the self

I Could Not Fall In Love Again If I Tried...

This is not a desperate statement or one that should bring about sympathy from anyone. I do not need "saving."

Listen:

I've fallen in love three times. I'm 33. What is the significance of the number 3? I have no clue, but if you know feel free to comment. 

The first time I fell in love, I was blind. Not due to injury or literal loss of sight. But I was blind to myself and blind to him. One cannot love another if they don't love themselves first, just as one cannot know another if they do not first know oneself. 
We got caught up in physical attraction and very late night debates on the back of a ship in the middle of the ocean. One night we slept outside under the stars, hands to ourselves, but with untrained hearts.

When I moved to Atlanta to be with him, he all of a sudden "didn't want anything serious." As if a move across the country isn't already a serious thing, but I digress. 
It is not healthy to start a relationship with an ultimatum. I know that now but 24 year old me was fed up. So I said, "I'm not going with you to this event if you're going to introduce me as your friend." And I was prepared to not go. He chose to take me and so i became his "girlfriend." Kind of a stressful way to proclaim "relationship" but we need to ask for what we want. And so I did.

Two years of good followed by two years of awful leaves a lot of wreckage in the heart. And the body. My chest, a harbor full of broken ships, planks, shapnel. Could not see the ocean floor through the remains of what we were trying to build. And so I left. In order to rebuild myself.

The second time I fell in love I was just ripe for sky flying souls meeting in the clouds to make love. We free wrote to each other. For months. Now if that won't do it to a poet, I dunno what will. But there was no editing, no deletions allowed, just full and open words. We wrote until we were finished and hit 'send.' Talk about cultivating intimacy! I now know to not do that with anyone who isn't committed to sticking around for whatever is to come. 

I learned the pain of falling in love with someone who wasn't in love with me. What a tragedy. A writhing ache, snaking its way through your body, til it makes you sick. And contemplative. Depressed and alone. Til it turns you into a yogi. 
This is what happens when you grow love and intimacy without legs. Or a ground. It is a cloud, just waiting to burst or become fog and rain away. 
Don't do this. I really wouldn't recommend it.

The third time I fell in love I was legs but no feet. No ground underneath me. Walking like that is wobbly. Carrying the dried out wood and straw, the old news chronicles of pain in your chest leaves you susceptible to fire. You can burn wildly like that. But that doesn't mean you should.

I fell without realizing the fall. My heart an upturned smile, the hopeful face of a child. His too. 
At least this time it was mutual, but it didn't last. We had both been burned before meeting each other, so we were both pretty easy to lift. This time at least it felt like ascendance but we showed up with no ground, so when we fell out:  there was nothing there. No front steps to rest our shoes on. No welcome mat. Not even a door. 

***

I think falling in love, in how we talk about it, in how we see it on TV and portrayed in the media is an accidental, decision-less thing. This is not the kind of beginning that anyone can expect to build on. And while occasionally we hear stories of those who did, who could, who were successful at that - they are rare, are they not? How many of us actually know a real story of two people we actually know who have been successful at that. Who's relationship survived?

Those stories belong mostly to our grandparents. Perhaps a few of our parents too, but not many. Our grandparent's generation was one with more patience, more time, less distraction. Having most likely not grown up with TV, or color TV for that matter, which proliferated in the 60's and 70's, they would have relied more upon learning about relationships and love through conversation. Or watching their family members and friends trials and tribulations. 

TV really does us an injustice with it's fantastical, romantic, whirlwind romance portrayals with little to no substance. These are not places we can build from. In this storyline we can fall - in love - we can feel like we're flying, we can let our hearts go but when they come back to us what do we have left? Reality? Which may or may not feel like love.

Love is a way. Not a thing out of reach that escapes us. We can cultivate love in our lives every day with the people around us. By being responsible friends, by practicing kindness, generosity, honesty, integrity and by practicing these things also with ourselves. We do not have to lack love just because we are not in love. We can build a solid ground beneath us. A foundation with which to rest on and walk and grow from. 

