Monday, November 20, 2017

Quiet

My guest is gone and boys are still asleep.

The familiar quiet permeates this house.

My dog gets up. I hear his paws on wood floor, his breath, he is drinking water noisily.

His sounds come warm to my ears, soothing. The quiet is less dense, lighter.

I take a deep breathe myself.

I heard so many positive and loving things about myself as a teacher this past week.

I know they are true and real, but here I am back in this new place, quiet house, stripped bare of identity.

Anything could happen, but I am having trouble making out the first step.

Or I hesitate for fear of a first misstep.

It is cold outside now. I remind myself that this is the season of turning in and gathering.

It is ok to pause, to not know, to take time.

Quiet is still a gift. Still a gift.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Missing

I have missed writing this week.

I was away doing work that uplifts and sustains me.

Sustenance and nourishment is something we all seek and deserve on all levels.

I have found it challenging to acheive a state of consistent nourishment, resulting in episodes of sharp discontentment and depression.

The reasons why this happens are many and complex. Some are beyond my control, but others like not believing in my own worthiness, and acts of self sabotage are mine and mine alone.

I have a frequent intense inner ache, a painful unsettled feeling that something vital is missing.

In those moments what I am missing is myself. My true, bright, shining, fully expressed self.

I will continue steadfastly and relentlessly to claim her, love her, be her.

I refuse to go missing.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Drive

I am hurrying to pack up and get on the road.

Five and a half hours to my son's dorm.

I did not drive in Asia. I liked not driving, but I didn't like not driving.

Relationships, even with things as mundane as driving, are complicated.

I am most prone to panic attacks while driving, especially on high overpasses and bridges. This drive has three bridges, big bridges.

I remember my breathing exercise and affirmation to stop panic attacks.

I breathe slowly and sigh out softly on the exhale, I tell myself, "This is not real."

It mostly works.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Wonder

I look out the window and it is raining leaves, yellow and rust color.

They twirl and glide as they descend. So graceful, a dance.

Language is limited. I can't fully describe the beauty of this rain of leaves.

A photo or video would fail too.

Experience is a true wonder.

If all of us looked out my window right now and then wrote a poem, we would have as many unique poems as people.

We are a wonder just like those leaves dancing and twirling, separately but together.

We would do well to walk through the world and remember that.

I will try.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Groundhog

Yesterday I noticed a big groundhog curled up in a ball in my yard. I tried to rouse him, stomping, clapping.

I got close enough to see the rise and fall of breath. He was curled into himself, on the way out of this world.

Yellow leaves falling around him.

Today he is fallen over, laid out on the ground. Gone.

My girls are sad. The youngest wonders why I didn't do something or call someone to save him.

These things do not get easier. I asked myself the same question. Why can't I rescue things?

Death and loss are not things I have matured into being at ease with, even though I contemplate it as much as I do.

Honestly, I am afraid. Terrified.

This need to examine dying is a fundamental piece of me. I am pulled toward relationship with it. I have sought extended forms of support around it. It has my name on it.

I wish it didn't.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Porpoise

I have a little plastic porpoise on my altar.

A dear friend gave it to me one summer on retreat. He smiled and said, "I heard you are trying to find your life porpoise."

We laughed. But it was true. A deep cutting truth.

Purpose. What is it?

I have four beautiful children.

I have done other things, but motherhood has been my vocation, and I have done it pretty well. I have made mistakes and done harm, but if we are honest we all do.

It should be enough. I tell myself that.

But I remain hungry, unsettled.

Haunted by things that might have been. Hunted by what the world seems hell bent on having me believe.

I should have done that. I should be doing this.

Get followers, make a brand, market and package and push.

I have swallowed these messages, even though they hurt me. I do not judge myself for that.

That same friend also drew an angel for me. The angel of discernment. This angel is stark, shadowed, and weilds a mighty sword.

I call on that angel. He sits on my altar and holds my little plastic porpoise.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Body

To live in a body. We all do.

These bodies of pleasure and pain.
These bodies of lost and found.
These bodies of light and shadow.
These bodies of smooth and scarred skin.
These bodies that hold our secrets.

What we hide the body keeps, loyally, dedicated.

Sometimes some of us hate our bodies. I do sometimes.

I get claustrophobic in my own skin. I want to claw my way out.

I love my body when I let go of fear and take her as my one true love.

We dance, we run, we play. I am lucky to have this body.

I think about her death. I look at my feet and imagine them lifeless. I grieve myself.
The loss of me already well on its way.

Is that morbid? Unseemly?

I think it is essential.

I am not so good at parties.

My small talk escalates too quickly to things that are not small at all, and if there is a dance floor me and my body take it by storm. Unabashedly embodied and fully alive.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday

Mondays come and bring with them an empty house. A blanket of quiet.

I eat my breakfast. I notice the sound of knife and fork on plate, the hum of the refrigerator, my dog snoring, a crow outside.

I am tempted to turn the television on to add a layer of human presence into the space.

I decide not to. I stay with the quiet.

I probably will not speak out loud to another person until the middle school bus pulls up.

That is not a very long time, but quiet stirs my impatient nature, rubs up against the raw skin of my insecurity. I get agitated at the space.

Why?

I sip my coffee and consider the gift of space to feel. To sense. To experience. The discomfort of being with myself. A great gift.

I go back to unwrapping it.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Run

It was not supposed to rain today, but it is.

We went running anyway.

An older man came down his driveway, he grinned and said, "Hey it's raining!", he finished his proclamation with a chuckle.

We chuckled back and said, "It is?!"

I need to run most on days like this one. It keeps the dark, the chill, the heavy energy from sinking through my body and settling into my spirit.

I am running away from things, literally.

Running from depression, from anxiety, from these internal foes that seem committed to pursuing me.

I may be outnumbered, but I have stamina.



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Done

I used to be a person who got stuff done.

That came after the time when I was an abject failure, a loser, a criminal.

My life was over, then it wasn't.

That is when expectations came marching in. I started marching. Fell in line.

Get things done. Once you get those things done, do more things, bigger things, better things.

I just finished sweeping the floor, now I will fold laundry. I get some things done.

But these days I don't get me done.
I am not even sure what that means anymore.

Who am I?

Really, I want to go out deep in the woods, away from the world and all its doing, and be done.

But today the laundry.

Even to signal the completion of this post, I have to click on the word "DONE" with a check mark in front of it.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Moon



Today is the full moon.

I am drawn to ceremony. I have always been a nature mystic. I call it that not because it fits perfectly, but because of a lack of language. As a child it came as deep resonance and knowing, it did not and does not fit into the small container of words.

Today I light candles and sage, visit the river, bow to the earth, whisper my deepest prayers for healing and awakening.

I ask to be guided towards the manifestation of my highest good and my deepest healing.

Many people laugh at such notions, and I don't care.

None of my spirit and what I know I belong to has anything to do with anyone else.

I do not push anyone toward anything. I am only trying to find myself.

I pray to the sun, moon, stars, heaven and earth, because that is the way that arises from my nature.

Today is the full moon, a day of manifestation.

I only wish to manifest more of myself.

Simple, pure, true.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hide

We can hide from so many things. We can even hide from ourselves.

We can bury things out in the backyard, or way out in the woods, where we think they will remain forever.

Things once hidden come calling. Someday.

Truth telling is hard work, and it is slippery. Truth changes. It is hard to get hold of, and as soon as I think I have it, it shifts like the light and shadows in this room. The arc of story is not fixed. It is moving, just as the light of day will move through this space, into darkness, and back again.

I wonder what I am hiding, from others, but more from myself. I know some things, I can touch them. Others are there, things forgotten, neglected, things denied, things that hurt too much to exhume.

So they wait.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Movement

Movement is life.

