Tag Archives: writing

Kindness is brave.

I have an idea.

Kindness is brave. Honesty is brave.

Today I texted someone:

“Thank you for accepting me for me. And for being okay with me speaking my mind and sharing my feelings. It is so frustrating that people today still get annoyed or afraid or angry when a lady is brave or ballsy or has good ideas or accomplishes something. That frustrates me to no end…”

I should NEVER have to apologize for being kind or being honest. I shouldn’t have to be afraid of what people will think.

Yesterday I gave the man I’m dating a present for his birthday. It was a tea kettle. With a box of his favorite tea. And a small frame with his two New Year’s Resolutions framed inside it, resolutions he had shared with me and written through emails earlier in the New Year.

His response to my birthday gift was: “You’re too kind.”

Well, I say that’s bullshit. I say the world doesn’t have high enough standards for kindness. I say the world needs to be more kind. Because being kind, especially as a woman and especially these days, is socially perceived as weak, inferior, or embarrassing.

But what we if we flipped that judgement on it’s head. What if to be kind was to be brave. What if to be honest, to share your feelings, to tell the people you care about the truth, what if that was to be brave.

I have an idea to start something. It’ll start small (but what if it grows?!).

I could start by taking some of the following actions:
-Creating a website that will have resources, inspiration, and art that showcase the bravery of kindness;
-Creating an instagram account that will visually share these resources, art an photos, reminding people in their every day lives that kindness is brave;
-Designing small poster prints to give out/sell;
-Enlisting artists and friends to make public, urban art;
-Hosting small events such as discussions, speakers, story sharing, and nights of inspiration;
-Printing stickers to give out to spread the word;
-And designing and screen printing t-shirts and sweatshirts for friends/to sell.

I see this as being a hobby, a way to fulfill my #yearofkindness that 2017 is becoming, realizing that I mean both kindness to myself and kindness to others.

I want this whole city to think about what it means to be kind, why it’s so challenging, why so many people aren’t, and why so many people are afraid of it. I want to challenge this city to be kind, because kindness is brave.

What if all bad things that ever were and ever are and ever will be is simply just a lack of kindness…

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My open hands

Everything around me is falling down,
sleepily,
and facing crisp death,
heads turned upward toward the moon,
toward the heavens,
to the universe,
but my broken pieces
have come back to life,
have made me whole. I am wide awake
watching death
with a smile.
I want to touch each delicate piece
of death with grace,
graze them with my fingertips
and my lips,
brush up against them with my chest.
See how death sparkles,
see how it shines,
but I still don’t want it,
I will still let it’s confetti pieces
fall toward the ground from my open hands.

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What if I can’t be the light

Lately I’ve not been who I want to be.

This year has been challenging in so many ways: a tough relationship with I man that I cared for deeply and had much in common with, but we were up against his drinking problem, a general lack of long-term chemistry for us both, and my inability to trust; my insomnia; healthy weight loss followed by gaining it all back; yet again losing myself in a relationship and thus losing sight of what’s important to me; an all around personal lack of self trust and self love; a diagnosis of anxiety and being medicated on Zoloft for it, which may or may not be related to a scary amount of hair loss and thinning; my closest friends moving thousands of miles away; the struggle to balance being kind and having grace with speaking up for myself and being myself, and the fear that perhaps I’m not as kind as I thought; weekly physical therapy appointments for far too long costing more than I can easily afford to try and fix the knots in my back, ulnar nerve entrapment in my elbow, and a labral tear in my shoulder; growing pains and growing frustration at work; the realization that my parents are growing old and deteriorating in health; fear of being a woman in a city and country where sexual harassment is rampant and where our own human rights as women feel jeopardized; and the feeling that I am letting myself down, over and over and over again.

I so desperately want to be kind, to trust myself, to believe that I am enough, to be able to love and trust a man, to not be terrified of the possibility of heartbreak, to truly believe that I will be okay, to be able to deal with my anxiety, to be able to sleep at night, to do what I say I’m going to do, to not be living paycheck to paycheck so that I can pay my bills on time and pay off my credit card debt, to not let others down, to be a loving and caring friend, to grow, to eat healthy and exercise, to be smart, to challenge myself and not fear failure, to write, to finish my novel, to travel, to find my soul, to feel at peace with myself, to enjoy time alone with myself without feeling lonely, to run fast after my dreams, to try spoken word on a stage in public, to excel at my job, to be a good example for others, to help those in need, to be happy, to do the things that I love doing, and to be the light.

