My Writings, My Soul

  1. Life is not whole numbers

    Perhaps it would be better if we could feel math the way we feel poetry in English class. I can tell you that I’m not good at geometry, but I know that when I step on the scale I am at 180 degrees, and I feel like I am 2X + shame, X being my weight, and two being the demon I carry with me. When I am bent over a toilet I am roughly at a 45 degree angle, give or take a few degrees of a lowered body temperature and chills. I can tell you that I will never have a balanced life, as if my life were to somehow equalize itself like equations do in algebra class. I can tell you that I took algebra twice and still never got the numbers right. Practice doesn’t make perfect. It isn’t as simple as they make it out to be. “Life is not whole numbers” that is what my math teacher taught me. “You’re going to be using numbers all your life and algebra is a part of that. Get used to it.” They told me my life would be controlled by numbers. Rising gas prices, bills I cannot pay, number of people I have lost and memories I have gained. “You’ll be using numbers all your life, no matter what field you are in. What does that feel like?” That feels like trying to lose 20 lbs on a 1200 daily caloric intake - my daily intake of 754 calories leaving me with 446 calories to consume plus the 1200 calories I burned at the gym which leaves me with 1646 calories that I cannot consume and a body so divisive that you can see the fractions in my skin. I barely passed math class, but I use numbers daily. My life is over run by numbers and my favorite problem is subtraction. I have to wonder how long it will take til I subtract enough of me until I hit zero.

  2. You said you love clear skies but that you never minded my hurricanes. I can’t promise you steady seas, but I’ll at least give you a life jacket. If you wanted better weather; you shouldn’t have followed me beyond the shore.

  3. I weep for the love stories that run right up to the ledge of success, the final chapter that describes the wedding…the chapter that perfectly encompasses the reunion of two lovers who saw each other on a street corner after spending years and many miles apart…the story of the soldier who comes finally home to his family after being thought dead…I weep for the characters in each of those chapters who run right up to the ledge of success and victory..and suddenly find that they are jumping alone, that the kismet reunion was met with a tight embrace and an awkward “I’m married now”, that the wedding was called off at the altar with a cold stare and harsh words whispering a half-sincere apology of “I’m sorry. I am in love with someone else. I can’t marry you.” the homecoming of the soldier who walks in through his front door to find a surprised wife who realizes she forgot to change the locks, while meeting the stare of her new husband who holds the soldiers’ son in his arms, the son that doesn’t know “daddy” is a combat veteran. he knows “daddy” as the teacher from the middle school that eventually married mommy.

    I weep because I read these stories and see myself in the pages and watch myself get a running start and dive off the edge with perfect form, only to hit the water beneath me and realize that the hand I thought I was holding on to was just my imagination. It is not a Nicholas Sparks story I live, but rather I think Tim Burton has omnipotently written my life. I have found there is beauty in the shadow, some bit of truth in half-life and limbo, some self-revelation in the nightmares I create both in R.E.M. stage and in mundane activities in the waking hours. I crave the stories that sound like a fairy tale, but end up with a truth that reminds you what world we live in. Perhaps that is why I don’t know what to do with happiness. I’m always searching for the nightmare. Anxious to discover where it lies. Nervous and worried when it doesn’t appear. And coincidentally enough, when I don’t find the nightmare, I create one…and the cycle continues over and over and over again, destroying everything it can possibly touch until I realize that I break what I create by searching for the imperfections, breaking my prized possession with an unnecessary alteration. It was at one time perfect. I don’t know contentment. I don’t know how to plant roots and I know that because my soil is dry until I water it with my tears and my body is cold because I carry my pot everywhere and never let it sit long enough in the sun to heat itself. That much I know. 

