the water bearer

I love pouring my heart out into other people.

I just do. I am over the top. I will sing you songs. Write you letters. Buy you books I think you would like. I will carve out time for you in a place that feels like there’s none. I will listen thoughtfully to your troubles, help you carry them to the river as you trust the water to wash them away. I will ask for the words that lay in the deepest, forgotten back corners of your heart. I will ask for you to speak them aloud, and I will tell you mine. I will build a shelter around you so you feel safe to bare it all—shadow and light. When we lock eyes, you will hear the language only souls speak. The love I pour into you will transcend time, and you’ll know when you feel it still 15 lifetimes from now.

Yes. I love pouring my heart out into other people.

For that fact I’ve had to learn the hardest lessons in boundaries, self-worth and codependency. It was so easy filling everyone’s cup, but when it came to my own it stayed empty. I starved myself of love in the pursuit of love. The road back to myself, to my center, with not just a cup overflowing but a fountain, has been long and arduous. But I cannot doubt that I am here, swimming in a self-love and inner knowing affirmed by my ability to handle the outer chaos around me.

To fill my cup I had to be honest with myself about many things. Most especially about when I’ve given only in expectation to receive. When offerings came not from genuine love, but manipulation born from wounding and fear. To face myself, my fear, disappointment, grief and shame and sit with it, hold it and release it is my most difficult task and greatest teacher. The healing comes in waves. It’s a practice. It’s a road you walk with no tangible destination, but a feeling. I don’t walk it alone. Anytime I lean on a friend, cry on a shoulder or open up my heart to show a place unhealed, I am met with compassion. There are no words to describe the love I’ve found in my friendships. True friends, soul family, are willing to see you in all ways that you are. They put you on no pedestal. There’s no distorted vision of your being. They just see you, and that’s enough. Whoever came to your mind as I was describing this, please text or call them ASAP. Thank them. Tell them you love them too and see their light.

Back to my point—I do not desire to hold back, and I do not have to. If you are like me, a romantic, a lover, a poet, a wordsmith, a mystic, a dreamer; let your nature roam free. Work with the inner leanings of your soul rather than against. It is possible to pour your love into people and have boundaries. If someone cannot receive your love, you must redirect it back to yourself. Don’t let the rejection of your offering become a challenge to offer more, and don’t let it scare you into stopping your love. Like I said, redirect. Redirect! Redirect it back to yourself, to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your mentors, humanity.

Also pro-tip: pouring yourself doesn’t have to be a rushing waterfall. It can be a slow trickle. Until you learn more about someone. Until you build trust. Until you feel safe. Take your time. This is a lesson I learned recently, thankfully. I’ve always known “Love cannot live where there is no trust” (a quote said by Cupid from one of my favorite Greek myths). Yet there I was time and time again pouring my love into strangers who had built no trust with me. I so often let chemistry and the wonderful intoxication of connection lead me down long winding paths of up and down whirlwind romances that only led me back to myself, worn out and wishing for something more.
Things are different now. They’ve been different. It’s easier to say no. To say take it slow. To say this is what I need. To say this is not enough. It’s peaceful, and I didn’t have to sacrifice who I was. I simply became more of it. More love. More strength. More boundaries. More self-worth. More commitment to a clearer vision of what leading a good life means to me.

This world is changing rapidly with no end in sight. It’s surreal, devastating and dizzying. But please, hold onto who you are at your highest self. Hold on to your values. Hold onto what values you. If you don’t know what or who that is, be curious. Remain open to discovery. But also don’t worry about being centered all the damn time. This is not Zen 101. Nothing about the current state of the world is Zen, okay? I talk about centering a lot, but to center is to be in a moment. The action itself is fleeting, but the feeling is eternally within you and always accessible to you. A moment of reconnection while we traverse the complicated and unpredictable landscape of life that lays before us. Negative emotions come and go. Positive emotions come and go. They are not who you are. Every now and then practice reaching your center however you want to do it. Do you paint? Do you run? Do you write? Do you laugh? Do you hold your child? Do you go for a drive? Do you sing? Do you lay in a field watching the clouds slowly pass by, ignoring the ant crawling on your arm because hey, maybe he’s watching them too and you don’t mind the company? There are so many ways throughout your day to touch this part of yourself that is full of maitri (loving-kindness for oneself). The moment before or after it maybe you were crying, screaming, checked out, sulking, grieving. Whatever it was, all are okay. Truth is, you can center yourself and the absurd fact remains that although you have an entire universe inside your head, you’re simultaneously one of many little beings hurtling through space and time at inconceivable speed. So, for the time you’re here, as challenging or delightful it may be, who do you want to be?

Because I already told you about me. I love pouring my heart out into other people, and I’m learning to be more myself in a way that’s healthy. I love holding space for healing. I love seeing all of who people are, even in the darkest and deepest of ways. I love remembering the little things no one notices. I love my solitude and losing myself in my senses. I love green and being surrounded by it. I love new ideas and the buzz of brainstorming the limitless. I love storytelling. I love philosophizing over coffee. I love eating cake with my best friend at two in the afternoon just because we feel like it. I love walking in the rain. I love being vulnerable. I love so, so many things and people on this weird little planet. Finally, I love owning exactly who I am and stepping into the power I have to change my life, in both the smallest and largest of ways.

