(This was fun! Stay tuned for whatever is coming next!)
There were three people on opposite sides of the park. An expanse of green spread out between them, dotted by picnic baskets, umbrellas, babies taking shaky steps. Above, a blue ocean of sky. They couldn’t see one another well, but they waved all the same.
They made up stories about each other. The old man was a war veteran. The young boy was his grandchild. The two women and the girl were a new family, brought together by love.
The stories were happy ones, and there were some truths in there, but it didn’t matter. It was a perfect day.
The yeti said ‘I love you’ with mushrooms brought to the seashore, and the mermaid always smiled. He would kneel down and she would braid his long, mossy hair with seaweed, and he chased the gulls away when they dove at her shimmering tail.
The mermaid said ‘I want you here with me’ with abalone and clams. He would build fires at night on the beach and dig tidal pools for her to lounge in, and they watched the stars shine and fade.
And even when her breasts sagged and his hair fell out in clumps, they still remained together.
“Please don’t go,” she said to him, through the tears only a seven-year-old in love could show. “Please don’t move. I’ll let you play with all my toys. As much as you want.”
“My parents are making me. We’re going to Alaska. I’ll send you pictures,” he said, as stoic as a nine-year-old can be.
“But you’ll come back, right?” She blew her nose on his sleeve, even though he made a face. “You’ll come back and see me?”
“I think so,” he said, believing the words.
And every month, there was a postcard with a moose in the mailbox.
They lived in the house together, all five of them, and there was always tea and fresh-cut flowers and blankets in the winter. The house smelled like lemon, and when any of them hurt or felt pain, the other four would enclose them in a circle of love.
Of course, there was talk of the strangers in the beautiful house on the hill. About how their love was something to be feared, something to avoid.
But the yellow walls and brown shutters held tight and fast. Inside, the five needed only one another, and they were happy in that knowledge.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, the spare for the heir was betrothed to a terrible prince in an effort to unite the families. The princess begged for it not to be, but they were married in the sweltering heat of August.
On her wedding night, she cut the prince’s throat with a cheese knife and ran into the cursed wood. There, she confronted a coterie of monsters and won their hearts.
Both kingdoms burned in the bright light of her vengeance, and the blood glowed in the streets.
Every monster deserves to pen their own ending.
The fairies sat in the shade of the mushroom, counting seeds and watching the sun rise. The world woke up with the trill of songbirds, and the neighborhood cat stalked after a field mouse, disappearing in a blur of gray in the grass.
The fairies held hands and saw that the leaves were beginning to change, green bleeding out into crimson, earthbrown, mustard. They pulled their vole capes close as the wind changed, and the harvest moon turned a pale white.
When the winter came, they parted on the backs of birds. They promised they would meet again in spring.
Even in the deep snow, the man heard the bear approach, giant paws sinking into the drifts of white. “My cave collapsed,” the bear said. “I have nowhere to go. Let me stay with you this winter.”
“I don’t have much food,” the man said, setting down the axe he used to chop firewood.
“I will not need to eat,” the ageless creature said, dark eyes swimming. “Only a safe haven.”
Against his better judgment, the man opened his door and ushered the great beast in.
There were no wishes granted for this, save warmth and company in his heart.
The Earth fell for the comet, and it watched wistfully as its beautiful tail arced through the darkness of space. “Come closer,” the Earth whispered. “Just for a time.”
The comet laughed and sped away but came back in time. It considered and said, “If I do this thing, I will hurt you. It is inevitable.”
“I do not care,” the Earth said. “Just grant me a moment with you, and it will be worth it.”
The comet’s embrace was one of fire and thunder, and the Earth smiled even in the face of destruction, its final joy a shattering.
- This crisis you’re facing is only cracker-thin. You’re going to crush it, almost on accident, and then wonder why you were so worried.
- Everything is temporary. Love it because it is so. Let it go because it is so. Say hello and goodbye in the same breath.
- There is a swarm of gnats in your head, and even though they feel like a hundred warring soldiers, it’s just because there is so little space for your thoughts to breath. Let them out.
- Spend as little time as possible thinking about what you should or shouldn’t do and let your hands do the talking.
- Shine the spotlight in your mind at what you love and focus on those things instead of all the things moving around in the surrounding dark.
