(Written in February 2006)
Woke early & couldn’t sleep again. Feeling bleak. Feeling cold. Feeling like there is no love anywhere in the universe. It’s all cold and dark. I try to hold it gently, softly, to give it space but also reassure it of my presence. I wish I could feel some warmth, but I can’t manufacture warmth. But I do feel kindness toward this scared lost part of me, who can’t take in what I’m offering. There, there, dear, there there. I’m not going to leave you.
I feel like the line in my poem “bleeding away in the hard dark places, among the cold faces.” This is what it was like when I was a baby: no warmth no love no kindness, no softness, no tenderness. No guidance, no support. No acknowledgement of the needs of a baby for food, for comfort and reassurance.
I’m imagining holding the baby and she’s angry. She says “Go away! I hate you! Leave me alone.” I say “No I won’t leave you alone. It’s OK to be angry, and I won’t leave you.” And I have a sudden understanding of the way mother would reject comfort when I tried to give it to her.
I feel frozen. It feels impossible to move. I feel dazed and blunt — it isn’t exactly shock — actually, I think it might be learned helplessness. I have to get up and start breakfast. Just do it.
Blood & Stone
“Blood welled up among the roots, on its way to the world of men, and in the dark it looked as hard as stone. Nothing else was red.” Rilke, Orpheus. Euridice. Hermes
I want to write a poem, and I don’t know how to do it.
There is an ache in my heart and I don’t know how to explore it,
give it form, let it unfold like a flower.
Or blood seeping from a volcano.
There is violence here and so much pain.
Rilke describes the underworld, blood at the roots of stones.
Blood and stones.
What is this pain that is so deep inside.
I’ve bruised myself against your stony silence.
I am open and vulnerable in my need for love, in my childish attempts to
make it better, take your pain away, do something, anything
that might win from you a smile.
I offer you my heart’s blood and you remain a stone.
Blind, you crush my eager efforts to show you who I am.
Slowly, gradually, I learn to close and harden.
It was someone else you wanted.
Mommy and Daddy, if I cut myself and wrote you in blood would you listen?
Blood at the root.
Blood seeking a path among the stones.
This is my life, bleeding away in hard dark places, among the cold faces.
Wanting to flower and not knowing how.