Category Archives: Short Stories

A Walk Through the Cemetery

I walked into a cemetery this morning. There, scattered about the balls of dandelion seeds and neatly trimmed grass, where the remnants of lives once lived and dreams once dreamt. I wondered about those dreams, and the loss that each of these names must have felt as those moments shattered like fragile glass. I wondered about the suffering and pain each must have felt in their life, and perhaps even in their death. I wondered about the moments when the tears of both laughter and remorse, of both happiness and sorrow, ran free down the faces of those of whom I now kept sacred company.

I see littered about me the names of husbands and wives laying in eternal togetherness. I see the names of  mothers and their sons, of fathers and their daughters. I see the dates marking the beginning and the end of what once was. I see the faded remnants of those who lived so long ago, and the deeply carved names etched in shiny stone of those who may have walked this ground not too long ago.

I wonder then when it will be my turn. What will my stone say? What name will be stamped next to my own, and what story will it tell? To whom will I lay next to, eternally embraced in our own, sleepy romance? The world is but a cruel place, and perhaps there will be peace when I am finally able to let everything be put to rest.

I have searched so long for some meaning in the journey between the dates that will be stamped upon my marker. A place like this seems like home. To the man who seems so found when he is lost, and so lost when he is found, there is no better place to realize the short time he has remaining. I wonder when the sound of the stones crunching beneath my feet will go silent, and when the morning Sun will shine beyond my ability to see it. I wonder when both night and day will look the same, and when the tears will fade to nothing but a distant memory, and I wonder if I will have nothing but dirt and worms by my side.

When it was time for me to go, I said a silent goodbye to my new teachers, to those who have come before me. I bend to touch the stone of one who was but a child. I am unsure if he is lucky or unfortunate, but I utter some quiet words of hope that he was somewhere in between. We are all, it seems, somewhere in between.

 

 

The Honor of Nearly Drowning

From the depths you rise, unsure if you’ll make it to the surface. You want to trust that there is breath above the waves, and you struggle against the current for your survival.

If you could only reach the light, take that single breath…

Sometimes you need to lose your breath in order to take another. Sometimes you need to struggle in order to crack the surface wide open. Sometimes, you simply need to go numb to realize what you are feeling.

There are moments when we falter, when we lose our sense of direction and get sucked in by the riptides pulling us to a vast unknown. Fighting the current is exhausting, and spells certain death in the dark depths you are resisting. Sometimes you just need to relax, and let the current take you to wherever you are meant to go. Such trust is hard, but will set you free to find places you would otherwise never see.

In the throes of your despair, take note. There is great wisdom in that darkness, and like some great teacher your own shadows will guide you to the truth. You will find clarity born in your clouded mind, and when you are struggling for air you will feel the truth begin to course through your body. The voices will silence, the shadows fade, and what you will be left with is all you’ve ever needed to know.

Trust that. Don’t ignore it, and be guided toward the purpose for which you were taken, and tossed, and finally discarded upon the shore. Stand, inhale, then create those wonderful footprints you were destined to create. Do not pause and give the voices an audience, and do not pay attention to the shadows pointing in the direction of the depths. Head, instead, for the rising Sun.

Sometimes nearly dying is the greatest source of survival. Sometimes when you have to face your inevitability you gain a strength for which there is no equal. Sometimes when you see the pathetic parts of your own reflection a truth will announce itself in the sobs of your discovery.  You will always find yourself first in the honor of nearly drowning.  You will always be blessed with truth in the lies you hear in the darkness. You will always find discovery in the throes of being helplessly lost. Just be patient, and it will come.

From there, you discover your authority, your vulnerability, your power. You no longer walk a victim of the tide, you control each place your footprints are born, and you stand tall against the raging sea no matter what the waves will bring.  You’ll know your steadiness against the wind, even when you feel as though you can stand no more. You’ll not find sorrow in the stumbles, nor failure in the falls. You’ll bleed. You’ll cry. You’ll survive.

One day, when the storms have mostly settled and the seas have mostly calmed, you’ll sit next to an angel. You’ll hear her song and feel her power and it will remind you of something. She’ll hold your heart, cradle your fears, and protect your entirety with the fierceness of a warrior. You’ll rise up in the memory of the storms you have survived. You’ll sink into an illusionary abyss. You’ll fight her as the imaginary water fills your chest. Until, she just looks at you…

…and holds you…

…and commands the waves and winds to subside.

