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Category: Thoughts for the Wayfaring Soul

An Exercise in Personifying Depression

An Exercise in Personifying Depression

My depression likes to call itself a dragon.

And no, not like the friendly green ones in children’s books, with the shiny scales and swirling flames erupting from their whimsical snouts.

He’s more like the ones you’d find in damp caves among craggy shores, where the skies churn with angry grey, such that nights seem to seep into the day.

 

He’s got deep black eyes, and glinting teeth that he bares when I’ve made him angry.

When I get lost in my head, I hear his snorts and snarls among the voices that simmer without rhythm or rhyme.

He crawls along behind me, ever-present in my shadow, as if just by being near me, he can drain the living right out.

 

Sometimes he’s big and towering, casting storm clouds over my day, as I drag my feet and lose my sense of purpose in the darkness.

Sometimes he’s small and droopy-eyed, resting neatly in my palm, and I kiss his small nose, wondering what I’d do without him.

 

Sometimes I hate him.

Sometimes he snaps at my heels and breathes his hot breath down my back.

Those days usually end in angry tears and choking sobs.

Sometimes I love him.

Sometimes he curls up with me at night, because he knows no one else is there.

It’s nights like those that it’s hardest to push him away.

 

And though I wish for nothing more than to evict him from his bed between my ribcage,

In the deeper corners of my heart, I know we are already life-long companions.

Gypsy Song

Gypsy Song

Wayfarers are souls born of fire and ash,

of desert sands, and hearts of trees,

of rivers’ blood and eagles’ cries —

Reared from the belly of the Earth and

stolen by the windblown whispers of time

to be lost to none other than Life itself.

Her Last Kiss

Her Last Kiss

It was the first night of autumn when she finally decided to let me take her away.

She was a beautiful one… one of the few I regret to take, especially so early. Her soul was pure, good intentions throughout, and nothing but love in her heart.

As her last wish, she asked me to keep her lover safe… to keep him warm in the night, to protect him in the day. I suppose she was too upset to understand I don’t often, if ever, do such things… though her pleading eyes spoke to the smallest bit of mercy in my heart. I nodded to her slowly, promising my protection of her soulmate.

The faintest smile flitted across her youthful lips, still pink with life, and not yet stained with the blue of last breaths.

At my surrender to her request, I felt her breathing become shallower and her soul was lighter in my hands.

I saw her thoughts, and they were all of him — the most happiness the world had ever brought her. I was so moved by her selflessness, I almost refused to take her. But I had no choice; she had accepted me at last, and I could not disappoint her.

So, I watched her thoughts carefully, kindly… and at the exact moment I witnessed their last loving goodbye, I kissed her.

Nightmares

Nightmares

The sun shown through the windows gently, lazily.

The curtains, though tightly drawn, could not keep out the undesired day.

She blinked, the golden rays catching her exhausted eyes off guard. She realized she hadn’t slept at all that night. She had, instead, been in a haunting daze… a deep, reflecting, self-corrosive trance.

She was cross-legged on her bed, the bed sheets and blankets twisted and gnarled, as though they had been nearly strangled, and now lay gasping for air. Her back was slouching and aching, her neck too weak to hold up her pounding head. The fingers of her hands were knotting together, then slipping apart, only to knot together again.

She shook with anxiousness, shivering at the thoughts playing over and over in her head — her inescapable nightmare.

It wasn’t over. It wasn’t ever over. She knew it wasn’t. But she didn’t know what.

The Rest of the World is Watching

The Rest of the World is Watching

With the ultimately dire situation America is in with the election, I thought I’d share the piece I wrote on this blog as well. It’s a piece I wrote after a particularly eye-opening conversation with a St. Maarten local, about none other than the infamous Donald Trump. Enjoy. And don’t vote for our country’s demise. My patience is running thin, as you can tell, with the woefully ignorant and sad idiots who think Trump will amount to anything more than a dark disgrace upon our history. But I digress. I implore you to read this thoroughly… for your own good.

 

The Rest of the World is Watching

It was a lengthy drive from Maho Beach back to the port where our ship was docked. We were sun-soaked and sleepy and more than thankful that the cab driver we’d met that morning had offered to drive us back over the island mountains. I sat in the front seat of the cab and watched him switch back and forth between radio stations while the heavy traffic stopped and started repeatedly.

We bumped and lurched along the uneven dirt road, and I took an interest in studying every person we passed by. There was a tired looking woman walking hand-in-hand with an excited child, who kept pulling her along up the hill to her displeasure. There was small greying man, riding a bike with a dog in the front basket; I stifled a laugh, noticing the dog looked not unlike his owner, being small, grey and rather scruffy. We even passed a few people who recognized our driver, and waved and shouted his name as we rumbled by.

After settling on a station, the driver looked in his review mirror at the rest of my family in the back seats, surveying us coolly.

“You are American, yes?” He asked in his deep island accent.

“Yes, from South Carolina.” My father answered.

The driver paused for a moment, and looked as though he was deciding whether or not to continue speaking. He switched the radio station again with anxious fingers, and glanced for a second time into the review mirror. In the end, he decided to keep the conversation going.

“It’s crazy there now, isn’t it? With the election?” He inquired. This took us mildly by surprise, seeing as we thought we may get some relief from the dismaying subject, since we were not on American soil.

“Yes,” most of us answered in unison, an involuntary shame quickly veiling our faces. We felt a heavy embarrassment for our country sitting ominously on our shoulders as we sat there, sheepishly.

There was silence for a few seconds, and we started to think of ways to apologize for our country’s recent stupidity, in case the driver asked how we’d sunk ourselves into the most horrific election in history.

I saw our driver crack a small, nervous smile. “Can I ask you a favor?” he said carefully. Traffic stopped again and we all looked toward him, waiting to see what he would request. “Don’t vote for Trump.”

We laughed immediately, but almost apologetically, having noticed the hollowness of his voice.

“God no, we would never!” I said to him. My family expressed similar disgusted explanations, but I could feel we all were aching to apologize on behalf of our country’s outrageously shameful behavior.

“I talk to so many other Americans, and some really like him.” He said, and there was a tone of raw disbelief imparted on the latter three words.

“I know,” my father answered him. “It’s disturbing what people will believe and support when they’re angry.”

“He’s foul,” I exclaimed, contemptuously.

The driver nodded and smiled, “The man’s a joke– even here in my country.” He shook his head as a dry laugh escaped him. “What I don’t understand,” he said, an incredulous look crossing his face. “Is that America was founded on the idea of freedom… and now they rally behind a man who threatens to destroy it all.”

At that moment, a deep pothole in the road caused us all to suddenly jerk forward, saving us from having to answer immediately, as shame once again stole our voices.

I was the first to recover. “It’s mob mentality, really, that’s got people behind him.” I anxiously played with a few frayed threads on my beach towel as I continued, donning a tone that told the driver clearly I was no part of this savage mob. “Hatred in America has never really been wiped out, but instead covered up. Every so often it resurfaces, some times more violently than others.” I tucked the edge of the towel under my leg, deciding this was too important a conversation to be distracted from. “Now every classist, racist, selfish and spiteful American has been validated. They have been told it’s ‘okay’ to be angry and hateful and destructive to society because someone– running for the presidency, no less– is just as angry, hateful and destructive.”

I felt my cheeks flush, as I took a breath to continue with renewed passion—but the driver held up his hand in a gesture to cut in, and I begrudgingly came to a halt in my sermon.

“America seems to forget one key thing among this insanity,” He said, warily, glancing back again into the mirror. “The rest of the world is watching.”

Everything seemed to come to an abrupt halt. And though the moment of silence was no longer than a few seconds, it was one of the loudest I had heard. Then, as if I was hearing again for the first time, his humbling words echoed over and over in my head.

I was thrust back into reality as the driver continued.

“The United States, for many years, has been a role model to the rest of the world. It has been a clear picture of what freedom and democracy is supposed to look like.” He shook his head. “And now, you have this monstrosity running for the presidency? What does that tell the world?”

The car came to a stop as we watched an elderly woman shuffle across the road in front of us, her tattered purse in one hand, and a few grocery bags in the other.

“Hate is not something we should live by. America has fought long and hard, even within itself, to wipe out hatred. It would be a reversal of progress if you appointed one of the most malicious people to your most prestigious office.” He paused, evidently waiting for a response or agreement, but we were too moved by his words to speak just yet.

“The world looks to you; we were laughing at Trump in the beginning, thinking he was a publicity stunt… but now, we could not be more scared about the decision your people will make.”

My mind flashed vivid images of the videos I’d seen of Trump supporters screaming racial slurs and holding vulgar signs — of Trump throwing out peaceful protestors and Democratic supporters from his rallies, all while violence raged among his spiteful mob.

“To tell you the truth,” I said quietly. “We’re all scared too.”

 

 

That afternoon in St. Maarten, I was brought back to the stark, unbending reality that a single choice, by a single person, has immeasurable effects on countless lives. We are far from impervious to the decisions of others, and it is time we understood the meaning of the word “consequence”. I urge you not to be part of this spiteful injustice that slowly tears our nation down, day by day; instead, be part of its rebirth and growth toward the long-dreamt vision of a country that strives on both its individuality and its equality. Though hatred still rages in the hearts of those in the deeper corners of our beloved nation, it is the duty of those who still believe in a free America to will acceptance and progress and equality into a reality.

The Comfort of Literature

The Comfort of Literature

Books. The wonders of the world. The playgrounds for imagination, the sceneries of our dreams. But what makes a person so passionate about a leather-bound bundle of worn paper and lines of type? Is it perhaps the timelessness? Perhaps the endless mystery? Perhaps both the comfort of an old friends and the excitement of a new lover all seamlessly joined into one? Or maybe the friendship it brings in loneliness, or the love it brings in heartbreak. But most of all? It’s the escape it gives in captivity, the breath it provides in suffocation, the last hope it bestows upon a soul that has given up.

Homesick

Homesick

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled a cigarette from a worn box with the label half rubbed off. Lighting the end, he closed his eyes, then breathed in the smoke as his mind gave in, with barely a fight. He didn’t smoke for the fun of it, nor for the sake of street-rat charm– not even for the rebel in him that smirked at the faces of disapproving mothers as he leaned against the wall of a corner shop, taking long, exaggerated drags. No, not for these reasons. He smoked instead for the sake of familiarity. In this new world of mystery and the unknown… it was the only thing that reminded him of home.

Luna

Luna

It’s a secret, how she watches us– living each of our days, in and out of consciousness. She wonders if we notice her, staring kindly through our glassy windows and peering into each of our fast-asleep souls. She listens as quiet breathes escape our half-open mouths, like a silent language known by all. It’s our dreams that most interest her; she watches our eyelids flutter as our imagination paints silhouettes and blurred images. Some of our dreams overlap and intertwine; she takes the pieces and sews them together– a quilt of both vivid imagination and intimate memories to fold over the world. As a world, we dream. As a world, we imagine. As a world, we create and explore and live alternate lives in the unconscious. She keeps us extraordinary… Keeps us a little more than simply “human”.

The Raven and the Red

The Raven and the Red

In an eerie secrecy, it was the raven that landed on the water’s edge. Nudging its sharp beak into the dirt to appease the hunger pains, it sliced through the ground, divulging the pulsing earth beneath its soil disguise. Beside the raven, the red river gushed and gurgled in a silent agony. The crimson fell slowly down the hillside, whispering to the night all the pains it wished to wash away. These whispers, however, were lost among the brightness of the stars. The raven finished its repeated piercing, took a drink of red, satisfied, and flew away, cawing at the river’s endless cries.

Love, Death and General Advice– Your Personal Hell (A Collection of Short Poems)

Love, Death and General Advice– Your Personal Hell (A Collection of Short Poems)

I.

I’m not one to live a life

just “one day at a time”–

But, then again, it does not good

to reason without rhyme.

 

II.

The kiss of sorrow winters fool

the blades beneath our feet–

though not until the darkness falls

do shallow voices speak.

 

III.

We talk about freedom,

we wish about love,

we sing about peace–

or the lack thereof.

We discuss all the tension,

the truth and the lies,

we question all life

and the men in disguise.