On Grief

Of course,

we suffer agony

when we lose someone;

how can you not,

when something

crawls out of your heart,

tears through your chest,

and sinks, blood-soaked,

into the soft earth?

Touchstone Tuesday: Poem XII

Music is a formed space

and lyrics, the beaten door,

when I hear a song played

I’m thrown onto its floor.

And, without authority,

I’m made to recall,

where I was and what I felt

when I first was made to fall.

Thrown back into the room

where my olden thoughts were sketched,

turned about by dancing memories,

I fell forward and I retched.

Painful Paradox

We’re creatures

so paradoxically made

that we need

pain

dishealth

and heartbreak

to compel us

into self-discipline,

consequences so

grave and horrifying

that we

almost reach out

to good behavior.

Imagine a beast

so depraved

that it cannot

even act

in its own

favor.

Firestone Friday: Poem XII

I think we’re drawn

into cold, unilluminated humans

because we believe there is

— there has to be —

something greater

unseen beyond

that shadowy veil,

something

inestimable,

protected,

inaccessible.

So, our imaginations

run unchained:

the more unyielding

the object of desire,

the more alluring,

the more opulent,

we fashion the world

that must flourish within them.

And we scale the walls,

taking daily pains

to climb a little farther,

until we crest the edge,

only to find a flickering street lamp

suspended above a littered lot,

with Sadism leaned up against a rusted barrel,

taking a long drag of her cigarette

and picking at old scabs.

 

Firestone Friday: Poem XI

Without your touch,

I forget my place.

And I find my world barren

absent your embrace.

Without you, I am lonely

with a loneliness that kills.

But with you, darling,

I’m lonelier still.

Are You Suffering?

beach

That’s like me asking you if you’re staring, glossy-eyed into your phone. Of course you are, right?

We’re all suffering from something, because this world stubbornly refuses to pander to our needs — depression, arthritis, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, PTSD, digestive disorders, and sufferings unto infinity. We’re all burdened by physical, emotional, and spiritual frailty.

It’s good and bad, isn’t it, that all of those things are so deeply connected? When we struggle mentally, our bodies are without energy and health, and when we struggle physically, our minds just can’t operate. The good thing is this: healing and redemption, then, can flood all of our being. Making healthy choices, honoring our bodies, and pursuing a higher life washes over the full of us. When we pursue health, our entire being can’t help but to be redeemed.

Honoring our bodies

Sometimes, it feels like there isn’t much here to honor, right? Wrong! As frustrating (and disappointing) as they can be, our bodies are of incredible value. What else lets you consume an entire chocolate cake and somehow come out alive? Or who let’s you stay up all night, throwing back cold ones and then still wakes you up in the morning? Your body is your most loyal and forgiving companion.

And we can do better for it. Let’s make decisions a little better each day, choosing life over lethargy. Reach for the nutritious food, rewarding your body for getting you this far. Conquer your cravings by falling in love with new, super foods.

Yes, you know what’s next: exercise. Walk to the coffee shop to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Better yet, walk with a friend during lunchtime or after work. (Truly, you wouldn’t believe the health benefits of companionship. Here is a great Ted Talk about the incredible effects of companionship.)

Pursue health by making small, achievable steps each day to build a life that is both more uplifting and more fulfilling. You know it’s real, because you always feel better (and are better) after you exercise or go a full day eating according to plan. So let’s go.

Understanding health

What I hear most from people reluctant to embrace a healthier life is the misunderstanding of what it means to make healthy choices. It isn’t starving, it isn’t boring, and it isn’t a waste of time. It’s creating a menu of new, nutritious food, it’s self-care, and it’s rewarding.

Avoiding common offenders like gluten, dairy, preservatives, and chemicals and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs allows your body to overcome much of our suffering. When we’re burdened by physical and mental ailments, our bodies are crying out for relief. Let’s give it to them.

Here are some ideas to consider as you build a better, more fulfilling life:

  1. Eat healthy — no, I’m not talking about eating grass. I’m talking about local, farm-raised meats, eggs, and raw milk, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi.
  2. Exercise — get out there and explore a little.
  3. Sleep well — for probably the first time, make sleep a priority. It’s actually one of the most important parts of your day (yes, I mean night!).
  4. Relax and enjoy life — practice deep breathing, make time to read a book or watch your favorite TV show, eat slowly and savor your food, and cherish the people around you.

That sounds like a pretty good life, right? As our bodies heal, so too do our minds. May you find yourself more at peace.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.