The Gap

“The heartbreaking gap between the way we were and the way we are…”

Just a book-review excerpt that got me thinking in my post-ending emotions…

Endings and beginnings, and after that and before. The way we were, the way we are, the way we will be. The way I was, the way I am, the way I will be. It’s what I would write about if I were brave enough.

Where in our timeline that gap, those gaps fall… that is what shapes each of our stories. Some look back on the glory days with the most fondness; some cannot even look back, the pain too excruciating. Some realize the missed opportunities; most never do. Regret can infiltrate nostalgia and release its toxins directly into the heart. The way we were, the way we are… sometimes the greatest heartbreak is the lack of gap, when we are static, when we are trapped, when we are still in that situation; it’s what broke me once, realizing decades later, in that inconvenient moment of denial ripped off, raw, it was the same as it always was.

I was trapped for half my life. Of course, no one ever truly is. But we might as well be, for the layers of boulders we submit to, allowing ourselves to be entombed. For me, I ironically stayed for my children, for if we left, I would have to send them back regularly without me. I chose to never let them be without me as their protector. I was aware of the light fading from the start, as I finally gave in to the vows. I saw the single sun ray through the avalanche the whole time. I chose not to move the rocks.

The way we were, the way I was… I look back on her now sometimes. Through windows. The one-way rainy panes of pain. I wish I could reach her. To let her know about today, who we are now. I know she will never lose faith, but oh those years… so many…. Yet, it simply is true: who we are now, we could never be, if we weren’t the way we were then. If I had the power to spare her, I don’t think I would. Well, maybe I would. To think she could have known happiness all those years…

In my late forties now, I have only just begun to become who I am. The way I am… it is the present. I could never be me until now. You never can be, I don’t think, without self-love. And you really have to be free first for that to happen. I honestly never really had the time or energy for myself; all I knew was survival mode. Crisis mode. Selfless mode. Sickness mode. There are always genuine pieces of us intact through that all though, I feel. Our souls that predate our mortal lifespan. The girl in the panes… she doesn’t realize. She just doesn’t. She and I are so different. Yet, we are the same. I feel myself still in her. The soul. The dreams she is loosening her grip on, yet always retaining fierce faith.

Sometimes, we deteriorate from the way we were. We chase what we think is happiness but always open our arms and hands to find nothing there. We keep chasing. We are still empty and our time is up. Or we succumb to the tomb. We had it once and lost it. We will never reach for that ray and remove the first rock. For others like me, all we have known is the rock cell. My story does not begin at birth. My life is just now starting. My future… well, I am confident that I will devote part of it to searching for such self-tombs, removing a rock from each. I think there is a universal rule that one is the limit. The rest must be done from the inside. I think I have found my way though, whispering, singing, and dropping notes faithfully through those single rays. And I wouldn’t know about these tombs without the experiences I’ve had. I visit my own from my past, and release a butterfly within; I feel his hand then slide into mine, and his sunset-silhouetted kiss in what I’ve come to know as love, makes my own flutter up inside. Again.

“We’re going to be more than alright,” I whisper to my past self through the hole. Then we head to his old tomb before heading home. Through the gap, in hand, we see my poem.

I Bring You the Sun

I bring you the sun,
beauty too, 
sought after it, 
left the window view.

It’s all I can do.
I hope it is enough 
to remind you 
how much 
you are 
loved. 

I bring you the light
and the white flowers
and the glow from my soul
that you ignited. 

I bring you the rays
across the ocean,
a beacon to grab onto
to keep you surfaced,

to dispel the shadows
deep down inside,
to ignite the ember
and restore the fire. 

I’ll bring you me too
in person
soon enough 
and keep myself lit
for your touch,

and through my kiss,
you will be restored,
my healing breath
upon your flesh, warm. 

But for now,
I bring you the sun
through your window
to lure you up.

Come outside, my love. 
Let Mother Nature hug. 

Hearts and Wings

I have been absolutely entranced and obsessed with the changing eucalyptus leaves in my backyard. I pass a lot of time observing and listening to them through my lens. I know the poetry each one heart-strums inside me, but no words could ever do these images justice. I will let the poetry speak directly to you instead, for so personal and intimate to me are what these leaves and tree portray… I hope you can see and hear it, too, as it pertains to you. ❤  

Humble and Free

Innately humble,
previously crumbled,
leveled beneath the rubble
of decades of reinforced
word-misuse,
untruths, 
I now know,
this self-love journey
continues to unfurl
quite like the protective petals 
finally believing 
the whispers of the golden
morning light.

img_5169

I have done more
than bloom:
I have begun the rise.

Saltwater rightfully weathers
tears petrified.
Scars from my past
cannot be erased,
but the open wounds have sealed
and the sting of the waves
I no longer feel,
only the saving 
grace. 

(Photos of me by my daughter)

Tears and Tears (Triple Haiku)

fresh spring rain on green
salty drops clinging to cheeks
all water cleanses

tears and tears the same
heteronyms for the pain
one dries, one remains

tears and tears post-storm
one can let the light reach through
one can bloom from love

Poems and images ©LauraDenise

More of my haiku and nature photography on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/bylauradenise/

Always Have Been

When the voices inside,
whether yours or theirs,
start to rise up and disguise 
the lies as truths,

look to the sky
and see the ray
of light shining down
on false transparencies 
refracting all the
beautiful colors
that make up you.