  4. Koa,

    I miss you. Just wanted to say that right off the bat. I’d like to say that I’m enjoying the cold, but that would be a lie. It’s cold. I’m becoming an eskimo. I miss North Carolina like crazy. The weather, the feeling of freedom in the air, the peace. I’m going to move there one day. I’m going to buy a house with a front porch swing and a swing hanging from a tree branch in the front yard. Drink sweet tea all day, play with my German Shepherd, and go for walks down a dirt road. Take walks with my dog along the beach as the sun comes up and do the same when the sun goes down. Plant some roots in a small town, teach at a high school, find a nice church to go to and die a happy woman. It’s gonna happen. No twerking though. It is outlawed.

    If you haven’t noticed yet, I like to think. A lot. Maybe you have thought about it, especially being infantry, perhaps more so now that you are coming up to your first deployment, but I think about death. Not how I will die or if it will be painful, but how much life did I put into my life and who or how many did I impact. More importantly, how I will be remembered. At one point in the history of human life, it was a blessing to live past the age of 30. When Ella and I toured a cemetery, there were infants who died at 2 months old and mothers who didn’t make it past 30. And we have made so much progress in life and medicine that all that keeps us alive is the next vaccine, a warning to play it safe, working detached 9-5 lives, and dying with a hefty accumulation of material things.

    I was once told that the measure of our lives is that dash between the date of our birth and the date of our death. That doesn’t sit right with me. Now, people live to be the age of 102 and still we fill our lives with the mundane. How are we spending our lives? We are going to die one day and I want to fill that small dash of time breaking conformity, travelling, gaining perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy order and consistency, but routine…it’s more poisonous than people realize. Strange to think, but had I not gotten fed up with the mundane and not decided to take a spontaneous trip, I would have never met you. Add that to the dash that will one day represent my lie. Add watching the sunset on a dock and dancing while the sun goes down with a man I’d only met one night before. Add dancing on a battle ship to the dash. I won’t measure my life by getting twerked on, but it was memorable.

    Aside from measuring my life in spontaneous trips, which I will take often, I want to measure my life in making the world a little better. Starting with individuals. If you’ve never thought about it before, spend some time thinking about it. Especially when I put in for my officer packet…I want to volunteer for deployments and if I died, I wouldn’t want to be another news story. I’d want people to feel the magnitude of my life that I would like to say I spent well. For you and I, I think we measured a good chunk of our life in the books we read. We related to them. Escaped with them in some way.

    They say you can tell a lot about a man (or woman) by the things they wish to accomplish before they die. So what are they for you? What memories keep you young at heart? What memories make you smile when they cross your mind (both the past and the now)? When you see your future, what do you see? If you could plant some roots anywhere, where would they be and why? And lastly, when you imagine the man you want to become (if you’re not him already), what is he like? I told you I like to think…and dream…and ask questions. I know you’ll ask me questions in the long run, but seeing as I want to get to know you better, I’m going to ask questions. It’s how I’m wired. If all we have is time and 1,352.8 miles between us, might as well fill the gap with some snail mail. Hope this reminds you of your boot camp days. Well, the better parts of it at least. Hope to hear from you soon. Write back in a letter. Technology gets a bit too stale. Good things are worth waiting for :)

    - Jo

    P.s.

    Missing you from Minnesota. Damn penguins….and Canadians.

  5. am I a sore spot

    in your heart that aches each time

    someone says my name?

    or a memory

    that invades your dreams when you

    can finally rest?

    does my smile haunt you

    knowing it’s not aimed your way?

    does my voice shatter

    the quiet in your eardrums

    leaving you broken?

    do you turn from old

    photos of happy times when

    we didn’t fake our smiles?

    maybe not for you,

    I see you in everything

    in mirrors, in me.

  6. I held him like he were the stranger I used to know, the body I was once one with. But he wasn’t. I kissed his back as if my lips could find all the spots that belonged to another. They couldn’t. A map of South Carolina won’t help you navigate Nevada. I held him wishing he would do more than look at life with a passive attitude. But I knew he wouldn’t. And I stared at his silhouette for what seemed like ages, engulfed in a soft sadness and realization that no matter how I held him, how fiercely I loved him, or how I said his name, he wouldn’t be you. My body wouldn’t mold to him like it once did to yours. I wouldn’t fall asleep to his snoring like I did to yours..

