My Faucet Is Leaking

The sink in the guest bathroom started dripping a few days ago. Or maybe weeks ago, but we didn’t notice till a few days ago, and in the middle of the night the pit, pat, plop of the drops hitting the stopper almost drives me mad. I decided putting a rag at the bottom of the sink was a favorable option for dulling the noise, but found that only amplified the sound, now hitting water, instead of metal.

My mind is a mess of leaky faucets and haphazard solutions. Yes, my Mom still has cancer. Yes, it’s still really hard and bad. And because of life, because of money, because of our own bills, and health problems, and commitments, I can’t drop everything and go be there. And that’s really, really hard. That’s the hardest.

I spent a whole year doing nothing and then my Mom gets cancer and I fill my life up with stuff to do because HALP, I NEED A PLACE TO RUN AWAY TO BECAUSE MY SADS ARE TRYING TO EAT ME. So, I’m filled absolutely to the brim, and the dripping and dropping in my mind drowns out the noise of all the, “Your mom is dying.”, but only just a little, and then it brings a whole new noise of, “You can’t fix this. Why do you even bother?”

Depression is a motherfucker and it’s a liar, but guys…ugh. I’m hurting. I’m hurting hard. And I really don’t want anyone to know/don’t know how to say it. I don’t know how to vocalize to my real life friends that HI, WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE? OH, JUST ME SOBBING AND SMOKING CIGARETTES AND OH, LOOK, HERE’S MY OLD FRIEND DEPRESSION TOO. I don’t know how to say that. I don’t know how to mouth out, “I’m sad.” Because all I hear is droplets hitting my brain, reminding me that I’m supposed to hold it together.

I can’t.

I can’t hold it together. I’m sad. I’m scared. And I’m overwhelmed.

And my Mom has cancer, and my husband is bipolar, and my daughter needs me to hold this shit together, and my friends got their own shit too, and my siblings have shit, and we all got shit, and how dare I unload MY shit onto THEIR shit wagon? We all gotta carry our own load. And I am trying but today it feels heavier than usual. Or maybe I’m just now realizing it’s heavy. And the faucet is dripping. And I can’t actually do all the things. And that’s a pill I want to swallow, and I should swallow, but it’s tucked away in my cheek getting more and more bitter.

I need a hug. I desperately need a hug. I need someone to hug me and tell me it’s going to be okay. No one does that for me. I don’t think it’s because they don’t care. But, maybe because they can’t hear the dripping in my head. Maybe because I’m drowning out the sound by asking if they need a hug. And they do. Everyone does.

Even me. I need a hug. I need a good cry. I need a glass of wine and a meltdown and a Netflix marathon and a good book and a long bath, followed by more crying. I need this. But, it’s just…it’s not an option for me.

So, please, friends…please hug me when you see me. Please forgive me if I cry. Please overlook what I mess I’ve been. Please know I wish I could be better than I am. Please accept that I’m just not very strong right now.

My faucet is leaking. And I don’t have it in me to fix it right now.

What 30 Years Has Learned Me

I’ve been trying to write this dang thing for over a month and it’s all clogged up inside me and I dont know why.

I’ve got this allergy to false sentimentality and it crossed my mind to pen a lengthy list of the things I’ve learned in my almost 30 years kicking shit around on this rock, but I ain’t feelin’ it, man. Because, y’all. I haven’t learned much and I’m not a very good teacher anyways.

Here’s the facts, Jack. I’m a survivor and a half. I’m on that Cancer/Leo cusp vibe, so I’m full of emotions and intuition and self doubt and motivation and miracles and disaster.

I’m a ticking time bomb and it’s my job to figure out if I’m a glitter bomb or the real fucking deal and guys…I haven’t figured it out yet.

I know I like cussing and I try not to do it but they’re words and I love words and I can tell you their origins story and that they all started somewhere and that somewhere matters, but all you’ll hear is my foul mouth so I keep it under raps, but dammit, I just wanna be me

I know I love color and I’ve been dreaming of bright blue hair for over a decade but I haven’t done it because there’s this twitchy side of me that likes to do things the safe, predictable way and blue hair ain’t predictable, and people will look at me funny. I mean, come on. Look at that big girl over there with bright, blue hair, and I’d laugh with them too if I saw myself that way but the honest-to-gob truth is I never see myself as I am with this body or this hair or this crooked smile. I see me. And I just wanna be me.