Don’t use artificial
looking glasses,
for the perpetrators
can too easily
hide behind them,
your doppelgänger included. 

See your reflection instead
in the windows of the souls
of those who genuinely love you:

the portals will be clouded over
for only non-love pierces
with ulterior motive
and unwilling hypnosis.

The only one being used
when the truths are real
is the messenger revealing
how God sees you
as his beloved creation.

You are precisely as He 
has lovingly with purpose
made you. 

You are more than enough. 
You are perfect in His eyes. 
Don’t let unreliable narrators
convince you otherwise. 

You are the story. 
You are also the pen. 
You are the blank page
today again. 

Don’t succumb
to writer’s block
by others injected:
each day you leave
the space unmarked
is another win for them. 

To be held in captivity 
is only a matter of the mind:
there are no chains binding you.
However messily you need to, 
just write the first line 

of today. 
And do it again tomorrow. 
Until you remember
where it was you were headed

before getting derailed, 
detoured, delayed…
You have the power
to begin 
the change. 

Pick up the hose
to see the rainbow;
don’t wait for the next rain. 

You don’t need to search.
You are the gold. 

You always have been. 

Too Soon To Title

You can find me among the wildflowers
in the golden light;
this is one of the few things I know
about where my soul resides. 

You’ll carry the scars;
they make you who you are, 
but rarely will they remind
of the battles you thought you lost
when you slipped through 
that presumed eternal hole
inside.

He lies. 

That’s all you need to know
for now.
God hears your prayers. 
Oh, broken child, 
please get up from the
cold, hard ground. 
I’ll be the one
to hold you for a while. 

One day,
so genuine and bright
will be
your smile. 

Seeing you here
on this pivotal day, 
your hemorrhaged
soul upon the tile…

This is it, my love.
The epitome of
raw, awakened denial. 
The tomorrow 
you consider
giving all hope on…
well, even the greatest
of fighters fall before
the rise. 

You don’t have to
dry your eyes. 
I just came by
to let you know
God does indeed
send you the one
to do more than 
have and hold;

he’ll show you how
to love yourself,
and with that gifted key
you’ll unlock every
chain and door,
be able to go
wherever you want,
for home is not
a destination
but who you are
when you

find me among the wildflowers
in the golden light. 

A poem to deliver to my 2018 self. 
A poem for those like me then. ❤ 

Out of Season

Determined to counter the moody clouds
others have been attempting to cast onto me,
I choose to seek out the sun, spring-infuse myself,
dip my soul into the fresh-blooming green,

breathe in the revitalizing April air,
let the warming rays seep in through my pores,
absorbed more in the whole of the reborn panorama than
focused on the details imploring to be explored, 

labrador-blue heeler happy for any outdoor adventure, 
not a hike but a mutually restorative leisurely linger, 
ahhh…a new season…

Circling back to the start, back to the car, 
I am not allowed to leave, it seems, 
until Mother Nature imparts
a lesson, whispers words of wisdom 
through some not-new, refusing-to-be-forgotten
leaves from two seasons ago, 
still here, and starkly so, 
weathered, fossilized autumn,

a reminder of the past
not so easily dismissed;
buried or not, it insists
on revisits,
coming to you
if you neglect it, 
but what we make
of what is, 
that is the endless work
or blessing
depending on the nature
of what was–
bright, shiny yellow
of yesterday
against the conglomerate
of rocks, man-manipulated
into asphalt,
a yellow sickness
or stubborn
fading sun,
either way the marring,
tattered edges and holes,
do not seem to take the whole,
still here despite the winter
with a fortitude to witness,
to reunite with the green 
it was itself once.

I see a reminder that
we can turn
our back on the past
and run to spring,
but all seasons remain, 
never really leave,
inside us always
are the memories,
tears of joy and loss,
the scars of life;
we can embrace it all, 
co-exist in peace
with all that is inside. 

I choose to find 
the positive,
even in the stumbling 
upon the past
in my determined
celebration of the
present moments,
all presents indeed,
and then I find a smile
in the concrete
when I see
yet another unexpected
chapter of a
love story,
so pure and yet to be
complete…

I wonder what those
resigned to defeat see.
Perception can sting
regardless, some things
we simply must feel
but perspective…
that is the key
in our control
and possession,
a powerful tool we
can self-weld and
self-wield,
manipulate,
to preserve
our internal
peace.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

As Me

“I do not ever want you
to stop being you. Please,”
you said to me, 
as you always do, 
but this time,
finally,
you got through

after such patience
in teaching me
how to love 
myself
and never once
being anything
but kind 
and understanding
as I repeatedly 
fell 

on my face,
tripping over
how unnecessarily
 x      l     m     c
     e     p      o 
I insist on making
everything
with this
overthinking.

It seemed
nothing I could do
could turn you away, 
you love me as me
you would just
repeatedly and
unconditionally
say.

Behavior is learned
and unlearned –
patterns of thinking
broken and made,
strategies 
for slaying
or keeping
the ghosts
at bay.

My fears
rooted in
shifting terrains,
unable to be grasped, 
somehow you managed
one by one
by one
to vanquish 

with your insistence
that I just give up
and be me;
the biggest fear
of them all 
you conditioned 
me to release
by showing
in your every word
and deed

I would not only be
completely accepted
but also loved deeply
for simply being

who I am. 

I finally concede. 
I will love me too
as me. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise