.blast.

I’ve been traipsing thru this field
of mines all day long
stepping gingerly
prolonging the inevitable blast.

will you take my hand
or am I alone?
will you walk this dark land
or am I alone?

I remember that promise you made
when I was in a field of yellow flowers.
does it still hold true in the vast
here where I can’t see you standing?

please take my hand again
I don’t want to be alone.
I can’t see the end to this dark land
and I don’t want to be alone.

I sometimes forget what it’s like
to be in your hand.
I forget that it’s mine for the asking
but I’m too afraid of the blast.

with my hand in yours
I cannot be alone
I can see light in this dark land
and I will not be alone.

.enough.

So this is what breaking feels like.

I thought I was stronger than this grief, but it’s wearing me down; winning slowly.

Holding your hands; the hands that used to hold me.

Wiping tears from your eyes.

This smile is a mask that I must wear for you.

If love is watching someone die, love is harder than I thought.

.grief.

it’s that moment.

you know the one.

the one right before everything changes.
the oxygen is pulled from the room. from your lungs.
no air. no sound. no movement. just you.

you and the moment.

is it possible to stop the change? step back from the moment and turn. would change still come?

would that i could stop it.

.seeds.

The crunching sound of the leaves beneath his boots was deafening; the contrast of the silent valley broken by his presence. He felt almost ashamed to be disturbing something so untouched by man.

He stopped a moment to take in the natural sounds around him; the wind rushing swiftly but softly through the southern beech trees. The sweeping rush of the Wairaurahiri river. A pair of snarky birds playing or fighting; there was no way to tell. He pulled in a breath of the cool, clean air and mused that he may be the first person ever to stand in this spot. Guaranteed, he was one of a very few who had.

Continuing on his journey, he followed the river to the Foveaux Strait. Jones was to meet him there with his boat and they would make the trip across the strait to Stewart Island.

The rough trail began to lead him closer to the river and he knew that soon he would be traveling along its edge. This would be his means of travel all the way to the Strait and his journey on the tough inland terrain would be done.

He broke the tree line expecting to see the quiet beauty of the Wairaurahiri river and the majestic Kepler mountains.

What he did not expect to see was another person.

The moment he spotted the seated figure by the waters edge he froze thinking he might startle them; but they made no reaction to his presence.

Did he hear me?

Stepping closer, he contemplated what he was going to say. “Um..” he cleared his throat, “is everything alright here?”

There was no response from the still figure.

He took a step closer, all the while taking in any information he could observe. It was then that he noticed two bright red braids extending from the deep green knitted cap.

A woman?

Her jacket was a light wind-breaker that closely matched the green of her stocking cap. He could see the quality of the material from his position a good three yards behind her.

She was experienced, that was clear, but he could not tell why she was just sitting there. Was something wrong? Was she injured? He looked to the left and right to observe anything that might be out of the ordinary. Nothing.

He stepped forward again until he was directly behind her. She had not moved, save for the steady rise and fall of her shoulders as she breathed. So he reached out a hand and lightly touched her shoulder.

The contact startled her from her reverie and she sucked air in quickly through her teeth and spun around defensively.

He stepped back, hands raised with his palms up to show her that he wasn’t planning to hurt her in any way. Realizing her over-reaction, her defiant scowl melted into a sheepish expression marred by a pink stain rising in her cheeks.

“I’m so sorry.” He spoke quietly; not so much for her benefit but for the nature surrounding them. “I didn’t mean to startle you, I only wanted to see if you were alright.” His low voice sounded alien to him. He hadn’t spoken in…what?…more than 5 days?

“No,” her voice was unsteady, “it is I who must apologize. You were only being kind.”

The melodic lilt in her voice was comforting and familiar, but one he hadn’t heard in years.

“You from Waterford?”

She tilted her head in curiosity “Kilkenny, actually. You know Ireland?”

“I lived there for a time.” He paused for a moment contemplating whether he should give any more information to this perfect stranger and decided that at least his name wouldn’t hurt, “I’m William…well, Liam to most.”

“Brigh.”

“Is that short for Sabrina?”

The corner of her mouth turned up in a sly smile “No. Just Brigh. B-r-i-g-h.”

He chucked a bit, “You are irish, aren’t you?”

” ‘Fraid so,” her quiet laugh matched his.

They stood for a moment just staring at each other. Their mutual shock of finding another person in this pristinely undisturbed environment still reverberated in the air. Taking in her appearance he noticed, as he had before, that she was an experienced hiker; if the fact that she was even in this place didn’t give that away then her clothes did. Brigh had the fair complexion and red hair easily associated with the irish, but her eyes were unique. They were the color of dark amber and, it seemed, the longer he looked at them the brighter they burned.

