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.

Too Early to Title

Are you here?
You’ve been searching,
collecting clues;
perhaps this segment
of sea will weed or
reveal identity truths.

Just you here
and your mind.
What do you carry?
What have you
left behind?

Look about.
Family. Strangers.
One in the same.
Or entirely different?

Who has come
to search,
and what for?
Who will leave
with less, 
with more?

So many shells,
filled and hollow.
So many opportunities
made and lost
among people. 

Memories can be made.
Promises broken. 
Second chances given. 
Losses counted. 

Each drop significant, 
each drop matters,
though so vast is
the ocean’s water. 

Water is one,
a singular thing.
We don’t count drops
until we are thirsty. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Would You Walk With Me? (With Audio)

If I offered you my hand, 
would you walk with me, 
leisurely toward dreams
sunsetting upon the sea?

If I shared what’s in my shell, 
let you hear the whispers, 
would you heart-preserve them
among your dearest treasures?

If I stopped and turned
and looked into your eyes, 
would I find there
what I’ve been searching for
all of my life?

If I were brave enough 
to let that gaze linger, 
would you be brave enough
to close the distance
even further?

If you kissed me,
would you be able to surrender, 
to allow me to turn the key
and make you mine
forever,

not by locking,
but by releasing, 
freeing the love
you’ve been deep-freezing, 

to feel directly
the flutter of mine,
the wings I have grounded
indefinitely from flying?

And if they combined, 
these lights in our souls, 
would you regret
not having the time
for closure with
your shadows? 

If our union ends
up to be the origin
of love, 
would this moment
be perfect enough
for the first page
of our album? 

Would you fall
each day deeper
in love with me;
would our love grow
until it lifts us
into eternity?

I suppose if you don’t know
all of this now, 
I’d still like to walk with you 
awhile, 
and if you already know
all of this now, 
you should know
these feelings in me
I could never
disavow.

As you reach for my hand
even though none of this
I have said aloud, 
I feel the universe shift
and know I have been
finally found. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Remembering Colors

Inner chamber protected, 
guarded. Scarred. 
Misused and abused
before. 
Colors over decades
fade. 
Doors and windows
boarded. 

The softness of you
like dawn. 
Patience watercolors
shared canvas in pastels.
Gradually, I reach 
to try some,
apply upon my soft shell. 

Day by day, ébauche
to a never-final coat.
Overflowing well within
now self-saturates. 
Self-love’s ducts
unclogged.
A Master peace of love:
brought together, 
soulmates. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Twirling Petals

Between my fingers, I slowly twirl
the way I’ve done before,
white petals like the pinwheel
that may in turn propel my heart
and set in motion in the universe
the dreams I’ve protectively harbored, 
but now I realize, those dreams have been
all granted by the stars,
so the only thing that fades
in the mist of heaven’s clouds
is my grip on hope
for I can release the hold
now that I have been delivered
to your arms. 

Fungal Reflection

I don’t usually like to know the scientific facts about the subjects I find and photograph in nature, even basic identification. It spoils the wonder and mystery to me, the thrill of all my imagination hatches, the magic, the mysticism, the fantasy, the tales, the divine creation we think we know all about. These are my discoveries; I am the first explorer to ever lay eyes on the new species. Instead of sketching them in my diary, I photograph them; I am both from the future and the past. 

I couldn’t resist though peeking into the portal of cyberspace regarding this spectacular mushroom variety I haven’t seen before (I don’t think…). “Puffballs” they are, supposedly common. And of course, as reading when you are a born lifelong reader tends to go, I read a bit more… They have a poisonous “Death Cap” doppelgänger, well imposter anyway, being the most interesting fact to me. 

These I spotted underfoot between my car and classroom back door going into work the other day. To photograph them meant anyone could be watching and definitely would wonder even more about me. Of course, I risked it all and got down low and took the shot. It was too intriguing in and of itself but also because they were paired and the morning light and shadows were beautiful. I love couplets of anything in nature because I am a romantic. I also champion the overlooked or undervalued in nature, especially weeds and fungi. 

Where to begin with what I could spin from this encounter and image souvenir?…

Two as one
connected, 
shadows merging,
agreed to be
shared,

to increase
the surface area
so the darkness
lightens
in lichen-like
dual-stabilization:
paired.

One absorbs
more sun 

than the other
but feeds
its partner
the light
not so directly;

at times
they reverse roles
when the other 
needs
to shrink
into safety
awhile
and be protected
temporarily.

The world passes by,
so many times before
both cruelly and unknowingly
treading upon them;

others of their kind
turned poisonous,
but these two
remain true
to themselves
and their commitment,

not letting others’
judgement affect 
their joy
or quality of life
and above all
love,

testament to
there being someone
for everyone
and such a connection
vital,
to feel that touch,
to trust…

or maybe I am seeing 
too much 
in these balls
of mushroom puffs
I stumbled upon

on my way
to work
this morn. 

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. ❤ 

Holding Photographs

nostalgia bittersweet
joy so genuine, effortless
radiating, echoing
from fading photographs

touched, held between
ringless fingers and the fumes
of a heart on empty
from the moment
so distantly removed

time does not warp
those precious instances
forever suspended
feelings will flutter on
thousands of centuries

bittersweet for the bliss
is eternally retrievable
but if the present is less
then the tears
breach suppressible

falling is the gravity
of sadness, all rain
nature running its course
to cleanse the panes

we simply must
adjust the frames
order the montages
strategically arrange

so when we step back
to take in the collective
the rainbow across
our present
gets light-refracted