A poem by NATALIE RUSSO.
Yes, I’m at a point in a young life where I’m stitching a sort of patchwork of my past.
Snags in the fabric–affirmative–but what you do is gently brush your hand over it, can only accept it.
From now I’m learning to work my love, see what lasts and gets born when I break off for tomorrows.
At these crossroads I remember very well, but memory blips too. Jump starts and quick flicks.
Yes, sun-setting times of old have been stored and simultaneously don’t exist in our adult world if I lived them at 8 years old, a small adult all too old for 8–it’s ok, no one can help divorce and all that trails behind it. If I was 10. A muggy adolescent.
Around here, healthy people heat up parts of their past selves on stoves and feel them evaporate.
They say I need my words to trip, dew drips, tumbling into the mist.
You know, when I write, I concentrate my attention by glitching into and out of an imaginary place or repeating a scene of movement. I am here, my mind jumps to the imaginary, it circulates or I circulate in it, feel the peace of it, hop back. Climb the wall, nice translucent roof so the weather falls on us–it’s nice, right?–back and in front of this again. Building blocks. Translucent corrugated roof. Building blocks. Primary colours. I’m a child again. That’s a high roof. This is a forgiving life.
Tonight, I am stood watching a section of stream running in the dark, like a party. Turning the corner with silver reeds bobbing, then rewinding for me, to play again. My axis.
Sometimes, my eyes are half-drawn: worked and quiet. There is resilience, and then there is ache for a bed of feathers to rest in. Ayishat believes that we are successful when we have enough inner peace to stop competing. A jewel I finally hear, then fall asleep to.
I haven’t yet mentioned: I always pushed myself through too much stress trying to do well in class. Perfectionist. I think there must be more of us. I think it is societal.
You see our holistic educational trajectory. But we can’t recall even being at the foot of the hill before clicking our fingers to be at the top. Sprinting barefoot, away from failure. Sprinting, sprinting.
They say we may be working in the wrong way, studying too hard, it’s simpler than we make out. How the fuck do we calm down and work less to aim higher, do better?
I watch past thoughts become sore words
I used to beg for time to wait up. Begging for our time to come, knee-high in mud.
The patchwork grows
I am thankful for my education
I like walking with a companion to share hugs. Walking by that stream. Repeat.
Catching pink ribbons of the laughing times as they swoop by, giggling. And the yellow ribbon: the bond of a yolk once sworn shut, these days streaming out in fast minutes, dancing in the night.
Witnessing your monumental days come, how you pace and place the stresses on your own notes.
Enjoying how every person is different
We are not “we” but two sets of eyes–we’re us and our hopes combined.
What “me’s” the other doesn’t see. The “I’s” we don’t yet know.
So, I take a moment to wrap the quilt around me fully, in the biting new wind of the season.
The steam of what I was and have been enters the sky and runs and the stream seems like it could be warm to my mind’s eye, twinkling for one second before plowing on
before I’m back here again, typing, concluding, a young life breaking off (for tomorrows)
Drafted while listening to:
Animal Collective–In The Flowers
Featured image courtesy of Natalie Russo.