Sunday, April 20, 2014

if love feels strange on your tongue

Say "like" first. Always say "like" first. Like is easy, fluid. You can float
on it, your joints light, face tilted to the sun like a marigold blossom.
Say "You make me happy," and if that's too much, sandpaper its edges
down to "You made me happy today/this week/this month." Happiness
isn't love, not necessarily, and anyway you can always choose to take
that happiness and make it your own, so that nobody else will have to
give it to you, if that's how you want it. Only if that's how you want it.
Say "I want to meet all your friends. I want to meet your family, see
the place saved for you at the dining table, listen to the chairs scrape
the floor as the seats are filled by people who know what you look
like in your pajamas, barefoot, bathed in the glow of the refrigerator
at two in the morning." You will want to say this in one swift breath—
anything too slow might be mistaken for tenderness, and anything too
tender might be mistaken for love. Do not whisper anything just yet.
Say "There is nobody else like you," in a firm, clear voice, even though
you're not sure if this is true; maybe you just haven't scoured the city
enough for boys with maple syrup smiles and hands that feel like knots.
Say "You can come to me when you're tired. You can come to me when
you're sad. We can eat soup from a can and watch Japanese game shows
until you are laughing again, and here is a blanket to drape over your
knees and a tall glass of warm milk." Say "Home is wherever you are."
Say "Let's see the world together. Let's see as much of it before we die."
Do not falter. Try hard not to blink. Say "Let's go. Right now. Let's go."

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

100th post + BBS*

Dearest dearest readers,

I can't thank you enough for sharing 100 thoughtful, sad, happy, hopeful, colorful, quiet, lost, grateful, golden Sunday mornings with me. You are absolutely wonderful, each and and every one of you, and while 100 weeks may not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, I have grown and learned so much since my first post in 2012. I know you have grown and learned with me, and we will always have that.

For now, there are full, crucial days ahead, and I want to give each of those days my undivided attention. I am writing for a solo collection and a group project, putting together a couple of workshops, and considering going back to teaching. Of course I am still editing books and my favorite magazine in the world. And I have family and friends and the best boyfriend I will never stop wanting to be generous with and present for.

I will *be back soon, this time for one Sunday every month, and I hope you continue growing and learning with me until there are no more words left.


Keep going, keep loving, keep dreaming.

xx,
Marla

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

rules for early risers

Some days you will wake up with the sun in your face. Don't turn away
so quickly; move your toes and your thumbs but keep your head still,
keep your soul calm. Some days you will wake up to the sound of his
voice. Pretend he's actually there. Allow yourself to feel the way you felt
a lifetime ago, when you shared mornings and dreams and shelf space.
Time zones. Passages read aloud from books. Plans for the weekend.
Cheap coffee and bagels split into two, because you didn't have much
aside from each other, and you thought that would always be enough.
Some days you will wake up to the smell of rain on the ground, streets
cleansed of all their sins. Some days you will wake up slowly, in drops,
like that leaky faucet you keep forgetting to fix. And some days you will
wake up with your heart in your throat. You'll want to push it down, hard,
beat your neck with your fists, but don't. Uncurl your fingers. Palms open.
Stand whenever you're ready. Wait. Feel your heart slide back into place.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

shelter

If home is where the heart is then let me get rid of the hurt. Let me build a home
where your heart is. Let me build a home for your heart. Let me fill it with sunlight
in the morning, gentle and golden, kissing your eyelashes and chin and saying:
"Today you are new again." Let me fill it with laughter, the kind that makes spaces

less about emptiness and more about promises. Let me fill it with the smell of
sugar and rosemary and freshly-cut flowers. At night let me fill it with softness and
quiet and rest. Let me fill the ceiling with stars, name each one after all the best
parts of you. Let me scour it from top to bottom—scrubbing away the mean edges

that no longer fit—until it gleams with pride. Let the doors know no hate, never
closing in defiance or slamming in anger. Let the floorboards hold your secrets;
let the walls contain your spirit as you dance barefoot on a summer afternoon.
Let every corner hum your favorite song. Let every room learn how to breathe.

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