Yesterday was my birthday. I opened the door and am now fully footed in my forties. This blog launched officially a few years ago on my birthday. Even in the three years or so of writing, while I’ve had this blog, the world has changed, I’ve changed, and naturally writing has changed. When one writes across his or her lifetime or for a a significant period of time, the writing is documentation to the individual. We write about what we hunger for, what inspires us, what makes us ache, what makes us laugh, what astounds us, what perplexes us, and much more. To be a writer, I believe, you must keep your appetite alive. Even when the hunger levels drop, you still must push through and either find something to be curious about or be curious about why you have no appetite. Perhaps that is why writing saves so many people, because it does keep our ‘appetites,’ alive. It feeds us and nourishes us. For many years, I did and still do, loved to write about people and their interactions and thoughts. When the pandemic hit, I was alone in a studio apartment whose windows overlooked a courtyard, I began to write about the lights in the other windows, the sound of bells I heard ringing in the square, my coffee machine. I also began to write a lot about the stars, the universe, astrology, astronomy because I was studying it. It gave me something to be hungry for. My birthday was this weekend. It’s strange to think that one year ago, I went to dinner with two of my closest friends and we had very little idea that ‘our little dinner celebration,’ would be something gone from our lives and that in a week the world would change. This year, I ate lunch with my parents for the first time in a year. It still was not at a restaurant or ‘normal,’ but I saw my family which did not really happen for almost a year. Writing did become more challenging for a while when life was not happening; however, it evolved. When there was no more interactions and people watching, I began to ask myself smaller questions like, ‘Where do bells come from? Why do they ring?’ I began to notice the sounds around me and my reactions to them in a different way. I began to dream about different things. The other ‘big change,’ was that where my life outside of work stopped, as a mental health therapist, worked boomed. I’ve been a therapist now for at least fifteen years. I’ve never experienced people wanting and showing up for mental health appointments. The influx of need has been exhausting at times, yet it’s a wonderful thing to see people ‘wanting to work on themselves.’ Being a mental health therapist, you need downtime. You need time unplugged. The past few months have given very little of that. Dealing with people’s hurt, pain, trauma, loss, back to back 8-9 hours a day, sometimes with no time to go to the bathroom or eat something between individuals is exhausting. It takes effort a lot of days to come home and remember he necessity of keeping your ‘appetite,’ alive for things you love. I won’t lie. There are days when I have to say, “You are going to sit down and just write, and it’s forced.’ It never takes long before I feel myself back in a familiar world, a world I love, a gift that gives me an ‘appetite,’ and ‘hunger,’ in this life even on days when I am completely unsure if I have one.
The arsonist blows out the flame.
Between smiles and losses
It sneaks up on you and suddenly
the exit is passed. Your heart drove through
Some truth you believed in yesterday.
Bullets aim and don’t care.
Your anatomy knows what pulling a trigger can do.
There’s a darkness that sings
Let what’s broken stay broken.
Then you feel life’s offers opening
And it’s almost impossible to just leave it as is.
To remain tucked inside the petals of a blooming orchid,
Just enough to witness another within eyesight open.
How do you not push those petals open?
How do you stay in a eulogy when a meadow presents itself?
Sometimes we hurt to heal,
But it’s nowhere as painful as hurting to stay.
The animals we let go of,
Stay inside us it’s true. The hurt
As we watch them run free
Is far less than demanding captivity for our stubborn pleasure.
We must never discount the fact that we will be this way for a while
Then we will change. As we age,
We all wear the cool eyes of youth
That know only time rages of impotence,
Never of appetite.