Phantom of the Opera

Last night I saw Phantom of the Opera with a friend, front row, all the way on the right. She won the tickets in the Broadway Lottery in New York for less than a third of the price.

This is what I learned from the show:

  1. Be patient.  Be aware.  Be kind.
  2. Love the light and the dark in you.
  3. All experiences teach you something.

Without going into more detail, I’ll just say that I found the play to be highly symbolic of an experience in my own life.  I feel like it can speak to parts of everyone’s life, naturally. It is a classic for a reason.  Thank you, Broadway.

An Empty Space

There’s an empty space inside you

that no one else can steal

 

There’s an empty space inside you

and, I assure you, it is real

 

Curl up with tea and blankets

open up a book or two

 

And relish the sweet nothingness

each empty page brings you

 

Nature has its pleasures;

nature has its pains

 

The one thing nature tells you:

we will never stay the same.

 

Out with soul and romance!

Rejoice in the heaven of song!

 

No one really knows you

No one can tell you you’re wrong

 

In this spacious nothingness

there’s no wanting, there’s no pride

 

Good and bad are memories

There’s no reason left to hide.

 

August 28, 2016

 

The Human Condition

Alone

in my head

how did this happen again?

Afraid of myself

more than anyone else

afraid of my mind’s tricks

like the devil

part of me runs,

part of me nourishes.

 

External realities

versus internal dimensionality

my vulnerability

got me everything good

and everything bad

trust my mind–

it is strong,

then flies out the window.

 

All I can do now

is observe the mess I am in:

feel the anxiety,

the past pain,

the current waves of doubt

and listen to the monster truck

of thoughts roll through my head

as if it was the last track in the world.

 

Perhaps this is the most natural thing:

to let up, to let it win and lose

and nothing and everything

to let the stories be

to let the suicide be

to let my knowledge free

to let my wisdom bring

me the greatest joy I’ve ever known:

the expanse of life

growing in and out

nothing the same at any moment

love blossoming in my bones

while fear eats my mind–

it’s just one iteration

of the human condition,

is it not?

 

So eat away,

my friend fear…

I’m not sure what role the pills will play

but life can’t get away

simply because experience and temperament

created a shift in my thinking

understand that this is still

my gift of a body

and I respect its reaction–

mind, body, and soul connected–

to the darkest corners of life…

sweet loneliness turned sour

and still with age, abandonment

of reason with one phone call,

one bad dream…

and still the pure light of tomorrow…

the pureness of now.

 

April 1, 2016

 

More than anything, this is a release of thoughts and feelings surrounding mental health and my own struggles/my family’s struggles and experiences (the mention of suicide, a phone call and pills allude to a tragic family event) with the topic.  

You are never alone, no matter what unfolds in your life.  It can be difficult to find meaning out of suffering and loss, but it is, indefinitely, part of the human condition…and through the cracks, love and art can find their way out. 

at the ocean

my intention,

my desire,

my secret wish

is to simplify life.

 

many men

have tried It;

we heard about it.

 

It didn’t work.

 

many women

have tried It;

we didn’t hear about it.

 

(proof enough) It didn’t work.

 

we searched for It

in churches and mosques,

temples and tall, gray shopping malls.

 

we listened for It

at TED talks, college lecture halls

and sports stadiums with 80,000 seats.

 

when fate

grants you power,

what do you do with It?

 

men decided to seek It only in themselves,

simplicity and peace and glory

owned by one hand, one heart, one tear.

 

I ask: where does the tear come from?

Where does the water come from?

I’ll start by listening there.

 

March 18, 2016.

through my window

the intersection

of tree

and sky,

the lines 

they paint

across pale blue horizons 

while two black specks of bird chase each other.

***

Truth,

expanding over snow-dipped houses–

it will never be found beneath my pen.

***

the earth knows things my mind cannot see.

***

but I can still sit back,

exhale,

and soak in the view:

a single, conscious moment in the universe.

tumblr_nxewliCb0n1u489n5o1_1280.jpgFebruary 6, 2016

The First Day

The day I sat

and looked in the mirror

I stared:

I was looking at me.

 

But it was not me

that I saw.

 

My pupils rounded,

black trench coats

preparing for summer rain

my skin relaxed

after the ebb and flow of the day

I dared not move

for there I swear I saw

the light of a soul.

 

Inside my body,

beyond my mind

there lays a spirit so vast

that it does not know me by name

it stands tall and strong,

not with pride,

but not without it, either.

 

When you are Light,

I suppose you need no one

to tell you just how brightly you shine

 

I felt confused;

I felt at peace–

as if I had known this feeling all along

 

It was the first day of my spiritual practice.

 

It seems so clear now

but with fall leaves promising signs of winter

at 18 years

all I wanted was a pair of mittens and a safe

place to stay, away from the cold.

 

Listening to Spirit

is not always easy–

but it’s always needed

 

to quench a thirst deeper

than Jesus felt in the desert,

Buddha under the tree

when

compounded

together

we have every star, every Being

right here beside

me stood a mirror,

and in the mirror, a face

searching its own lines and faded chords

for lyrics one sang long ago…

there were mountains in my eyes,

an echo on each peak.

 

A sudden wave of peace

rushes from my pores, into the night’s sky

and asks you to grant its wish–

to look at yourself

not as you,

nor me,

but as One

 

a single universe united in song.

 

December 16, 2015

Finding Warmth

Time

may very well

not be

what we think it is–

the psychological nonsense

of “yesterday”

versus “tomorrow”

leaves my skin cold,

begging for the road to lead me

somewhere,

anywhere

where life is precious,

held,

loved

where not all questions

must come with an answer

where “Now”

is rapped up safe in a blanket,

bathed in the sweet warmth

of Being.

September 6, 2015