no matter how hard this gets.

Dear you,

I can’t seem to escape the overhead speakers that play loudly the all too familiar Christmas songs that sing loud and proud of “the most wonderful time of the year”, which means that you too have been bombarded with these melodies. I get it. I really do. This time of year, for many, isn’t the most wonderful time.

I am sorry.

This is the holiday season. It is here and Christmas is next week. This is supposed to be the time for “holly jolly” and “joy to the world” and “peace on earth”. So why is it that most of us feel all of everything except for that overwhelming peace and joy? Somewhere along the line everything shattered. I am sure that at some point we beheld the magic of the season. I am certain that we once had the twinkle of wonder in our eyes. But it is gone now, and I am so sorry.

These days we are forced to sit across the table from brokenness. As we drive down streets that are covered in lights and nativities and jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, we are reminded. As we walk through crowded hallways where families walk hand in hand, we are reminded. We can’t even buy groceries without being reminded of the something missing. And I am so sorry.

For some of us, the depression that seems to hold us in a chokehold for most of the year only tightens its grip during this last month. I hear you and I see you and I am with you. And I am so sorry.

I don’t have answers. I don’t have words that could possibly make any of this less shitty than it is. But I can and will say that I am with you. I will hold your hand until January rolls around and I will hold your hand long after then as well.

I see you.
I hear you.
I am with you.
I am for you.
And I am not going anywhere.

No matter how hard this gets.

Love,
Alison

stick around.

“Maybe I go because I’m chasing something

Its not that I want to leave,
I just can’t find a reason to stay.
Something. Something out there
is waiting to be caught.
It dances
in front of the light
casting an enticing shadow
on the limestone walls. 

Maybe I go because something is chasing me

 The shadows that once danced
so beautifully on whitewashed surfaces
have turned.
Their beauty has disappeared
and they show their fangs.
Monsters lurking in the night,
carefully hidden beneath small twin beds,
waiting to pounce on little feet.
I have got to get out of here.
Escape.
My only option.
Run. Hurry.
Before you get hurt.
And hurt is the only thing
waiting for you here. 

Maybe I leave because I’ve yet to find someone

 Your silence
and indifference
only echo
the own voice in my head – 

“you
aren’t
wanted
here” 

To look me in the face…

 Please, for the love of God,
lift up my face.
Look into my eyes.
I need to see you
see me.
Please, place your cold hands
on my hot-with-tears face
Don’t look away.
Don’t avoid looking in my eyes
in attempts to coddle your cowardice.
Or uncertainty.
Or fear of misplaced words.

Oh, my eyes, my empty,
bloodshot,
tired eyes.
Look in them.
See how they scream.

And say

 Speak up. Damnit.
Won’t you SPEAK UP and tell me
I am wanted here.
Tell me there is enough room
for me.
Tell me that hurt is not
the only thing waiting here.
Use your words.
Not as weapons of guilt
and manipulation.
But use them to breathe
life and hope into
my suffocating heart.
Tell me there is love.
Tell me there is always
enough
love.

Say these things
quietly, so I will listen.
Say these things
slowly, so I can understand.

Stick Around

“please
stay.
I want you
to stay.” 

I want you next to me

 “There is room for you.
I want you to stay.
And I will keep saying it,
and keep telling you,
and keep screaming it.
I will tell you bedtime stories
of new beginnings
and sunrises
and grace
and hope.
I will hold your hand
and tell you
that sometimes love can stay.
I want you to stay.
Sometimes love can stay.”

Stick Around

“I am not going to leave you.
You are not alone.
I have no secrets –
but hope whispered.
I have no agenda
but to love you.
So please.
Please.
Don’t.
Leave.

I want you to stay.”

(This poem inspired by song lyrics from David Ramirez “Stick Around”. The prompt was given during 40 days of poetry in Story Sessions. There is always room for you there.)

pain compounds the problem.

Numb.

I am so numb lately. I want to feel something. Anything.

And I am so frustrated. So today I wrote about it. Loud.

Frustration looks like slamming your bloody fists
on the hood of the locked car holding your keys hostage.
Not again, you idiot. Now what?
Tastes like chalk, sticking to the roof of your mouth,
an attempt to settle your soul-sick stomach.
Smells like burning. Toast burning for the 507th time
or maybe your whole fucking world is burning to ashes around you. Again.
You can hear it.
Cries echoing through empty hallways
and shouting words and all the swears.

It sounds loud. And forceful. Relentless, even.
Blisters on your fingers. Broken toes.
Important things lost. Loved things missing.
You feel the raw and tender places more vividly
and the pain only compounds the problem.

whispers. the first night of advent

“I know, I know. I am coming…I’m coming”

Again today I was confronted with the brokenness of the world.

I came home from holidays where brokenness filled the empty spaces where hope and joy and laughter should have been. I am no stranger to disappointment and fear. Worry runs most of my days and the bills keep piling up. Tangible things remind me often that this world is busted up and not at all the way things were intended to be.

But also, the depression that lingers, the unexplained sadness, the anger and the fear – these too are companions that whisper in the night, reminders of the broken and missing things. Oh…the missing. Missing a thing you never had is a different sort of missing. The missing screams that once we had and now we don’t. The echo of something not right.

I long for someone to show up; to make sense of all this madness. I long for someone to step in and set all the broken things right. I long for someone to step in and make the worry stop and the depression flee. I long for someone who can and will wipe every tear from my face. I long for someone to show up and shine light in the dark places. I long for someone to spit in the dry earth and rub mud in my eyes so that I can see. I long for someone to bandage wounds and raise the dead. I long for someone to take me home.

So, tonight, this first day of advent, instead of listening to the whispers that remind me of the missing and broken things, I will choose to listen for another whisper. I will press my ear against the darkness of night and the silence of these four walls, and I will listen. I will not move until I am sure that I have heard correctly…

“I know, I know. I am coming…I’m coming”