“Just at the Start of Six”

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My day was highlighted by three random bits today and although I always have more to say, the small things often make the biggest difference.

I woke up to a text from a friend talking about the insecurities of being in relationship. “So many relationships are dictated by the insecurities of the people involved. How they interact with each other, how they interact with other people. So much so that things like saying ‘I love you’ are said more to reaffirm the other party and themselves rather than because that’s what they want to say…I was thinking about this trait and I guess I realized the ideal place for a relationship would be to reach a place where those insecurities are no longer present…Anyway…all I really wanted to say, free of any feelings that I have to say it, was I love you.”

I love you.

Not many believe me when I say it, but to have those that do means I am able to start my day with messages such as this. Never pass up the chance to say what you want to a human you love.

On an equally important and slightly less deep note, I have found the place where lambs reside. They are freaking adorable…provided they are on that side of the fence and do not belong to me.

I made two friends at the park today. It’s been a while since I heard the phrase “Do you want to be my friend?” I remember saying it as a little girl, it was the cornerstone of my playground adventures. And just as I remember, it let me leave with a smile.

I make a very good prisoner apparently while playing Cops and Robbers and The Floor is Lava has been modified so I’m a lava monster when I fall in, but I’m healed once I’m not in the lava. I see no downside. The day was made better when I was able to walk away with this lovely bit of wisdom:

“Don’t forget your toilet paper, Alligator!”

Truly words to live by. Trust us.

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Perhaps I will at some point be better able to capture the majesty of this place, but for now this will have to do.
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It’s adorable! (it’s the fence that makes it so. I promise.)
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Beautiful moments in quiet spaces

 

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Passing Eternities

“Each time you love

love as deeply

as if it were

forever

only nothing is

eternal.”*

Young people are often told that we go scurrying to each other’s arms in search of physical affection and from a lack of self confidence. It is assumed that we cannot establish deep relationships. I have been told on multiple occasions that relationships are only worth the end result. Basically, if I cannot see myself with this person for a very long time, than why date them at all?

And to some extent all of these things are true…for some.

What if I said I go into relationships expecting them to end? I’ve gotten negative reactions to that statement. Many seem to think that it means the quality of the relationship will be poor. Is it because people automatically think that it will have less commitment?

What if commitment didn’t mean undying loyalty until the end of life, but mutual understanding and support until there was an decision to find a more healthy way of living? What if the pain that resulted was not something to be afraid of, but something to learn from?

I have NO intention of belonging to someone.

I suppose it could be said that I am missing the point of relationship by asking for something that I refuse to consider permanent.

But since when has there been a point?

I am seeking connection with people and through connection, be it friend, romantic, or familial, you grow and understand. When you make a friend, you do not walk into your interactions thinking This friendship is only as good as the length of time I have it for and that length should be forever. You realize that it will shift based on your mutual needs.

I desperately need relationships of many types in my world.

But in no way do I need them to feel whole. My being will never be defined by another soul, no matter how we choose to work together, but I will love them with all I am able to give for the health of all involved.

 

Clearly the only thing I am searching for is someone to hold me. Can’t you tell?

 

*A stanza from Audre Lorde’s poem “For Each of You.”

Justifying Why

“You don’t have to justify anything, Abiel.”

That is probably only the second time I have had someone stare me in the eyes and say those words with that much force.

I justify everything, expecting that the standard I hold myself to is the standard that others expect of me. And inevitably when I don’t meet my ridiculously high standard I start justifying to everyone else why I am the way I am or what happened or whatnot.

Below are three statements I have been afraid to make public to certain circles of my world for fear of having to justify. I’m not going to justify them.

I believe in God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, but also many aspects of other belief systems. I do not call myself Christian.

The LGBTQI+ community is one of the strongest I know and I admire the risk it takes to be who they are in the face of blatant human rights denial.

I’m not going to get married.

I love you all!

Welcome Friend

It’s a beautiful little space. Not out in the country like the one I have spent all my time in previously, but one that is cared for, full of light, and traditional in a way that feels familiar.

I walked into a room with straight backed chairs arranged in a semi circle of two rows. The little table in the middle had a guest book, two small vases of flowers, and some pamphlets that looked as though they held the thoughts of people who cared. I was instantly aware of the eyes that were assessing me as I entered. Not out of judgement. Most don’t do that in this circle. They were gazes of curiosity. Visitors aren’t terribly common, especially rather young ones with blue hair.

I found an easily available seat, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. I’m home.

I have said it before and I will never hesitate to say it again: the Quakers are some of the most badass, incredible people you will ever meet. They call themselves Friends and are honestly the most apt community to do so. Quaker acceptance, generosity, and desire to change the world radiates through words and smiles, but most importantly it is shown in their actions. The Friends work to change the world, and their efforts are visible.

I had one of the most wonderful mornings with the Wellington Friends. A warm thank you to your meeting for showing me the kindness that would be shown to you at the Visalia Meeting. I am grateful for my new community.

You are all being held in the Light.

i want to rush that.

One day I’ll look back on this and smile because I will know that things are better now and I had no idea what was coming. I thought this to myself as I quickly made my way into a library bathroom stall, praying the place would stay empty for a while.

Then, I sat down on the (surely disgusting) bathroom floor.

And sobbed.

My already stuffed nose and sore throat were simply exacerbated by this rather inconvenient endeavor. I could feel the salt collecting around the corners of my eyes, stiffening eyelashes as I struggled to explain to my mom why I felt so sad.

It wasn’t because I was missing home. I searched through my mess of feelings trying to find the beginning of the knot. Is it wishing to be in California? Definitely not. Is it feeling completely alone? Not even that. Is it I’m afraid? Nope.

I felt as though I was trying to untangle a kindergartner’s yarn project; I was dealing with something that had no intention of ever being undone in that way.

Finally I found it.

I just want to belong. I know I am home in beautiful Aotearoa, just as I am home in California, but I want to belong. I want my community of people who shift through conversations with me and are seeking to live. I want to feel as though I have a purpose for being here. To have something I can pursue in the form of a job or a class or a workshop or skill. I’ve spent a good chunk of the past two weeks setting goals and intentions for myself. I’m creating the lifestyle that I want. I know I am.

But as I stumbled into the women’s toilet, I felt the weight of small difficulties, large transitions, and no consistent friends outside of my wonderful hosts, (who really are probably the best possible people I could be with right now). I simply cried, knowing full well that it would be better soon, and also ready to bite the head off of anyone who tried to tell me so.

And in my very hard moments through the day, I had people I loved there to talk me through it. This is one grand adventure.

But f*ck today was hard.

I went to the National Library though and the Central Library. I stood on a fuzzy map of New Zealand. I read poetry and bought myself hot chocolate. I looked at bus passes and considered where I might go next.

I let myself be.

After all, it’s a very big change and we wouldn’t want to rush that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well we would, but it’s probably just a better idea that we find a quiet place to cry and people who say “I love you.”

Beautiful Things & Big Swings

Ha. I get to say it first.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Cause on this side of the world, it’s your birthday.

The world is better for the forty-one years you have spent on it. Truly. Every day I walk by memories of our time together in this beautiful beautiful place. Every day I smile because of the things I am able to do as a result of your teaching. Every day I get to think “Man I’m lucky that my mom helped me out with that.”

You say this time will be spent showing me where you went wrong. I say this time will be spent showing me how I can now follow my right. Because if you f*cked this up, than you did it the best way I can think of.

There are lots of favorites that you fit into or gave me in my world. My favorite touch is a healer’s hands. My favorite moment is whichever one makes me happy. My favorite thing is people. My favorite phrase is “beautiful things.” My favorite life philosophy is live in the moment. My favorite action is traveling. And you are my favorite.

I love you alllllll the way to the moon and back. And that’s very far. Even farther than I am physically from you right now so I think we will be okay. In all our wild differences and all our silly triggers, I’m not really going anywhere and I love listening to you. Have a day as inspiring and soul expanding as you are, because that’s what you do for everyone else.

Happy Birthday, Emie

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Front Porch Cactus

Setting poetic intention aside, there are days where I wish I was more like a cactus and less like some kind of flower or whatever image I am that draws people I really have no intention of ever talking to or caring about into my world for far longer than I really care to even think about them.

just saying.

Maybe that is why I’m not afraid of being old and having parts of me not working properly and turning brown, while other aspects are just beginning to grow. Because once I reach the age where I actually look 80 or so, I can say whatever the hell I want and watch the world either accept it, pass it off as nonsense, or listen.

Some might say I voice whatever I want anyway.

I don’t.

On my worst days I curl up in a ball on my bed wondering what it would be like to tell pieces of the world that no matter what you tell me, I will do exactly as I choose. I will sit and do nothing. I will push myself to places that your nightmares are too scared to go. I will let my heart scream bad words and not get married and walk slow kilometers with my thoughts chasing passing cars. I will search for the chaos that my brain is desperately asking me to avoid. I will.

 

 

And yet, I always come back to this: I love too hard to always say what I think and my furiously perfectionist heart wants to do things right.

And so my cactus spines will remain largely hidden, because maybe this way, I can make the world a little kinder.

 

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life is beautiful

And so I picked flowers. They’re sitting on the counter in a tiny yellow mug. Their white blooms poking over the lip of their vessel.

And so I stopped in an art gallery. I made a mental note to return to this particular space. Art is a form of home for me and so with each new gallery, I feel more and more comfortable knowing that I can find these places wherever I go.

And so I took deep breaths when my back caused me to limp to the bathroom. I know it will heal and with each passing day I learn more about my injury that allows me to let pain go.

And so I felt a melancholy smile when I missed my mom deeply. It was both an eternal and fleeting moment. I walked home craving a conversation with her and thankfully I got one.

And so I engaged a librarian in conversation about graphic novels. My reading list expanded and my backpack weighed more with the promise of curled legs and quiet smiles between well loved pages.

And so I pulled my adventure buddy into a steampunk shop. I thought of friends at home as my wide eyes took in the corsets and handmade hats.

And so I blushed when I didn’t know how to use the bus system properly. Mix ups of the new country kind are inevitable. I’m just glad mine occurred next to someone who knew what they were doing.

And so I ask for a hug from a friend as my tired eyes pull forth small tears. It’s a new season and in no way will I pretend that life stops its hard moments for fascinating new places. I will however keep saying ‘Life is beautiful’ because no matter where I am, I believe that will be true.

 

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Turmeric Coconut Kombucha

I got the fairy lights to work

Quiet laughter

From tight embraces

Small smiles

And large eyes

 

I get to watch

A new way of life

Wrapped in routine

And seeking something beautiful

 

There’s tea if you like

The set is from

My grandmother

It’s quite pretty isn’t it

 

My brain just doesn’t

Work like that

I’m constantly

Solving problems

 

I’m hungry

I made it

There’s our favorite bakery

It’s gone so fast

 

Lifting more

Studying long

Whiskey sips

And puzzles unsolved

 

Little gardens

And guitars

Moroccan lamb

And love

 

Have you planned

Your next adventure?

 

 

(Featured photo has been edited)

My Batsh*t Crazy Love

I’m fairly certain most would say love is a tricky thing.

And in many ways it is.

I say love is the essence of Life.

Love is wanting to know a person so deeply that you spend years pursuing their friendship. Love is reaching into your child’s soul and saying “I see the pain I caused you, may I listen to it?” Love is telling your friends “I see your agony as you try to keep sh*t together. I give you permission to say all of it, none of it, somewhere in between, and I will not tell you that you need to do anything about it.” Love is trying to see how someone’s past is contributing to their current behavior. Love is saying “Wow. I have never thought about that before, and I’m not sure I agree, but for you I will try to understand.”

Love is seeing someone, acknowledging their humanity, and touching them with a piece of your soul. Love is the effort taken to notice the beautiful and to give space for the hard. Love is smiling at those who pass by. Love wanders. Love pauses. Love moves forward. Love changes and yet stays the same. Love demands that you love yourself before you are able to honestly love another.

This is how I define true love.

Raw. Difficult. And created to understand.

Don’t delude yourself that all of love’s purpose can be found in one person. Next to making a plan, that is the fastest way to make God laugh.

Trust me. I’ve heard it.

 

(The featured photo has been edited.)