Conversely, Brigh was making her own assumptions about Liam. What struck her most was his stature; he was very tall and thin. He’s almost too thin, like a reed. If she hadn’t run into him in this wilderness she never would have pegged him as “outdoorsy” let alone a hiker who was worth his weight in salt. There was something in his face, though. Trustworthy was the only way she could put it into words; which was certainly strange for her, as her trust for people was limited if not non-existent.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Liam finally broke the silence “So, is everything alright? You seemed…” He paused to find a word that fit, “…preoccupied.”

Brigh looked down at her feet and let out a soft sigh, “I’m alright. I was just in that place…” she stopped, realizing she was speaking to a complete stranger; but still, there was something about him. About this place. This time. Her pride didn’t matter much anymore. Her privacy didn’t matter. She belonged to this place.

So she looked up and continued, “I was just wishing.”

“Wishing?”

“Wishing.”

“For what?”

“I was wishing I had another life. Wishing to be someone else; to be something else.”

Something else?”

“Something,” the word came as a sigh. “If I could stretch my arms, they would become branches and my legs would become roots. I would dig into the rich, unspoiled soil and live out my days as a tree amidst this paradise.”

He watched her as she spoke and it seemed to him that she was speaking more to herself and to this place than to him. Her eyes slid across the landscape and drank in every bit of grace. He stayed silent and waited for her to speak again.

“I would pull myself into a ball so tight that I’d become a seed. I would plant myself here and spread every part of my body into the soil. Then I’d reach to the sun. My leaves would be soft and my petals would be lavender.” She smiled to the sky, “I wouldn’t be the most beautiful flower, though…a wildflower, perhaps. Quiet and tall.”

She turned slowly and resumed her seated position next to the waters edge. Liam wanted her to continue, but he didn’t want to break her reverie. He moved slowly to her side and sat next to her, looking upon the grandeur of the sweeping landscape.

“I’d unravel my leaves and take the sun into my core. If I were a flower, or a tree, I would sway with the wind; let her caress my limbs and sing me to sleep. I would bask in the silver light of the moon and turn my face to greet him every evening.

And the sun…oh, the sun! He would bring a warmth to my soul and a smile to my face that I cannot seem to find in this body.”

Tears had begun to slowly stream down her face and Liam wondered what pain had created such grief.

He didn’t have the right words of comfort. They didn’t exist in that moment; so he leaned closer to her and put his hand against her back. She responded to the gesture of a friend and leaned into his shoulder.

They sat that way and watched the sun slip quietly behind the ragged line of mountains.

.embrace.

feet pounding on the pavement. so hard my teeth are slamming together.

God, help me.

I run faster. Breathing is becoming increasingly difficult. Lungs tighten. The furnace begins to spread. The muscles in my stomach ache. My thighs and my calves are on fire; it spreads until I feel like every part of my body is burning.

Please.

Pushing myself, I continue to run. The pain is nothing. I embrace the pain. I need to feel something, anything other than this black hole through the center of me. The pain reminds me that I am still alive. I can still breathe. I can still fight. I will not go silently.

I am running from nothing. I am dying in this internal prison; waiting for someone pull me out. Watching helplessly as this disease consumes every good thing. I am running to remind myself that I’m still here. It hasn’t taken me. It hasn’t taken everything I love.

I don’t want to feel alone in this. I can’t do this alone. I can’t.

I want to talk to someone…to share the burden on my soul. But sharing this with someone else is unthinkable right now. I’m afraid that if I ask anyone to help me, it would surely break them.

I need You. I need to know that You’re there and that I’m not in this alone.

I feel a drop. cool and large on my forearm.

Then another…and another.

The clouds pour out and the rain envelopes my tired body and soul. It is the cool that tames the furnace in my soul. It is the comfort that soothes my burning body.

It is the embrace that I need.

a new day

so. it’s been a while since i’ve updated anything, written anything, done…anything.

so, i think i’m going to try to pick up writing on this here page once again. not going to set rules for myself (i.e. length, how often to post, etc.) and i don’t expect too many people to even come across this page, but i miss writing. i need to exercise the muscles before they atrophy and i lose all ability to form a coherent thought in written form.

.not the same.

the weight was unbearable. the pain…indistinguishable.

the same question continued to roll through my brain like storm clouds in the summer sky. what did i do? i couldn’t process the situation.

how could it ever get to this point? was i that bad of a friend? was it truly that easy to betray me?

i sat on the porch swing, staring at the even planks that made the base of the porch. i studied the small cracks that veined their way across the surface. this was a place of comfort and the only place i could think of coming. i had to have some semblance of normalcy and this was the only thing that made any sense.

the breeze skimmed my skin and brought the early scent of rain. clean and warm. i closed my eyes and took in the fragrant air in an attempt to clear my mind.

i don’t know how long i sat there. just breathing.

when did life become so messy?

i opened my eyes and the sky opened up.