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cirque de la nuit

The inky journey of a modern day Troubador

Fraud

Either you feel like a fraud
or you actually are a fraud.

The older I get the more I see through the
thin veneer of “adulthood”

Adulthood is the true fairy tale.
Grown-ups tell kids stories of the magical time
when life comes together and you understand the meaning
and purpose of your life
That along comes a job and career and suddenly you are
doing all the things you are supposed to be
and you just get so comfortable that marriage
and children inevitably follow.

But the reality of life is that it is all
a shot in the dark.

and unless you are a complete fraud,
you can admit
that you have no idea what you are doing and
where you are going sometimes.
That you feel like an impostor behind a mask of serenity
and pretending you have it all together is as exhausting as
keeping it all together.

Self-awareness is necessary to achieve any degree of happiness. And I’ve become acutely aware just how much I don’t know about anything.

Being passionately curious and willing to dig in and try to learn is my saving grace when I feel like my fraudulence is getting to me.

Appreciation

“What wins?”
I grumble to myself as I read the days challenge over a creamy caramel cup of coffee.

I think its a trait I’ve carried over from my youth but I have always considered success to be a state to live in and failure to be a pit. But reality is so much greater than that. A win for me today, I woke up early and instead of cowering under the covers hiding from sunshine i opened the window and started my day.
I checked my email and planned my day accordingly.

Taking time to appreciate my successes and even attempts however big or small will only serve my craft, hone my self love, and give me ownership of my life—all of it.

~

And when life gets too much
when the roots I’ve sewn deep in the soil
feel like chains anchoring me to a decaying ground
and the tempest around me disrupts the stillness in my soul
until I want to scream my primal fear and anguish into the void

I look up
at the winking stars perched on black matte
many, i know are long dead
and yet
I still see their light.

I take a breath
inhaling the dust of things much older than the
planet I exist on.

my smallness of being
cloaks me like a sheltering shroud
and I am content in the
storm.

Awaken my heart

“May this serve the awakening of my heart”

I am under duress. Not the “buckle down” kind
the “buckle under” kind.

I got lost in the woods chasing rabbits through the trees and
now I’m missing the forest.

At least that is what my mind told me. Repeatedly.
As I sat staring blankly at the TV screen willing myself to fall asleep.

The mind is a writers best friend and worst foe.
Sure I can dream up stories just watching the way J ponders the sunlight while sipping a cup of coffee.
But I can also convince myself that everything is awful and horrible and disastrous and the only way I can make it better is to worry and work and whenever I’m not doing either of those things…to drown in syrupy guilt.

This challenge on my intentionality stopped my overactive mind on its hellbent path with one quote: “May this serve the awakening of my heart”.

Rather then let these difficulties rattle my bones till they fracture, I can take a mindful moment, focus on the present and let this become a journey for me to surmount. A valley with sloping inclines for me to work my way up rather then a pit to wallow in.

“If we must bear the inescapable challenges each day brings, why not learn to love them?”

–I’m no yogi, and given my personality there is slim chance I’m going to love my way through the challenges in my life. But I can learn to love myself and my support system through the harder times.

And while I’m at it I’ll learn a lesson or two so that I don’t end up in the same stupid valley twice!

Day 11– Creating Space

I was completely unprepared for the types of challenges this Inspirational Challenge Journey would send me on!

I thought it would mostly be journaling, but it has sent me into the living world for conversation, feedback and engagement. (which is why I haven’t been updating on my activities)

I’ve had to engage in mindful meditation 3 times a day, and tell someone the truth. I’ve had to confront anxious ideas to figure out their roots, and offer encouragement to someone I don’t like. I’ve had to visualize my stress and transmute it into something else.
It’s been so much work and intensity that I haven’t found the time or energy to write about it afterwards…which at first seemed like a waste— but as I’ve continued on the challenge road, it’s been a boon for my creativity! Not feeling the obligation and disdain to write but the excitement of looking forward to sharing and turning all my thoughts and experiences into future notes!

