die young

this is cross-posted from the other side of paradise, a blog i wrote for class this semester.

every night, you’re terrified of what you won’t become.

i am. i am terrified of the space that lies between could have and have done. i am terrified of the day turning into the night without having anything to show for it except a sunburn. i am terrified of the chance that i have of being here and being nothing. i am terrified of potential and how heavy it weighs, so i run. i become a professional athlete drinking in every experience like it’s about to be the last bit of water before i reach the finish line. i run from the fear of not enough, and sometimes, i run fast enough to forget why i’m running.

the goal isn’t so much to die, but rather to remove the issue of not being remembered by not being here at all. everyone wants to be something, make something, leave something – but if you die young, your obligations become zero and there’s no expectation for you to. death is an option – a seemingly beautifully freeing option – but is it the answer?

perhaps. but maybe it isn’t. maybe there is more to life than the imprint you leave. maybe there is beauty in the simplicity of being. maybe being here, and being you, is enough. maybe being you is enough.

so, do you wanna die young?

Advertisements

love it if we made it

it is fifty four degrees in a small city in new jersey. the weather calls for a t-shirt and a light sweater. the students call for cow onesies and rosie the riveter costumes and rick and morty cosplays. it’s halloween and the semester is still heavy with promise, but halfway through, we all know how this works.

a kid on a skateboard zooms past in yellow shoes. he moves as fast as i’d like to. we both end up at the bus stop, and i try a smile at him. he smiles back, and i smile to myself. i wonder if he was smiling at me or at how fast he was going.

at the bench i find myself at, there are people as furniture. a girl sits atop a monument, and another sits oustside the english building. it feels like they haven’t moved for ages, typing away on their laptops and tapping their feet in tune with music only i can hear.

two boys play frisbee on the lawn and the boy in the grey sweatshirt jumps higher every time it comes his way. they switch sides and he continues to jump. he yells to his friend, “i’m consistent!” and he is. he’s consistent.

all of these people are in my mind as matty healy sings, “i’d love it if we made it”. i would. i’d love it if we made it.

love and light,
shalom xo

uranus | atlas

this is uranus: of endings and realizations.


it’s sort of picturesque, really: you on the porch and me still on the other side of the door, both of us knowing that neither of us has the strength to say what we both need to hear. it’s as though a chorus of angels powered by flame could appear and the whole world would still just be you, me, and our cowardice.

if love is anything, let it be everything. the words sit on my right hipbone where your left used to rest, except they feel as hollow as the cave your collarbones made in your neck. make. you are still you, collarbones and all, and i am aware that no matter how lovely, i cannot stay here anymore.

we exchange hellos like we’re still in love because maybe we are, but maybe we’re just tired enough to collapse into anything that was once home. maybe you are still home. maybe i missed the eviction notice and got thrown out anyway. maybe i still love you. maybe it doesn’t matter when the friction is lost.

the last time we kiss feels like a big crash in a song that i didn’t know was coming, because my heart swells from the beating it is taking and my brain tells me to remember how everything feels, tastes, smells, but you are not there. we kiss and i try to taste you but i only taste my chapstick and i know it’s all been me. i don’t know how long you’ve been gone, but i know you’re not there the way i am.

you leave and it’s sad how refreshing heartbreak can be. sometimes the sky looks like it’s made out of layers of blue, each more chipped than the last. sometimes the sky looks like an angry god, displeased with all of his children born of the earth. sometimes, i forget that we live under him.

when i cry, i do not forget.

eyes wide open

do you ever feel like you can’t fully take in what’s happening around you? like your eyes are open, but can never open wide enough? i feel like that all the time and i always wonder if i actually am missing out on life, or if i’m tricking myself. either way, tonight i opened my eyes wide enough and i’m still riding that wave so i’d like to tell you about it. thanks for hanging.

we pull out of the quickchek yelling yer killing me and my head swoops with the milkshake in my hand. enough yelling – emily asks me if i’m ready as she rolls the windows down. i’m not ready. never ready. always almost, but never ever. it’s 8:30 pm in north jersey just before christmas, and when the breeze slaps me in the face, i think i’m ready.

she puts on sex, and i almost start crying. i yell and we yell – this album is so well produced! it is. after we’ve got one thing in common, it’s this tongue of mine i start looking out of the window. milkshake on lap and doritos in hand, i realize just how much life is out there on a friday night. christmas lights choke trees and houses and they stand quietly in submission. there’s a big curve on a major intersection and emily is harmonizing with matty healy, and i see it. i see it all because my eyes are so open they may fall out.

down the street, past the house with a million trees, they’ve all got boyfriends anyway brings me back down and i can’t explain what’s happened. the song changes but i am still awed – everything is bright at one time or another if you can see enough. my eyes are open and my hands are cold from sticking them out of the window and floating with the wind that carried them there, but my eyes are open.

my eyes are open wide enough. and this is how it starts.

love and light,
shalom xo

saturn | atlas

CREDIT: NASA / NASA.GOV

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is saturn: a reflection on life and infinity


I often think that if I had an understanding of things the way that you did, I would be a different person. My house would be upon a rock rather than on the sand, and I would know more – with all of me, I would know. But, how good it is to know that we will never know everything.

