I’ve missed you, and yet, some time away was exactly what was needed.
At home in Utah it snowed most of Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day – big, soft flakes that settled on a quiet world. It was just my dad and I this year. We started the morning with meditation, then a leisurely breakfast and gifts in the late afternoon. The pace and stillness of the day was an obvious contrast to every Christmas morning past. I reminisced on the holidays of childhood when my sisters and I would eagerly bound down the stairs before sunrise to see if “he” had come – evidenced by a consumed glass of milk and always half-eaten cookie. “Santa must be so full of cookies by the time he gets to our house to only eat half,” I would think. Sometimes I’d venture outside to see if I could make out in the snow where his sleigh had landed on our roof. Most always I found the hoof prints of reindeer.
How I miss the confidence I had in magic in my youth.
When we knew everything. Me and my BFF Kristie celebrating eminent world domination the evening of our HS Graduation.
Write what you know.
This idea has stuck with me ever since I devoured the book Little Women in middle school. Jo, the protagonist, agonizes over writing a swash-buckling tale of derring-do. When her short stories are published, they receive little attention. Jo’s editor suggests instead she try writing something more personal, something from her heart. After some offended guffaws she pens a novel about growing up with her three sisters, aka Little Women.
As I’ve embarked on my own writing, the only place I know to start is with what’s in my own heart. Sometimes this gets me into trouble for being too honest, too transparent, and perhaps exposing those who’d prefer to remain anonymous. But it is not my wish to write for shock value or revenge. I share my experiences because I’m compelled to do so, and because I believe that writing is what I’m called to do.
I write about my love life, my aspirations, my fears and even my finances, but I have not written about social issues. Topics of race, oppression and sexuality have felt too monolithic for meager me to approach — best to let the PhD’s and activists in the world tackle such important issues. What could I possibly add to the conversation?
Maybe from living in a city steeped in years of activism or maybe from waking up to my own Blackness, I’m realizing how deeply flawed such beliefs are. Not believing I have something to add to “serious conversations” is indeed a mark of my own social conditioning. Am I not a living, breathing human living in a chaotic, confused time? Do I not walk as brown-skinned woman in a world where such distinctions are a liability? How could I not have something to say?
Stacks of books on my summer reading list collect dust near my bedside night table.
Several weeks have passed without posting a blog.
My journal, a trusted resource for organizing, documenting and finding inspiration, has not received my thoughts since May 24th. I just re-read it:
“We danced together. We ate oysters. We went to a ballgame and he bought me a hat because my head was cold. We rode our bikes. We went wine tasting. He’s kind. He listens to me.”
As you may perceive from that entry, I’ve been distracted.
What my heart holds I dare not reveal for fear it will float away. It is, you see, a tender dandelion puff.
Somehow, this small, delicate thing has dipped my world in honey—everything viscous, sweet and a little shiny. I have no interest in attending to the commitments of my days as I want nothing to do with actual doing and instead to lie naked wrapped in blankets reveling in this glow happening inside and all around.
What this puff contains I will not convey, but I can’t help but feel.
In Silverlake this weekend we climbed the hills
And looked over the city bathed in rose gold and twinkle
The urban tangle
Where a tree’s stillness or shimmy forecasts the weather
sturdy black wires from here to where hold crows caws and
slope down then up through trees making it difficult to tightrope walk
Long honey fingers stretch in at 4:00 p.m.
the same time the man arrives looking for Kimberley
calling out above the soundtrack of Drake, the ice cream man and the every-so-often ricketing of car over speed bump
This, all of this
laid out from the comfort of the duvet
Remains my favorite scene
I spot him surveying his territory from a fence post
A misstep, a crunching leaf, and my location is compromised
Green eyes land squarely on mine
A roar, then a leap from his perch
Without pause he makes his way
Carrying, I hear, a weapon of disarmament
A contented hum intensifies as we assess each other
He, my firm legs, warm body ideal for an unabashed howdy-do
Me, his fine orange coat impressively decorated in autumn
An alliance forms with the discovery of the mole hole
You grinning imbecile
Don’t you know the candy was collected?
The last candle snuffed?
No more Elsa’s or Vadar’s or Minnie’s will run up your steps
It’s just the regular folk today
Who made you smile, then left you here
Under a November sun