Get a pet. A Labrador. Or a poodle. Make it a kitten. Or a bird. Love it. Care for it. Walk it. Feed it. Get a new iphone. Take pictures of it with your new iphone. Then print those pictures on that cool new phone printer you got from Amazon. Then stick those photos on your fancy fridge. The gold one you got to match those gold rimmed curtains in your apartment. The one overlooking the piazza. You know, the one you paid 200K over market price because that was the piazza where you first kissed your supermodel husband. The same husband that makes you oatmeal every morning and brings it to bed. Because you are 'his queen', he says. 'his queen.' The same husband that told you that he loved you whether you had hair or not. The same husband who came with you for every chemo session. The same husband who stopped going when you lost your fancy editing job. When your friends stopped calling you, because you stopped going out every night clubbing. Because you met that supermodel guy and married him on a whim. The same husband that then divorced you when all of your hair fell out because you were this close to dying. This close. So get a pet. Love it. Care for it. Walk it. Feed it. Get a pet. Call it 'your King'. Make it 'your king.'
Need I say more...?
The events of the last few days in Ukraine have been jarring. Heart breaking. Gut Wrenching. Disappointing. Sad. Frightening. Shocking. Painfully familiar.
There is no saving grace in war. No light at the end of the tunnel. No blessing in a curse.
War is a waste. A waste of resources and more than anything - it brings upon pointless deaths to so many.
I can't beautify it by finding the right poetic words to say or feel.
I can only say Fuck War.
And no, I need not say more.
The distance between two points.
The snuggles in the mornings.
The dozing off at night.
The birth of somebody.
The death of another.
The longing to be something.
The fear that it will all be taken away.
The wrinkles on the forehead.
The tired feet.
The school year.
The new years.
The magic hour.
The hours passing by and by...
No dictionary will accurately describe it.
No answer will tell me where it goes, or why it goes.
No definition will be enough.
Because the only thing I know of time:
Is that it's not enough.
The world is experiencing some dark days. Some dark months. Some dark years.
Some of it, like living through a pandemic - I have already normalized: I take my mask with me automatically, even have some extra masks in my car. I wash my hands regularly and measure 6 feet distance from others in my head without needing a ruler. But those are hardly any 'sacrifices' to make.
Right now in the world, something far worse is happening. And is demanding far harsher sacrifices to make. Oh Ukraine, I cannot imagine having to uproot from the only home you ever knew, in a drop of a hat because a war so barbaric has happened. I cannot imagine being given a weapon as a citizen and being told 'save yourself and your country' without any training, any preparation... I cannot imagine seeing meaningless death and destruction in a thriving growing democracy, just because the fragile ego of a narcissistic war criminal.
I cannot imagine all that, and maybe I should. Maybe if I could imagine that, I would expect that to happen again. Because what is imagined is possible. Even war again on European soil, for the first time since world war two. :/
Oh, my heart.
It is heavy, shaky and wild.
It mourns the deaths of soldiers that haven't been born yet.
But it knows it is only matter of time
And man's hubris
His quest for empire
To be bigger than the mere simplicity of being human
Until those soldiers rise
And once again teach us
That we learn from history only this:
That we don't learn from history a thing.
Not a thing.
Not a goddamn fucking thing.
What makes writing... good?
Is it the feelings it provokes... the flashy fantastic words used... the skillful grammar... the thoughts it brings up... the masterful crafting of a story... the unique characters and their journeys... the interest it brings upon... the universal tone... or the singular original voice...
Maybe all of the above are what makes writing GOOD.
But when one writes every day, that GOOD of a writing is very hard to achieve on a daily basis. Not impossible to achieve, but very hard nonetheless.
Mostly I walk out of my daily writing routine happy I stood by it and stayed on track. And mostly - shrugging my shoulders because I found my writing for the day just OKAY or even PREETY BAD, or MEDIOCRE to say it kindly.
Still, the challenge of writing isn't to write well, or GOOD as I like to whimsically say, but it is simply to write. To communicate. To share. To express. To find. To explore.
Making writing a subjective result geared art form diminishes all that it can be beyond the GOOD that it can be.
So in short, don't try to write something GOOD. Just write something.
Whew. It's rough to be in your presence.
With you, I feel small. I feel airy, like someone could walk through me. I feel transparent. Like I'm missing my normal mass size. I feel my throat choking, my body trembling, and my anxiety rising. That what YOU feel like, Shame.
