Even The Deepest Silence Carries Its Own Sweet Wisdom

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 09.09.14 In: {heart to heart} : 5 comments

"Even the deepest silence carries its own sweet wisdom" Jeanette LeBlancIn any life there is a time to speak – clear and strong and true. Hours and minutes when your voice will be the only thing that can deliver you through to what comes next. When coming clean is the grace that serves and saves. When you must unleash your truest story and stand tall and true in the aftermath.

But in any life there is also a time to keep quiet, spaces for words that have not yet found their fullness, or where the speaking of them would bring hurt that would serve no purpose.

There are times when truth telling will lead you down a path toward a door you know is best left closed, regardless of the sweet temptation of the opening. There are backwards glances filled with the bittersweet melancholy of regret, and the words trapped in throat that have passed the time the universe gave for their expression. There are interactions where the energy required to set things straight would cost more than the setting straight is worth.

There will always be questions that must remain unasked, and things known but left unsaid. There are spaces where silence must carry the day, because language is powerful and yet entirely and frustratingly inadequate – and nothing could say what needs to be said, and so to say nothing at all is the only sensible thing that remains.

And these times too, hold power and deserve reverence.

 Listen closely love, even the deepest silence carries its own sweet wisdom.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Wendell Barry

~~~~

Sometimes, at the end or the beginning or deep in the middle – those silent spaces demand a reckoning all heir own, and they itch to find voice, and a safe space to surface.  A place, in their own quiet way, to become.

An incomplete lifetime of things I have not said aloud.

I really, really, really hope you don’t fall in love with me. This would be a spectacularly bad idea. Especially right now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I want nothing more than a small cottage. A weeping willow hiding a front yard hammock. Streaming light and hours upon hours to write. I do not want any of this with you.

There is a plea trapped in my throat. It is one word. Stuck on repeat. You. Youyouyou.

You are cute. Like really. And funny and smart and wow. I think I want to kiss you. Please don’t tell my girlfriend.

My greatest salvations have been right at the center of my deepest sins. I cannot apologize anymore for the ways I have hurt you. They have been the saving grace of my own survival.

You make me feel giddy. Like my butterflies have butterflies. Jesus, I hope you say yes.

When she one day has your baby, it just might kill me.

In the center of my empty, it is teeth on bone I remember, and I am filled with longing.

I am sorry. I am sorry. I am sorry. Until the end of my days, I am sorry.

In what world of male entitlement do you exist that makes it okay for you to touch a stranger like that? I am not property, nor do I need to qualify my no. The patriarchy has not served you well, you chauvinistic asshole.  Fuck. The Hell. Off.

I want to kiss your tattoos. All of them. You have a lot of tattoos, in so many delicious places. I hope you don’t have plans later. This could take a while.

When I see a penny on the ground, before I make the inevitable wish, it will be to you that my mind travels, and I will remember.

All the you’s in this poem are not the same. All the me’s in this life are not the same. Walt Whitman said he contained multitudes. I am my own multitudes. And if you are all also multitudes it makes tremendous sense why we can’t quite get ourselves lined up to finally get together. I lie awake at night wishing we could get back together. We will never get back together.

I sometimes dream about the rasp of your five o’clock shadow against my cheek. I look for substitutes just to feel this again. None of them will ever be you.

I will never tell you where I hide the chocolate.

To me, you – and what we shared – will always be the definition of holy.

Will you ever go home so I can just be alone?   I am far more enamored with my own company than I will ever be with yours.

I want to twist that curl of hair that falls over your eyes around my finger. I’m obsessed with it. I’m scared you’ll think this is strange.

In some parallel universe, one existing outside of time, I believe we are what we could have been.

More than anything, I’m afraid I’ll never reach beyond the confines of this small life and step into all that I know I could be. More than anything, I’m afraid you don’t want me to. More than anything, I am afraid it will take me years longer to find out for sure.

Oh. We’re talking about you again? Gee wiz, how fun. Let me settle in here. Get comfy. History tells me that this is going to take a while.

I want. I want. I want. Please.

I will always think I am too much. Or not enough. Or both at once. I wonder if anyone will ever see through that and know that I am neither and both, and that it’s okay – either way.

