I see you standing there. I read your back and see the softened slump about your shoulders.
I hear your sigh that carries just above the shush of the Pacific, not quite a keen, but not a thing like laughter. What is it you look for? Have you been waiting for so very long?
May I tell you something? Once I saw two boys barehanded fishing for tilapia in Kauai’s Hule’ia River. Frozen still in the shadows of the mangrove, they cupped their hands and waited. Shhhh, they warned and I froze too, midstep on the hiking path. All at once, like athletes on a pedestal, they raised their arms victoriously overhead and one wriggling fish flung droplets into the sky.
“Dinner!” they shrieked.
That night I dreamt I stood in the shallows of Hule’ia, hands submerged into murky water. I could not see clearly, unsure exactly what I was trying to catch. I dreamt a cold plump softness nudging my open palms. One, two – too many sleek and slippery things to count – I grasped and missed, until at dawn I awoke empty-handed, staring blankly at the wall.
Is it like that now for you?
My friend wonders about her mounting “…sense of exhaustion and ambivalence…”
My students say, “This week is awful. It’s limp broccoli.”
It seems everyone around me is feeling…
when we would all so much rather be —
Here’s my Rx. If you can, take a visit to your girlhood dreaming spot, or one that reminds you copiously of it. Gaze into the lantern of your inner fire. Catch the glow. Reflect the blaze.
Remember who you once were and what you said you would become. It’s not too late. But hurry. You are waiting. And so am I.
With vibrancy and gold,
p.s. If your spirits need a boost these days, stumble upon Dearest Creature by poet Amy Gerstler. (You can read David Kirby’s New York Times review of it here.)
This is not a new book; it was published in 2009. But it’s a new discovery for me and I highly recommend any book that contains poems with titles like, “At the Back of a Closet, Two Dresses Converse” and “Chant of the Hallucinogenic Plants,” especially as an antidote if you’re in your blues period. There’s no expiration date on golden poetry.