Posts Tagged ‘beginning’

I light incense on the shrine in gratitude of these recent experiences and chose a lotus stick as a reminder of non-attachment, to reconnect with my Thursday yoga practice where it unfolded again and again in my heart space, rising pink and cream from the mud. Then without even a tiny bow I promptly retreat to the kitchen where I don’t have to see it or think about it or breathe it in. I chop the drained tofu as the zucchini simmers in butter. The lingering touch of kissed lips held for days fades quickly. I dig out a leftover red onion wedge, slice it and add it to the pan.

Funny how openness applies to the potential of beginnings but not to the possibilities of a short life, the arrival of an ending.

I add the sauce and tofu, stir and season, set the lid in place and reduce the heat, and walk into the living room, the air heavy with the scent of my life in motion. OWL quietly watches the PBS NewsHour from his mushroom perch at the foot of the couch, giggles at me and nods his head as I walk by. A small smile cracks in my tightness. The sweetness of sadness without a storyline, the joy of OWL’s happily crinkled nose, of coming back to the simmering food on the stove, the rising smoke of the lotus. The sweetness of Practice.


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The present was the first to go, an abrupt drop off the face of the earth as I thrashed in the chaos of new motherhood and a husband who stopped sleeping in the house and drove deep into every historic insecurity I held with words so sharp they can still sting.

I look out over my past, and I can barely see myself in it. All my thoughts and experiences and successes and growth and failures and risks were just erased, as if they don’t get to come with me and be a part of who I am right now, in this very moment.

And now, I see the future that I always thought was just around the corner slip away too. I loose myself again as I see it played out with other players. I watch my son in someone else’s life, recognize his mannerisms and moves, and wonder what I can give him. Because when I try to visualize my future, I can’t see anything. I held on and out for this future that will never happen, no matter how many corners I turn. It never was and now it’s gone for good. Another thing to let go.

The present.
The past.
And the future too.

Tears fall all through yoga as I twist and flow, release from my hips and my low belly. A feeling of sadness and mourning without a story. Images come and go, like clouds through my mind, dissipating as quickly as they appear. Release without blame, without guilt, without the storyline. Tears all through dharma class as I wonder if I have the strength to make it, to be fearless and wise, to relate deeply, to find compassion and joy.

Today I stand on the verge of tremendous change, but I don’t know which direction to turn and explore. A new curiosity arises as I wonder where the path, the continuation that builds the future moment by moment, is leading. It’s a passive curiosity, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m in my life.

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Hard pressed to find a starting point on this Sunday evening, so I’ll just name what was and what is here.  Typing at the kitchen table:  job application, email begging someone to work magic to get me an interview, this post.  The other day a small stream of warm light ran through the stained glass flower hanging in tribute to my mama as I waited for OWL’s return.  Lentils cooling on a cooking sheet next me. Beets cubed on the cutting board by the sink.  The day’s sermon from across the street ringing through the cracked window declaring “It’s not my fault!  It’s not my fault!  The world makes me this way!”  But tonight the air holds a chill at my fingertips as they move.  Sink full of hastily made dishes.  The smokey pulpit silent. Moon nowhere in sight.  Calendar turned to a new month.

Been in a state these past few days.  Decisions looming.  Heart opening & slamming shut at the sight of the space before it.  At the feel of cool air and water.  Riding the downs wherever they care to go.  Remind myself that every passing, no matter how small or how big, deserves its moment of recognition.  Hard to name.  Gratitude mixed with appreciation mixed with frustration mixed with a drop of loneliness.  A hint of missing.  So many endings in my story these days, I wonder if the beginnings that everyone assures me will follow really exist.  Out there.  In the world where everything changes & erodes & passes & reforms (supposedly).  In any lingering sadness I also know that this is what I wanted, needed, to reclaim that open space. To move back in.  Let my feet dangle over the edge a little bit longer, my toes dip a little deeper.  A release that goes both ways, serves all involved for the better.  And that I am made better by the whole of these experiences.  I found so much compassion for myself in that time, dug into reserves I didn’t even know existed, and relaxed enough to just be in the moment.  To feel good & truly smile.  Whispers in the dark.  Spoons under January blankets.  Moving boxes & empty rooms on days off.  A river under the moon & stars.  Bikes & beers.  Open books in the park.  New recipes & pizza boxes.  And so much compassion in making space for someone else.  Started feeling the boundlessness, even though I do not always practice it.  Grateful for all I worked through & out.  For fabulous companionship & friendship.  Been through seasons and it is hard to watch it go.  Give myself the time to stand still. Let it slip away.

Finally understand that equanimity is really.not.my.thing.  Oh, I want it alright, which is actually hilarious in a way.  Good example of the farce disguised as tragedy. At least there are some laughs from my side these days.  Operating under the belief that I occupy the gap between endings and beginnings, a free fall of nothingness, but with no end (new beginning?) in sight.  Letting go brings perspective.  I see the space is anything but lifeless.  More like the gap between the out-breath and the next in-breath.  In that open texture, perhaps there is no difference between the ending and the beginning.  No fine line or marker or event.  Perhaps they are one in the same, a fluid moment without much reference.  Breath myself back in to the sky, above jagged ranges and canyons and lakes.  Eye-to-eye with Mt Rainer, I bow a thank you to the you standing on the peak, looking back out the world. Reflecting so much wisdom.  Showing so much strength.

Today, OWL was full of my favorite kind of his laughs.  Where something totally random sends him to fits.  He erupts and pauses, waits for me to make a slurping sound, and erupts with even more gusto when it does.  Sides move up and down from his ribs.  Rubs his bare feet together.  Head whips side to side.  Lying on the floor with Baby C, only 11 weeks old, I move my glasses from my eyes to my head to my eyes and his head snaps back and forth in delight.  Mouth turns upward in a whole face smile.  Eyes big and blazing and alive.  Cheeks stretching.  Ears inching upward.  Big new laughs.  Body shaking.  Full body smile with moving arms and hands.  Watching these new human beings learn to laugh is indescribably amazing. From Baby C to OWL, I see my own lost laughter and know it is in there, right now. Seeing & feeling & hearing these laughs, in my moment of mourning and in my year of sadness & endings, the heat cools and settles to a soft breeze.

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