tentative hope

//

barefoot boys and puppy snarls

dusk and costumes

imagination and possibility

teenage giggles and rare smiles

bright eyes and playful songs

i see their hope, their joy

they lay juxtaposed up against the angst

the knawing that constantly reminds me of who is missing.

i live for them, and slowly i’m beginning to live again for me, in tiny slow stretching moments when i am able to breathe just a little around the ever present knot in my throat.

but often the pain feels too great to ever coincide with real happiness again

there are things experienced which cannot be forgotten, things seen that cannot be unseen, things felt which cannot be unfelt, known with no unknowing, loved with no unloving, touched with no untouching.

tendrils of hope fall down around me

tentative, expectant, wanting, calling out to me, but oftentimes they turn to sharp shards of ice cold razors cutting me instead. bleeding is my job now, and the bleeding never stops, and i know i won’t ultimately actually for real survive this reckoning of love torn away in mystery by one shot that ended it all. there is no coming back from this, not really.

but they are still here. still here. still alive. still growing up. how can this be, this parallel knowing of hope and delights twisted around the monster that now eats me alive every moment of every day. is this the life i will live until i can’t live anymore? can i still somehow give them something beautiful and solid to take into adulthood, even with the endless canyon of loss and absence swallowing us all whole every day of our lives?

how does a human survive the unthinkable? how does a human then survive the remaining time on the other side of the unthinkable? because we didn’t die with him, he didn’t take us with him, and yet maybe he did.

i used to think i was pretty good at life, and i had an amazing partner always there to tell my secrets to, to whisper the inside jokes to, to love in ways that go beyond the telling. but he is gone. and i cannot get over the trauma of it, the gut punch that still is punching, like running into a wire and being knocked backwards losing my breath, i am forever caught in the space just before fully catching my breath again. i can’t get my breath back.

{zt}

secular parenting

12-Womens-Panel-Secular-Parenting

//

I almost said no to this podcast interview. I am not very far down the road of parenting in a post-Christian belief system. I said yes, and I am so glad I did. The interview questions were engaging and validating, as well as challenging. I walked away from this panel feeling more alive and more truly myself. Thank you again to the Women Beyond Belief Podcast for allowing me this space to be myself and share some stories from my experiences. For anyone who takes a listen, thank you from the bottom of my heart, I hope you are encouraged!

{zt}

borrowed time

//

time aches and haunts and fills and empties all at the same time.

it all seems as stolen moments, the unending pull and tug forward. 

the madness of the days as they circle on and on with a momentum we cannot ease up or lessen. 

we are all on borrowed time.

the days rush past and slow for noone or anything.

there is a frenzy to take it all in before it’s our curtain call.

chaotic beauty.

a love forever chasing us as we chase it.

human to human.

here we are.

we have now.

{zt}

truth in the corners

//

grieving without god

it’s a new kind of horrible

another world of cognitive dissonance to find my way through

i used to tell myself i would see them again

get to know them, be reunited, that the ache would one day be resolved

there is no day down the road that will fix things, no pie in the sky, no god to make it all better in the end

coming to terms with this new kind of grief is its own flavor of cruel

what do i comfort myself with now?

no platitudes suffice

there is no pretty bow to wrap it all up with and sit it up on a shelf to wait for in the end

grief is so much messier now

so much the more incomplete, with missing parts and lost pieces

all the unravelled edges can’t be sewn back together again

there is much that has to be left hanging, left undone, left un-figured-out

what now?

how does one come to terms with the comfort becoming empty, tattered, and torn?

that the thing which was the healing balm, that which held it all together, is simply gone with no coming back?

now the glue isn’t holding anymore, it wasn’t ever really glue to begin with

i will never see my child again

i will never hold her again, never get to know her, never hear her laughter or see the twinkle in her eyes

she is really and actually simply and complicated-ly gone, just gone, out of my grasp forever, and there is no bandage for it, nothing is good enough, nothing works

and her too, the one gone even sooner that i never held or laid eyes on

what does one do with this ugly kind of grief, the kind my former theology shielded me from

even in the grief before i knew something was off about the comfort, it felt like pseudo-comfort even then, now i can no longer lie to my heart, to the grief

it’s time for truth-telling in the farthest darkest corners of myself

no more hiding

wondering

wp-1477696359420.jpg

//

Extra strong afternoon coffee

Laying down even after the caffeine, I’m so tired I just can’t stand up anymore

Brain too busy to let sleep come, but this sideways rest is something good anyway

Incessant wondering of what this is all really for

Tickles of anxiety a constant companion

What will happen next, what is it I’m steeling  myself for, why do I live waiting for the  bottom to fall out

