I’ve heard/that 95% of the world’s oceans are still unexplored;/that some parts of the Amazon and Antarctic/are still left untouched./It seems we have barely embraced/the complexities and depths of our immense galaxy./Many still believe we never actually landed on the moon,/ and when I consider how clumsy people can be when orbiting their own souls/I consider that maybe the conspirators are correct./I sometimes imagine that those who probe the depths of the massive universe/choose to cope with the mysteries/by living in a state of perpetual surprise./We are always banging up against wonder/and apologizing for our graceless feet./But I imagine wonder wishes we would just stay/and dance with her for a little while longer./I have never dreamed of deep diving the oceans;/have never much cared to travel to untouched territories/where the word lonely doesn’t need to be defined/because the silence says it all;/and only when I am feeling more daring than usual/do I dream of what is beyond the Earth/and reason about whether the glossy moon is indeed just a hologram./The only depths I know are my own./It seems that I cannot/(and perhaps I refuse to)/walk through life without tripping over an epiphany in the back garden of my own psyche./I, like the explorers of sea and galaxy,/am perpetually surprised/- surprised by myself./I do not dare to explore much else but the sea of my soul and the galaxies within my mind,/for I have found that I need an anchor,/even there at the bottom of my own oceans./I need to be lassoed/in the same way that God lassos the moon and places her where she needs to be,/just in time for the sun to go to her resting place,/and my mind with her.
At first I’ll only reveal a tenth of me/and you’ll believe that I am weak/because I appear so quiet, sensitive, sweet./But I am strong when I need to be/and all of those internal brawls with myself have made my spirit bloody and my soul darn gritty./I have often been described as cute, not pretty./I can assure you that I lived so much of my life feeling plain/that I have learned to harness some complex powers,/like thinking that blooms with gorgeous flowers./But I have grown accustomed to this since I don’t want to be noticed, I want to be seen./And reality is rarely inspiring to me/so when it demands, I flee/through the back door of my mind’s garden./There are flowers and a blank canvas there, beckoning me./I’ll paint you a portrait of my fantasy./I can tell you surely that you will not be in it if you cannot compete with the thoughts that bloom brilliantly there/in my left of center brain./If you cannot undress my weirdness/and yet remain./And I have faith in God, but I also have doubt./Sometimes, the only spirituality I can summon is to inhale the word I and exhale the word believe/right before I drift off to sleep/and dream the dreams only thought-gardeners can dream./And I like to turn the volume up on the feelings others don’t want to meet./Longing and nostaglia are comfortable to me./So if you want to know what self-deprecation looks like,/why melancholy feels deep and happiness feels weak/just ask me./I drift in despondency like it’s a bottomless sea./But all of this is still only a tenth of me.
I have started a new journaling practice. At the end of every day I sit down and write whatever is on my mind in the form of a poem or prose. I don’t worry about grammar or editing typos. I just write whatever comes.
Today was a beautiful day – a day representative to me of a shift in the atmosphere of my life. I’ve had quite a few major break throughs over the past two to three months – ones in which things tucked away in the attic of the unconscious are unpacked and brought to the front yard for observation. I’ve only ever had a few of these events in my life, but over the last few months I’ve had a stream of them. I’ve uncovered some dark corners of myself, and when those dark corners are uncovered and brought to light, they don’t have power over you anymore. And so, today, I had this amazing day – one characterized by a feeling of presence and happiness that I had not experienced since 2013. One I had not experienced since before spiritual crisis, before what I can really only describe as trauma, though I never felt comfortable calling it that in the past. This journal in form of prose is what I wrote to capture that shift in me. It is a simple outline of my day today, but expressing all of the presence and beauty that I experienced – that I am beginning to experience again for the first time.
I left my apartment
On the first,
played with the rocks on the landscape.
I picked an orange flower –
like the sun –
and a branch with tiny yellow leaves –
like lingering Autumn.
He reached up to me with tiny hands
as if fear of the outdoors
would swallow him up,
as if my arms, though tired,
have so much strength in them.
On the second,
I considered purchasing an ice cream
at the nearest ice cream shop.
But then I remembered
that this particular ice cream shop
used to churn out my happiness
when I couldn’t create it myself.
I drove to the nearest coffee shop instead
and purchased a chai tea latte –
single shot of espresso with coconut milk.
I didn’t even care
that it was my final coffee dollar
for the next week and a half.
I just wanted to turn the volume up
on the day’s happiness,
drop by drop.
I listened to a man wax poetic
about suffering –
how it softens us.
I returned and prayed the Sixth Hour
as my son’s lips grazed the icons.
On the third,
the sun was going down.
It peeked through the clouds,
a pinkish tint.
I carried my son,
stopped to pet two dogs,
and looked at the decor on the patios.
I watched my son
run through a sprinkler puddle.
I followed him
up the stairs to the apartment,
slowly, so slowly.
//Today I left my apartment three times
//Collette Kristevski, 3/6/2019