Love is Free

It’s so freeing to love someone simply because you do. To not want or need anything other than time and space to water and nurture your love. Yeah man. Love. Free. Freedom.                                                                                                 –R. Guy

With my first breath I knew.
I love you. Our love existed
thousands of years before fate drew
us together in a space that felt new,
yet old, and we knew without a doubt
that this is a love for a lifetime. It’s eternal.
It’s true. It basked in the arms of years
of knowing without knowledge before revealing
the presence of twin souls. It sits in the eyes
of our ancestors who lent their approval
to our soul love because they knew
the day would arrive when I’d finally
let my eyes find you & immediately
I’d recognize you. The one I love.
And when I did find you, all I wanted
was to sit with you like I’ve sat with
thoughts of you. Sit here with me won’t you?
And together we will plant flowers
that will grow from our words.
And our words will be the bridges that
connect our breaths until there is no
more oxygen in the air for us to utilize.
Life & death abide in our words. So
does our love. There will be oxygen
only in our words as we use words
to bridge worlds, to firm up a love that
existed before our time here together.
Breathe for me & I will breathe for you.
I love you with all my loves & that’s
where I finally found freedom.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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12

Twelve minutes.

That’s all it took

for me to fall in love

with you. Over & over.

Again.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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I Dreamed of Love Last Night

Last night I dreamed of Love,
of him touching me, how he touched
the sides of my face as if though
touching me were all he ever dreamed of.
I dreamed of Love’s kisses, his lips on mine,
as if though tasting me were all he ever
dreamed of. And Love, he, talked to me,
told me things and we both felt free,
there was no pretending, no playing games,
the things Love told me belonged only to me
and that’s how we were able to be free in our love.
It felt like a space neither of us had ever been in
but both of us had dreamed of.
I saw him turn to my mother and tell her,
“I told you I’d find her one day.”
And I saw my mother smile in return.
I dreamed of Love last night and the way it felt
to love him. I never wanted to wake up.
In the light of day, I knew
I’d lose my dream of Love.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Never Stop Searching

bb king quote

And this is the way to always move forward. Never stop searching.

Last night after my son’s debut recital for several of his original compositions, he asked me, “Shouldn’t I be happier?” To which I replied, “Not necessarily because tonight was just one rung on the ladder of success for you. You wanted to reach this rung successfully, but there are so many more ahead of you.” I went on to ask if he wasn’t already reflecting on what went right and what went wrong, how to improve this or that, and planning what to write next. So, as artists, we are always searching for that next great thing. I’ll never stop searching and I hope you won’t either.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Reclamation

After I went to the museum this week during my externship in Chattanooga, I felt extremely inspired to write. I woke up that night several times to write down lines or images or just to scribble out a thought that had come to me while I was sleeping.  Though my body was tired, my mind continued to work. The subject of all I wrote that day was silence.

Silence makes some people uncomfortable. Sometimes in the silence we are forced to face ourselves and sometimes we don’t like what we see. This is why some people cannot stand to be alone. In the silence of a no-relationship, they are forced to keep company with themselves and some people can’t handle that.  There are also their silences where we are left wondering what another person is thinking. Like when we’re in the middle of an argument and suddenly the other person becomes silent. And then there are those silences that some people use to make a loved one pay for some wrong done to them. A man refuses to speak to his girlfriend as a tool of revenge because she did something he didn’t like or vice versa. The point is: silence comes in many forms.

I think back to the painting I saw at the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga: Tom Wesslemann’s Monica With Tulips. The subject of the painting is the objectification of women. How women’s bodies are valued more than any other part of them. And I think of the silence surrounding the subject. Does the silence mean the objectification of women is okay?

Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes silence is very much needed because silence can be a time to renew and become rejuvenated. During that silence, it’s important to listen. Just listen. Pay attention to the small things. Because, in the end, that will be the things that matter. Anyway, maybe I’m rambling here, but I just wanted to share the poems that were composed from my throughout the night writing episodes:

Silence

Silence. She used it
like she used him, often
and in exchange for things.

Reclamation of Silence

Silence reclaimed them, received
their hearts. And that’s where
they were finally able to be free.
Their souls, soft as their trampled
hearts and smiles often traded
for warm bodies, finally found refuge
in the silence that enveloped them
as they fell toward each other.
For once, a façade of love began
to crumble and no longer were their
souls moving quickly toward a place
where lonely hearts and empty beds
become trading grounds for empty
feelings and the determination to
keep crumbling walls from
finally falling.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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You Should’ve Come With a Warning Label

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t know how to
not love you. It seems
my soul always has been
drawn to you. I loved you
the day I met you.
Instantly. Inevitably,
that love grew. Till I
fell deeply in love with you.
Every day I fall even more,
but lately I’ve been wondering
if loving you made me see you
other than how you truly are.
You should have come with a
warning label: will fall deeply
in love & nearly drown.
Maybe you did & I just
didn’t take time to read it.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Pop Art P****

