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Three little birds
An ode to new life
I am writing a song. I wish it to be melancholy and to feel bittersweet, and since I have not written music before, I am unsure where to start or which way is up but I think that may be the fun of it. When I am sad, I play my 20 second recording with my birds in the background and I feel better. I may table this song or I may play with it for the next six months but while other parts of my life feel like they’re falling apart, something musical is ripening. I trust a vision will blossom eventually. If it is meant to be it will be, I suppose. Though I hate that cliche and I wish everyone would stop using it.
In other news, I have recently found myself in the depths of rolling tides. Some days the waves crash over my head but today I am bobbing.
April upon us I am wishing for spring flowers of all colors, and as I sit here far away from the city I have perspective, so I am feeling a bitter sweetness in remembering my first visit to Rittenhouse Square, two Aprils ago, as an entirely different woman, quite taken by the cherry blossoms and over the moon at the tulip stand. I hadn’t even moved to the city yet, a place where I was first greeted by the leaves and their flowers and the promises of what my life there might look like. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Two years later I now find myself asking what my world might look like in the next six months and there is a wide, agape mouth staring back at me in the form of answer. I make lists of what I have not lost, of what still belongs to me. I make lists of resource. I make lists of what support I am seeking. I write out what I want my apartment to look like. I budget. I write reminders on the walls that I place alongside the holes I have beat into them. I have two more months in this room until I must go.
It’s strange to say, but something about this city holds me. Maybe it is the way I long for it to become mine. Maybe it is the tender, uncomfortable reminder that not many places within its borders feel like they belong to me, and me alone. Maybe it is the slackened pressure to stay. Something about this city holds me, transfixed. It whispers in the night of drifting cars and as the sun comes to set in my window its birds sing to the tune of my wandering thoughts and my listmaking. I sit and remind myself what it looks like to be broken.
I ask myself where I will go now when my lease ends and I stare agape once more. I am grateful my mother hasn’t asked where I have “gone.” I sob when the cat does not want to be near me. I form an altar on my windowsill around an index card I found on the floor that reads, “how can I let a rift form in a rock?” and “all I want is more time and time and time and you” and something else about holding steady. I get shit on while I sit, eating tacos in the park, alone this time. I hope that this shit comes from someone watching from above, the same person who will find me a new apartment in this city. I may grow into it.
This city that I wish to leave when life doesn't go my way. This city that I have never belonged to.
So I remind myself of resiliency. I ask myself for patience. I struggle to lift my legs. I cry for compassion. I heave hard and I do not stop. I bleed guilt. I breathe pain. Every four thoughts are salt in my wounds and I ask myself to sit still and take it. Something here deserves to be broken. I tell myself that I will not run. I look straight on through the mirror I have cleaned so well I make myself dizzy to look through it. I touch myself. I do not touch myself because I am afraid to cry anymore. I keep tissues at my bedside. I cringe to watch people walk down the street. I ask the birds to sit by my side while I sleep because nightmares come close, and often. I repeat that normal people love for longer. I speak softly. I bless this cup. I grow sober. I look for signs everywhere.
In the darkness I whisper aloud to myself because no one else will do it for me. I say “only time will tell” and “I will never judge you for holding onto hope.” I am told that some people love the same person until the day they die, a testament to living life in awe of love. I say, “the only way out is through” and “you will never get another chance if you’re splattered against the pavement” and “you split that rock in two.” This is what real life looks like.
Carry a torch. Watch what withstands the test of time.
I resolve to stay. I remember not to run. I ground myself in pain. I tell myself that forgiveness will come in time. I write a song. I pray in the darkness. I ask for forgiveness. I ask for strength. I ask for absolution. I ask for another chance. I take it with breakfast. I look around wildly. I long for camping and clear skies and long drives with sunshine and wounds scabbed over.
The birds continue singing. And so too, do I.
Bobbing in a whirlwind of tide and blue and blossom,
I’m not scrolling much right now, so I have less to share than I’d like to. I’ve also deactivated my Instagram because as much as I’m wanting distraction right now, consuming others’ lives is so not where I need to place my attention.
I’m watching Love Island UK, which I will not recommend to you because it’s kind of terrible, but amazing as a distraction until they start to fall in love and then I cry.
I’m also watching The Last of Us in stride, because I get nightmares.
Rittenhouse in the Spring, ironically popped up today as I was writing this.
And April is National Poetry Month!!! Last year I wrote a poem (almost) every day of the month, so I venture to do the same this year. Some I’ll cache, and maybe I’ll post some here, so please stick around for those.
Speaking of, I loved today’s Poets.org poem.