far from anodyne.

I need to remember this very clearly.
You are not for me.
You never really were,
much as I tried.

You are right. You are a man who doesn’t fit in.

I have to stop breaking my own heart over you.
I have to stop thinking that there is anything there.

You have built a very nice life for yourself.
I need to stop wishing that I could be part of it.

i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I turned 53 years old.
I spent the entire weekend with people and missing people who clearly love me and who I love so much.
I spent the weekend

I spent the weekend doing familiar birthday things,
Going to the Lyndhurst craft fair as I have done for decades
(maybe half the artists this time, different layout, timed ticketing, all due to covid restrictions)
stressing out from all of the unknowns
(known and unknown, thank you D. Rumsfeld)
wanting so much for normalcy
(but what is “normal”, anyway? I certainly don’t have a fucking clue)
feeling so much that I have to explain even though I know I don’t
It seems like all I have been doing for the past three and a half years is explaining and explaining and explaining because honestly I
don’t understand any of it.
Just when I think I do I get caught off guard and none of it makes sense again.

I suppose I’m not explaining to others so much as to myself.

I miss all of the things that we talked about, all of those things that we never did.
All of the ways we responded to each other, all of the good, all of the terrible.
The contrast, I think,
the contrast is what’s killing me now.
i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

I can say things out loud and
I can say things out loud and not worry about feeling stupid for saying them.
Being made to feel stupid for saying them.
I can say things out loud and not worry about
I can say things out loud and not worry about being instantly and immediately criticized.
I can say things out loud and not worry about who might be on my side.

I know
I know for sure
I know now that you loved me but I didn’t then. I never knew for sure. I never knew from one minute to the next.
You would rescind and retract your love like the outgoing tide.
Snatch it away from me,
away from my

craven, grasping, grubby little paws

I want to forgive you for saying these things to me.
I want to forgive you for this so much.

How can I miss you so much and still be so angry at the things you did to me?
That we did to each other.

I told your sister once that I never really had an accurate sense of your feeling for me, not that I felt I could believe anyway. That I always thought you thought I was stupid and not enough and too much all at once.
That now I can look at the last things you wrote, and know.
I can look at all the small lovelinesses you left behind.
I can look at those things and know that they are real, they are proof.
Not soon enough to be able to enjoy with you, no.

The very desperate need to hold onto them

((craven, grasping, grubby little paws)screaming to the sky to talk to you
for you to hear me

I am trying so hard to do everything I can to be well.
I am still so
I am still so unwell but I don’t feel crushed by having to hold up every other damn thing anymore if only because I have given up on everything it seems)

I can look at the small lovelinesses that you left and see them for the huge gestures that they were. Everything is relative.

I can see the unexplored and forever unknown possibility of us becoming better to each other, to ourselves.
Knowing how difficult it was even in the very best of us
knowing I would not be this person if you were still alive
proving my progress to the memory of a dead man
wanting so much to escape your critical eye, your devastating words
and yet wanting to show you that I am okay
I am not okay.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I felt loved, and cherished, and adored, and so sad for what we never had.
If you could see how people treat me now.
If you could see how people love me now and aren’t afraid to say, to show.
I know you would, too.

ancient artifacts

black clay medallion, going into the salt

I look at this
it looks like a cookie
i wanna eat it
I look at this and I think you might have liked it.
Like really liked it.
It has that stone boulder-type look that you loved
you made your file folders and icons all have it
It has that riveted, homemade robot-type look to it
that wonky, wabi-sabi ancient technology look.
something you could have unearthed on a dig
or found in our backyard, sticking half-up out of the dirt.
You can see my fingerprints in it, for now.
You can see the literal hand of the artist.
The linen cloth I use to protect both surfaces
above and beneath.

I had to come forward this far.
this far.
Three years.
I had to come forward this far
to make something I truly think you would like.

I think so much that you would like it.

but why am I trying so desperately to please my dead husband?

Home. 10 November, 2019.

…a braver man I never met.

Gary is finally home.

It doesn’t hold all of his cremains that I have left.
It doesn’t have to. It holds enough.
I’ll scatter the rest in places he liked.

I think I can finally go, now.

cannabis diaries – 845p, 6 november, 2019

what this drug allows me to do (you numbskulled, pretty-faced idiot) as you postulated isn’t done by taking away my pain. not at all. what it is doing, however, is turning down the volume a little bit. to a more manageable level of chaos. to separate the noise from the signal. it is allowing me to filter out all of the extraneous thoughts (oh and they are Legion), just flick them away like they were smoke rings. leaving no trace. no impact. just distapeared into the air. it allows my nervous system to not be quite so nervous. to actually be calm. be calmed. to remember kellen’s voice as if it lives in my head now. to comfort me when i need. am needful. am unwell.

my nervousness is so much not a thing any more that i am shocked by its absence. shocked, but quietly so. it seems to take a lot more to get my anger up now, and that i am much slower to even want to. that i more want to turn the feeling over and over, inspecting it, finding its flaws. taking them apart. fixing them, or discarding what i don’t need. moving forward.