Are you sure you’re not gay? Goddammit.

Where’d you learn to be such a goddamn asshole? Seriously. You. Fucking. Suck.

Come home. Comehomecomehomecomehome. Please.

You are a better writer than I will ever be.

I see you sometimes, barely contained in your own skin. I see you pushing against the walls, feeling for a crack or a sliver or an escape hatch. One day you’re going to blast out of that safe little life you’ve built for yourself. I want, quite badly, to be there when you do. Please, say that you one day will. Perhaps, if you do – I will be waiting.

It all the ways that truly matter, it will always be you.

~~~~

In the spaces inside the silence, in the depth and breadth and weight of these spaces, it is sometimes true that entire lives are lived.   Inside of the silence we love and we lose. We hurt and bleed and rejoice and become strong. We fight, and we lay down arms and either surrender or walk away.

Inside the silence we find truth. We wither and we bloom. We grow into and out of people and relationships and ways of being and entire lives, both lived and unlived. We learn the boundaries and edges of ourselves. Inside the silence we discover the wisdom of choice. Of choosing, again and again, what we offer to the world and what we keep close and just for us. We learn that there are seeds that will only germinate in quiet.  We come to know the voice that speaks without words or sounds.

We get comfortable with the tenor and timbre and cadence of the voice with which we will one day speak aloud.  We discover her  resonance and we do battle to honor her and save her and bring her to life, again and again. We come to call her our knowing, our intuition, our gut. We honor the wisdom of all that can never be said.

Inside of the silence, we come home.

~~~~

Tell me, of the spaces inside your own silence. How have you learned to trust in those spaces? Do words live there, or music or colors or just shadows and light? Share, if you wish, in the way that feels safest to you. Leave your name behind. Take a new one if it feels right.   Post it here. Write it in your journal. Close your eyes and name the silent truth within your own body.   Send me an email and know I will keep your truths as close to my heart as my own.

Above all, honor the wisdom of your own silence. Know that it is true and strong and whole and good.  Know that it needs no explanation or justification. Know that it is what it is, and nothing more or and nothing less. Know that it is everything. Just like you.

the grace of the in-between

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 14.08.14 In: {heart to heart} : 2 comments

Liminal-Spaces-and-the-graceless-inbetween-peacelovefree-3

 

“When my heart feels so much, I need you to help it. You are the one who knows hearts.

“I don’t know that I know hearts. I just believe in them.

We are on the freeway, spinning toward home under a wide-open moon.   A plane is coming in, fast and low. This night the strain between us takes more room in the cab of the truck than our bodies do. The plane passes over; so close I swear that if I reached up in just the right way the frame of the truck would dissolve into nothing and it would be just my hands, holding up the plane under that wide-open moon.

Who on that plane is waiting for magic, I wonder? Who on that plane left magic behind? Is it to home and sanctuary and rest they are heading, or to the pounding and hopeful heart of possibility? Who will be met and encircled and who will walk out alone and make their own peace with the guardian moon? And who among those nameless strangers has given up ever being met, and just holds on to the moment, devoid of hope.

The plane is out of sight, and still we roll down the freeway. The tension of unwanted silence stretches and expands the space between us. It amazing how impossibly large a small space can feel when we have closed something of ourselves to the one we are with.

We are all, I think in that moment, somewhere between leaving and arriving. Arriving and leaving. Often we don’t know which till long after it’s done.

We all slip-slide through the liminal spaces. The suspended animation between here and there.  That’s all there is really. I sometimes wonder if grace is just a word for the times that we manage to live in full trust of the graceless in-between.

“How do you know the difference between valid doubts and a damaged heart putting up walls where they don’t belong?”

“You don’t know. You can’t. You can grasp tight a deep-rooted knowing with all the certainty of the world, and have it be just the optimistic projection of a hopeful heart.   Or you may have all the doubts and uncertainties and wake up years later to find you’ve grown into your own happiness without even knowing that you did. And that same person you once doubted will still be there by your side, loving you well.“

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
Anais Nin

Exactly as we are. Scared and hopeful. Damaged and whole. Searching for love and terrified it will find us. Because if it finds us – and we answer it’s call – we will have to lay it all on the line. Again.

