overcome with melancholy- it is inexplicable. it is sudden and draining. the feeling arises from books and from movies and from the fantasy failed. fantasy is the thing - an imagined world springs up in my head and the moment of return to reality, i find myself at a loss, with a hole in my heart carved from what i'd hoped and dreamed. the body better, i descend into my head. i try to create the world i want, envision the things i want to be doing. the melancholy rises in my throat and cuts off the inertia needed for forward motion. the things i deign to do seem uninviting, less interesting. my feet do not place one in front the other. my heart does not leap with action and joy and momentum built. i want only joy. i want joy embedded in my veins, pumping and coursing through my heart and brain. i want a life of leisure, of learning, of intense happiness. i want "my whole life [to] look like a picture of a sunny day." that's really all. does it seem too much to ask? can i just be at peace and think on things, move about my world doing, dreaming. the illness overcome me, sadness drowns me, and all the joy is drained out my life. with illness overcome me, to do even normal, mundane activities becomes a fantasy, and one so far from grasping. i see the world and wonder how people are able to move about their lives, doing things without aching limbs and aching bellies. how does the world become done with so much to inhibit it? how does the world even work with such illness and such destruction? i live in fear of aging now. i feel brittle, frail, elderly. i feel not full life, not plumped with the ability of momentum, of doing. i want merely to do and to feel at ease, to rest at times and at times to conquer. i want my brain to function properly and the words to come. i want so badly for the words to come, for not the words to fail me. i want and want and lack and fail. and so saying does not help in lifting the veil that inhibits me.


there is pain now in my tooth, in my hand, in my womb, in my legs, and in my spine. i ache. my meds have left me and in their place is the aching shin, inexplicable in its aggravation. the bones feel brittle, the muscles tense. i imagine the caffeine from breakfast coffee having leached out all the calcium. i do yoga and try to remember to take cal-mag. i shiver in the new cold, the fall air rushed in to chill me and tense these muscles tighter. i fear this as age itself, the decaying of this body. i feel weak, helpless.

what pills churned my stomach kept the pain from out my legs, though they were intended for the hand. my wrist just lies buzzing, tight like band-aids wrapped round the knuckles. it is fine and i suspect the pills are no longer needed, which is one of many reasons to leave them behind. yet these legs - they ache so! my spine cringes too. i feel a huddled mass, sick with flu, but i am not. i am but cold and tense with no reason. i feel as though i stayed too long in some ill-planned position and my legs stuck and my muscles kept the memory of it. i stretch and nothing eases. i take baths and nothing is soothed. i rub them and nothing. i sit and cry.

i imagine the bone cells dividing cancerous - huge ugly blotches discoloring the tibia like watermarks left behind mineral deposits; like the spots of spilled bathtubs or leaking roofs on ceilings. i picture me walking with cane, unable to chase my sons outside. i imagine every day ever after met with pain. my throat swells and tears come with the idea of never feeling normal again. i want nothing more than to wake without pain, with the ability to meet my day and do the things that i must do.


six years ago, i didn't have any children. this may seem like an obvious fact, but it underlines the changes in my life in such a short period. the years have gone so quickly and though the fabric of my life has changed and even my brain and my beliefs have grown and focused, i feel in so many ways like the same person, lost as ever. i feel the same questions i always had rattling around in my head and the same pangs in my heart in my memories and in my hopes. this is the same body. this is the same face, the same hands and eyes. yet so much that i see has changed. the differences in my life may in fact far outstrip the similarities, but at my core, i feel like me. i am the same emotional being i have always been.

and on the eve of september 11, i am forced to consider the changes in those six years. nothing can stop that i am reminded by the date itself and by the world around me of where i was and what i was doing six years ago tomorrow. i must then consider who i was then - what i thought and felt and how that has been transformed by years of perspective and learning.

as much as i confront the idea that so much has stayed the same, i am struck by how much is different. each is the inverse of the other - me then as me now, and me now as nothing like me then. they are two sides of the same mirror - staring into each other - the me's confronting that which remains true and that which has drastically altered. as i realize the differences, i am struck by the similarities, and as i confront the similarities, i am struck by the differences. conceptualizing this exercise into a spatial form would be like those escher drawings and the inevitable impossibilities of simultaneous being.

it is the way of the universe - while one truth is created, others are destroyed, but at the same time in parallel dimensions, the others live while the choice then not-made dies. it is the meaning of the word "is." to be is to imply the possibility of not being. what is true will always, elsewhere, be false. what towers that were destroyed, elsewhere still stand, and still elsewhere, never existed at all. those who died were never born, those that lived decayed. where this war rages, somewhere there is peace. and we hold in our hearts, all possibilities. peace remains or flourishes and the truth of who i was is the truth of who i will be. it is all there, doing its somersaults amidst my unmarked neural pathways and amidst those marked as well - this sense of being small and helpless and confused, and yet strong and confident and able. i am this and all things and this and all things, i am not. it is how i can be happy with where i'm at and who i am - i remain ever the ghost of myself and all possibilities are forever open to me.


lists make me and unmake me
build and unbuild me

my arms and legs
brought together,
taken apart,
wrapped about
and cast aside.

my eyes gazed skyward
and drooped with tears.
swollen shut
and snapped open.

forth and back
my mind wanders
and is lost.

i look for you there -
to find me.
i seek me out
unriddling the answers,
the unsaid truth of the thing.

but it is no bother to be,
the empty palms
fill only with questions.
and my heart
is left to break
and unbreak itself.