Every Holy Electric Jolt

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I want to watch your expression
painted with pleasure,
as your body moves over mine,
pushing further and further
along that hard edge of self-control
— until you explode into
a billion tiny points of neon light.
I want to see every shudder
and every holy electric jolt
written in your eyes.
I want to catch every part
of you as you float back
to earth like the bits and pieces
of last night’s fireworks.
I want to hold you until you
knit yourself together again.
—–
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Light and Darkness

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Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
(excerpted from “Winter-Time” by Robert Louis Stevenson)
—–
Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.
(Junichiro Tanizaki)
—–
Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity. By day, space is one with the earth and with man — it is his sun that is shining, his clouds that are floating past; at night, space is his no more. When the great earth, abandoning day, rolls up the deeps of the heavens and the universe, a new door opens for the human spirit, and there are few so clownish that some awareness of the mystery of being does not touch them as they gaze. For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars — pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time. Fugitive though the instant be, the spirit of man is, during it, ennobled by a genuine moment of emotional dignity, and poetry makes its own both the human spirit and experience.
(exerpted from chapter eight of “The Outermost House”, by Henry Beston)
—–
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
(excerpted from The Sound of Silence, by Paul Simon)
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Today is the day I will celebrate Yule, and my Winter Solstice. I have been thinking a great deal about the longer nights, the insomnia, the shadowy days, and the lack of the sun. Truth be told, I miss her light, her warmth, and on those days this month when she has shone her face and warmed me, I have made an extra effort to get outside and soak her in.  I am eager to turn that corner of the longest night and head back toward the light, to chase through the woods at sunset as she sets fire to the tops of the trees, and warms my skin! But I’d be remiss if I left it at that. Because I am also the girl who loves the darkness, and welcomes the night, even the insomnia. I find it is a gift, to steal an hour or three of shadowy silence for spilling ink and writing poetry, is one of the great pleasures in my life.
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Darkness intrigues me, calls to me, begs to be celebrated. I have felt this way since very early on in my adult journey into a new experience, a new identity and spirituality that was fully my own. I remember long ago reading a post on a blog by Poppy St. Vincent, about being a woman who in the spirit of Lilith, chases her own darkness… “Maybe sometimes she has children now but she has a life away from them as well. Maybe she loves but does not obey without question. Maybe she walks her own path, thinks her own thoughts; she has the distinct smell of trouble about her. Maybe she is so restless at night because she has such dreams of desire that they will not let her rest.” …it resonated with me so deeply, that I long ago wrote about it, and that call to leave the warmth of hearth and home for a while, and chase my own darkness down the shadowed paths under moonlight. It truly changed the way I identify myself.  I have learned to embrace the darkness in me, and yes, to revel in it. I am both Raven and Moon. My blood runs inky, and I seek out the nights, the shadows, the forest paths where I run with my Wolf. We explore that darkness together, and yes, these things add depth, poetry, adventure and a spiritual richness, a “religious emotion” as Beston says. I am deeply fed by this act of embracing the night, and the darkness that is an intrinsic part of who I am, and how I’m made.
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I have been meditating today on this longest night, and on ways to celebrate it in my own way. I will, of course, attend a small Yule celebration, and with friends and like-minded acquaintances, I will join in the ritual, light candles, make music, and welcome the light in that circle. Today alone, as I have no other day this year, I wear about my neck a chain from which is suspended a small silver charm shaped like the sun — presented to me and to all in attendance at my first Yule ritual. It seems an appropriate reminder of the light that shines in even the most troubling times, and I need that perspective. My year has had its share of heartache, and even today, I am going through a sort of darkness that I do not relish, do not chase. I am comforted knowing that it will not always be so dark as it is now in that sense. I recall for myself in these ways the truth that light is coming.
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Still, my desire is to embrace that light while also honoring the darkness… like a chunk of snowflake obsidian I carry in my pocket some days, light and dark in the same small space, both creating beauty. I will carry that stone with me tonight, and I will spend some time in the wee hours, reveling in the absence of light. I will turn off my electronics, my light bulbs, blow out my candles. I will breathe and be grateful for the shadows in my life that define beauty, and provide contrast to the brightness. I will relish the stillness, the sound of silence, the quiet of four in the morning — and after a while, I will light a solitary candle, and I will write. I will do what I was made to do, what is in my blood, and bones and DNA. I’ll spill ebony ink onto my pages, to remind me that darkness too, is truly my old friend.
Candle out

This Kiss

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there’s this kiss
lingers on these lips
tugs this smile
clouds this mind
like a jar of fireflies
on this summer night

POETIC FORM: SHARDORMA

Shardorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. – See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poets/shadorma-a-highly-addictive-poetic-form-from-spain#sthash.bn2uFi5o.dpuf

The Morning After

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“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”  ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I didn’t write in May. Not a poem, not a blog post, not a journal entry.  I was too exhausted, too empty. Some days I didn’t even make it out of bed. I’m not too sure I wrote anyone a decent email, save the ones I wrote to “him”. We spent much of the month of May, and part of June conversing in emails and text messages, and sorting through the rubble of our life together. This might seem an alien sort of undertaking. You may think me a glutton for pain, or too kindhearted in my efforts to honor my heart, and my love for a man who after five years made the choice to end our relationship because his other lover insisted he choose or lose her. The truth is, I’ve wondered whether it might be easier to just hold my anger tightly, and walk away. In fact, I tried to do just that. In April, while they were on their honeymoon in Ireland, I spent two weeks fortifying my decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt by these two people I’d once promised to love forever. I was spent, and could not bear any more. I was relieved at the silence after six months of turmoil and grief. But I did not stay there.

 

For me, there is a rightness in finding understanding and healing after such a traumatic, painful breakup. The truth is, the work is hard. I finally had the chance in recent weeks to share some of my deepest hurts from this experience. I also heard some of his deepest hurts, and accepted my responsibility for some of his pain. I can tell you, it sucks. I’ve spent days, crying, sobbing out that pain and frustration. I’ve talked about what we’ve learned, what we would change, and what we will do differently going forward. I’ve heard things that made it very difficult to hold onto my own self-righteous anger, and things that pushed me to acknowledge humanity and a need for forgiveness and understanding in those who hurt me.

 

I have learned how to ask for help, and I’ve enlisted some help in healing my own life. I am living again, being productive, creative and active. My heart is stronger, and “he” is my friend. I’m learning to be  good friend to him. Maybe, somewhere in the future, there will be a friendship with “her”. I don’t know. I just know that I feel good about the work I’ve been doing, and I can see light at the end of this dark night. The sun is coming and I can’t wait to feel her warmth on my shoulders. Life is good, even when it hurts. I’m glad to be here, in the light.