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.

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.

 

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.

venus | atlas

 

credit: wired / wired.com

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is venus: a reflection on discovery and love .

The space between the tangle of limbs that we are is heavy with wonder and potential. I remember the first time I stood close enough to you to realise that I could see you, after years of telling myself that I would never find you. I checked and double checked every feeling I had, just to be sure, but there I was: leaning into the white-hot heat that you were and are; my calculations for naught.

Like this, bodies touching no longer a dream, I start to question whether this quest was worth what I set out for. I looked for you and somehow, despite my search, I was the biggest find of the search. Me and all one billion fragments of myself spun far out looking for whatever we thought could be you. I learnt that too many different focuses really mean no focus at all, and found myself caught up in the sparkly wreckage of everyone and everything else. Somehow, you saw me looking out. You pulled me into frame, and I wondered if I knew that I could see you. I saw you, but did I know I did?

Now, your legs draped over mine and our fingers knotted together, I see you. Without the charts to fill, without the measurements that I religiously held this search to and without mistaking you for a mass of dancing stars rather than the celestial superpower that you are, I see you. I am helpless for the most part. My undoing is my becoming, and I see you.

Together is a place with you. Here – together – I realise that what I’m saying, what I’ve been saying is that this has been an awakening. That you are my awakening.

Astronomy in reverse; it was me who was discovered.

mercury | atlas

credit:  nasa / https://www.nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is mercury: a conversation with the self about progress & control. 


I don’t know what’ll be the catalyst. I don’t know what will make me feel different, what will undo the mass of doing that I have done within myself, what will change anything at all. I know that it must be something.

I am alone, and I am aware. As hard and as far as I run, I can’t seem to leave this bridge I’ve found myself on.  It’s as if knowing what I’ve done to get here is enough to keep me here. There is somewhere I should go, but here is enough. This is enough.

The control I have to stay here is enough. It is worth the loneliness and the atrophy, it is worth the way I fall over my words, it is worth the subjective truth I’ve created. It is worth the dissonance. I am dissonance.

As wide as I open my eyes – as wide as I try to – I know that there’s something else. There must be more, there must be something bigger, there must be some reason, some worth, some thing. Any thing. Anything. There must be more to me and to this loneliness.

I know that I know that you see me; desperate, if nothing else.

I am here. You are somewhere, but until I know what key to enter on, until I become aware of what I am or what this is, I’ll go anywhere you want me.

I’ll go anywhere you want me.