The crushing days

Dear tired heart,

I know you’ve lost count. Burned the food, boiled it over, spilled your drinks, forgot to save, forgot to reply, forgot to breathe, balanced a blow dryer under your laptop with water dripping from the keys. I know your shoulders hurt and your stomach is cramping. Said the wrong things, at the wrong time, numb from the confusion that seeps in and soaks deep when everything should be together but everything falls apart. I know you made chai yesterday to distract yourself. Not your first attempt, but it was perfect. An exact version of Chennai chai. And you were happy. Chin up, tired one, your secret lies in that steaming mug of spice and cream. There’s a secret to flavor and depth, character and strength. Age-old, all-true, basic: be crushed. Crush the cardamom, crush the cinnamon sticks, crush the cloves, crush the pepper. Crushing is essential to the process. Let the hurt happen. Let it be. Deep breaths. These are the crushing days.

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A new name: deep roots, strong wings

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❝ A love of language and a sense of gratitude would be two ingredients in the recipe for making a poet. ❞ —Billy Collins

Handfuls is no more: I began writing in a time of desperately craving contentment, faced with the possibility of remaining in a town that I was so ready to leave yet exhausted of looking at other’s lives and thinking that a beautiful life like theirs would begin as soon as I returned our old apartment key to the front desk and took the exit to the highway one last time. I’m still here. Still in the same town. And yet, contentment is mine. Like a favorite pair of jeans, the t-shirt I sleep in, my favorite coconut chapstick, I made her mine and wore her in and now she clings: a second skin. I created my own habits of wellness and wholeness on Handfuls, and so many of you joined me on that journey and shared your stories, real and raw, and we reclaimed our bodies and our hearts together. There’s been a lot of sweat, tears, and trips to the sea along the way.

With contentment my own, I’m beginning again under a new name. I’m still in the same Indiana town, but my heart trembles and fractures and grows and steadies for new reasons now. I’m on the edge of completing a master’s degree and so is Josh, my love, my best friend, my husband—so our tomorrows are not set. We co-founded a nonprofit, and every day brings fresh challenges and victories and doubts. I found a community on Instagram, and for months I rested in the simplicity of sharing only photos. But the words are back, thumping against the walls of my chest, filling my mouth, spilling from fingertips. So here I am. Saltwater Letters is an ode to pursuing the real, the light, and the adventure of life. For those who struggle to find their place and to carve out meaning, and to actually, literally, tangibly change the world. In small ways, in particular ways, in big ways. This is for those who have a penchant for wandering, but whose hearts are steady. For those wanting to grow deep roots and strong wings.

Stay with me as I tumble along, finding my new place. Saltwater Letters is a space to write love letters to the world. And maybe I will write some for you.

so much love.
xo,
m.

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