“Take a deep breath love. We weren’t made to be abandoned. It just feels that way sometimes.”

It feels that way sometimes. It feels that way enough that we’re quick to run at the slightest possibility. We read the present with the wounds of the past rising right to the surface. Casting a murky doubt in spaces that beg for trust. Better to push, to predict the inevitable end and escape before you become casualty of another goodbye.

So we stay up all night, turning our back to potential and curling into a hard ball on the sofa. Letting tears fall to the whirring of the ceiling fan and the quiet noises a home only really makes when it believes its occupants given over to dreams.   We fight the hardest battle not with another, but with ourselves. With the parts that want to run far and fast and hard, and every pulse of heart and spirit and soul that begs to stay and trust and believe.

But all planes land eventually. And some on those planes will be met, and some will not.   And for all of those people, there are beginnings and endings and middles and sunsets and wide open moons that fill the cabs of red pickup trucks with a light that just happens to be the color of hope. Light that drowns out the silence and replaces it with the sound of the clumsiest and most beautiful sort of grace.

Because I do believe in hearts. Even the ones who will live always, tucked away at the root of my pain. I believe that those hearts knew – just like mine has always known – what it was that they needed.   Without understanding or knowing. Leaving room for mistakes and regrets. I still believe in hearts.

Because all we can ever do is invite someone into our experience. We cannot control whether they enter, or if and when they choose to leave. Or even if or when we will.

You can invite them in, and you can walk through the open doors. One step at a time. Clumsy and uncertain and still full of the brilliant grace of the in between. Believing, in spite of all the odds.

Holding up your heart under the wide open moon.


{for J. and for N.  and for A.  for late night texts full of wisdom and for holding my heart under countless wide open moons}

Refuse to compromise your one wild soul.

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 07.08.14 In: {heart to heart} : No comments - leave a comment?

You, lover, are so very beautiful.beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself

I know you don’t think so.

I know you stand each morning, lift your face to the mirror and wage silent war on the skin and bones that hold you in this life.

I know you do because I do too.

But you are beautiful.

You are beautiful because of your unrelenting insistence on being utterly, uncompromisingly, completely you. Even when it hurts.

Even when it’s the hardest thing.

You are beautiful because you’re still here. Loving and laughing and bleeding and fighting and falling soft at the end of the day, into whatever space or place or body is your chosen refuge.

Your beauty is mixed with the wind and the way it tangles your hair and reddens your cheeks. It shines from the sun, and your delicate shoulders and the smattering of freckles across the bridge of your nose. It’s your happily ever after daydreams and way your inner badass takes over when she’s needed, even though you’re a good girl at heart.

Your beauty lies in the way you keep on being you. Regardless of how often you’ve been told to be something else.  Regardless of messages given by culture or family or the ghosts of lovers past who have no damn right taking up any space in your heart.

But you? You take in those voices and messages and images and directives. The magazine covers and the headlines that beg you to consider all the ways you could improve if you just squelched that irrepressible spirit for a little bit. The past love who told you in a hundred small and silent ways that you were both too much and not near enough. The rules and regulations that govern just how much you’re permitted to shine before it’s labeled narcissism. You take them all to the ocean and toss them into the current and watch them swirl out to sea.

In a world that requires assimilation, you remaining you is one hell of a wild ride. It’s the craziest thing. It’s the riskiest thing.   It’s the most impossible thing. It’s the most necessary thing.

It’s the most beautiful thing.

It is, in the end, the only thing.

And baby, you are doing one hell of a job.

So on the days when you doubt, on the days when even the moon seems to shine too bright and you long for the safety of shadows. Turn yourself to the light and let it reflect your beauty until you remember to trust in it, if even just for a moment.

And then you go out into this one wild world of ours, and you do whatever you were born to do. Whatever your wild soul leads you to do.  The thing that will make you move into yourself and fill up the space and breathe out the universe.in the end you only have your heart

Make your art. Tell the truth. Take that selfie. Step into yourself. Wear that dress. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that feels like heat and sex and swirls around your legs like the sweet seduction of freedom.

