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Sunset of the Yellow Years

June, 2003 of the Yellow Years–photo by Krista KarelsThis morning I awoke to a voice in my head yelling over and over at me: “I can’t do this any more!” “Do what?” I inquired. “And who IS this, anyhow?” Total Silence. I continued to lie there, no…

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Sunset of the Yellow Years

June, 2003 of the Yellow Years–photo by Krista Karels

This morning I awoke to a voice in my head yelling over and over at me: “I can’t do this any more!”
“Do what?” I inquired. “And who IS this, anyhow?” Total Silence. I continued to lie there, not moving, not wanting to disturb this … whatever it was … this awfully uncomfortable thing inside me.
By this time in life I know what to do with the uncomfortable things. Observe. Gaze. DO NOT MOVE FROM THAT SPOT! Look it straight in the eyes (or, in this instance, listen to every vibration) until it yields up its secret truth. Something has pushed it from its comfort zone out to the edge of consciousness. Don’t let it fall into obscurity. The temptation to think of something else–to forget–to avoid–to fight with someone/anyone–to grab the Kindle and click onto the latest book–to focus on anything but THIS which is so obviously overwhelming.

I kept my eyes closed. I knew what to do: go to that place where dreams arise. I’d been dreaming something, hadn’t I? Yes.

I make my way through a complete dark.
The Way has no delineation.
The Yellow Years are gone.
I must leave this yellow house.
Ah. The house again. The deconstruction. The re-construction. The color of the paint. The whole thing is a metaphor for a powerful and essential personal transformation. Suddenly I’m aware that “this” which no longer can be done or be in charge is the “old me.” I’m no longer in my “yellow years.” They were beautiful years of roses and song and dancing. They were years of intense creativity–of writing all the books. They were the John Weber years of romance and dreams coming true. We found this house in those years, a sunshine house on a hill. The yellow years were a gift beyond words. But even the most beautiful that this world has to offer cannot be enough. What does sunshine do, after all, but penetrate the earth to transform what is living but unseen within and make it grow? 
John Weber became ill in 2003, just before the lovely picture of the yellow house was taken. He died in 2008, and the yellow began to fade. With John Sack I am beginning to find a deeper self I haven’t yet completely come to know. It seemed to come upon me suddenly, the requirement I spoke of yesterday when I said the skin needed to be ripped from the house. Even then I hadn’t awakened to the passing of the yellow years. I haven’t wanted to let them go. But the new self in me was becoming claustrophobic in this yellow house. (Can you know what I mean? Have you experienced this? It’s such a paradox, don’t you think?) But yellow is but one color on the spectrum, while brown contains them all.

I read a poem the other day by Lisa Ciccarello that may also have contributed to the intensity that drives such experiences to the surface. Let me share it:

Here is how I control my heart: I string each thought one behind the next, like beads. 
I wear the answers I am waiting to give. The jewelry becomes heavy as soil. 
My long blink is a scream & a yes. There are things I have to say, but they do not yet know the questions they must ask. & a blink is no word; if they misunderstand—
A heart is just soil. Ask anyone. A heartbeat is a blink. A long blink is a scream. A longer blink is sleep. All night I am screaming.

John Weber and I at sunset of the Yellow Years–taken by Krista Karels

Most Recent Book by Ciccarello

(Black Ocean Press, 2015)


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The Solemn-Eyed

Nobody remains in this world who remembers her like this. Solemn child. Her baby book records her birth and nothing after that. Her mother was gone. She hadn’t died–nothing that serious. But she wasn’t there. No. She had bad lungs. TB. And just after …

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The Solemn-Eyed

Nobody remains in this world who remembers her like this. Solemn child. Her baby book records her birth and nothing after that. Her mother was gone. She hadn’t died–nothing that serious. But she wasn’t there. No. She had bad lungs. TB. And just after …

Continue reading The Solemn-Eyed

Cool Art Therapy Intervention #7: Creating Together

There is a distinctive kind of creative energy generated when people work in a group to create art. Call it synergy or collective flow; whatever you call it, it changes our perceptions of who we are and shows us how to get by with a little creative hel…

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