updated 04/01/05


(So and so) asked how I was and said she'd been thinking about me that day.
Instantly I am back in that cramped space of terror and shame, where apologies consume and are meaningless.
I am taking steps, baby steps. But I guess I keep fooling myself into thinking I've put it all behind me, that I can walk casually through it like it's just some benign past.
Maybe some day it will be.


Just a little note about faith while it's rattling around in my brain.

Faith is at the center of everything I do in life. I have a whole evolved philosophy that revolves around it, but the central idea is simple:

(and yet, complex to explain, she says minutes later lol)

I found my faith in science so I'll start there.
The sun is 8 light minutes away, which means it takes light 8 minutes to travel here from there. And when we speak of the distance to the stars we see in our sky every night, we speak of millions of light years. Unfathomable distances measured by unfathomable units of time.
And yet we can accept them as fact, write equations for them, learn and broaden our understanding of the world through them.
But when it comes right down to it, the concepts are just too large for use to really ever understand.

To me, that is faith. To know that there are things much bigger than your ability to comprehend. To accept your own limitations - to accept that you can't know everything, fix everything, solve every problem.
To believe.
I used to think it was submission when people would talk about "giving in to a higher power." But now I understand that accepting your limitations doesn't put limits on you. Absolving yourself of the weight of the world on your shoulders only serves to make you free.
Free to see all the joy and misery in this world. Free to solve some of the problems, and work towards solving the rest. To smile. To live.


She placed both hands on my newly shaven head and met my gaze with a smile of joy, wonderment, and sincerity. She told me I had beautiful eyes.
Moments later, I was struck with the realization that this was the most intimate moment I had had in years - a near stranger looking me in the eye.


It often occurs to me how wrapped up I am in the past. It is a desperate search for answers. But sometimes I see it as an attempt to stunt my own growth. To exist in a place where I can acknowledge the mistakes I've made, safe from the consequences. Safe from who I've become.
It's a dangerous reality to inhabit, and I know it. It is a place where reconciliation exists as a far off dream, with an undetermined gap inbetween.
I still have hope, though. It's been a hard thing for me to accept. That even in the most dire of circumstances, I've always had hope. I didn't want it to be true. I wanted to be totally lost and undone. It made it easier to face all I had let happen to myself, all the detriment and despair I had become.
But hope is a beacon. A chance. A Choice. It is the humanity I thought I had abandoned. And a testament to the inherent goodness I own.
That's why I go searching. To recall, as more than a memory, the greatness I have been. And can be.


What I really want is peace. The peace of forgiveness. The peace of hope. The peace of trust, of love.
What I long for is a lazy waking morning, a knowing smile of gratitude for the day.
What I crave is today, without the yesterdays and tomorrows that plague me. Without the painful baggage I attribute to myself, or the bleak future I've carved in stone.
What I want is to relieve all of the pressure I place on myself. To remember the life I used to be, without expecting or needing to be that way again. To find my role within myself. To find a way to balance the misery and joy I love.
To find Life.
To forge Myself out of pieces so haphazardly strewn about within me. Like a junkyard of neglected parts.

But I am not dead.


She gave me two boxes once. One was a midnight blue and one was brown, like tiger's eye. They were made out of some paper like material, magazine maybe. And they were small. These little cubes of paper I could hold in my hand.
And often, I did. I would lay them out against the open flat of my palm and gaze at them, turning them to examine every side. They were so beautiful it mystified me. I mean, they served no purpose, they weren't meant to. Their shape was as common as anything else. And yet they brought tears to my eyes.
I'd think about this beautiful woman I knew forging these masterpieces with her hands. I could picture her face as she worked, the calm and intensity of love that shaped her, laid bare on her features.
Why did she make boxes?

Holding her art before me, I understood this woman in a way that words were never meant to capture. How awe inspiring it is to know someone who has created things of such beauty. Who IS beauty.

I misplaced the boxes years ago, and tonight I mourn that loss. I wonder about that woman; what the passing years have made of her, what she has made of them. I think about the purity of love and spirit she shared with me. A sacrament that, in many ways, I wasn't worthy of. But still, she touched me.

I am touched.


I'm putting something old up here today. I found it awhile ago and it made me laugh. And this morning, I'm in need of a laugh. So here it goes.


