The last month was chaos.

How does one live a life in full?

As I get older, and more restricted by the rhythm of work, of necessity, of obligation, I find myself fighting harder for times of rest and freedom.

Freedom from both the burden of expectation and productivity, but also from the slump of avoidance and procrastination.

How to keep the surface of my heart open like a clear summer sky?

How to accept myself nebulous and conflicted, how to love myself and parse myself at the same time.

It seems that one of the most difficult things about life is learning to live with oneself in the gap – between who we are in the world, and who we are in our innermost place. I feel the strain of this gap immensely, and am always wrestling against it, or alternatively, embracing it. How do I love myself and love beyond myself at the same time without exhausting all my energy?

Sometimes it’s just a matter of forging ahead anyway, one step at a time.

like the time I looked for peace between carefully tilled rows of greenery and found it smashed and giving;
like the time I straightened my back and saw us, tiny as ants, scattered across the earth;
like the time I understood the impatience of a thorn against my skin and forgave;
like the time I used the sun to find the next ripened strawberry tucked near the root;

The outward gesture and the inner journey don’t necessarily equate.

I am thanking myself for taking the steps I have taken, even if from another’s vantage point, I haven’t moved a step.

This is what I decided was important for July.

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Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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