Archive for the ‘dance’ Category

Saturday. 26-degrees, feels like 16. Snowflakes fell like feathers for 15 minutes and called it quits, preferring the embrace of their clouds to the dance of descent. A second pot of tea steeps on the counter, delicatas roast in the oven, buttery-garlic rice simmers on the on the stove, the sink drips into the breakfast dishes, and the radio plays a soundtrack made, I’m almost convinced, just for me.

After 13 months of unemployment, I got a job. Up early, OWL at school for 8-1/2 hours, straight home to where I’m the cook, dishwasher, laundress, healer, bather, story-teller. Looking back, I see the magical quality that shined through all the chaos and hurts of the past 18-months. And I am forever grateful.

Last month, among the madness of deadlines, I came face to face with myself, again. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote through decades, started close to the beginning, and penned pages of missed opportunities, hurt and injustice, doubt and fear, but also of triumph and learning and love. I  went over the past year, a year defined by the journey through so much loss, how I worked like hell to stay in the moment, to dissolve, to be okay, to experience groundlessness and reality maybe for the first time ever, to grieve my past-present-future.

As the pages turned, my mind kept trying to settle on the metaphor eye of the storm, but I quickly realized that this was wishful thinking. That suddenly, I am on some other side. I know more storms will blow in and wreak havoc on everything I know, but this particular one, this one that I know so very well, has silently come to an end. And within the madness of paper and pen and hours, part of me craves its return because at least, in it, I know who am.

But it is not where I am, nor who I am at this moment. And certainly not what I want for the future. As I survey the landscape of this new shore I see that a good deal of the wreckage has already been cleared, that I’ve done quite a bit of picking up along that way. That through all of this, the little pieces of compassion that broke through took root and are starting to push through the earth, towards the sun as it rises.

Life only grows after falling down, kissing the earth through that dance of descent.


Dedicated to M.D.A.

June 1970 – February 2011

Thank you for your courage and thoughts and words.

I wish you safe passage and travels, and a happier return.


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I always like starting with some grand epiphany. Something big & slick with the promise of becoming more. But this is just how I am. Always waiting for the start, for the right moment, for the stars to properly align, to wake up in a different state…. Perhaps that is why I hardly ever start much of anything. So much living in wait.  Holding it all at arm’s length until the day of arrival. The day that is always somewhere & anywhere but here.

So this seems like as good of a place to start as any. A 32 year old single mama after a relationship of 7+ years with a marriage and a house and all of that. But there aren’t any words to neatly package it all up. And any explanation of why I am here & how I arrived does not cast a particularly favorable light on either party, I’m afraid, although it can certainly be easy to place it all on him or myself at any given point in time. Mood & audience depending, of course.

There are days that are beyond hard. Many tears erupting, an almost sobbing presence. It has some words, but not too many. It’s an ache with a sound. A splinter served with salt. A longing disguised as hopelessness that has me stepping aside to dry off. A heavy judgement drawing water to eyes, wiping away on the walk home. It has the feel of gasping, the quality of quick & sharp. The weather of the heart dry & brittle. The weather of the eyes the fruition of the storm.

And other days are stepping out in boots & worn in lipstick with sleeves rolled. An unexpected long sit & talk with a neighbor. Trees rustling drying leaves above as two soldiers unload duffel bags from the trunk of a sedan and three women across the street stand in the bed of a pick up truck and calculate how to move a black leather love seat. Catching an eye on the way toward the lemons at the store. A fancy dinner for one and the latter part of the evening spent in good (better) company. There are days when OWL naps beautifully, his mouth relaxingly puckered in sleep as he ghost-feeds, perfect child’s pose. I shower. I meditate. Wash the remaining breakfast dishes. He awakens in giggles and I find him surrounded by books he’s pulled off the shelf that’s bolted to the wall of his walk-in-closet-turned-bedroom. We walk slowly & deliberately to the grocery store, cook dinner, and dance to Leonard Cohen or Dolly Parton, his tiny feet on my mine as we move slowly & deliberately, mindfully & with love.  We hike & camp. Ride the buses & trains. He loads the dryer while I fish for quarters. He says noodle and turtle and thank you. And it really cannot get any better that.

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