“I’m bad at writing, Mr. Love.”
"You can think. Writing's just a set of skills you can learn, one by one."
"I'm going to college," I said.
"How can you possibly afford that?" They replied.
"I'm graduating school early," I said.
"Why the rush?" They replied.
"We're getting married," I said.
"But you're so young," they replied.
"I'm pregnant," I said.
"What about your career?" They replied.
"I'm resigning," I said.
"To stay home with your baby?" They replied.
"I'm pregnant," I said.
"You're fired," they replied.
"I'd like to work for you, but I'll need maternity leave in two months," I said.
"You're hired," they replied.
"I'm going to grad school," I said.
"How can you prioritize that over your family?" They replied.
"I'm applying for a promotion," I said.
"When will you be happy to just be?" They replied.
"I'm getting a divorce," I said.
"You have only yourself to blame," they replied.
"I found love," I said.
"Probably just because he has money." They replied.
"I make more money than my husband," I said.
"We don't believe you," they replied.
"I have many plans for this role," I said.
"You need to smile more and be less direct," they replied.
"I've found a new position elsewhere," I said.
"What did we do wrong?" They replied.
"I have big ideas," I said.
"We're promoting you," they replied.
"I can afford that," I said.
"How?" they replied.
"I'm happy," I said.
"Good for you," they replied as they rolled their eyes.
"I no longer care what they think," I said. And then I knew I'd succeeded.
A Jar of Hearts
I have a jar of hearts on my dresser. Most everyone does. My mother gave it to me when I was little. She told me to be careful who to give my hearts to, for one day I would run out. I took her words and my jar and set them down to think. I knew I was only to give my hearts to those I truly cared about and wanted them to care about me.
I felt obligated to give some to my mother and then also to my father. I gave some to my brothers and sisters. I gave some to my best friends and some to my neighbors too. When my relatives flew down to have dinner with us, they asked me for some hearts, and I, of course, obliged.
There were plenty of hearts to go around. I thought that my mother must be wrong, I could never run out. Slowly, one by one my hearts left my jar. I gave them to my favourite teachers, my friendly co-workers, my boyfriends who left without a word, my 'friends' who I would hang with for a week or two before they found someone new. I kept giving because that was what I was asked to.
No one refused my hearts, and so they left me. One by one. People drifted out of my life and soon my jar of hearts sat on my dresser. It had only a few hearts left. I knew what happened to people without hearts. They ended up in hopeless hospitals, waiting days and days for a cure that would never come. Doctors were not foolish enough to give their hearts to patients, there were too many begging for hearts, and not enough to fill their jars.
And so I closed my jar and hid it away. It stays, cushioned between pillows and blankets. Protected in a box from the world that takes.
My sister visited me the other day. She took my hand and gave me a twirl. We danced without music for the first time, and it felt better than giving away a heart. She told me about her new job. I only understood every other word, but I loved the way she said them.
I saw my old friend from grade school in the deli on his lunch break. We chatted and he asked to meet for coffee. I told him I had given up caffeine, so he suggested getting a bite to eat instead. So we did, and it felt like the concept of eternity being described to a small child. I was in awe and we clicked almost immediately, but I did not want him to stop talking. I did not want him to leave.
My grandfather died. He gave all his hearts to the hospital. It was over two million that he had collected. I listened as the speaker described his entire life story with a melodic voice of chimes. It was like knowing him for the first time, and I wished I knew him sooner. Apparently, I had an aunt who died at a hopeless hospital, and he did not want any more to suffer the same fate. I'm glad that some of my hearts went to a good cause.
A stranger saw that I was lost and took out his ear plugs and asked if I needed directions. He gestured and gave me landmarks to keep me straight. I told him my thanks and he nodded before muting himself back from the world.
I found my jar again. I put it on my dresser, where the sun can hit it and it makes the little hearts that are left glow. No, I do not have a full jar of hearts, but I have something even better. My experiences of people that I do not have to know well in order to love them.
I may not ever understand my sister. I may not ever be able to see my old friends without feeling like getting to know an old stranger. I may not ever be able to live up to my grandfather's passion. I may not ever be able to make an impact on others as they do to me, but I can love them for it. Love the moments that teach me to be kind and to love them without giving up my entire jar of hearts.
