Archive for 2008

Fooling myself again…

December 21st, 2008 | Josie

“The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.”  ~Ernest Dimnet

I am not the product of a broken home or an abusive past. I am not someone who has any right in the world to be unhappy. Not a day passes that I don’t think of all the wonderful things that have happened in my life, the amazing opportunities and the beautiful people. Yet somehow that elusive state that is happiness continues to evade me. I suppose that there is very little incentive for it to alight on me of its own accord, yet when I actively seek it, all that I find is trouble, usually accompanied by its ever present companions, hurt and disillusionment. I want so badly to be happy, I have all the essential ingredients to creating an fantastic life, and still no matter what I do, it never seems to be enough.I don’t know why I fooled myself into thinking that this would be different, that somehow I would cheat the pain that has brow-beaten me every time I have let myself get into this situation before. I would have been so much safer not to let it go this far, to be content with my lot and stop striving for more. Why give up months of complacence,for a few days of extreme happiness? It only makes this let down that much harder to deal with, that much more damaging to my soul. In the end though, the damage is done. I can only pray not to lose more friends to my own stupidity, and resign myself to face the consequences of my actions, again.

Losing sight again…

December 19th, 2008 | Josie

“Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire. ” ~Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

I don’t know why I let myself do this again. I don’t know how to go back to where I was, and I have to keep moving forward, without my heart.  All I can do is continue to hope that it will catch up with me, and won’t lose sight of me again.

Passing judgement…

December 1st, 2008 | Josie

“There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly becomes any of us To talk about the rest of us.” ~Edward Wallis Hoch

I am aware that my behavior is perhaps not ideal, and I have never in my life claimed to be perfect. Quite the contrary in fact. But don’t you throw stones in my direction until you can prove your own perfection. My guess is that you are going to miss by a mile…

Cracking open worlds…

November 17th, 2008 | Josie

“Then I did the simplest thing in the world.  I leaned down… and kissed him.  And the world cracked open.”  ~Agnes de Mille

The shiny bit of happiness that has desperately been trying to burrow its way into my heart for the better part of 3 weeks has, against all odds, despite all of my well-planned defenses, exploded into me. Part of me is hesitant to fall willingly into this feeling, terrified to embrace what I know will only be a passing moment. The whole of me though, however terrified to feel, knows that I’m already damned. I can no more stop what is happening than I could stop the wind from blowing or the sun from shining. Every piece of my battered heart is begging me to just give in, to feel this happiness in the here and now, and to hell with the consequences. I feel as though I have shattered into a million little pieces, but at the same time I am more whole than I have been in months, probably in years. I can’t seem to catch my breath, but don’t feel the lack of air. I am leaning full into the precipice below, not entirely sure that I will caught at the bottom, and almost too happy to worry about that eventuality. The only thing holding me back is the knowledge that this happiness cannot and will not last forever, and the sinking suspicion that when it goes, I will be more bereft of emotion than I was before. Can I lose myself to a lifetimes worth of emotion, to be played out in a mere month, when I know that at the end of it I may well lose my heart?