So far the biggest challenge has been creating my own space. At work I am an admin which means I handle everything, every detail, every minor incidence, every scalding hot fire that comes our way. Whether its my job or not, rain or shine, no matter what else I have on my plate. But this challenge required me to create a space for myself so I can feel secure, appreciated and not overwhelmed. This means I had to say no, and to re-enforce that no.

It was incredibly empowering to simply say, “no- I don’t have time for that right now, I can get to it in a month or so but I will not do it now.” My space is my own. I own it, and I have to protect it fiercely. Otherwise others can and will take from my my time, my serenity, and my joy.

Commitments

I have trouble with mornings.
Those first rays of sunlight that stream through the window pane are not friend to me.
I get a dull ache behind my eyes and a dry tiredness that stretches through my muscles and itches at my skin.

So my commitment during this challenge is to change up my morning routine. Not to rebel against my nature and make a morning person out of myself….but to start the day in a way that might make me entertain the possibility that mornings are not the devils work.

I turned on my meditation music, soft pastel tones overlay-ed with natural world sounds, a loon, a small wave, the smattering of raindrops in a forest…

And I sipped my coffee and focused on being present in the moment. Enjoying the view from my window peak above the fray.

It wasn’t great. but it was enough.

Intentionality (Day 1)

I accepted a challenge.

Via Intention Inspired

To motivate and inspire myself through a series of mindful tasks, completed over a 30 day period.

The first challenge, to imbue an object with my intentions for this challenge and put it somewhere I can see it everyday.

I picked my spoon ring. It’s the most valuable (to me) piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned, despite only costing me $15. It was a graduation gift to myself. And it symbolizes the triumph over obstacles. A natural choice to give me daily motivation, from around my ring finger.

 

What inspired me to take on this 30 day challenge, is the need for change. I can’t change my surroundings right now. In the past a big move always symbolized a new path to for me to chart. But adulthood brings a lot of stability with it, and unfortunately stability brings boredom for me. I needed this challenge to chart a new course, even when I’m standing still.

I have no idea how to make that make sense to anyone.

I’m going to find away to shake the wanderlust out of my hair, and dig my bare feet into the wet dirt right where I am. I am going to put some tentative roots down, and learn to grow my adventures from the hearth.

Michael Chabon

I tried in all sorts of ways not to fall in love with the writing of
Michael Chabon.

I failed so hard, it felt like a crash and burn.

I went into his book “Telegraph Avenue” anticipating his inability to write the mental voice of a black woman, or black child.

But he captured every voice so well, and wrote so eloquently in-eloquent that I fell madly in love with his style, his unique verb usage, and the quirky flow of his characters speech….it actually mirrors how people talk. (One of my main complaints of authors)

Suffice it to say, I couldn’t keep it to myself and had to proclaim– Chabon is a fantastic writer, if you haven’t consumed from his assortment of amazing reads…..https://www.harpercollins.com/authors/michaelchabon

You need to.

This world is for the Monsters

I’m a little obsessed with the idea of monsters.

They can be beasts, otherworldly, human, ideological, imaginary…

infinite possibilities in the capacity of monster-ness.

Mostly this is on my mind because I work as a sexual assault advocate in hospitals, and I deal with the fall-out leftover from the work of monsters.

They are not the nameless, faceless beings that I write about or dream of.
They are people that I see everyday, speak to, interact with.

They may even be friends of mine.

And that is what makes monsters so terrifying.

They are not hiding at all. They don’t need to hide.

Monsters Hide

You aren’t a monster

its too tight in here
and you can’t…
B R E A T HE

You look at their
desolate eyes
and listen to the
mechanical whirring
of dull
conversation

It’s too bright in here
light bounces off the pellucid
water and it seems that
the entire world is…
B E A M I N G

You know too well
the overwhelming taste
of pain.
The kind only misfits
can taste from their
renegade shelters.

