That old heartbreak


That old heartbreak, is it gone?

Who was it?  How did it end?  Did you do it?  Were you right to?  Wrong to?  Or was it them, did they end it?  What happened?  Did you understand?

And after it ended, for how long did you mourn?  Or are you still?  If it’s over or if it lives, what have you done in the midst of that pain?  What did you do to get past it, if you’ve gotten past it?  What can you do?

Is it just one heartbreak you think of when you think of this or are there more?  And if there are more, is there a hierarchy?  The most, the least, the best, the worst…

And if you have somebody now, right now, the be-all-end-all-of-them-all (at least I hope that’s who they are for you), what does this do to those old ones?  Those old, excruciating heartbreaks.  Do they change in measure, in relevance?  Were they just a path, a sort of prep-school that enabled you to appreciate this one now?  Or were they just there, inevitable encounters in a life around people but with no effect or relevance toward this one?  Were they the one that got away?  

Maybe you’re not with anybody right now.  If so, where have those heartbreaks gone?  Are they right there?  Are they a good riddance, in spite of the heartbreak?  Do they add up to the story of why you are alone?  How close, how far do they feel?  

Where do they go?


Kiss your elbow. Can you?
Lay the sole of your foot by your forearm. Either.
Touch your nose with your tongue. Or your chin. Yes? No?
Wrap your fingers around your wrist. Overlap? Hold.
Fit your fist in your mouth. How much?
Glide your finger up your nostril. Privately? Ok. How far?
The space between your eyes, look, there could fit perfectly another one.
Hug your shoulders. Tight. Wrap further. Squeeze more.

You can size yourself out, reach, compare.
You make more sense than you think.

Something spectacular, something lovely

To have something spectacular.  Shouldn’t we all be able to have something spectacular?  I think so.  Or at least something lovely. We should be able to have something lovely.  

There have been several times in my life in which everything was just…  okay.  Or just tolerable. Or just plain awful. And I’d forget that I had options, that I was making choices about where I was at that moment.  Or choices about the way I looked at things.  And it didn’t occur to me to think that I had any power to find any enjoyment or to make anything be lovely, much less spectacular.  Maybe I could have taken a little time here or there to do something nice for myself.  I could have made sure I reached out to a good friend or took time to read or eat something wonderful.  I could have made it a point to take walks somewhere lovely or to just sit… and appreciate that I can listen to my breathing, can enjoy taking deep, long breaths, can hear the blood pumping through my body when the room is quiet enough.  It worries me how much time we can remain in deep discomfort, how many excuses and justifications we find to explain why we remain in the bad place we’re in.  And it worries me how hard it can be to see that we can do something to change things.  Maybe it’s easier to blame external forces because it enables us to keep our hands down and our how-to-save-myself creativity inactive. It takes the blame off of us, the responsibility.  But we have options. I think we do.  Don’t we?  Nobody doesn’t have options.

Every once in a while

Every once in a while you can have a terrible experience driving in an unexpected snow storm and accidentally veering into two lanes of oncoming traffic but then make it ok back into your own lane and after five hours of this type of what-the-hell-weather, arrive finally and surprise a friend on their birthday and have a great dinner and flan and cake and cheesecake for dessert and laugh and play games with a lovely bunch of people and have such a sweet time… Thank you!


The other day I was chopping some cilantro and some garlic and there was a cooked sweet potato near me. Nothing else to smell, just maybe the kitchen, though nothing much was going on yet. The pan was warming up some oil. It was the early evening and I had just gotten home so there might have also been some random smell attached to what I was wearing- you know how sometimes you bring smells back with you? Well my hands were working on dinner and my mind was thinking of… I don’t know, nothing.  And suddenly I was back and about to get into my dad’s Volaré, back as a little kid, little enough that I didn’t have to duck at all to get into the car but on the contrary, lift my leg up high. The car was green and the seats were beige, like either vinyl or leather beige, like a beige gray. My parents were divorced so he’d pick us up on Saturdays and take us for the day. There was always a mini candy waiting for each of us in the Volaré. As adults he had told me once that he had the candy as an incentive for us to get into the car without dilly-dally and also because a part of him would worry we might not want to get in so the candy was insurance.  He didn’t know he didn’t need it but it also worked. And I was back there,  that little kid again. swinging my leg onto the seat to slide into the middle where the candy would wedge itself between seat and seat back. And in the bright light of that morning I could see my legs and my white shoes and he was there and I was there with him and my brothers and it was another amped up Saturday morning and I was glad. I felt a calm in me.  We were where we were supposed to be- a “home” of sorts was Saturday morning.  And then I am back at my cutting board and everything stops. And I can’t believe it and look around at my hands and the knife and the food and the floor of the kitchen and I try to get it back really quick get it back just for a moment please just one more little moment. And I know it’s all come back to me through smell, up my nose to back in time.  From somewhere.  And I just can’t put it back together.  But I’ve had that. In the past and right then. So much to appreciate.  So much to mourn. To be so lucky to have ever had that!  Oh smell…


Where are you now?
And feel your feet.
Sitting? Standing?
Is the floor pushing up on them?
Are they covered up? Socks? Shoes? Warm? Cold?
I forget to think of this body I have, this here.
I forget to check up on it and see how it is.
Aches, sure, they’ll call my attention.
But to remember when they’re not calling is a luxury of feeling.
My hand today, at rest: I could feel the skin like a glove around my bones, around my tendons. Snug, secure, resting at last from so much work.
I could feel my legs, the way this fabric feels on them even when I’m not moving.
And the wool of the sweater, how it’s different on my forearm than on my neck.
If I think about it, I can feel the weight of my hair, I can feel the roots feeling the direction the hair is pulling.
And how my tongue fills my mouth when it’s closed. So strange to have that in there all day and not even give it a thought. My jaw, I can relax my jaw.
Bit by bit, I try it out. How is my elbow? An itch. My ankles. So there.
My eyes, yes now, my everything, to rest, to rest.

Rain reminder


When it rains, and eventually it will, you can go out.  Or stay out if you’re out, don’t just run in.  And you can let it rain on you.  Take a drizzle at least or let it fall, so much that you let it soak you.  So you can feel it dripping down.  See it coming, watch, look up.  See it beading on your skin and see the little rivers forming, down and off of you.  Watch it pool and puddle.  You can hear it.  And even turn your ear up to it.  Maybe tapping, applauding, crashing.  And smell it… indescribable, moisture, earth, yourself.  You can let all of this happen on top of you. Lucky you under the rain, the pouring water from the sky, at least for a little bit.

This is not a metaphor.  This is about rain.  And what you can do next time.