I wanna be me.

I wanna be 30-years-in-the-making me.

I wanna be she’s-got-a-lot-of-heart me. I wanna be she’ll-give-you-the-shirt-off-her-back-and-her-biscuit-recipe me. I wanna be all the me’s that I am and I’m just runnin’ myself into the ground doin’ it and that is a-okay with me.

Is that a-okay with you?

If not, you gotta carry on, my wayward son or daughter, because the truth is I’m just going to do it and I’m going to do it as hard as I can. I’m a bomb and one day I will explode and you can either get caught up in all my glitter or stand by staring at your feet, watching the rest of us dancing around in the beautiful, messy shower of shimmering plastic. I wanna get caught up in your hair and in your head and if you ain’t down with that, move along, cowpoke.

‘Cause I’m gonna be me. I’ve been waiting to turn 30 for 30 years. And I look around at my life and I got zero regrets, man. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve carried my share of shame, but those days are far behind me and I got days of sun and light ahead of me. And I cannot wait.

And I’d like you to join me, if you can keep up. I’m aggressive and I’m loud and then I’m pensive and quiet and I know it’s hella hard to pinpoint me, but one thing is true: YOU make me want to be here and do this. I long to connect with your soul, whoever you are, so let’s do more of that and less of scared-to-death-of-superficial-differences. Let’s hug it out, y’all. Lay some emotional sugar on me.

Because today I learned that if you hug someone for 20 seconds or more, your heart rates start to sync up and your body temperatures meet in the middle and your bodies literally become as one as they can be and I think to myself that it’s shit like that that makes me glad to be breathing this sweet air on this good earth.

30 years on this good earth. And it’s been a helluva ride. And there’s more to come. And y’all…let’s just do this damn thing.

I want you to tell me what you’ve learned. Tell me something good or bad or somewhere in-between. I love the acquisition of wisdom, so lay some of that on me in the comments. Let’s just hold each other for 20 seconds and get in each other’s hair and learn something.

Because that’s what I’ve learned in 30 years:

You gotta keep learning.

God Loves Me

When I was 10 I heard a pastor tell his congregation to pick an object, any object, and assign meaning to it. It could be a photo of a loved one, a cross, or a specific place, like the beach. He told us to look at that object and everytime we see it, remind ourselves, “God loves me.”

I took this to heart. I sat on the large steps of our historic home and eyed my front yard. I soaked up the warm, late afternoon sun, and flexed my toes, wriggling them back and forth periodically. I thought to myself, “I need to pick something I’ll see often enough to be reminded, but not too often so it seems too obvious.”

Birds zoomed above me, landing in trees, and flitting between shrubs. I had it! It would be a bird. But, not just any bird. It had to be a special bird. Something not so common as a robin or wren. A cardinal chirped above, perched upon a branch. Initially the cardinal seemed like the right choice, but I rarely saw them. They weren’t as common in my yard, and my small heart and young mind feared I’d never see it, and maybe I’d forget how loved I was.

My eyes shifted to a blue jay then. The jays were very common, but not as common as the robin. It seemed a perfect charm, but within my heart I thought, “Shame on you for choosing the easier one. Do you doubt God? Have you not faith?” I was ashamed of my choice, but afraid of choosing otherwise. My object became the Blue Jay, even though I always knew it was supposed to be the Cardinal.

I played this game through every stage in life. On days when my heart was breaking because my first boyfriend dumped me. On other days when my rent was due and my electric was about to be cut off and I could afford toilet paper. On days when my marriage was falling apart and I didn’t think we’d make it to another Thanksgiving.

And I played it today, sitting in my yard, watching a cardinal flit by, meditating on the news that my mother has stage 4 cancer. And she’s dying. And she’s there. And I am here. And there’s all these words unsaid between us and now we’re running out of time and I’ve never in my life felt so alone and so scared.

And a cardinal and a blue jay sit above me in the trees in my backyard. They’re quiet, they eye me carefully, they listen to my sobbing, overlook my smoking cigarette, forgive my sorrow.

And I know. God loves me. And while they’re just birds, and this is just life, and life and death go hand in hand, at that moment, and in every moment, God loves me. And it’s going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.

Divine Spark

When we’re born, or maybe when we’re conceived, or perhaps when we’re reaped from the Garden of Souls and sent plummeting to this wretched rock of earth and sea, we’re implanted with a divine spark given us by whatever cosmic force is out there plucking and hurling souls about with such reckless abandon. Indeed the fibers of creativity are woven in with our tendons, and arteries, and all those little flickering wires running across our brains. We are brought into existence intact with divinity: we were created, therefore we shall create.

None of us remember the first thing we created, but it’s likely it was the idea that something was very, very wrong. As screaming, writhing humans, we couldn’t grasp the severity and complexities of our own birth. We cried for the first time. We feared for the first time. We created a worst case scenario in our own minds based purely on what we understood to be true: I exist, I am warm, it is dark, this is good.

And when that great, seemingly impenetrable truth was rent at the seams, we created, we perceived, we formulated, and so we wept. All we’d ever known was gone. None of us since have tapped into the legitimacy of that fear. We have lost and we have hurt, but as long as we’re still breathing, we retain something known. We were our bravest as infants given milk, choosing not to cry anymore and instead open our eyes. We will never again be this courageous. We will never again know this terror and yet choose to keep breathing.

And did we ever keep breathing. We all went on to make things with our hands, our minds, our mouths, and our hearts. We made macaroni necklaces, painted handprints, and handmade cards. We painted rainbows. We drew spotted dogs. We played games in the yard or on the street. We wrote “I <3 you” and we meant it. Despite our many differences, we all created our entire childhood away.

And then we grew up and many of us started creating less and less. We settled on the creativity of others for a nice place to lay our heads or a seemingly important job to do. We accepted someone else’s creation for entertainment, rather than create entertainment ourselves. Our solutions to common and uncommon problems are no more than a click away, broken down and defragmented and titled “hacks” and “cheats” . Someone else has already created a solution. Nothing more is required. Many of us have all but abandoned unique thought in exchange for the small comforts of predictability and emotional security. We’ve got Pinterest and Instagram and Twitter and Google. What else do we need?

But, those of us who can’t put out that divine spark, we toil on under the hot sun of cultural pressures and societal limitations. The spark burns deep within our chests, safe and protected and valued above all else. It haunts us when we ignore it, consumes us when we free it, and drowns us in intoxicating blends of sorrow and joy when we engage it. Humans were never made to possess divinity and so our creative spirit drives us mad. We are drunk on the power of creation. We are gods of small things that seem so very big.

But, we are not gods. We are mortals and we are fragile. And thus our spirits are fragile. We carry the Divine within the glass chambers of our souls and we live in a world of rocks and stones. Life is terrifying for bearers of precious goods and your soul is precious. Your spark is essential.

And I say all this because I’m begging you and I’m begging me to honor our divinity and create new thoughts, pictures, songs, stories, memories, and objects until the days we all die. This is all we have ever controlled and it is the most powerful thing we possess. So possess it. And let it in turn possess you.

The world needs divinity. The world longs for creation.

Mona Lisa

I flick flour and Crisco off my fingers and into the sink in one passing swoop, before hurrying past it and back toward the stove. Cathead biscuits are going into the oven and water for potatoes is coming to a boil. I always look closely at my hands as I roll the dough between my fingers and wipe it off on my apron. Though not as lean and effeminate, I think of my grandmother’s hands whenever I get a thought to bake something.

I like to remember the good things about my grandmother, rather than the unpleasant things. I remember that it seems she lived in her kitchen. She was always fixing something to eat, or putting a load of dishes on, or sitting at the table in a big wicker chair, smoking a cigarette and playing Rook with my grandfather. In my mind, she lived in that kitchen. She had long nails, usually painted up in some sort of deep red or a rustic mauve. They were natural and rounded at the ends. They balanced cigarettes and made smoking look sexy long before Don Draper lit up.

It’s no wonder my grandfather loved her. She was spirited, cussed like a sailor, and curled her hair. Like all good Southern women, she had a dresser full of Mary Kay cosmetics and a closet full of pumps. There were sequined dresses with shoulder pads and clutches with complicated beadwork. There was the way she wore a pair of nylons that made you think she used to be a movie star. When I watch Jessica Lang on television, I feel like I’m watching my grandmother. She was so sexy. And she could cook.

I picture her as she was then, and not as she is now. I like to remember the woman in her early 60’s, floating in her pool out back, with a pair of sunglasses on, and a sweet tea in her hand. I like to recall white denim shorts, floral tanks, white Keds with low socks, and a colorful visor to match the top. There were rings, bangles, and earrings. There were always sunglasses and painted nails.

And there were always biscuits and cornbread coming out of the oven. There was her rough way of loving you just enough, but never too much. The ways she called you, “Baby”, that sounded like she was saying, “I love you”, because she never actually said, “I love you.” “Baby, run get Papa and tell him to check the grill.” “Baby, what did you do to your hair? Good god, looks like someone took a lawnmower to it.” “Baby, hand me my lighter. The blue one. I think my black one is about empty.”

I like to think of her that way, and not the way she was as I drove her to the hospital to visit my granddaddy in a coma he would never wake up from. Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” came on, because I liked Nat King Cole, and she shut it off, half screaming, “Turn that shit off, baby. I can’t hear that right now.” She was crying and muttered, “Papa used to sing that to me.” We sat in silence for the rest of the car ride. At 19 years old, I was far too young to understand the complexities of her sorrow.

She told me once, “It’s my fault he’s dead. He went out to get my medicine so I wouldn’t have to.” A car accident mucked up his insides and eventually he passed because of it. I only saw him once in the hospital before he died. I don’t do well with death and we were all drowning in it.

Her beautiful, wrinkled hands grasped his, as he lay in that bed, unconscious. She brushed his hair away from his face, and whispered, “Johnny, Tamara’s here.” I started to cry. She told me not to let him see me cry. So, I didn’t. I stopped crying for a long time after that.

The water is boiling and the potatoes are going in. I step out onto my back porch and light a cigarette. I imagine all the moments she and my grandfather shared. All the cigarettes, all the biscuits, all the dishes, and all the love songs.

I like to imagine he’s still here with us, humming Mona Lisa while she peels potatoes.

Reasons To Stay In Alabama


I’m sitting on a friend’s back porch. It’s early November and in North Alabama it’s perfect weather. Today especially is a perfect day. Our children are out running the edges of her property, which backs up to dense forest and a nearby creek we can’t quite see, but we can hear gently gurgling in the distance. My friend and I are knitting and drinking margaritas and talking about our marriages and the complications of getting older. I have the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis in my left hand. She has some homemade ointment for that.

We pause our conversation a moment to holler at the kids to chase the chickens back up toward the hen house. There’s a hawk hovering overhead and some of the hens are too involved with scratching around in the tree line to heed the signs of a circling predatory bird, despite the roosters already growling and heading to safety. The children respond with, “Yes, ma’am!” and scurry after the chickens, who in turn bicker back at their pursuers and at each other, but do eventually high-tail it into their hen house.

The sun is bright above them, with a few passing clouds, and a subtle breeze. It’s cool out, but the sun warms their skin. Each child dons a sweater and a pair of boots. Each child has messy hair and dirty fingernails. There have already been some tears and some squabbles, but they’ve declared each other all best friends. My friend and I shake our heads and laugh and roll our eyes and sneak a cigarette when they aren’t looking.

I ask my friend, a recent transplant to Alabama, why she and her husband chose here, of all places, to buy up some land, a nice house, and 50 chickens. They’re retiring in North Alabama and I struggle to grasp their reasoning.

My friend is Puerto Rican and grew up in Boston. She lived in the heart of Boston for over 20 years before meeting and marrying her husband. She’s used to the noise, sprawling neighborhoods, and urban charm of big cities. She’s a product of a rough, inner city school. She’s been a waitress and a bus driver. Her mother is one of Boston’s finest, who regaled her children with stories of crime on the streets of Boston. She’s tough. She cusses like a sailor, and proudly tells her children, “If people don’t like you, fuck ’em.” She talks about life as a Brown woman. She tells me about how she expected to be treated in the Deep South compared to what she found in her small community of less than 8000 souls.