Paint your lips red and your nails black.  Cut off your hair. Take a lover. Leave your lover. Pile everything that matters in the car and just drive high into the mountains until the only sound you hear is your own voice mingled with the calls of the wild things.

Damn the consequences. Even the worst of what you can imagine will figure itself out eventually. And there you will be at the end – standing tall in the midst of it all.

You.  Beautiful, beautiful you.

You take my breath away.
xo

Jeanette

 

Badass with a side of sacred wisdom

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 09.07.14 In: {blessed be} : 8 comments

Dear you.just for you from peacelovefree

I know you.

I know you wear your heart on your sleeve.  I know that heart is pieced together from soft driftwood and tattered suitcases and old skeleton keys and the shards of pottery you’ve tucked in your pockets from all the things you’ve seen break along your journey.

I know your soul glitters with the fragments of love affairs and fiery passion and endless nights of candlelight and whispers against bare skin.  I know you hear the echoes of long gone trains and feel the pulse of memory reminding you of things you’ve not encountered in this lifetime. I know that sometimes, the way sunlight filters through trees can bring you to your knees in breathless gratitude.

I know the path has taken you to unexpected worlds and that you’ve seen beauty beyond measure and experienced the sort of kindness that cracks you wide open.  I know it has also been hard and your edges have been made rough and sharp and then worn down, again and again.  I know that you’ve been told that you feel too much and that you can’t quite shake the fear that you’ll never truly be enough.

And I know you are tired, love. I know the ache lodged in your bones. I know it has been a long road and you yearn for rest and comfort and home. But I’ve also seen you twirling, barefoot in the grass by moonlight. And that moon? She is dancing with the sun and this wild spinning earth, coaxing the ocean to crash on the shore, over and over again, just for you. And I know there are stars traveling unfathomable distances and burning to dust when they enter our atmosphere so that you can breathe a little bit of light into your soul when you need it the most.

And then there is you. Throwing open the doors, ushering the spirit inside and keeping your rebel heart pulsing strong. You. Keeper of wonder. The child of every revolution this world has ever seen. What power you hold. What tremendous mystery and magic live in your center. How blessed this world is to know the mystical, untamable brilliance that is you.

Look around you by peacelovefree (2)Just look around you. At the beauty and the bliss. At the terror and the teardown. At the utter certainty and every last unknown. It is all a part of your story. Part of how you were made. Embers of grace and grit. Ashes of breakdown and breakthrough.   Born of fire.  Made of light.  Badass with a side of sacred wisdom.  Exploding like fireworks across the night sky.

You. Thank you for sharing this earth with me.

Blessed be.

Jeanette

{there is nothing quite like sitting with people you love, listening to music that feeds your soul and fuels your fire.   Won’t you listen with me? follow the  || blessed be ||  and  || girl on fire || playlists on spotify and listen along with me.}

Unlock it, Poet {our stories are where the revolution begins}

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 13.06.14 In: {poetry,unleased {the writers heart}} : 1 comment

Look at you,our stories are where the revolution begins
beauty
Sitting so quietly
I see you there
The way the light hits your face
The way the wind filters through your hair
How the curve of your neck is the definition of grace
How your story lingers just beneath the surface.

I know you have things to say.
Things you must say

Didn’t anyone ever tell you,
That we have to speak our truths

Our stories are where the revolution begins.

So, unlock it, poet
Let loose the words
Unconstrain your endless restraint
Seduce your muse
Release your wild
Welcome this rebellion
Usher it inside
Sit it down by the fire
And dance into the night.

You are warm blood,
hot skin, tight words
You are history
and future
and magic and make believe
You are deep and raw and real

You are an uprising
A revolution onto yourself
The scarcity is over
The rationing has ended
and there are words enough
for all of us

So go mad now, poet
let the power of the story
take you over
take you under
carry you home.

Don’t dare tell me
You are not a writer
Because I’ve heard words slip
Honeyed from your lips
I’ve seen the sonnets form behind
Your graceful eyes
I’ve felt novels spin from the spiral
Of your goddess hips

Don’t you dare
Make this other
This is in you
This is why you are here

This is your story
Your vital spark
Your ache and your tears and your breakdown
Your joy and your revelry and your bliss
Your desire, your fierce longing, your unceasing want
Your utterly unguilty pleasure.

