random thoughts while feeling feelings

i started this blog around six months ago - during summer. over these months i've talked quite a bit about my experiences & struggles with mental illness. the struggles always seem to multiply during the winter months. i live in the midwest & winters are often quite harsh, if not at the very least perpetually grey.

it always calms me to put these thoughts, fears, feelings into words. i wrote most days, maybe a small poem or maybe a journal entry or even an occasional rant. here are a few things i've written during the grey days.

random thoughts
part I.

here's the thing. 

when we're born we're barely solid matter. we ooze into this life, fragments of another, blind and blank and already exhausted from being. 

we come out screaming. 

this is no coincidence. 

safety doesn't exist. we're never not raw, we're never not just a composite of many corpses that left traces of a complex being, physically or otherwise, so that we can exist in the inexplicable manner that we find ourselves in at this very second. 

no man is an island. 

suffering starts at day one. this is unique to no one. this is the pendulum of life, a precise weight necessary to keep swinging, on and on with no end in sight. 

pain & joy sway in a well-timed dance. they twirl around the room leaving you dizzy & disoriented. which one is leading? can one exist without the other? 

maybe we can learn the dance. we breathe in and we lunge and curl and stretch and with the perfect movement we can catch it. we can catch the swirling sparkle that battles the darkness. we can learn the language of joy. maybe. 

here's the thing. 

as living, breathing souls, we're all connected. and what ties us together is suffering. this starts at birth. 

we come out screaming. 

this is no coincidence. 

part II.

"when winter wraps itself too tightly around / a dream from which i will wake"

i feel like i'm crawling in an endless dark. i'm on black gravel and my bleeding palms pull me forward into the neon night. the air is heavy, there is nothing before me so i could curl up in the cracked earth, or i could skid my skin across these crude rocks and i'm not sure i will survive and i'm not sure i want to. 

part III.

(yes, it hurts. and yes, it will heal. like hard earth thaws, the hollow parts of you will soften and fill and overflow life. just hold on for tomorrow. take my hand)

(from Smoke Signals)


Listening to:


  1. So much I want to say. So it is difficult to translate. I'll try.
    It's ... a wonderful sense of language. when sick, rough, wounded, black, tortured turns into a dance of words, feelings somersault, the severity of despair, light of hope.

    I am a little ... you know, I almost do not know you, but your words..., but I think you are too lovely to feel so.

    And you stretch the arm. It's unbelievable, really.

    Thank, Ashley

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  2. I don't know what to say. Your words fill up my hollow heart. I have found hope here. Which is something I thought I would be barred from forever. <3

  3. I never wanted to give up on life. I have , however wanted to retreat into myself....or a remote cave somewhere...and stay as far from people as possible. Away from feeling worthless. Away from feeling unloved or un wanted. I'm not a writing. My muse translates through paint. Mostly i paint peaceful landscapes. When I paint I'm wrestling with my demons. And when i am done i feel joy again. I'm glad you are brabe enough and strong enough to share your darkness. It makes your light brighter.

  4. Your poetry is beautiful, the way that you write is so expressive and meaningful. I'm extremely glad that you choose to share this with us, and you are a true inspiration.

  5. "my hand" was one of the first poems of yours I ever read, it makes more and more sense every time I read it, I don't even know what to say about the sorrow, about the pain and the joy dance, I honestly don't know anymore. It's summer where I live, I always felt way better during summer but not this time, I've thought about it a lot, maybe my lower dose of sadness is higher now, idk but I do know we can live with it, I do know I want to stay and deal with it, learn from it, keep going, maybe that's what summer gives me, a little hope and a little strength.

    I don't even know why am I telling you this, I don't know if it will affect you in any way, I guess it just feels alright to kinda chat about these topics with you.

    hope the summer knocks your door soon.

  6. When i first started reading your poem from Smoke Signals i realized that i had read it before on your tumblr and tears quickly followed after that. This is one of my favorites that you've ever written and every time i read it i find something new to take away from it. I'm having a bad night and i'm craving the burn, but i will hold onto your life raft instead. Love you Ashley.

  7. Once again, I have tears coming up to my eyes. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I guess random thoughts are sometimes very good and you know what to do further.

  9. Random thoughts sometimes very useful. It is possible to find a solution to long-standing problems of random thoughts.

  10. Hi Ashley,
    I will admitt, i resisted reading your blog or poems/book for i thought you were just riding coat tails (don't hurt me:) for someone who has dealt with many of the same issues as you and now has a 14 year old Girl following and falling in my muddy deap footprints, i feel quilt that maybe it was my geans that have haunted her. I have read this poem many times in the last couple weeks and forwarded it onto my geanpool and only someone who has struggled can write such a touching and true piece. You are incredibly talented-keep up helping others through your honesty.side note - I got to meet your Mom (and Dad ) in Louisville last TOP show of US, and one of my highlights was sharing with her not only how TOP has helped my teen but me also, along with you (and Jesse) she must have done something incredibly right to raise such beauty.-as a Mom i know that is the truest form of compliment. Peaceful mind to you.

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