“What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?”~Robert Browning

Knowing hunger and lacking wisdom…

November 12th, 2008 | Josie

kisses are a better fate than wisdom. ~e.e. cummings

My relationship with the act of kissing has always been a little stilted. Physically, I don’t know why something that is, in a word, disgusting, has the power to bring me to my knees. When I was very young, a friend expressed his awe that people bother to kiss at all. “It’s like spitting into someones mouth and then saying I love you.” Which is, if you get right down to it, true. So why then, do we crave that action of lip to lip, trying to find ourselves and our souls on the lips of another person?I got my first real kiss when I was 15 years old. He was a friend, and I was sick. I had been in and out of the hospital for weeks, poked and prodded by doctors stumped by my abnormal and possibly dangerous blood. I was trying not to be scared. I sat through most of the football game that night, trying not to think about it too hard, but sitting in the grass behind the fence with a friend, I lost it. I started crying and crying, tears that seemed to last for days, for years. I was scared, and in the confusion, he kissed me. Lips that taste of tears, they say, are he best for kissing. I don’t know if that is true, only that I was happy for a moment, amid all that was terrifying me in my life.Several months later, I found out that I wasn’t going to die. I also discovered what it is like to want to die. The same boy that stole a kiss under that September sky stole from me my innocence and my trust. That was the night I started hiding from the world, and from myself. I spent years in hiding, and am only now, 6 years later, truly learning to peek out from behind the walls I’ve built around my heart.It it perhaps a bit idiosyncratic that I have taken something that should mean the world, an act of trust and love, and used it as a shield against really ever having to feel anything. If one kisses enough people, then I suppose that the act becomes like any other habit, something to do, but almost entirely meaningless. I seek to find the bits of my soul that I have lost on the mouths of men, and am always surprised to discover that instead of finding those bits, I’m leaving broken pieces of my heart in my wake. I am so surprised that for the first time in a long time, I feel kisses. Not on my mouth, but in my soul.  A simple small kiss on the brow sends shivers down my spine, and into my heart.The heart that I have kept locked away for so many years is shaking the bars of its too-small cage, demanding to be allowed to feel all the emotions that I have kept from it. Happiness is as sustenance to the heart, and I am refusing to let even a small bit of that emotion slip between my lips. I am so scared to feel the kisses that are keeping me awake at night, afraid that when this ends, as it always does and undoubted will again, my heart will rebel at its lack. I have lived so long with this constant but familiar hunger, I am afraid to taste this happiness that is so blindingly sweet. I am afraid that if I let myself truly indulge in it and be happy, I will never be able to live with the hunger again.

Holes in my soul started letting in wind…

November 11th, 2008 | Josie

“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.”  ~Jacques Prévert

The story of my life seems to be one of constant ups and downs. The last several months have epitomized the down: I drag my feet through the mud that is my life, trying not to examine it too closely for fear of seeing the dirt. Then I fall down, face first, into that muck and am forced by sheer proximity to take a close, hard look at what I’ve let my life, let myself, become. I haul myself back up, out of the mire, and trudge along the path, quite literally living with my head just above water.The last week has been a huge upturn. Lovely things come my way, and I can’t stop smiling. People are rude, annoying, horrid, and still I can’t stop smiling. The good buoys me through the bad, and I am, dare I say it, happy.  I have lived too long, however, in this mud-puddle of a life, to really trust that my skies will not suddenly turn gray again, that I will not find myself stuck in the proverbial mud, up to my neck in sorrow. So I’m hesitant, I look twice, sometimes three times, and still can’t find enough trust in my heart or my soul to make the leap. I am too afraid that if I let this little bit of happiness burrow its way into my heart, make a home there, I will be left with nothing but another hole in my soul when it is taken away, when happiness forgets my name again.

Forgetting feeling…

October 21st, 2008 | Josie

Forgetting feeling…

She’s happy in this mask she wears

A painted-on smile to hide pained, aching tears

Both delighted and sad that the world cannot see

The dark spots on her soulLies in the leaves

The red like her blood, turned from green like her eyes

Hiding the tired, hurt spirit inside

Locking her soul, hiding the key

In a poem around riddles

Thrown into the sea

Buried deep in the dirt

She’s afraid of the dark

Slowly but surely crushing her heart

The hole is too deep, she’s forgotten to swim

How to scream, how to dream

Losing the battle

In a war she can’t win

Standing in a crowded room

Too alone to try

She opens her mouth

Nothing comes out

All that’s wet is dry

She can’t cry, she can’t think

She can’t remember what it is to feel

Not happy, not sad

Flat, pretend, simply not real

The numbness, it spreads, like ice through her veins

Freezes her heart

Dulling the pain

The scars on her heart

Are white against red

Missing the hurt and the thoughts in her head

To hurt is to feel

To feel is to live

In pain and hurting, but hurt is not dead

There is more hope in being

Alive and alone

Than dead and forgotten

But still on your own

Seeing walls…

October 19th, 2008 | Josie

“I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry.  I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week.  I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.”  ~Sylvia Plath