This is the root of your commitment
The space of your deepest promise
That eternal vow
To live out loud
To speak freedom
To own the deep
Of your existence
To know it is true
And good
And worthy and whole.

So unlock it ocean poet
Release it windmill dancer
Splash it on canvas watercolor darling
Play the strings, you maker of music
Breathe it in yogi, and then breath it out.

Unleash it, you goddess of words, and melody and paint and dance and sweat.
There are a million ways to tell your story

I’m ready for every last one.

Try me

 

The Truth Of A Woman Like Me

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 07.03.14 In: {Claim it} : 22 comments

It’s the truth that sets you free, right?  Coming clean, that’s what I preach.Phoenix Urban Photography by www.iamchanelle.com

I don’t always tell you everything.  Did you think I did?

You want the truth of me right now?  Tonight? Should I tell you that right now there is no compassionate mother in me.  I am snarling and impatient and snappy. They pull me from this. And this is what compels me.  I don’t want to mother.    Not right now.

I’m not supposed to say that.  It doesn’t fit within the selfless narrative I am called to embody.

Right now I want a shack by the beach and I want to create and I want to be fed green grapes and bittersweet chocolate by pretty girls with nothing better to do.  And I want to toss back shots of whiskey at an old bar with men whose skin has been worn to leather from a life on the sea.  I want to weave my way steady to the bow of a boat and let the spray encrust me with grit and the waves fill me with the sound of home.  And then I want to return, to my weathered wood cottage, and turn the music up loud and light incense and candles and cigarettes and lap dance for the muse until she puts the fuck out for me every single time I ask.  Because it’s hot, what I’m making, and even she – fickle as she can be – doesn’t want to miss a second of this flame.

I’m probably not supposed to say that either.

I want a bike with a basket big enough to get the food I need, and the chocolate and the whiskey and the wine and cigarettes.  I want endless miles of coastline to ride along, until my legs ache from honest exertion.  I want to let go of the handles and remember just how good my balance can be when I trust it.

I want a bonfire right outside my front door.   Where the lovely girls and pretty man-boys cavort and dance and strip off all their clothing to tumble into the sea where the kisses always taste like salt.  I want this every single night.  Until even my skin is permeated with the burn-down-rise-up scent of wood smoke and sand and sea.  I want to be singed with the heat of it.  I want it, saturated, in my pores until my breath feels gritty and real again. Until the skin on skin gives off the heat of flame.  Until even the words burn as they are birthed.

I know I’m not supposed to say all of that.

I’m not supposed to like this about myself.  This selfish that lives inside.  Supposed to keep it hidden.  Soften it for you.  Take the rough off my edges.  Round out my sharp corners.   I am told they are wrong.   The wants.   The excessive need for solitude.  For life on my own terms.   Not ladylike.  Not generous.  Not mother.  That I’m not who you knew.  Not who you know, even.

I don’t like it.  But then I do.   My wants speak to my needs which translate the terms of my survival.  The compulsions of art that will drive me and put me at war and seduce me into the crucible at the center of pure creation.   There’s alchemy in owning it all.  Unabashed.  Unapologetic.  Without shame.

Oh, I know I’m not supposed to be shameless.  This world, it’s got all kinds of words for women like me.

But there’s more to this than just me.

Because I have daughters.   Because living on my own terms comes down to more than just my own survival.

My girls, they will know me as human.  As creatrix as much as mother.  As ugly and dirty and real as much as calm and patient and loving.  See my struggle as well as my bliss.  My unmet longing as counter to my grace.  My deep rooted insecurity and my narcissism.  My hard fall of tears as much the sweetness of my laugh.   The way we all can storm and cry and flail and then fall into my big marshmallow bed, a tangle of limbs and heart and tears, and fall asleep intertwined, secure and at peace.