[Another 3 in 5.]
She was my sweetest treat, and I didn’t know what that meant
Until she was there, every day,
And she would be the sugar in my espresso,
Her mouth would melt into mine
Like cream, promising a respite from the chill,
If I held out long enough for dessert.
Now, my teeth are rotted,
I’ve been ruined by the saccharine secrets of her tongue
And everything is grease
Leaving me feeling like I’m covered in a film
Pizza pie lovers and grease trap bait and switch
I’m holding out hopes that one day
She’ll think about us
Under the summer sun when we were young
And maybe we can just drink water
And we will dissolve across the asphalt,
Like the cotton candy considerations of our
Once cloying affair.
Dare to grab hold of things that make you really happy. Even if no one else gets it. Even if there isn’t a greater goal.
Watch cartoons. Read comic books.
Draw. Paint. Get a bucket of chalk and work your sidewalk until the rain washes it away.
Make things without agency or intention beyond bringing something into existence that wasn’t there before. Don’t you realize how godly that is?
Dress up and stay home.
Play with action figures.
Make castles in the sand.
Stop thinking about it.
Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to take care of yourself. But everyone has 5 minutes they can spare. You can:
Post something inspirational on your social media of choice
Create an Inspiration board on Pinterest and add something to it
Look at cute animals
Write a blog post
Call or text a friend to tell them you are thinking of them
Say ‘thank you’ to someone who has been supportive
Clear off your desk
Put something back where it belongs
Get a cold drink
Do nothing — allow yourself to indulge in the stillness of inaction
Write down a cheerful message and put it somewhere – look for it the next time you’re having a bad day
Make a sandwich
Play a puzzle game online
Start a one-sentence journal
Sing, dance, or yell into a pillow
It’s easy to say you don’t have time. But is it true?
I know yesterday I said I would be posting every day this week with five things I am grateful for, since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, yadda yadda ya. I sat down after work to do just that and realized I can’t. Well, that’s not true. I knew last night that I couldn’t. That something needed to be said about what is happening in the country right now.
Last night, the grand jury announced their decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August of this year. The evidence and court transcripts were released and are available to the public. There have been protests, gatherings and, in some cases, riots in response to the news.
It is a time that is extremely emotional for everyone. Social media outlets are loud, buzzing, angry, distraught. There is fear for loved ones, for lives of those in areas where reactions are potentially violent, for those who may be impacted in other ways in the days to come.
So here we go. Five things you can do right now in light of what is happening.
1. Be educated: gather information. Read. Question. Look at what is credible and not credible by turning to different sources. Make your own opinions, even if they are not the same opinions as everyone else.
2. Be aware: not just about what is happening around you physically but emotionally, socially. Take note of yourself as a person and the words you use and the actions you take. Consider the impact of that tweet, or status, or picture. Think of how you would act if you were in a room with people you don’t know. Act conscientiously.
3. Stand for love: no matter what side you take, ask yourself where your belief comes from. Is this sentiment rooted in love for the world you live in, the people around you? Or is it from feelings of superiority, inconvenience or pain? Do you want to raise people up or let them wallow wherever they may be?
4. Don’t mistake “drama” for “activism”: last night, I had to make an effort to step away from the computer. It’s hard to not get pulled into the emotional raucous that is happening in front of you. It’s like a mosh pit: sometimes you just end up in it, sometimes you feel drawn to it. Don’t get involved in the finger-pointing, name-calling, communal hand-wringing. Never let anyone decide how you are going to react to something.
5. Remain present: life is happening right now, all around you. You aren’t doing anyone any good mulling, sulking, pouting and complaining. Live. Do what you’re supposed to be doing. If you want to help, do something tangible: write a letter to local, state, federal officials; donate to a cause; volunteer in cleanup. Do what you can.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Before I knew anything about you
I knew that compared to the length of anything
The time we would have would be
A passing thought
A single hair
A dust mite suspended in light.
In our last hours
I traced the curve of your spine
The barest nothing of your leg
And under the thin veil of skin
I could just feel your heart.
Your breaths, slow
Your eyes, blink
And I am towering over and above you —
I am the world and you are
And for all the might of a god
I am struck by the significance of
What would be a tiny drop of blood
Pumping through a pea,
That I loved more
And miss more
Than a hundred like it.