Blue Notes on Le Garonne


The still, mournful quietude
of a rainy winters day in Bordeaux

makes way for the loneliest Friday night
I can remember.

The Basilica, regal and silent, towers alongside
stone chimneys over the bridge Pont de Pierre

that crosses Le Garonne.
Light glimmers on the stone roues glazed with fresh rain,

all of it gently haunted by something I cannot place.

I make a call to New Mexico, where its sunny
and a different kind of melancholy.

The girl on the other end of the phone
wants to escape too.

I think of Paris and all its divine distraction.

A blonde guru reminds me that longing is the most fertile
ground for creativity.

He watches my eyes move with thoughts.
Doucement, he whispers, his accent bulky and American like mine.

 

 

Julia Daye

Advertisements

Waking in Oakley: December 5th, 2017

Woke up today in Oakley, Kansas,
a place I didn’t necessarily mean to land, but
found myself anyhow.

Leaving home means finding
home in this body or perishing.

So, I do the things I know as
if they’re holy ritual. Sprints down
the road before departure time,

a hot shower, look for my favorite leggings,
a small breakfast of fruit from my pack, jot down a poem.

Studying the sun, it looks different here
than it does at home.

When I was a child, I feared that if I moved too fast,
God would lose me.
I’m over here, I would say–

I still say
sometimes.

RESOLVING JOY


This fear is a fear of losing
the velocity I’ve hoped
is myself,

of sacrificing a wild and industrial motion
to an uncertain
abyss in peaceful rapture.

What is youth but fighting peace with every muscle?

Does progress exist without a continuous leaning forward?
And what of my curiosity who contests
all comfort as I sit quietly?

I will not succumb to stillness,
I will not succumb to stillness, it says.

But
when stillness visits,
I daresay there is a deliciousness

that I now
allow myself to inhabit
for whole minutes at a time

before re-dosing myself with urgency.

Dear one, imagine we knew not of our own mortality–
what if we, like so many other creatures,
had not even the faintest idea?

How would be this day,
this question;

how would I do this quietude
aside from the ancient, yet unproven, rumor
that I am to die?

Julia Daye

IMG_8599

In Thanks to Robert Levithan

His spiritual prowess and resonant vocabulary for navigating hardship did not come without a lifetime of heavy lifting. But sitting in Tuesday meetings at Friends in Deed, I revered Robert’s calm response to the grief of the hundreds of survivors that surrounded him. His unshakable heartful felicity, his enchanting ease of speech and soothing way of translating life seemed to offer many a lantern in the darkness, a roadmap through the void.

He was riveting and undeniably handsome. At 60 years old and living openly with fatal illness, it was strangely as if the circumstances of illness and aging had over time, in fact, harvested his being into a strapping, embodied, powerfully masculine champion. He dressed in white as a kind of signature and translated peace with a frequent pearly smile.

My 2012 self wanted to be like him, or to at least cultivate a route of similar vast effect. To be able to break through the dark vortex of human mental agony with a single sentence that delivered a simple and essential flip of perspective was, to me, a fascinating form of wizardry. He was one of the first to influence my eventual move to New Mexico, where he had spent significant time during a period of dire healing in his 20’s, and where he later returned to attend a school in Santa Fe called Southwestern College, an institution to which I applied as well after learning that’s where he went.

When a public person dies, sometimes it seems as if the social world launches into a series of sadness contests, especially with the modern presence of social media. Today, after learning of his death, I don’t feel sad; honestly, I barely knew Robert. But news of his passing brings me to reflect on how he was for me, as with so many others, a true road angel and ambassador of light.

— Julia Daye

Important Message to the World’s Nice Guys

I want to write a message to all the Nice Guys out there. Being a nice, kind, good-hearted, humanitarian, and an overall well-intentioned person does not safeguard you from inadvertent human ignorance and imperfect decision-making. Every man who has ever engaged in abusive behavior towards me (and sadly, there are several) was not only was a self-proclaimed “Nice Guy”, but was also known as such by many (if not all) of his peers.

I am noticing the dangers of blind identification with a positive characteristic, a conviction that leads many people’s sensibilities to be like Teflon for information to the contrary or any input at all that points out behaviors outside of that which they’ve identified themselves.

Getting healthily called-out for bad behavior will render such a person amidst blame of everyone else in the situation. I’ve seen this happen. This is how abuse begins.

Steadfast identification with the term “Nice Guy” does an immense disservice to the one doing the identifying as well, as it robs his imagination from viewing a wider spectrum and the innate, dynamic nature of human personality.

Sometimes good people do bad things, sometimes good people say disrespectful things, sometimes good people act disrespectfully or clumsily or even violently and should be held accountable just like everyone else. This may be disappointing news, but being a “good person” does not exempt you from error or accountability.

