I had all these really good thoughts today as I was driving. Some of them were so profound and dare I say, lifechanging, at least on some level that I wanted to make sure to write them down and share them with you.
Trouble is, it’s illegal and perhaps impossible to write them down while I’m driving.
So here I sit a number of hours later thinking, “THAT was such an awesome thought today, I have to write about that…” immediately followed by “what the hell was it again?”
I’m appalled at how bad my memory has gotten. I used to have a mind like a steel trap. I could remember conversations verbatim I’d had with people years earlier. I could tell my husband where he left his car keys any day of the week. I could quote things I’d read and probably even tell you where I’d read it.
I blame parenting. Then again, I blame most of my shortcomings on parenting. I did not have a bad temper before I became a parent (or perhaps I did and it simply never had reason to surface.) Don’t even get me started on body issues I’ve developed since birthing 4 babies. Listen, people, I had buns of steel before I became a parent (meaning I literally had the videotape series “Buns of Steel” with Tamilee Webb. She’s spunky.)
My friend Christine has a theory about my lack of ability to remember ANYTHING for more than a moment or two and my blaming it on being a parent. Her thought is that we don’t remember as well what people say to us because a)we’re scattered already as parents and b)we leave “listening” mode as soon as what someone says to us triggers something on our radar.
That made me think of this Buddhist concept of “quiet mind” and I felt immediately sad for all the noise in my head, all the ends of conversations lost, all the moments when I was not fully present. I was thinking about my lack of “self care” and how tired I am at the end of each day, not even fully satisfied that I’d performed my task of child rearing with any success apart from the fact that all 4 remain alive and mostly intact…
At least I think that was her theory…it’s all kind of a blur to me now.
I’d confess that I often have the urge to jump on my grocery cart as it hurdles toward my car in the slopy part of the parking lot but that’s not something for confession.
The real confession is that I DON’T jump on my cart and ride it as it hurdles toward my car in the slopy part of the parking lot.
When did that stop being a cultural “ok” I wonder.
I watched with awe today as a friend’s son hopped and skipped toward me. He was not outrageously excited about any one thing in particular. He was just in his body, moving from one place to another and expressing some unplaced and as yet unnamed joy.
I mourn that unexpressed joy. I know I still have it because I still want to jump on that cart. When I think of the roadblock, the voice in my head, that tells me to stop…don’t give in…control myself…when I think of that I feel sad.
I know there’s reward for being self controlled…I just think I’m choosing poorly. Self control as it applies to anger is good…but as it applies to joy…damn…let’s just live in that a little more, shall we?
Look for me in the parking lot, friends…around the slopy parts.
i will be
that old woman
knarled in beauty
in their frailty
and strong sense
of time passing
breath not held
and with great
as if it all mattered
at the edge
i will be
that old woman
in her lap
in tender arms
with the telling.
I don’t “hate” having to do self promotion and I’m not terrible at it…it’s just uncomfortable for me.
When I was working in the film industry, starting out freelance I thought, mistakenly, “If I’m good at what I do and people want to hire me they will.” What I understood later, when I had a staff job in the industry is that I hired people who not only sent their resumes but those who called me, showed up at my office, make overtures that would make them stand out from among the 100 resumes I received each week.
People who wanted the work were the ones who pursued me in it. I got some really lucky breaks as a freelancer, thankfully. Because of that I didn’t starve or change careers. It taught me a great lesson though: self promotion has it’s place.
So, in light of this little insight I’m letting you know I’ve published a book of my poetry. It’s my first time. Be gentle.
You can find “finding” HERE
The download is free but if you like it and want a lovely copy laying around to read as the mist drifts in after a storm then you know, we gots that too.
there is no shortage
no absence of opportunity
not pure and clean
as the anticipated sacrifice
ought to be
in need of attention
a good combing through,
an examination of all parts,
holy and unacceptable
the language this heart speaks
in the abundance
the presence of opportunity
with trembling hands
is not fluent and nurturing
as the dialect of absolute love
ought to be
but is halted, broken
in need of attention
a good combing through
an examination of all parts
holy and unacceptable
it is here
in this practice
crisp, bracing, necessary
ease my stuttering
I fancy myself a mystic.
It’s hard to remember that as I herd this small group of young prophets around the rural container we call home but in my quiet moments, when I’m alone I imagine myself a mystic.
When the fog rolls over the meadow I look into it with a mixture of awe and anticipation. I expect to see something miraculous. I hope for it. I breathe in the mist as it comes close and consider what it has to offer me at that moment. I want so much to know myself with wild eyes and pounding heart, to know myself in touch with things outside of my own skin, things unseen, yet to come, outside of my comfort zone, my everyday life, my quotidian…
And then the world rolls in and there is noise and clamoring and mediation to be performed, cuts to be soothed, stories to be told. There are chores to be done, there are words to be spoken; soft, strong, sudden, subtle.
It all counts.Even the divide of the uncommon and the everyday, I’m beginning to see that it’s all a part of the mystic. Everything belongs, everything is connected. Making the jump and finding that connection is the trick, or maybe it’s not a trick but a skill rather…to be cultivated and practiced. Maybe that’s what this revolving door, magic factory, boarding house, slumber party life is really all about. Maybe that’s why we’re all here, to practice.
She was late. Very very very late. She was meant to come on or around June 13th, 1997 and she was late.
I remember each passing day. I’d speak to her in utero, “Come on out, baby…it’s beautiful today! We’re having ice cream! Come on out.” She’d kick stubbornly. (She had, as I would find out enormous feet and exceptionally long legs.) I didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl despite our best efforts to find out. All I knew is that she was comfy and she was late.
A day passed. No big deal. A week. Still “normal” for first babies. 2 weeks. A little outside the norm but she was fine according to ultrasounds and heartrate scans.
People would call and say the world’s most stupid things. “Are you still pregnant?” “Didn’t you have that baby yet?”
I was huge. I was really quite astoundingly huge. This being my first baby I mistakenly thought that ho-ho’s were now on the menu. It was hot. It was africa hot. I was miserable.
On the 18th day after my due date I felt something. It was a feeling I hadn’t had before, not too painful but I was fairly certain it was the signal for the next thing…early labor…thanks be to God.
36 hours later…gah…she came out to greet the world and a tired tired tired set of parents. She was perfectly healthy…no problem staying inside 18 extra days…no problem waiting for a long labor and 6 hours of pushing…happy as a clam and ready to tackle the world. She was a sight for sore eyes. She was amazing.
Now, today, thirteen years later,…she’s just as stubborn, still takes her own sweet time and still ready to tackle the world. I think she’ll win. She’s amazing, my daughter.