It is not that I will never give another heart away. It is that when I do chose to give away my hearts, they will be for more than a reason of obligation or because they ask for it. It will be because I care about them and I trust them to care about me.
When I was young
my parents were strong
Invincible, untouched, never wrong
But as I grew the cracks began to spread
wider and wider
everywhere I tread
The mist was disappearing
my mind finally clearing
to what I had been fearing all along
That they were human too
and soon I knew
that meant faults and all
So when I first saw them cry
about cancer, gray hairs, and
not enough time
I told myself that its okay
to finally leave my childhood behind
So while I still laugh and I still play
I no longer live in a perfect world
as I did yesterday
My Crazy Quilt
It'd be easy to say
it's my mom's fault
for telling me she never wanted me
until the day she died
or my father who
was never told he was loved as a child
so couldn't say it to his children either.
It'd be easy to blame their genes
passed on to make
my one sure thing in life.
I could blame it on
being raised poor
without cool clothes
sitting by myself at lunch
never picked for anything
much less popular with anyone ever.
I could blame it
on all the destructive things I tried
to fill the hole in my soul.
I could blame it all
I wouldn't get credit
for the life I made from it all.
Something in me took every
slap punch put-down rejection failure
and whispered, "Show them."
and I did.
I took control
all the crazy pieces life had given me
arranging and rearranging to my liking
then stitched them together
into the zany masterpiece
that is me.
Pardon the Interruption
I have a couple of announcements.
First off, I am changing my profile name to OceanofStorms for the time being. I know many of you chose OceanofStars as your favorite when I asked for your thoughts on my new name ideas, but I am not feeling very starry right now. I am doing fine, the stars will always be reflected on my waves, they’re just a bit harder to see right now.
I also know some of you like my current name, and you are right in saying that it reflects who I am, or who I was. Elsie was a nickname from a numer of years ago and while people still use it occasionally, it’s from a part of my life that I’d rather not hold on to. To remember is a powerful thing, but to be stuck in the past will only inhibit my future.
Second, I’ll probably change my profile picture at some point as well. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I might as well let you all know.
Third, I am going to start my first book. I’ve been thinking about doing a color-inspired series and when I posted my Questions? post someone submitted the idea and reminded me of what I wanted to do. I’m not sure what it will be called yet, so if anyone has any ideas I am open to them.
Finally, I would like to make two comments on the recent issues surrounding the actions of some Prosers. I am not condoning their actions or attacking anyone, the situation was handled very well and I hope to see some changes made in how we interact with one another.
That being said, I would like to see some more critiquing in our community. We are all here to write and grow as writers and I feel as though it is harder to grow if issues are not pointed out with our writing. I am not saying that we should go around pointing out everyone’s flaws, far far far from it. I would never want to critique the poem of someone who does not appreciate it and I would never want to hurt them or discourage them from writing. All I propose is that we try to be more open to it. We are a close community and there are many writers I respect here. If an experienced writer who I have interacted with frequently (let's take @danceinsilence for example) commented on my post and said “I think it would be stronger if you did it this way” I would so so so appreciate it. The only writer I can think of who has done this for me is @TeaRise I think, and I am very grateful to her for it. When I have disagreed with what she thinks I should do, I have explained to her why I wrote something a certain way and she has been understanding. I have also taken some of her advice in the past and edited my posts.
If this is something only I want, I understand that. There’s nothing wrong with learning to do something by yourself and there are beautiful benefits to this method of learning. I guess I just want to point out that there have been times I’ve asked for honest critiques and been slightly disappointed when I didn’t really get any. Encouragement is wonderful, I love receiving it and giving it to others, but I think many people can also benefit from a well-said critique.
The second comment I wanted to make is that I have been honestly impressed with how our community handles issues. Are there outbursts? Yes. Do people say things that are too aggressive or misunderstood? Yes. Are we perfect? No. But we care, and we apologize, and we work to make it better. I know there are possibly some people leaving our site, which is understandable and is their choice, but I love the dedication our users have to this community.
