close your eyes.

feel, don’t see.

i want your senses to play musical chairs and have sight to be the one left standing, walking away alone when the music stops.

see the words with the depth of so much more than simple, deceptive sight.

let the words dance in your spirit instead of across your vision

don’t interpret them with intellect; let them tell you their story through tingles and shivers.

feel them in the rush of your pulse or the exhales that leave you spent.

revel in the letters and syllables and lines on the pages as they cast a nonsensical net over your mind and drag you into their depths.

let your fingertips dance over the smoothness of the words, barely caressing them as you pull them in closer to you.

grip them harshly, devour them and savour them.

decimate them with your lust for what they harbour, what they hide.

feel how they squirm under the intensity of your scrutiny and discovery.

soak in them, immerse yourself, don’t dare to consider trying to find release.

taste the bitterness of them rise up in your throat as you try to swallow them down and make them disappear when they’re too much.

dive into the darkness, swim deep into the chilly waters they offer.

relish the sweetness of them as your tongue embraces their offerings to your soul.

consume them.

sit in the discomfort they show you as they rip apart the edges of where you try to hide.

be terrified of their depth, their height, their darkness, and leap into them anyways.

shudder as the goosebumps appear on your flesh as their libidinous morsels send shivers down your spine.

be deafened by the pounding of your heart as the words make you want to turn and run, 

uncertain if you want to leave them behind or cling to them and hold on for dear life.

be fed, be nourished, be saturated

by the anger, beauty, pain and brilliance that courses through your veins.

carried in the ink that is the beautiful,

rich,

dark,

life-blood of your syllabic circulatory system.


					

 I remember the first time I felt regret.
That’s not true. 
I remember the moment, the split second that was just before that feeling tore through me.

I can still feel the string that was tied to green balloon as it slipped past my fingertips.
It slid, barely touching me as it flew upwards,
the balloon, filled with helium, drawing it up and away from my grasp.
I had played the game for only a few minutes that morning..
It was silent outside in the early morning chill where I stood in my driveway.

Everyone else in the house was asleep as I had taken my balloon and wandered out.
Even at seven years old, sleep was always done for me far before anyone else in my house was stirring.

I had spent the night before playing release and catch in my bedroom and I was good at it.
I had held tightly to the string, letting the weight of the balloon bob against it as I tugged it lightly.
Loosening my grasp, I let it purposely slip away.
For a second, maybe two.
Until I would grasp and hold tight, catching the string before it was too late.
Stopping it from leaving me.
I was good at it. 
It never got away from me. 
I knew I could always catch it.
I knew this.

I stood in the driveway and shivered in the cold air.
I looked up at the balloon tethered to the string and at the endless sky beyond it.
I let my grasp loosen and the string started to slide through my fingers.

I tightened my grip.
Just a split second too late.
The string wasn’t in my hand anymore.
I saw it as it flew past my eyes and was gone against the bright, overcast sky.
All I could see was the bright green balloon as it lifted farther and farther away from me.
Out of my grasp.
Forever.

It wasn’t merely the loss of it that hurt.
It was that what I had done had caused it to be gone.
That it was gone because of me and I couldn’t take that action back.
There was no way to make this moment different.
That hurt more.

It’s been one week since I left home to find some peace and, more importantly, distance, from the last few weeks and all of the surrounding stress and heartbreak that they have held.

Today is my last day of solace in spending time with friends who are so much more than that; they are family. My last day before I am back on the road tomorrow and heading for home and the uncertainty that awaits. Today though, I am working hard to not think of what is there. Of what waits for me to decide and figure out. Instead I am focusing on where I am today and at the adventure filled next few days ahead of me and where the road will take me. 

A few days in Costa Mesa before being here in Phoenix have both settled me and brought up so many emotions that it has been a maelstrom of competing feelings inside of my spirit. Memories of past visits have flooded me and swirled up hurt and loss like I didn’t know, but suspected, they might. They came. Tears came, and went, and came back again. Through all of it through, what shone through most brightly (aside from the sun that threatens to burn my poor white skin alive) was the laughter and the love being shared and indulged in. A perfect example of life in a micro view. Hurt is there yes, but present also is joy and happiness and moments of calm and peace that I have not felt in far too long. 

I have vague plans of heading for the coast and travelling leisurely as I make my north. No real plans beyond finding places to stop that make me smile and enjoying the quiet of the car and the chance to spend time letting my mind wander as the miles pass behind me. 

I am working hard to embrace the space that is where I need to be right now and to sit with it and wander through it. To let go of the feelings that creep in that whisper to me that I have to figure it all out, that I have to have a plan once I am home. Right now, today, and in the next few days, there is just now.