If we do this it becomes our source of life and from which we can grow. When we do this we will realize that falling makes no sense. It is a risk not worth taking. We have too much beneath us now to be so frivolous with our hearts. 

It is form this place that I write and from this place that falling makes no sense. 
I prefer to build.

 

 

 

 

When You Realize This Society Wasn’t Made for You… Or Musings From a Recovering Athiest

Originally penned/published: October 7, 2012

I’m sick of the poverty in our capitalism.

(a line from one of my latest poems, performing tonight at Java Monkey coffeehouse, Decatur, GA. 8pm sharp! And FREE! videos will follow!)

Quite frankly, I don’t see how Christianity and our current practiced capitalism can coexist harmoniously.

They’re antithetical.

There is so much greed and excessive consumption and so much waste and destruction of the earth in the way we practice capitalism: our habitat, y’know that thing we live on, and off of, that we need to keep healthy in order to thrive ourselves…

It has gotten to the point that our practiced capitalism is destroying the earth. It got to this point a long time ago actually, but yeah, we’re still here. Doing the same shit. And the US is not the only evil. Most other “developed” nations, or core nations if you will, engage in similar practices. And different but also destructive practices exist in all nations. It seems inescapable to me. But perhaps it isn’t. I really don’t know. I’ve been longing for a place where people care more about preservation and community and enjoying the fruits of being alive instead of just shopping and shit.

But I don’t know where that is. In fact, it’s probably everywhere, and just a matter of to what degree and finding the right people. It’s in the arts scene, definitely the poetry scene, but those other things are there too. It’s just a mesh.

And, forgive me for wanting so much, but I just want better damnit. Lol.

I want more sanctity, more love among my people and progress toward useful gains, sustainable and good things, and less waste. Less excess. I really hate excess.

When people get excessive they develop addictions. I think the two are interrelated. Addictions to shopping, eating, smoking, sex, gambing, drugs of course, all kinds.

In our society there is too much focus on the self.

In my opinion at least.

So we tear each other apart. And other countries through war and ravaging resources.

 And how can this be called just? Whether you’re a religious person or not, it’s just not right. “Do unto others.” Do people STILL not realize that destroying another person or another community will eventually come back to destroy yourself?

I don’t think people believe this any longer.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what people believe.

Multitudes.

 

But the religious folks, man, I wonder. Too many of them seem so complacent. Perhaps I just don’t know enough. But I don’t see how one can be religious and be okay with the way we practice our capitalism.

It just doesn’t make sense.

And sure, atheism seems to be more popular now than ever. And at least that’s honest: if you don’t call yourself a Christian or a Buddhist or define yourself by any one religion –then you can claim to write your own doctrine and somehow seem to escape the responsibility. The questions. Being held to the fire with your convictions. I mean, if you don’t claim a religion or a ‘way,’ then really, you don’t ever have to have convictions at all! What an escape!

But then again… if you are religious and do define yourself as such, and you don’t adhere to the convictions of your doctrine then… is that really any different?

Either way you burn….

 

…. Not to get too excessive now, come back to reality Tawny….

Okay.

So sure, we’re all human and everyone makes mistakes, gives in to human urges and passion and does foolish things. Everyone has regrets. But how hard do you try?

Yeah, Tawny, how hard do YOU try???

Mmm… And I can hear my father, “Well, if you want more sanctity, more love among your people, more progress toward useful gains, more sustainable and good things, and less waste, less excess – well then I guess you’d better get to work.”

*nod*

I have learned how to tame myself. That is good. Necessary.

Necessary for preservation.

 

But having learned that and trying quite intensely to remain this way, now what? What do I do with all the excess that I see? All of the misalignment in our society? The poverty in our capitalism? The poverty in our communion – as people, to one another?

What do I do with that?

It begins with an ideology. And it takes practice.

The rest, is just a lot, a lot of work.

 

These are my thoughts for the day.
Good morning and blessings.

 

Wish me luck at my feature tonight!! I’m nervous! And excited!

It’s going to be MAGNIFICENT!!

 

<3