whiskey quartz: walking home that day

by victoria larkins

walking home that day 

it was August


and the green of the trees after the year’s winter snowfall 

made Boulder brighter than i had ever seen before.


walking home the vibrancy of green rushed around me


too many cups of coffee 

i was jittering like the small water beetles 

blanketed on top of the creek.


walking home that day

it was October 


and the line of the horizon began erasing itself,

the sky and the ground started to merge.


walking home the intensity of the cold swarmed around me


i swore i saw myself smiling 

in a picture of someone else

playing with time and early snow. 


walking home that day 

it was still October,


but two hands tied three knots to keep whiskey quartz around my neck

and i felt a gentle passion in my heart begin to lift my Autumn body up and out.


like honey for love vocal chords, 

and bull horns to help me plow my path

i walked up towards the mountains. 


walking home that day 

it was November


as sunlight shrank, my tear ducts began to flood

the back of my throat soothed from the hoarseness of not knowing


how to say I love you

and I began to climb a ladder to the roof

to sit and watch the sunset.


walking home that day

it was late December 


i felt myself fall into the silk of embracements 

from the arms of the people i love — 

a chrysalis protecting me from muddy evenings. 


my throat’s back soothed 

the hoarseness of not knowing

began to melt with the peaks of sun in the morning.


walking home that day


it was January,

i found a letter from myself in the mailbox.


recalling ocean waves on my skin from a year ago

new year’s spring and summer wrapped around me.


winter flowers bloomed around me,

i slid into the ocean once again,

and learned how stillness 

can exist within movement.


When I first met Victoria I was just closing the chapter of my very first ‘real’ job. I had said yes to the small non-profit when they asked me to join their team after a summer internship. Honored, delighted, and feeling oh so respected that they wanted me, I said yes to the job. After doing this I walked home feeling incredibly dazed. My memories of that walk home on that August morning feel like one blur. In the moment I thought it was excitement, but retrospectively, the rush felt wrong. 

I have learned that my gut instinct is always right. For whatever reason I don’t always trust the most instinctual part of my body. It is in these moments that I find myself farther from myself. My thoughts and feelings become blurred and rushed. I go through my days without anything grounding me, and my nights are filled with dreams of me running away from things as quickly as I can while not running as fast as I need in order to actually get away. 

When I took this job I was so excited to have a title of my own that felt real. I think this is where I went wrong. I let something I did not fully believe in validate me. The whiskey quartz was placed on me right after I had gone through the realization that I needed to step away from what I had been doing to recommit my actions to myself and what I really believed in. As a senior in college, sometimes it feels like everything I do is going to determine my future. I have to remind myself that ultimately, the only thing, or person, that can do this is myself. The reason I choose to keep whiskey quartz with me was because I wanted something to remind me to ‘run my path.’ This was my own way of setting the intention to ‘take the bull by the horns.’ 

Whiskey quartz provided me with the reminder that I am in control of my decisions, perspective, actions, and voice. It gave me strength to get through the roughest time of my year, every year: November and December, finals, traveling home for the holidays, naked trees and short days. It helped me learn the voice of love, for myself and in my relationship. It allowed a calmness to be with me on the days I needed my nerves to numb most. The comfort it gave me allowed me to foster my relationships so that I had a happiness I never knew could exist. The reminder to stay true to who I am put me on a path of strength, and allowed direction to flow through me. 


Written by,

Izzy Sofio