Ways In Which Growing Up on Fairy Tales Has Influenced My Spirit Work
- Never, ever trust anything claiming to be offering an “easy way out.”
- Always be polite until everyone shows their hands. You never know who or what you’re dealing with.
- Never freely give out your name.
- Bartering is usually alive and well. See what you can trade.
- Half of magic is belief.
- Gods and magical beings can be hiding anywhere. Keep your eyes peeled.
- A little kindness can go a long way.
- Nothing is ever really free.
- The most powerful things come in little packages.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. Your strength is frightening, there is iron in your bones. You can move mountains when you try.
I’m convinced that time spent idle makes for a healthier state of mind. We want less and are more at peace when we get it. We sleep better and work harder. Simpler things bring us joy. When we daily observe our immediate surroundings, we are more grounded in our context, more attuned to the rhythms of whatever season or place we are in.
Plus, the changing shapes of clouds need our attention.
The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we just start there, every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.
19 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Turned 20 so I Didn’t Waste a Decade:
a list poem for working-class girls trying to grow up and into themselves
1. It is okay to leave anyone and anything and anyplace that makes you feel like shit. It’s hard, but it’s okay. And fuck explaining anything to anyone, unless you want to. Let them fucking wonder.
I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.
here’s what you tell someone who wants to commit suicide
Here’s what you tell someone who wants to commit suicide: The moment that gunshot goes through your head, you’ll wish you hadn’t done it. When the chair leaves your feet you’ll struggle to get on solid ground again. You tell them they’ve been burning bridges for so long and maybe now it’s time to just find their way across. They can use a cane or a walker or a goddamn police escort, but they’ve got to get over that bridge.
But don’t force them to get over that bridge if they don’t want to. Never push them any further than they want to go. Be gentle, be patient, be kind. Love them. Stay with them and spend time with them and let them cry. And don’t you dare tell them to dry up those tears. Let them fall, and then you give them a list of one-hundred-fifty goddamn reasons why they’re too beautiful for tears. Try to make them believe it; show them how much you care.
Tell them you’ll light one candle for every night they keep themselves alive. Tell them you hope by the end of the year you’ll have a house burning brighter than the molten core of the sun. Take their sadness and give it a good talking-to. Sit it down on the sofa and look it in the eyes, say I want you to give this person their life back. Make it comply. Bind it up with duct tape and tie its hands to the back of the sofa with rope if you have to. Get a confession out of it; play the good cop-bad cop routine if necessary. And you’d better make damn sure that at the end of the day that sadness will be bruised and bloody, broken beyond repair, and not the other way around.
Throw all the plates in the cupboard against the wall. Make this person listen to the sound of them shattering. Tell them you don’t want that to happen to them; make them pick up all the splintered pieces with their bare hands until they get the idea. Even if it takes all night. Then invite this person to dinner at your apartment, and serve them a four-course meal on your best dishes. Let that metaphor, that analogy, rest in their body till it burns their bones. Say, if you don’t kill yourself, then all these plates will be yours. I promise you that.
Take them out to the rooftop of your apartment, and stand as close to the edge as both of you can. Make them close their eyes. Ask them what they feel. And if they feel fear, or loathing at you for making them do this, tighten your grip around their waist and lead them back inside. Look in their eyes and hold their gaze, and tell them this: you were afraid because you still had something left to live for.
Allow them to sleep in. But when they’re just waking up, bleary-eyed and tender, and they want to stay in bed under the warm covers, rip all those covers off. Strip the bed til it’s as naked as their soul, and then say If you kill yourself you’ll sleep forever. Then open all the blinds and let the light in; take their hand and lead them to the window. Look at the beauty out there, you’ll say. Look at the wind and the earth and the flowers in the garden! If you sleep forever you’ll miss all that.
But above all put your ear to their chest and listen to their heartbeat. Then listen to their words, and listen to every single one that pours out of them. I don’t care if it takes hours, or days or weeks or even years. You need to be there and hear what they have to say. And when all those words are gone and they’re left empty and bone-dry, I want you to fill them back up with your love and your willingness to help them heal. Let them know you would walk through fire and swim through floods and journey across barren landscapes for them.
Now here’s what you tell someone who wants to commit suicide, and this will be the simplest word of all, but the most difficult to say: Stay.
You don’t goddamn say goodbye, baby, you don’t do it. You don’t end your life here, not when you’re just getting started and there’s so many warm summer nights and cold clear days to look forward to, you don’t say goodbye to a world that’s just waiting to know you. The only thing you say goodbye to is the pills or the rope or that goddamn gun but you don’t fucking say goodbye to your mother, you do not fucking say goodbye to your mother.
You lock the knives in cabinets and hide the keys in places you don’t remember and you can’t say goodbye, babe, okay, you just fucking can’t. Not to hot chocolate with peppermint in it or your favorite book or the way pine wood smells. Not to the way the base line can thrum through you or sleepy mornings in bed or to your mother.
You stay. Goddamn it, you fucking stay. You don’t throw this gift of life away, not when your future is so very near and so very, very bright. Stay. Please.
- My therapist: Look at nature. Look at flowers. We never walk into our garden and say "Oh wouldn't that flower be so much more pretty if it were taller? Or red instead of pink?" No, we don't. Because nature was created perfect just as it is. And so are we. We are part of nature, we are how we're meant to be, we are perfect just as we are.