It’s too hot in here
the air smothers you
like a balmy blanket
and you skin starts to…
M E L T

You aren’t a monster
but you are
seeking relief
and sharpening your claws
because perhaps

if you teach others
pain
you can finally be…
FREE

The Ward

“Which one is yours?”
The grey haired woman was wearing an Armani suit, with navy blue pinstripes.
She had sunglasses on masking her eyes and the thin lines that crinkled next to them.

The younger man brushed a brown curl off his forehead and pointed vaguely across the street to the cafe. “The blonde haired one. short. pixie cut.”

The woman smoothed a wrinkle from her pant leg, “do they still call it a pixie cut? I’m not sure?”

“Don’t care” the man sighed and looked back down at the newspaper in his lap.

The woman smiled, “I’m Grace. The lovely one in the pink dress who just arrived is mine.”

The man looked up briefly, “She is lovely.”

Grace’s smile widened, “So is yours.”

“Not really.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, before Grace cautiously interrupted, “You know this is a big moment for them right? We are changing their outlook on life….it changes everything.”
She looked at the table of young women happily chatting away. “They are so young and free, they deserve a second chance.”

“Debatable…” Eoin put down his newspaper. “Youth is not a desirable trait to anyone but the old. And it certainly isn’t a marker for one who deserves good things. Neither is beauty.”

Grace shushed him, “It’s almost time. Don’t distract me.”

Moments later a larger refrigerated truck lost control a few blocks away. It swerved and swayed as the terrified driver tried to avoid hitting cars on the roadway. The truck hopped the curb and careened down the sidewalk towards the table of women, all frozen in fear.

Eoin watched as Grace flew across the street and swept pink dress up in her arms, tossing her lightly and safely into some bushes out of the trucks path.

He slowly unfurled his legs, stretched, then dashed across the street just in time to pull pixie hair and her companion into the street and out of the way. The truck crashed through the cafe patio and into the brick wall of the cafe store front, causing an explosion of bricks and mortar before it came to a stop.

Grace rejoined Eoin on their bench away from the fray. “Why did you wait so long? And why did you put them in the street, that’s hardly a safe spot?!” Her pink dressed woman was struggling to extract herself from the prickled branches of the bush she sat in while pixie hair lay in the middle of the street surrounded by rubble. Her friend knelt next to her cajoling, “You’re fine, just sit up….we are okay. Look at you, all flushed….you are glowing!”

Eoin shrugged, “she’s okay. A little dramatic, so no doubt she’ll still be taken away in an ambulance.”

Grace shook her head incredulously, “In all my years I’ve never seen one so cavalier.”

Eoin picked up his newspaper, “I have to get to the hospital and check things out, she’s prone to infection.”

As he walked away, Grace shouted, “What is wrong with you?!”

Without turning around he replied, “Guardian angel or not, my ward is a pain in the ass.”

Gaslight

He held a lantern close to my face
“Why are you crying?”

I picked myself up and brushed the sand from my open wounds

“No, I’m okay”

I was always raised to be okay.

“Good”

The next time he knocked me down, I saw it happen

He looked in my eyez

“Why did you fall? You knew what was happening”

I questioned myself, my expectations and set him free to fly with black wings.

“I am okay”

The blood on my soul and bruises on my conscience were of his making, and he asked,

“Why did you let me?”

Then like the Phoenix, I rose.

Rose from the ashes he burnt me in.
Rose from the mud he buried me under.
Rose from the costume he cloaked me in.

“What are you?” He asks with disdain.

“You made me.” I stretch my exuberance of every color.

Men cannot kill nor tame any wild thing. Though they tear the world apart to try.

I broke

I broke overnight.

There was a moment of relief
followed swiftly by disbelief

and then I fell to pieces.

the shards of my heart
were gnarled and sharp

I cut myself on the bloody parts.

I sank in a pool of agony
befuddled at the plangency

of the sound of my soul being crushed.

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