Anonymous asked:

Do you think soul mates exist? How do you know that person is "The One"?

I think that to try to even have this talk we have to draw some lines in the sand (read: if we don’t define what we think a soul mate is, there’s no way to answer this question / also read: this answer will not survive high-tide).

I think that if there is a ‘standard’ definition for “soul mate” it would probably be the idea that each person has “a perfect match — the yin to yang, part two of a two-part puzzle; a companion who, should we not find, and (re)unite with, neither piece/person can be complete — a unliaterally reciprocal compliment.

Seriously think about the implications of that for a moment… For me, if we accept that to be a working “soul mate” defintion, then we also have to accept one of two ideas:

1) Our lives are not an accident. We are here because we’re supposed to be (more on this in a bit), or…

2) Our lives are random exercises in combinatory genetics and circumstantial probability. For ‘soul mates’ to exist in this scenario, I imagine the idea would be that we all start off as a part of a pair before being separated at-or-before birth. (It’s a reach to think we have souls if we are random happenings, but) We will be born and live our lives without a name for the yearning and incompleteness our souls carry for decades during which we will be too consumed by our childhood, adolescence, and the post-adolescent cocaine-and-other-drug-or-drink-or-whatever-you-do-it’s-cool-no-judgement-I-just-wanted-to-have-fun-too-but-be-safe-because-ODing-is-a-serious-problem phase of our lives called our twenties. There will be a lottery-odds-at-best few who will have their high-school sweethearts turn out to be the love-of-their-lives, and everyone will hate them for making it all look so damn easy — and they’ll probably (statistically) still break up at 35 when hubby comes home early after cancelling his afternoon affair for the day to find his wife taking a long lunch break on the kitchen counter with her work-husband (we know about him, ladies — we’re not amused)… Sorry. I digress. Where was I… Oh. Okay… Blah blah blah blah pair, separated at birth, blah blah blah, we turn 27 and realize that we need some help solving this emptiness, and our souls have grown into this super weird shape with all kinds of caverns and a weird erosion pattern that gives us edges that are round and sharp at the same time, and soft and rough at the same time, and pretty and ugly-as-hell at the same time; we keep crashing into other people and cutting ourselves further, and breaking off pieces of ourselves further, and we sit there and look at the stitch marks and the chipped edges and wonder what of this was “supposed to happen,” and what has just been “what has happened in a world where everyone, regardless of any God’s plans, has personal dominion enough to just make a sharp left turn in the middle of a block into oncoming traffic if they feel inclined to do so…” We’re 27 and now we want to not be alone. We’re 27 and we want not to be alone, and we want to find cures to not-alone-ness via the one person built to solve that exact dilemma. The one random soul who can mate with our incongruencies to make us into something symmetrical.

Problem: She lives in India, I live in Detroit, and we’ll never meet or speak the same language. We are each doomed to walk the earth lonely.

Problem: He died in a car accident at 16 when he wouldn’t tell his buddies not to drive drunk, and got in the car, and they couldn’t swerve fast enough to avoid that one personal dominion guy who made the sharp left into oncoming traffic, so she’ll never meet him.

What we’re saying here is that we have maybe one shot to get this right. Somewhere there is a person who was carved from the negative space we left in the clay we were sculpted out of. If that person dies, we lose the capacity to ever whole ourselves, and are doomed to walk the earth searching for meaning in vain while we wait for our death, and maybe then, reuniting with our other-and-probably-best-described-as-better half.

Problem: There’s no reasonable way to discuss our “soul mates” without also discussing our God(s) and/or our faith.

The question of soul mates, for me is answered by asking myself the following question(s): “Do I believe that God has not left my life to chance, or given me choice by accident? Do I think I’m ‘supposed’ to do anything or be anywhere? Was I built and deployed with a purpose? Am I supposed to do anything other than be born (got it), live a bit (working on it), and die (snooze button, please)?”

