seeing through trees

seeing through trees

A few minutes ago, I thought, what if I don’t write in complete sentences today, only short bursts of words. A partial list: Saturday, Portland, tattoo, slippers, gutters, stripes, Route 1, Liz, Denmark, Venice Beach apartment, Christine and that afternoon we saw Judd Nelson, Larry and his violin, passenger seat, my mother, pickle juice, the friend whose last name is “Berlin,” the carpeted stairs, photos of a husband gone 5 years, how my grandfather would have been 101 today, thinking of Adrienne and the last time I saw her at Sloan Kettering, laser eye surgery, narrow openings, remote control, how do you turn the heater on, across the street, the art museum, the waterfront, long underwear, oral surgeon, what Kate said about shame, orange pants, a coffee drink called Gibraltar, not missing where I used to live, Route 9 and the endless construction, Greenleaves Drive and the walk around the farm, Jeannie’s crocs, what is and isn’t said, and mostly what isn’t, stopping at Cottage Street, the smell of lamb in an empty kitchen, waking to the news from Colorado Springs, scanning the updates from Idaho, the word “belittle” in the Spelling Bee honeycomb, belittle, be little, little bee, Shirley on the prowl for mice, the umbrellas put away for the season, the agreement about the porch, old appliances, maybe everyone wants to be needed she said but I wasn’t sure that was true, an embodied person, disembodied, camouflaged in a grocery store aisle, oops, sorry, I didn’t see you there, what’s your name again, Laura and her signs, the look Jim gave me when I realized I forgot to add the granulated sugar, bare feet on floorboards, the saline fluid in a contact lens case, slow down, slow down, fifteen push-ups on the blue rug, a 1:30 a.m. wakeup and then again 4 hours later, why did she sound so irritated on the phone, check-ins, the memory of that Thanksgiving phone call what was it, more than 11 years ago, still so fresh, a new pen on a blank page, how to start over, a tiny scab on my left arm, the feeling of unruliness but maybe that’s just my hair, Abigail with her clippers and melancholic eyes, a freckle in the shape of a heart, the drive to New Jersey I’d like to cancel, empty branches, how we are seeing trees now, all the way to Searsport, the leftover sandwich in the fridge, broken yolks, two fennel bulbs, four grapefruit, whatever the day will bring, trying not to hit backspace, trying to stay patient and open and, what would Byron Katie say, love what is, despite the desire to protest it, what would not fighting reality look like, what I really want to say is, what I really want to say is.

maya stein
Maya Stein is a Ninja poet, writing guide and creative adventuress. She has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 20 years and has self-published five books along with a handful of writing prompt booklets. Her latest books are “Grief Becomes You,” a collection of writings and photographs on the subject of loss from more than 60 contributors, and “The Poser: 38 Portraits Reimagined,” a full-color coffee table book of contemporary portrait re-enactments.
Maya facilitates workshops and retreats, live and online, and also works one-on-one with people interested in deepening their creative practice and bringing new work to fruition.
After a 7-year stint in suburban New Jersey, she is now happily ensconced in the wilds of mid-coast Maine in a house named Toad Hall.
You can connect with Maya on her website.

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