Tired turns into a presence at your shoulder that you are constantly ignoring. Turns into a cliff edge, pebbles shifting beneath your feet and clattering over the edge hundreds of meters to the bottom. Tired slinks at your heels like a wolfdog, familiar but distrusted, and someday it will go for the throat. Tired pools in your lungs, seeping into the bloodstream. It’s your middle name now. It doesn’t count if this is how you always feel. Say one word enough times and it stops meaning anything.
The end of the world came as a relief. Like summer breaking, the first crisp wind. For long months now, Mary had despaired of ever having another day off; day after day, week after week, never enough people or time at work and they always needed her. Despite spending her days in the walking nightmare that was retail, so consuming that her own laundry piled up, emails languished, and spider-plant wilted, there was still never enough money to pay bills. Everything was always rolling faster these days, and the only way to hang on at all was to close her eyes and plunge blindly on and on into every morning.
What the writer says:
Wakeful here, we trespass!
Wakeful here, we walk a foreign world
pale-sky palace built not for us
best left to bloodless voices
warmthless wakeful wind-sprites
screaming down their waste.
What the writer means:
I’m COLD and TIRED and I want to be HIBERNATING.
I’ve been here before. You’ll make it safe through the woods if you stay on the path, that’s the rule, but there was never a path here in the first place. Dark branches tangle overhead and the trees are different this time around but the shadows are the same, thick and cloying and very very quiet. Continue reading “Red Riding Hood, lost”
Once upon a time our princess was placed under a terrible curse at her christening.
(You know this story.) Continue reading “Sleeping With Beauty”
“Papa… the dark is coming in the window.”
Quick little illustration of this somewhat distressing quote from one of my brothers as a tot.
I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because they know everything will turn out all right in the end and this was all all all a twisting turning cliff-tumbled footpath to that final sweetness. I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because we are so young and tired and wild and so afraid that the world is ending and they have watched the word’s heartbeat stutter and steady and stutter and steady and it would take more than this to shake such ancient bones. I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because oh, I cannot bear anything else, but they sing a tapestry older then pain and younger then righteousness and surely they have watched long enough to begin to understand what it is to hurt and cry and love and try. I hope if the stars are laughing it is gently, gently, gently.
A point is that which has no part, a line is breadthless length. There is a theoretical thought where parallel lines meet, and the angle of a circle to the perpendicular of its diameter is less than a right angle and greater than everything else. Nature is an intrinsic principle of motion, and luck an accidental cause. Gilgamesh is the first epic story we have record of, and mankind was already grappling with glory and death, already keenly aware that we are and are not something more than dust on the wind. God wrote the world word by shining word but every step we make is mortal choice.
Sing your heart a lullaby,
tuck it in to sleep
let the world go spinning by,
give up your need to weep.
Here’s what it is, being human: you fall. Again, and again, and again, until your skin is purple and violet and ugly green, until your knees are sticky with blood and there’s gravel ground into your palms, until every time you hit the ground it empties your lungs.
But- wait. Here’s what it is, being human: you get up. And get up, and get up, and get up, until every muscle screams, until it becomes a given/certainty/inevitable, until you’ve drained the dregs of strength and there’s nothing left and still. Get up.