Tag Archives: love

Cycle Two, Week Six: Masculine

pan

“In many tribal cultures, it was said that if the boys were not initiated into manhood, if they were not shaped by the skills and love of elders, then they would destroy the culture. If the fires that innately burn inside youths are not intentionally and lovingly added to the hearth of community, they will burn down the structures of culture, just to feel the warmth.” -Michael Meade

For over a year now I’ve been having dreams of men.

At first they were nightmares. An ex-boyfriend pounding on the door of my home, screaming to be let in. A group of teenage boys closing in on me at the end of a dark alley, hands gravitating towards their back pockets for knives. I wasn’t always the victim. Once I stood by the side of the road and observed a girl held at gunpoint in the passenger seat of a moving car. I watched the taillights glow and dissolve into the desert night.

And then every so often, I’d meet a boy.

Always the same boy. Sometimes I laid out on a white hospital bed and watched as I gave birth to him. Sometimes he was a toddler, sometimes he was my age; a wild, mangy thing with long, tangled blonde hair and ruddy cheeks, his forehead and grubby hands creased with dirt. He wore spotted woodpecker feathers in his hair and a smile that made me itch with joy. I loved him instantly. He’d take my hand and lead me through white cities and barren tundras. Or he’d drive, singing softly as we careened across dark highways lit only with the dim, pinprick glow of stars overhead. He was like a brother to me, or a dear relation. I began to look for him in my dream world every night.

He almost never spoke – only giggled, or sighed, or flapped his arms about like a disgruntled bird.  One night, though, I followed him down a dusty road into an old, abandoned neighborhood. I watched as he gestured all around him at the empty houses, the lawns in desperate need of weeding. “We used to have so much fun,” he said. His voice was so clear it ached. “Don’t you remember?”

I woke up feeling confused. But I decided to roll with him. Fine. I’d play along. I gave him a name, a part in my novel, a share of my poetry.

He began to whisper in my ear 24/7. I’d be walking down the street and hear him mutter, “Stand up straight.” I spied his name on street signs, and even accidentally booked a night at a motel with the same name. He found his way into my jewelry, my clothes – cowboy boots, leather jackets, studs and roses. Necklaces with feathers made of abalone shell, a blue glass ring to protect against the evil eye. All the magic and power I’d loved as a child and pushed away as a fearful adolescent came back. Yes, we used to have so much fun. We used to collect rose petals, and dance in the smoke as we threw them on the open campfire. We used to catch moths with our bare hands.

The nightmares slowly transformed. When I had the dream of the ex-boyfriend pounding at the door, I looked out the window to find my wild boy leading him away. I started standing up to my previous dream-aggressors, shouting at them, making them hear my voice. I learned how to say “No” in my dreams.

All my life I’ve been easily shaken and impressionable, especially by the men in my life. But my wild boy has shown me that men don’t have to have loud voices or large shoulders. Men don’t have to be imposing or confrontational. Men don’t have the power to hurt me, either. The source of masculinity is found in nurturing, in protection, and in steadfast love. This archetype is wild and made of earth, his soul mirrors my own. I am him, and he is me.

“Whom shall I call upon, if not him,
who is dark and more of night than night itself.
The only one who wakes without a light
yet has no fear; the deep one, as yet
unspoiled by the light, the one of whom I know
because in trees he bursts forth from the earth
and because as fragrance
he rises softly from the soil
into my down-bent face.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

So this week’s theme is masculine. Men, boys, and all the luggage that comes from preconceived notions and your full range of experiences, whether they be positive or negative. Have at it.

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Genevieve’s Cycle Two, Week Three: Anthem

forestpath

Seven a.m. post-sex godiva
chocolates and a blue sky wide
enough  to curl into.
You croon black magic
woman into my ear, tell me
I’m Jessie’s girl, ask me
what I dreamed last night.
Darling, I am in my cowboy
boots and so afraid of gaining
weight, I am an inch away from
your pretty love and trying not to
cram it into my mouth. What
is delicate, what is fragile anymore?
From this vantage point we
are a hundred pieces of the
sharpest glass scraped from one hundred
of the unluckiest, broken mirrors.
Our edges, they are pressed
together like this, like this and you
take my fingers between your teeth.
Turn it up. I’m your radio girl
and last night my dreams were of you,
they were strewn like bread crumbs on
the forest’s path, guiding me
back towards the morning.

