Sea of Strangers

Uncategorized

Today I want to talk about strangers.

We live in a world full of strangers. They walk amongst us, thinking all sorts of thoughts and guess what: You’re never going to know what goes on in another person’s head.

Just stop it, right now. Stop thinking that you’ll ever know anything outside of yourself. It’s an impossible feat. A task unworthy of your time and energy. When it really comes down to it, we are all strangers on a train to nowhere. Maybe you think they have got it all figured out. You know who I’m talking about. Them. They. Others. Not you basically.

Bullshit.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Shout it out loud if that helps. The smartest person in the room is the smartest person in the room because you gave them that title. At this current moment in time I work in a profession where everyone is clawing for that title in particular. I sit in the back of every staff meeting watching the birds pick at each other, grasping for worms.

Sometimes, when the moment drifts and their voices mute I can see right through the walls to the trees outside. The wind scrapes against the leaves and wisps by my face with an exciting aura of unpredictability. That’s when I know they have no idea.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I’m back. I smile, and I know what really matters. Me. My thoughts. The mirror that makes me is the one I choose to look at, not the other way around.

As I continue to listen I am no longer afraid of my own voice. My mouth opens. I speak. And it really does not matter what these strangers fucking think of me.

 

The Fixer Upper

Uncategorized

When I was very young the world made me afraid of mirrors. That world had many names: Magazine, Television, Mother, Sister, Friend, Enemy…Men.

Like many, I grew up in a world that made my face a priority above all else. At twenty-seven years old I still struggle to see past the lines and the shape. Every curve is too curved or perhaps not curvy enough. Things are never in the right place. People are always too pretty, too smart, so much more of everything and so much better than the girl my parents made.

Does she sound familiar?

She has to. I’m not alone. I’ve never been alone. So many came before me. So many will remain after me. I am just another picture on a wall. Another girl starring at her portrait with confusion in her eyes. She’ll ask herself who lingers in the frame because it can’t be her. It can’t possibly be her.

I was twenty-seven years old when I self-diagnosed myself with body dysmorphia. I’d heard the word thrown around for years, but I’ve never liked labels. I’m the quiet type. The good daughter. I’m the one who is ok. The one people talk to when something is wrong. And if I’m that person then I can never be diagnosed with anything.

It’s amazing what we do to ourselves when we are sleeping. I’m not talking about the kind of sleep that happens when you rest your head and close your eyes. I’m talking about the waking sleep. The nightmare we carry around and call our dreams.

I dreamed of being skinny. I dreamed of perfect skin. I dreamed of nothing else for more than ten years. Now I wonder about the moments I lost when dreaming was my waking state and sleep was the relief.

There’s an old song I listened to recently. The lyrics claimed that ‘time is on our side’. It’s a beautiful song but I don’t for a minute believe this statement. Time has no voice, no name, no particular preference for anyone. Time takes no sides.

A moment, however.

A moment can always be on your side. It takes a single moment to shift your thinking from mirrors to trees. Lately I’ve been thinking about grass and the way it feels beneath my feet. What a relief it is, to be free from my face; the lines, the shape and all the comments people make.

Change is a slow monster, however. It growls and seeks sustenance but can never quite find it’s fill quick enough. When I call myself a constant fixer upper I truly mean it. The ‘house’ so-to-speak, never has the right paint or the precise furniture I need. Everything is shuffled around in circular fashion, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards and at times, sideways as well. When ‘fixing’ becomes your default state one thing tends to happen: life becomes a marathon and you never seem to leave the starting line.

I was eleven years old when I first became vividly aware of my body. Before that day I was certain I knew it well. I was certain it was me. I didn’t hate it because I didn’t really think too much about it. I was never removed from it. I never thought of it as clay to be prodded and moulded. Like all things in this world, that idea did not last very long.

Sitting on the front porch were my parents, smoking cigarettes. This is one of those memories that’ll probably stay with me till I die. It’s one of those memories that no longer exists for them, but somehow managed to claw its way into the front of my brain. I can recall wanting to impress them with my reading ability. My mother had recently purchased a book of poetry and I was so delighted by my ability to read it. I’ve always had a love of words and I desperately wanted to show them all the wonderful words that I could pronounce.

I read a poem and they watched. God knows if they were listening. When I finished I was proud. I expected them to be proud as well. I think that they were. I think they thought I was probably pretty smart. If only that was enough though.

I’ll never be rid of the moment when my father turned to my mother and said, “don’t you think she needs to lose some weight?”. I was standing right there, and I might has well have been invisible. I can recall my eyes glancing down across my body. It was the first time I had ever scanned it for flaws. And to think, all I wanted to know was what they thought of the poem.

The title of the book: Poems of Forgiveness. I’m not even kidding.

Kiss my ass Irony.

 

 

 

Anne

Uncategorized

There is a young girl

who stays with me

beneath the the trees

and trickling streams

~

She sees a star

and gives it a name

~

As though it were

the only light

to ever grace

the sky this night

~

I thank her for

her love of words

and they way they walk

along our tongue

~

Softly

 with such purpose

folding into prose

and poems about the sun

Down she goes

Uncategorized

 

Who are you really

in the surface of your mind?

For your depths remain a secret

sprinkled into the night

like fragments 

from another world

You have inherited time my friend

as tired stars do rest upon

your bed of endless woe

You wear the face of a fading comet

seeking out the villagers below

And like a magnet meeting the Earth’s core

your smile bleeds 

towards the black 

beneath the trees

Plummeting 

reaching desperately for the sun

Long gone it is

from your hands

and so far from a time

in which you called it friend