I don’t remember the way I loved you,
but it is seared in my mind,
that image of you at the edge of the water,
long strands of river algae curled around your legs
and clung like sticky tentacles on the muscle of your calf
water rolled in languid drops down the swell of your breast
dangled teasingly from the arched tip and fell,
a dramatic end to catch the sun’s glint.
I watched my reflection scatter and break in the droplets on your skin.
I think that’s where the problem was.
I think I saw myself too much in us.
I was ready for exploration,
a bit of adventure in my
one window life.
Your fingers scrolled along
the relief map of my skin,
toured the pale purple peaks
and staggered down through the amber waves
at the apex of my river valley.
Oh you were my Sacajawea
and I was a bright pink plastic
vibrator with triple set speeds
and a versatile set of rubber rabbit ears.
You brought beauty into the mire of my world
and I stamped it out.
I drew four-lane highways across your domain
and planted my finger like a flag
right on the heart of the subject.
A little while back I threw myself into a project that terrified me. After multiple attempts at joining my writing with another’s, and being burnt every time, I once again gave it a shot. I wrote to a woman here on WordPress, someone whose poetry was unspeakably beautiful, and asked to write a duet with her. I could only be speaking of the wonderfully talented Hastywords.
I didn’t get burned in the process. She was amazing. In fact, you can see our masterpiece here on her site.
By the time this was finished, I had both of her books on my Kindle and she had mine and we were happily diving into the world each other had painted.
I had to start at the beginning. I picked up Darker Side of Night and went through my nightly routine.
Fill the bathtub.
Pour some wine.
Soak away all the crap of the day.
Focus on someone else’s words instead of my own.
A couple of hours later, with stone-cold water and skin that was wrinkled past any redemption lotion could offer, I stepped out from the tub smiling. Page after page of beautiful prose, heartbreaking honesty, and a braveness I envied. Her words swept me away and carried me long into the next day.
I thought, not for the first time, that I should be proud of myself for being able to keep up in that duet with her. I had a complete and utter fan girl moment, the delight of reading her words, becoming a friend with someone capable of making every line of prose a praise to the love of words.
And then I read her second book.
Let me say, before I even begin talking about Depression’s Dance that I am not a great person. Truly. I have moments of failure just like everyone else. My mother suffers from depression. I’m not always as supportive as I could be. There are times when the caustic words, “Are you taking your medicine?” slip from my mouth. There are times I roll my eyes, or turn my back when she is falling apart and doesn’t know why.
I think, I know when I am sad. I know WHY I am sad. How could you not know? How could you just wake up sad? It doesn’t compute. Doesn’t make sense.
I told you I’m not a good person. Understanding is a fickle thing. You see, unless a person has lived through/with something, they can never really understand. Not truly.
In Depression’s Dance, Hasty gave a voice to depression. She allowed her reader a chance to snoop and spy. For a few hours, I was permitted to sit down at the table, quietly listen to a conversation that has probably played multiple times through anyone’s mind that suffers from this disease. Her words allowed me a moment to really, truly listen. To hear. Perhaps not to understand, but to at least feel empathy.
She taught me empathy.
And so I hope that others will pick this book up. I hope they will take a moment and allow themselves to listen to this conversation. I try to remember it now. I keep going back to it. I need to keep that lesson in mind. I need to keep my empathy close at hand.
I need to apologize to my mother.
To friends, to anyone, who hears this voice inside them. I am sorry.
I recently asked some of my readers what their favorite story or poem was from each of my books. After figuring out which was the most popular, I decided to post that choice here.
But that’s not all, because that would be relatively boring.
Not really…but this part is more exciting!
I’m doing another contest!
CONTEST CONTEST CONTEST
Yep. You could win a copy of one of my books…I’ll even let you choose. All you have to do is find me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/HistoryofaWoman) and LIKE my page. Yep. That’s it. I’ll gather all the new names and on December 15th will draw a winner. That’s only a few days! So get on Facebook and click that Like button!
Now, for the reader’s choice from my first book, Wake Up a Woman: