Spinning Yarn

© 2011 David Parker

Last night I had a dream that I was a ball of yarn spun out, connecting bright spots shining in a kind of tangled web. Until all that was left was me holding one end of the string. And you holding the other all wrapped up like prey. And between us all of the projects and dreams and people that were too shiny to say no to, that I loved too fiercely not to wrap myself up in. And all I did in this dream was stand there looking out across this messy shaking constellation with each point writhing, caught up like little cocoons, little coffins, suspended from me.

With this dream, the residual feeling was weakness. And tenacity. As the ball of yarn spent itself, I could feel the energy leaving, but I dared not let my end go because I knew it was all I had left. In the dream, I would die for letting go. So I just… held on. All of my focus directed to the point where my thumb and index finger pushed against each other to keep that string.

And I woke up today with a resolution to take myself back, gather myself up. It’s a slow process that begins with raw sugar in my coffee. I’ll unbind all of us–me and you and everything else–set us all spinning like slow-motion tops. Time feels thick, but I can re-wind this ball of yarn until it feels dense enough for me to fit into the palm of my hand, to toss into the air. By this afternoon, we’ll all be breathing better.

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Not Me

© 2010 David Parker

I woke up this morning to an orange-pink sky:
Ominous.
Made coffee, made lunch, made the bed.
Skipped breakfast.

I’m too sensitive. I want
to leave the house not for work.
I want to leave
for a place where I am a stranger.

Where people don’t know me so well
that they can call me a bitch
and be sure of it.
Where someone else
makes the coffee, makes lunch, makes the bed.
Where I can get by on
wit and good looks.
A place where there is no history
unraveling itself at my feet.

Instead, I sip back tears
with room-temperature coffee: nothing worse
than a pack of fifteen-year-olds
watching you cry.
I send an honest email and immediately
regret sending it: I care too much.
My raw little soul tapped into
the keyboard, onto the screen.

I see myself too clearly,
know myself too well.

Magic Mittens

© 2010 David Parker

Someone very close, very dear, and very lovely came up to me the other day and confessed to feeling totally defeated and I imagined myself reaching into this person’s heart with a glowing-ember mitten that could fix it. Whenever people I love feel uncomfortable or sad or lonely or left out or hurt or misunderstood or awkward (especially awkward) or if they’re just struggling in general, I have this overwhelming desire to slip inside their bodies and feel it instead. Because something about my temperament already feels it anyways.

Tonight, Ruthie and I took a walk before bedtime and on the way back to the house, we stopped to talk to one of my former students and her friend. Ruthie ran around behind me and began licking the back of my arm like a kitten. I guess we’ve entered that strange developmental stage where children both want attention and shy away from it, which causes them to resort to strange behaviors. I tried not to make a big thing about it, but, I mean, if it happens again, I need to have something ready for explaining why we can’t do this. She’s terribly precocious and it’s painful for me to watch her grow into becoming self-conscious because I know how uncomfortable that felt when I was a little kid and even now. I realize that discomfort is necessary for developing as a person, but even still, I think I’m going to ask for one of those mitten-thingys for my birthday. Or for Christmas–Santa Clause may have a bit more pull than my friends and family when it comes to producing magic things to heal hearts.