On Fearlessness – Torn

I seem to have a current theme related to the notion of being torn apart and the idea of somehow having having seams that could rip.

I have no idea if other people can relate to that notion or visualize the feeling, but when I am in a state of disarray, it almost always comes with this notion of being torn apart or being faced with a precipice of some sort. A chasm within which my schism can fully evolve and dance with itself.

Some may call it duality. In the Shambhala Buddhist community that I grew up in, it was often referred to as the “Genuine Heart of Sadness”. That inherent longing that’s part of our human nature and is always present when we take the time to slow down and let it be. I no longer practice within that community because of a series of trauma-related incidents (there is a long history of abuse and sexual assault you can read about in this Walrus article). Still, I believe there is a lot of validity to many aspects of Buddhist teachings, including things like this:

The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. For the warrior, this experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.

Fearlessness is such a difficult thing to understand, embrace, and live by. It requires putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions and really challenging ourselves. We need to push ourselves to understand that what we perceive to be real is actually the byproduct of years of conditioning, trauma, experiences, and so on so forth. Embracing fearlessness is a lifelong path and it takes time, dedication, and intent in order to practice is successfully.

My biggest practice of fearlessness revolves around trust. Trusting people, trusting myself, trusting the basic goodness in the world, and trusting that generally everything is and will be OK. So many situations arise where the black and white thinking of my brain creates a problem that doesn’t quite exist. At least not in the format I visualize it in. I project into my feelings of helplessness and expectations. When situations arise, as they often do, where I’m confronted with a sense of despair, I always feel torn.

Torn

gazing through windows
which side is
the one you’d wish to be on?
they say the grass
is always greener on the other side
but the grass here
is dying as the earth freezes

how can you know
where the grass
is greener
when you live
in a concrete jungle?

my patchwork
goes through phases
and fantasies
of worlds i don’t fully inhabit
privy to dirty laundry
aired only for the observant
it’s a whiff of something foul
like a sock stuffed
down my windpipe

a constant ache
period pains
on steroids in my soul
an incessant reconstruction
of broken chords
and weaker promises

how can i reconstruct
when my sandcastle
is constantly
washed away
by the tides of
misconceptions
and misspoken words

what does it mean
to do things
my way?
is there a highway
in the case that
one party can’t follow
off the beaten path?

my being
is here but not at all
all at once
an existence fraught
with whys and hows
i am desperate
to tear free
from the bindings and stitches
of my person

eons have passed
and yet differences
are but intellectualized
reasonings
that not even the
toughest lobster cracker
can shatter
to reveal the aching
pulsating
terrified thing
that is
your heart

Ring With No Master

Gather ’round all,
Come with me to the menagerie.
No, not a ménage à trois,
But bel et bien a collection of curiosities.
A harpy, a siren, a strongman
Why, you might even find a bearded lady.

Oyez, oyez!
Come closer, take a look
At the caged beauty
Who’s forgotten herself;
She’s the magician’s monstrosity.

You will be awed, you will be repulsed,
No! Don’t stand too close.
Alluring as she may be,
She’s waiting in bleak silence
‘Till you get close enough
For her talons to sink into your soul.
Some fall in love,
She falls in angst.

Come one, come all!
If you’re ready and willing
To pay a pretty penny
For a glimpse inside
The realm of my nightmares.

© 2020 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved

Patience

I am no longer a volcano.
I am a seething rage of cool existence;
a deep burn, one that ignites the soul.

A liberating flurry of flames,
destroying all to better begin anew.
Two steps ahead of the phoenix,
I’ve already planted the seeds
to help my inner-world flourish.

I am no longer at your mercy,
but gently pressing
against the walls of my own being.
Reappropriation is like laughter:
it bounces off walls,
and its imperceptible power
fills your heart with joy;
a glitter bomb
exploding in your soul.

A Universe unto myself
my expansion is continuous.
I’ve set my mind free
and let the cage of my past
dissolve like ashes in the wind.

I can taste the colours again,
soak up the love in their eyes,
savour the silence…
dance ’till I drop,
scream at the top of my lungs,
fall into passionate embrace,
let my heavy eyes rest,
and do it all over tomorrow.

I can feel the lead of a pencil
sigh as I press down onto paper,
feel the temperature of colours
when they meet, swirl and mix;
and the words trickle like dewdrops,
as they roll off the pages of my mind.

I now remember
the untarnished power
of finding beauty in the now,
the stars, the sun, the wind;
and the radiant smiles
of those who populate my world.

© 2020 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved

Seule – for C

loneliness is like a bubble

sometimes all we need
is for it to pop, Pop, PoP!
like a kernel in the microwave

at first, inert,

it doesn’t look like much
then, from somewhere deep within
a heated force of overwhelming power
shines through and breaks the shell.

© 2019 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved

On Writing – A word from Lilith

After a bit of an absence, I am back to try out a new format.

Prior to my month-long writing hiatus, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself to post regularly and be active on social media to try and promote what I was writing. I was crippled, in a way, by what many people would refer to as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). “If I don’t spend time building a following on Twitter, and interacting with the other members of the #writingcommunity, I’m never going to be part of it.”

Well, the truth is, that doesn’t work for me. I loathe social media, and I’m not a natural at it. I believe it reflects the worst of what we are in many cases: vain, sad little creatures, disconnected from our communities and the things that matter, and desperate for validation that is substanceless (like a bag of chips: delicious while you’re eating it, but has zero benefits for your body and leaves you hungry for more 10 minutes later). Personally, trying to maintain the regularity needed to push a following on social comes at the detriment of my mental wellbeing (which then can quickly cause me to spiral and stop taking care of myself on a physical level, like I normally would), which just doesn’t work.

So, I’ve decided to no longer care who reads what I publish, or whether I get likes or shares. It was never why I started publishing my works online in the first place, and I’ll be damned if my social media stress puts me in a position where I’d rather walk away from writing than simply periodically publish something because I’ve felt inspired and taken the time to write something out.

I’m also going to start writing to a new section of my site called “Musings On…”, which are going to be taking on a more traditional blog post (or article format). I am a complex individual, with lots of experiences and things to share with the world beyond just my poetry, and I hope that anyone who feels they can relate to what I choose to write about will find value in my thoughts.

Eternally yours,

Lilith.

Steps

It takes discipline
To not wallow in the sorrow
Abruptly brought to life by the unknown

One step at a time
We lift our feet and move forward
Ever so slowly, never quickening the pace

A flow of thought
Creeping like a monster in the night
Unable to see reason, trying to devour you

It takes discipline
To hold your ground, steady,
In the face of such worldly adversity

A hunger growing
We reach for the forbidden fruit
Ever so carefully, never tightening the grip

An eye opens
That of the witch, but also the demon
Undaunted by your carelessness, they see all

It takes discipline
To not lose oneself in contemplation
Of things sowed by the heart never sought by the head.

© 2019 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved

Phoenix – Goodbye, L.

I wish I could hold in my hands,
your incandescent insecurities
and use them to fuel your fire.

Oh, what a sight…
Brightly consuming everything
until you emerge from the ashes,
— Radiant —

Yet I feel you slipping
melting through my fingers
down a path, I cannot follow…

A husk of who you appeared to be
anger sketched in steel
between the lines
of your beautiful face,
caught in a frenzy of fear
longing always to run
until there’s nowhere left to go.

I cry out!
The wind whistles in your hair
as part of me flies to catch up.
A little bird of love,
heart of gold and periwinkle,
who’ll follow you forever
no matter where you end up.

NB: Originally written in November 2018. 

© 2018 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved