Labyrinth no. 24, Woodblock Print by Jo Miner

Labyrinth no. 24, Woodblock Print by Jo Miner

Countless times around the spiral. Lifetime after lifetime trying to get it right. Connecting the dots. Trying to remember, trying to come full circle (never mind a straight shot!). In and out of the maze. To the center and back out again. Tying knots that keep untying. Blazing trails to go back tracking. All the while, this gratitude rises and grows inside me with every step. And with every misstep.

And so, I raise my glass.

To shoes I’ve tried to fill that aren’t mine to fill, paths I’ve tried to walk that aren’t mine to trod, things I’ve tried to carry that aren’t mine to hold. To the pain of trying to live a life that doesn’t fit quite right, for teaching me about who I am. And who I am not.

To two-by-fours smacking me upside the head. So I could learn that really, it only takes whispers.

To whispers.

To religion, for letting me down. For no longer feeding my soul so I would have to go in search of more. To more, for also not being enough, so I can keep growing.

To reasons, for not telling me why.

To clients who never paid, songs that never finished, and the squeaky door at the house on Birch Avenue that never got fixed. For teaching me to move on. To live with things unfinished. To live with myself. For I am always done and undone.

To lovers for breaking my heart. So it could open. Only to break again. To open again. And on like that until I’m resting right there in the center of it.

To the center of it, for holding it all, for blurring the edges.

To edges, for enticing me. Beckoning. Making me ache and reach for what lies beyond.

To the Great Beyond, of which I know so little.

Dark CandleTo this physical plane and the gravity of being human. To pooping and peeing (yeah, I just wrote that) and hunger pains and thirst, for keeping me grounded in this world so I don’t get lost gliding along the edge of a thousand other Universes in the Great Beyond and forget that I live here, too.

To forgetting. And remembering and forgetting and…oh no, not this shit again! (Again and again, up against the same old walls. Just watch me fall…)

To falling, for giving me a chance to grow my wings on the way down. (I’m getting stronger.)

To all my searches, for being fruitless sons of bitches. For ripping things I love from my hands (Oh, these empty hands!), for leaving me with nothing.

And now, to nothing. For freeing me from everything.

To everything, really. To everything.

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