We kissed near the door to the bar
sticky with the stick of a crowded punk show on a summer night
sticky with each other,
this moment so choreographed and now real

She passed by us, guitar goddess
And you blushed, pulled away, laughed nervously when you saw her
Admitting without thinking, your embarrassment
Of being seen with me, like you were caught doing something wrong and I was it.
What Are You Doing To That Poor Girl?
You made me feel like a child.
And really, I was.
Ten years younger, red faced trying to play off the beer I had spilled
All over my crotch,
Stuttering in my role of seductively cool, removed
Having so appropriately wet myself
Desperately trying to maintain, to be my own strength for your gaze, your benefit.
Unsure if you had even noticed my wet pants, but sure
That even if you had you would not have mentioned it.
So maternally you took care of me, of my burgeoning ego.
I relished and resented it all at once
Wanting desperately to dominate and seduce you, to fuck you, shock you with answers to the questions I had always avoided answering
What Do You Want?
And also to be seduced by you, na�ve and afraid of myself, but wanting.
Defenseless to your tease.
Vulnerable to your touch.

Sometimes I think we fell into ourselves
The way you fall into a warm bath.

Suddenly surprised of the roles we found ourselves in
Despite what we already knew, astonished for a moment
By who we had not realized we were or could be.
I will never forget the innocence of that smile,
The moment you found something that you had not been searching for in me.


I had all these second hand impressions of you when I first met you, pulled from moments with friends when - I realized later - you were at your worst. So when we started talking, I wasn't expecting to like you. But I did. Immediately, albeit reluctantly.
You were so strong, and I was in awe of you. I felt like your strength kept you safe from everything, even yourself. And I admired that, the ability to hold yourself up and out of danger. It was what I felt I lacked and wanted most of all.
Then I got to know you. And you were as vulnerable and scared as anyone I had ever met. And it threw me. Where did the strength come from?
At first I thought you were confiding in me, that your fears and vulnerability were the secrets you hid beneath your facade of strength.
But that wasn't it at all. You were honest. And the truth is what gave you strength, what set you free. You weren't perfect; you weren't trying to be. You didn't have all the answers like I had assumed. Your strength didn't come from knowing everything. Your strength came from admitting that you didn't.
You were brave. In ways I couldn't even fathom.
Your truth was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and I fell in love with you.
And I know what you'd say. That you're not special. That there are tons of people out there just like you, just trying to live their lives. And I understand that now, because I'm one of them.
But you are special. You could never be lost in a crowd. And it's not some pedestal that makes me say this. It's your heart and your love that I caught a glimpse of so many years ago.
You are what makes you special

And I just pray to God that you know it.


She told me
you're different now.
You wear glasses now,
Read scientific journals
Drink tea all the time
And fall asleep listening to jazz radio.

I nodded
And laughed
and said
I'm just the same.


Pain and anguish
Mourning, constant;
The only death we know in life

Tears without identifiable source
No bounds or containment
No meaningful provocation
No pattern to make sense of or learn from
Just suddenly there
Unplanned and undeterred
Unmoved by reason
Or even the comings and goings of the sun

At the worst moments I wonder
if this is life at its base
If agony is the whole of life
And not just the relapse I pray it to be

Maybe it's the hours I keep
(or don't keep)
But right now I feel

Too much


She told me about when her family left Palestine for America when she was a little girl. Their flight had a layover in Egypt, and her older brother ran off. He didn't want to go. The whole family went after him, went out to find him, and they missed their plane.
The plane crashed.
She told me about the family waiting to greet them at the airport. About the uncertainty. I tried to imagine what you would say to someone, to reassure them that you were alive.
I tried to understand that little girl in the woman before me, pain searing her eyes. I tried to make sense of what she had long ago decided couldn't be made sense of.
She told me she had made alot of mistakes in her life, with her kids. I thought maybe she felt like she cheated death. That her penance was her life, her mistakes, and her regret.
I reached out and put my hand on her shoulder, touching her for the first time in all the years we've known each other.
"We do the best we can."


Over the past few years I�ve often found myself wishing that I didn�t have to explain myself. Explain my past, my history, my reasons, my choices. I wished that there were some way that everything in my head could translate itself without the help of my mouth. Without forcing the chaotic flurry in my head into a seemly procession, out of my head and into the world.
I was afraid to hear what I would say. Afraid of knowing that whatever was spoken would never be enough to communicate everything I felt. Never be enough to justify my wrongs. Never be enough to shed light on the darkness I�d crawled into. Never be anything more but disconnected sounds.
It seems so ridiculous now. Because I know fully just how desperate I was to speak, to spill my guts. To anyone and everyone. To let it out into the world. What held me back was the most frightening thing I�d ever known; hopelessness. I�d lost hope in words. But more important, I�d lost hope in communication. Nothing I could ever say would matter. Because in a way, everything was already over. It was already done.
Those feelings are still so fresh in my mind, so close to the surface, so not over with. But I�m learning the necessity of speech. Catharsis, but more. To empty myself, but to fill myself as well. To find the threads that lead back to humanity, the link that binds us all together. The common human experience of language, of knowledge shared and spread and fortified and nurtured. Creation is voice, is community.
It seems so garden variety that we never really think about it. But to speak is to connect, and to build and maintain that connection. It is the simplest, and most complex aspect of humanity. It is everything we know of the world, and how. It is necessary and vital and real. And I�m learning that, remembering to cherish that. Relearning how to speak again. Without fear of the insignificance or power of my words. It is the connection to life I must face.


I�ve spent months trying to simplify the way intellect and emotion are framed within me. How can I explain it? It�s like a puzzle. How you have all these little pieces that need to be a picture. And when you begin the process, when you start to build, you start in chunks. Maybe you create the border, maybe you focus on the big chunk in the middle that looks like an eye. Then, once you have chunks, it comes together so much easier. To solidify all these little pieces that don�t make sense by themselves, to make them more tangible and accessible. All aiming toward the goal�to see the puzzle whole.
It�s like that for me in some way. I�ve refused complexity. I�ve shunned it. And not just in the name of simplicity. But in the name of spirituality.
Sometimes I feel it as the biggest question in my life. I have such a tendency to (heading back to the puzzle metaphor) dump all thousand pieces out on a table, and want to just stare at them, analyze them, and figure out how they all fit together. And sometimes that means tearing apart finished puzzles, piece by piece. Turning the cardboard over in my hands, trying to figure out each piece and how it fits and what it means. Picture be damned.
For me, that has always been the search for clarity. For truth. To understand things to their fullest. To pull things out of perspective and push them back in again, with an understanding of what they are in hopes of finding where � and why � they belong.
In a lot of ways, spirituality is the antithesis of that. To see the puzzle as a whole (I�m overusing it, I know). To struggle to understand the picture itself, instead of focusing on the lines across its face. Not abandoning the why and the how, but having faith enough to leave the questions behind and instead search for answers. And to find them.
So my life for awhile has been a more spiritual, simple approach. Admittedly, it�s partly out of the fear of the consequences of overthought. In fact, sometimes I feel like I�m hiding, avoiding the real concrete tangible realities of life by focusing on generalities. And that feels like a slap across the face. But I still don�t trust myself enough to know whether or not it�s a lie.
You know? I struggle to understand where truth can be found, and where it is, and what it means. And how do I find it???
Lately, I�ve been dissecting again. But it�s not the manic analysis I sometimes describe myself as. Because it�s tempered with the patience and faith I�ve learned. To delve into things, but to also stand apart. To struggle with the loose ended complexities of life, but to find the peace to put my frantic hands down and chalk it up to �complex� and leave it at that.
I�m not there yet. I�m still searching for balance. But the revelation comes in realizing that there is balance to be had.
And I feel like I can breathe again.


She will always own a piece of me. And sometimes I feel it's the most functional part of myself she holds. As if I'm paralyzed under her thousand mile grasp.
I am tied to the memory of palms I never knew.
It's a dull ache, and it's always been. And time has shrunken its circumference, but not its mass. So now it's a black hole inside of me, so small and yet so dense that nothing can exist around it.
And my blood keeps pumping, my mind keeps whirling through stratagems and possibilities, but inside I am a battlefield of life, and change. And the battle rages so painful and destructive sometimes, that I just pray for resolution; or stalemate.

call it a plea