American Dream

Stay still,
Quiet down,
Stop crying,
Quit fidgeting,
Be happy,
Grow up.

A society obsessed with creatives, actors, musicians, writers, 
Yet we discourage ourselves, our family, our friends to participate. 
We even mock those creating for not having a “real” job, for not taking life seriously.
Unless the art is making lots of money then we say, “Great job, create away!”

Children, allowed only to a certain age, coloring, dancing, dressing up, all their favorites.
Then we take all that creative love they have worked so hard to nurture,
and we yank it right out from their hands and tell them “No more!”

Failure is not an option little one,
Now sit your ass down and get to work.
You will make a fantastic consumer one day,
You will make a fantastic soldier one day,

The American Dream.
Where we spend our entire lives working and making money for others with an inch of hope that we might get to visit Florida one day.  

Florida.
And we wonder why we have an epidemic of depressed adults.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Depression, The Truth

Thoughts lag coming to an abrupt halt, heavy and hollow,
Eyes paralyzed staring at something,
Seeing nothing.
Air releases entirely from the lungs,
Taking a light head to remind me to breathe.
Body numbing, Stomach falling,
and cheeks flushed to the ghost that has just reappeared.

Snap out of it,
Stay positive.
An idea, a mistaken belief,
That this springs from nurturing negative thoughts,
That we allow ourselves to feel so much that we’re swallowed whole by the dark.

What they don’t know is that this dark,
is not dark at all,
It’s being paralyzed in the in-between,
Kidnapped in broad daylight.

What they don’t know is that it dances in ruthlessly at times when it’s least invited,
A needle slowly deflating even the most optimistic, colorful of the bunch.

The truth is,
depression,
is feeling absolutely nothing.

Can you think of anything more terrifying than feeling nothing?

It’s a suffocation that tricks you into believing you will be stuck feeling nothing forever,
That is until it finally releases its grip.

Like most things,
it comes in waves,
subtle or strong,
and in order to survive,
we have to remember to hold on tight while the worst of it passes.

To the Hills

I ran to the hills to catch a breath, a few breaths, 
some new fucking lungs.
I needed time,
Everyone needs time sometimes, 
Despite what we’re raised to believe.

I needed my memory and in these hills
the last they were seen.
The smell alone was enough, 
The cedar, the soil.
And just as I suspected, they arrived.

Many say you can’t live in the past and I agree
it can be a horrid place.
But you also can’t heal what hasn’t been exposed.
And there are few things I find more courageous than facing your greatest opponent.

Anonymous

⁣A perfect day,⁣
Almost.⁣

⁣Perfect for me,⁣
When I’m reminded perfection is false,⁣

I’m reminded that I have feeling,⁣
that stretches further than myself.⁣

⁣And just as my day marked a new beginning, I saw an unapologetic period stamped on yours.⁣

⁣Because nothing feels as real as seeing your strange, lifeless body covered by a sheet,⁣
And nothing feels less perfect than knowing your delicate spirit had to drift from the pavement of a lonely street.⁣

Table for One

When the lights dim and the noise fades,
And your juggling that fine line of loving yourself
and thinking you’re better than others.

When all the other soldiers have gone home, 
And your about to pour that drink, turn on that show, take that hit,

Remember,
Sometimes the only person left to battle is yourself.

Bandera, TX 2019

Whimsy

What a beautiful line you balance.
Taking in the world with grace,
Gaining so much wisdom from being quiet, observant, stoic,
Only to turn around and flip all that is stiff and serious, 
a jungle gym for your pleasure.
Living between both worlds,
Never hardening, only receiving.
Softening at the perfect moments and finding room in the heaviest.

Art by Teresa Moralez

Valor

You told me fear was necessary,
That you loved your fear,
That you respected your fear.

That it brings the most clever out of you,
Heightens every sense,
Reveals your resilience under pressure.

Teaches you how to best navigate a difficult situation.

I sat in admiration,
Thinking about how much stronger the world would be with more of you in it.

Out of Sorts

I created this mountain,
I planted each flower and tree,
I placed each stone,
I mapped every trail,
I’ve climbed it blindfolded and barefoot without a scrape or stumble.

And now I sit at the bottom looking up at a stranger,
Disoriented and without a clue of how to get back to the top.

#amnesia #writing #poetry #peak #climb #memoryloss #relearn #shadowwork #womenwhowrite #feministwriter #melissamoralezwriter #conversationswithassholes #forget