And strangely, you don't always show up with an announcement, or even a reason.
You're just like... always there... waiting to be seen, to be felt, to be less alone.
Today you popped up because I started thinking about the future I want to have.
The hopes and dreams I have. The aspirations and goals I want to achieve. I thought about the person I want to be, the person that seems far away from who I am today. A person who would be seven feet tall, but as deeply rooted and anchored as a palm tree. A person who doesn't live for other people's praise or for other people's scorn. A person who doesn't live for other people because that person doesn't see other people as separate than herself. A person that is whole in herself, and in her purpose and in her nature and the nature she lives in. A person who is free of pressure, of ideas, of intellect, of small mind, of hubris, of jealousy, of bitterness, of sadness. A person who is rich in depth, in insight, in curiosity. A person who is fulfilled in every moment and in the next moment she fantasizes about. A person who is happy just being a human, telling stories of other humans, reaching others with empathy and tenderness to the human experience. A person with no shame.
I saw that person I want to be in my mind. I know her. I know what she looks like, how she talks, how she carries herself in the world, how she feels about it, how she loves, how she creates, how she is seen and how she sees. I saw her alive and well in my mind, in my dream, in my wishful thinking. And then I became filled of Shame, yes - became filled of YOU my dear, because that person I long to be is not who I am.
And maybe I will never be that person.
Maybe I will never be her.
Maybe you came up to tell me what a fool I am to want to be that person. What hubris I must have to think I am cut out for that. Who do I think I am with those aspirations!? I should be ashamed of myself.
Yup. And here I am, ashamed of myself. Filled with you and detesting us both.
You are the messenger of the loneliest self talk. You are the messenger to the quietest saddest feelings humans tap into.
With hate, exasperation and fascination,
There is one book I keep by my bed. A book to pick up a few lines of before drifting off to the far-better-than-reality dream world. A bible, for an atheist such as myself. It is: 'The Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius.
Written nearly 2000 years ago, this book is not only poetic literal masterpieces, but also an intimate personal account on what is was like to be human back then. And it seems to me, that it wasn't very different than being a human today. Our deep existential questions and nuanced complex feelings have not altered much, if at all, over the past two millennia's.
I can quote the book in its entirety, because it is THAT good.
But for today, I chose the line that stood out to me in my daily read:
'If it is not right, do not do it. If it is not true, do not say it.'
Words to live by. Enough said.
A rattle snake
Is twirling in my belly
In its birthday suit
Wearing my body
Like it's his
How long will this pain last?
I ask him
But he doesn't hear me in there
He is in the middle of the tango of his life
In my belly
Lurking like a villain
In a superhero movie
He knows he will star
In the sequel
He's buying time
Studying me, his opponent
Eating my food
Feeding my soul
Have you ever had a rattle snake in your belly?
Maybe when you were afraid
Late at night
Or when you had a job interview
Or your first kiss
We all have rattle snakes
Hiding deep down in there
And all they do
Is rattle us.
They rattle us.
On a bare stage, a woman, MAY, sits on a chair.
MAY: I don't date. I mean, I DO date, but like - I don't date well. You know?
Who does, anyway? Not me. No ma'am. I missed that class in school. If there ever was one... There should be one, actually. How else do people know how to do this thing!? I mean, now it's like - I need a life coach, editor and researcher to get through the initial tinder chatting. And that's PRE dating. So yeah, after a few poor attempts at the dating thing, I figured 'why bother?' You're born alone, you die alone. Anyways. So why bother liking a person, getting to know a person, then - what - live with that person, go to sleep with that person, cook, fuck, fart, fight that person. Then, what, you pop the question or they do, and then what, you have kids or whatever, 'cause that's what life tells you ya gotta do... and then, what? You live your life, continue to fight, fuck, fart, until you die. Or they die. 'Till death do you part. If you're lucky, you actually love that person. And they love you. And it feels almost worth it, or fuck it - even totally worth it! So what though? You still end up alone or dead. Alone or dead. That's the end nobody talks about. They talk about the D word. Divorce. Like it's the big ole' D word. But DEATH is a way bigger and badder D word if you ask me. So yeah, that's my thoughts about dating. That's why I'm here, to try this for a change. Do you do this speed dating thing a lot?
DING! May stands and moves her seat 10 inches to her right.
MAY: Hi! What's that? No I don't date. I mean, I don't date well. Not really well, if you ask me....
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman