This is an excerpt from “Here Is The Flood” — one of the opening pieces in my upcoming book Luminae. You can click play to hear me read the full piece.
I find that one of the hardest things to do is to try to speak about why I write. For me it’s about going deep enough within to a place where one can find the breathtaking beauty in pangs of sorrow, and terrible longing even inside joy. Whenever I write it seems more and more is revealed to me about the paradox of what we are as humans. Though I know I’ll never be able to grasp it in full, I believe somewhere in the search for myself lies the truth of who I am. It is that elusive truth which keeps me coming back to the page.
I hope you enjoy this piece. I hope it sparks something creative inside of you.
Luminae will be available on Amazon beginning November 15th.
In the dream, pieces of the body and face were coming away, large portions of the jaw, craters of flesh had been removed from the arm and the leg. Hair was coming out in plastic clumps though I did not appear to be losing hair. The full breasts were bare and whole, the abdomen white and shining. Teeth were coming out. Fingers crumbling away. It became impossible to function with effectiveness in the world with a body which was apart from itself, disappearing, disintegrating. I had become a film of myself as if projected on a wall.
Upon waking the joy of feeling whole was a deep crimson warmth. Some visions reflect light, some absorb. We are a constant, though everything is birthed to be swallowed again by the waves of a sea which heaves and vanishes. Each curl, each star, each hand to the mouth, an opening. Many will interpret dreams, they will have their own words, their own made up diagnoses which if you listen will tear your throat away from your voice, the only voice you need will be severed, rusted. Sink inside and reach with your mind into the heart, unearth yourself, till your soil, your seed, drink your own rain water.
The being which is the self knows. The being which had been closed off again returns, quietly. The human creature can dig into its own body and resurrect the spirit of secrets, the gauzelike whispers of things we have held bound inside the tissue for centuries. The messages pounded and spread into us through anguish and ecstasy. Grinding of bones, wails of anger, greed, unfathomable torture and pleasure. Those things which float within us which we clutch and release, everything we reach for we reach for inside this place no one else can see. We are coming apart in ways we have yet to understand. Collectively, privately. We have not yet begun to touch all we are designed to touch. The falling out is the beginning. Where we crumble we consume ourselves; bodies, shadows, servants of light.
The words come as I forget to eat and try to catch them
sand falls through time.
I hope you dream bigger than this.
I hope that you do not give up or turn to face
without tucking your fingers into the hands
of the light.
Hold them close when they are madness
let their voices sing in your mind
when they leave you for dead.
The people who come too close
The ones who leave
still teach if you can learn not to let fear
take you under.
This life as she looks you in the eye
is falling away from under your feet
do not stop
do not give up
do not keep the words in drawers
but if you need to
go away for a long time
and let the sea kiss you
I felt an overpowering need to be alone with something impossible to name. It had hands clutched full of the flesh of silence which multiplied without end. There was no one in that place. Everyone had left and they had each pulled one of its doors shut behind them. I was very alone. It was very dark, it was very peaceful, I was afraid. I was very afraid it would end and that it would never end. It was womanlike and dim, a love that could only breathe you out and breathe you in this way. It could only flower in solitude. It would only expose itself one to one, face to face, mouth to mouth.
A mysterious union which was without need for bodies, it was body-less. Forbidden and yet met with an almost primitive expectation. The pain and terror of all the world rested its head in this place.
An apex. A resuscitation.
It was a life invading itself where death had long been its only comfort.
I have carried the buds of a thousand gardens inside of me, many lifetimes have I been caressed against my will. I have produced and offered the milk and the honey, the fire and the water and the abuse. I have been unable to bloom, longing to encircle my thick vines around the precious feet of the marbled gray daylight. All I want now is to be alone with this unknowable thing and to let it feel me, I want to feel inside of it with my tongue, with my fingers, with my body and blood, with my consciousness and my subconsciousness, in waking and in dreams, to penetrate it with the poison which consumes me and give it a punishing pleasure. I want to stretch into its glistening web and learn to obey the strange fluid rhythms of its body-less pulse.
We speak too loudly and too often. We are murdering something which cannot leave. I cannot bear any longer to sleep outside of it. There is a place beyond this one, it lives inside. It hopes no one will come to the door. It hopes no one will understand its words, it wants to close in around itself and return the light to its tomb underground. It gives birth to its own time. It chews its own limbs and destroys its own space. It wants to make love to the darkness and water its wings with the tears that fall like petals from the last sighs of the last stars. It is perpetual. It does not name what it wants.
There have been chance moments within all of this, moments of madness and grace,
which I fear I will surely forget. But for now I am here with you and the twilight is sliding across your face. For now your eyes holding mine and the way our fingers become whispers become the lengthening of necks become flesh over the fragile bones of dreams come back to life, for now I will feel everything. I will shatter and I will expose and I will untie all the things about myself that I have kept bound in the dark halls of my petrified being for ages. So that when this moment has gone, when it has become part of the next, and these small things become smaller and smaller still as they walk the eternal distance of time, I will have been made into everything I could have become. Because I let it all in and I let it all go and this is the magnificence, and this is the miracle of the blood of the life we are invited to know, when life is allowed to open and to close and to flow.
I am learning to look back and see that every cycle, every phase of the things I have been through, they each needed the space and time and energy they needed. That is simply the truth.
There was nothing I could have rushed through and nothing I could have prevented because I was unfolding in two ways at once: in love and in fear of love. And these two streams were crisscrossing each other all the time exactly as they were set in motion. I made choices, of course, but each was made from that intersection of love and fear of love.
I can see that now, however briefly, however fleeting that clarity may be, I can see my life, my love and fear-of-love story, as whole. As complete in the way it met and did not meet my expectations of myself.
There is a place which is a way, which is a way of thinking about these things without judgment. It’s a center, a balance, we can seek out if we can trust ourselves enough that it exists. This place within is where we cut ourselves free, let ourselves off the hook for whatever we believe the past held for us. What it gave to us and what we gave in return can be what they are.
It is really tough to dwell within that clarity and it moves ever in and out of focus. But through some kind of madness or miracle, it can be done.