This apprehensive edge I stay on of wanting more, but depletion makes my progress forward slow and sluggish

I’m caught in a slow motion life that is passing me by furiously

Time won’t stop for me to catch up, to get my shit together once and for all

The searching is a hunger that drives me, yet somewhere deep down I sense it is right here and right now that the real life really is

Where did I ever get the idea that the best is out there somewhere else beyond me, if only I could get there and not be late

How can I convince myself that the soothing is in the present, with me, in me, all around, right fucking now

I sing sweet inner lullabies on the good days of beauty chasing

But today I’m fighting just to survive to another good day

These are the days when the tiredness almost takes me under, the days that despair pulls on my strings to try and cause an unraveling

How can I keep it all together

What is all this really for again?

Today the flowery language of love and hope isn’t cutting it

The bitter cannot find the sweet

I’m just here, wondering if it’s really okay to speak out loud the truth of today and how it feels to cry in the spaces between moments, to hide myself in the cracks of the hours

I’m peeking out and saying this right here, this is real too, that life sucks some days even with the good stuff still here, the heaviness takes over sometimes

The yin and the yang, they are forever trying to find balance

I wonder if I really will survive this when I know I ultimately won’t, yet maybe I will on some level, I want that to be true

How do I keep up a happy face for the little ones under my care, what is it I’m supposed to be telling them to look forward to again?

On days like today I seem to forget, yet maybe it is on these days that I’m truly remembering something else, the pieces of me that are still just as true but harder to reveal

These aren’t happy feel good letters strung together into words to bring a smile

This is me wondering what the hell I’m doing this for day after day after day

Is it for them, for him, for me, for a better world

I ask myself if I’m allowed to even be in this place, to talk about the holes in which I live and breathe

It isn’t all pretty, my eyes are burning and my head is hurting

My limbs are heavy and I feel I need to sleep a thousand years

But somehow, someway, I will keep going on until I can no longer, I will keep holding to the truth that I get to be here, and whatever today looks like or feels like, it is mine, and it’s okay to be here, and it is even good when it isn’t.

drowning

image

grief came too soon

when i noticed they weren’t happy together

no kisses, embraces, affection

the fallout of a marriage bruised and battered and killing itself softly over and over again

the day he gathered us all and asked for the divorce, so quietly and violently

gone were the innocent days

my hero and heroine washed ashore like seaweed and castaways the sea just gave up on and returned to shore, lifeless on the beach of humanity

navigating a crooked chasm ever since

then came the uncharmed love, the great devouring of an unknown and unloved soul who naively opened herself to the mad magic of a lonely soul who belonged to someone else

the giver became the taker, the wise one the senseless, the prophet the pimp, the leader the proverbial bait and switch, the answers for the questions, the goodness for the blame at the cost of her redemption, the truthteller became the liar, she became the lost one, damned to roam in the netherlands of shame because he still had a job to do and she was old news, used and abused and tossed aside

then came marriage and the baby carriage, then came the one born without breath.

the great sadness to unleash all sadnesses was upon me. what was thought to be unconnected was now all mercilessly intertwined. shame had many tethers and many masters now.

hope crashed out of my chest and ran away, wandering, burning into a pile of ashes nowhere to be found.

and so the slow death of god continued, now i knew it was happening, now i could no longer deny the silence, the empty chair, the unanswered cries. In her death all other deaths came to me and i could see them with eyes uncovered and a heart unbound.

the watershed moment when i knew deep down i was in this all by myself, there was no salvation coming for me.

for years i sunk into denial and sadness, i hid in the tears, swimming in the grief and demands of mothering, it wasn’t hard to slip into the shadows unseen, i had help in the bruising and cutting, assistance in the smothering, the drowning had many hands upon it, the pressure building year after year after year

another one came like a thief in the night to prick my heart and then left me bleeding again. this time I was no stranger to the blackness.

now i fight the acceptance, i beat against myself, i don’t want to be where i am, without who i am without, alone in a world not as i thought it was.

what i thought was the greatest has now been trumped, hope continues lost and elusive and i have no idea how to find myself under all the years, all the sizes, all the tightness, all the breaths.

i’m going under. is the answer to keep fighting, stop looking for my ship to come in, to give in and fall under, let the waters cover me and take my breath, what then? what about them, what about me, about us, about him, how will this all play out. will hope meet me at the bottom of the sea?

i’m drowning in a sea of my own tears.

{words to a silent god, c.2015}

>>written as an anthology of grief in response to #inherskin, an online class<<