I keep coming back,
to the blue sphere of sky,
to the greenish hue of trees,
to the vivid petals of flowers,
hanging from vines,
red, yellow, purple, pink,
mesmerized by the feel of sunrays,
strong, sinking into my skin,
attracted to earth's tangible display,
laid bare in front of me,
no specific focus,
no longer wanting to lose myself,
reveling in the slow stretch of muscle,
as I twist my ankle in circles,
indulging in the sweet tension,
I, myself, created,
by revolving my neck from side to side,
shoulder to shoulder,
hearing my own breathing,
uninterrupted by speech,
by a heartbeat other than my own
I used to miss that merging,
a mingling of minds,
by the buzzing of bees,
in a flourishing garden,
my heart beats loud enough,
to drown out the longing
A fiery orange sun,
shrouded in eternal haze,
overlooks a peaceful chaos,
a beguiling bedlam,
on the endless stairways of the ghats,
a scattering of souls,
young and old,
animal and human,
a dizzying din,
baring skin with no shame,
healed by the mighty river,
dozens of them,
turning to ash simultaneously,
on pyres that will send them to nirvana,
daily they come,
the rowers of boats,
the seekers of enlightenment,
the family of the dead,
with a divine plan,
a place, a purpose,
You're twenty now. I know it hasn't been easy for you. Your heart has been broken, and you're not sure if you were too much, or too little. One day, you'll realize that you can be enough -- maybe not all the time, you'll still feel lonely, at times incomplete, but you will find things to fill in those empty spaces.
Trust me, I know that space feels like a void, but it never was, it never really is.
I know, now, as you are speeding into early adulthood, you just want to cover it, shroud it, hide it, beat it down, but you will learn to breathe into it. You will learn to appreciate its depth, and realize it strengthens, not weakens, you.
One day, you will appreciate the beauty of the trees in a way you can not even imagine right now. You will gaze up through their vivid green branches, your eyes drinking in the sun flickering between flowing palm leaves.
You will walk on and turn your sights to the sky, where a single, lazily-floating cloud will capture your attention, and you will marvel at its pure, soft whiteness.
You will continue wandering and notice first just one golden butterfly, tracking its flight from flower to flower, branch to branch. Then you'll notice more, dozens of them fluttering their tiny wings, so intricately.
The sound, stillness and movement of the earth you live on will captivate your full, fragile heart, and give it what you, right now, at twenty, are so desperately seeking.
You'll continue to seek it, in people, in places, in things that will trick you into thinking they are opening your mind, but really are dulling it.
Sometimes the search will feel amazing, sometimes it will hurt, and you will feel broken, but believe me, the journey is leading you somewhere.
Listen to what it is telling you. Embrace the intensity. Traverse the ups and downs, they will ebb and flow, and believe me, they are fleeting.
All of it will bring you here, to where I am, enveloped by a brightness that I promise you will overshadow our darkness, once we learn how to allow it.
*Written at a SWW writing retreat in response to a walking meditation of sorts.
When it creeps up on me,
finding its way into my veins,
coursing its way through my body,
darkening once illuminated cracks,
dulling vibrant spaces within me,
I first let it simmer,
I recognize its aim,
it tells me stories,
it feeds on my uncertainty,
but unwittingly shields me from my own fragility,
it protects me,
holds onto me in a way a pair of hands never could,
it doesn't caress,
it doesn't wrap around me gently,
it pulls me underneath,
where I'm looking up at the earth,
not down at it from a high perch,
or directly at it from level ground,
So I sit below,
allowing my thoughts to spiral,
granting it access,
permitting it to conquer,
because I know the siege is temporary,
it will lift,
it will release me,
I will once again gaze at the sun-drenched valley of the world,
shadowed only intermittently by cloud cover,
smiling at the sight of the sea on the horizon,
from my sanctuary of trees,
cooled by the breeze,
alone in the company of butterflies