Del Mundo

A tattered nightgown draped across tiny feet.

A mussy-haired girl, abandoned.

She had holes in her being already.

There was the unmistakable clocking of bones when she moved. A reminder of those she had lost. A ghostly wind chime.

Masked cocoa eyes.

She craved dirt.

In stolen moments she would kneel and grab lumps of rich, moist loam and load them into her mouth. The grit, the richness, the sediment remaining of her buried loved ones was a taste of divinity. In brief moments, it filled her holes.

One bite: she can see her brother opening a coconut for the two to share.

Second bite: she hears her father singing and feels the humidity of the morning on her bed linen

Third bite: her grandmother quietly prays beside her, in the cemetery.

Last bite: she holds her mother’s hand as the two ind down the sandy path shaded with verdantly wild foliage.

For once she was full, for once she was completed, for once the cravings subsided and her soul quieted.

A shuffle, a snap of a far away branch, a distant murmur was enough to get her off her knees.

With a backhanded wipe of the mouth and the final resounding feeling of what peace and death feels like remained until the last pieces of dirt were swallowed.

Then again the wind could cut through her holes.

Then again the clocking bones haunted her movements.

And she wondered when she would eat again while her toes danced in the sweet earth.

A Looking Glass Hangs

“It’s dark inside,” she said.

But that didn’t matter.

Darkness was something to revel in.

Darkness was something to flirt with

Darkness was a lover.

If you inject moon beams into my person,

if you smear memories of sadness across my face,

if you howl, long and unending,

I will see you, though it is dark.

If you admit the wrongdoings,

if you celebrate defeat,

if you marry yourself to the present and the divorce the past,

I will see you, though it is dark.

If you claw the earth,

if you stand in stillness,

if you raise your head toward the cosmos,

I will see you, though it is dark.

And if you disappear,

if you blend in

if you give yourself to the shadows,

you will remain, though it is dark.

In Her Snarls

I have a rib cage.

Inside of it is a tigress.

She has a slinky stride, a menacing glare, and an apathy for anyone and everyone’s existence.

She snarls.

She flicks her tail in irritation.

Pacing. Pacing. Pacing.

A habit tantamount to a human’s clenched jaw.

Meditating on frustration. Brewing blasphemy. Creating agony.

Back and forth she slides along my ribs.

Waiting for that fortuitous crack. For escape. For anarchy.

But until then, she accepts her fate.

In her snarls you can hear, que sera sera.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Que Sera Sera.”

Seek to be Stung, Child

How often do we find ourselves reaching outside our comfort zone knowing, full well, that we will be stung? We are hedonistic. It is the way that the fabric of our beings has been knit. There is no getting around it.

Time spent doing things in leisure all seem to distract. A funny sitcom, silly pop love songs, scrabble boards, a predictable novel that you “just can’t put down”.

These are nothing more than blankets.

They cover and protect us. They warm us. They make us feel secure. They make us delight in the present as we created it, not the true present that made us seek those metaphorical blankets in the first place.

Franz Kafka said: “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.”

But why stop with just what we read?

Why not go out, emphatically, in all that we do, looking to be stung by something?

Why suppress the emotions that accompany a sting?

Why not be uncomfortable?

A sting is not equitable to pain. Pain is a broken leg or (even worse) a broken heart. A sting is a minor discomfort. That distinction ought to be made more clear.

It is when we take a step back, cradling the newly inflamed welt on our hands, hearts, minds, dreams, goals, relationships, careers, likes, dislikes, and souls that true change can occur. Because like healing, it does occur.

So seek to be stung, child.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “That Stings!.”

I Can’t Help but Pull the Earth Around Me

Moving to a new place is always accompanied by a whirlwind of feelings.

There is a rush in doing the simple things like errands and chores. The scenery is fresh. The people are, in some indescribable way, different.

It’s invigorating to be alone.

Every time you set foot out of the door there is the whisper of romance and adventure in the air.

Who am I going to meet?

Where will my path take me today?

What will I learn?

What will I fail at?

What will make me smile?

In all of the newness, the potential for grand exploration both in the world around you and in the person you think that you are becoming is seemingly infinite. And lovely.

But with all the shiny things you have around you, you cannot forget the place that you have left. It’s a bereavement. There is a grieving period. You have laid to rest the place that you once called home. There are fond memories and nostalgia when the newness of your current life come crashing down over your head like mighty waves.

Your home will forever be your home.

Courage allows you to pull the earth around you so that you can make your bed in a new place, to settle, and to cultivate your roots.

Pens are Not Bleeding

I have all the journals that I have ever written in my old bedroom in my parents’ home, including the ones that were covered in Winnie the Pooh stickers that are filled with nothing more than unsent letters to my then best friends asking if we were, in fact, best friends and, if they were, would they like to come over to my house for a sleep over.

The scratchy handwriting of a novice writer soon transforms to one that is a grown up mix of cursive and print with frivolous worries and thoughts similar to the sleep over invitations of my youth.

Worries about starting middle school, high school, college, and peace corps.

Big wishes.

Big hurts.

Rambles of nothingness that had to be put down on paper so that I could fall asleep.

A precious little book has always been near me, knowing its hiding place easily placated my jitters and wiped the tears from my eyes.

But when I lived in Zambia, when I encountered true problems, heartaches, fears, and pains, writing no longer was something that made me feel better. And now that I am home, I still can’t face my thoughts in written form.

Instead of healing me, writing reopened the wounds. It was easier to push the memories out of my consciousness than to put the memories on paper.

Why would I want to relive the difficult days that I had been through?

Why would I immortalize those memories of loneliness or troubles?

It became easier to forget.

Will I regret not documenting two years of my life? Will I one day in my old age yearn to remember clearly my home and my life as a young 20 something?

Will writing ever become soothing again?

For the first time in a very long time, I have no journal, diary, or precious book hidden under pillows or in shallow desk drawers and I am not sure what to think of that.

If my pens are not bleeding in precious pages, then what is bleeding?

Pivot

I jumped straight from fall into summer, from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, from delightfully cool evenings to sultry sunsets.

And now again I am waiting for the world to pivot. Waiting for fall again.

I have never found that my wanting and waiting for the seasons to change to ever be disappointing. There is something magical that accompanies the slow yet noticeable transition.

I love being able to tell that the sun has moved in the sky.

I love noticing the different times for sunrise and sunset.

I love the fruits and food that accompany the changing seasons; popsicles for the summer, anything with pumpkin in the fall, traditional holiday food in the winter, and bright happy greens in the spring.

I love the firsts. The first day of a hot summer sun, the first crisp breeze and twinge of orange in the trees, the first snow falling, the first warm day after nothing but gloom.

The seasons always give us a reason to look forward to something. Whether it is a momentous change or simply being able to see the daisies pop up again. The world moves whether we like it or not. We are stuck to her.

It is forever our choice to halt our own journey to change or to simply just pivot.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Turn, Turn, Turn.”