Everything you ever avoided you will find within her eyes. Everything you ever ran from you will feel in the grasp of her hand. Then, you will feel how the strength empties from your veins at the thought of losing her. You’ll realize that any man standing by himself can be strong, but the real courage lies in surrendering to another who could destroy you in a whim. You find that when the idea of trust weakens your knees, she’s there to hold you steady. You discover the truest love you’ve ever known.

In the devotion that you give to her, in the reality where your entire being cradles her in love and safety, you’ll honor the moments when you nearly drowned. You’ll remember your chest straining in the absence of air, and the struggle of trying to maintain your consciousness as you headed toward something. You’ll relive the sighting of the surface, of the blinding light bouncing through the waves, and the moment your soul broke through the surface of nearly ending.

She was always there, waiting, breaking through those surfaces of her own, struggling for air in her own abyss. You will honor those moments she nearly drowned, too. When her knees grow weak in her own swirl of memories, you’ll hold her up and keep her steady. When she gasps for air in the throes of remembering, you’ll breathe life back into her. She is your angel, and you realize that you are hers as well.

From that moment forward there will never be a single set of footprints in the sands where you walk. There will never again be a lone set of ears hearing the morning songbirds sing. You’ll share the Sunrises and Sunsets that bring you both to tears, and you’ll find the firmest hand you’ve ever known holding on to yours.

Let those fears subside. Let them go. Let her take over, and she’ll give you all she is. Love her deeply, trust her implicitly, hold her for as long as she needs you to. Kiss her as the man you are, helpless in her arms and destined for her lips. Rise to meet her demons, and allow her to face yours. Give in, open up, cry on her shoulder and just love her forever.

That’s what I plan to do, for I have survived nearly drowning just to be her man. I’ll honor her by being so forever.

<3

 

A Tiny Spark of Love

There once was a little spark. It dared to be, without the need to fight for survival. It didn’t seek need to define itself, or seek approval outside of itself. It simply was.

The little spark did not ask for permission to exist, or look for rights or wrongs in the space where it existed. It was born in a certain kind of emptiness, in a relative darkness, and sought for nothing except itself. It lived as it was, and it chose itself over the way things always seemed to be. It paid no attention to the rules where it existed, it gave no honor to the darkness that tried to kill it. It lived for itself, and in its quest for life it gave all it was to the only thing it knew.

As itself, and in itself, that little spark turning nothing into something, and gave life where none existed. That single, tiny spark that dared to be, that single flicker of light that chose to illuminate the darkness, gave birth to an entire Universe.

That is where I find my love. In that certain kind of emptiness that came before her, in that relative darkness that was before she arrived, a tiny spark was born that now sets the night sky ablaze.  In each Sunrise, in each passing ray of light, I am reminded of her and the blessing of that tiny spark that changed everything.

It is more than love that lights our way. Sometimes it’s fate, or chance, or destiny. Sometimes the darkness gives us the ability to see the spark, and sometimes the spark returns us to our wonderful, morning light. There we can awaken, stretch our tired form, and find the day full of wonderful possibilities.

I love you…

 

To The One (Heading To the 5)

The early morning Sun gazes through my bedroom window, fighting off the spring clouds, and waking me from a deep, darkened sleep. I reach for you, feel the empty space, and breathe out loud a heavy breath.

I reach for my phone, my heart full of words I want to say. Through eyes half-blinded by the night I see the feelings form into words, my heart spilling out into a space we share, in the only way I can.

For now.

There are the words you’ve shared with me, the promises of tomorrow we give to one another in our long moments together. There are the pictures that mean so much to us, those intense dreams we share that few would understand. We understand them, we live them, and we need no vindication in their realization. We only need the truth, and we live it in our closest moments.

We’ve been one since before we admitted it, together before we stating our intentions. We’ve share a crazy type of togetherness, one afraid of itself at first, and one that initially saw the reasons why it shouldn’t be. We’ve danced in subtle gazes, in hidden interactions even as we basked in the glow of one another’s presence. We played in other gardens only to find that our separation was hopeless. One can’t mess with the Universe’s intentions. We can only surrender to our destiny.

You are my dream born into reality. I admit to frequent pinches of my skin to ensure I have not fallen into some deep dream, and that your arrival is as real as it seems. I stare at your image, lost in the rise of emotion within me, that rising tide I’ve experienced in the years we’ve waited for one another. I replay your words of devotion, of love, and melt in the reality of…

of…

you.

Suddenly tomorrow seems so bright as the two are made one, and the One heads to the Five. Suddenly the waters have calmed and become clear, and the mud has settled to provide us with a spring to quench our thirst. We are so close to that destiny, and the promise we made to each other even before we were born. A promise we reaffirm every day, in every breath, and in every moment we share our beating hearts. The promise we easily state to one another, and the promise we have made in our deepest sharings.