No one is perfect, but everyone is responsible for themselves.

 

Julia Daye

Making Peace


I have moved into the lyrical portion of this
particular lifedance wave—
emptying, grieving, negotiating gravity
with my feet and heart—

not too heavy, not too light—
toward a stillness for which
I have begged the divine
for some time.

I want peace, I want peace, I want peace, I say.

Today I ask for peace. So,
slowly I piece it together—
saying goodbye to all that I hold
that is not treaty,

I offer others what I hope she looks like;
what I have
combined in humble circles.

Julia Daye

Joan of Tree Bark


I am tired of fighting;
the warrior in me is no longer cozy.

All these years, I raged
against fools, bellowed
creed in the street—

fed the fires,
locked down, suited up,

lead the girls into battle
by the skin of our feet.

They know my name.
Wait….is it…Athena
or Don Quixote?

What is it we are fighting for?
These days, my heart aches
with questions.

I am tired of looking for
walls to break down.
I am tired of fighting.

The warrior in me is
no longer cozy.

The child in my heart
sits gaunt and lonely.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.32.56 AM

Julia Daye

This Revolution in Facts


Fact: The true revolution in this society lies in the micro, not the microphone. What a person does when no one is looking, in the privacy of his home or alone with his partner, is the realest testament of his awareness, intention, and goodness.

Fact: A person who considers himself a warrior for social and political progress but who does not respect the ones closest to him is not the heart-centered advocate he presents himself to be.

Fact: Revolution lies in the holiness of your hands far more than the wisdom of your words. Beliefs are just air, actions create new worlds.

Fact: Revolution is a practice, not an event; an ongoing, conscious rehearsal of embodiment in every waking moment of that which you wish to see in the world around you.

Fact: Revolution is a personal process first that hopes to join the collective in the form of service once solidified in the individual soul.

Fact: Energy flows where attention goes. The practice of revolution includes unplugging all of one’s own energy from the things that harm or impede our society. This means working for causes, not against them.

 

1153718-bigthumbnail

Trauma, Womanhood, and Forgiveness From a Wider Lens

While studying at university in 2008, I was assaulted on two occasions by male friends of mine. I did not have a full grasp of the depth of what had happened until several years later when a tough-love friend who had been at my side throughout university and after pushed me into facing the subsequent pattern of emotional disaster and deterioration of trust in of all my romantic relationships that followed those two encounters.

I have completely forgiven these men who hurt me. Like, completely. I truly feel no charge towards them whatsoever. I will never justify the ignorance from which these men who were once allies of mine acted, nor their disrespect for my person and experience at the time. However, I feel no anger towards them. The terrible PTSD I’ve been diagnosed with and have acted from for years now persists, and though there is a part of me that wanted years ago to blame these men exclusively for it, I know too much to do that.

I know the largeness of an overall abusive system that primes females to hate themselves and their bodies, of which physical abuse and attack is only part. A normal girl in this society who has an average amount of socially-instilled low self-esteem is highly likely to process any kind of abuse as justification for her worst beliefs about herself.

Many of us are working hard to overcome the habit of acting from the internalized belief that we are nothing. I know a few women like me, a few powerfully productive, creative women who admit to working obsessively in order to create as big as they can, very often in attempt to hide the nothingness they quietly believe they are. This is not all the time for these women, nor does it apply to all women for that matter. But regardless, it is good to check in with ourselves everyday and ask, “Where am I working from?” “From what mode of thinking are these impulses, motivations, or inspirations coming?”

My greatest act of revolution has been rehearsing self-love, an annoyingly fluffy term I used to hate, a thing that still feels so awkward to me so much of the time; a practice so terribly dissonant to so much of what I’ve been shown and told throughout the whole of my life. But I know I must practice it, what other choice is there after all? I don’t have a full dose self-love just yet, but I do my best to maintain some form of practice of it.

For this gal, self-love takes the form of not micromanaging every little choice I make; not driving myself like a horse, or berating myself for wanting to rest. It means not having sex when I don’t want to and doing my best to stop (or at least revise) those terrible words that shoot like missiles across my mind when I look in the mirror. Self-love to me means allowing myself to drink coffee, wear clothes that make me feel happy and comfy, putting work aside to watch TV, spending long languid beautiful lazy hours with my boyfriend, talking to myself while driving, letting myself be the perfectly content alone weirdo in the corner at a social event, not micromanaging my diet, and not getting stuck on literature that tells me to live my life differently than that which makes my heart warm. Allowing and allowing very slowly trust to replace all else.

url

 

Julia Daye