Tuesday, October 16, 2012

shapes of success

Sometimes success looks like nothing I've ever seen before.

Or it looks like things I've seen so often and refuse to take for granted: glue on fingerprints, a hand drawn hand, a happy tongue licking the last bit of curry from a dinner plate, a swept floor, a traced over question mark taking up a whole page in my journal, the old boots I've cherished for a decade repaired and polished up, Tuesday's line through Monday's item on my to-do list.

I'm still looking for new ways to see what never got awarded, certified or reviewed: an actor's mouth tasting the lines I dared to write, clean cotton clothes drying in the autumn sun, a sweet secret in an email from a stranger (I'll never tell), the end of the bike path, my lover's smile in my direction, a stamped envelope released into the sorting hands I may not get to shake but trust.

Success is an ellipses.

And an eclipse I stumbled into cold midnight for and caught, the pencil's pink eraser diminished, the swollen sacred space between the last word of a new spoken poem and applause, the writer's callus on my left middle finger. It got me through my childhood. I could go on.

What does success look like to you?