I think when we struggle with the feeling of feeling homesick
For a place we’ve never been
It’s actually our ancestors reaching out and pulling us back in.
From the mess of the world and the drama of the day
And realigning our focus onto what matters
Like trying to satiate that hunger that brought your people here in the first place.
I took an African dancing class once.
The instructor told us to move with intention
Because your ancestors are moving with you
Guiding you with their spirits in the direction that
Your feet walk toward.
“When you stomp, STOMP. Feel your ancestors in your bones.”
I took a yoga class once.
The instructor told us to shape our spirits.
Mine was a sphere.
Then she told us to think of a color and fill in the background.
Throughout the session she would bring us back to hands raised at center,
Pulling our attention inward.
Mine to the sphere floating amidst blue waves.
Lying in Savasana we were to exhale.
I was scared because my sphere began to float away
Out toward my lips.
Paranoid, I jolted and lost the blue waters.
I took a circus class once.
The instructor told us to think like a team and we would become one.
I was more enthralled with the silks and the dainty small girl
Who was actually a woman knotting her body and unraveling
Leaving the long pink strips without wrinkles.
All through these times there was a longing deep inside
A wanderlust of sorts that turned to drugs as a recreational sport
That turned to personalized rehab because I was too stubborn to get help
And I hated it when things would get out of control
And people would realize
Because that meant they were watching
Because that meant that they cared.
When all I really cared about for the time being was when my skin was going to stop
Crawling like the snake on the tree in the Garden of Gethsemane
Except there was no snake there, it was in Eden
Just like there were no snakes, under my skin
Just the realization, that all left over toxins, within, were being extracted.
That the poison that stashed my hidden memories would
Like a yard sale, open box after box,
Repression flowed out like depression
And I ended back up in the same spot
Wash Rinse Repeat
I would beat with my feet
Stomping in any direction to find the fix
I needed because my blue waves were turning a frothy white
As I begged to become tangled in the silk bed sheets of drug induced hazes
Letting me slip away
7 tries too many and I was back where I started
Except this time with a band on my wrist and 5 other kids
In a room painted a bright mint green.
The floor smelled too clean.
We wrote with felt tip markers and were fed 4 times a day.
Showed films on depression and loss
And talked to a small Indian doctor with an accent so heavy
That he barely talked.
Charged and dismissed
I had to become submiss-ive
Back home because all trust was lost,
The veil had fallen off.
She didn’t know it all but she could do the math,
Her daughter was a drug addict and she was only 14.
I am not proud to say that I am not 4 years clean
I stand here before you at 18
With 18 years of mistakes in my pockets
Overflowing with regret and the constant want to find something greater
A wanderlust since my attention wanders so badly
Due to the lack of stimulation in my neuron synapsis.
I get headaches and confusion —
We thought it was a brain tumor when I had trouble remembering
But just like an alcoholic shakes
A pill popper’s brain quakes with mistakes.
Even years after.
I look young but have the body of
Precision? My hands shake on a daily basis.
Good thing my dreams were never created to lift off the ground
Because dreaming is a new concept.
If you had asked me where I wanted to be 5 years from then
I would have plainly said ‘dead’.
And sometimes I feel that since it all happened so young
That I’ve aged as I watch my friends and strangers play on the gateway
Pushing at the fence
Just friendly exploring until things get intense.
Until you’re diluted enough into thinking that you can switch spots with your friend
Who you just buried six feet under.
I cried but not in public. In a chorus of sobs I remained still.
Those blue waves turning into icebergs that through time
Would melt into snow,
Turning back to the waters I saw
In my Savasana, muscles relaxed, tension replaced, ancestors laying at my feet erased
Of all thoughts. Just one with the world.
Focusing on breathing and trying to figure out the true meaning of
Where this longing stems:
I decided it was California.
My ancestors wanted me to walk there
But the one time I hitchhiked I was grounded,
And now my feet are firmly placed grounded on the hills of the
Dead? Like the languages I tried to learn
In an attempt to find answers?
Latin, Greek, Hebrew
I took to the Bible but didn’t find any
So I flipped it on its back and got out my razor
Making sure to clean the rims of my nose afterwards.
I stopped for a while. Could never quite make it through a year entirely clean.
I would always find something white to swallow
Or puff on something green.
But laugh with me when you hear that last January,
On the day of new living life style decisions,
I can’t remember it.
The night before and the morning of
Completely written off the face of this earth
But the next days were like a painful rebirth
As I crumbled in shame and distain.
And promised myself I would change so I downloaded an app to count my clean days
Which I deleted because it made me feel like all those days were mistakes
When if I hadn’t of done that I wouldn’t be right here today.
Hands risen at center with my ancestors leading my feet.