Depending on how you feel about those, I think the question of whether or not you see your life as an exercise in random probability will certainly make it difficult, or will it breathtakingly easy, to support the idea of there being only-one-soul-mate-who-you-might-or-might-not-ever-find-needle-and-haystack-style-out-of-soon-to-be-eleventy-billion-people-overcrowding-this-earth.

Life is hard, and I believe in God. I believe that there is a plan for my life — an opportunity for me to pursue my personal growth and unbeaten path towards some messy rendition of the vision A Perfect Hand drew for me — I believe that I don’t always need to understand, but that I always need to listen. I believe that I have spent most of my life not listening, and have still managed to feel like I might be able to find the path again.

I don’t believe that evolution has been random. I don’t believe we are born or crafted without conscience. I don’t believe all of our paths are the same, or look the same, or even look related — I don’t believe we will all die in the hands of a human who loves us. I think some of us might struggle to not be lonely, as so often we (read: Me, Niles) only know how to rely only on humans to keep us company. But, I do believe we are provided the things that we need. I do believe that we are given hands and mouths for kissing and holding and hearts for loving, and hurts to break us so we can understand what it is to be healed by ourselves, by someone else, and by God. I do believe that God gives us enough wing to cross over the gaps we find.

I can say unequivocally that there are people I was blessed to have in my life — people who have forced or helped or watch or otherwise been present for my growth. People I could not be who I am without. People placed here to make me better — and for whom I have been given the ability to help. As corny or cliche as it might sound: I do believe in soul mates. I don’t know how many we get (I don’t understand why we would only get one life-changing-person per trip to earth). I know that they are not mistakes. I know the neither I, nor she, are mistakes.

So I guess my answer, now that I’ve ranted more than was reasonable is this: You are not a mistake. You are not a random occurence. You are necessary. So live your life as though that’s the case, and do your best to listen to your soul. You’ll know they are the one when you feel, after all this living you’ve been doing, like a person again.

Anonymous asked:

Dear Dr. Heron, can I sail thru the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I’ve been afraid of changes. For a long time, probably. You get comfortable doing a certain thing. You get comfortable surviving. You get comfortable being less than happy, and eventually you stop knowing whether or not you’re allowed to want more, or if this is just life. You remind yourself of how grateful you are for where you are and who you are and the things you feel like you might be capable of. But you spend so much time building your life around you(rself) and then one day there’s someone else standing there — and you just have to jump off a cliff and hope you’re able to finish growing up on the way down.

So if I can handle the seasons of my life — time has made me bolder — I think you’re probably getting older, too…

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Ask Niles: I’ll come up with a catchy title, one day, but first….

Family, Friends, Followers, Tumblr —

I’m hoping to do an I’m-not-holier-than-thou advice column that actually acknowledges race and sexuality and societal norms… our position as leaders and followers and participants in a world transforming under our fingertips care of this digital revolution… our position as lovers in a world not teaching us healthy or reasonable expectations and standards and outlooks on our relationships with each other and the world… I just want to talk about how we can all do better, and the things that hold us back. And the hurdles we don’t know how to clear. And the things that make us remember happiness is worth fighting for. Myself included.

My goal is to find a outlet to publish these one day, maybe, but I have to prove I can write a compelling advice column first. Which means I need people to ask questions. If you could share - tweet - repost - reblog the above, or the below, I’d appreciate it. I need to cast a wide net and get some people to engage with me…

Life, work, relationships, writing, reading, love, hate, want, need, thirst, hunger, full-filled. Let’s talk.

Ask anonymously, or put your name on it.

[[ An example of someone who asked me for some advice a few weeks ago: "I don’t know how to make ‘I’m Sorry’ matter…." ]]

Anonymous asked:

As a writer can you give some advice about how to apologize to someone who has been hurt so many times before that the words "I'm sorry" mean nothing. To give some context, my now ex-boyfriend is unwilling to accept my apology for hurting him, it was nothing serious as cheating but his pride was hurt and was willing to end out relationship over it. He refuses to speak with me and I would like to write him but don't know how to convey my sincere apology and undying love for him.


First: Understand that just as you’re asking him to forgive you for the hurt he’s feeling, you might have to one day forgive him for not being able to love you commensurate with your needs. He just might not have that in him (anymore). And you might need to make peace with that situation. 

You will still love him. You will wake up every morning for a while learning how to reconcile that internally, even when he can’t love you, and that part of loving him truly is finding a way to embrace all of that. It will be like trying to jar lightning, or hugging fog. It will feel like your village is in the clutches of a drought, and you are trying to transport water back to them in picnic cups and praise hands. It will only be wet, until you always come up dry. It will be God whenever you find dawns to just be dawns again. 

Second: Know that whenever you’re trying to say something someone probably won’t admit they want to hear (even if they do), you’re probably never going to do it “the right way” (by them; at least when they read it). Your apology will be another line item on the learn-how-to-want-to-forgive-you-for-and-then-learn-how-to-do-it list.

As you think about what to say, start by analyzing the hurt. You probably have a pretty good basis for assessment given that you love and know this man, and so you have to ask yourself what is really hurt in him — and then what HE THINKS is hurt. You have to address the core of the pain, while navigating the walls that will be up to protect the wounded thing at the center of the labyrinth. 

And then figure out how to write that wounded thing a love letter. Never say “you’re going to be okay” — never downplay or oversell the gravity of the wound… Remember that “you are not in pain like he is,” even if you are in pain. His feet and calves and entire body is unique and feels like nothing you can know, no matter how much you want to. That is what he will feel like.

Lastly: Write something that you will not regret. Which is to say, don’t lie in hopes of swaying him one way, or the other. Tell him the truth and do so with language as concise as possible. The best way to do this, for me, is to write two letters. Write one where you say everything you want to. Write him one where you say exactly as much as you need him to read. Then write another (and maybe a third, or a fourth, or a ‘however-many-times-it-takes-that-it-doesn’t-feel-like-you’re-trying-to-write-away-pain-with-rhetoric). Trim the fat. Don’t go on a paragraph tangent about that one trip you took, and how the sun light cut through the space between the top of the windshield and the top of the sun-visor and his nose and upper lip looked like it was on fire and all you wanted to do was to kiss him. Even though that’s all you wanted to do. Even though you want to tell him. Even though you want to talk in concentric and slowly expanding circles starting at your left ventricle and paving your way to him, because that’s the path you walk every morning.

Cut across the lawn. Get to his place. Ring the door bell. Kiss him on the cheek. Tell him you hope you get a chance to love him to his face again, and if not you’re going to love the back of his head until your eyes fall out. And walk away. 

You have to let him find his way back to you. On his own. By his choice. By his need. Wearing him down will only make him tired. He might say yes, but it will only be until he builds enough strength back up that he will remember to say “no” again. 

Good luck. Undying is a long time. But that also means you don’t have to be in a rush about this. 

Anonymous asked:

When did you start writing poetry?

I grew up in a home full of writers. 

I think some people know every day that they are growing up that they are going to be what they are growing into. Some have the luxury of really just walking down the road to the market and coming back with milk. Most days I pity them… Until it’s one of those specific days when I feel extra spun around and don’t know which way is up or down, and don’t know what direction to write in let alone what to write about, or that I should be writing more my name and the date on the top of a blank page I don’t know why I stole, or how to spell my name, or what the date is…. Then I really envy people who are doing what they always knew they’d be doing.

