28 February 2009

I promise you I will learn from my mistakes

"Tears stream down your face
And I...
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you."

Let your tears run over me like ink-- I relish the staining, the blotting. We are pinwheels churning the breeze. When we are exhausted we will collapse to our knees and melt into piles of candle wax. Let's write down our stories-- people will want to read them one day. The pain will transform, like charcoal used to draw on cave walls, into beauty.

27 February 2009

Let's be

Let's make a fort in the hilly covers and bury our faces in marshmallow pillows.  Let's shine lights like fireflies and make shadow puppets in the violet shade.  Let's feed each other cherries-- I will take the pits for you, nestle them in the palm of my hand like a seedling.  Each kiss I breathe on your stomach will be a chalk line, a minty sigh, a starfish. 


"Please leave your taste on my tongue
Paperweight on my back
Cover me like  a blanket
Mess up my bed with me
Kick off the covers, I'm waiting
Every word you say I think I should write down
Don't want to forget come daylight."

26 February 2009

I'm still here

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping.  I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun and three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and as you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only.  I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

~"Variations on the Word Sleep," by Margaret Atwood~

18 February 2009


Dearest readers,

I am so sorry to have dropped off the earth. First it was because of teacher duties, and then it was (sadly) because my beautiful wonderful grandmother suddenly became ill and passed away. I was able to fly back to Cleveland to spend last days with her, and I have no regrets-- I know that she knew how much I loved her. But still, I feel as if part of my heart were cracked and part of my brain were tethered on a string to her, wherever she may be now...my brain is not here with me.
My grandmother was bravery and strength and unconditional love. She was beauty and appreciation and generosity. She was forget-me-nots ("don't forget me's") and honey cake, velvet pillows and porcelain dancers. She gave me a porcelain Siamese cat when I was about 10 years old, with the most beautiful green jewelled eyes. She started my teacup collection. She was the source of so much of my laughter and pride. Her hands and her heart were beautiful and soft and resilient.
I find myself, now, completely befuddled without her. My birthday will be on Friday, in 2 days, and all I can think about is how I will not get that card in the mail, in her loopy grandmother handwriting, bringing me love and wishes. I am supposed to roll on, blithely, teaching the Holocaust unit to uncaring youths while my Holocaust survivor grandmother lays in the ground. And I don't know if I am strong enough to withstand the ache.
I want for some magic fairy dust that will bring her back. I want for lace and lilacs, lilacs over-spilling their vase, crawling for closeness and love of her.
"Now they'll walk on my arm through the distant night
And I won't let them stray from my heart
Through the wind, through the dark, through the winter night
I will read all their dreams to the stars
I'll walk on with them
I'll call all their names
I'll see their thoughts are known
Not gone, not gone
They walk with my heart
And I'll never let them go
Never let them go
You watch me, just watch me
I'm calling...
I'm calling and one day all will know."