Posts tagged writing
Posts tagged writing
I would cry on the way to the airport and my lips would tremble the way they do when I am at home and it is winter and freezing cold. The woman who took my passport when I flew home the first time was very nice and looked in my eyes even though I was wearing sunglasses and wished me a very nice flight, which made me cry a little more and a little less.
I am afraid that I will never be able to erase the mistakes that I made and now, when I am quiet, I think about the bad things that happened and I feel really ugly because I wish I had never done them in the first place and I don’t want them to overshadow the very good parts of what we had.
Once we were drunk and in a pizza place and we were so vulnerable with each other. I knew from the very beginning. Even now, when I tell a story about you, I start it with those words. Once upon a time. I knew from the very beginning.
I miss the smell of airports and of you but we are moving in different directions and you can’t leave and I can’t leave even though we both made the other believe we would. We both turned away and I am sad and I hope somewhere someone is begging someone else not to go because they are in love and they want to be happy.
My hands are full of tiny paper cuts that are raised and hot and I can’t hold any more grief, I say to the moon.
You have made me undo the stitching that held me together. Did you forget I am mostly paper, that there are parts of me that will be torn when I pull out those threads? What then? I will be a loose page with one edge all ragged and feathered and my two sides of secrets exposed. I will be unbound. Yes, I can file this away with the boarding passes and letters and birthday cards, hidden until one day mostly forgotten, only to be recovered again when least expected, while searching for a misplaced address or telephone number. How I will be caught off guard by this artifact, and aware of the absence of you, and after all that time the wounds will still sting and the paper will have stayed sharp at the edges.
An aspiring young writer encounters the journals of legendary Canadian novelist Elizabeth Smart, whose virtuoso novella By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept gives no hint of her struggles with her own writing
I wrote a piece about one of my favourite writers for Open Letters Monthly! I’m so excited to share this, and grateful for the opportunity.
This life is yours and you have forgotten, or you have given it to something or someone else, who you expect to hold it patiently until you are ready. Wake up, wake up, that is not life! Who owns you? Who have you given all of your rights to?
Wake up and rage. Bare your teeth at the world, live with a grin, but for God’s sake, wake up! Spend your mornings alive!
I am twenty three. The trees this year are late in budding. There are so many twigs leaning in the wind. I do not always feel like the master of my life, though I do try to speak decidedly, and when I walk, it is with a sure heel. The spring is still new and the earth pulls away from the sidewalk. I tire easily, trying to grow, trying to bud, trying to reach again for the concrete path. I paint myself inexpertly with a wall of green at my back, and blossoms. An eye, imprecise, too large and too clear, this is how I’d like to be.
The writing scares me when it doesn’t come,
But then when it does, and I am honest,
I shake and tear the words with my teeth
And swallow them back down in gulps.
All I want to do is beg to be left alone.
I beg to be forgotten and anonymous.
I have cursed myself enough.
We begin again. We wake up to unjacketed mornings and we walk, through the long and short of it, until we arrive, hopefully not too tired for work. It is spring. It has been a long winter.
Can I start over? This is the question that unfurls itself whenever I look inward, raising its head, looking sadly up at me. It is spring and I want it to be gentle and good. I want to leave everything of my old life behind. I send out apologies into the wind and I hope they all arrive. I wish everyone a good and peaceful life, and I wish that for myself as well.
I have been weak in the past, but I hope it is not too late to be forgiven. I am here, ready to work, ready to be good. Under the coal dust inside of me there is light. There is earth beneath my hands. This is my forehead against the grass, whispering to the flowers, asking them to grow again for me. Please show me that I am worth it.
Please let me be. Let me cut away the dead branches and save what I can, give it some sun, whisper soothingly to it. I forgot that I am vulnerable, but now I know. This could be a beautiful life. I begin again.
Allow me to romanticize.
Bring me to the small Alberta towns (Stavely, maybe?) and sit with me in the quiet dark and eat the small-town Chinese food.
Chinese Cafés are immortal and gone away.
I am a Manitoban body, with ruddy skin red around the nose, hands that remember the earth, a tongue that recalls a Slavic language like an embrace imagined from old love stories.
But I have an Albertan soul.
So let’s go through the fields, out of Edmonton, beyond Red Deer, because I have spent too long longing for some ties to my distant Ukrainian roots, too long imagining another narrative.
There is an Albertan culture and I want to discover it for myself. I want to enter the prairie and sit, eat the Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainian food so that I might be.
I don’t mean to misappropriate. Tell me your history. My spirit was an immigrant too.
can’t wait to read
Don’t go yet, you’ve left too much behind. You left the scent of your skin on the sheets, the phantom feeling of your fingertips on my hand. Twice already I’ve turned to speak to you without you being there. My eyes are searching for you around corners and behind doors and even though I know you won’t be there, I hope you will be. You’ve gone from my home for a little while, taking my heart with you and I long to hold you again for a little while longer, kiss you just ten more times, only twenty more times, whisper things, “I love you,” and, “please don’t go.”