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Archive for the ‘let go’ Category

It is late considering how early I have to be up and out tomorrow, considering that OWL didn’t feel well at bedtime and what the night holds is unknowable. And yet, here I am with a freshly carved potato stamp transcribing lines from Adrienne Rich poems onto pieces of paper and discovering that intimacy is derived from the same root as intestine, trying to remember my most true self, to locate those pieces that were misplaced along the way, the ones that splintered and marched off at age three, five, eight, fifteen. Do I only flow in one direction, or in many?

I sat for 10 minutes, staring at the thing I will offer up tomorrow when I take the Bodhisattva Vow, the thing I will let go of, the thing that stands between me and my ability to see what is. Specks of gold glimmered in the candlelight. Its heft was visible and I realized that it could not be folded as I’d hoped to do. I will have to present it as is, not made into a generic shape that can hide its interior.

Khyung Nyi-ö feels so foreign and yet familiar. Too big and yet tailored to my shifting body.

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Breathing into the sidewaist, outstretched, shoulders back, all I want to do is draw boundaries around everything. First I just want to cordon off my roads, then obscure all passes. Obliterate my landscape. Rest deep inside the numbness, unseen. Unknown.

I want to unmake the map.

Instead, I uncover some unhealed pieces. Through these sides that surround my core, I feel armor chip off.

“I lost my warrior,” I admit in yoga class. “I had it for years, and now it’s gone.”

“It’s not gone,” AP assures me, “you’re warrior’s probably in transition.” She looks at the other women in the room and asks if anyone else has gone through this. You start practice and it’s a challenging pose. Then you really find it, and it’s easy. Then it transitions and it’s challenging again. They all nod, some laugh gently.

If you’ve ever been divorced, or became any type of parent, or lost your job in a fucked economy or your house, maybe you’ve had the experience of thinking transition is total bullshit, a lie people tell you so you’ll just buck up, or to alleviate their own fears. Or it feels like a false promise you fall for again and again. Or maybe that’s just my view on this particular day of this particular month.

But I work with it in these untouched sides of my body. I let my teacher readjust my heel, the length of my stance, my hip points. I flow through the movements as if they can erase lines, erase meanings, make me visible. I wonder what it is like to feel beautiful. I think about miles and cannot remember the route I walked home yesterday or exactly where Vermont is on a map.

I wonder who I am really trying to protect, OWL or me?

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Walking with lightness across the past week, down sweet avenues of promise.

Fall asleep to the heartbreak of harshness, how we diminish and mistrust ourselves so deeply, how we salt our wounds at every turn. How we can love anyone but ourselves.

Awake in the courageousness of my heart, aware that I am good enough to be the mama I’ve become, the mama OWL needs. Aware that in this moment, perhaps that’s all there is, and that is enough. I awake aware that the unwavering presence of goodness that is so hard to touch still resides inside, and I am grateful that the week has illuminated it so vividly. But there is more work to do, always more do to.

And so it is just not time. Not for this.

With breakfast tea in hand, discover this quote, posted by the dear Mrs. Marit:

LOVE: when your energetic heart expands out of your body so far it explodes joy and color all over the world around you in such a way that all your beauty is reflected back at you. then your spirit says ‘Ahhh… that’s the purpose.’*

And so it goes, a cross town train and latitudes, into laughter and forgetting.

Regard all dharmas as dreams. Flip a card. Abandon all hope of fruition. Shuffle. Be grateful to everyone. Shuffle. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself. 


(*from a Mountain Sage Medicine postcard picked up at Mother’s Market Pace in Hood River, OR)

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The nature of grief, or at least mine, presents itself as cyclical. Seasonal. Marked by the harvest moons of pregnancy and breaking up, followed by would-be anniversaries that bookend OWL’s birthday, which is also the day of my haunted delivery into mamahood, a day of immense joy & gratitude joined by the rattle & hiss of an unshakeable failed start. And from this place, the world moves forward. I am motionless.

Is there a slogan for that?

Yup, Sarah replies. Transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi*.

Mishaps. I say.

Love of all kinds is kind of a giant glorious mishap, eh?

And she lists the last 9 years of my life, my loves and disappointments, vows and friends lost to miles, and sends me a picture of grey skies and apple blossoms. I cry for the 7th time in 2 hours.

This morning nausea spread from behind my eyes and into my throat, hunger pangs, chills and fever. After an extra hour of sleep and pills, I put on a dress with a fancy sweater and scarf, leggings and boots to meet the dreary June rain, earrings and makeup, bravely applied mascara that is now long gone.

My words are hollow, circular. I cannot believe there is still so much letting go. Always there is letting go.

(* bodhi = wakefulness)

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This morning I said goodbye, one in a series of farewells as dear friends embark on tremendous journeys. In the past weeks I’ve also gotten home at 9:30 in morning, greeted 4 am by finally closing my eyes, introduced OWL to hot fudge sundaes, and developed a pre-summer Tom’s tanline across my feet.

Today I ate scout mint ice cream in the park after breakfast. I walked home in a snowstorm of purple petals. I thought about my 5 friends who’ve moved away in the past year, and the trailblazers who went before. Struck by the notion of moving without running away. Letting go and dying. Unopened boxes in the closet. What it means to stay.

I cooked rice. Steamed beets and a head of orange cauliflower. Made tea. Listened to Porcella.

And I don’t have much else to say, other than to offer gratitude for the good fortune of friends and for the ease of an unedited Friday afternoon.

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