Stream of Consciousness

i don’t know

i’m turning thirty years old this thanksgiving.

something about this coming birthday has me really thinking. and feeling. which is good, considering my bad habit of checking out instead of living inside myself. I’ve been doing better at getting present but as of late, my house of cards has come crashing down. again. shocker, i know.

i guess life is more cyclical than i would’ve predicted. i climb a bit, get good at simply allowing an awareness to exist within me, take steps to work on it, and WHAM! what do ya know? something new gut punches me.

which is to say, life keeps on keeping on.

to be honest, i thought 8 years of al-anon, therapy, self-help books, getting honest with myself, and really working on my weaknesses and conditioned behaviors and thought patterns…. i thought i’d feel better. i thought i’d be better. hell. i thought i’d be doing better.

and i am. feeling, being, and doing better.

but i let a certain chain sit around my throat, getting tighter and tighter and tighter whilst i continued on, not a bit aware, consciously.

expectations.

i expected myself to have reached certain milestones by now. milestones people typically reach when they’re healthy, grew up knowing how to have an identity and boundaries, or at the very least had some sense of self. which i did not.

and of course, societal pressures got jostled all over in there, slithering into my operating system so i was running off of unhealthy beliefs about myself and life.

and no, this isn’t a pity party. loads of people figure it out way before me. loads of people get healthy almost immediately, figure out their current selves and desires, and make huge headway, all before hitting twenty-five.

that simply isn’t me.

i’m turning thirty years old this month and i’m only now deciding that BLOODY YES, i want to have dreams. and go after them. i want to want things for myself, good things, and go after them. whether the world cocks an eyebrow and judges or not.

but mostly, i’ve grown to welcome the truth that i don’t know. i don’t know how to go about things perfectly. i don’t know how i will feel tomorrow. i don’t know where i will be in five years. i don’t know, i don’t know, i don’t know.

what i DO know, is that it’s not my job to have it all figured out.

it’s my job to live.

genuinely, truly, mundanely, magically, in the present, in my passion, contributing, with joy, lovingly, live.

i’m grateful that so much pain has left. and that i know the remaining pain doesn’t have to destroy me.
i’m grateful for the beauty. and that i know it never has to leave me.
i’m grateful that i can honestly say i like myself, i like the changes i’ve chosen to make. i’m proud of the work i’ve put into building myself up. i’m no longer ashamed of where i’m at in life. i’m genuinely at peace and excited for my future.

the oddest thing of all – and best – is that THIS peace & excitement for a future i can’t yet name (though i dare to desire a certain direction now), is immeasurably better than any expectations my younger self had based on those milestone markers and societal norms. that future me would’ve still lived in misery. instead, here i sit. okay with the discomfort. hopeful for more. feeling, whole.

Fun Stuff/ Research

🔥halloween (samhain) never dies🔥


as i type this, it is november first.

well, technically. it is twelve in the morning, after all.

i love this time. the in between. and so i sit in the darkness as time moves. but i don’t sit idle.
you see, according to the ancient Celts, Halloween or Samhain (pronounced sow-in) was the end and beginning of the new year.

it was the end of their harvest, the end of summer, and they now faced winter. the darkness.

some believe the Celts held this time sacred. a time where the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead thinned.


… don’t worry, i’m not going to delve into a history lesson (as i’ve done in the past because i LOVE this time of year and research is my jam). instead, i’d like to focus on something else. the meaning. the fire. i’d guess you’d say, the feel of this time of year. and how cathartic it has become for me, especially as i work and grow in therapy with my new therapist).


samhain is a time to sit still. to be. to acknowledge the darkness in us. to let go. let die. and grow anew. to honor. to remember.

change always begins inside us. high performance experts, spiritual gurus, therapists, and motivational speakers alike, often direct us to work with ourselves, not against. to tie the new changes we crave, need, and desire to rituals.
and in case you’re wondering – a ritual is any series of things you do in regular repetition in a very specific manner. think morning routine, night routine, they’re all rituals of a sort.
to tie a new change to a ritual and to fill oneself with new healthy somethings, is the only way to begin negating harmful somethings we wish to rid ourselves of.
samhain is the perfect time for this.
it’s certainly something i’m going to work on.