Her eyes were gouged out &
placed on the bedside table. Then
she felt herself being shoved back
forcefully, pushed into the pages
of society’s imagination. It was no
impossibility then that she got lost
within the folds of herself, a picture
perfect escape to blind her to the
inescapable reality that all she had
become was a pencil chalk outline
of society’s expectation of her. If only
someone could come along and paint
the rest of her in, adding preconceived
beauty to her skin. It mattered
little what she wanted for herself,
that’s why she placed her soul
on a shelf, understanding finally
that she needed to kill all those feelings
she was having inside so she could
be what everyone else wanted her to be.
Even if that was nothing at all or
simply the vessel for what she could offer
to those who wanted nothing
but everything from her.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

Pop Art Pussy

copy of the original Tom Wesselmann painting, Monica with Tulips

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Around the Clock With Red

In this world
love has no colour
yet how deeply my body
is stained by yours.
— Izumi Shikibu

I stood before a canvas yesterday stained with the blood of love. Blood red splotches of paint washed across the canvas settling in muted striations of lighter hues of the color. I believed it to be a beautiful painting. But I was the only one.

During our tour of the Hunter Museum, the guide had us sit on a bench staring up at the painting for minutes. But our tour guide had already chosen several paintings she wanted to show us, so she quickly ushered us on from that painting. Around the Clock with Red is one of several paintings that I was drawn back to later as I toured the museum alone. I saw so much in that abstract painting, though it wasn’t my favorite painting.

He never understood how he hurt her
until they found her swimming
in a pool of her own blood. How the
hands of time ran out ever so quickly.
Her death mask showed the face of
a clock that one day just stopped running.
The severed hands of a soul that always
had been searching for fullness.

When finally he held her in his arms again,
he could see that the heart of his twin soul
had stopped beating. She’d engorged on
the love that he fed her. He bent down for
one last kiss, his lies spilled out between
her lips like death maggots. He sucked those
squirming white lies back in knowing
that time would inevitably bring them together
again until the hands of the eternal clock stops
running altogether and his twin soul
would flees from him through wispy
clouds of red, never to be seen again.

Somehow he didn’t recognize Death
painted on her lips & so foolishly he believed
the fable of the timelessness of love
not knowing that one day all great loves
will be washed away in a sea of red.
Real love, like life, is fragile &
therefore temporal, existing only on
the breath of those it leaves behind.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

Around the Clock With Red

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Music

No one ever gave her music
before. The song he gave her
made her remember that nothing

good remains for long. So maybe it
would have been better if
he hadn’t given her a song at all.

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My Visit to Merryhaven

“If you think the universe doesn’t speak to you, it’s probably because you haven’t been listening.” –Me

I visited Merryhaven today. For those of you who’ve been following me for some time or those who have read the book, you know that Merryhaven is the setting for my new adult novel Tattered Butterfly Wings. Merryhaven is a fictional group home for young, troubled teens. The four protagonists in the story have experienced various types of trauma and they’ve been thrown together in this group home setting. One was forced into a gang by his father, another was raped by her mother’s “friend,” another has unsuccessfully attempted suicide several times, and another has been self-mutilating himself.

This week, I’m in Chattanooga on a Department of Education externship. It’s an experience that brings educators together with major companies in order that teachers can take something from the experience that will allow them to teach real-world skills to their students. I’m visiting a disability insurance company. Yawn, right? Well, yes, but no.

The company, Unum, has a strong belief in corporate responsibility and they’ve formed a relationship with a local nonprofit called the Chambliss Center. Unum employees contribute time and money to help support Chambliss in its mission. The center offers twenty-four hour childcare which parents can pay for on a sliding scale fee. The center also offers before and after child care, pre-school service, and has a residential wing for troubled kids.

When I and my fellow educator signed up for the program, we chose to visit International Paper in Memphis. We weren’t thinking about wanting to leave Memphis. But we weren’t chosen, initially. Then we got an email saying that a group of teachers had decided to drop out of the program and we were invited to take their place. And that’s how I ended up in Merryhaven.

Merryhaven is a fictional place I created. But as I listened to the tour guide take us around Chambliss today, I could’ve sworn she was helping me re-explore Merryhaven. I don’t believe in random happenings. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the universe senses our need for confirmation that we’re on the right path. All we have to do is listen and act.

Because I had the pleasure of visiting Merryhaven, I’m offering this excerpt from Tattered Butterfly Wings so that you, too, can visit Merryhaven today.

     Kelvin runs his tongue along his bottom lip and looks up at the clock on the wall. It is broken. Or perhaps it just needs batteries. No one has ever bothered to check it since it stopped running two months ago. Maybe the people who run this place believe time only matters to those who are able to leave, like they get to do at the end of their shift every day. Kelvin seems bored with us already.

My thoughts move away from Kelvin, brush him aside like he has already done us.

The truth of the matter is that we are all damaged. Most people are just great magicians, masters of self-deception. Instead of reaching into their sacks and pulling out the bloody bones of their secrets, they pull out plastic roses or fake daffodils because what looks beautiful is oftentimes preferred to what is real.

While living on the outside, we tried to be accepted, tried to be like everyone else. Conjurers of disguise and deception. We were never able to figure out those sleight of hand maneuvers. Like those drivers who pass an accident on the interstate, we kept looking back at our past humiliations and hurts. And in the process of looking back, and trying to hold on to those bones, we turned our hurt and anger back on ourselves and engaged in self-mutilation.

Here’s a link to the book, so you can check it out: Tattered Butterfly Wings

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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