My life is a complete mess right now and with all I feel I’m up against, I don’t know where to start or how to do it. It seems exhausting, and what if I don’t succeed?

What if I can’t be the light?

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Letter to the Universe

Let me be all that I am:
stand me up on mountains
so that I can stand for myself,
teach me to scream, loud,
so I have something to say
and say it well. Show me staircase
after staircase
so I never get tired of climbing.
Give me days of rain so I fall in love
with the sun. Give me nights of loneliness
so that I appreciate love.
Let me feel heartache
because maybe hearts were meant to be broken.
Show me fear and death and sadness and brokenness,
strength and heaven and hell and wisdom.
Show me that I am invincible.
Show me that I am not invincible
because comic books aren’t real.
Cause me to bleed and cause me to heal.
Create in me a child of your reflection:
of the blue skies, the ragged sea, the wildflowers,
the mountain streams. Beat me up, turn me over,
make me give it everything I’ve got.
I know you do this because you have made me strong.
And I know you won’t give me anything I can’t take.
But sometimes I wish you would show
a little grace.

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345 West 15th Street

Heat lightning, my Nana’s
lullabies and her gentle snoring
in the other thin bed across the room,
gulls with names and stories that we gave,
like George, like Tom the ice cream man
who gave me a ride around the block
once in his ice cream truck,
who would give us the damaged ice cream
for free. Mistakes, lessons learned,
my first kiss that tasted far too salty,
so much so that I ran to the bathroom
to wash out my mouth. Picking up
buckets full of snails from the Bay,
feeding stale bread to the ducks,
swimming up and down the lagoon
training for a lifeguard job
I would never get, sending messages
in bottles no one would ever read.
Chocolate ice cream cones with sprinkles,
watermelon lips and sunburnt cheeks,
learning to ride a bicycle for the
first time and running head on
into my neighbor, sun bleached
hair and cigarettes.
But none of that is there anymore,
it was all washed away, covered in mold,
sold for so much less than it was worth.
And my grandmother lies at the bottom
of a hill in Philadelphia,
still waiting for her headstone.
I can’t hear her snores anymore.

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My own lion

I don’t wear jewelry.
Perhaps it’s because
it feels unnecessary
or like I’m flaunting something
that’s not my own good heart.
Perhaps I don’t like standing out.
Perhaps I’m scared.

Today I bought myself
a $78 dollar necklace.
It’s quite beautiful
and I do love the way it looks on me.
It makes me look thin
and fabulous,
two things I am not.

The necklace was meant
to be a reminder
to myself to be at peace,
to stand up,
to be first
to be selfish
to love.
It will be okay. I will be okay?

Today I typed into my
computer as it glowed in
the midnight air
“how to practice self love,”
like it’s a magic trick
I could teach myself overnight,
like some clown in some circus
that frightens little kids.
that runs from lions.
It doesn’t work that way.

I need to stop running from lions.
I need to be my own fucking lion.

“Rise, like lions after slumber…”

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I’d be your poetry

If I could be anything, I’d be your poetry:
I’d be the words on the tip of your tongue
the sound that rests on the soft spots of your lips
I’d be the phrases you remember and too soon forget
before you can write them down into your own eternity
I’d be the lovely sentences that come to mind
when you’re standing naked and vulnerable in the shower
and when you just start spouting poetry –
the words that are lost down the drain with the dirt of the day.
I’d be the smile on the side of your face
the pillow under your head when you sleep
the freckles on your back
the sunshine that lights up your eyes when you first awake
the softness that frames your days –
the poetry that makes up the love buried down in your heart.

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Santa Cruz

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I think of biking around Santa Cruz and I think of you.
Wasted clouds on wasted days.
Do you say good morning to the Universe?
Do you let it kiss you as it pulls you out of bed?
Cherish those moments: the sunshine,
the cool breeze, the laughing gulls.
Cherish the freedom, the summertime, patience.

I hear wind chimes singing in the middle of the city
where they don’t belong
among the hustle and the honking
and I want to tell you about
how they bring me joy.
I want to never forget the way you kiss me.

I know everything in this life,
in this world,
in this small, full, slow, too quick existence
is temporary.
Every night the moon grows or fades,
and the sun will rise again.
But everything else,
it is here for us and me to appreciate now,
and not beyond it’s own significance in time.

I hate that I am such a damn pessimist.
Why can’t I just accept what is, and appreciate it, and not worry.

I will never be ready for the sun to set before the day wants to end.

I’m ready for the continuous awakening,
the continuous light,
the stillness, the peace,
the never ending comfort that keeps my heart beating.

Come with me to the ocean,
stand next to me
with your hand in mine
and your toes touching the sea
looking out at this great big world
that we would give anything to save.

Let the sea remind me to be hopeful,
that I alone am responsible for my happiness,
but that I can let you in too.
Let the sea remind me that it is okay to feel happy,
and it is also okay to be angsty and unsettled and restless.
That it is okay to feel and I should never apologize for that.
Let the Santa Cruz sea remind me that I must
appreciate the golden while I have it,
and strive to stay gold,
glowing like the sun hits the top of each breaking wave,
glowing like the too hot sand that burns the bottoms of your feet.

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Poetry

I.
My soul,
my well-being,
should always come first.

II.
It can’t be my fault
if I didn’t do anything wrong. And I AM
good enough. I am better
than good enough for myself.
I am strong.
I am the perfect person for
my own story.

III.
The carcasses of Christmas trees.
The cold caress of falling snow.

IV.
I am tired of being strong,
not that I want to be weak.
I just want to be.

V.
For once I want to be weak
for once I want to be vulnerable
for once I want to just
feel it all
feel the universe
feel without being ashamed:
I want to be strong in my vulnerability.

VI.
Some days are a struggle. Some days
you don’t want to be strong, don’t want
to carry that weight on your shoulders,
some days you want to just let it all fall.
Some days,
you don’t want to force a smile,
don’t want to wear eyeliner
and pink lipstick
and rouge on your cheeks,
don’t want to pretend that everything is okay.
Some days are for pain,
for letting yourself feel hurt,
for crying.
These days make the golden days all that much brighter.
Some days,
life is messy
and that is okay.

VII.
I’m tired of
pretending everything is okay,
of being the perfect woman – or
trying – let me wear my bitch face,
let me wear my regular, contorted,
angry, disconcerted face
without you labeling it,
let me be mad and angry
like everyone deserves to be,
I’m tired of looking fabulous,
I’m tired of trying too damn hard,
I want to be allowed to
not look pretty all the time – or trying to –
I want to be ugly,
to be messy,
to be vulnerable,
I want to be able to lie on the floor
shivering and shuddering
as my tears pool by the sides of my face,
whimpering, screaming, punching walls,
and not be judged
because you have felt that way too.

VIII.
What am I doing with my life?

IX.
I am living.

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Love letter

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Take me back to San Francisco
take me to climbing up city mountains
they call Bernal Heights
with sidewalks made of staircases
and lined with pink flowers
I have never seen so pink
in my life.
Climb until your calves ache.
Take me to the feelings and the hip
take me to the tacos of the Mission.
Take me to the towers to the tourists
to the scrappy figures and tempting touches
along Ocean Beach
to the baths of the too fancy Cliff House
to midnight diners
bike rides
and convertibles.
Take me back to seeing the Pacific
on the other side of the world
for the first time
to the ghosts of hippies to flowers in hair
to dream-laden dusty golden merry-go-rounds.
To sunshine city lights and fog.
Take me back to standing on top of Angel Island
State Park and walking along with my soul.
Take me back to getting lost.
Take me to those feelings
to breathing in the ghosts of Kerouac and Ginsberg
in the heavenly stacks of City Lights
and waiting
hoping
and holding your breathe
that Ferlinghetti would
walk out of his
too high secret office and take me with him.
Take me back to cappuchinos
and Washington Square.
To camping on top of the World
at Steep Ravine on Mount Tam
fear of sliding into the sea
or rather
the sea would come and take me right downstream
towards the glow
under the big glistening bridge
and straight to Jack Kerouac’s heart.

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