All I ever really knew was that it wasn’t going to be me — writing. And then I woke up one day and I was 16, in a creative writing class during my junior year in high school, and the poetry section started. My teacher, Robin Moten, showed us “Slam Nation” and I got to watch Saul Williams and Beau Sia and Jessica Care Moore and muMs da Schemer represent the Nuyorican Cafe / NYC at the National Poetry Slam. Taylor Mali and is “Like Lily, Like Wilson’ poem. Saul’s Pickininey Children and Aunt Jemimah and Uncle Ben shooting at them. I was hooked. It was like a light switch got turned on. Mostly on Saul, and most of my early writing really reflects that point of inspiration. Young writing (still problematic), and more attempts at wordplay than attempts at meaning, some times (and still).

But I knew that I was saying something. I knew that it was important — if only for me.

I won the poetry contest/slam we had in that class. And the one the next class had (they invited me back). A few slams and some wins here and there, and a lot of stages and mics have helped me grow into who I am. As did a long break from mics and stages, which happened after I decided that I was winning or doing well in slams because I was a better performer than a writer (the opposite is now true, and performing isn’t as fun as it used to be — but I’m trying to get back).

I spent the next decade or so often living, sometimes writing about it, and trying to figure out how to write more and more and more for _me_ while not being more and more and more open to the world. It’s been exhausting, and incredible, and hopefully I’m just getting started. 

Ask your questions here

Anonymous asked:

Who is your favorite Pokemon? ;)

I worked security for an anime and cosplay convention in downtown Detroit a few weeks ago. It was a wild ass experience for me. I think I saw 5-7 Ash Ketchum’s and fiddylevum Missy’s. There were Pikachu costumes people had purchased prefab, and homegrown costume versions of many other PokeDex entries. 

It made me wonder a lot about whether or not people who do this are dressing up or dressing down… These people were having more fun than I can remember ever having (which might be a indicator of my own pathology and personal hurdles and stuff), but for most of the convention I couldn’t tell *exactly how* these con-goers were enjoying themselves in this weird-real-world-alternate-reality. That is to say, I couldn’t tell if putting their costumes on gave them the separation, or it was that this was actually them, and after however many months or years since their last opportunity to do this, they were finally taking their costumes _off_.

From a security place, it was a nightmare… A bunch of people dressed up like characters that I either 1) can’t readily describe to my colleagues in the case of an incident, or 2) who have the same exact outfit as seven other people in your general area. [_Try telling someone on the other side of a convention center to be on the look out for one of the Lara Croft’s — the one who ISN’T pulling the costume off…_ See how good you feel about yourself, or how well they understand you…]

Anyway. These aren’t the answers you were looking for. 

I was a Generation I pokemon player, and don’t know anything beyond about 150, in any honesty. I gravitated toward Psychic or Ice because they felt so unreasonably strong.

Favorite Pokemon: Alakazam / Lapras / MewTwo.


Ask your questions here

Anonymous asked:

why are you so smug?



Having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.

self-satisfied - complacent - conceited

(-_- )

Me? Oh. Welp. Following is optional in every medium (unless you’re a blood relative, in which case: “Sorry, guys.”).

And I have even more great news (see next graph):

Un-following me, this week only, is on sale. We’re actually giving out FREE TRIALS, down from the normal price of $0.38 with a $0.38 instant rebate. So you know. Do what you have to do, I guess.

Jokes aside. I really struggle with my self-confidence. I wish that it made more sense to me, or came more naturally. The truth is I’m kind of always surprised when people read, like, follow, tweet, text, call, hang out. Well. Not the first time, because sometimes people think I’m pretty. But the second time, when I haven’t scared them off, I’m always really surprised.

And then I look in the mirror afterwards, do this, and say nice things to myself.


(Not joking.)

gangsta-nerrrd asked:

Where does the bulk of your inspiration come from? Are you rendered sweet by the colors of the dawn? Vulnerable at the scent of a woman's perfume? Emotional when you think about all the stars that we can't see? Do you get your exigence from religion? Do you inspire yourself, maybe narcissistic, maybe just self-sustainable? What inspires you to feel, to write, to move, to listen, to speak, to sing, to love, and experience?

Hey. I meant to answer this a long time ago, but I never got to it. There’s just so much here to talk about.

