personal

A Narrative; A Character Study

I picked my sister up in the Camry after work. I’ve preferred the Camry as of late because I have more control and more control equates to going faster. It’s not like driving the Explorer, which is all weight and no fluidity. There’s nothing gratuitous about driving a tank. We drove on auto-pilot to our restaurant, to our table – my camera loaded in the back, the weight of feeling everything at once on my shoulders. I had a beer with my lunch while we discussed Camaros and court cases. I had every intention of only going so far out of town that the fresh air would loosen the grip on my lungs. Breathing has been a labor of love the last couple of weeks; staying conscious has been accompanied by nausea and rage. The universe had other plans and I found myself bringing the accelerator to ninety as we careened around the snow-heavy mountainsides. Sometimes you go on a spontaneous adventure – sometimes you lie out of a ticket. Sometimes you talk about books and husbands but the words you need find themselves stuck between your teeth.

I wouldn’t tell her that the only religious experiences that I’ve had revolved around muscle cars, tattoos, and nicotine. The phrase “he was baptized under a stream of self-sacrifice and bare tree limbs but I see a sinner in the mirror when I tie up my hair” would not form itself without leaving the shadow of bitterness behind. I so desperately wanted to tell her that he had learned to love a god that had dragged me through embers and the only worship that I understand is self-destruction. I still have the hole in my palm where I had discovered how to turn their addictions into barbed wire while he brushed them away like sand. I wanted to tell her that he was the color of pine – a source of comfort and solidity – whose branches I could cling onto when the world tipped on its axis. I didn’t tell her that I was the color of a bruise blooming under tired skin, a storm of salt water and shards of stained glass. I would never vocalize that I felt as if smoke and ink replaced vital parts in me, my bones and blood had been insubstantial for longer than I could remember. The world was quieter when I was far away, under the tattoo needle, going too fast. I need substances to stay awake, substances to fall asleep… my own haunted house. I am a fragment of a constellation; the aftershock of a thunderstorm. I am petrified of heights but graveyards make me feel whole. I have bloodied my knuckles intentionally more times than I can count and he has always brought peace to any environment. He is the saved turned savior and I wear a crown of thorns to all my affairs. 

My sister knows about anger. She knows the walk that I make from driver seat to front porch is stained with grief. She knows that when I hear the sound of gravel under my boots that the years are soaking through to my skin and I’m imagining the slick crunching noises are actually femurs and scapulae. She knows of the night terrors that follow me around and the stories I read to make them subside. She knows that I wear oceans inside my veins and frost bite under my nails. 

I do not have to say it but 

she knows.

She always 

knows. 

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personal, poetry

Three Years Later 


Tomorrow will be 3 years since I lost you. Holy. Fucking. Shit. I don’t remember everything about you, and G O D how I wish I could remember everything, but I do remember how you wore your emotions like a second skin. I never had to guess what you were feeling, but maybe we were so close that we felt the same things. In the last three years, I have heard more “she was just your grandma”s or “some people have lost parents, don’t be so selfish”s than I can count. “Just” does not begin to describe what you were to me and I miss you like fucking hell. I miss you when I’m wedding planning, I miss you when I touch my shoulder, I miss you when I sit with Papa, I miss you when I hold Jay’s hand. I wear my anger so close to me now. I miss you every time I fall apart and pick my pieces back up again.  I know I’m supposed to forgive the universe or whoever-the-fuck took you, but I can’t and I won’t. I feel like I was one person, then you left, and I became someone else entirely. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was this late in February and maybe it explains why the last couple of weeks have felt like a sucker punch to the ribs. Grief has never left my side. He clings to me like a stray dog and instead of shooing him away, I let him guide me home. Somedays, I feel like you took up the space of the whole world – you were the sun and we were the planets orbiting around you. You ripped a hole in the galaxy when you left and I have not stopped bleeding stars since. You left in a puff of smoke and mint, collapsing the ecosystem in your wake. I don’t blame you (maybe a little, but those are moments when I am lacking much of myself) for taking my gravitational pull. Today was a solar eclipse in Pisces and I think that’s fitting for how I feel. You are, after all, the solar eclipse and I, the Pisces. I lack words for how badly I wish this astrological alignment would ease the pressure on my heart. You taught me about the stars and their placements in my soul. Do you remember rolling your eyes at Capricorns and scoffing at Geminis? Your death was an explosion and instead of absorbing the shock, I combusted, too.