The affordability drew them to North Alabama first. Cost of living in the South is low. Their two year old house, with 4 bedrooms, a den, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, large master bathroom, 2 additional full bathrooms, hardwood floors, granite countertops, 11 foot ceilings, and 5 acres of land cost them just $350,000. “We could’ve gotten it all for less.”, she muses, and she’s probably right. TVA (the Tennessee Valley Authority) keeps her electric, water, and gas bill low too. For their buck, Alabama offered a lot of bang. A helluva lot of bang.

Price wasn’t the only consideration. Growing up in Boston with a single mother policewoman taught her a lot about how you wanna raise your kids. “I didn’t want my kids getting shot up outside school or while walking down the street. $350k gets a lot here. Not so much there.” She homeschools her two youngest children but her oldest attends the local high school: a small, 2A school down the road a few miles. Her oldest is “the only Brown kid” in the school’s marching band, but she notes that he’s flourishing. They all expected him to face some prejudice and she prepared him for it, but instead he’s found neither prejudice, nor special treatment. He’s a normal kid to his predominantly White peers. Another face in the crowd. Or trombone in the band.

Her Abuelita and much of her family still live in Puerto Rico, where she was born. The countryside and simple folk who wave to her and each other as they pass through her small town remind her of visiting family there. Her Abuelita keeps chickens and has ample advice about raising, killing, and cooking them. She’s passing that advice onto my friend who in turn is passing it onto me. She’s giving us some of her chickens and a rooster this coming Spring. She’s got more than enough for now and needs a second hen house. We’re part of a circle of family and community that spans generations, language barriers, and hundreds of miles. And it’s some kind of wonderful.

She sips her margarita through a Dora The Explorer straw and turns the tables on me. “Why did you come BACK to Alabama?”

She knows I have a love/hate relationship with the South. I was raised military, spent my childhood in England and Panama, returning to Alabama only once or twice a year for holidays or family reunions. I have a brain full of visions and memories from beautiful places most of my peers in the Deep South will never see. I describe my childhood as magical and idyllic, which it was. So when we moved to Alabama when I was 10, I grew increasingly resentful. I felt different from my peers. I didn’t have a Southern accent. I didn’t have a preferred football team and had never seen the Iron Bowl. I talked about sheep in Scotland and Coatimundi (or Kudamundi) in Panama, and they talked about Bo Jackson and Bear Bryant. I pronounced words oddly and I didn’t understand any of the Southern slang. People would say, “Slow down! You talk too fast!” I was misunderstood. I was weird. And I began to hate the South.

We moved to North Carolina when I was 14. North Carolina is still considered a Southern state, but it’s a bit different there and we were on the coast, just a few feet from the beach. I stayed there until I was 20 and I vowed to never return to Alabama. I did it anyways in 2005 when my grandfather passed away suddenly and my grandmother needed an extra hand around the house. I met my husband here in Alabama and away we went again in 2008…away from the South and into DC. And then I had my daughter, and after 2 years gone, we came back…again. Neither one of us could escape the South and specifically Alabama. We talked about it after moving here once more. We discussed work in Washington, Colorado, Texas, and California. But, we stayed. Because it’s affordable. Because people were relatively friendly. Because the crime statistics. Because the tight knit communities.

I tell her my reasons and she says, “And there ya go.”, winking and pointing a finger at me. She understands.


The sun is starting to set and the children are laying in the field in front of us staring at the sky and pulling at the grass. She glances at her cell phone and says, “Oh, shit, Alejandro isn’t riding the bus home today. He has band practice. I gotta go pick him up.” We’ve lost track of time and it’s almost 4:30.  We call the children up to the porch and start the frantic search for missing scarves, mittens, jackets, and toys. We end up leaving a scarf at her house. We end up taking a stuffed unicorn home.

As we pull away her children wave wildly from the driveway. We roll down the windows and wave back, before disappearing out of sight. It’s a 25 minute car ride back into the nearest “big” city, which is still just a small town with 24k residents. We pull into our own driveway and my daughter is asleep in the backseat, the unicorn in her lap, and leaves in her hair.