One of the hardest things to do is nothing.

Sometimes you have to sit in the space that hurts. 

Sometimes you have to stay in, 

and be surrounded by,

the space that makes you uncomfortable. 

Knowing that inside that space is held truth and wisdom and guidance. 

Sometimes the only way that you can discover what action is needed is to give the voice the space to speak and be heard. 

That voice whispers softly.

The quiet is it’s harbour to find you. 

Sometimes what is needed to be done is nothing. 

To wait. 

To listen. 

To sit, and know it is where you need to be; where it is the only place you can be right now in this moment.

To observe and welcome what you learn from those spaces that you never asked to be in. 

The spaces and moments that you don’t want to be in. 

When it’s time, action and direction will be the right thing to do. 

When it’s time, you will know where to walk when you set your feet to the next path.

But for now, nothing.

Not the usual Day One road trip musings. Not the same as the last one, that’s for sure. There are some funnies, but there is more heavy than the last time my backside sat in the driver’s seat leaving my home area for a long run down the states.

For starters, this one is solo. Which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but it feels heavy on my heart today in so many ways. Maybe tomorrow it will feel different but today it’s impacting me and making my head and heart tumble more than the wheels of my car have so far on this journey.

My trip this time is for a simple purpose: to give myself time and space to heal and reset in a way that I am hoping will bring me some peace.

The previous couple of months have been tumultuous to put it mildly. June and July were filled with my work environment and dynamics finally reaching a crescendo that had been building since last fall. An issue that has taken a toll not only on me physically and mentally but also contributed to a significant impact on my personal life with regards to my relationship with my partner.

The end of July saw the end to my long term relationship, in large part due to the degree of work-related stress in my life and how it affected every aspect of my mental and physical health; how it then affected her and, in turn, us. 

Within a week, I had reached the breaking point at work and a full-blown breakdown happened on my part at work. Two out of the four front staff leaving within a week of each other had created a situation that found me covering long and extra days and with the pre-existing work environment issues, I simply could not deal with it anymore and a decision had to be made. For my health and sanity. To say that sounds dramatic but it’s accurate and not at all over-stated. I was unable to stop crying and could not eat or sleep. My health was failing and I was unable to even make it in to work at one point. The decision was made for me to leave my job as the work conditions could not be changed and the interpersonal dynamics could not be dealt with in any way that would allow me to stay. The last two weeks of August have been grueling with long shifts and extra work days but there was an end in sight as August 29th was my last day. Almost seven years of employment done. 

All things told, in the past month and a half I have seen the two most basic, grounding levels of my life gone; of my day to day “me” in many ways, ended. One far more important and having a much deeper level of hurt than the other, but both rocked me.

So, what to do? Nothing to do other than move forward and try to settle and try to figure out how to live with the changes. That’s all anyone can do when faced with change. That’s what I’m doing. I’m doing it hurting and sad and with no idea how it is going to look when the proverbial dust settles. 

The answer for me was a road trip. A chance to get away, physically, from reminders of life that set my head spinning. 

I started the day today with mixed feelings of excitement for the days ahead of solo driving (I love long distance driving) and anxiety over being alone with just my thoughts and no distractions. I hadn’t realized just how much I had pushed down dealing with some hurt until there was nothing to do other than listen to my heart. Ouch.

As the miles rolled by, my emotions jumbled as much as the roads curved and climbed. Landmarks from my last trip this was brought back memories that made me smile and cry at the same time (yes, I am a pro at driving while crying 😉 ). I was reminded by just how indecisive I can be when I couldn’t make a choice on where to stop for the night (800 kms and 12 hours was enough I finally decided and Roseburg, Oregon is home for the night now.)

I’m sitting here in my hotel room, with the TV on to add some noise to my quiet and plunking away at getting some feelings out on the keyboard. I have pie in my room fridge from the diner across the street and I am not in my car so those are two big happy things right now.

Oddities from today:

  • Best billboard sign goes to… “LUST will drag you down to HELL!!!” (Sorry, no pic, I was driving)
  • A very stern crosswalk signal (check out my instagram for the video)
  • A brochure for Cannabis Tourism (pic below)
  • What I thought was the last remaining telephone booth in existence (turned out to be just the booth, no telephone 😦  (pic below).

Tomorrow, heading for the coast and winding my way down to some very missed framily. California first, then on to Arizona. Soaking up the sunshine and hugs and love. All very much needed all around as we are all hurting from way too much lately.