"I don’t remember
lighting this cigarette
and I don’t remember
if I’m here alone
or waiting for someone"
— Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing
oh, what a christmas to have the blues
there are a few lights on the christmas
tree that have burned out. i can relate.
i sit on the floor and wrap presents carefully,
trying to remain happy despite the storm
clouds overhead. outside, the rain melts
the snow and the unseasonably warm
weather settles in like a tourist in a foreign
country, smug and lingering.
dear santa, this year i’d like to drown out
this darkness that’s been following me
around like a shadow and bask in the sunlight.
things are warmer there. i’m tired of the cold.
i fumble on the stepladder and it only
takes a few minutes of maintenance to
make the lights shine as brightly as ever.
maybe if i try to fix myself, i’ll glow.
on death and temporary sadness
I remember sitting across the table from a long-haired boy in 7th grade science class and sneaking glances at him scribbling in his sketchbook. He was my first exposure to a true artist, with the need to create nestled deep inside his bones, pencil always moving in his fingers. This morning, I woke up to the tragic news of his death- he grew tired of life’s disappointments and took a voluntary early leave. I watch the world quake beneath his exit, witness friends and family crumble. You’re more important than you might think, remember that.
I remember meeting her for the first time at dinner with a permanent albeit nervous smile on my face as she asked question after question and my boyfriend set his hand on my knee beneath the table encouragingly. Earlier this week, I cried into his shoulder when he got the phone call about her passing, even though I should have been comforting him. I cried for his loss and deep sadness, for her future absence and for my own inability to keep it together.
Meanwhile, I’ve been moaning and groaning about every little disappointment, every bleary-eyed morning, every bad attitude I’ve encountered. There’s no reason to feel this hopeless- my loved ones are well and the future is calling and everything’s going to be okay. Take a deep breath. You’re well on your way.
This year, I’m thankful for the unconditional love that surrounds me and the peace of mind to move forward in difficult times. I’m thankful for the health and happiness of those I love and care about and for the moments that made me breathe a little lighter. This year was hard, but it’s getting better all the time. Happy Thanksgiving, don’t ever forget to be grateful.