LILA DANIELLE writes with her body first and her pen or keyboard second. She facilitates weekly dance events on the beach and holds embodied, creative movement retreats for women twice a year. She enjoys a good laugh and a deep cry, refreshing cocktails and evocative conversations. She lives on the island of Maui with her husband, bed and breakfast guests from around the world and many orchids.
Six Minutes and Twenty Seconds
Standing before hundreds of thousands,
she takes a stand for silence.
Steady, poised, undeterred,
this brave young woman
understands fear in ways we do not,
knows death in ways we hope we never do.
The crowd, at first, stands with her,
held captive and curious by the unknown.
A speech of resounding silence.
The absence of words becomes unbearable.
Whistles in support of what she stands for
illuminate the truth,
shatter the impact.
We can’t stand to be without noise.
Vacant Purple Cloud
She still remembers
her body collapsed
on that hot summer afternoon
with her lover’s tongue
making the room disappear
and the sun’s glare brighter.
They were two flames
sharing this embodied spiritual inferno.
Time did stop.
Together, they spilled into each other
becoming the ebb and flow
of one ocean.
Vacancy isn’t emptiness.
It’s being fully present,
regaining sight of what’s possible
when one opens up to
In this world
I am presence.
I simply am.
always as it is.
Wherever I am,
I am what is present.
When I dance,
I move this body
is more than this body.
We all have reasons
I am always whole.
The Clothes We Leave Behind
Her mother arrived in tears
carrying a large black garbage bag.
“Take what you want and donate the rest,” she’d said.
I remember the noise that bag made
when she’d placed it on my living room floor.
Heavy. Solid. Final.
Her daughter’s clothes were inside.
Her daughter, my friend
had died in a car accident one week prior.
Her daughter, my friend
would never wear those clothes again,
but I could.
I could open that bag
put on one of her favorite dresses
and perhaps, just for a moment,
pretend I would see her the next day at work.
Death doesn’t work that way.
But what the sudden ending of a life does
is make the living realize
there is never a better day than today
to tell those that you love you do.
That black bag remain unopened,
waited for me with no agenda.
Several days passed before my hands would loosen the ties
and my grief tumbled out with the bag’s contents.
It wasn’t seeing her clothes fall to the floor
that broke the dam of denial wide open
and brought me to my knees.
It was smelling her.
As I laid face-down atop the pile,
those garments of grief gently embraced my body.
I remember imagining her lying right beside me.
It’s not the clothes we leave behind that matter.
I wore her scent for months.