And they will know what it is for a woman like me to live in fullness with herself.   To fight for it.   To know she is within choice at each moment.    To make contracts with self as the path to wholeness, even when this comes at great cost.  To find the integrity within that space, even if that looks different than what the world would call true.   To understand that even fullness can sometimes feel dark and bleak and empty.  That even regret and unmet hopes bring untold richness to what will be born. That it can be a raw and primal thing, this unceasing drive to make something from within one’s self.   That great art is birthed of both great pain and great joy and sometimes directly as we navigate the tenuous space between the two. That we birth our art as we birth ourselves.   Both, often, in the midst of struggle.

I think I’m probably not supposed to say that either.  I’m supposed to make it gentle.  Pretty it up a little for everyone.

But I want them to know well the selfish and the selfless that lives within each of us, and the delicate dance between the two. To experience the wilderness of reclamation and the surrender of relinquishment that is a part of every negotiation we will walk as women who burn and ask and risk.   Who refuse to follow the rules given us by culture and upbringing and expectation.  I want them to know it’s okay to exist from the center of absolute unknowing.  To live the ugly and the confused and the sad and the broken,  honest and out loud.  That it’s equally okay to dive into the bliss.  I want, by the very root of my life, to show them a narrative that diverges from the one this world would have them live.

A narrative that is bloody and powerful and full of heat and sweat and sex and a sweet, holy joy that is owned and chosen.  And a grief and teardown that is owned just as fully.  And an autonomy of self that rushes from within their goddess center, and a voice that rings true and tells the stories that will be key to their survival.  Stories that can be lived and written and told by no other voice but their own.

I cannot teach this from within a container of acceptable and predictable.

Because if they feel trapped or small or lost at 20 or 30 or 40, I hope they shall take the freedom to run for the sea and to heed her wild call.  To hear the whisper through mountain top pines speaking ancient truth and knowing deep in their bones that the forest will hold their scared vows.    I want them to burn sage and creosote and speak ancient incantation and call forth the goddess.  I want them to splash paint on canvas under full pink moon while the coyote howl and the fire rages and to not fear the wild power that wells up from within on such a night.  I want them to own their sex as holy.  To know their desire as a divinity.   To place a ring on their own ring finger and make promises that they will never speak to another.   Unless they want to, and then I want them to do exactly that. To know it’s all in them, as it has been in all of us, all along.

And me.  Their mother?

I am never more than a sliver of space from the center of the paradox.  From the glorious reality of complete contradiction.  Not unbalanced, no.  The {im}perfect center. Point and counterpoint.  I seek it others.  And when I look deeply enough, I find it in myself.

I don’t want to be where I am, but I cannot be where I belong.  I am always searching for home, always seeking the next idea, the next embodiment of what may be.  I am broken, and I am whole.   And yes, there is an unrest there, an ceaseless searching.  A wolf who comes calling, whispering, howling.  She leads me to hunt and prowl and burn.  And she guides me to that delicate sliver of space, right at the core, that is pure peace.

I am opened finally, to a relentless sort of hope.  For that forever love that the movies try to prove to me is real.   And I believe.  God damn, after all this time and all this ache, I actually believe. But I also want to be pressed hard against a rough wall by someone who has the right not to give a fuck who I am or was or ever will be.  I want a family of kids and grandkids and chosen souls and a 40-year partner in crime to surround me until the end of my days.  And I want to be left the hell alone – to get old and grow gray and soft with the company of books and seagulls and worn wooden floors and chipped pottery that holds my morning tea.  To take lovers when I want and discard them when I don’t.

I’m probably not supposed to speak that, am I? Not supposed to honor the way they swirl together, am I?  That contradiction between the safe and the wild that lives in all of us.  We are to choose one or the other and not look back.  If we feel a pull to that which we’ve left behind or that which we have not yet found, we are to ignore and suppress and forget.  There are truths that are easier for others to bear if we commit to never speaking them aloud.  Once upon a time I silently agreed to do just that.

I cannot.  Not any longer.

quote by jeanette leblancTonight I feel the glow of the candles on my face and the cool of air on my back and the peace of the rain that falls and falls and falls outside.  It quenches the packed, dry earth of desert and something in me as well.  Taking what was hard and making it soft.  Liquid.  Inevitable.  The way water flows.  Just like it was the last time my body met another body and current met current and it all flowed into mystery. The way I move when I stop fighting my nature.

Until it’s all liquid alchemy.  Wet heat.  The way home.

