you always start with a look. no words. just a sizing up of loyalty. the words come later. always.
eyeing a trusting body up & down, you decide it’s worth the sacrifice. you determine that an open heart can survive the firm press of your lips as you suck the life out of her.
you steal all her “firsts”, take her to get her first tattoo and ink all of your desperate desires onto her life.
tied to the beds of your grip, she builds a super power against your pressure. turns her head and learns to appreciate the moments that pass as you finish your daily fit.
now she can see you coming from 100 miles away, dimming the lights to your preference.
she is obsidian, rooted at the base of her spine, and swallowing the shit of the world.
For years, I have facilitated writing experiences with teachers, many of which have been grounded in the teachings from Georgia Heard and her text, “Writing Toward Home”. In one of her chapters, she suggests writing an apostrophe- the kind of apostrophe used in drama or poetry and from the Greek word meaning “to turn away”. You are asked to choose someone, alive or gone, and speak/write directly to them. It is an unfiltered type of writing that is rooted in honesty and healing and I have literally witnessed it changing people’s lives as they pour their hearts onto paper.
Through all the times I have offered this experience to other writers, I have also attempted to write my own for 10+ years and never gotten “anywhere”. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I have chosen the same person and started the same way….”unimaginable, what you have done & how you have chosen to exist”. If you were to look through my piles of writer’s notebooks, you would find that same line over and over again followed by a few weak and fearful lines. Until last week…
I reread Heard’s chapter on the apostrophe and followed her subtle accommodation to this exercise. If you can’t seem to write to a person, she suggests that you write to an inanimate object or emotion. In all my years, I had never chosen that path. Until now…
“You” in the piece of writing above is not a person. “You” is a state of mind & being and I was finally able to address it head on. This piece was never meant to be written to an individual. It was meant to be written to both the dark and light sides of life. It was meant to be written about the strength we can all find within ourselves as we journey the world each and every day.
Today my writing broke the bounds of time & space and arrived at truth.