Archive for the ‘loneliness’ Category

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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Something inside is starting to give, a deep sort of opening without words. A sadness and a letting go. And maybe that space is making some room for something else to come on in. On my evening travels I walk past a black cat strewn across the back of a couch who peers out a picture window and gives a lazy nod in my direction. On the next block an orange cat drops his head and rubs the side of his face across my shoe, his body curls around my calf. I hear a woman talking with a heavy southern draw, and notice there’s a TV on in the next room, and one in the basement, but I can only hear her voice through the closed kitchen windows at the back of the house. An ordinary life in an ordinary night. These are the words I write in my head in between my breaths.

At home, a flash in the dark kitchen startles me, reflecting white off the pans where lentils and quinoa simmer. Across the street a man photographs the earth, the view blocked by a fence and shrubs and rise in grade, while another steps in and out of the way. A white sheet flutters in their hands. One of the men is in all black, the porch light catching small flecks of the shiny material of his jacket, his latex gloves highlights among his dark mass and the night. The back of a truck opens, wheels scrape across the street, and the crinkle of thick plastic hovers over the city sounds of planes and bikes and people on their way out. I light a candle. And incense. And on my couch with the window open to the cold air, I bear witness to the moving of the body. Concrete to bag to stretcher. Brakes lock in rapid succession. Wheels cross the street. The click of truck doors.

And then I cry.

I don’t remember sleeping, or even thinking, just laying very still and quiet until the cat came in at 2:30 am and I let him out.

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(into 2011)

I have not been writing.

It is December, and I think something like this happens every time this year. There is a still quiet, a silent revolution of words and ideas rumbling around with no exit, and no desire to go anywhere. I write beautiful things in my head then quickly scribble flattened words after hours of procrastination and fall asleep.

My mind turns over this year, my first year, and I see it was characterized by loss and the depth of my experience of what was lost. How I leaned in to its sharpness, the cold metallic feel of its reality, the emptiness of bed and home and speech. How I sat and sat and sat again in practice, letting the tears and aches have their place and days.

My mind wanders over the people who filled this time of darkness with the most delicious richness and texture – OWL’s warm nuzzle under my arm and his sweet sing-songs from the back seat of the car, the warmth of mittens knitted by a new mama’s hands and the cooing and laughter of her foxy little babes as we talk-cook-sit-listen, tree-shaded walks through rabbit holes with wounded animals and talks and coffees with the children running ahead or lagging behind, the rise and fall of a lover’s body next to mine in sleep, the soft coat of the cat against my bare leg, acoustic guitars melodically joining teenage voices and hand-crafted gift tags, the growing bellies of mamas-to-be, falling asleep on a boat in the May heat of Florida and hot spring swims, the ballet and dinner, late night phone calls full of tears and laughs and love….

The freeze up of loss and loneliness is not so solid after all. The lake is full of the cracks and fissures of a continuing life, a current below the surface. A slow and steady breeze winding through the constriction picks up speed.

Open-eyed in yoga, I move through mountain to eagle to warrior 3 to standing split with my hands wrapped around my ankle, finger tips gently tap and sweep the floor with grace to regain balance as I laugh out loud. My heart  fills with green grass and a sky painted golden and pink by the rising sun, a light blue sweater tossed off to the side. A lotus blooms in the mud as the sun warms my face and arm through the southern windows. I see and feel and know the openness of the coming year, and greet that mystery with curiosity. With a smile that knows the transformative power of the eagle, and that starting fresh is not the same as starting from scratch.

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