you; i

the heart i didn’t get to give


I tried to love you
pulling your muddy jeans from the washing machine and scrubbing the ground-in dirt with my hands guiding an old potato brush

I tried to protect you
calling your daemons by name when they swarmed you and stunning them with my illusion show, my curvy sleight of hand

I tried to hold you

in the bedroom where eyeballs were pinned to the ceiling

in the kitchen where the taps ran cold and the oven ran hot and the smoke detectors went off in the humidity

in the basement
where we both thought there was no reception

I tried to be the kind of girl who didn’t just say, ‘I love you,’ but showed you in a way that went on for months, years, getting fuller and more in living colour with each gesture

I tried to be the kind of girl who could remain dedicated to the protection I created even when we fought, even when we stopped talking, because I didn’t want you to be left fighting your daemons alone after not having that weight around your neck

I wanted to be the kind of girl who kept her promises, even if you couldn’t understand how, even when your inner child, whose hand I held as he walked over the rope bridge for the first time, struggled to trust me knowing I had broken your heart

I wanted to be the kind of girl who would be at your side, supporting you as you learned to use your legs again, even as you shouted ‘whore’ and even as you poisoned my tea

But I turned out to be the girl standing before an audience of school children, tossing knives into the air as I created new poems from nothing, my sweaty hands less and less able to handle the blades

I turned out to be the girl I remember running from at thirteen, long before we met, a girl who had nothing to do with you, a girl who hadn’t been honest with herself in years, a girl too scared to be changed by an outside heart

I turned out to be the girl who overcompensated for her past failures with notes and excuses, a girl who hid behind well integrated defences rather than opening her heart enough

I turned out to be the girl who chose the illusion of safety instead of the girl who could risk everything for love

I turned out to be the girl who says, ‘I just cant’ when you look at me with a sad you’ve never allowed yourself to see in the mirror

I turned out to be the girl who couldn’t make the space I promised I would for that sad, regardless of our flinches and our weeks spent digging trenches, no matter how many all-night fights ended with you jabbing me in the shoulder and walking out, staying away for days

I turned out to be the girl who left you alone, whether you can fully understand how or not, the girl who did put the burdens back on you after weeks of restless sleep, begging for peace from torture techniques in a war neither of us started, a war I felt responsible for before I knew the truth – as I’ve been allowed to know the truth

I wanted to be the kind of girl who would keep these flaws to herself, choosing to risk housing a fear in my heart that threatened to become bitter and rot, a pain that would consume me, rather than reveal the ways I failed in my attempt to love and protect you, rather than risk your heart as the knowledge threatened to collapse gentle beliefs you still held about the world, tucked away in places you dare not explore for fear of losing that hope

I wanted to be the kind of girl who would die with the weight of my suffering tucked snugly in my heart, but I turned out to be a girl who unleashed my burdens whether they would change your life or not

I wanted to be the kind of girl who never asked a man to fight my battles for me, but it turns out I wasn’t stronger than that

I wanted to be the girl who held the hot potato even when it seared my flesh rather than pass it to another in the circle, not to prove my courage, but to keep those I loved from ever having to know the pain

But I turned out to be the girl who erupted all of my ugly ‘too much’ before you were ready to know that, but not before I ran

I wanted to be the girl who would never disappoint you

I wanted to be the girl who didn’t need too much

I wanted to be the girl whose light would never fade

I wanted to be the girl who never gave up

I wanted to be the girl who proved wrong each person who hurt you

nothing left to say

i’m sorry i give up

Well, it’s all over now, and tbh God, I’m a little scared.

I tried. I really fucking gave it a good go, you know.

I prayed. I wrote. I healed. I surrendered.

But no matter what I did to find my future husband and make my way to him, God, the obstacles that came both through natural consequence and wicked interference were just too much.

Now that I have nothing to lose, there’s no reason to keep it in anymore. There’s nothing holding me back from writing the truth that I asked you to follow me down winding country snowy roads bc one of my crazy exes has been tracking my all-wheel drive.

I don’t need to hide the fact that I have a crazy ex (bc let’s get real, the only thing worse than a fake high maintenance woman is one with a crazy stalker ex who has nothing better to do with his time than fuck around in his invisibility cloak up in the low sky chasing me, fucking with me, using his knowledge of me to trick me, and doing whatever it is he does to fuck with any man who walks too close to me on the sidewalk) bc it’s all over now and I’ve given up and surrendered to the fact that no matter what I try, no matter how well I think I’m following God’s instructions, whatever evil runs through that man and has made a home in his blood, his heart, his bones, whatever that evil is has won.

If you can call this some kind of competition. A game. Maybe an obstacle course.

I want you to know, future husband, that I really did fucking try. I don’t want you to wake up some morning when this is all over and done with and he’s forgotten your name, to wake up and see my face knowing it’s not possible for us to be together and believe I didn’t do everything -everything- in my power to at least give us a chance to try.

Yes, I walked through charnel grounds for years, forty days at a time, (in heels some rounds, no less) just so we could have a chance. Knowing after everything I’ve learned as I fought to survive and heal that there are no guarantees.

Even before all that, I had to fight to learn to fight in a way that would have some impact on the daemons running him, these are spirits that have no moral compass, you know. They don’t give a fuck about anything but destruction.

And before that, I had to fight to believe I was worthy of love in the first place. bc what’s the point in fighting for anything you don’t believe you deserve, you know.

I give up, God, I’m sorry. Forgive me for my weakness. Have mercy on me not bc I failed but bc I tried. I really did. Forgive me bc I just didn’t have what it takes.

Especially through the sleepless nights being dragged through the muddy past, being strung up in trees, fighting panic as I was thrown into a glass box in some low sky version of the red light district.

I begged them to look into my eyes. I begged them to ask me how I got there. But there were few who even knew how to hear me.

And I prayed. Oh, I fucking prayed every single day. More than that. I woke praying. I prayed as I made tea, as I walked to school, in the grocery, the laundry mat, standing in front of the stove making dinner, by the sink doing dishes. I prayed whenever I felt my side cave in with fear. I prayed when I woke not remembering my dreams. I prayed to be of service to God. I prayed to be an instrument of peace. I prayed for my life and my protection and my daily bread and I prayed that divine blessings and protection and healing be granted to each person I was connected to in some way. I prayed for healing in all directions of time. I prayed for God to send me a mentor hand-selected by Him. I prayed for the Lord to send angels ahead of me to light my path. I prayed, Your light upon my feet, Your light upon my road, I prayed psalm 23 every fucking day.

And most of all, what I thought was going to be the key to success, I prayed for God’s will to be done. With each prayer, I added, Your will be done, God.

God brought me some heavy hitters to help me, future husband, people with power and influence and hearts of fucking gold. But even this wasn’t enough. Even all of this divine help couldn’t help me get out of whatever mess I’ve been tied with.

Truthfully, things did start changing when I prayed that way and with the help that God sent. But it wasn’t enough and I’m sorry.

I surrendered everything and everyone involving each situation I faced up to God. But that wasn’t enough and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I blamed you when things got bad. I’m sorry I blamed you for not being here to protect me, to cover me in Christ when I was too fucking exhausted to keep myself covered with prayer. When I was so tired that even the words I tried to form in my mind for prayer came out jumbled and wrong.

I’m sorry I never learned to code.

I’m sorry some of the things I’ve experienced have made it too painful to do things I would have had to do in order to get to you.

And I know that, if you ever do find my songs, my stories, my novels, my poems, my prayers, all of these sorrys won’t mean much.

I know that everything I’ve done and tried to give you so that you would have something if I didn’t make it won’t mean much to a man who wakes one morning from a nightmare of having lost something he can’t quite make sense of right away.

I know sorry can’t hold you when you’ve lost your job. Words on a screen can’t climb into bed with you after a long week and kiss your forehead. Sorry can’t make you smile. Sorry won’t be able to hold your hand as you struggle to stay upright on the worst days. Sorry can’t listen as you talk about your fears, or even about the good things in your day.

Sorry will leave you alone. No matter how well intended it is, sorry isn’t much of anything at all to give.

I can’t even cry today. I can’t face the grief that will come when it fully sinks in that I have lost you. And that, no matter how many times I blamed you for not being here, it’s my own fault. I’m the only one to blame. And I’m not blameless only bc I tried but it wasn’t enough. bc I failed.

I couldn’t even make it to you to try, you know. I tried that too, and I just couldn’t do it.

The only thing left for me to do now is succumb to the fact that I’m doing the rest of this life alone. Not alone, alone bc friends and mentors and God. But I can’t be with someone I don’t love. I can’t be anything but fully my true self now. And other than you, I’ve mostly found people who aren’t looking for real connection.

This is my fate, not yours. The only thing I can think of is that I am cursed by my fate and God’s plan for you doesn’t include this kind of suffering.

bc it’s not that God isn’t all-knowing and all-powerful. It’s not that anything has the ability to stand in God’s way. God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, just as it says in the prayer Jesus gave us when He came to be with us.

I can only believe that this has all been a lesson somehow, a cautionary tale for anyone who might stumble, by God’s design, upon my words that I’ve written for you. This story of us as told by me.

I didn’t want this to be a breakup song. But this isn’t about what I want. I’m just a child of God not quite understanding why I failed, but knowing I did and that my try is over nonetheless.

Maybe there’s a purpose greater than I can imagine. I can only hope that something good comes out of this love that I have for you.

Now I pray for your happiness, health and protection, even when that happiness and health will have nothing to do with me.

I’m sorry. I love you.

do you want to collaborate?!

Keats fan fiction project – join the fun!

Do you want to help me write a story? I’m writing lines on separate pieces of paper and leaving them around town.

It’s Keats fan fiction set in modern day with a slight scifi twist – he has a prophetic dream of his death years before he gets sick

That dream shapes his life, it holds him back from expressing his love out loud, believing she deserves more than a dying man

He writes his daily thoughts of love for her in a journal he keeps well hidden, but someone finds it and follows the instructions

But he’s not dead yet, and nobody knows it is his journal bc he’s not even sick – the girl believes it is the journal of one who did die

The more she writes his lines on paper and hides them around town, the more people read his lines, the more his dreams change

Until he’s left with no more words and new dreams that show him living a long, prosperous life.

The girl who finds his journal is a teen, which adds a layer of idealism to his morbid, hopeless words.

What do you think Jonny would write in his secret journal to one he loves but has decided he could never be with?

And I need help with how this experience affects the teen girl who finds his journal as well as how having the words let loose affects the woman he loves.

Share your Keats fan fiction in the comments or send them to tendrilwise at gmail dot com.

You can also write a blog entry with the poetic lines you think Jonny would write in his secret journal to express his love for a woman he will never be with. Send me a link and I’ll share it on my site. 

I will put together posts with our progress, photos of the notes I hide, and anything you guys want to bring to this project.

Some examples: 

You deserved a better love

I wish I’d found the courage to risk your laughter 

It kills me that you don’t know how beautiful you are

If nothing else, after I die, you will know that you have been loved