You taught me that knowing isn’t worth it, sometimes. That the courage of stars is maybe all that I would ever need: the audacity to exist, to shine, even after death has pronounced them dull. I wonder if I would would live more audaciously if I was a star. Will you live? Will you continue to live, now that you’re gone?

The infinite interested me too much. What less is expected from a child that wanted so much more that they too became fragmented; lost in time and space? I wanted to be everything, to feel every surge of energy that this great blue ball had to offer and still, I was stopped by myself. I am so infinitesimal, but I wished to be infinite.

I wished to exist as everything, but you reminded me I would not. You reminded me to stare blankly, to go in uninformed, to learn, to grow – to live.

Now, I live.

How rare and beautiful it is that we exist.

 

// l o v i n g s o m e o n e //

ohhhhh we’re back with those the 1975 song posts aren’t we just! well, i’ve had this one in my drafts since june and i just got a moment to get this out of my head. so, here we are. loving someone. also, i’m trying to write something every day this month. bedid?

you should be loving someone, shouldn’t you? i like to think that despite what we may have conditioned ourselves to do, we all are loving someone at any given point. despite being what i believe is the base human emotion, loving is difficult in every way it is simple. loving freely can be illegal, loving wholly can be all consuming, loving at all can bear a kind of hatred that burns with the passion of a was-love – loving is complex. but i think, you should be loving someone.

tumblr_of1z60XRA81vd4wlqo1_500

as easy as it is to see love and chalk it up to romance or familial duty, i like to think the joy lies in the choice. you should be loving someone, if you choose to. you should embrace the freefall of romance, if you choose to. you should throw caution and advice out for the end goal of more than you could give your heart yourself, if you choose to. if you choose to, you should be loving someone with your heart out.

d9126d47f44326a8c881bbb6a335b1fa

i think for the most part, all actions are based in love. i think that the default human emotions are love and apathy. the opposite of love is apathy. in any case, the two motivate everything that anyone’s ever done, as far as i know – be it a love for control, or apathy towards the plight of others. regardless of which is at work in any given situation, there are people. people with hearts for others and desires to live, people with nothing to live for and nothing to die for and yet, here we are. loving what and who we love without ever fully understanding why. i think that’s a part of the human condition – not fully knowing. what a shame it would be to know everything at all.

amy winehouse sang that love is a losing game, and i sometimes i wonder if she was right. if we’re all human and we’re just loving to be more whole, then it really is a losing game. love isn’t the cure for brokenness, and i think that using it as spackle really gives way for further destruction. loving as we may be, the human condition is a fragmented one – the quest may not stop but neither will the cracks that appear in us all. love can’t fix that. i don’t think it can – not when loving someone holds the power to jam a crowbar into those cracks. maybe i’m naive. sometimes i hope so.

tumblr_ofme7s3SjC1uw8q7do1_500

i am forever in alongside the boys in jumpers
on bikes from schools and cars
with autumn leaves fallen sparse across mid-afternoon
she blazed about how
cultural language is an operating system
a simple interface rendered feeble and listless
when tested with a divinity or a true understanding
of the human condition
i never did understand – the duality of art and reality
living life and treating it as such but with a certain disconnect
to touch that cajoles at the artist with comfort and abandon
and between the spires and rolling roofs of the white city
that orange, english light cast only one, singular shadow
for you are not beside but within me

you should be loving someone.

love and light,
shalom xo

some thoughts about writing

y’all, i don’t KNOW what is going on in my life.

right. since the last time we’ve spoken, i’ve spent most of my life in bed breaking almost every record there is for the number of depression naps TM taken before noon. i’ve also maybe been to the gym twice, and have written nothing (until today. today i wrote something and also this! so. yes. carrying on –) despite my alarm that goes off every day at 5pm asking me in all caps and too many exclamation points: “HAVE YOU WRITTEN TODAY??!?!!!” the answer as of late is almost always no.

i don’t know if what i do here means anything on the grand scale that i hope my life will be. i don’t know if i’ll ever believe that my writing is good enough for me to finally stop thinking that i’m stealing everyone else’s work and that i don’t have an original bone in my body. i don’t know if i’ll ever not feel like there’s a big blazing LIAR sign above my head every time i tell someone that i’m a writer. i’m a writer? i…ah, man.

“You can’t tell anybody that you want to be a writer, or you’re trying to be a writer. If you’re writing every day, then you’re a writer. You may not be a working writer, but you are a writer. And if you’re not writing every day, and you tell me that writing is your passion and is who you are and who you want to be, you have to examine why you’re not writing every day… maybe you just like the idea.”