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Genevieve’s Week 15: Julia

Julia, I haven’t seen you since October 2009
when we slipped into the balcony booth at Lalo’s
and filled our stomachs with steaming bowls
of caldo de pollo. We eyed the margarita pitchers
and you licked your fingers clean and told me
all about the new boy you were dating, how you
got caught at a bar with a fake ID, what streaks
of color you were going to put into your hair

and by the time we’d paid the bill, the city
was blue with night and dark with the shadows
of passing strangers, dusky flames lighting up their
faces, lengthening the crevices beneath their tired eyes.
I waited with you until the #8 bus came and I wrapped
my arms around your faded gray hoodie, Julia, and you were
warm beneath it – warm with laughter, with talk, with
the plans that we’d made for an Amelie movie night
complete with vodka and popcorn, pink-frosted cupcakes.

No, Julia, I haven’t seen you since 2009 because
we stopped catching one another on the train
and you stopped coming to class and answering my texts.
I dyed my hair, too. I got wasted at parties. I fell
in and out and into love again fully, haphazardly,
relinquishing nothing, greedy for absolutely everything,
everything, everything – especially your little stake
on loveliness, the claim you held over everyone’s
hearts. You were undeniably magnetic, Julia,

but it wasn’t because you promised me that, with your
connections, we could sneak into any rock concert, and
it wasn’t because you could spew out sentences of
perfect German on command. It was because you simply were.
You, unadulterated, obviously flawed, take it or leave it,
love it or hate it. The soft light I found in your eyes
called me and radiated outwards, a lighthouse yearning
for closeness in the whirlwind midst of shattering storms.
It still calls me, Julia. Your name, your voice,

the surety in your laugh beckons me, and it watches me as
I toss back and forth and try to sleep, as I try not to think about you.
Are you still holding the world together with invisible string?
I haven’t seen you since 2009 but it doesn’t matter because
you are in every bowl of soup and every margarita pitcher.
Julia, love, you are in the warmth found after rain.

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Springtime like a new word for “hope” and “joy”

Spring in Massachusetts is muddy and wet. It’s colder than we want it to be and frustrating. Some springs bring massive floods. Others bring even more snow. Then there are those days the smell like perfection.

You know the ones.

I start a countdown until spring every January first. For some reason, year after year, I always forget how many days until Spring (I think it might be 77) and what day Spring is on. The 20? 21? 22? It’s the 20th. At least this year it is. Does it change? I can’t be bothered to really, truly know.

I just know that I long for it to come, as soon as the clock hits midnight and the kidding brigade begins and people are popping open champagne and throwing up streamers and making noise. I am usually quietly watching television or maybe already asleep. That first kiss of the new year meant nothing to be, maybe because it never exist.

But on January first, what I have to look forward to is Spring.

I love the smell of wet earth, the slight scent of burning wood and leaves. I love watching the earth change from barren and cold to wet, warm and alive. I love the green the flowers. I always want to start a garden. Some years I manage to begin by planting tiny $1 seeds from Target into tiny $1 pots from Target. They grow, and eventually I forget or lose interest or something. 

And yet I keep trying. Or keep wanting to try. (Today I bought a tiny bucket from CVS with lavender seeds inside).

(I always forget about the bugs)

It’s almost here. It’s almost here. I can smell it. I can hear the birds starting.  I feel the warmth of sun on my cheeks. I ache for sunkissed freckles (I missed that gene) and lemonade. Fresh fresh fresh. Ladybugs, bare feet, showing off tattoos in flip flops, iced coffee, hand holding, bracelet making, daisies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, flowly skirts, a want to wear white (And yet, that never ends well), hope. 

Hope for the flowers.

Spring come faster. I’ll photograph you and you’ll infuse me with honey lavender scented inspiration.

xo

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Love

It’s been
Ten months
Since I saw
You

And still I remember
Your smell
And the things you said
Before you kissed
Me goodbye

And I’m sure
I’m crazy
Because our time
Together
Was so minimal

But still

My heart is reckless
I still smell you
While I sleep
I still want to talk to you
While I wake
I still want to ask

What
Happened?

My heart
Is wild
Chained in iron bars
Locked with skeleton key locks
Tenfold

Lock
Lock
Lock

And still you slipped through
Those cracks
Just as I was believing
You wouldn’t be that guy
You were

And my heart went wild
Slam jam cram kablam
Because that’s not supposed to
Happen
When a heart is so well protected
From the intentions of another soul.

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