I don’t care anymore what I’m supposed to say.  This is my story.  You can listen if you want.  You can join me if you will.

Because these words and this life are my own.   Even when I contradict itself.   Even when I make every sense and no sense at all.  Even when it changes from minute to minute.  Whether they ring true or untrue.  These things are nobody’s but mine.

And I’ve got a story to tell.  And so I begin and begin and begin.  Again.

 {image by iamchanelle photography}

broken || open {a valentine’s day love letter for the broken-hearted}

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 14.02.14 In: {heart to heart,love} : 4 comments

broken open by jeanette leblanc

Make no mistake, love; this has been the losing time.

The time of grasping tight and trying hard and still, in the end, being forced to let go. Of fingers locked tight and pried stiff from that which you’d hoped to hold for so very long.

It’s been the falling down time.  The confused and lost and broken time. The ill-fitting skin that begs to be shed time.   The kneecaps bruised from prayer time. The time of keening howl that rises from the center of the earth and pleads, no more. Not now.  Please.

The endings, they came to you slowly.  Pulling away inch by imperceptible inch.  Till suddenly you realized the hand you’d held for years had slipped from yours and you were now reaching across a chasm of relentless empty.

And they came sudden.  Hard and fast, so that there you were, without warning, curled in a fetal position on the rough carpet of an unfamiliar hotel room floor, black eyeliner smeared across your face and a lifetime ocean of tears being pulled like the tides from your obliterated heart.

You knew it was coming.  You collected the red flags and tucked them back in the corner  – hidden behind stacks of books scrawled with all the stories you told yourself so that you could continue to believe what you desperately needed to believe.  Every now and then you took out those flags and counted them, didn’t you? As if by will you could force their numbers to decrease.  You couldn’t.  We never can.

And you.  You had no idea.  Blinders and rose-colored glasses have been your specialty for years.  You’ve got a closet full.  They kept you so safe. But on that last day there were no storm clouds, no early warning system to get you to shelter.  Just a tornado that swept in from the east and flattened every last thing it touched.  Until in the aftermath there was just you, standing in the midst of the rubble of a entire life.

You’ve been left.  You walked into strong open arms and found a home that you imagined would be shelter and protection into a beautiful future.  You had so much hope and faith, cloaked in all that tender cynicism.  And such a hard layer of hurt hiding just beneath your fearlessly optimistic heart.  And still, you gave yourself over to the sheer bliss of believing.  You didn’t know you still had it in you to be that happy.

And you’ve done the leaving.  You’ve walked away from the deepest of loves because you had to break before you were broken again.   Because your wrecked runs so deep that there wasn’t enough love in all this world to hold your ache.  Because in the end, you had to save yourself.  Because, in the end, that’s all any of us can ever do.  And nobody knows as well as you, just how much it hurts to leave.

But here you are, love.  Here WE are.

Still standing.  Fierce with the reality of love and loss.  Wearing the truth of our hearts on our tattered sleeves.  And yes, this one very nearly took us out.  And yes, there were days when the darkness was heavy and the climb out of that rabbit hole required us to mine our depths for strength we didn’t even know we had.

And here we are.

Broken open by hope.   Cracked wide by loss.   Full of longing and grief and the burn of that phoenix fire.    Warrior painted with ashes.  Embers from the blaze still clinging to our newborn skin, leaving us forever marked with scars of rebirth.

And just look at you.  Heart broken but still beating.  Arms empty but still open.  Face raised to the sky and giving thanks for the light, even when it hurts your eyes.

My god, you are beautiful.

And this love.  This loss.  The one you have pulled around you like a blanket that still keeps you warm at night.  Even though it is tattered and worn and full of holes and has no shelter to offer.   It is a conduit.   A bridge that you have unwillingly crossed.  On one side who you were, and on the other who you will be.   It was a long, lonely walk.

The ache is a ferocious kind of alchemy, the catalyst for transformation.  The unanswered call?  It creates the space and the silence you needed to learn to once again hear your own voice.   The unmet hope gifts a crystalized understanding of your holy need. The longing that still curls in stubbornly hopeful tendrils from your open wounds?  These will be your roots, seeking through hard earth to find you exactly what you need to thrive.  The grief that took you the ground?  It will help form the bedrock of your eventual rise.

