SAMPLES FROM THE BOOK
Copyright © 2022 by Caitlin Blackburn
on the last day, before the beginning of it all
the girl crawled for miles until she reached the edge.
covered in dirt and bleeding from her palms and her knees
she screamed into the vast universe, begging it to swallow her whole.
but the universe said, “no, you need to carry on.”
the girl writhed with a pain so intense she was sure her heart was breaking apart.
she didn’t want to carry on, so why couldn’t she force herself over into the abyss?
maybe because, on the last day before the beginning of it all, that vast universe picked her up and held her,
keeping her safe from herself.
and in the morning, on the first day of the beginning of it all
the girl looked at where she had come from – the path covered in blood and tears – and then she chose to go another way.
so, she walked. on a path that had never been walked upon before.
the ground cut her feet and the branches whipped at her legs, but she continued on – and some of the walls she had built around her heart began to crack and fall.
and then, some light began to come into her heart.
the girl had forgotten what that warmth felt like – it filled her with an unfamiliar joy that made her weep.
“no more!” she whispered to herself as she wrapped herself in her
and another wall around her heart collapsed.
and so she continued on, though the way was treacherous
because she saw no reason to return to the place she had been
on the last day, before the beginning of it all.
if only i were someone else
rather than just a bystander
seeing all of what i could have been
if i could have just removed myself
from my own thoughts.
i’m all of the things i never wished to be
it’s all habit
ingrained in every cell.
there is no changing
or pulling it apart.
there is no revealing
a diamond in the rough.
i can never be shiny, or new, or spectacular.
i am only what i am.
i am only everything
i ever feared i’d become.
and i push against it
with all of my might
in the hopes of putting some distance between it and me.
but it never budges.
not even the smallest bit.
i’m confined to all i figured i would be.
perhaps that was all by design.
perhaps it was of my own making,
my own plans
to never be anything more
than my biggest fears
and my ugly truths.
to keep me small and safe
until my soul was exhausted
and ready to move on.
where are the words
so deeply contained
within this body?
they swell within me,
an edema pressing
against the boundary
of my muscles,
i could burst –
a literal floodgate
so i spill all over the floor.
my emptiness pouring out
and seeping into the carpet.
is that death,
when everything within me
or is that freedom?
the child of my soul
looked with growing despair
while she drifted,
to the place where the water met the sky.
in a ship with no sail,
in the middle of her world’s most treacherous storm –
i didn’t think i could reach her
so i didn’t even try.
she deserved a departure from this life.
deserved to be cast
by the waves.
she deserved the safety and eternal rest
found only at the bottom of the deepest ocean,
hidden from prying eyes
and unwanted touch.
there is a peace that accompanies death
for the part that has been left
please hold me
so i can tell my legs
they can rest.
i’m not sure if i deserve that kindness
but i need it.
i’ve walked for quite a distance –
i’m just another wandering spirit
too invested in the destination.
there is so much more than this.
so hold on tight
to the threads you need,
the ones that keep you tethered.
they are not as flimsy and as weak as they appear.
a bit worn maybe,
as you’ve held them just like this
many times before.
their fibers welcome your grip
and your own hands only strengthen them.
though they appear fragile
they are unbreakable.
oh, there is so much more than this.
there is a love waiting for you
if you could only accept
that not everything has conditions
or needs something from you.
it is a love that has banished the idea of worthiness.
there is nothing to prove,
no one to be
except the person you are
in this very moment.
know that there is so much more than this.
though it may feel impossible,
the possibilities are actually endless.
and the love that is waiting for you
and without expectation,
so surrender to the love that is beyond your own power
there is so much more than this.
deep within me
i have had a yearning
for this sweet
where the rooms of my mind
are filled with an easy silence
while i gently recline
into the sanctuary
of my own heart
an inner wisdom
take a few steps
to take it all in.
to see the whole
of what you’ve created –
but truly masterful
work of art.
at all you had been missing
while you stood within your life,
as you were meant to.
but now stand back
to examine the entirety
we miss all that has brought us here.
and as we strive and strive for more
we discount all we’ve already done,
minimizing our wisdom
time and time again,
forgetting all the life we’ve already lived.
the brilliance of the sun on the water
was something to behold.
early morning air,
early morning sounds –
i can stay here,
for just another moment longer.
what is the urgency?
there is none.
but i feel it still –
the quickening of the heart
urging me onward.
it always feels as if i’m running out of time
even when there’s nowhere to be.
i’m always racing
towards an arbitrary finish line,
to find satisfaction within myself
after i cross it.
perhaps the satisfaction lies within the witnessing
of the sun on the water
or feeling the salty breeze on my face
or hearing the sounds of the birds calling from the sky.
maybe it’s within the stopping,
and the stillness –
the “just being.”
i’m coming to realize that is enough.
and if that is enough
maybe i am enough
and not required
to prove anything.
as the sun exists,
as the wind exists,
as the birds exist.
and that is enough.