I’m going to just take that first question and do my best for you:

The bulk of my inspiration comes from the foolish part(s) of me. It’s really easy to let the world strip you of your dice-roll. I am willing to rabbit-hole with the thought that illogical hope and dreams and love will happen, here. I don’t put money on it, because I’m not rich enough to do that, but I try to write from a place of risk. I try to ask myself “what would it be like if I were all-in on this hand?”

I come up short so often… It feels like… I try, but I fail, a lot. I write safe things instead of scary things, a lot. I don’t say that I think she’s wonderful, enough, and I also tell her more than I probably should because I’m used to having to convince people to stay. I don’t let silence hang and breathe, enough — I try to fill it with things that makes truth less awkward and some times that silence would probably turn into poetry, if I’d let it. I don’t know.

The bulk of my inspiration comes from all the things that I’m convinced will convince people that I’m crazy if I say out loud; the things I’m just too crazy to keep quiet.

Anonymous asked:

are your current love poems about the same woman?

In a relationship. Engaged. Single. It’s complicated. In an open relationship… Okay, I’m gonna keep it really really real with you, Anonymous. I’m just listing Facebook relationship status options.

But honestly, the last one kind of works. My pen is in an “open relationship” with the people that inspire it (and by pen, I mean, keyboard, because I’m a generation whatever-the-hell-we-are-they-have-called-us-eleventy-different-things and I grew up with a computer and my hand hurts if I write for too long; which is to say if you ever get a handwritten note from me we go together — it’s time to break up with that bout-to-be-ex-boyfriend, these poems are for YOU now).

A lot of the love poems I write are about want, or desire. About the things that I hope to see with people, in people, of people, through time spent with people, between… (heavy ellipses, and other prepositions too). My want is definitely motivated by real people. When I tell you about hands creeping across my chest, I know what those hands look like. When I tell you that she has a GPS-reserved parking spot, my arm wrapped like I’m afraid she’ll leave, with her head below my clavicle and above my heart, I know who’s lips are kissing my chest in that scene… So that sort of answers your question, right?

You know when you’re sitting across from someone, and they’re talking. They’re probably saying something relatively innocuous, but you care, and yet they are drowning out to the actual sight of them talking? And you sit there and think to yourself, “well, shit; I could just watch them talk about anything…" I write about her. A lot of my writing comes from residual inspiration I get left with from the times I got flustered because some she asked me why I was smiling at her. It probably wouldn’t be a problem, but this she has finished talking, and now I’m just sort of smiling with my head slightly off center looking creepily out at her silence. Staring, basically. Not cool, Niles. The point is that it’s a fair and valid question, and the truth of it is that right here is when I should tell her that I think she’s awesome, but instead I just say some dumb shit like: “Oh, what, a thug can’t smile now? 2013 is some bullshit.” (She laughs, I dodge a bullet, but if I would have just told the truth, I might have been too happy to write a damn poem about it). I get in my way. I also digress.

Other poems that I write are about real women, who have really changed my life, who really have given me palpable examples of what my or their love looks and feels and tastes and smells and hurts like… who have shown me where love stack-ranks in their lives or mine and whether or not our mixture was potent enough to overcome the obstacles (spoiler alert: nah, man — but we cool, though).

I don’t know if that answers the question, so I’m going to try one more time.

No, not all my poems are about the same woman. Yes, some of them are. Yes, some of them have been about others. All of them are about someone. Probably. I am motivated by reality, but my writing is also a product of my own imagination, which has awesome magical powers like projection and alchemy wherein I can combine things I want but can’t or won’t have with things I have but can’t or won’t share, and sometimes the byproduct is poetry.

Ask Niles A Question

Anonymous asked:

Do you date?

Yes, but I never know if I’m doing it right…

It’s kind of stressful, actually.

