January 6, 2015

year in review, word of the year, blah blah

the light, just right, on a pile of words

this whole year in review thing has been weeks in the making and i just figured out why...
i don't really want to do it. not in the traditional, wordy sense...

last year was t o u g h.
and awesome.
and just.

i can't even.

to write about it like i used to, to explain, in detail? so unnecessary.

i went back to my roots in many ways...i started writing. so. much. poetry. last fall. i needed to say things clearly and quickly. i needed to write it all down and i cannot even tell you how fast the last four months have gone by. i couldn't even begin to go back and highlight last year, month by month, because everything before august is just all the other stuff. the growth that's occurred since then has been organic, necessary, but immensely fast. put to the test, 35 years in the making.

i didn't even just save the hundreds of words i was
going to share instead of these ones.

that's progress.
deletions, letting go.

like, no fucks given.
let's do this thing.

it was the first year in many that i wasn't
dragging still in spring
carrying leftovers from
the depression of winters past

it was the year i learned what creating
boundaries actually looks like

after lifetimes of practice, it was the year i stopped
needing my mother's approval or anyone else's

the good i sought and the good parts
i held on to weren't a lie
but i was still telling the sad tale
and i didn't want to anymore

so i started writing and i finished looking
in those last journals, the hard ones

much harder than the ones filled with the spirit of my past
and the trauma in my dna
the truths that i have never denied

because they contained the truths of my present
that i did not want to see

it was the year i took to my own bed again
something i hadn't even had since childhood,
having had a baby or child next to me since that
first night in january when i came home from the hospital
with my first baby and put him in his crib
then started crying at how tiny he looked
there in the center of a vast and cold
plastic covered mattress, no matter that
his crib was outfitted with looney tunes
bedding i'd saved for, all i could think about
was the mattress and how could
i let this baby who had grown inside
of my sixteen year old body
lay anywhere but in my arms?

so, after 19 years of this boy next to me thing
i took to my own bed, in my boys' room,
and they're still next to me, but it's mine
and i can eat rice cakes in it if i want

it was the year that another one of those things
i wrote down over and over again came to pass

or all of them
all of the things i have written about have come to pass

it was the year i stopped being afraid
of becoming the story

i am the story
nothing but the story
and i'll call her

it was the year i was able to say
you know that i am not my upbringing
and most importantly i am not a hypocrite
because that's what matters to me
and that's all that matters

it was the year i got over the one
having come to the conclusion
that he never could have loved me
more than i could love myself
which was not at all back then

it was the year i got over my marriage
which did nothing but mirror the black hole i brought with me
because marriage isn't a cure for loneliness
infinity times infinity is the same as zero

it was the year i came back to myself
stopped looking homeless

it was the year that people
once again took notice

i did behave in ways i could be proud of
and when i didn't it wasn't the end of the world
it was just another chance at this life thing

which is all we're here to do
we can't figure it all out
but we can be gentle
with ourselves and others

last year, finding a word, was hard
eventually i chose wild or it chose me
but in reviewing what i'd written at the start of 2014
i had written that free/dom was the word
and only in retrospect can i see how the
two were tied together, for i could never have
been free until i reclaimed my wildness

in this year, on the continued path
of forgiveness and being human
the word that will guide me is:



  1. Valeri.
    This is one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, most powerful things I have read in a very long time. You have stirred my heart with your words. They are so full of truth and love - of self and of the journey you are on.

    So many of the things you wrote resonates with me.

    And it's very clear you're writing poetry. This whole post is poetry. It's gorgeous. My god.

    Thank you for this. I needed to hear much of this.

    Thank you.

    1. becky. becky. BECKY <3 <3 <3 i was actually having a crisis of faith JUST NOW at this very moment and writing some more poetry and saving them in draft form here when i realized i had a comment on this. WOW. thank you. i am glad that my words ring like poetry to someone else and resonate with someone whom i greatly admire and who walked through this fire a few years before me. much respect!

  2. Valeri -
    Keep writing. Really. This is just gorgeous. Your words ARE poetry. They're so lush + beautiful.

    I want to say "I'm sorry" about what looks like a divorce (or ending of your marriage). I've been a bit out of the loop + wasn't aware. At the same time ... perhaps "sorry" isn't the right word; though "congratulations" never really feels right, either. So...here's to your strength. To you digging deep. To filling your hole. To filling that hole up with all the love you need - for YOU. And here's to your own bed. (Ah, our own beds can be bliss.)

    1. P.S. I LOVE this:
      i am the story
      nothing but the story
      and i'll call her

      And I'll call her truth. Truth IS you. You're the story ... but you're also *not* the story. You are both. And that, too, is the truth. :)


thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

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