To leave behind a well-worn life…..

I want to live my life – the whole messy thing –
live all the in-betweens and almosts and dark corners.
To live even when I’m spooked and my living starts to freeze up,
when I’d rather go sleepy
or let a blue day swallow me down.

I want to live above the ground for all of my days
until my body is done,
to recognize quick those moments when I opt out,
when busyness makes a racket and I can’t hear the un-lived moments
float silent down like the ash of a cigarette left burning,
the soft stink of something left to die.

I want my life to smell well used and air-dried and open-windowed,
never dank like a room shut up and left
until someone comes back to find it
later.

I want to live all the way alive,
 each morning early when I pull myself from pillow
and live for real the whole of the day until I sleep,
to leave a well-used life still warm and speaking
like a blossom,
like a mountain,
like a shriek.

“A storm was coming but that’s not what she felt.
It was adventure in the wind
and it shivered down her spine.”
– Atticus

12 Comments

  1. Elephants Child on February 6, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Hooray.
    Life is messy, unpredictable, scary and sometimes painful. It is also exciting and wonderful.
    Hiding from it throws the scary bits into high relief.
    Here is to riding the wave – all of it.
    Hugs.

    • jennifer on February 10, 2019 at 6:51 am

      throws the scary bits into high relief…..i love that:) Yes:)
      Here IS to riding the wave and all of it!
      Thanks for your loving cheers,
      Jennifer

  2. JULIA on February 6, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Running away is the first thing we want to do when life gets scary and we tumbled out of our safe place. Wishing you joy, hope, and sweet blessings.

    • jennifer on February 10, 2019 at 6:50 am

      Exactly. Sometimes it takes me some struggle to stand my sacred ground.
      Grateful for the grace to keep learning and then learn and later learn some more:)
      Thanks for your kind encouragement, Julia,
      Jennifer

  3. jeanie on February 7, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    We never know when we won’t be given the opportunity to live another day. Living alive now, this minute, this second, this every day, is essential for a live well lived. As always you say it so well.

    • jennifer on February 10, 2019 at 6:49 am

      Living alive now:) Yes and yes and yes:)
      Thanks so much for coming around and saying:)
      I so appreciate, Jeanie,
      Jennifer

  4. Robin on February 8, 2019 at 8:35 am

    So well said. I think about the end of life so much these days with my mom being on her final path…I especially was touched by this piece…”I want my life to smell well used and air-dried and open-windowed,
    never dank like a room shut up and left
    until someone comes back to find it
    later.” That quote goes in my book of saved poems and quotes. Thank you!

    • jennifer on February 10, 2019 at 6:48 am

      Thanks for leaning into those words, Robin; it’s such an honor
      when you write down what I write down:) Moves me big and I appreciate:)
      Much joy,
      Jennifer

  5. Barbara Shallue on February 9, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Amen to this. Life passes by us so fast, and I see many people treat minutes, days, weeks as if there will always be others. They don’t realize they will never get a second chance to have this time back again. You do live fierce and strong, and you encourage others to do the same. Thank you!

    • jennifer on February 10, 2019 at 6:47 am

      Thanks for your kind, insightful words, Barbara.
      I notice myself living less sometimes…..wanting to draw back from pain
      instead of standing in the rain and being awake to the soaking.
      Times like that I want to remember to stay in. All in.
      Grateful for the grace to keep learning to live:)
      I appreciate you and your visit, Barbara; thank you:)
      -Jennifer

  6. Susan on February 10, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    “to smell well used and air -dried and open -windowed” … I love it all so much, the way you speak about your life and I even relate very much to the being spooked part 🙂
    xoxo

    • jennifer on February 15, 2019 at 8:06 am

      Here’s to being windowed and spooked both – the taut line between them held always with love:)
      Thanks, friend,
      Jennifer

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