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June 11, 2019

When you want to give up, remember this.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!” ~ Rumi


I have been here before, but never quite like this.

It is still dark out, as birds chirp wildly through open windows, announcing “Light is coming soon.”

A time stamp of wrinkles and scars whisper, “Life is happening now.”

The city sleeps, as I sink deep into the old blue couch. Wrapped in silence and a fuzzy blanket my mom gave me. Christmas lights outline windows in early June, because they stayed up all year. It seemed like a festive decision, even with half the colors burned out.

I tried to go back to sleep, but fragments of my dreams whispered, “It’s time to get up.”

I prayed for this moment. To remember her.

I tried to convince myself, “All is lost.” but the Christmas lights are still hanging, with clear masking tape.

Kind of like my life right now.

Patched holes, trying not to bleed out.

And yet, I remember gratitude.The powerful force, calling me back to the same couch. The same birds. The same windows. The same tree between worlds of apartment buildings.

I remember where I came from, surrounded by familiar markers.

A life lived with passion and risk, but I am still scared.

Scared that I won’t be able to get back up.

Scared I’m not strong enough to dig myself out of holes I’ve created.

When fear grips skin from the back of my neck, I press shaky palms together in thanks.The secret weapon at war with hopelessness.

Gratitude:the breeder of kindness, simplicity, and grace.

A soft hand on your cheek, melting shame into mosaic pieces of your broken heart.

In-between moments of nighttime and day when “two worlds touch”.

Windows are open, and through darkness birds chant, “there is still time.”

Life is not over.

The tree outside my window is sturdy, just like last summer and the summer before.

Ghost leaves ripple on the wall, stories of hope, shadows in the street light.

Waving at my soul to remember.

I can see a foreign face, in the building across the street. He seems always awake.

An anonymous lighthouse. We are just strangers walking each other home.

Remember your own name. You are not an outsider to your own soul.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want.”

I think there will always be an ache in my chest for my mama in moments of despair.

Wanting to crawl back into her womb of safety.

On her chest, a deep sigh as her heartbeat promises, “Everything is okay.”

I don’t think moments of need are “weakness.”

Moments when we question, “Am I the only one who doesn’t have it figured out?”

Shame gives way to gentleness.

We need people.

And so we keep learning the lesson.

How to love without losing ourselves.

How to bond without ownership and expectations.

How to let go into something bigger.

And trust we are always held by an ancient, unknown wisdom.

Remembering the bravery of our own company.

Peeling our image off the mirror. Connecting jagged hearts with a best friend locket of tenderness.

Because despite companionship, we come into the world alone and we will leave alone.

It seems cold and indifferent, but underneath the tears we bathe in freedom.

On this morning in early June, I remember it’s okay to feel helpless. It’s okay to sometimes feel lonely and confused.

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.

I remember it is okay to not have answers.

I remember it is okay to feel sadness, a compassionate bridge to others in pain.

I remember it is okay when we don’t have our sh*t together, because what does that phrase mean anyways?

I remember her ferocity. Not because she’s done everything right, but because out of sleepless nights she stands up with the audacity to say “thank you.”

I remember that letting go is a continuous process.

I remember Tracy Chapman was onto something when she sung, “All that you have is your soul.”

It will never be void of pain, because that is not real.

But if we crawl out of bed and cuddle with silent moments, we hear the ancestors singing redemption songs.

And we are certain.

This is who you are. You are not lost. You are going to be just fine. Take a deep breath and exhale back into your own skin of “enough-ness”

Just because you risked getting up again.

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you don’t go back to sleep.


Oh my mama told me
‘Cause she say she learned the hard way
Say she wanna spare the children
She say don’t give or sell your soul away
‘Cause all that you have is your soul

~Tracy Chapman

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