I step out onto the first layer of jewel toned leaves littering our front lawn and pause for a moment under our oak and maple trees, now ablaze with brilliant yellow, oranges, and reds. The sky is a deepening purple and pink. It’s relatively quiet and still. The elderly gay couple next door are walking their dog. Four teenagers are riding bikes down to the corner store, bundled in hoodies, and laughing contagiously. Somewhere in my neighborhood someone is using their fireplace for the first time this Autumn. I can smell the wood burning. I can feel all the reasons I still live in Alabama.


Give Me A Small House

An essay that inspired this painting.

“Give Me A Small House”

You will not be filled with awe in my home.

No stately columns, nor glorious high ceilings greet you. There will be no grand foyer and neither will you be captivated by an exotic, floral centerpiece and exquisite chandelier. My home will not dazzle you and I will not throw fashionable parties there.

My home, like me, will be unassuming. You will pass us both on the street and you will not lose breath at our presence, if you notice us at all. My home will not be featured in magazines and papers. My home will be all but invisible, blending into the background of your day-to-day.

My home is not famous, at least not to strangers. She is and will only ever be known as a place that housed small and gentle souls. My home is a reflection of the life I choose to lead. My home will not seduce you. My home will make you feel safe.

My home will be constrained enough for intimate gatherings between old friends and new. My table will hold only a few chairs but will feed the many mouths that enter our dwelling. My home will welcome you to curl up in a warm, wool blanket several decades old and within its embrace your soul will rest. My home is a refuge for broken hearts and broken wings.

You can not hide in my home, nor will you lose yourself. With every corner you will be met by another face and ultimately, your own reflection. You will be forced to work together in my home. You can not run away to the west wing, or the east wing, or the guest house. You will fight within my home and you will fight face to face and cheek to cheek. You will be better for it, having no ability to flee your problems. You will be better for it because this is your life and life in close quarters is grand in small ways.

My kitchen will be cluttered with cookbooks and my pantry will be full. It will hold only a few people, chosen carefully by myself. And if you are chosen to join me in my swaying and bending and kneading and mixing and baking, you are highly favored…as long as you stay out of my way. My kitchen will create comfort food for comforting souls and it will please the heart more than it does the palate and the waistline.

You will have to wait in line for the bathroom. You will have to step over small children and small animals and small toys. We will not ballroom dance in my home. We will shuffle, and sway, and squeeze in altogether; backs and breasts, and arms, and legs, filling the space, and allowing us to connect with each other physically, without the complications of sexuality.

We touch in my home. We snuggle on our couch and we rub elbows at our table. We lean in and pat knees and stare into each other’s eyes as we share our innermost thoughts and feelings with those we cherish. We hug and we kiss. We caress. We love outwardly and openly.

Within these thinning walls, you will be at home. The words, “cozy”, “comfortable”, and, “quaint”, will graze your lips. You will love my home because you don’t feel small here…you feel big. You feel important, and noticed, and valued. You are all these things and my home will reiterate this fact. My home is small so you won’t feel small. My home will be a warm, tiny space to bury your face and settle in, and let go.

My home is not large. It is not grand. It is not stately. But within it lies the simplicity of a paradise now nearly forgotten in the haze of MacMansions and villas and ticky tacky boxes. Where others want room to hide all their skeletons, we want to delight in our skeletons and cherish them and respect them and be unashamed to have them on display. There is no escaping in my small home. Only embracing. Only accepting.

So give me a small house filled with big hearts. And you will have given me all I’ll ever need.

Stop Blaming Time

When I go to bed early, it is inevitable that my brain will awaken me within 5-6 hours of falling asleep and will proceed to fill my head with thinks.

Tonight it’s thinks about how quickly things change. In just a year things can break beyond a point you ever thought them capable, but things can also be healed when you once thought they were too broken. In just a year hearts can mend deep wounds, or inflict deeper ones than had ever existed before. In a year promises we’ve made become obsolete, and things we’d swore we’d never promise again come tumbling from our lips.

We’re told we only live once and life is so short, but life feels very long to me. Regardless of time’s imaginary constraints on our life’s decisions, we push through it with such speed and recklessness it’s only inevitable that we leave a few tragedies in our wake. And we chalk them up to circumstances and time and things better left unsaid and all the while we have *so* much time to say, “I’m sorry”, and “I forgive you”, and “I still love you”.