So, yeah. That’s who I am and going to be. No matter what happens.

the eleventh hour.

When I write love poems it feels like they belong to some wild combination of every lover I’ve ever had and those I’ve yet to meet or even imagine. I’ve been thinking about it, and I believe this has a lot to do with my Venus in Sagittarius in the 11th House with Scorpio on the cusp. The planet Venus of course ruling our love and relationships, sits in Sagittarius in my chart. Sagittarius being the fiery archer who shoots first and asks questions later, led by a higher faith and devotion, sometimes to a fault. Both the student and teacher, Venus in Sagittarius has molded me into a lover of learning, expansion and growth in all forms of relationship. Sagittarius trusts and embodies it’s truth, knowing embarking on a voyage in the basis of that truth will always be a journey worth taking.

It all lives in my 11th House. The 11th House is ruled by Aquarius. The house of the collective, friendship, innovation. It is a house of our highest hopes and biggest dreams. It shelters our wishes before flinging them forward into the world in vibrant anticipation. It’s the house that reminds us of the importance of how we are all interconnected. Mix that with Scorpio in the 11th house and it becomes an intense, transformative desire for deep relationships/friendships, trying to fulfill an emotional depth (but after deep self-reflection I’ve realized this is a depth I can only fill myself).

When I reflect on my poetry and try to pinpoint it to one person, it’s hard to do. I can be inspired by a particular situation, but once the words come out it’s like they weave through the spiralic timeline of my life, reaching out and caressing each soul who has ever touched my life and ever will. I am grateful for this expansive view of love. I am curious as to where it is leading my adventurous heart next.

How closely have you looked at the planets/placements in your chart? In what ways do they act as your muses, informing your creativity?

The next 11 poems/prose range from 2015 to now in no particular order. I didn’t pick that number by the way. It just ended up being that many I chose to share. Love it. (11:11). This is a glimpse into what my heart looks like in evolution. Ever changing. Thank you.

1.

You break my heart always

at the same time of year

the delicate in between

of winter and spring

spring buds and blooms

winter frosts and consumes

it’s a war

that I can no longer bare to watch

I know the warmth is coming

I am tired of having to learn this way

2.

come speak in stars with me

our mouths housing entire constellations

planets dripping from our tongues

where every word echoes

of some distant universe,

pulling us into its gravity

how could I communicate

with you

in any other way

than through the heavens

3.

It’s always a mourning process.

A morning,

process.

Purging you from my bed.

I see no trace of you

on the white linen

But I feel remnants of you

within the threads.

4.

You see
I am trying to forget

every smile,
your lips slightly tugging at the corners of your mouth
every freckle,
I counted when you laid asleep next to me
every brush of fingertips
when we reached for the same thing

When did we stop reaching for the same thing?

You see
I am trying to forget

the lights reflecting off river water
how your hands shook
until they met my waist
the way you pushed your hair back
just slightly out of your face

You see
I am trying to forget 

all the ways you said I love you
be it in this alphabet or another

You see
I am trying to remember

how beautiful I am
how the curves of my body never need to meld again to yours
for me to feel love

You see
I am trying to remember

how gentle I am with lovers hearts
and how rough I’ve been with my own
I’m asking for it to forgive me

You see
I am trying to remember

what I deserve
how to center myself
how I am full

I didn’t depend on you,
I just simply wanted
you

I ask, 
“When did it stop?”
“Where did it go?”
You tell me you do not know

And I too, 
wish I couldn’t recall

5.

In my eyes,
everything is short term. 

My existence is less than 
a quick glance between forbidden lovers.

But I remember standing by the river,
laughing in between kisses,
bodies slightly shivering 
from a midnight summer breeze,
or maybe just nerves.

Meeting you,
standing next to you,
laughing with you,
kissing you,
holding you,

has made me believe in infinity.

6.

Straddling your lap, your hand in my hair, breath hot, your laugh, my smirk, color rising to my cheeks. That is when you tasted sweet. We were ripe for love. Now we sit on opposite ends of the couch, rotting.

7.

Looking back on it, I should’ve squeezed my thighs around your head harder. I never caused you nearly as much pain as I did pleasure. But you paid me back in both.

8.

I like boys who taste like winter.
his fingertips venture across my exposed skin. 
with each touch, I feel a chill, a spark,
a bite.
he makes the tip of my nose pink and the color rise in my cheeks.
he whispers, you are not delicate.
I wonder how he knows, but I do not need to wonder long.
because winter is harsh, unyielding,
callous.
yet here I am, waiting.
the next avalanche will come.
it will not bury me.
he’s right, I am not delicate; I have conjured storms too.
there are worlds within ourselves that the other must never touch,
but we do so anyway.
enveloping each other in brumal wrath,
bare skinned, 
bare boned.
I fear we may shatter when we touch.
and then,
like an early spring melts the soiled snow, 
his lips soften when they mold to mine.
and I 
feel
warm.

9.

holding you is like the fluttering of tired eyelids

light

and heavy, all at once

an irresistible surrender I can’t help giving into

together, we dream

together, we create

entire worlds neither of us could’ve imagined alone

when I wake I fear I will not remember,

so half asleep I reach for you,

instinctively you pull me closer

I can hear you

humming in your sleep,

whispering my name

over & over & over & over

I think to myself,

“no, no,

I could never forget this”

10.

I love the way you lure the laughter out of my mouth.

a symphonic composition,

you tell me, “this is a soundtrack we could build a life to.”

with the slightest movement of your hand you conduct the desire through me.

I follow you, in time, matching heartbeat to heartbeat.

how long until it stops?

“shhh,” you whisper as if you’ve read my mind.

you probably have.

“stay, here in it, with me.”

I nod, I smile,

here comes that laughter again.

my entire being shouting,

encore,

encore,

encore.

11.

I’m not sure what Heaven is like

but I imagine

it’s reminiscent of the way you’d quietly open my bedroom door,

shedding all your winter layers

in the effervescent glow of my television.

slipping under the sheets,

curving your body around mine.

your longing for me

pouring out of your skin.

a sacred transference.

an eternal unity.

a primordial inner calling,

much older than us, taking over.

unable to sense any separation,

we’d ascend as a soulful ensemble

in a loving, all-knowing safety.

I imagine Heaven

is something like that.

golden.

The windows are dirty. It’s golden hour and the ethereal light is filtering into my bedroom through the spotted glass, undistorted. I should really get to cleaning them. I should really get to a lot of things. But in this moment, as the light flows in, all I can think about is how my chest feels cracked open, but it doesn’t feel bad. It doesn’t feel wrong. It doesn’t feel painful. It’s simply overwhelming. It’s as if whatever is pouring out of me must be purged, and the only thing making its way back in is Love.

Of course it hasn’t always felt like this. It’s been heavy moving through inner turmoil. It’s always heavy, like swimming through sludge, so thick and deep you can’t feel the bottom. The trauma wants to latch to you. It’s BEEN latched to you. You keep moving through it hoping to come out clean. You always come up with some of it still sticking to you, even if it’s minimal. It’s those types of wounds, the ones that creep up on us, that leave us shocked and spiraling. We don’t even know they’re there until a lover reaches for us. Even though their touch is gentle we recoil instead of coming closer, because it hurts. It’s that kind of heavy.

But all of this soul work has revealed to me a power so incredible, I cannot regret diving into the depths. I say revealed because I have never been without it. You have never been without it. It’s just that sometimes we refuse it. We refuse to use it because it makes us too responsible for our own state of mind. But this evasion of responsibility for ourselves, specifically our emotions, leaves us feeling powerless and imbalanced. Satisfaction, stability, acceptance, manifestation, peace and strength all lie in one place–your ability to choose. For me it echoes through everything I do. Everything I create. Everything I am.

A choice to begin again.
A choice to see it differently.
A choice to put inner peace above all.
A choice to change the narrative.
A choice to love anyway.
A choice to embrace sadness, to caress heartache, until they begin to resemble something like joy and hopefulness.

It is liberating. For example, I was so sure this entry was going to be sad. I just knew it! I thought to myself, I am going to write today, and boy is this one going to be a doozy. It is going to hurt because today I am in IT! It being the sadness. But here I am writing (physically writing in my journal because that’s where entries on this blog often start), and I am smiling. I am radiant. I am optimistic. I am full. How? I suppose after working so hard to consciously choose not to dwell, I’ve finally begun to subconsciously choose it. Make no mistake, I choose to feel my sadness. I feel it, honor it, divine with it, and I kiss it farewell. At least, until we meet again, in a different way for a different reason.

Emotions ebb and flow. Healing ebbs and flows. It all comes forth in us, begging to be felt. So I make my choice. The water of the wave recedes, then builds up. Silently, I sit and let it swell. I feel it without judgment. I inhale, exhale. Within the crest is all I carry and through the crash it is released. The waves come at different intensities and varying frequencies, but they always come. I choose to experience their arrival as a blessing, a baptism, an awakening.

Golden hour is fading. The sun is setting. It’s light is now merely a dimming ember on the horizon. Twilight will linger in the sky until the night comes and dresses her in stars. A tiara of constellations. It will be beautiful. The windows are still dirty, but my vision is clear, and all I can see is Love.

endless

Everything about you, feels like a miracle.

And when I say you, I mean you,
and you,
and you,
and you.

I mean us.

I mean every connection you’ve ever made,
be it for a moment or a lifetime.
Or lifetimes.
(Meet me in the next).

I mean every smile,
from the one that tugs at the corner of your lips,
so delicately they never even notice.
To the one with all your teeth bared,
laughing maniacally from the bottom of your belly.

I mean the way flowers burst out of your chest,
every time you open up
and let someone a little bit closer than expected.

I personally,
especially,
love the daisies.

Never stop blooming.

What is it that e.e. cummings said?
“I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
It is divine to experience how they beat in the same time measure.
A rhythm,
steady and true.

I beg of you,
never stop writing this song.
An endless melody,
let me dance until my feet give way.

And then, you’ll catch me.
You’ll catch me.
You’ll catch me.