You plant a seed into the ground. You water it and tend to it, day after day, and nothing happens. It doesn’t sprout. What do you do?
We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity:
“Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Would continuing to water the plant be the insane thing to do in this situation?
Perhaps not. Not if it’s the Chinese bamboo tree.
You see, bamboo is different from other plants. In fact, it’s so difficult to grow that only a certain type of person would see it all the way through.
Readers please note: this story describes anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder which can be life threatening. If you or someone you love needs help, contact the National Eating Disorders Helpline.
Let me introduce you to an old friend. Or rather, an enemy disguised in friend’s clothing.
Her name was Ana. The first time we met, this is what she told me:
“Be careful. It’s an insensitive and hostile world out there. People will treat your tenderness and love with indifference or, worse, cruelty. They will tear it apart carelessly and leave you out in the cold. You won’t belong. You won’t have anyone to lean on. …
There were two things I had sworn off after realizing they were doing more harm than good: alcohol and dating apps.
I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming these are two things quite a few others have also resorted to in the past year.
Besides for the simple reason of being in dire need of some fun in this grey pandemic life, I was using both the drinks and the apps for the same purpose: trying to forget my ex. Admittedly, it took longer than it should have for me to realize they did not make a good combination.
Although a year had already passed since my breakup, I was still carrying around the dead weight of that love with me. And I knew that the split had been the right decision. …
This is the moment
I don’t know if it’s the touch of your hand
Nestled in between my cross-legged knee
Or the way you turn to look at me
With that light in your eye
When I point out that they still have their Christmas tree up
In one of those apartments above
Or the way you grab me around the waist
And give it a little squeeze
And jokingly ask just how much I’ve had to drink
Because you can’t make out the nebula I’m pointing to
In Orion, the sole witness to this broken hallelujah
Ringing out in my heart
The one sanctifier of this serendipitous…
Relationships are like Oreos: they come in different varieties and flavors. Sometimes we crave Oreo Thins, other times Double Stuf. We might want pumpkin spice ones around Halloween and peppermint bark ones for Christmas.
At each stage in our lives, we seek out different kinds of relationships with different people. And every once in a while, we find ourselves in an entanglement that feels so right and effortless we actually have trouble believing reality.
Here are a few indicators of the kind of relationship that feeds the soul.
The modern dating scene has somehow made us develop implicit rules of behavior that a large majority of us have agreed to follow. Like if we were the one to text first the last time, we have to wait for them to do it this time. And if they do shoot us a message and we just so happen to have our phone in our hand and could easily answer then and there, we wait at least a little bit so we don’t seem too eager or, god forbid, too available. …
Yours has been the fire by which I awaken
And the cinders by which I die
When out of reach
Breaks herself upon wall after wall
With nowhere to go and no one to be
Mad with grief
For an incomplete
And worn out love
If only I were still in the embrace of my first lover
Where but for one moment there was nothing to rage against
But no — you were my first lover weren’t you?
Or were you?
You kiss me as though no time has passed
As though it’s been a mere break in the fabric of things
But you don’t know where the sand between my toes came from
Or the shadow of cologne clinging to me
So when you kiss me as though no time has passed
You kiss my lips
Where his kiss still sits
The one who could take your…
There it was
At my feet
Here, I have no peace
Except for these moments of pleasure
And the weight on my back
And in my heart
Will not be lifted
Despite whichever alleys I run down.
I have no peace
And I won’t be released.
My country is a curious notion.
I’ve only ever known one
And it was never really mine.
But breathing its air
Was surrendering yourself to the waves
That glittered and carried you through
And made you believe that surely
Heaven could never be as magnificent
And even heaven has no citizen. …
I don’t think any one of us expected this past year to be what it’s been. A lot has happened (that might be the biggest understatement of 2020) and we’ve all felt bogged down by old and new concerns, anxieties and situations.
We’re now approaching that time when people start making their resolutions for the upcoming year. I personally think we inflate the importance of New Year’s resolutions; we ought to be evaluating our lives, habits and patterns of thinking daily — not just once a year. …
I wonder what you would think of the one who’s replaced you
(Though no one can really replace you)
You’d disapprove most likely
I can see you turning your head
Raising one side of your upper lip
In that scornful way nobody knows
And that I cherished so much
I wonder if it would be your envy
Or if you’d still brush him off
If you didn’t know
He was my man
I tried to drink them all into you
To cover you up
I had so much to say
But all that came out
Were those wretched words
I don’t remember the moment I showed you my sad river
It flowed out of me and in through you
But you still wanted the journey
Despite its hidden creatures and savage undertow
So I held your hand and took you where my wild things grow
Something must have happened
There in the slow
Salvation of twilight
I hardly know
Things I had left
To deal with their own hollowness
And trapped violence
And futile fury
Melted in the sunlight
So peaceful they lay
There buried away
You take one look at my river
And with alchemical hands
Lift the anvil upon my back
“We’re building a house,” you say
And I sit and wonder how I’d wrapped up my heart
Given it to the raging river
Renounced the sublime
And thought myself…