How blessed I am, I cannot begin to comprehend

My life outstretched in front of me, I decided to extend my arms longer although I thought my arms had made up their mind. No farther.

I hijacked my body for hundreds of miles, although each fiber conspired to remain.

I lost everything that ever meant anything to me and found my meaning in having none of it.

I laughed at how painful it was to keep moving, and moving, and abandoning the world I had claimed previously.

Realizing, the world is not mine to claim.

I am simply its pawn.

It has claimed me and assigned me to this mission.

So if you love me, let me go far-

Let me go tell the others the heaven that awaits them

When they take that next step, and

Grasp their chance at living.

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California

Once I went to a land so beautiful I wasn’t sure I’d ever return

My soul would never return

I would forever be changed from the sacred spaces

My soles would forever trace these lovely places

I went to a land I treasured more than anything I had ever owned

Because true beauty cannot be owned

Because I worshipped my travels and sought light in the golden state

I found that humanity is plenty warm

I found a place to spend my days

I found a place so near and dear I craved it even when I was there

I learned I’m much luckier than I thought

I learned that sometimes you don’t make a plan but the universe makes a plan for you

And it works out more perfectly than anything you could’ve constructed in your small mind

Opened by new places

Enamored by these new faces

Something in me has ties to here

And I feel like no matter what I do

I won’t be able to shake this feeling

I am intricately and innately connected to this place

I have longings more complex than I can fathom

I am here for something bigger than myself

I was here to see the world is so much bigger than myself

And my impact is so much farther reaching than I thought

I went to a place that shined a light on my face and showed me the treasure inside

I went to a place and found authentic bliss, then I cried

I went to a place that helped me realize all of my imaginings could be true

They could be truer than true and better than I could’ve ever imagined

I went to a place that showed me this life

Is better than I imagined

I went to a place that filled me up but left me wanting and needing more

I went to a place that tied a string on my heart

I went to a place that changed me permanently

Taught me the difference between permanent and temporary

And that I better start working on my life now because we don’t wait for the future

The future is now and my future is here

I am tied to a place without me and I am tied to a life and a dream where I can thrive in this space

I dream of a life thriving on exactly what I’ve been doing with my time here

I can see the future and the future is a shade of gold only my eyes can register

I went to a land that brought me my future

And brought me hope

I went to a land so beautiful it broke me

And promised I could be whole again if I would ever return

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Forever Onward, For Ever Upward

Do you understand the intensity

Of this urge?

Can you fathom the amount

of sleepless nights

I have suffered from this curse?

Do you know

Just what I’d do

To turn one maybe into a yes

To turn this hope into something real

To bring myself closer to you?

I’ve lived a life full of maybes

Full of second thoughts and falling throughs

Brimming with “well, it never happened”

Summed up with “not much, you?”

These words repulse me

Long I have stood on the border of yes

I have awaited the prosperous future far too many years

I have taken my turn on this side of the tracks

I am ready to relinquish my sense of fear

I am ready to jump into the cold waters

I am ready to take my lifejacket off

I am ready for a century of adventures

I am ready to live with open arms

How twisted are the possibilities that waft through my brain

How sick I have made myself with harboring dreams

How my heart continuously overflows

With everything I thought I could be

How I fear a life made tasteless

By never questing to delve in deep

How just dipping my toes in everywhere

Leaves me with nothing but dumb wet feet

How I tire of the same old place

I await the trail of somewhere new

I await the path that leads me

To something as beautiful and glorious as you.

I set out on this day for a new world

A time and a place that relishes yes

Welcomes the uncertain certainty of beginnings

Celebrates my glimmering youth

I cease to hesitate when exploration motions me on

I vow to bow to the power of doing everything I really want

I look forward not back

I carve out my own path

I begin with no pack

There is nothing I lack

I am on the right track

When I fulfill my longing so overdue

For ever onward ever upward

Forever the traveler

Forever the sender of postcards

Please do visit me in paradise

Wherever that may be

For me that very day

I won’t delay to inform you

Once I have settled upon a single place.

January 2016

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My Take On: The Paris Wife

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I am a lover of classic books. I have been since the first one I read. So you can imagine my enjoyment at the discovery of a book on one of my favorite classic authors, Ernest Hemingway. The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain is historical fiction, written in the voice of Hadley Richardson, Hemingway’s wife. Before I read this book, I knew nothing of Ernest’s life besides an involvement with war, so reading it to me was a surprise on every page- and I loved it that way. I absolutely adore this book and I now consider it one of my top five favorites. From the first encounter of the two lovers, I was hooked. Ernest and Hadley had a chemistry almost uncommon today. Hadley’s perspective is so well exemplified that it is easy to become her in the story, to lose yourself in the dazzle of their love. From the beginning, they were troubled. Ernest’s relationship with his family was tense and both Hadley and Ernest had lost their fathers to suicide. Hadley was perhaps the one with the least feeling of promise, but when she became involved with Ernest that changed. He struggled as a writer throughout their entire relationship, and Hadley surrendered herself to the success of his dream. Her affection for piano never really blossomed into any success, and Hadley found herself jealous of various objects of adoration to Ernest. Ernest was privileged to be mentored by some of the most notable writers of all time, including Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, but even those relationships grew increasingly strained over time. Through all of this, Ernest and Hadley traveled wherever work took Ernest or wherever they desired. The imagery used to paint Paris is so vivid and lively one feels global just reading of their accounts. Travel is truly echoed as something of importance through Hadley’s words. Throughout their adventures, I grew eager to settle myself in various spots across the globe. As simple as it sounds, the world is a place to find yourself, and an even better place to revel in love. The reader comes to respect and trust Hadley’s opinions, as it is her voice that provides us with such a remarkable journey. One of the most noteworthy places they resided was Spain, where Ernest became somewhat obsessed with the Running of the Bulls. Others reviled at the violence of such a “sport”, but Ernest loved the bravado of the fighters and the intrigue of the edge of life and death. As we discover Ernest’s interests we grow to really know him. A headstrong man with passion for multiple endeavors in life, we really root for his and Hadley’s relationship, even as tumult continues. The arrival of a child, affectionately named Bumby, further surrenders Hadley of her singularity. But she remains a strong force of a woman. She voices her opinions and concerns often to Ernest, and though blood boils, their love remains ignited for what seems an infinity. Hadley finally sees meaning in her life when she is with Ernest. The couple basically becomes each other and it is joked by Hadley, “eventually every wife gets her husband’s feet.” All of their friends adore them together and see them as the epitome of what love should be. This book is an emotional journey for the reader, and even as things start to really fall apart, it seems worth it. I won’t spoil what comes to be of the couple, but I can assure you it is well worth the journey. I came out of the novel with an understanding of both Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson, and a new look on love. My absolute favorite quote from the book is “No one you love is ever truly lost.” This speaks volumes for what life means in the end. Through tragedy and bliss, seduction and falling outs, love provides a higher meaning than what singular life could ever mean. We involve ourselves in others’ lives for happiness, and though tangled these relationships may be, they save us for a time. Though something great may only be temporary, it is beautiful for that time and provides meaning well beyond its years. One human can tolerate a lot, love many, accomplish much, but still suffer greatly. Some suffer beyond words and cope in ways we do not approve, but love remains our greatest possible offering. For all those years, throughout that journey, her life with Ernest, Hadley was the Paris wife. And that was exactly who she wanted to be.

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