I have difficulty finding the words,
the right syllables,
to tell you how much I love you.
After all these years,
I find myself at a loss to tell you what you mean to me.
It still feels like a month has passed rather than six years.
Taking my words,
the sounds that my mouth can shape,
I release them.
They float in the air in front of me,
like bright jewels that contain sunlight.
I let out a soft breath,
and watch as they make their way over to you.
They land gently in the palm of your hand.
As they pop open,
they release the words into the air,
the sound of my voice sings out loud and clear,
each jewel holding a word:
that’s still not enough.
I release more words,
more shining jewels,
and send them softly over to you.
When these land in the palm of your hand,
they release phrases:
You are a cool breeze when I am warm.
You are a warm fire when I am cold.
You are the rain when I am thirsty.
You are the sun when I can see only shadows.
You are the stars that help me find my way when I am lost.
these ones are better.
They come closer to describing my feelings for you,
the emotions that you stir in me.
They aren’t perfect and though the words come close,
almost capturing the depth of my love for you,
these words will have to do for now for they are all that I have.
I can only give you my heart,
containing all the words I have,
and hope they are enough.
I try to find myself
by going inward.
I make my way
past the barrier of skin
that holds a roadmap
made from scars and cuts,
each a reminder
of the road that I’ve been on.
I make my way within
and I can see objects
that litter the floor inside of me:
books and crystals,
each of them shining in the half light,
a tarot card that floats in front of me
so that I am unable to see
what it reveals.
There is the sound of music
coming from the cavern
and I’m unable to place the tune.
I move further into myself
towards a whispering sound
and come upon a sea of words.
The words are from the stories
I have yet to tell.
Interspersed amongst the words
are splashes of colour,
brilliant reds and dark blues,
vibrant purples, each colour a jewel
in the constant flow of words.
I reach down into the water
and run my fingers
through the words and the colours,
they feel electric on my skin.
I see a boat on the rivers edge
and I climb carefully into it.
Letting the boat take me where it will,
As it travels through the water,
the words making a soft whispering sound,
the light in the cavern grows brighter.
I look around myself
and I can see pictures moving
within the flow of water,
people that shaped me,
memories that I’ve held on to,
ones that have given me scars
and others that have taken them away.
I run my fingers through the waters
holding the thoughts I no longer need
and watch them disappear.
I’ve already learned the lessons
that they were trying to teach me.
The boat moves deeper within me
and I can see a light in the centre of a small cavern.
The boat stops in front of it and I get out.
In front of me is a ball of light
so warm and so warm
that I can feel the heat of it
from where I stand.
I approach it and the light zooms towards me,
and sinks below my skin in one quick movement.
It is the light that I’ve forgotten,
a part of me that has remained hidden
for far too long.
As I get back into the boat and head back
the way that I came,
I hold my hands up to my chest
where the light sits within me.
I move back towards the barrier of my skin
and I wonder if I will be able to feel the warmth
when I am back on the other side
and how much brighter
I will be.
“It’s just one moment becoming another.”
I clutch these words to my chest,
in hopes that they will
take away the sadness.
It has been my constant companion,
not a friend but not an enemy either,
over the past few months.
It resides in me,
a mantle worn on the inside
of my skin.
I can feel it growing bigger
with each passing day,
growing its fingers within mine
as if they are appendages of a tree.
Soon, I worry that it will
control my mouth and speak
only words of despair and lost hope,
or riddles that make no sense.
“It’s just one moment becoming another.”
I work at welcoming in the light,
the one thing that the sadness can’t abide.
I try to burrow down within myself,
much like the mantle of sadness has done,
and I locate the light.
I pick it up softly and blow off the cobwebs,
talking to it softly and whispering
words of encouragement.
I tell the light that it is beautiful
while I clutch the words to myself.
I can feel the despair
begin to fill all of me,
I’m so full to the brim.
I do the only thing I can think of
and hold the light
to my heart.
I repeat the words to myself over and over:
“It’s just one moment becoming another…”
Gradually my light begins to grow brighter
and I can hear music
over the sounds of water.
I open my heart
release the sadness.
It leaves my body in droplets that pour from my skin
and when they fall from me,
they are but small pieces of crystal
shaped like tears.
They remind me
that there can be beauty in pain
if I learn to let it go.
They are a reminder
that emotions are like the waves.
I can’t hold on to them.
They are but moments in time.
I look towards the future
and what the next moment will bring.
It was time.
I took a box
and got my novel
ready to send it off
to my publisher.
The bankers box
seemed too big at first,
a void of space too large
for a simple manuscript.
However, I knew that the space
would fill quickly.
I gathered everything up:
every cup of tea I had drunk,
all the candles I had lit,
every conversation that I’d had
about the plot and the characters
with my patient husband
looking like a scattering
of post it notes
shaped like speech bubbles.
There were several hourglasses for
all the time I had spent
trying to find my way
through the terrain of the story.
The box contained its share of shadows, too.
Every moment of self-doubt
that had filled me
during the writing of the book
went into the box as well,
looking like a thick oily mass.
I could hear it squelching wetly
at the bottom of the box.
It was trying to rise up
and coat everything else
that I had put into the box.
To counteract the black mass of nothing,
I slipped in some magic:
The dreams I’d had
while dancing with the words,
dreams that would follow me
into the daylight hours
until I was able to
capture them on paper
went into the box,
the dreams shaped like small clouds.
One of the last things
that I put into the box
is a sprinkle of dust
that sparkles like the moon.
I saved the light
that was made
from the spark of the idea
the novel became.
I sprinkle the dust over everything,
this dust that became the idea
that became the book
and it sparkles as it settles in
amongst the post it notes,
the candles and the cups of tea.
On top of all of this,
I place the manuscript
wrapped in a protective envelope.
I give it one final pat,
a small gesture of farewell,
and as I place the box lid on top,
I remember everything that went into the story,
all that the story took from me
and all the pieces of myself
that I picked up along the way.
Sadness is difficult.
It creeps up on me
so that by the time
I find it living within me,
it is a surprise
to find it there.
I glare at it,
trying to give it the look,
but it is impervious.
I yell at it,
throw things at it,
tell sadness that it is not wanted,
but still it stays.
Soon, it fills my head,
beginning with a rain
that drips down
throughout my body,
until I am heavy
with sadness and unshed tears.
I look at myself in the mirror
and there is a wetness to my eyes.
Sadness talks to me in a sly voice
that shines like gasoline
when it has dripped into water,
so pretty but so lethal.
It whispers in my head
and it says things like
“You know that no one loves you” or
“It’s impossible to change the world, why do you try?” or
“It would be easier just to end it.”
This is not my first dance with sadness.
I look at it,
I take sadness in,
shining like a rainbow
but I know that the sheen is fake.
I know that if I dip my fingers
into the puddle that contains the rainbow
it will disappear
and leave only the smell of something
that burns my nostrils.
I look for my own light
that hides beneath the sheen.
I can see it dancing behind the rain.
Reaching into the gasoline rainbow,
sadness looks overjoyed,
but that look changes
when it sees what I’ve grabbed hold of.
Pulled out of the wet sadness,
I hold my light,
a mere grain of sand in my palm.
However, it is not the size of the light
but the brightness it shines with.
I clutch that grain of light
and I know that,
it will be a sea of light
that will welcome me home.