Meet Me Here

John Donne, Elaina Avalos, Elaina M. Avalos, The Bait

Meet me here, when the days become long and the light turns golden.

Meet me here, when life is light and simple. And when the tempest rages. I want to face both – with you beside me.

Meet me here, when you need to break and can’t bear the world one more moment.

Meet me here – where I will keep you wild – as long as you keep me safe.

By: Elaina M. Avalos

Random musings on poetry: John Donne is a favorite poet, though a couple of my Lit professors found him tiresome and a chauvinist. I always thought their take a bit much. I think he was probably cheeky, sarcastic, and a poet familiar with the dark side of life (darkness in himself and others). He wrote one of my favorite sonnets of all time, about that very topic. But that’s another story.

One of my favorite Donne “conceits” is from “A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning” in which he compares his lover and himself as “twin” compasses (in this case a draftman’s compass). He writes that he must leave – but like the “fixed foot” of the compass, whatever circular route he takes, he will make his way back to her – his love – to “end” where he began.

“Come live with me…” I will always love “The Bait” for its way of twisting itself into many forms, depending on who reads it (to include Christian undertones). I read it as a description of the beauty and pleasures that this love brings the couple. Come live with me…

The Trouble With Wanting

“And if you never come back
If you never call
I say I’ll understand when I don’t at all

‘Cause the trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
And I want you all the time”
– Joy Williams

I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. But I’m certain, somewhere in the quiet places, I’ll always miss you. Around dark corners, when the busy days grow quiet – I will wonder. I will think of you.

These days, when the day fades, in the quiet of these humid summer evenings, I wish to understand. But the artist in me knows that the beauty in life, is often found in the grey. In the hazy spaces, where things don’t make sense, is where life grows deeply vibrant. Pain turns to growth. We find truth, art, beauty. It’s sometimes buried deep – but by God – it’s there.

My greatest joy has always been born from pain.

I am not sure I’ll ever understand. But I’ve certainly learned, in a way that makes me a better version of me, from what I’ve lost or don’t understand. And you, the man I’d burn it all down for, are no different.

“There are more questions than answers. In the beauty of this wild thing, I long for you. What is and will not be follows me around like a coastal fog. Through the haze I see you. I don’t hold it against you – you can’t tame wild things.

I live here in this tension, with what will not be, settling into the cold, wild – alone.”

I don’t hold it against you.

But, I think somewhere in my heart, I will always miss you.

You Own Everything That Happened to You

Anne Lamott, You Own Everything That Happened to You, Elaina Avalos, Elaina M. Avalos

I’ve held back. I’ve held back personally, professionally, and in my writing. I’ve been quiet when I should have been loud. I’ve shrunk back from speaking the truth. More importantly, I’ve done that in my writing – in ways I hate to admit.

You own everything that happened to you. I own everything that happened to me. I won’t be holding back – in how I live, how I write, and what I write. Whether it’s the truth about the hurt (and who has hurt me), the love, or the great joys in life – it’s all fair game, going forward. I’ve lived in the shadow of other people’s expectations for too long.

I refuse to do so any longer.

International Kissing Day

International Kissing Day, Elaina Avalos, Elaina M. Avalos, pexels-edward-eyer

Apparently, today is “International Kissing Day.” Who comes up with these days, anyway? Kissing, I feel you should know, is a favorite activity of mine. But, I’m not doing any kissing on International Kissing Day which is a damn shame. I am working on a novel again, however (thank you, sweet baby Jesus). As I write a new love story, (the secondary plot) and think up ways to draw these two together, I’m personally feeling a little neglected in the romance department (haha). Because I write about love and relationships, I’m always looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it (since romance in my real life is non-existent).

Here are some favorite quotes about kissing & a couple favorite scenes from my favorite fictional movie characters:

“Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.” ― Sylvia Plath

“Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.” ― John Keats

“No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (Rhett is terribly misunderstood & was far too good for Scarlett)

“When my date takes me home and kisses me good night, if I don’t hear the philharmonic in my head, I dump him.” — The Mirror Has Two Faces

“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there’s a lot of difference.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”
― Ingrid Bergman

And my favorite: “I’m so glad they still work. I haven’t used them for kissing in such a long time, more like for wearing lipstick and whistling.” — Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give

If you’re a female that grew up in the 80s (and 90s too) and you don’t adore Anne & Gilbert, from Anne of Green Gables, I’m taking your chick card.
The friendship between Kathleen & Joe in You’ve Got Mail, is one of my all-time favorite romance/friendships in a movie.
Great, great line. Also, poor Rhett. He deserved better.

Have any favorite love stories from books or on screen, that you’d care to add to my list?

I Was Born to Love You

ray lamontagne, elaina avalos, elaina m. avalos, i was born to love you

There’s a song I love – “I Was Born to Love You” by Ray LaMontagne. It runs through my mind constantly these days. I’ve sat down about fiddy billion times, to write something based on the song – but every time I do – life takes over and I lose my mojo.

There’s a lot going on at the moment. I haven’t written consistently in a couple weeks. It’s a huge bummer. I was writing a ton. There are things going on at my day job – throw in some stuff on my heart – and phew, after work, I just don’t have anything left. But this song – this song. I was born to love you – the lyrics play over & over again in my head – as I wonder when I’ll get unstuck from this place that costs me far too much.

The problem is, that when I set out to write or work toward other goals, reality steps in and I can’t quite get there. There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of create a life you don’t need a vacation from. While I don’t 100% agree with that statement, because life isn’t always gonna be walk in the park/vacay, there’s something to that idea. For years now, I’ve been trying to re-arrange my professional life in a way that makes room for what I’ve wanted most for my life. It seems that I can’t quite get there though. For me, creating this life is about making room for what matters most to me, what I feel most called to do, and somewhere in there – the family that has eluded me so far. It’s not that these things aren’t possible in my current career, they’re just constrained is all – especially now.

I read the following on Steven Furtick’s Facebook page – posted a short time ago, as I was writing this meandering & weird missive, “When you feel stuck, that means you’re on the verge of something significant. God has his hand on your life. Don’t stop now.” In this moment when I am feeling more stuck than ever before, when I’m tempted to think the struggle is a sign (that I should give up), I’m more certain than ever before, that I’m on the right track.

I was born to love you. I’m going to write it – as I wrote Wild Things, when the reminder of another favorite song seemed to fit my August of 2020, so well. It’s my little act of defiance and a reminder to myself of what I hope is waiting on the other side.