To the One, I say “I love you”. To the One, I offer my life, my heart, and my open soul. To the One I breathe for, to the One whose song I hear, to the One who I’ve given my all to, my love is eternal. To the One who is my dream and my reality, I offer every bit of who I am. It won’t be long now, when we honor the promise we have made to walk together through the day, lay together through the night, and honor each other through the eternity we have found.

For you, the muse of my living soul, I am devoted. It is you I have waited for, and it is you forever. Thank you for existing, and for loving me the same. To the Five we go, and there we will remain forever.

<3

 

The Old Man on the Corner

Says the Old Man on the Corner, his tattered, worn clothing hanging from his withered flesh.

“What would you give up to lose that last I love you?”

Startled, I could only muster a, “What do you mean?”

“What is worth the moment of anger within you? What is worth ignoring the love you feel? What is worth giving up what could be your last, loving words to someone you love?”

“Nothing,” I replied. “I guess nothing.”

“Then why would you? Why would you fail to honor what you hold so dear? Why would you cast away a torch in favor of the darkness? Why would you risk it all on what is nothing but an illusion?”

I had no answer, and could only stand there in silence, and suddenly the dollar bill I held in my hand seemed hardly enough.

“I once had it all,” he continued. “I loved her so very much, but our demons got in the way. I stormed away from her in anger, in love but angry, not knowing that she’d be gone. Now, all I have is this piece of concrete on which I sit, this empty cup, and the memory of all I’ve lost.”

“Did she leave you?” I asked as I sat next to the Old Man on the Corner.

“Yes. I left her in my anger, and she stormed away in her own. She died not far from where we lived, where I saw her last, where I forgot how much I loved her. I died too, although I have been sentenced to this hell for my sin.

So, tell me, what are you willing to give up to lose it all?”

“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

“Please, son,” he said. “I can see it in your face. The hurt. The pain. The wanting to be special. But I can also see the love, the desire, the want in your heart. Which one do you choose?”

“I don’t know.” Tears started to well up within me.

“We all have pain in us, my boy,” he continued. “We all want our wounds touched with love, to be proven special to the one we hold so dear. Is that what you want?”

“Of course. I guess so. Life hasn’t been so easy for me. I just want something to be easy, to be so beautiful that it all seems so worth it. I want to love, to be loved, and never question my place in her world. I just want the dream to be real, the question to be answered.”

The Old Man uttered a short laugh. Not one that seemed dismissive, but one that seemed to suggest an understanding.

“I know. I’ve been there. You’ll figure it out. Just don’t give up, don’t lose the very thing you want the most because of the thing that once was. Try not to lose focus on the love you feel in your heart. You never know when that last ‘I love you’ will come. You never know when you will lose everything.”

“You are a very wise man,” I said.

“With pain and experience comes wisdom. Hopefully. Some of us never learn until it is too late. Don’t be one of us.”

I took out my wallet, replacing the dollar with a twenty.

“Keep it,” he said. “Buy her something from your heart. Tell her a story. Give her a kiss, hug her tightly. Remind her how much you love her. You will then remind yourself. That’s all the payment I need.”

I got up, and thanked the Old Man for his wisdom, and his time.

“Take care,” he said, “and let me know how it goes. If I don’t see you again, I’ll be happy. You would have come here for a reason. A good, loving reason.”

I turned, and walked away, wondering if one day I would be the Old Man on the Corner, yet knowing that I could certainly write my own story.

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The Words that Escape Me

I’m cannot tell you. It’s impossible. I’m completely unable. It’s beyond possibility.

I’ve lost all ability to describe, to articulate, to state my case. Words escape me, they’ve lost the power to provide meaning, to show scope, to correctly paint the picture in my heart. For a man who uses words to bring his dream alive, I am totally out of sorts.

I hear your voice and I want to scream to the heavens, but there are no words. I try, but my vocabulary fails. I want to give you my heart, but my mind cannot grasp the waves of emotion pulsing throughout me. I want to share with you my soul, but my humanness lies helpless in the sea of feelings, unable to give you what I hold most sacred.

I need to kiss you, to hold your hand, to love you in the glorious flicker of our loving flame. I want to whisper in your ear, speak to you through my fingertips, offer you the deepest parts of me that are too heavy for words alone to carry. I want to feel your weight bear down on me, hear you say my name in the darkness of our sleep, feel your warmth in the moments the sun shall rise.

The words escape me, my dear. My brush has gone dry though my palette is overflowing. My canvas is empty though the colors run through my entirety. I’m lost in my own discovery, found in the avalanche of truth the very thought of you pours all over my Being. I am an alpha in a sea of pups, though I’ve lost my bark. I am helpless save the strength of the reality that flows through my fingers, the power that beats through my heart, and the clarity that has washed all over me.

I wish I could do more, write a beautiful prose or paint a masterpiece that does you the honor you deserve. I am, however, powerless in the face of the truth, benign in the presence of the love welling up inside me. I must just lay here, silent and forever failing to tell you my honest truth.

Love. What a wonderful experience, what a certain moment! I think I’ll enjoy being so small, and surrender to our unity. I think I’ll bask in the glow of a certainly uncertain future, the unbroken promise, the unspoken truth and the undeniable openness. I think I’ll just wait for the flower to bloom and its sweet fragrance to fill this space. I may go crazy in the process, but I’ll be patient in my restlessness. I’ll explode in silent containment, the great fire within me will seem a tiny spark.

Except to you. You will see it all, because though the words escape me we tell each other everything. Sometimes that’s just the way it is, for love has a vocabulary of its own. We speak that language well, though I fumble with the ink that always seems to dry before it hits your paper.

Soon I’ll be writing with a different pen, painting with a different brush. We won’t need many words then, though I am sure they’ll flow easily between us. Then the words that escape me will not escape you, and the love we share will light the evening sky like a million suns all speaking words of their very own.

In this moment that seems to have lasted forever, I find the words that matter. The only words that find their way from my heart. I love you…and in the end I guess I’ve said it all.

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Paradox of Destiny

There are moments of true grandeur in our lives, when the realm of hope and desire meet the substance of reality. We often bask in the light of such a moment, realizing fully the fears of finally reaching it, and the hope that it will not fade or meet its end. It’s a dawn and a twilight, a death and a resurrection, all in one.

When we meet our destiny, there is a realization in the meeting. We realize our darkest thoughts, and our hopeful remedies. We come face to face with our mortality as well as our eternity in the same second, and we feel our scars and our recovery in the essence of where we stand. We remember the falls, the stumbles, and the moments of our glorious rising when we hold her hand, feel her gaze, and taste her kiss.

I realize all I’ve lost to get to her, and that I’ve lost nothing in our meeting.  I look at the bruises on our hearts, only to discover the strong beat beneath. I cry tears of desire, hear songs of great intention, and suddenly the very undercurrent of my life has changed. I can hear the love in the air, feel the desire in the sand, and smell the sweet fragrance of forever in the clean, mountain air.

What would I change in a hard life if it meant I’d never see your face? What light would I share in the dark moments if it meant I’d never have the chance to love you? What different turn would I make, what illness would I avoid, and what pain would I seek relief from if it meant I’d never know your name?

The truth is I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d suffer in the darkness knowing you were coming. I’d face the dizziness, the loss of all that I knew just to share with you this moment. I’d face the challenges and rise above them all over again, just to get to you. I am who I am because my life has sculpted me, but I’ve been sculpted to be your lover, forever. I would not stop one hammer strike upon the chisel, nor beg forgiveness for a single thing that has led me to your arms.

In the paradox of destiny we my falter, but we rise up to meet our truth in the arms of the One we love. In the journey we may land on our knees, but we stand and dust ourselves off in order to hold each other in the night. In the human sea we may grow tired and slip beneath the surface, but we fight and reach each other on the shore.

It is there that I have found you, my true love, my best friend. I have loved you in my anonymity and cared for you in my distance, always feeling you vibrate in my soul. I have ridden a great wave to find you, to hear you say the words, “I love you”, and to finally say the great oath we both have lived to hear.

So, I stand, hands extended and arms wide open, just to hold you close. The iron will within me, forged from the fires of life’s own hell, now serves the sacred love we share. My open heart, once cracked wide open by a million painful memories, now stands filled with the truth of your arrival. You are the destination I’ve been heading for, but you are certainly not the end of the journey.

We have our journey now. What was once his and hers is now theirs. What was once separate is now together, what was once apart is now whole. There is no oath we need say because we are the oath, there are no vows we need write because our love is the vow. We will make them, for sure, but only as a prayer of gratitude to the very Winds that brought us together, the very destiny we have been born to know. The rest we have written in the stars, in our intertwined fingers, and in our lips that never, ever want to part.

I now look upon the scars carved into my soul and kiss them in gratitude. I look upon the dark moments and embrace them, for I know now where they are taking me. I will bask in the warmth of hell’s foundries where I’ve grown, for this steel was forged for you. I give thanks to it all, for without even a single thorn I would not have found the rose.