I don’t know what it is about the world, about my life, that is reducing me to little more than a wailing child these days. Everything and nothing sets me off: a sad looking old man on the tube, a bird with a broken wing fluttering helplessly in the street. A smiling baby, a handsome young man looking in my direction. The wind, blowing gently on my face. Every time I turn around, I am fighting to hold back tears, waiting patiently to course down my cheeks. I say that they wait patiently because just when I think that I have gained control of my eyes, they spring up again, ready to fall. I cry at the slightest provocation, or at none at all. I should be happy, I should love my life right now. I am in one of the busiest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world, full of people to meet and places to see, with millions of things going on every second of the day. And still, all I want to do is curl up in bed and cry for days, until I am absolutely drained of feeling. Then the numbness scares me, and I am desperate to feel again. It is a vicious cycle that has me ensnared tighter than any web could ever hold: I cry until I’m numb, and I’m numb until I’m frightened enough to cry again.I spent all day yesterday watching old Disney movies, and wishing that life could be that simple. Wishing that Prince Charming would ride up on his steed and sweep me up off my feet, love me enough to fight for my honor against all odds, and take me away to live happily ever after. As if such a man existed. As if I would be happy with that kind of life. But I’m too complicated for that. I want to be taken care of, but I want my freedom to chose my own path. What man is going to sign up for that? And then, of course, there is the question of why I am so worried about it in the first place. Why can’t I just be happy being alone, being me? I have no problem getting noticed. I’m not an ugly girl by any standards, and men seem to find me more attractive than I find myself. People even go so far as to label me confident, which I suppose is a credit to my successful mask and skilled talent at bull-shit. But the empty flirtations, the not-going-anywhere kisses, they just leave me feeling more empty than before. I want what I want, even if I’m not really sure what that is, and I’m dying a little each time it slips away, with every single might have been. I’m scared of the life I’m living, at a time in my life when I should be most excited about what is happening, because I see nothing but walls. My life is too full, and its threatening to spill me over.

The pain and glory of being alone…

September 29th, 2008 | Josie

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”~Paul Johannes Tillich

I like to spend time walking in the city alone, surrounded by conversation but talking to no one. I like the solitude to be found within my own head, even amidst the noise and chaos of a city like London. I have begun to notice, however, that for a person that thrives on alone time, I cannot seem to get the knack of being alone, in the romantic sense. I so desperately want to be loved that I throw myself and my heart at the wrong people, and make monumentally stupid decisions in regards to love.  Though I am only now just coming down from what was, in all truth, more a blow to my ego than to my heart, I still find myself hoping almost every moment of the day for Prince Charming to come riding down Great Portland Street on his steed and sweep me up off my feet. Heck, I would find myself satisfied if one of the men at the pub offered to buy me a drink. I would likely fall into his arms without a thought in the world to the consequences until long after, when I am sitting in my bed alone and the phone has not rung in days.I have fallen hopelessly in love with the idea of love, and have found myself searching for it in all the most unlikely places. I have sought it with strangers and friends alike, both to equally devastating ends. Why is it that I seek love so relentlessly? Why am I continually trying to find my soul on the lips of another? I want to be wanted to desperately, even if only for a moment, that I allow men to use and hurt me, as if five minutes of pleasure and belonging to someone makes up for all the years of damage that it is doing to my soul, not to mention to my heart. Through all of my failed flirtations with desire, I fear that I have done so much harm to myself that when I finally do meet someone worthy of my love, I won’t be whole enough to give to him. I know this, yet I continue to chip away at the ever dwindling mass that is my heart, handing out pieces of it to strangers on the street. I have lost lovers and friends to the inexorable foolishness of my quest for love, and though I can recognize and even admonish the idiocy of my actions and choices, I cannot seem to stop making them.

Seeking answers I can’t find…

September 15th, 2008 | Josie

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ” ~Lao Tzu

Once again I am on the brink of all that is new, and although I am almost sure that I am ready to take the leap, I cannot seem to force myself to jump. I’m excited to be moving to London, but at the same time I have no idea what to expect, what it is that I really want out of life. Beyond December, my life is a blank page. No plans, no real goals. All that I have is ideas, hopes, dreams. Nothing solid. Nothing concrete. I am tired of searching for the time in a world where all of the clocks seem to be running backwards…There are days that I am glad for the fluidity of my life. Days that the fact that I don’t know where I’ll be in a few months, what I’ll be doing, seems like a blessing. Some days, though, that blessing can seem daunting, more a curse. Sometimes I wish that my life could be more simple, that I could aspire to something a little more solid, something that I could plan for an understand. But my life is not destined for that, so all I can do is embrace the uncertainty.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet