Thursday, December 31, 2009

"And I never thought this life was possible
You're the yellow bird that I've been waiting for"

"Life was different in my cage." said Little Yellow Bird.
"Life is still different." said Elephant.
"Yes, Elephant. But my heart feels as though it might burst"
said Little Yellow Bird.
"That's love, I think." said Elephant.
"What is love?" asked Little Yellow Bird.
"I'm not sure, exactly, Little Yellow Bird." Elephant said.
"But I think it might be everything."

In a few short hours this year will be a distant and pleasant memory.
In a few short hours, everything will be the same.

Looking back to the winding path that led me here,
I can finally say goodbye.

If I squint my eyes hard enough and focus long enough,
I can see blurred distortions of burdens and sadness,
with flecks of emotional martyrdom,

All of which are fading into yesterday.

Some people find God.
I didn’t find God.
You wouldn’t believe what I found, even if I told you.
What I found is beyond imagination and secrets.
I hid it deep underneath my bed, next to dust and old magazines.

I traveled alone and took off my clothes.
Slept in a strange bed.
Rode on subways to sidewalks until my feet gave way.
I flew to where everything claims to be bigger.
I drove to where the wind gave the city its name.
But even in places where people travel in herds it
was impossible to feel anything other than isolated.
I guess it started in New York.
I suppose I can attribute this life to that day in New York.

Heartbreak paid a visit and outstayed its welcome.
I had lost all value.
The weakness of my own heart confounded me and the
Carelessness of hearts belonging to others shattered me.
I wrote a love letter and fell into routine of endless cigarettes
And making lists of things I wanted to do but would never make an effort to.
It was at the peak of this cyclical, seemingly never ending pattern
of self loathing and deprecation that a promise was made to me.
We met by chance.

In the same way that a row of domino's can only fall if one falters,
that is how we came to be.

The inter connectivity of countless ostensibly
trivial occurrences somehow conceived this.

Had my domino's remained still,
who knows what might have happened.

After years and years of emulating that storybook duckling,

I, with great hesitance, shed my garish feathers for ones of white
As I found myself surrounded by flashbulbs.
It took a while, but I now can accept that
people see me differently than I see myself.

There are moments when we are unified
in our perceptions, but very rarely does that occur.

I know who I am, I know who I see. But I nod my head and say
“Thank you” like I am supposed to.

White feathers are harder to maintain.

I mended some patches, and burned a few holes.
Losing touch, gaining insight, growing up.

The little brick house under the sky where birds and
planes collide within reach is still there.

It’s still occupied by the people who
insist that the door is always open.

My room is undisturbed, although it
seems to be used to store spare chairs.

My visits never last more than an hour.
They point out what food is where and
what cupboards hide what dishes.

They say “Make yourself at home.”

I wake up everyday above an octopus.
I never wake up alone.
Morning beams and street lamp shadows fill the room.
Sometimes I can’t come to terms with the fact that others came before me.
The bed holds moments I will never know.
Memories I will never understand.
I am constantly reminded of how easy it is to be replaced.
It was just a t-shirt. But I’m just not there yet.
Regardless, that aforementioned promise stands true.
And within that promise, our love is constantly evolving.
We're happy.

Christmas trees, planted and sewn in perfect, linear rows.
Lovers calling out, darting in and out of branches.
Ice cream and cow kisses.
People singing in the street.
Drunken lucidity.
Driving away; driving away and burying deep.
Weighing the cost.

Apparently I changed.
I let myself get taken away and I was reduced to childlike excitement.
We tried to move forward, but we can’t seem to escape it.
It was nice to think about. It was oddly comforting to feel like it was a possibility.
China’s red enough, anyway.
It’s for the best.

We walked blindly into a church somewhere far from home.
Wind blown and tattered, we found a scrap of salvation.
Little girls ringing bells, fire burning blue.
A disjointed version of Silent Night by a girl no older than seven
Accompanied me down the aisle while I imagined a candle lit life.
Hymnals, empty pews, illuminated idols, shadows belonging to storybook angels.
The roses were still in bloom.
I asked them why they were still alive
and how they managed to survive.

I’m still waiting for a reply.

The twelfth month was unlike any other of
my previous twelfth month experiences.

My family grew twice its normal size.
I was never alone, nor did I ever once feel alone.
I was able to give.
This year was silver, not green,
despite the newness of this abounding flood of warmth.

Some days don’t go as we plan.
Sometimes buildings are lost and the city is a tundra.
Sometimes we get turned around and miss our turns.
Sometimes we don’t want to leave the house
And sometimes we don’t want to go home.
We can’t foresee what will come tomorrow.
We can only foresee that the love we have will continue
To be our saving grace…even when things don’t go as planned.

At this moment, I am watching the sky turn from blue to gray,
snowflakes swirling about in disjointed dance.
I am warmed by all that I learned and all that I felt.
My heart has finally reached its capacity.

Overwhelmed with possibility, this is what I’ve waited for.

A few short hours ago, this year became a distant and pleasant memory.
One that will remain to be a dream; distant and pleasant.

photo by Dan Lippitt