(and this is the very last time that i will think of you in relation to my wellness. since i know that you don’t read my work it won’t make a whit of difference to you but it makes all the world of difference to me.)

Love is. 10:40a, 13 September, 2019.

Today I know how much I am loved. I have no doubt. I will never ever not know. I know what it feels like to be loved, and seen, and heard. I know what it feels like to be understood.

My evolution is ongoing. The path I started down two years ago is ever-twisting, ever changing. Forward, ever forward.

I’d brought this little bit of printing I’d done to hang up in Gary’s hospital room. To remind him that he is loved. I brought it home, taped it to the shelf on his side of the bedroom. To remind me.

9:24a, 10 september, 2019

i don’t know why i thought i would be able to do this
why i thought that the anniversary of the week he died would be a good idea
to try and sort through everything in this house
our house
the weather is cooler
my brain, not so much on fire
and now that there is a bit of calm
to try to take stock, sort through
instead i look at everything from where i sit
overwhelmed
over and overwhelmed
wanting nothing more than to crawl back into bed
i have done nothing. no thing. not one.

“…oh what a world, i don’t wanna leave
there’s all kinds of magic, it’s hard to believe
thank god it’s not too good to be true
oh, what a world, and then there is you
plants that grow and open your mind
these are real things thank god it’s not too good to be true
oh, what a world, and then there is you…”

kacey musgraves

i don’t wanna leave, i don’t.
i know he didn’t want to leave either and that is 
so fucking maddening and painful and
heart breaking. HEARTBREAKING.
it wasn’t even his heart that killed him ffs.
we didn’t have enough time.
we didn’t have nearly enough time.
we spent so much time getting through all our pain together
misunderstanding each other
getting to the point we reached three years ago.
a year before he died.
i wish (do i?) that i knew the exact day things turned
that we turned towards the sun, towards the light
like the sunflowers i used to fear
(they always turn their faces to the sun, they are good, they are pure)
i wish i knew the exact day as clearly as i remember the conversation.
the moment things turned truly good. 

i know that i have to leave this place, this house
our house.
was a very very very fine house.
with one cat in the yard.
life used to be so hard.
now it is so very hard.
nothing is easy. it never has been.

here i am, nearly two years on
i still don’t have any idea how to do this.
i am running out of time.

cherish the day. the moment.
the second.
the briefest speck of time.

it disappears
is snatched away
and you never get it back.

4 August, 2018

I am just so tired.

I am tired of everything. Tired of sleeping. Tired of waking. Tired of trying. Tired of being.

Tired of all of the upkeep that this requires. Tired of dragging myself through every goddamn day one after another. It is exhausting and I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

I know that right now I am experiencing a massive depressive episode. And just trying to keep my head above it that is killing me. I am exhausted and I just want it to stop.

Here I am once again, in the car. Going to work. Showered and dressed. Looking fairly presentable. dictating this into my phone because I know if I don’t get it down I’ll forget it and I really don’t want to forget this. I need this out.

I’m not always like this, really I’m not. I say this to try and reassure myself, others. Does anyone even believe it?

Kindness is painful. Instead of soothing, it pinches, bites, stabs. It doesn’t do anything it’s meant to. It’s meant to relieve, to destress. And all I can think is that I am unworthy. I know that I am not but it’s all I can think. I know that my brain, one of my favorite parts of myself, I know that it lies and I know that it wants to kill me. I know that it is trying very, very hard to do this. And I am tired, tired of fighting it.

I need a break. I need things to stop piling on top of me. I just need some time. I haven’t had a break since the two weeks I took off work after Gary died nearly eleven months ago. That two weeks that I did nothing but sit in my house and cry. I’m taking I’m taking the second week off in September, the same week that he was in the hospital I’m taking off work because I cannot imagine dealing with other humans. But I need a break. Or I will break.

I am already breaking, broken.

Cribbing from a master. 23 June, 2018

“…I cannot rest from travel: I will drink 
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d 
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those 
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when 
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; 
For always roaming with a hungry heart 
Much have I seen and known; cities of men 
And manners, climates, councils, governments, 
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all; 
And drunk delight of battle with my peers, 
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. 
I am a part of all that I have met; 
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ 
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades 
For ever and forever when I move. 
How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! 

As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life 
Were all too little, and of one to me 
Little remains: but every hour is saved 
From that eternal silence, something more, 
A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this gray spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge like a sinking star, 
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought…
…There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: 
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, 
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me— 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine
, and opposed 
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; 
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; 
Death closes all: but something ere the end, 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done, 
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. 
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: 
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep 
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ 
We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

(excerpted from Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)