    And what makes it sad is not the nostalgia for yester year, but the realization that he fears the idea or chance of losing me, I feel it in the way he holds me in his sleep, when he whimpers softly and pulls me closer, as if I were to leave without notice. Also, that I can see he loves me and is concerned for me at every moment. you weren’t. So tell me why it is that I desire something that Damn near killed me, when ive got someone that should bring me endless joy.

    It’s 0440 and I should be sleeping, but instead I’m awake, exhausted, lying next to someone who is fast asleep with the assumption that I too am sleeping soundly, but I’m not. I’m awake. Thinking of you. And wondering if your sleep patterns are just as disrupted because you’re thinking of me.

  7. 7.27.13

    I want to be like your favorite book. Not one that you return to the library, after only keeping it a few days, letting it gather dust on the shelf until you’ve read nothing else that piques your interest as I once did, many rainy days ago. I want to be the kind of book that comforts you in the middle of the night when you toss in your sleep, the kind of book you wish to never part with. The book that makes you smile more than it makes you cry, laugh more than gasp, although I do love the sound of oxygen getting caught in your throat as your lips part and I can feel the shock in your hands by the way you grip my spine. I want to be the only book you can read on rainy day in Spring, the book you lay on a checkered blanket as the leaves of autumn descend around you, the book that warms your soul when winter’s frost has bitten your nose, the book that you’d rather read instead of playing in the cool water as the summer’s heat forces beads of sweat to slide down your face. I wish to make you ponder life, to challenge your thoughts, to make you believe that you are more than you are and that the underdog has a fair shot as any hero ever will. I want to be the one thing you discuss with everyone around you, only to realize no one will be as fascinated by it as you are. I want to be the one book you don’t return to the shelf once you’re bored.  I wish for you to fall in love with me always, and to never stop looking at me as if it were the first time you picked me up and ran your fingers over my tattered pages. Though many have run their fingers over my spine, let their tears fall upon my pages, I wish that the finger prints of others not deter you from falling in love with me. And if I fall in love with you? Well, then the tragedy is my own doing because I cannot help if you wish to return me. But oh do I love the smile on your face when you hold me in your hands. I will always remember it.

  8. so much love would be made here…just sayin.

    so much love would be made here…just sayin.

    (Source: i-love-pretty-things, via anotherdayconquered)

  9. October 16, 2012

    I’d give you my all if that’s what you wanted, prove to you that I’d move mountains for you just for a second glance. I’d prove to you that every moment leading up to this was worth it, that every breath you’ve taken was not in vain. that your heart wasn’t meant for breaking, nor your trust for abusing. I’d do anything just to make you smile, just to see your lips part beautifully over your white teeth. I would do anything. absolutely anything. and you know that. and for some reason, that’s not what you want. not from me anyways.

  10. October 05, 2012

    every smile

    every laugh

    every heartbreak

    every road I’ve ever walked

    has all led me here

    they’ve led me to you

    and you, my dear, are every perfect dream of mine come to life.

  11. October 03, 2012

    don’t you understand that when you smile, fears are calmed

    when you speak, even the wind stops to listen

    and my God, when you laugh, everything comes alive

    every sense is heightened

    you are everything

    every fiber of your DNA is beautiful

    every thought that passes through your mind is worth listening to

    there is not a part of you that I haven’t fallen in love with

    from the hairs on your head to the tips of your toes

    and every freckle scattered across your body

    you are the better half of me

    and I am glad to have found you

  12. August 28, 2012

    "I’ve never seen anything like it, the way she walked through the aisles, slowly, like it was summertime and the sun was setting and she was slowly treading through a field of wild flowers. There was magic in every step she took. You had to see it because words wouldn’t do it justice. Like the way she buried her face in books.I watched as she scrunched her nose when something didn’t make sense, the curve of her eye brow when it raised as she read something she didn’t understand, and oh. how i loved the way a smile slowly spread across her face as the words she inhaled pleased her lovely nature. I watched as she glided through the stores, her hand trailing across the aged wooden tables, finger tips falling over the book ends as if she were playing the piano and a soft melody began to play with every motion and curve of her finger. My breathing slowed, my mind stalled, only because what I was witnessing was the purest of pure, a beautiful memory I pray I never forget. She held the book in her hands, softly, turning every page gently, letting her fingers run over the pages as if she were caressing a lover’s face.

