It’s okay to fall apart.
You don’t have to know the answers.
All those pieces you’ve been holding for so long while you raced around your life looking for the last roll of scotch tape, go ahead, let them fall.
Let them fall.
Every last piece.
It’s okay to scramble.
You don’t have to be calm now.
All those plans you’ve been stringing together like a macaroni necklace in kindergarten–
every last one is beautiful, so beautiful, so go ahead.
Keep grabbing at everything you ever wanted and always feared you’d never have.
Every last beautiful dream.
It’s okay to hope against hope.
This is not a time to be reasonable or rational.
Run, run as fast as you can against the tide that is crashing down now.
When the last wave sweeps over you
and every hope has been dashed
You will still be here, right here
and you will not be sorry you tried to make all your sorrows disappear.
It’s okay to cry.
Even if you are a man. Even if you are a mother. Even if you feel each tear
as an accusation against your strength, your resolve, your natural equilibrium.
Cry in the car. Cry in the shower.
Cry in bed when no one is listening or looking.
Cry when you kiss the kids goodbye for school.
Cry when you do the dishes.
Berate yourself for not being able to get it together
and then cry anyway.
How else will you know you lived, if not for these tears
reminding you were not made of metal, wood or steel
It’s okay to be lost.
Throw away the map. Leave the keys in the car.
Get out and walk.
Forget about everything you ever knew.
Crumple up those directions and move now from memory
The memory of your heart
The memory of your breath
The memory of that one time you laughed so hard you cried
The memory of that one kiss, the one that left you longing
to be loved for ever and ever.
At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute
That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.
Go ahead, be disappointed.
Nothing turned out how you hoped.
Sit under a tree and tell me the whole of it
and I won’t say a word.
I won’t say a single word.
This is the secret nobody knows.
All these days Love carried my heart in her heart.
I was her favorite, even as I cried,
and now I am sitting under her tree
listening to you
the way she listened to me
while I swore she was never ever there.
It’s okay to feel lonely.
At the end of your wanderings
when there is no more scotch tape
and you can’t find your macaroni necklace of dreams anywhere
your heart will trace an unpredictable path
to this place and you will have just enough courage
to let Love tell you the terrible beautiful truth
of how loved you were
and how even now, at the end of everything
it’s not too late.