It is past 6am, and I am still awake. I have a candle lit, the ashes of sage in a seashell, and some black tea in the gaiwan beside me. Notebooks sprawled out before me. My soul on paper. My feelings were hideous and torturous and beautiful when I felt them and laid them out with my bleeding pen… and now they amuse me.
I haven’t written much in the past 6 months. I’ve been exploring within and without. Moving. Refining. Reforming. Cleansing. Grounding. Praying. Somewhere around 11pm last night, after getting home from a marvelous modern dance class, I stumbled upon a sparkling bag filled with journals, and slipped haphazardly into another world. It happens every once in a while.
I meet myself again.
I’ve met myself again and again in these pages.
And every time, we pick up just where we left off. And every time, I laugh a little more and smile a little wider…
I am coming up on my fifth year in Texas next week. Five years. Half a decade. Most of my twenties, as we approach twenty-twenty.
Oh, the stories leading up to then…
…and oh, the stories leading up to now.
I have hundreds upon hundreds of pages of poetry, prose, short stories, words of wisdom, streams of consciousness.. dialogues, monologues, would-be blogs.
Most notable and charming of my readings this past evening?
Journal entries about an enchanting moment with a man who helped me and my baggage board the A train in New York City.
One entry describing every… single… inner and outer detail of my falling head over heels with a young writer who devastated me with his beauty and self-destruction― who served as a jarring reflection of my own.
Beauty, and self-destruction. Like sipping a cup of the most delectable tea, and your lips and tongue being scorched by it.
And then some insightful cultural commentary that came out of a night sleeping with a married French man.
(I didn’t know he was married ’til the following morning, and when I expressed my discontent, he said, “What can I say? I am French.” Vérité.)
And all the stories I hold in my head and heart. The me I’ve encountered. The men, the mirrors, the music. Those who have tried to grab and hold onto my inner muse and mystery when she is ever-unfolding, even unto me. The quests. The quests and the emerging questions.
I fell off my bike yesterday, and my heart cracked open.
It reminded me to slow down. To slow way down, and experience the love and poetry that I have right here within me. That yes, it may be shared with the world, but it is always so much mine to begin with.
So, here I am. Slowing down, with tea and the poetry that is me, that is within me. I am the constant weaving through all my words, all over this world.
I am now living a few blocks away from where I first stayed when I came to Austin in 2011. My, my, all the steps I have taken around this city since then! All the growth, in leaps and bounds. Breaking free of what once bound me. All the weaving. The stories interlacing with the stories of others. New storylines always being uncovered.
The movement. El movimiento.
To eschew self-limiting beliefs.
I don’t just break out of the boxes; I burst and blast them open. I sing my way, I dance my way. My poetry holds codes for unlocking ancient melodies, calling in peace, passion, presence, patience, purity.
Someone once told me that I needed to choose an artform.
A few months ago, I broke new ground as I danced before a crowded room in a glass house, and read poetry and prayed as the cello played.
I am the artform.
Human beings give art form. Art is only a possibility before we make it actuality. Time is the most terrific stage, and the only real page. Each moment is the greatest creation, the greatest performance.
To the adventures of the next five years.
Mysterious and uncategorizable middle class American girl growing up between many, many worlds. Family roots in la isla de Puerto Rico; Western Africa, probably; eastern Europe, definitely. First formative years spent in New England, before sprinting westward and landing unexpectedly on the edge of the Rocky mountains.
Then, in a whirlwind, she spun her web deep down into the heart of Texas.
She’s walking on more solid ground now.
You see, you have to be able to stand comfortably on your own two feet to be able to move—to dance—with grace and ease.
Oh where, oh where will these lovely feet take me…