Sh*t To Help You Show Up October 22, 2021
What do you love?
Earlier this week I received the latest newsletter from Courtney Martin of the examined family. In it, she shared a poem she had written in response to a gorgeous poem, “Love”, by Alex Dimitrov.
I was so affected by both poems that I wrote my own. You can read it below, or listen to me read it above [Sorry for the hard stop on the audio. Still working out the kinks of production].
I love walking
I love when I’ve been walking, staring at the ground, and I lift my head suddenly to the sky and my heart releases something clenched inside it.
I love the faithfulness of the sky, always hanging there, watching.
I love swings, but specifically, a single, wooden swing hanging from a large, sturdy tree branch on a fall day.
I love basmati rice.
I love the memory of my mother’s chicken curry feasts with all the little bowls of toppings.
I love my mother.
I love that my mother often doesn’t really understand me, but she loves me regardless.
I love that I often don’t understand my mother, but I love her regardless.
I love slipping into a freshly made bed.
I love waking just as the day is lightening and not before.
I love knowing my bed is my own to occupy or share as I choose.
I love coffee, though I no longer drink it.
I love cresting a rise, on foot or in a car, and seeing the miles spooled out before me.
I love Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, and Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden, as much as I have ever loved any other friend, living or dead.
I love Pecola Breedlove from The Bluest Eye even though I know she wasn’t made for me. But neither was anyone else, so my love claims her as I claim myself— fiercely and tenderly.
I love sex.
I love that I’m old enough to say that and really, finally, mean it.
I love redheads. All of them.
I love singing loud, alone, in a car.
I love singing with other people.
I love silence.
I love sitting in silence with other people.
I love reading on the couch while someone else reads happily at the other end.
I love sitting in the woods and not seeing another soul for hours.
I love to be alone.
I love the memory of Maine in the summertime— the endless hours noodling around in tide pools by myself, the scary slip and slide of the seaweed over the rocks, picking mussels for fresh chowder for lunch, and the mile walk with my father carrying our rickety lobster crates to the boats to collect dinner.
I love watching the day fade to night without turning on the lights.
I love mountains, how they make me feel the weight of time.
I love the way the mist lifts off of them in the mornings, like a woman slowly lifting her skirts.
I love rivers, how they remind me that everything inexorably is carried out to sea.
I love believing that when I die that’s it for this me, so I have to make the most of this life while I’ve got it.
I love my children.
I love how the one word, “love”, feels inadequate to encompass the wonder of watching them be themselves, so I am forced to look for more.
I love old friends, knowing they know all the stories.
I love being known.
I love peanut butter and apples.
I love the crabapple tree that blooms a deep, dark pink outside my window every spring.
I love knowing spring is coming.
I love when I hear a true thing and it clangs like a bell.
I love clanging the bell.
I love old words, formal words, words that remind me of books I read long ago.
I love that inside every acorn is an entire tree.
I love that we found a tiny doll chair in the wall of my kitchen.
I love imagining the little people living in the walls who were using it.
I love leaving it on the kitchen windowsill in case they need a sit-down at night while I’m sleeping.
I love sleeping.
I love spooning.
I love telling stories.
I love listening to stories.
I love that you are still reading this and thinking of what you love.
I love plants. There are never enough of them.
I love stained glass and how it always makes me feel holy. Always.
I love getting breakfast out and watching the people shamble by on a sunny day.
I love going to new places.
I love meeting new people.
I love coming home again.
I love getting older. I do not miss any age I’ve ever been.
I love that I wouldn’t go back.
I love that I don’t have to.
I love God.
I love that God is unknowable, so I don’t have to know.
I love loving.
I love laughing.
I love saying yes.
I love saying no.
I love the fierceness of summer thunderstorms in the South.
I love the pristine snow of a Northeast morning.
I love fireflies and bonfires.
I love being naked.
I love soft lips.
I love kissing.
I love eating, always, and cooking, for special occasions.
I love cold water after working on a hot, sweaty summer day.
I love fried egg sandwiches on crusty sourdough bread.
I love the way morning glories turn so insistently towards the light.
I love being surrounded by beauty.
I love making things beautiful.
I love that things that I made exist in the hands and homes of people I have loved.
I love that I’ve written more words than I can ever recall.
I love that I am scattered across time and space already.
I love knowing that death will be just another scattering.
I love that all the things and people I love will continue on long after anyone living’s memory in a billion pieces of matter and light and knowledge.
I love the chair and the window and the afternoon sun slanting through for the cats to sleep in.
I love all the things I don’t yet know and all the things I know now that I didn’t know before.
I love here.
I love now.
If integrity is going to be a joyful practice, then we have to know what we love, what we’re standing up for, not just what we’re standing against.
What do you love?
Please tell us in the comments (just a few lines???). The idea of a whole string of poems about what we love spooling out across time and space makes my heart so happy.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re not yet on the free email list for this newsletter, why don’t you join us? I’d also love to welcome you as a paying subscriber, but free or paid I’m just so glad you’re here. XO, Asha