Steps Toward Being Better v2016

Imagine the Bells

Move to new floors, new beds, new hands,
watch the screen, those bodies are not ours,
some are pixels, not magic, some are strangers
and is that a sickness or is that the way it is,
and if I were a rock I would still have a soul,
which changes nothing, the trees are dying
in my fields, I’m conjuring wind to make
the bells call, if I can, do I have to also
imagine the bells, and where is the line
to cross before it all turns fake, where
the waves will start up again, the moon will
call out to the water like a witch, like a whore,
accepting that it’s nature’s spell somehow. 

  1. Weeks and weeks I spent avoiding an extremely hard conversation with someone I love a lot. I didn’t know how to bring it up. I spent so much time preparing what to say and how to say it in my head, then wouldn’t say anything. It never seemed right in the moment I meant to say something. I was terrified of what he would say back to me. Part of me avoided it because I wasn’t ready for the possible answer or reasons. Also, I never wanted to ruin the lovely moments we were always having. A hard conversation means that things can turn unpleasant and sad pretty easily. I’m not going to tell you what it was about, because I’m not ready to share that with the whole world. What I will say is that I forced the words out, and I literally had to coax myself into saying them after having made a self-promise to say them that day, after spending an hour of what I considered the right moment to say them stewing over how to say them, because I knew if the day left without me saying anything (again), I would cry (again), wondering everything, feeling sad as fuck. So many times I have told myself that being transparent is the best way to be, especially with people I love. Still, a really blaring thing in my life I left in the quiet spaces for too long, and it started to rob me of myself. I finally said what I needed to say; now I feel calmer. Why do I do that to myself? Why do any of us? At least asking these questions and understanding should be a step to being better.
  2. Weeks and weeks keep going by and having a deadline every Sunday has been energizing and productive. I started my poetry project Sex on Sundaze in November. I just put up my fourteenth week yesterday. That is fourteen new poems in fourteen weeks! And it’s been so much more than just poetry. I’m learning about photography and visual art in general. I’m learning a new medium, which I sort of created, fitting poetry on a physical body. I’m learning what it’s like to ask people to do me favors and how cool it is to mind-meld with other artists. And I’m participating in someone else’s project, though a much different kind. I was perusing the light web for poetry outlets, and I ended up at Prose. It’s pretty mysterious regarding who is behind it, but does it matter to know? Maybe I’m so curious because they create a poetry challenge every week and give out $100 to the winner. Who are these people with money to throw at poets online? It’s awesome, but unusual. The website is pretty and polished, and again, I’m forced to write a new poem for their challenge every week if I want a chance to win the money, meaning…I’m in. I’m jessandthesea if you want to follow me. So, another step is clearly deadlines (:
  3. The bookstore tour I posted last week initiated some cool things. I spent an afternoon with my new friend Gwen, a woman from Philly who retired and moved to Barcelona last year. From talking to her along the route of the bookstore tour, I not only learned about a couple bars that have jazz and other live music every night, I ate some of the most amazing Pakistani food I could ever dream of, she gave me some really great information about becoming a legal resident, about rooftop lounging in Barcelona, showed me a cozy gay bar in el Raval called Zelig, gave me a brief history of the old bullet holes in stone buildings around town, and garnished our time with tales of her own very mobile history of moving from city to city (including living on Haight-Ashbury in the 1970s, amazinggg!). I can’t wait to meet up again. I received another message today about accompanying another bookstore tour; I think the lesson here is that bibliophiles are good company, so the answer is yes.
  4. When I got into a hot bubbly bath full of essential oils last night and my best friend came in to turn the light off and leave me with a rose-scented candle, I thought about how the parts of my life are so connected, yet so separate. I’m so happy to have such beautiful people around me, that the pieces of my life can come together in all these ways, then fall apart in all these other ways simultaneously, and I can let myself bask in one thing one moment, then another another moment, and that’s it. Being consumed is so momentary, I guess. It’s good.
  5. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.  –Toni Morrison