Forty. The Museum.

“Certain things should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” -(J.D. Salinger)

If my life were a museum I’d never charge admission.

I’ve never thought that preserving the past was something you should tax,  ascribe a cost, withhold or mask.

I’d have a whole floor dedicated to that bedroom I shared with my brother and sister, ratty beanie babies, and that raccoon puppet my dad used to tell his stories before bedtime

laughing until we couldn’t breath, laughing until sleep stole our minds.

If my life were a museum I’d show off all the good stuff and the ugly things too.

I’ve never thought that preserving the past was something you should water down, paint rosy red, or reduce to completely blue.

The halls would replay moving pictures of days like the the one when my mom called out the neighborhood mean lady for all her bullying noise and the one I caught my first wave without my dad’s push and he told me I was no less than any of those dirty little grom boys.

If my life were a museum I’d have certain lights that always stay dim.

I’ve never thought that preserving the past was something you should glorify, enhance, say was okay when it was not okay, or relegate you to play pretend.

You would see displays of shame and fear, cancer x-rays, and music from the Scene.

 You’d touch journal page after journal page that screamed ‘not enough’ and smelled like Thanksgivings in the hospital  year 12 through 14.

If my life were a museum you’d believe that after survival there is life.

I’ve never thought that preserving the past was only for melancholy, honoring the dead, and featuring florescent lights.

You’d find rooms trimmed in silver where I am sitting across from Sarah at Pepito’s describing a Jesus who had come after me, Lila peeing the Red Power Suit, and a grieving child beginning to make sense of the faith, who has been blind but then begun to see.

I’d have a painting of Mrs.Pearson’s 9th grade class room because that’s where I fell in my first book love.

A 3D model of a closet stuffed with confusion, a box of secret love notes, Chrysalis crosses, and orange flavored gum.

I’d have a maze of internal psyche conflict, faith crisis, and a window into those Carolina mountains. You’d feel like you were home, you’d feel like you were lost, and 8 copies of Blue Like Jazz later you wouldn’t feel so alone.

I’d show off all the bottles of wine we weren’t supposed to be drinking in Bible college, that tear stained carpet of my favorite prayer tower, and all the ‘start’-overs’ and ‘do betters’ I thought would fix me.

I’d have a place for all my mom’s weird hats, a piece of every shoe Taylor lost in the first two years we were friends, a postcard from Salvation Mountain, and all the weird notes Rachael used to give me with pizza and salt shaker stickers and more.

If my life were a museum you would have to know that the best was yet to come.

I’ve never thought that preserving the past was something that limited change, ceased the present, stunted the future, or something you have to wait until you’re in your years of last.

 

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Sixteen. 6 Feet Under.

Where were you buried, dear?

I’ve been turning stones & digging up tombs

needing to be sure what they say is true.

I’ve crossed graveyards and checked the highways

stepped through backyards and searched that entire old town.

And nothing of you remains

not a seen thing to be found.

Where were you buried, dear?

I don’t know how to believe the story

adding numbers and facts that just cannot be true.

We crossed our hearts

we said never die

stepped across state lines

we pledged the promise of Life.

and nothing of you remains

not an ounce, not a pixel,not a part in sight.

Where were you buried, dear?

I must rest on one existential note

fighting silhouettes and memories

I am certain  that it is all true

purely because all I have is a

mere

ghost

of you.

Twelve. Evening Ships.

I once risked the ocean and sailed the 7 seas                                                                                                            I once knew Direction  and the painted waves of Peace.

 I once was cut by the doldrums and at once brought to a lull                                                                                   I once knew loneliness, vulnerability, and loss of control.

Day after day after day after day,                                                                                                                        I stuck, I struggled, I sought any prevailing breeze                                                                                                   And as dusk fell dimly the gravity that had long held there moved to draw me to you, to draw you to me.

Our sails were compromised , intertwined, and our course set sure

my anchors,

my lungs,

my veins

filled with that vanilla sandalwood, scented wind of yours.
“We just took our time, the moon had won the war, and I felt that need for you

right then and forever, didn’t ever want you to leave…”

but just like two ships that greet each other with flashing lights and then sail off into the night

it was Brief

it was deep

it went down hard

and capsized.

I once abandoned ship and laid languid tossed about those 7 seas

I once knew [more so] plunging, washing ,violent White caps and the the painted waves of Peace.

I once fell on land nothing more than broken boards upon a shore

cracked and crooked

but once and for All having been found by

my

one

True 

North.