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Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Quite a week or weekend around here, or whatever the semi-graciously unemployed call 5 sequential days.  Forms at the doctor’s office.  Sex: female.  Children: yes. Marital Status: foreclosed.  I mean, divorced.  Divorcing, actually.  Mind wonders back to the first question.  Sex: maybe, eventually.  Hopefully sooner than later.

A Saturday to clean.  Top to bottom.  East to west.  OWL’s walk-in-closet-turned-bedroom, my bedroom, bathroom, hallway.  Living room, the clothes-sewing-crafting-photographs-storage-closet.  Look for thoughts & lessons & learning between reshelving scattered board books and discovering 3 of the 7 stacker rings under the bedroom blanket.  Tender flood of excitement about a good friend’s pregnancy, knowing that one day soon she too will find these treats hidden in their bed.  Sooner than seems possible, but I see how quickly time marches & swirls forward & about these days.  Imagine lessons & hopes under clean sheets warmed last night only by me and the curled up cat.  Clean floors.  Folded clothes. Empty dresser tops.

Sit at an old table.  Beer in the early evening darkness.  Light rain kissing the air on its way down.  He wears a shirt I’ve never seen before.  Looks faded & old & soft, like something I want to curl up against, feel the heat of his shoulder through the flannel threads.  Instead we exchange books, keys, a mug.  Words say part of what I want to say, but so much of it is a feel, a spectrum of time & place – a currency I cannot exchange over drinks.  Drive home under the weight of absolute ease turned to an absolute goodbye.  Who would have thought ironic detachment was bullshit? Well, me.  But I always second guess myself.  Move on to the kitchen.  Dishes. Countertops.  Pantry.  Table.  Dust shelves and baseboards.  Mop floor.  Sulk out in the cool wet evening to avoid watching a scary movie alone.  To avoid 9 pm sleep on a Saturday.  To avoid the silent & blank screen of my phone.  To avoid no more words.  Sometimes it feels like life is only for other people.  But the rain runs rapids down 15th Avenue East, pools and moves on.  Recall the texture in the gap between the out & the in-breath.  My life runs in those rapids, snags on branches & rolls over leaf jams & around crumpled potato chip bags.  It’s just not very glamorous.

Rain cascades in sheets, white-orange under the glow of street lights.  I dry & sit & drink & stand & listen & drink.  And talk.  Life without the details, without the storyline.  Feel human.  Memories in this place strong.  Late night dance floor spins with the sister.  Wedding song slow dancing.  Sold out club.  Me, at the end of the night.  Standing.  Dancing.  Beaming.  A million years ago.  In the rain I discover that I was a witness, too.  Select groceries & cook meals.  Buy textbooks & study astronomy.  Performances.  Tears.  Witnessed you curl your fingers around OWL’s endlessly small fist minutes after he was born, hold his face against your cheek. Stand in the room of this bar and see my life in the running rapids and hard sheeting rain.  Feel my life in the smoke as it drifts inside towards the warm air. People come & go.  Short exchanges & extended stays.  Long breaks.  Years of friendship. Rekindle & break.  Kids as common ground.  I cycle through it all – roar like a lion and sleep like a lamb.

Four full days in solo mode.  Four days of decadence & endings.  Out late. Foreclosed. Mopping floors.  Nyinthun in hangover.  Hostessing & food & wine. Good friends & old friends & new friends.  A little little baby learning to roll & watch this world.  Pick up OWL from his papa only to find, within a few hours, an absolutely transformed creature shouting & twisting & convulsing with “no-no-no-no-no’s” and the strength to back it up.  Goat-like resolve.  Tangle in car seat straps.  Walk home carrying his crying shaking body parallel to the ground.  Shrieks induced by everything.  Diapers.  PJ’s. Stroller parking.  Socks.  Sweatshirt.  Bathtub.   Hand-washing.  A 5 minute temper tantrum is an eternity.

I’ll say it again.  A 5 minute temper tantrum squeezing through the lungs & throat & mouth and twisting body of a 16-month old is an eternity.  And there I am in that eternity: foreclosed, divorcing, solo, incapable of doing it all, not everything, faking my way through, not x-y-z enough, jobless.  No gaps or breaths or breaks, no full nights sleep.  In that eternity, there is a full sink of dishes, unswept floors, laundry spinning about in machines & reproducing in the corners, diaper covers to air dry, a noisy cat to feed & scratch & snuggle, the next snack to prepare….

It takes every ounce of my strength & courage at 6:27 am to throw the blankets over my head, find my silly voice.  The voice, with an audible smile, giggling “Where’s Mama?”  Peek out & hear the echo of my giggles.  Duck back under as happy snorts dry big puffy tears.  Footsteps racing to the bed.  Outstretched arms.  Lift & snuggle. The courage to coo and play.  Fearlessness to let the eternity dissolve into the emptiness.  To let my solid mythical self dissolve into the emptiness.  The compassion to come back to it again & again.

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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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