Peace.

 

 

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Just to Be Close to You

I remember when the darkened moments came, when grief and sadness seemed so insurmountable that all I could do was surrender to their call. I remember the pitch-black night. I remember the cold concrete floor of a restroom-turned-ashram, and the crazy chaos that numbness often brings to a world gone black.

That was but one step I took just to be close to you.

In this man’s life, the peaks have been high and the valleys low. The crosses have been heavy and the air has been thin. The nights have been very dark, and the days very bright. There is nothing like stumbling with the weight of a world on your shoulders and rising from the fall, bloodied and exhausted, yet sure and strong. Your will does not become iron without the fire, your heart does not beat strong without climb to test your spirit.

I rose just to be close to you.

Now, the summit reigns supreme as we make our home on the lofty heights of love and truth. We hold each other gently and firmly, gazing at a view years in the making, a kiss shared among the heavens, an oath born in the innocent intention of love. We asked for this lifetimes ago, and we seal that promise with a caress in the open knowledge that we are right were we were always meant to be.

We plan as people do, knowing our power in the doing, realizing we are helpless in the destiny. Differences fade in the power of our likeness, and fear subsides in the truth of our existence. When I hold you close and kiss you deeply, the realization of every step we’ve ever taken, every fall we’ve ever risen from, will come to life in that very instant.

I was born just to be close to you. I’ve lived just to be close to you. I’ve gained and lost and gained some more just to be close to you. Everything I’ve ever done, every step I’ve taken, every prayer I’ve uttered to the stars above, has been just to be close to you.

Now, I want to stay there. Close to you. Forever.

 

 

photo by: Dino ahmad ali

Our River

Though words rarely escape me, I sit here speechless at the thought of you. Words can be so hollow in the absence of expression. Intent can be so meaningless without your hand in mine, without your breath filling my lungs with joy.

Soon, in the blessed way it happens, something speaks to me. I hear your name in the conversation, as my heart beats your name and my soul allows the echo. Without hesitation my mind reacts. Hurry, my love, I need you. It’s been a lifetime since I’ve held you…

Through the years I’ve watched you. I’ve said I love you countless times to nothing but air, and I’ve cared for you in my heart in an endless stream of love and gratitude. I’ve marveled at your sharing, and sat mesmerized as your beautiful blue eyes cut right through my armor, and nestled nicely in my soul.

I’ve since shared the words my heart would have said to you back then, had I only knew you’d listen. I’ve told you of the visions where you’ve lived,  the spaces you had grown, and the music that you created in my world. I’ve colored landscapes with your beauty, found peace in knowing you exist, and felt empty in the moments you weren’t there. I’ve always felt your presence, and I’ve always felt your absence in the solitary trails, and lonely walks that took me to a space I’d sit alone, marveling in a view I always wished you could see.

I’d try to play in places where I could, find you in things that I could touch, failing each and every time. I’d believed that nothing was working out, even as my settled soul knew better. Taking another step along this journey was a success unto itself, and it never meant that the last footfall was a failure. It simply was necessary in my journey to you, my beloved, my soul’s forever partner.

That is where the magic happens. Human minds can distort the purest story, and can create shadows in even the most well-lit places. We pull the reins on horses that want to gallop, and hold back waters that wish to flow, simply from the fear of what could happen. We are creatures of fear, often hiding from the most wondrous events of our lives, often dying without having ever tasting the joys that loving recklessness can offer.

You and I have none of that. In your light, I shine, and in my light you beg yourself forward in the change. The perfection of our flow, the harmony of our magic, all conspiring with our desire to send us to our destiny. The way our thoughts, desires, and hopes have always matched speaks to a connection written in the stars. It cannot be ignored, and in our time it refused to be forgotten.

Lifetimes ago I met you, and here we are reuniting in the river of our lives. The current demands we hold each other tightly, and the waters require we never part. We’ll laugh in the calmest waters, and rise to hold each other steady when the rapids come. When I thirst you are my drink, and when you hunger I am the nourishment you seek. We have all we need in the river where we are, and all we seek remains within between the shorelines, where destined souls bathe each other in love, and shower each other in the desire only the truest lovers know.

That’s where we are, in the pureness of our sacred space, knowing we what we have always known. For years we’ve played apart, waiting for what would bring us together. That time has come, my love, never to cave to the follies of the mind, never to be apart again.

Together we bask in love, and in that shared realization the skies have opened, the waters have been warmed, and we swim in our trusted flow. There we will be, forever bathing in the beauty of our flow, and trusting in the places we will visit. If you wish to find us, just follow that river and watch us in our destiny.