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.

two sides, same coin

For when I’ve been the heartbroken…

I accept your rejection. It is a blow to my ego I can more than withstand. I accept your rejection, and I wrap the wounds with gauze stitched from years of learning self-love. I accept your unwillingness, your inability, your reluctance because sometimes things just don’t “work.” This is one of the most frustrating yet incredible miracles of the human heart. (Because when it does work, it’s magic.) 

I accept your closed heart, because I know what it’s like to not be able receive what I cannot give. I accept your lust, your desire, your drive to consume me but not keep me, not SEE me. The hunger that leads you to this bed will never be satiated by flesh alone. It is deeper, wilder and more transcendent than that.

I accept you will find the love that fits you just right in another’s heart. I accept that this is no reflection of my own ability to love or be loved. I accept that I will also find the love I’m building within reflected back at me in someone else. My Person. A miracle. A human, flawed and free, probably somewhere right now laughing deeply, grinning wildly, running their hands through their hair, completely unaware of the wonder that awaits them. I accept this, even though I had wanted that Person to be you—I accept that it is not. 

For when I’ve been the heartbreaker…

I accept that you are angry, and there is no amount of poetic words I could string together to salve this hurt. I accept that you have loved me—do love me—and I have you, but I cannot stay. I accept that you may say things or do things that are reflections of your pain, and I will take responsibility for the part I’ve played in it. But I must hold this boundary, and you must let me go. I accept that I have no control over how you react or how you heal, I can only let you know I support you (and I know, even that stings).

I accept there is no simple, non-messy way to leave someone and also stay to ease the wounding. I accept I must put a distance in a sacred place where I once only wanted closeness. I accept the strange intimacy that comes with sitting in silence with you, after the tears and before I go.

I accept our friendship may never recover. I accept that time heals all wounds, but does not always deem healthy that we stay in each other’s presence. I accept that life is cyclical, and this cycle may close for this lifetime. I accept that I was happy. This was good. I was in love. I also accept that I am not anymore. But I will be again, and so will you.

This is the grieving, the unbecoming, the healing and the loving into something new. A threshold I cannot cross until I accept, all of it, in it’s heavy and holy totality.

I accept.

I accept.

I accept.

Thank you.

nouveau départ

Two fraternal scars decorate my inner ankles now. The left cut went deeper than the other—born at the same time but different. Both there all the same. I never wear those boots, but I wore them that day. As we walked around the lake you asked me if they were comfortable. A light question in a heavy conversation. Between our words the silences lingered markedly. With anyone else I would’ve said it was uncomfortable, but with us the silence is never necessarily unwanted. I’ll admit, my cards were held so close to my chest I wondered if the Queen of Diamonds would imprint onto my heart. Would that make me stronger? In truth, my only real longing was to reveal my hand—in blind faith, in devotion, in one last hope you’d reach out for it.

The material of the boots dug into me. Our feet trekked along the paved path, but where were we really?

I stared straight ahead.

I could barely look at you the entire day.

Did you notice that?

I sighed.

It was beautiful, all of it.

The lake, the birds, the people, the trees.

The way you and I were strewn out in pieces like it mattered; as if we had any chance of making this better, as if there had ever been anything to make better.

We always speak in so many words. I blame our Mercurial moons. There had never been anything to say. From the moment we met, what existed (what exists) between us was never meant to be talked about, it was meant to be felt. To be known.

And now, all we needed to do was hold each other, and then let go.

Hold, and let go.

Hold, and let go.

I wanted to stop walking, it hurt.

I wanted to stop talking, it hurt. I didn’t know it but this wound was still being made. We were picking at scabs that hadn’t even formed yet. So, you asked about my boots and I replied they were fine.

“Comfortable enough.”

All the while I was bleeding, the entire way through.

~~~

Present day

The nonfiction piece above is so different to look back on now. It is an echo of someone who was on the brink of a huge upheaval. This past me wanted so badly to focus all her attention on those around her because then she could avoid what was really happening. There was so much I was still learning, still healing, still struggling to accept. I didn’t want to see how hurt I was. How hurt I had felt my whole life and continued to let myself feel. The pain I felt had a root so much deeper than my present situation. That situation, like so many before it, was a sad symptom of many larger issues I needed to admit. Issues of self worth, self-respect, boundaries. Most of all my issues of expressing my needs/desires/truth and knowing when to leave when they didn’t align with certain people. While I had been diving into this work prior, all of 2019 forced me to realize how much deeper into myself I needed to go.

I needed to see all for what it was, and decide where I would go from there. I needed to realize control isn’t a part of the equation, but acceptance is most certainly the answer. I needed to stop surrendering my personal power and with it responsibility for myself. It had become natural for me to hand my power over to circumstance when what I really needed was to embody it, believe in it, embrace it, celebrate it.

This power. My power.

Power of perspective. Power of choice. Power of forgiveness. Power of acceptance. Power of humility. Power of radical honesty. Power of unconditional love.

Now, I can say I know I am doing my best. I am weaving a life full of equal parts messy and joyful moments. It is both a dream and a sobering reality. I am standing here, in my power, still with two fraternal scars but they have faded, and I am grateful. I am right where I am supposed to be. All of my glorious failures as well as my successes have contributed to this. I am ecstatic to be Here. I am so in love with all of it—the hurt, the ecstasy, the epiphanies, the quiet, the growing pains, the fluidity, the irony, the belonging, the questioning, the inner knowing, the solitude, the confusion, the release, and most of all—the roaring, unending wilderness of possibility.

I’ve held on tightly for all of my life to so many people, places and things. I was desperately reaching. I was trying to get a handle on something not one thing outside of myself could give. I didn’t understand, but I do now. The peace I long for is with me. I experience it in moments. I let the healing wash over and accept the work may never be completely done. But moving in this direction feels right, and I like that.

Hold, and let go.

Hold all in love, all in wonder, all in respect, all in gratitude, all in honor.

Let all go in love, all in wonder, all in respect, all in gratitude, all in honor.

Whatever stays is none of my business, but where I choose to stay is ALL of my business.

And I choose to follow my heart, to be led by my Soul, to trust in the Grander scheme. I must accept the risk that comes with such a choice, and I do, humbly. Don’t get me wrong—I’m far from alone in this. I am surrounded by miraculously supportive, loving beings. And while I know this is my path regardless, that fact makes this choice much easier. So thank you. You all know who you are, Family and Friends. I am lucky to be loved by you and to love you. I do not take you for granted for a second.

So here goes.

To something different. To living in authenticity. To discovering a higher Truth. To pursuing my Personal Legend. To allowing my heart to want what it wants and listening to it—wholly & presently—so I may embrace the untamed, magical life I am creating. To letting go, so I can more fully receive.

And So it is.

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.