another aspect of samhain is darkness.
darkness isn’t often seen as safe. it is to me. always has been.
it’s where i found safety to look at the pains, hurts, things about myself i didn’t like, questions and doubts, fears, and uncertainties – without fear of overstimulation, begin judged, or feeling too raw or exposed.
i feel like we live very exposed lives these days. anyone can call us, text us, pop over to our home, expect our time, expect to see and know everything about our private life. almost like we owe them front row tickets to our soul…. not a fan. it gets hard to live, to grow, to introspect, to even connect with oneself when we don’t have any time to ourselves.
samhain is the perfect time to draw inward.

i sit and look back at my life. how did i get here? how has the past me grown me into who i currently am?
what have i accomplished, my successes, failures, new experiences, important memories, new relationships, new wisdom, what firsts have i experienced, how have i changed? how did my goals and plans turn out? what’s changed? what do i need to allow to die? what newness do i desire to bring in?

i absolutely love symbolism. (shocking, right? that a writer loves symbolism?) i think this year i’d like to look specifically into the questions, prodding’s, and lessons of the Death and Hanged Man tarot cards. maybe that’s what i’ll do tomorrow.

i’d like to sit in darkness and meditate.

to set some new healthy boundaries, intentions, goals, and healthy daily rituals.


samhain is a time to honor contrast. to celebrate it.
life and death
death and rebirth
old and new
ancestors and living love for them
darkness and hope


i’ve already begun something new. something beautifully personal but wonderfully mundane to honor and think about the relationships i had with my deceased loved ones. samhain is the perfect time to remember them.
to grieve them. after all, “where there is deep grief, there was great love”. i don’t know who wrote that quote but i’d like to reword it from ‘was’ to ‘is’. because there is no extinguishing love. it doesn’t go anywhere. it lives on forever. and no matter how cliche or trite that sounds, it is no less true.
its also a time to grieve what relationship i didn’t have with those who i could have.
a time to look at my current relationships with new perspective and vow not to take them for granted. tomorrow is never promised.


an ancestral altar is always a fun, creative, personal, and emotional way to physically do something about your love, grief, and deceased ancestors and friends.
i find physically doing something with my emotions is much healthier for me. i want something to do about what’s on fire inside me.
you can do it however you’d like. but it is simply bringing mementos of theirs that you keep out of love, photos, and warm memories. light a candle and allow yourself to feel. we don’t do that much anymore. its tremendously healthy.


and please, for the love of all that is holy, have fun.
be true to who you are.
spend time with yourself and spend time with your loved ones.
make choices for you.


halloween never dies.
it lives within you, within me, within all of us, always.
we are all made of duality. ebbing and flowing. changing. in light and darkness.

Shadow Poetry

Swan Song

love

is exposing

the soft

fragile

fleshy

belly


and hoping they don’t

tear into it

it is a mad dash

to expose your throat

before your head reminds you

you’re made of paper machet

all it takes

is a tiny little

blade

to open your throat

bleed you out

again.


love

is knowing better

handing them your secrets

anyway

heart throwing down

that gauntlet

head standing on the breaks

when you’re alreading

in the fast lane

afraid

it might be too late

to slow down

now

you might cause a head on collision

getting in the car

shrugging


love

is unzipping the skin

from your bones

while standing

in a live minefield

abruptly aware

your neck is on the line


moments to decide

moments to decide


but your thoughts

are not

thinking right

lungs can’t remember

the best way to

breathe

trying to paint you nails

in a sling

on a bus

in an unfamiliar country

where no one

speaks your langauge


love

is splashes

of paint

linking the cemetery

you

keep

visiting

almost a silent prayer

don’t leave my heart here

again.