But, instead we say, “I need time”, when what we really mean is, “You’ve broken me so badly I don’t think I can ever again trust you to put me back together”, and “I’m afraid of you and this pain I feel and I don’t know what to do with that”. We blame time, but we should be blaming ourselves and other people. Blame is looked down on, but sometimes others are to blame for the shitty things we feel. We have to assign blame: To ourselves and those who’ve hurt us. But, we should never blame time and never blame its perceived speed.

Stop blaming time. Life really isn’t as short as you think it is. It’s true that some people will die young and abruptly and you wanting to be sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity in life just in case is all fine and good, but be mindful of the rush you’re in trying to make YOUR dreams come true. Be mindful of the broken hearts you’re leaving behind. Be mindful of the Sorrys you’re not saying.

In just a year your up can become down, your right become your left, and your yes become your no. Accept your fallibility and be accountable for your flaws. Apologize more than you do and more than your pride tells you that you should. Forgive, even if you need not forget. (And you don’t always have to forget.) And disregard time. We humans don’t understand it. We build monuments to it, but it is so far beyond our ability to decipher. So, forget about it. Neither rush to the future, nor linger in the past. Be present: this moment, this day, this hour, this minute.

Be here. Now. Like this. Me and you. Naked and vulnerable and broken together. Let’s hold hands and pray and chant and recite and cry. And forget time. And remember life.


There’s a true danger in “eventually”. “Eventually” is the careless whisper you hold tenderly as you lie awake in bed, trying to cope with the disappointment we all sometimes and often feel. “Eventually” became my favorite lullaby and on numerous sleepless nights the only thing that pushed me into dreams was the poetry and schemes of “Eventually”. “Eventually”, I thought, “eventually I will be successful, I will be affluent, I will have all those things I have never had, and eventually, I will be happy”.

“Eventually” requires something extra though, and here’s the part that gets tricky, because you can fill your whole life up with Eventually’s but if you have not the leg work and the can-do to acquire those dreams, they stay unrealized in your mind, limited to empty promises and empty lies called Eventually.

And so my Eventually remained for many years as I wallowed in self pity and self destruction and self inflicted sorrow and pain. But, be it by the hands of fate, or luck, or maybe a little of my own fighting spirit, eventually I became a mother, fulfilling one dream; eventually I became a wife, fulfilling another; and eventually I started thinking much bigger than I’d ever dared to think and dream and hope and wish and scheme.

But life is long and we’re all living longer these days. Most of us will see our days fill a century and then some, and in those hundred and so on years we will continue gathering Eventually’s. They will always creep into our beds at night and keep us from surrendering to REM sleep and deep dreams.

“Eventually I will make something of my life”, my Eventually’s still whisper to me. “Maybe I will write, maybe I will sew, maybe I will paint, or maybe I will speak, but eventually there will be a sidenote on my gravestone and in my obit and it will say, ‘She leaves a legacy of something, something, and something else.'” It’s all just a matter of Eventually and possibility.

More than likely you and I will never be famous, or successful, or memorable, or extraordinary. We will pass from this life into the next having accomplished very little other than the small helping of life God handed us before setting our souls walking into existence. If we’re lucky we will be mourned by people we loved dearly and shared our life with. If we’re even luckier we will have left our families and communities in better condition than they were before we arrived in this plane of consciousness.

But, if we’re truly fearless we will depart our loved ones with a list of Eventually’s all crossed out and checked off, with the last one being, “Eventually I will die”, to be scratched out by Death himself, as he takes our wrinkled hand, pats it gently, and whispers, “I’ll walk you home, my darling.”

Do not die with a bucket list of Eventually. Do not go gently into that good night, with Eventually’s still curled up at your feet, purring empty promises softly. Be not enslaved to your Eventually’s, but be their master, driving them toward Paradise and a reality worth marking off the list.

Eventually you will stop procrastinating, make that phone call, take that leap, quit that job, end that relationship, break down that wall, be free of that addiction, and make something of your life. Eventually you will do all that and more.

Turn your Eventually’s into realities. Make your Eventually’s count for Something’s.