family: a poem

family tree poem



I wrote this poem after reconnecting with a cousin that I hadn’t seen since I was little.  In our conversation, I noticed that we had a lot in common, though we hadn’t really grown up together.  It made me wonder, what is it that makes us who we are?  What is our choice and what is predetermined by our great- great-great grandparents.  What do we hand down through generations?  I thought back through the generations of pain, heartache, loss, creativity, ideas, talents.  I asked her something along the lines of, “Do you think that maybe to be an artist, one also must suffer?”  It made me wonder what my family would look like without all of the suffering?  Would we lose all of the creativity and drive?  Is that what fuels the fire?  What paints canvases and plays to concert halls?  Is that what inspires the magic?  I don’t know.


the meaning of a moment: a poem

my memories, my most valuable possessions, the only things that are only mine.

my memory keepers; journals, photos, yearbooks, paintings, drawings, notes, movie stubs, cards, mixed CDs. these are all my my most prized.

there’s nothing I fear more than forgetting.

forgetting all the moments that brought me to this moment here.  forgetting all the moments that made me the person I am.  the talks, the walks, the coffee shops, the trips, the dinners, the jokes, the laughing, the crying, the driving, the staying up all night, the swimming, the running, the sweating, the working, the studying, the promises, the lessons, the stories… All of it.  I want to remember every moment.

I’ve spent so much time wishing I could be in a different moment from whichever one I am in.  some place in the future, where I won’t feel uncertain, scared, or anxious.  some day in the past, to correct a mistake, to relive a time, to squeeze that person a bit tighter, to ask the questions I never got around to, to make a different choice, to feel all the moments I felt then.

so many present moments wasted, wishing I was somewhere else. someone else. a past or future version of myself.

so many nights lying awake, asking, “who am I without my memories?”

so now. now I know a good moment when I feel it. I’ve learned to take notice. To stay alert.

I think to myself, “this. this is a good moment. and I won’t forget it as long as I live. I never want to let go of this moment.”

but just as I’ve dared to think it out loud, to appreciate such a beautiful, perfect moment, the moment is slipping away.

I’m already forgetting details and it’s fuzzy around the edges. the more I beg for it to stay, the more it goes on fading anyway.

so I have two choices: I can throw a fit and cry and pout

or I can paint and draw and write it out

find some way. to capture the moment. nail it down. make it stay.  write it in these pages where it will never fade away- not even for a moment.