How to Subdue the Sadness in a Cruel World

1.Take a day to avoid all human contact. Turning off your phone is a crucial part of this step. You want to embark in a day of pure ignorance and disconnection. Trust me, as much as you will hate missing all of the posts about drug wars, high school friends having babies, and the overall cruelty of the world, this is for your own sanity.
2.Draw yourself a bubble bath. The warm water will cradle your heartbroken body, making you forget, even if for just a minute, all of the hopelessness in the world.
3.Read a book in the bath, but not any book. Choose one with plenty of contemporary poetry. Then read a few lines and begin to relieve your past traumas. Attach the trauma to the poems. This is a time for feeling.
4.Cry on your way to and from work. You’re existing in a late capitalistic society while working a low skill hourly job that you have zero passion for. You are constantly bombarded with the realization that you will never completely wipe out all of your student debt. I don’t know, just cry.
5.Take a walk. The fresh air, sunlight, and flowers will help you through this process. You are the flowers. The flowers are you.
6.Pick a few flowers from this walk and put them in a vase. Place the vase in your bathroom or stove top. They will die the next day but remember everything is temporary.
7.Help someone in need. Whether it’s a friend, lover, or stranger, community support is crucial in times like these.
8.Even if you have zero artistic ability, make art, make bad art. Make lots of bad art. This will keep you open while allowing you to process all of the injustice that you encounter.
9.On a sunny and hot summers day, roll down a grassy hill. After that, take yourself to the local artistnal donut shop and eat a donut. This is joy.
10.Call your mom. You’ve missed her calls this past week. Remember that she Venmo’s you $50 every few weeks for no apparent reason. Call her and tell her that you love her.
11.Create a morning ritual. Whether it’s journaling a few pages as soon as you wake up or making your favorite tea; routine will create the illusion that everything is in order. This is also a great way to have something to return to when it’s all chaos. The world is burning but at least you are calmly taking sips of chai tea while it’s happening.
12.Spend your Tuesday afternoons birdwatching. If you see the same bird twice, say hi.
13.Find a therapist. Sure, you have to pay them to listen to you, but they will be your biggest fan during any weird transitional period in your life. They will also help you get over your fear of knives.
14.Hug more. Hug your friends, acquaintances, lovers, coworkers, pets. Hug objects, trees, your bed. Spend the day hugging everyone and everything that you encounter.

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didn’t I

I had to tell my therapist
and everyone that I’ve come across
since you left
that I’m hiding all of your artwork

you wanted me to keep it
probably because you know
that I would take good care of it.
there is one fond, maybe two, fond,
memories that I have of our summer romance
one being the warmth I felt
on a hot rock
with you by the river

then driving home in the rain
while you nodded off

three, getting lost on a mountain
while trying to find the best spot
to watch the fireworks

we resulted to a playground
where you took a picture
of us kissing
I don’t remember it

in this picture the
light from the white firework
is illuminating my hair
the halo of frizz looks red
silhouette shows eyes

your face is barely in it
it’s mostly me, on fire
with a grey sky behind me

we all

In front of a computer screen
and present in the past
A man passes by
arms overflowing with bottles of wine
I look back at the computer screen

you pass with nothing
I give the same look unintentionally
Of course
i swear
It’s late spring
my dirty car is
scattered umbrellas
In celebration I bought
a packet of wildflower seeds.
Then, I got a haircut.

remembering

am i attaching myself to the wall
running through the forest
believing that i’m mildly psychic
with a spinning head
and a sweatshirt of tree sap
and cotton
within a haze two uninterested baristas
dressed in black take my order
strutting one foot in front of the other
listening to conversations
running through the forest
placing my happiness on whether or
not he will be bringing someone with him tonight
taking my shoes off and getting in feet first i
into the cold river looking for a stone to place on
my countertop for decoration
I pick the orange
I leave the river
with my head attempting to take in the surroundings
but only remembering