaching out of the wreck."

we all are.

so let us praise that. defend that. live that.

quote from Day 4305
found in Jeffrey McDaniel's
latest publication
The Endarkenment.

he will know where to find you

Micaela of dolce vita (one of my very oldest and very dearest blogging friends--she's from Texas too and we're kindred spirits we are) brought the following chunk of poem to my attention:

taken from "At North Farm"
by John Ashbery

Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents,
   through narrow passes.

But he will know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you

oh Micaela, you know me so well. Perfection, the poem. 

and so all i can say is, okay,

images via vi.sualize.us


i've been feeling a little lackluster, myself and after A Cup of Jo's Joanna posed the question, what inspires you, I got to thinking.

well, lots of things. but sometimes, all i need is a really great quote

or to pull a play off the shelf and read aloud the scenes i've ear-marked

so today i pulled down the books of poetry by jeffrey mcdaniel, the splinter factory and the forgiveness parade

now, i'm not often a big poetry person. but his words constantly have me high-lighting and scribbling and starring in the seconds after they've taken my breath away. his stuff certainly isn't for everyone: it's not traditional or flowery, but it's potent in a really satisfying way. 

i was tempted to type out every poem right here. but i don't have the time. nor, i'm sure, do you. so here are fragments and favorites brought to my attention by my trusty magic-marker arrows, marked from years ago.

...but I'm just a broken promise in a pawn shop,

and this is just a secret that happens to involve you...

...I don't wish I was in your arms.
I just wish I was pedaling a bicycle 
toward your arms...

...I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle,
become the bad stars you chart your life by...

...I was prepared to chase

after you and whisper you have beautiful
footsteps when the truth is you make
my toes tingle like the capital of Venezuela.
I know loving me isn't easy--the all-night

helicopter parties, the glow-in-the-dark
haircuts, but when I look at you

it's like praying with my eyes....

...I guess there's two kinds of women.
Those you write poems about, and those you don't...

...I'm sorry all the kisses I scribbled 
on your neck were written in disappearing ink, sorry

this poem took thirteen years to reach you. Sometimes
I thought of you so hard one of your legs would pop out

of my ear, and when I slept, you'd press your face 
against the porthole of my submarine. I wish that just once,

instead of joyriding over flesh, we'd put our hands away
like chocolate to be saved for later, and deciphered

the calligraphy of each other's eyelashes, translated
a paragraph from the volumes of what couldn't be said...

...Some days I miss you so much
I'd jump off the roof of your office building

just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down...

...I hate when people ask if she even knew I was there. 

The point is I knew, holding the one-sided 
conversation of her hand. Once I believed the heart

was like a bar of soap--the more you use it, 
the smaller it gets; care too much and it'll snap off

in your grasp. But when Grandma's last breath
waltzed from that room, my heart opened

wide like a parachute, and I realized she didn't die.
She simply found a silence she could call her own...