– Shonda Rhimes; powerhouse, writer of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, icon

i try to write every day because i feel like i need to write every day. some days are hard, and i’m working on that, but i want to write every day. whether working or not, i want to know that this thing – this idea that i’ve assumed to be almost all my power since i was 11 – is real, regardless of how very real the impostor syndrome is too.

i’m a writer and i’ve always considered that i am other things but the core of me is really as simple as the first line of my instagram bio. i am of mess, of words, of love, and of christ. an infinite, overflowing, overfeeling mess first, but my words…man, do i love (haha) them. i love the strength they give me and that they can clean my mess while adding to it. i love that i don’t have to think too much about how i want to say something because i know words are my preferred medium. i love how difficult it can be to find the right ones even though they’re everywhere. i love words and my words and the ones that aren’t mine.

is this making sense at the moment? i’m not sure if i’ve really cared about things making sense on here since 2014.

well, here we are. it is nearing the end of june, and the only consistent thing i have in my life are my monthly me posts. so, expect one of those shortly. i need to write the rest of my atlas series. i was really loving it and — you know what? writing every day allows you to keep the momentum from a day where you wrote something good, regardless of how long ago it was. i think that’s why i enjoyed writing the first half of that series; because after every post i would start the next one and know that i could write because i had written.

i want to write every day again. i’m a kind-of writer. i’m an aspiring writer. i’m a depressed, terrified, sleep deprived writer, but i am a writer. today, that will suffice.

love and light,
shalom xo


featured image from death to stock

jupiter | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is jupiter: a realisation of and hope for purpose.

If anything I do must be for something, then it is for them to mean something. Day after day, I turn any knowledge of who and what I believe myself to be inside out – all the light I collect within myself, everything I protect – in search of purpose, elusive as it may be.

Today, I close my eyes and realise that we are all extraordinary, and like that, none of us are. That nobody leaves without changing something, and that nobody can change everything. That the chaos of the present may be, in its entirety, something to get caught up in rather than to resist. That maybe, the undoing of everything that we all are is what we’re here for.

I think that maybe, in this here and now, the mess we make counts for both everything and nothing, and within them, all that counts. I think that regardless of however many moons we each have affecting what we gravitate towards, all of our fractures reflect the same thing. They sing the same song of wanting to know; of purpose. They sing:

Make my messes matter.

mars | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is mars.

War is glory. War is a hazy place of death and death, and for what? For your country, to make someone – anyone –  proud, or to prove a point via the power borne from crushing skulls underfoot? War is never fought by those seeking the latter – what’s the point of fighting for power if one could die doing it?

Instead, they rally a group onto a precipice, and push.  War opens her mouth and swallows the bodies of young people whole. She swallows those who were just old enough to sign the dotted line, those who needed a way out from something, those who believed that it was worth it, and those who did nothing but exist at the wrong place at the wrong time.

She takes strangers to suffering bursting with life and rips them apart. She breaks their bodies, their brains, their sense of self, until all that remains is her pervading reminder that they are in her hands. She reminds them that she is all they can count on, all they know, and all they will know. Bodies laid down and names forgotten, she becomes mother and savior and enemy and everything. Constant. Everything.

When those fighting see it time to inform their fighters that someone has won, that enough skulls have been trampled on, war does not receive the message. Instead, she leaves with every person who is lucky enough to. She takes up prime real estate in their brains and continues her work.

Those who come back continue fighting. Their war rages on, and time does too.  There is hope for quiet, for resolution. The hope that now…

Now we’re young enough to try to build a better life.

earth | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is earth: an account of necessary and inevitable destruction.

I have a knack for destruction. It’s in my name, my veins, and  every movement I have ever made. This time, I am weary.

This time, I am not destroying a safe house I had made for myself. I am not undoing the world of work done in relationships, nor am I crushing the tower of support that I have stood on for as long as I needed to. This time, I am not destroying. This time, I am being broken, and it has been a long time coming.

I saw the sky change and saw myself create a courage based on a cheap attempt at self deceit. I saw the water rise, and I locked the door. I saw the fires grow and readied my bucket. I saw myself, and I saw futility. For what is a bolted door against an unending ocean, or a pail of water against a forest fire? No lie I tell myself can convince me that I have enough time to collect myself enough to survive this.

This time, I am not destroying. I am watching disaster after disaster wreck me magnificently. I am watching earthquake after avalanche after flood after fire, and I tremble and crash along with all it destroys. My family has since left, finding refuge in a place safe from disaster and destruction. Despite this, I greet the mess. I greet destruction as my old friend, my constant, my ever steady companion.  I allow the old self to drown and to burn, and wait for the change.

These wildfires grow and grow until a brand new world takes shape.