“You will, either in 2017 or 2019. I see it in your numbers,” he said.

“Really? I would never have thought so. But why can’t I see it?” she replied plaintively.

“It just is. Maybe it will happen faster, in 2017 than in 2019.”

And so the roots of hope form, like an idea. Cobb has said once, and many times at once: An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea’s taken hold in the brain, it is almost impossible to eradicate. A person can over it up, ignore it-but it stays there.

But hope, like ideas, can be insidious. Quietly skating, sliding around, lightly sticking to the meneges of the brain. On this end, it is waiting. Waiting for that one chance to crush it all.

Will it happen, or will it not? If it happens, will it be good? If it doesn’t, how will she feel?

And she continues to dance, dance, dance.

Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

– Mary Oliver

Posted in oui |


In my mind, maybe I already have the answer, but am afraid to admit it to myself, and to him.

The other day:
“How much do you really like me?” he asked.
“Much more than I should,” was the answer I didn’t dare reply.

It is mid-afternoon now, and we are alone in a small, brightly-lit room. Outside, the world goes on its business. Here, time slows down. He sleeps, across the table that separates us. The green sofa he is on swallows him in. His new red shirt is rumpled from his moving about. He stirs, opens his eyes, gives me a crooked little smile, then goes back to navigating around in his subconsciousness.

His sleep allows me time. Time to admire the long lashes that rest gently on his cheeks. Time to memorise the shape of his lips. Time to recall how his hair feels in my hands. Time. Something we have been trying to manipulate since we started feeling something for each other. Saving time, squeezing time, dragging out time, borrowing time, stealing time, stopping time.

Time… This word is starting to break my heart.

I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?

Posted in non |

Dealing With Grief

On Reddit:

But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is last. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet all, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, spluttering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

The waves never stop coming and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

Posted in non |