So here we are, you and I.  Grief is both relentless isolation and a common language that all hearts speak.   Look into my sea glass eyes.  Let me see your angel face.  We come together in our sorrow because loss knows loss and needs no translation.  And we come together in our joy, and our hope and our begin again – because always, it is together that we rise.

So yes love, I know this has been a losing time.  And I know there were moments you imagined you might not survive.   But here you still are, just like me.   Here we still stand.  Here our hearts still beat.  Here we still love.

And in the end, you are here, broken and whole and still alive.  Made even more tenderly beautiful in the depths of the shatter.  Finding your way back to the truth of your soul and listening to the song of your stubbornly beating heart.  And in the end, there is no greater testament to the power of love than this.

 

 I tell stories with music as well as words.  Listen with me on spotify.
A playlist for the ache || A playlist for the dream ||  A playlist for a hopeful heart

all the proof i will ever need.

Posted by:Jeanette LeBlanc on 08.01.14 In: {love,poetry} : 1 comment

Monique and James copy
{for Monique and her beloved James, on the day of their wedding}

It is no secret
That this heart
of mine
Has broken
Enough times
That I’ve made
A serious investment
In a variety
Of materials
That promise to patch
Things up
For good

Many of the breaks
truthfully
My own doing
Fault lines I was born with
My unsettled and relentless seeking
leading me to look beyond
What I have for what I need
Then there is the leaving
The being left
The cold nights
On hard ground
The sobs that come not
From me
But from the center of the earth
The grief that twists
and pins me to bed while the sunlight
arcs all the way
across the outside sky
and I just wait for the night 
to come again
because the whiskey pours more smoothly then
and the heavy dark is the only place
left that feels like home

but then there is this
the hope rising
stubborn and persistent.
the longing
the still beating heart
that says to hell with probability
I’m still here, and I’ve got a job to do.
the knowledge that this loving
it is the purpose of our placement on this earth
the chance we take again and again

so no, this is not a story of heartbreak
although you may have thought it was
and I couldn’t blame you
not really
my own heart has been toast for months now
and the words I spill repeating themselves
like a skipping record that is stuck on the sad songs.
because sometimes broken is the easiest place to stay

but no
this is a love story
a story of how all those breaks
and all that grief
and those unsuccessful patch jobs
place us there
right where we need to be
so when the love comes

and it does
it does and it does and it does

when it comes
if we are brave enough
to lift our eyes
and hold out our hands
and listen to the universe
when she whispers
this one.
this one for you.
and we say okay
again
again, I will try

no matter the risk
no matter my fear
no matter the grasp of grief
no matter the ridiculous odds
no matter that this one too
may leave me shattered

again I will try
because those eyes
are the ones I want to wake to
and that skin feels like a space my
hands were born knowing
and that heart, in all it’s own
history of broken glory
sounds exactly like the beat that has
always called me home.

So yes
This is a love story
the one that gets told in the midst of the war torn rubble
where the buildings and bodies are casualties of a battle without end.
And happy seems a figment of imagination
Where hope is the only thing
That keeps us alive

This is story of two souls
Who are all of us, really
Who will stand today
And promise
Not as naïve children
But as fully formed hearts
Composed directly from a hundred thousand breaks
and love stories too many to count
And those two
They’ll stand there with all of that
And say yes

Yes we will love
Yes we will try
Yes we will fight and bleed and hope and live.
Yes we will slow dance and run away, and return.
And she’ll say yes, your broken is part of your beautiful to me.
And he’ll remind her that her scars
are map that tell a story
that he loved before he heard a word.
And they’ll know that they alchemy of loss
Was part of the magic that brought them here
To this space today
And they will give thanks for all the ways
They were brave enough to break

So yes
This is a love story
Its theirs. Its yours. It’s even mine.
And here’s a secret
That even I forget
It’s all a love story
Every last bit
Even the parts that you think
you’ll never survive.

Because look at them
Those two
Standing there today
They are all the proof I’ll ever need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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photographer, artist, daydreamer, inspiration catcher, mama, writer. human and brave, bold and learning. i'm just me, and i am enough...

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