That is a line from a poem I wrote in anticipation of my son moving away to attend college.

If the heart stops beating, blood stops flowing, lungs stop expanding and releasing, we die.

Since my son was born we have moved, and moved. 5 states, 3 countries, 2 continents. 8 homes in 18 years.

Each time we move is like dying and being brought back to life. It seems like it gets harder each time now. It takes so much out of me.

I love to dance, to run outside, to hike forest trails, do yoga, swim in a lake. Movement calls to me, and I go to it. It is a powerful agent of healing in my life.

I have been in this house nearly 5 months now. I force myself to my healing movement practices. My heart beating, blood flowing, lungs expand and release.

But in truth I am tired.

In truth I have endurance and stamina.

So when there is mention of a recruiter calling from London, I tighten, and want to brace. Curl up hard as stone. Become immovable, but that is not life.

Movement is life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween

My 12 year old is standing in the kitchen dressed up as a Pink Lady. She is sweet, she is so innocent, well adjusted. She has a life full of abundance and privilege.

I started smoking at 12. I look at her and try to imagine her lighting up, like Sandra Dee at the end of Grease. It blows my mind. It is absurd.

I was not well adjusted, not even trying to be good.

I knew I was bad.

Halloween in the traditional sense is a day when we can more easily contact spirits and ancestors. It is also a day to fend off evil, to protect ourselves from malevolent forces.

I pause to consider today in that way. What forces and spirits I want to draw close, those guides out in front of me and within me, and what I want to ward off.

But I think all of it just wants to be seen, loved, set free.

A friend of mine and I have been discussing, belonging, goodness, and our culture of purity and performance.

I was not bad at 12, or 16, or 20, or ever. I performed a role I was pushed into. I surrendered to what I was told I was. I performed, and my performance lived. I embraced it. I wore a mask. Badness.

I perform now too. I wear a mask. It is one of goodness. Good mom, good citizen, repectful, trying hard to please, trying hard not to offend. Being good.

Neither mask in the end serves my truth, they both stifle and oppress.

I am conflicted and confused in all this. I am my own labyrinth. I think maybe we all are. We are complex, so much bigger than simplistic notions of good or bad.

I carry that with me today. I walk with it, dance with it, light a candle to it. May it all rise to its highest, most free form.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Light


I went for a run after the dark faded to light.

The sun turned bright and I ran to reclaim my breath, to beat the wind off my body.

I run to clear my mind.

As I move I hear my breath, steady, feel my heartbeat, strong. Running always reminds me of the vitality, endurance, will, and fire that are so very alive in me.

The light on my face reminds me to claim the name my teacher gave me. Jyotika means light.

I cycle through these phenomena of forgetting parts of who I am, remembering, forgetting.

I have on various occasions had an experience of a voice whispering to me, "Remember who you are."

My name is Jyotika, it means light.

Dark



Monday, the day before Halloween.

We get up early, it is still dark. Shorter days make 5 am part of night more than morning.

Coffee takes the edge off, but affirms the bitter. The coffee is dark. I am tired.

We go out to walk the dogs. The wind is whipping in our faces. The dogs walk in front of us on leashes, I can see their outlines like guides.

The day before Halloween, a day for the dead coming.

I lost my teacher over two years ago, a dear friend in February, my Grandmother in July. Cancer took them all. I think of them up ahead of me, their outlines there, subtle, untouchable, but real.

I want to believe that, but doubt always rushes in, hard. The wind slaps me in the face again, takes my breath for a moment.

My family is riddled with cancer, on both sides. I know that is probably what will take me.

I think about the scans you can have done to seek out cancer. It shows up as dark spots, shadows, dense. I wonder about the dark spots in me. I know some of them, I visit them often, but what about the ones that might be there waiting, seeds lying dormant, until the moment arrives and they grow.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rain

Rainy Sunday. Staying inside.

Laundry, grocery list, unpacking, cleaning.
Domestic day.