    I was lost. It was like watching a painter paint, time slows down, your heart rate lulls, and you stand there, captivated by the beauty of the setting. The way the painter dips his brush, gently glides it over the canvas, blending bold, angry colors into comforting pastels. Watching the determination yet tranquility on the painter’s face as he creates an original work of art. Noticing the artist’s facial expression, realizing that you may be in the room with him, but he is not here. His mind is elsewhere, perhaps sitting beside the sea, watching the waves lap at his feet, staring, mentally photographing every detail to remember this feeling, and then…retrieving that memory and painting his perception of it. You couldn’t know the beauty of it, until you witness it.

    I continued to stand there and watch as she became engrossed in another book. I watched as she moved a strand of hair that fell carelessly on her shoulders. I watched as her rose hued lips parted softly, spelling out the words she read. This was the book she’d go home with, another temporary release from reality. But it was beautiful to watch. She calmly walked to the counter to buy her paper lover and I watched as she became animated about the book with the clerk. Her passion for this lover was like no other I’d ever seen. And I loved her for it. Because tonight, she wasn’t going home with just one lover, but many lovers. They were a gentlemen of a rare breed, Frost, Thoreau, Yeats, and Whitman.

    I loved that she loved. I loved her passion for complexity, for tranquility and history. I loved her.”

  13. workin on somethin new.

    “but you see…i knew that it was love…because it was completely inconvenient, hard to accept, made me feel complete, and it was completely and utterly fulfilling and complicated. so much so that you couldn’t describe it..but only feel it. so there I stood, torn and confused, but yet so sure of what I was doing. there are days when I wish I didn’t have a heart, but to be unable to feel the joy that lingers in the world would be a terrible tragedy. he loved me fiercely, but I couldn’t do anything for him. He left me with more questions than answers, he was broken but wouldn’t accept help, and I? I couldn’t fix him. I couldn’t mend whatever was left from ages past and though I couldn’t fix him, I could accept him. it wasn’t much..but it was enough.”

  14. My thoughts for today.

    I’ve learned to not focus on defeat before I’ve begun to try. I’ve learned to never fear the future, but to enjoy every minute of the present, look forward to the good and to only look back if it is to remind myself how far I’ve come. I’ve learned that I have the ability and determination to make possible things that people say are impossible, especially in my life. I am young and I am still learning, but I will always be learning. Age may be a number, but I am not just my age. this is not my time of life to screw around and be stupid; this is my time to be who it is that I want to be and do all that I can to make a difference. I am strong, determined, and capable of doing anythin that i set my mind to. I am not just my age and if you limit me to that, watch me blow your mind when I show you what I’m capable of. The only limits on our life are the ones we create. I’m going to love like I could die tomorrow, I’m going to give everything my all so that I remember what it’s like to be an honest and hard worker, and I’m going to live knowing that I can do all things including the impossible. My life’s verse has always been this: Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” I’ve learned the most important thing there is to know: I AM capable of doing the impossible. Don’t doubt me.

  15. My Naked Soul

    Just a naked soul draped over some lovely bones.

    not quite old, but I’ve been etched into by life

    I’m worn

    a little torn

    bruised and sore

    but I’m alive

    breathing and living

    swimming in a sea so dead

    a sea that hasn’t seen a wave of passion since the Romantics

    yet here I am

    Just a naked soul draped over some lovely bones.


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