 I miss your acceptance of me, I miss our friendship. I miss how you were the glue to all my pieces. I remember how you hated Johnny Cash and cussed about him in the car. You hated tattoos and rock music and yet you loved me. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. 

God damn, me. 

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Uncategorized

Some Thoughts on Soulmates

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” – Elizabeth Gilbert

As you can tell, I read a lot. I’ve thumbed through the pages of books that have characters in them who claim to be “soulmates” and, to be honest, I hate that fucking word. I do! I think its a horrible, limited way of describing your love for someone. I think people say soulmates because they lack a better term for it. Maybe they’re trying to say “My soul was at peace when I met them” or “Our eyes locked and I saw myself in the depths” or “I have never loved anything this monumentally”

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I am so fortunate to have more than one soulmate, and though it sounds hypocritical, I say “soulmate” because I lack the vocabulary to explain how I feel. I never met a romantic soulmate of mine and I doubt I ever will. I had a couple soulmates who happen to be men and we fucked everything up by trying to be more. I miss them, every day. I miss how easy it was to talk to them before we “dated” and now that we’ve been inevitably together and gone separate ways, I know that I can never have them back in the way that I did. I don’t know if that’s selfish but I think it might be. I just wish I still had their friendship without all the strange moments of “What are we?”

I have other soulmates. I have a best friend who appreciates that I was probably supposed to be a mix of Hermione and Luna but someone decided I’d have more fun as a hybrid of Bellatrix Lestrange and Remus Lupin. It’s been great, thanks.  I work with a girl who makes my heart feel calm whenever I see her. I work with girls who challenge me and understand me and push me. They are all my soulmates. The ones who push me radiate violet, and if I believed in the strings of fate, I think heavy, purple cords would connect us. I’ve had soulmates who broke my heart and left me bleeding all kinds of colors. They remind me of small cherry threads that I will have to cut someday to fully heal. I can feel the cracks in my chest that they left as if they were palpable. I have soulmates that I don’t speak to, out of respect for myself. I have soulmates that I have nightmares of running into and wake up with ghosts of tears on my face.

I have never done things halfway – especially love. As someone who is drained by social interaction and needs to pick her accomplices very carefully, I am either 100% invested in you, or not at all. Don’t come into my life with the intention of giving minimal effort; I carry scissors with me at all times and I will cut the ties that bind us before you knew they were there.

I can recognize my soulmates by one thing: I don’t have to dumb myself down for them. That is the only way that I’ve learned to survive in a world that rejects intelligent women: deny, deny, deny that you are one. I don’t mean to sound egotistical, but I am a woman of high intelligence and survival instincts like you wouldn’t believe. I know that to keep myself out of trouble, I stay cute and sweet and then destroy if I am crossed. My soulmates have never made me doubt my worth, have never made me question my intelligence. They’ve made me question my views, my priorities, and my footing – but never the things that come intrinsically to who I am.

megansammy

I’ve read so many books where the narrator has said that the person felt like nothing else mattered after meeting this one person, that their lives improved tenfold. I am here to tell you that soulmates are not some shiny package containing the answers to our questions. They are the shakers, the movers, the destroyers of our lives. You will meet them on coffee dates and some of them will only be available for late-night adventures. You’ll find that at least one will hate your taste in music or will be disgusted with how you prepare your tea. They will insert themselves into the marrow of your bones and you will wonder how you were missing such a vital piece all along. I have a soulmate who is three years old and has taught me more about understanding and empathy than anyone else I have known. I had a soulmate die and take half of me with her. They are not here to make things perfect, they are here to show you that life is so much better when it’s messy.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

 

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personal

A Prayer for 2017

We’ve talked about this, I’m not much of a religious person. I do, however, sometimes say things aloud to the universe in hopes that they catch something. I say riddles, odd descriptions, things like: Hello, I enjoy coffee and baths and books. I have been told that I have a calming presence but that can mean a cup of chamomile tea or a shot of whiskey in the dark. My friend once said that I’m one of the only people who understand the way she speaks, in tongues and metaphors. I thought that was such an astounding sentence because who couldn’t use a bit of understanding in their lives? Especially right now. We’re so busy screaming at each other to be heard that we forgot how to listen. We forgot how to lend a copy of our favorite book in hopes that people could see glimmers of our souls tucked inside the pages. We forgot to observe the people around us in hopes of memorizing who they are when they think that no one is looking. We’re too busy trying to fit each other into little boxes and then attempting to change our loved ones when we don’t like the boxes that they fit in. We’re so full of anger and we’re so lost. Anger can be a beautiful component of our existence and so is being perfectly off the beaten path. It’s important to stop and remember why we’re so angry. This is a lot, coming from a tiny ball of rage and a walking storm, to be looking out amongst a sea of people and thinking “Why are they so hateful?” 

I throw this to the universe in the hopes that it’s caught by someone or something. I pray that we remember to feel anger for the right reasons. Stop being angry because your neighbor is different than you, start being angry because your soul is being chained. Stop being angry because you have all this time, an unknown variable, that you’ve chosen to live in a way you’re not proud of. Start being angry because there are people who were taken before they reaized where the numbers stopped. It’s taken me a long time to learn that we have our own hearts and lungs and minds – that we can not decide how much someone is hurting because we assume they are like us, with identical atriums and lobes. 

Teach your kids to be happy over a well-loved novel; a book is not the same without folded pages and pencil marks and we are not the same without the constellations of scars on our bodies. Share a cup of coffee with a friend, be silent, and remember. Acknowledge their hurt, be angry because someone broke them, not because you will never understand their pain.

Enjoy your time, I pray that everyone who reads this can stop and enjoy five minutes – to relive the moments that made them feel alive again. 

Carry on,

The Book Witch 

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personal

the winter queen (and how I became her)

All throughout high school I was an INFP; for those of you who aren’t familiar with Myer’s Briggs on a formal level, here’s what that means – you take a medium-length personality quiz and and they present you with a series of four letters, your MBTI. this sequence of I/E, N/S, F/T, and P/J sum up the gist of your personality. INFP – introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving, was how I defined myself, until recently. I took the MBTI test a couple weeks ago, out of curiosity, and much to my surprise… I was labeled an INTJ, or introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging. That’s a pretty significant leap. Two aspects of my personality had become the opposite of what I had branded into my skull so long ago, it left me reeling – who am I? I had gone from dreamer to architect, from common to rare, from summer child to ice queen, from Lovegood to Malfoy. I wasn’t upset as the consequences of this questionnaire didn’t impact my future directly, I was just confused. Since then, I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact moment that this shift in personality happened.

As with most things, it happened in increments; tiny waves instead of a hurricane, all at once. It started in my eyes – a warm, welcoming hope for interaction turned to caution and cold observance. The hazel transitioned from an autumn brown to mossy green with a warning in the depths. From there it spread to my mind – someone who felt the emotions of others and wore her feelings on a sleeve became someone who learned to control the faucet. A person who was gracious and hopeful towards the human race became wary of intentions. A girl who loved bright colors and thought in pastels replaced her wardrobe and introspection with dusky tones. A woman who turned away love stories and spoke to the darkest sides of humanity was born. The metamorphosis spread to my mouth – compliments and kindness were handed out sparingly; I stopped offering my compassion to anyone who glanced my way. Years of anxiety and depression from losing a parent figure had left a bitter taste. They gave me medication that reminded me of swallowing smoke. I stopped using my prescription and the icy fingertips of the woman I was becoming sunk into my heart. The pieces of myself that I was so desperately trying to glue together cemented themselves with frostbite. I learned, in time, that I was continuing to allow toxic people affect me because they had made tiny cracks in my soul and filled the fissures with fragments of themselves. I turned the anger and sadness and hatred inwards and allowed them to freeze the memories inhabiting the crevices. It hurt like a bitch, but when they were immobile and shivering, I slipped tendrils of myself into the open wounds. The cold found my fingers next; I stopped reaching for others. I stopped holding my arms out for the people who would never come back, or worse, leave me bleeding and shattered again… and again… and again. I reached, instead, for a select few and then for my pen. I filled my arms with stories and covered the flesh with ink.

I have days where I melt – when the sun is too strong and the tear tracks melt my cheeks. Those days are rarer now since I have embraced the winter queen who resides in my soul. Her and I are close, you see. No one gets to her and very few get to me. She’s taught me when to sneer and when to purr, when to grin and when to snarl, to bring her out when I need strength. She whispers to me “You can love yourself now. I am not anxiety or self-hatred or even rage, can’t you tell? Where he felt like barbed wire, I feel like fresh snow and cold sunshine.”

So here I stand today, a product of long awaited self acceptance. I have grown and I will continue to grow, like frost on a windowpane.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

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On the left, two pictures of me, shy of 17. On the right, both barely 22.

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