One day you’re you, and then that same day at dinner, or drinks, or coffee, or at an art gallery, or walking through the city or maybe beachside, or on a picnic (which is really anywhere you have lunch),

or in a movie, or doing something else that people do on dates

(what do people do on dates?)… I digress… Sorry, Anonymous.

Anyway, you woke up a normal person, with dreams and hopes and intentions (hell and heaven bound), and now later, on that same day, you’re sitting across from this new person who has all of these lists and expectations of who you are and how close to their dream man you stack-rank. The conversation is surface level because no one wants to go there on a first date, and the entire time you’re just really wishing you had ordered Saba Nigiri (you saw it on the menu, idiot — what are you doing?) or that you had gone and seen the James Bond movie (because you can’t stop laughing at stuff that isn’t supposed to be funny in Gangster Squad), or that all ants everywhere would die forever because you’re so focused on the fact that they are getting in the hummus that you didn’t realize until right now that she has a fucking incredible smile…

And now there are ants in the hummus dip, and she notices, and stops smiling.

But you saw her smile, and now that thing kind of matters to you? But you didn’t know that she had a traumatic childhood experience with ants and hummus, and she had been able to overlook the hummus out of courtesy (she was working through it), but with ants added to the equation it just reminds her of the war in Grenada and it’s now time to go.

You just want her to smile again, though. So now you’re making a fool of yourself, chit-chatting yourself right out of any chance you might have had at a second date. Your saving grace is maybe she pities you.

Alternatively, you can avoid all of the above and just watch NBA TV. Yeah. So….

Remember when I said “It’s kind of stressful actually?”

What I meant was…

Shit is Scressful, bruh.

Anonymous asked:

I have just discovered your poems. And thank you. What process do you go through in your writing?

I’m not sure why you’re thanking me, but I’m grateful that you’re here. Thank you for your time (even if I can’t count it), and your eyes (even if I can’t see them), and your critique (even if you never share it). Thank you for letting me write to you.

I don’t always understand my process. It feels like there’s fire involved. Sometimes it feels like I walk around; alive-ish and definitely ablaze. Feels like the writing is just me trying to document things before they become ash. It’s always a race; always a struggle.

Write it down before it’s gone. Write it down before they leave. Write it down so maybe she’ll stay; so maybe she’ll love you; so maybe she’ll learn you; so maybe you’ll remember yourself after you change.

Usually, when I walk past the mirror these days, I’m looking at someone who I don’t quite recognize, and who I desperately want to know. We’re moving so fast, here. I want to keep up with myself. I don’t want to lose my location becoming this man I’m becoming. The thought that I might be worth the things that I pray about is scary, and the thought that someone might pray about being worth me is scarier.

For all of my fears, and prayers, and hopes, and scars, and pasts, and futures… My process boils down to one thought:

"Don’t die before you tell them why you were living."

Anonymous asked:

Hey homie why are you so obsessed with @NaimaPixie ?

Because Naima is awesome. She’s smart, and witty, and really pretty. She and I have talked, and topics have ranged from: Love and the lack thereof, to hope and the dreams thereof, and David Foster Wallace (she introduced me to him), and reasons my poems miss their mark sometimes, and Walt Whitman (a shared fav), and lineage, and E. Ethelbert Miller, and Marvin Bell, and Ice Cream, and God, and Baudelaire (who I still haven’t read).

That’s why, Anonymous… That’s why. Also, I like larger-than-normal foreheads. It’s indicative of a large brain, I think… Right?

Ask Niles A Question?

Anonymous asked:

How's the search for the natural haired woman who likes poetry, has a great smile, owns multiple sundresses, and will give me back rubs on the regular going?

I’m working on it. My eyes are wide open.

The only real must-have’s on this list are ‘likes poetry’ and ‘great smile’ (above and beyond the un-quantifiable ability to inspire me) — Added points are available for nice natural hair, sundresses, back rubs, good cooking, great taste in music, etc.

The search continues. She’s out there, though, right?

Ask Niles A Question?