waiting just under

the over hang

one person’s smile

making your umbrella

seem ridiculous


stepping into the rain

faith that the rain will

stop before

your courage runs

only

now you find

it’s not rain

it’s hail

the size

of fists

opening the cardboard boxes

you duct taped

into your closet

but funny you should ask

my closet never had any

water

damage


and i’m saying

you

again

instead of me


love is like that

new neural network

which you thought came with schematics

blueprints

an idea

a plan

scribbled onto a napkin

at the very least

something


a smile

into the vast

void

simmering underneath

your eyelashes

in between your joints

settled in muscle tissue

and decorating

or maybe love isn’t decorating at all

it might be

it could be

perhaps love

is raking desperate claws

down your

wallpaper

exposing the canker

and pus

so you

can pull it out

finding all your seems

picking at the ends

until the

mismatching thread

becomes

obvious

so you can buy

some new colors

let the old ones go

taking all the dust

in your vaccum

making a pillow fight

out of it

so you can sweep it outside

this

time

breaking the ugly dishes

you don’t know

why

you kept

they have cracks and memories

in them anyway

now you can

make new ones

from star dust

and black and white stills

burning all your trophies

so you can finally

see they were chains

flaxen cords

oxen’s yoke

keeping you tied

bound to ghosts

causing cold spots

and nightmares


it’s okay

love states

i killed them for you

they cannot stalk

cannot hook your collarbone

to grave markers

cannot stuff your comforter

with lead

not anymore

i removed them for you

they cannot stain

cannot moan into your ear

while you drift into slumber

cannot speak your name

and pull you under

not ever again

i will guard the

holes in your armour


it’s okay

love declares

they will never own your

sobs

again


now you can

wipe them away

I will sit in the

expanse of unknown

right beside you

and when they bring their

pitchforks

and reason

i will hand you

your heart

from within my chest

so you can battle

your demons

with the truth in your gun

one in the chamber.


love is

trying to forget

what love is

because hug it close

now

and you might

have to sew

its dead jaw shut

put it in a box

in the ground

again


love is

creation and decay

and the moment

the moment

you recognize

love’s seed

you have

a moment to decide


a moment to decide


ironic little moments

they

never tell the

full

truth

love

is

the moment

the very moment

you flatline

and the

forever

you wake up to


By Daphne Shadows

Shadow Poetry

Something Whispers

 

Filled to Empty

Once Again

Just so you can

Poke holes in me

 

Shaped into something

Beyond

Recognition

 

Soft thumps

Abrade the inside

Of my rib cage

And something odd

Flitters through

My chest

 

It isn’t life but tubing

Left there from

When I hated myself

A little less

 

Electronic beeping

Reminding me

To pretend I am alive

 

I am not.

Not today.

Not inside this skin.

 

Not inside

This mind

That falls down

So easily

 

Sometimes it seems

So silly

That I ever thought

I could be real

 

To walk without oiled joints

Or charged lights

Behind my eyes

From which everything

Was stolen

 

(by me)

(something whispers)

 

I forgot

I was the one

Behind the mask

Wearing the gloves

Leaving no trace

 

I forgot

I was the one

Who let this happen

Who roused from slumber

And did nothing

Who watched from behind

Serpent eyes

And let you die

 

I wonder

If it would hurt less

If I was never human at all

 

Simply a stain on the porcelain

The sand slipping down the time

Shivering down the hourglass

 

I forgot

How to tell the truth

Or which it was

 

I forgot

How to speak

Without a tongue

How to see

Without a spine

 

Can I walk

Knowing the many times

My very breath crawled

 

Why?

Why do we torture ourselves?

How many of us are there

In here?

This one little body

 

Pieces hiding

Shuffling about

Slipping behind curtains

Fixing smeared mascara

Redressing so no one notices

 

Their stories

Are shuttered up

Dust chokes the sunrises

Moonlight can’t hide

The shadows

 

I forgot

How the tip of a fingernail

Could hold so many

Dead skin cells

 

They aren’t all mine

 

(yes they are)

(something whispers)

 

And I deny everything

Black lipstick that doesn’t

Smudge

Or leave

Photos behind

 

And no, I wasn’t

Made by accident

Why does everyone ask?

We all clamber around

Waiting for a story to be

Unfolded

It wasn’t an accident

We remember

I shake my head

We know

Our skin

My skin

We feel

 

It’s like they can see

I’m made from

Different coincidences

Kissing beneath the

Atom bomb

 

Waiting for something

To change

Or someone

To notice

The shadows

Etched into my bones.

 

(can anyone see me?)

(no, I don’t think I can)

(something whispers)

 

By Daphne Shadows