Summer Swell

Warm jasmine in the breeze
Rushes up on me
Forty shades of green
In the shade tree
Bright and tropic petunias
My glass sweating in the sun
The ice twirls and mirrors
Swift summer heat
Turns each leaf
It spins right up to me
And twists my hair
The sky peaking through
In orange glow
Tilts my eyes away
Where it glitters on the porch
Kaleidoscope dancing
Envelopes my wide world

Art Credit: Middle Way Art Studio

“The Process” Live Prose

How am I supposed to feel? Where should I be at this age? What can bring me fulfillment? Achievement gives me fulfillment. Respect. . . and being a part of a community. I find making other people happy fulfilling. I like being appreciated. I like feeling valuable to others. I want to be special. I like to express my “special” ness. How? How can I let people know what’s going on in here?

I have been given inspiration by others. Musicians make me feel things. I sweat a little when I feel it. My senses light up a little and I get high. I feel a tiny piece of how alive they must feel when they hear their own voice and expression cutting out into the world. I want to make my cut. I want to cut open my own hard shell and let myself out. I feel so dormant and faded.

What would I ever do if I lost that part of myself? If I have ever dreaded something, I dread forgetting how to feel.

I feel angry.
I feel tingling on my skin.
I want to punch something.
But I also want to lay down and dream.
I want people to see who I am
. . . but that doesn’t make sense because I’m so private.

I want to create meaning.

Creativity and expression give me something to live for. Why do I feel so drugged about sharing myself though. Do I have anything to give? What difference can I make? I want to make waves.

. . . but even as I’m saying this I feel tired. I feel like I can’t. I feel damp.

How? How do I put myself in inspiration’s way? How do I call her out to find me? How do I shake hands with my dreams and make a deal? How do I make good on life’s promise? Is the question the destination? Is this process the art?

I believe in the process.

I’ve always loved the phrase, “Where do I go from here?” There’s a song with those lyrics. I feel people in music and I want to bond with them. I want to meet them where they met me. Where do I go from here? How do I meet them? How do I translate what it means to exist as me into a hearable, manifestable expression? Is anyone listening to hear? Or do I just need to do it, so I can hear my own voice?

Pushing Boundaries

In this incorporated world
My existence melts a measure
A faint gray lense tinges my vision
I am powerful, but must stay delicate
In every shift, remain exuberant
In every path, bring my luggage
And leave my own prints outside my world
I must resist the adaptation
That sterilizes progress and renovation
The art I am must follow too
And leave its trails upon this world

Art Credit: Mattie Larsen

Value : Positivity

Okay, it’s the most cliche thing you have ever heard.

But, I can’t dare take it for granted! The power of simple, straight-forward positive thinking renovates my experience of life.

Usually when things bother me I try to analyze them and the problem on my plate starts to grow. At times in my life, I feel buried with the trial in my path. Everyone has unique experiences, and when I look at my own I see a complex person and I sometimes feel that don’t understand myself.  I stop to meditate over the things that bother me, trying to help myself overcome.

At this point my mind is constantly running the words, “I have a problem, I have a problem. I am stressed. I am confused. I am broken. I feel heavy.” The more I think about trying to fix my problem, with the best intentions, the more I become entangled in it. I am defining myself and solidifying my state. When I’m in this tangle, my head feels fuzzy and I really don’t realize what is happening and how I’m making things worse. At this point I don’t see how much I am focusing on the negative, even if it is in an honest effort to extricate it.

The whole problem with negativity is that it’s not really a thing. I can’t pick it up and throw it away. It happens and it is something I do. It is something I don’t realize I am doing.

“What do I want?” I ask myself. I want to be happy. I want to be confident and in charge of my life. I don’t want to feel helpless. I want to be clear minded. I want to achieve my realistic goals and feel secure.

These are all things very within my reach, I tell myself. I have a good life. There are so many specific things to be genuinely grateful for. I take the time to identify them to myself and detail them. I assure myself that, I can talk to people really well. I remind myself of instances in the past. I am quick minded and efficient. If someone else can do it, why can’t I? I am charming and beautiful. I can handle my situation. I am successful. I deserve to be respected. I am a fully functional, capable individual.  I can be who I want to be. Everything will be okay. I am headed in a good direction. My future is bright.

This is where I think, for the non-religious woman, spirituality plays a role: I believe all the things I tell myself. I have faith in those things. This gives me power I could never otherwise have. It gives me freedom from my limits and it gives me all those things I wanted, even the things I did not know I wanted.

Being positive isn’t in vain and it isn’t a silly thing to do. It does work and just because it is an over-told virtue does not make it work any less. It truly has renovated my experience in life and because of the real effects I see in my life I cannot take it for granted. I hope it can work for others just as effectively.

Thanks for reading!

Julia

Art Credit: Rachel Alexandria

Memoriae

When I consider all I’ve done
It weighs in with depth
Some sweet, somber feeling
Rises in my chest
I feel swathed in nostalgia
Time stretches, in a lapse
And overwhelmed I breathe
And linger on this dream
My life views like a stairwell
That traipses, wanders, walks
Without pattern, I am sketched
And hollow all throughout
But it fills me up, when I am here
And sifting through my memory
When I consider all I’ve done
It weighs in deep reminicing

Art credit: Briana Baxter

The Dreaming Age

Sometimes something special reminds me what it’s like to dream again. And it’s like this hidden emotion that gets forgotten until something lights it up. And I see it as clearly as I did when I was younger, and simpler, and when things were much more magical. And it overcomes me. I don’t have to work for it. The dream just comes back to me. And that is more poetic to me than anything I can explain.

I think those kinds of dreams happen in that intricate time when we are changing from children into adults. I think that at some special youthful interval we get a chance to be overwhelmingly complex and fearlessly hopeful. I would dream so deeply then. My dreams tend to be more technical now, and less beautiful, and less like dreams and more like goals. Without the magic and without the hope of undamaged youth. But sometimes I hear a special song and it takes me back, and I feel more like myself than ever before.