Finding Joy

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I struggle out of bed each day, stumbling to the bathroom with my eyes half shut, taking on the day as if it’s a burden just to be me. I’m 27. I’ve only had 27 years to become this jaded but here I am. I’m cranky, and in the comfort of my home I cry for no reason- more lately if I’m honest.

I stress and worry and agonize and sometimes it’s over the things I can control and sometimes it’s over the things I can not. There’s no off switch. I don’t think the way I feel is anything out of the ordinary. I think I’m amongst friends with a whole generation of lost souls starting out with debt, a technologically-fueled competition at life and no purpose.

Every now and then I stumble onto my path in a drunken stupor and realize I’ve gained clarity in my life that has set me “right”. In those moments I feel like I have it all together and the fog clears and I have a way out. In those moments I begin to know who I am. They’re fleeting. They are like a dream I wake up from too soon. As they slip away I try to hang on to the edges so I remember what it feels like to be me.

Last week I took time away from work to join an art workshop and get re-connected with that creative side of me I keep tucked away. I’ve gone down paths in my career that have led me further and further away from the authenticity I feel when I create. At the end of the week I felt good, but I wanted the magic of creating to save me and it didn’t. I wanted it to give me back all of the things I’ve been lacking and I wanted to come off the week knowing my work reflected me and I was proud of it. It didn’t because I’ve lost my sense of what that is and one week was just a teaser. One week was re-acquainting with an old friend just long enough to scratch the surface.

Brene Brown said, “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame”.

The visual in that is so great, it forces me to understand this as a real thing- not a hysterical making of my imagination. It is a real whole piece of me that is turning sour with suppression. It’s not the whole problem but it’s a big one. I wonder how many others are on this journey, carrying only pieces of themselves through the day-to-day?

I had to get real. I had to begin the treacherous climb out of the rabbit hole.

There is no shame in admitting that success is not a paycheque and a life that looks good from the outside. Maybe it is for some but for me, success is a joy that starts at the center of your chest and spreads out through your whole body. It’s an expression of love and a connection with your real self that is untethered to anything but your personal journey. It shines out through your eyes and breathes out through your mouth in peaceful little wisps of certainty. I’ve seen it in others, but until now I didn’t recognize its value.

 

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Retreating Moon

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Sipping the wealth of a moment

The mockery of light,

Stenciling a wayward smile across your face.

Bleeding me of jade. 

A prisoner to the faults.

The wretched desire of my own disgrace

Whimsical in its masquerade. 

 

The bated breath of the journey

Hauntingly beautiful

Amidst the taste of my gloried bravado.

Like the thickness of open water

Downcast by the moon.

Lapping the stars in a taunt of precision and greed.

Marrying the lightness and dark,

To the mockery of desperate need.

 

Destitute blindness leaning heavily,

On an eclipse of happenstance.

In the sheen of a forgiving tune

Evangelistic expectations,

Exposed,

Menaced,

By the ribbons of a retreating moon.

Cracked Wide Open

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Aching hollowed flutter

On the edge of joyful remoteness.

The pleasure cruise of a dream world full of connection.

Just at its wings,

Newness fading into familiarity.

Light peaking over the ridge of truth,

And washing away the stillness.

Washing away the ‘us’ that never was.

Beneath a faulty cloud of tenderness.

Two strangers-

Broken.

Sewn together by wounded thread and pricks of bitter disarray.

Lying naked

Before one another under a crescent of flighty jumbled words.

Synthetic laughter tainting the pleasure of happenstance.

Loneliness a size too big for perfection.

Thumping along to the beat

Of a heart cracked wide open.

The centrepiece in a world full of ruined plenty,

And carefully, shaken faith.

Night

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Flavoured by the intuition of a fragrant dream.

Wrapped in the embers of a wish.

Constructed unbroken heartsickness.

Wanderlust,

Waking hope in the abyss.

Lonely Wanting

Too far removed from petty cares.

The root of creative pleasure

Stolen by the bustle of busy affairs.

Tantric melancholic visions

Washed and mended by the light.

Frozen, moodied fragile motion,

Tinted by a distant fierceness.

Night.

Better Day

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Fragrant whispers of tangled words

Drift haphazardly

On a spoiled shore.

Dampened,

Strangled,

Undisturbed.

Misted presence of a distant lore.

 

Breathless kiss of biting cold

Frosted,

Fearless,

Fate.

Juxtaposed with hearts of madness

Tales of spirits faint

 

Mysterious beacon of defining beauty

Dark.

Ubiquitous fray.

Misshapen thunderous intoxication,

Broken promise of a better day.