Birds of Hallow Throat

Holding on to birds that want to fly

No hope of strength enough

Words perched on silver tongues

Birds caught; wings open, frozen

 

Yearning to relinquish the grey that surrounds

Not far enough away from

The black of distant past

 

In the middle of a throat

They flap, they flock—it chokes

Birds aiming to the smallest light

Yet they are caught inside a throat

 

Feathers seep through ruby lips

As trapped and waiting birds cry

Half frozen, yearnings thawing

No secrets fly by sun

 

Not till the dawn of twilight

Do wings thaw

Not till the darkness of the night

Do birds know how to fly

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What do you read when the world breaks you?

What do you do when the world breaks you?

I swear, this world has broken my heart more than any guy I’ve ever known.

Back to my question. What do you do?

What do you read when the world has broken you and you feel like you are one breath away from turning to dust?

 

So far, I’ve been reading Margaret Atwood, Sarah J Maas, and George Orwell.

I’ve been trying to be less sick. I’ve been writing. I’ve been trying to make a small difference. I’ve been keeping informed on what’s going on–I’ve been watching, trying to raise awareness, I’m Canadian, and personally I find what’s going on in the states to be frightening. And that’s putting it mildly.

I’m thinking about rereading Harry Potter–that series got me through when nothing else could–or would. Another series close to my heart is Vampire Academy and of course the Throne of Glass series also Lauren Oliver novels. Writing is what keeps me going though lately I’ve been cursed with writer’s block so profound I didn’t think it would ever end. But I feel like slowly it is. Thanks to me taking new meds which mean the pain is better and I can sleep sometimes, plus things aren’t as stagnant as they were, and I’ve taken a more proactive approach to life. But despite all this, tonight my broken heart is aching. And it feels like the monster’s won. I just need some proof–some hope. I need to read a story that reminds me that good wins sometimes or one that restores some of my faith in humanity because right now everything seems to far darker and far deeper . I am fortunate and privileged to have grown up in this relatively safe country. Sure, my home-life, family-life, and personal-life including health, was a constant war but my country is peaceful.

The disgusting greed, blatant injustice, and abhorrent show of cruelty directed towards the Water Protectors at Standing Rock is disheartening. My heart is broken. Again. By this world and the people in it.

My heart is aching.

I stand with Standing Rock.

Forever and always.

Sometimes I wonder if life is really supposed to be this hard. It feels a little like each facet of life is tearing me in a different direction. My mind has become loud as a Subway station at five o’clock on a friday. I feel lost. I need some peace and tranquility. I need a break from worries about family, friends, careers, health, the city, people, the frustration and anger of constant, chronic pain, the loneliness and isolation it causes, the stress of going to university and of having to prepare to live on my own away from my family, the doctors appointments, the stress and suffering of illness and depression, the ever-gnawing knowledge that I might need surgery again…there really isn’t any part of life that isn’t screaming at me right now. The pressure and stress is intense.

I long for the type of peace and quiet, and beauty, only the northern woods can bring. I yearn to get lost on trails and forget about city life, my petty problems, and the substantial ones too. I want to get back to what life is really about; I want to remember. I want to be able to close my my eyes and not hear traffic outside my window. I want to walk out my front door and be surrounded by trees and foliage. I want to hear birds during the day and see stars at night. I want to be able to watch the sun’s descent and watch the moon rise. I wish to hear the gentle lapping of a lake at noon against a dock and walk a trail and find river rocks–smoothed and perfect. I need to breathe in fresh, cool air filled with the scent of pine and cedar, and I need to remember.

It is a different type of life up there–one I love so much more, it’s one that opens my eyes, and lightens my mind. Up there, it’s life that matters-nothing else. And everyone is much more relaxed up there. I just need a break from everything especially the city.

Sometime around May I have plans to go back to Warblers Roost. Which, incidentally, is the Blog I *adore* writing for (if you haven’t already check them out at Warblers Roost Blog Posts). I can not wait. I am eager and ecstatic to get back up there. Last time, which was the first time, I was there, it was nothing short of an incredible, eye-opening adventure. I learned so much. I grew. Plus, the amount of writing I got done, I’m still proud of. I’ve yet to surpass that incredible milestone I edited three chapters in one week. Since coming back, writing has been much harder. For the last few months, I’ve been mostly silent on all social media fronts because my mental health took a turn for the worse. Things have just been too hard. Which is another reason, I want to get away for a bit. Warblers Roost is the best writing retreat I’ve been on. Full disclosure, it’s one of the only ones I’ve ever been on, but that’ll change eventually. The people, the land, the lake, it is all beautiful. There is something freeing about that place. Something that even numbs the chronic pain the slightest bit. It is beautiful and freeing…living somewhere the trees outnumber the houses is my biggest dream. And, northern Ontario is home for me.

