If you look at me. If you see me only from here, from the outside, from your distance, from the color of my hair, from the pale of my skin. If you think me tough, tender, untouchable, unruly – you assign me unnecessary stature. Red does fade, porcelain does occasionally erupt with acne, and when the world gets tiresome, grace unwittingly gets solid drunk on wine until she loses footing, says nasty things to inanimate objects, and embarrasses herself. all fine young animals have plenty of trappings: Foxes’ pelt are tangled in the morning under the brush and briar of unmanageable dreams and wounds take much licking and hiding so they heal. Small red things are both prized and persecuted for their cunning. i move fast when it’s time, and my company is then, for travel. And i think above all, you should travel.
If you look at me. If you think i’ve got it all together. If you think that every goal you’ve never set and everything you’ve ever failed at is something i have achieved effortlessly, then you should know that goals are elusive and therefore, illusions. So many of my own remain unfulfilled and still a dim reflection of those heady, idealistic years between 16 and 18. i am also disappointed in what i haven’t accomplished by now. i am young and i am old. But i am also, ceasing to put so much pressure on myself. Time is the only enemy eating up my life, but meanwhile, i’m eating and happy and full of people. Now be a good bunny, and don’t dangle your own carrots. And certainly, don’t allow other people to tie your carrots to sticks for you.
If you look at me, if you think i am flayed wide open or maybe – you think i carry my cards too close. Ask yourself, who would you have me be to you? i vacillate between isolation and total immersion. i’m your flitting butterfly; i’m your cocooning moth. Sometimes, i can only manage to shower, pull a row of tiger teeth through wet hair, plus a swatch of deodorant and ruddy lipstick.. Sometimes what i cannot push myself to do, or love or need for, i do for others. i am capable of talking a good friend into a new career, a big move, a new love, a lust for life, and then i realize that i stuff my life so full of intimate strangers that i feel like too little jelly scraped over far too much toast. Make sure you are the darkest, sweetest jam, but make sure there is enough to go around. A human takes some time to gel – wait a bit before you pop the top on yourself. For anyone. And if you prefer to be butter, don’t rush that either. Love without warming, sex without foreplay, openness without caution and coaxing is like spreading cold butter over that toast. This poor practice and impatience earns you nothing but crumbs, tears at the skin and leaves a hell of a mess.
If you look at me. If you watch me go between hoarding my emotions to spilling over the edges with expression, know that I mean nothing cruel by my twin natures. i see something and i have either complete disdain and fearful awe, or i simply shrug my shoulders and say . . . “i can do that,” and learn by myself, or locate someone who will teach me. i can recoil, i can throw myself into it. Spend some time doing both. Recoil, then spring. A snake has no need for a spine and can move over and through just about any place. With your mouth open that wide, you are also capable of swallowing anything, but remember you’ll be resting with that knot in your belly for awhile. i may be small, i may be thin, and sometimes i may be hiding, but make no mistake – i have teeth. Of course – i may only strike when threatened or i may simply choose to change colors so you no longer see me in broad daylight.
If you look at me. If you think I have everything I’ve ever wanted, if you think i have more than you or have seen more than most know that it is only because i have learned to project the image I carry inside. I truly believe that I lead a charmed life, blessed, if you like. There is only one thing i know i now possess, the only thing i can call mine, the thing that gets me by most exchanges in this life, a possession that is practiced more than i imagined – my ability to talk to people. any person. any way. in their language. and by this i mean, i communicate through writing, or conversation, or story. real or virtual. This allows me to collect more about human behavior and learn more about myself. When i see or perceive someone to be interesting, i impart my divine right to have them fall in love with me. Because – I love them and it is divine to love for so many reasons. And i do NOT mean love in the way you may think rockstarpromqueenbeautymagazine sexyillusionhusbandwife2.5kidsmortgage. i mean – it’s divine to share yourself with someone you admire, someone who strikes at some waxy part of you and moves something in you; and not to hold them away from you as untouchable, inaccessible or worse, to not punish them for being beautiful to you and to most. There is no one too good for our words, to downcast for our gaze, too brusque for our affection; there is no one who cannot allow themselves to be a muse. It is possible to love so very many and to experience that exchange of energy. a fixing of a broken ego/eros/ethos.
Save all of your love letters. Look at where you have loved, what you have become or what parts of you have come undone over love. Save everything you write. If you don’t write . . . start.
And here is my philosophy on true love, on ONE love, on soul mates. i do not believe there is just ONE person for another. Instead, there are more like seven. this is all due to placement, emotional readiness and timing. sometimes you are with #5 when #7 finally shows up and there was no need for #6. Occasionally you are with #6 and in the thick of it and you completely ignore or deny yourself #7 because you don’t want to risk it or hurt people. often you spend time with #4 then end up reverting to #1 who you really should’ve skipped, because, what a fucking waste of time. in the bad times, you are with #7 and don’t know it and then #3 shows up like a big curiosity/distraction and a last minute crash-course in emotional training because you accidentally skipped over a deeply interesting person who strips you down and remakes you into something better, or profoundly different somehow and then you have to spend a good deal of time trying to win back #7 with your newly acquired skills. Sometimes you are really lucky and #7 shows up in the 4th grade and you stay good friends for years, date a bit in between but inevitably, end up together. Sometimes you work really hard, #1 thru to #7 and then you lose #7 in cruel fate or death and cannot love again but remain full in knowing that you did. People write books about this. 7 is a lucky number. Are you him/her?
i do not say “look at me” to make you see me. i want you to see yourself. Perhaps, in me. i will flatter you rightly, i will adore you, so that you will believe it for yourself and see fit only to respond with the same divine love. i don’t mean god either. i mean to skip the presentation, gloss over the food and go straight to the ingredients and the appliances that make it possible. My tools for earning love are honest and hopeful: tell a person they are true, and beautiful, and worthy, and strong, and full of countless gifts. and they will show you what graces they indeed have. and they will think the same of you. They will return in kind and everyone feels wonderful and right with the world. You should love this way instead of miring yourself in goals, competition, fear, desperation, or in a timely settlement for something that only contents but does not inspire.
Edith Wharton said: “There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” We all take turns between flame and silver dish. i have been both. and I only knew afterwards . . . which one i was.
my suggestion to you — if you are looking at me
if you are looking at her
if you are looking at him
if you are looking at them
and don’t see anyone from there . . .
find a new light source,
look in the mirror.