Ok, that’s everything, thanks for reading my long post :)
Falling In Love with Alan Watts
Well now really when we go back then to falling in love. And say it’s crazy falling. You see we don’t say rising into love. There is in it the idea of the fall. And it is goes back as a matter of fact two extremely fundamental things that there is always a curious tie at some point between the fall and the creation. Taking this ghastly risk, is the condition of there being life. You see, for all life is an act of faith and an act of gamble. The moment you take a step, you do so on an act of faith, because you don’t really know that the floors not going to give in to your feet. The moment you take a journey what an act of faith. The moment you enter into any kind of human undertaking in relationship what an act of faith you see you’ve given yourself up. But this is the most powerful thing that can be done surrender see and love is an act of surrender to another person. Total abandonment. I give myself to you. Take me, do anything you like with me. So, that’s quite mad because you see it’s letting things get out of control all sensible people keep things in control. Watch it, watch it, watch it. Security. Vigilance. Watch it police, watch it Gods, watch it , who’s going to watch the Gods? So actually there for all the cost and wisdom what is really sensible is to let go that is to commit oneself to give oneself up and that’s quite mad, so we come to the strange conclusion that in madness lies sanity.
Thank You! ^u^
Sorry for mass tagging, I’ve never done this before and I probably won’t do it again, but I really don’t want to leave anybody out. If I tagged you, you’ve liked one of my posts before. This is just a thank you, but don’t feel obligated to keep reading just because I tagged you. (I’ll try to keep it short) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Like most people on this site, I’ve always loved reading and writing, but before Prose, I lacked motivation to write anything that wasn’t a school assignment. My confidence about my writing was really low, and my first post caused me soooo much anxiety. I refused to check my email for notifications, because I was absolutely dreading all the negative responses and hate I thought I was going to get. I honestly thought there would be people telling me to get off of the site, since I didn’t think my writing was good enough. Instead, I woke up the next morning to people who actually liked my post and it was seriously a life-changing day for me. Just one person reading (and enjoying) something I’d written is so insane and motivating, and I just really want to let you guys know how much your encouragement changed my life.
I know I still don’t post often, but I’ve been writing more, which led me to discover that poetry is a really great coping mechanism for me. I rarely share my writing with people I know in real life, so I really love having such a supportive place to share here on Prose. The community is so uplifting, and your support has given me the confidence to share more of my poetry and writing with my friends and family.
I can be a really shy person, and even online interactions freak me out sometimes, so in all of my earlier posts I just didn’t respond to comments... sorry about that. I love every comment that I get, I’m just bad at any kind of social interaction.
Anyway, thanks for reading this, and thank you so much for giving me the encouragement and support to keep writing. :)
I want to write melodies into words, instead of words into melodies
Just Let Me
She lives in daydreams with me
I don’t know why, no idea
She’s a tear in my heart
I’m on fire, cut me farther
She plays songs I’ve never heard
And my bones start breaking
My heart starts shaking
Since we know my
Dreams are dead please, oh
Please, lets pretend I can
Treat you better than anyone else can
You’re so golden as I open my eyes
And I have no idea, no
Instructions, I’m freaking out
The story of my life
I take her home
Remember when I was
Falling in love, oh
And we danced all night
Smooth as silky lightening in
The incandescent air
Coming to take my life
I know what it’s like
I fell for it twice and
Now I’m just warning you
Just say the word and
I’ll go anywhere blindly
They said run, don’t walk away
Now I’m a little too late
The way you bend the rules
We’re waking up to ash and dust
Everything, everything you touch turns to gold
We’ve got to get away we’ve got to
We’ve got to turn up the crazy
Meet me in the hallway and
Just let me dance, there’s
Nothing holding me back
Breathe me in, breathe me out
She wants me, she needs me
Nobody can take me
Nobody can drag me down
I like the way you talk, about
Staring in the clouds to
Our big bright future
It’s fun to fantasize about our
High, high hopes please
Don’t ever change please
Don’t give up it’s a little complicated
I’m bleeding out for you
You tell me to hold on
You tell me to hold on blasting
Music from the car radio
More, I need more
More to put my mind at ease
If this is a dream, don’t wake me