The only thing is, that it’s in May.

Which right now, mine as well be eons away.

Few people can understand the true scope of dealing chronic pain. The pain is only the beginning. With the pain comes depression. Anger. The shadow pain. GI problems. Constantly itchy skin. Inability to think clearly. Can you imagine even imagine what it would be like to be in pain 24/7–throughout all hours of the day and night, the doesn’t relent just because you wish it would. It is always there, seething and roiling beneath the surface. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Depression.

If you’re not careful you can get sucked into a big whirlpool of suffering.

I found out a little while ago that I may have something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. This basically means I keep having allergic reactions to foods I’ve always eaten. Like salad for example. I’m not entirely sure what’s next for me. I still need to see a neurologist and I found out I might need surgery. Basically, my body is effed up beyond repair. At least that’s how it feels. It feels like my body is literally being torn apart, other times it feels like a sleeping monster–when the pain is managed but lingering just below the surface.

I’m exhausted. Life is exhausting in its own right, having a chronic illness and dealing with constant pain, well that just pushes you over the edge.

To Edit or To Cry: That Is The Question

Writer’s Block. That pesky thing that happens when you’re trying to make it as a “real” writer. Oh, the joys and woes of writing. And editing, because let’s face it, realistically speaking, all writing is rewriting. The guy who said that had it right.

I’m on chapter four of my current novel and it is frustrating me to no end. I have two other novels I need to be editing/rewriting and I haven’t gotten to do any of them because I’m stuck on this one evil chapter. I think–I may–I REALLY hope, I had a breakthrough but the thing about a breakthrough is that you actually have to rewrite the damn chapter to figure out if it even works.

For me, writer’s block only ever affects me when A) I’m in a really bad place in life, for example two summers ago when I was hospital bound and completely alone, or B) when depression is past the point of severe, or C) Both of the above. Usually, though, those two things come hand in hand. Life, due to pain and lack of independence, as become stagnant which is not a good thing for me. I spend too much time reminiscing, too much time on my own, and too much time wishing things were different. The reality is, I’m far too caught up in the problems of my own life, and I’m too far away to really help anyone else. Which is a problem for me. I need to be helping people but most of all I need out of my own head. My theory is that all those stories you hear about writers going crazy are based in reality–it is what happens if they’re left alone too long.

Okay, maybe that isn’t exactly right but it does have some truth to it. Being alone and isolated isn’t a good thing. It may seem good to someone who doesn’t have any time  to write but to someone in this situation it is anything but pleasant. No one, unless you’ve gone through something similar (I’ve been in this relative surgery-chronic-pain-illness purgatory for years) , can understand this. And it is also quite possible they, unless they too have been through something traumatic, will not, can not understand what it is like.

In the last little while I’ve had to give up a lot–more than even my closest friends know, and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been teetering on the edge of the hopeless darkness for some time now–but the last few weeks have been worse, because on top of everything else I’ve been trying to deal with, I got a very nasty virus which knocked me on my ass.

But that isn’t to say good things haven’t happened. I’ve been put on a new medication (I hate it more than words can describe but it has actually been helping). I’ve even been getting actual sleep–which is a huge improvement from waking up every half an hour. The medicine has given me some strangely vivid dreams–but overall they’ve been pleasant enough, though ultimately very strange.

I’ve been accepted into all the schools I applied too and even though I was dying to go to the big school up North (hello, trees!), I made the even better choice to stay a bit closer to home which means I’ve been promised lots of help with things. So, I’m going to be an Honors English Student in September. It makes me nervous and excited and terrified and elated and even more excited.

I imagine now that you get the picture–life has been both overwhelming and underwhelming lately, and in some ways, both have left me with writer’s block. Though I think the biggest part of that problem is that I’ve been skipping my weekly writer’s club meetings since Joey died back in October and I also have been having a hard time getting really into a story. All of them just seem to fall flat right before me–which I attribute not to the lack of a good plot, and more towards my inability to actually concentrate. It’s hard to concentrate on anything when all you see everyday is the same walls. It is very possible I am going stir-crazy. But, on the bright side, I got to go to my favorite city and watch another awesome poetry reading. I even ran into some of my buddies from my writing club–which is really just the sign I needed to get myself back there. But seriously, editing is so hard–I’d even argue it’s harder than the actual writing part. The first draft was easy peasy compared to this damn editing. It is soul-sucking. I’m not even joking.

And writer’s block sucks. But, I don’t have the luxury of staying stuck. Which means I have to get to work. So if you have any tips or tricks on how to get ‘Unstuck’ let me know. For now, I’m think I’m going to go back to reading.