I wrote this during Unspoken Ink earlier this year. It has not been edited- I believe there is a certain quality about something that just emerges from a few minutes of unadulterated writing. I’ve been thinking a lot on the process of getting healthy and becoming happy and content- and this piece floated back to my mind today. I feel like I am constantly shifting full spheres of grieving, celebration, growing, breaking, healing, breaking again, crying, laughing, sadness and grieving and laughing. It is a cycle, but not one that makes any logical sense.
Well first off, it doesn’t go:
Grieving, Healing, Growing.
like it was a staircase;
each step just needing to be climbed; easy
as eating cake on the porch while the summer gives way
to Fall. No,
It’s all over the god damn place
like a tantrum of a five-year-old
stronger than it was at two,
still unable to be consoled.
If it resembled a staircase
it could only be the Penrose steps
going on an on forever amen
and once more now:
when you’ve reached the top, at last!
You’re at the bottom again
and tired as hell.
No, it’s more like the cycle of water
merging between states of being
over and over forever amen.
First you’re Liquid
then something burns you so bad you turn Mist
and ascend to join the other clouds and it’s
cool and warm rubbing noses up there until
there’s too much of all of us until
we gather up our two oxygens and
plummet to earth again.
There is no one way to be.
There is no one form to take;
because once you’re down here (again)
you might travel the full body of a mammal
then wash the wings of a bird
then reflect the baby face of Narcissus
then harden for a season
to do it all over again.
So, no, it’s not 1, 2, 3.
It’s the waltz. but all fucked up.
1 2 3 – 1 2 1 – 1 1 1 – 3 2 1 – 1 3 1
the Penrose waltz:
dancing forever, making tiny strides
here and back, up and down, grief and victory
To read more of the posts from our Unspoken Ink: Young Adult Cancer Creative Writing Group, go here.