Content with that because the weather is inside weather. I can see the trees through the window. Rain drips down the glass.

I sent a text to my son who is away at college. Call me, I said.

I look out the window, through rain, grey, out into the trees. I miss him and I wonder what he is looking at now. Maybe he is still in bed, in dreams.

I wonder what he dreams about.

I start to sort the socks.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Free

Hiking this morning with hubby. Feeling so alive out in the woods at the rivers edge, off trail, skirting around rock ledge, on an almost cliff, just enough danger to warm me up from the cold air.

Earth will hold and sustain us, but she also demands presence and respect, attention, when we dare to go out in the wilds, the water, the cliff edge...if we are not respecting her with our full attention she will fuck us up. It isn't personal, it is just her way.

Even if you are fully present and aware, things can happen out there, and they do. That is reality, we are vulnerable, things get destoyed, it is not personal. It is inevitable. We are guaranteed nothing.

Being born, existing, dying, are all we are entitled to in the natural world. And none of that is inherently personal.

Nature is beautiful, nature is brutal. That is honest. We are part of that nature.

The song "Lovesong" from the Disintegration album by The Cure was on the radio today. I listened to that album nearly every night of my freshman year of college. It lulled me to sleep with its deep and earthy tones, sadness and falling felt. Letting go into weighted, heavy, grieving places.

To disintegrate is something I pray for too, it is like death but still breathing. That way of dying in life. A way to freedom.

What I want most is freedom.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cold



I am not used to the cold anymore. I never have been a cold weather person. The sting of it on my hands this morning made me ache inside for the island I lived on a year ago. Grief shows up in moments unexpectedly. The cold and the grief, an ache and a sting. These things live in the body.

I try to escape feeling. This is one of my things. I am an addict. I find many ways to numb out. I fool myself into thinking I am not an addict. I can't escape myself though.

Being an addict is not the worst thing to be.

I have been taking pictures out in the woods of things that reflect my grief and loneliness back to me. Autumn gets me and where I am right now. Layers of fallen leaves in water, a dried husk of a blossom, mossy decay on a fallen tree.

I think about death a lot, many times during a day. I wonder if this is a rarity, or if we just don't share this, because it is taboo, scary, uncomfortable, forbidden ground. I am ok either way.

Sometimes I wish I was dead, but I love my family so much. They save my life.

I remember being a little girl sent out to play in the snow. I mostly just stood there and told myself, "You will get to go back inside soon." Waiting for the end, relishing the relief from the harsh cold.

When I was a little girl, about 5 years old, I was at my friend's house, her mom was my babysitter. She had a black lab puppy. We went to take it outside and it got away from us. It ran into the street and was hit by a truck. It was completely disemboweled. I remember its body in a snowbank, the blood leeching out turning the snow pink then red, the guts spilled outside its body, its tongue hanging from its mouth. Her father stood over the puppy with a stick, shaking it, and yelling "What did you do?". I remember the images, the words, but I don't remember what I felt, except that it was so cold standing there. I don't remember crying, though I must have. Death put its hand on me that day, out in bright sun shining on a bloody snowbank.

I need to go running, it is vital, a medicine...but I know it is still cold out there, so I am stalling. Avoiding. I will go though, as easy as it would be not to. I do possess strong will, and an undeniable perseverance to take care of myself so I can go on with this messy and magnificent life.

The things we do to keep going. The ways we survive. That is some awe inspiring shit.

I need to backtrack to something I said yesterday. I said I leave people. That is mostly bullshit. I have not left anyone in recent history, quite a few have left me. I hold boundaries, yes, but I am loyal to a fault and forgiving as hell. I don't leave people unless they have shoved me out the door and slammed it in my face.

I do have a tendency to make myself wrong even when that is not accurate. I put myself down, I take the blame. I often do not deserve it. Just setting myself and the record straight, because it matters.






Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rambling



No one is here. I have not published anything on this blog in a long time, so I am assuming a readership of zero. But if you are here you most certainly are no more no one than I am.

I am someone. I just have no clear sense of self right now.

I have achieved the yoga mantra of nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to be.

Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm that is the actual state of my life. I could lay on the couch all day in my pajamas and no one would know or care. And why am I so very not ok with that concept?? Seriously.

It is so quiet in the house that it is agitating. I go out walking in the woods and I notice
how unquiet it is out there. I am hearing more and more layers of wild sound.

I am lonely. A long distance friend commented to me about this yesterday, she said loneliness is real. A lot of times people don't acknowledge that.

I thought this morning, as I stood in a towel, clean,warm, and fresh...ramble. Just get on your fucking blog that no one will see probably anyway and ramble. Maybe it will be freeing, medicinal, or even if it is just shit...so what.

I went to yoga class this morning. I didn't talk to anyone. I have no friends locally, and I lack the energy to try any more than just physically showing up in a room with other human beings, and I have to force myself to do that.

There was a youngish woman in the class who made various vocal tones and sighs, sometimes I thought she was crying. She did not follow the instructor. She was dressed in clashing colors and prints. I thought, wow, she is weird, maybe she has serious issues, maybe she is a bit unhinged. I thought, she could be my friend. I wanted to hug her so badly, but I didn't.

During yoga class the instructor at one point gave us permission to let out whatever sound was arising naturally, whatever felt right in the moment. I wanted to scream and howl and curse. I let out the softest sigh. No one heard my sound but me.

I am going out in the woods now. It is my daily resuscitation. My church. My home.

Outside is saving my life on the daily. Nature has always stayed. She doesn't bullshit, she doesn't back stab, she takes me as I am with no judgment. She has not once abandoned me, she always stays.

People leave. People have left me and I have left people. I feel bad about being part of that. I am only human. Sad excuse though.

Outside.

On my walk I saw a group of four deer. They paused, looked at me, and bounded off in the most graceful way. I also saw so many leaves dying a beautiful death. Grace.

There is so much beauty and so much grace, in this world, in you, in me, all around.

Gee, I like rambling. Maybe it is my new thing. Maybe it is a way to get honest. To get real.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tea at Wartime




sitting here silent
sipping tea, birds are singing
while war rages on


my unearned safety
if i possessed the power
would blanket the world


by breath and heartbeat
i commit to remain here
arms held out in love

Monday, March 13, 2017

born to be healers

this is war

razor tongues
strike at every angle
mouths spit
poison darts
virulent
volcanic
scorched earth ruins
black winds 
fill throats
lungs
arteries

so thick
we can't see each other
or ourselves
nor the knives we are holding
to each others throats
ready to rip out voices
ready to rip out hearts
with words we deploy
sharp instruments
cut deep

we are brawlers
mud slingers
rabid and raging
feeding on anger
addicted to our
own venom
we swallow
we dispense
we kill
we are killed

you fight the ones
you call monsters
they are poised to do
the same
to you

we all fight the other

blood and guts
no glory

the coldest war
is the one where we
lose each other

the one that hardens our hearts
and steals peace from our very lips

words once spoken can never be retrieved

here are all the people
living with shrapnel
buried so deep

each heart
there bleeding at your doorstep

touch another wounded one
wash the cut
apply the poultice
put peace back on deserted lips

we all know how

we may be trained as warriors
and battles will be fought

the world may make us monsters

but we were born
to be healers

in the end
let us remember ourselves



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pic and a Poem; Visibility





   we float in uncertain space
   thinking what we see is real

   visibility is low

   impeded by elements
   clouds, wind, rain
   internal fog
   thick shape-shifter

   senses and stories
   built beliefs

   what deficient instruments
   to navigate complex worlds

   sitting on a boat long enough
   we may believe we are on solid land
   long ago having forgotten the water
   that buoys us up
   instead of swallowing us whole