Back In It


“What you doing tonight?” The kid in the car asked tonight as I bundled myself, my messenger bag, my bag of leftover utensils and coffee jars, notebooks, readers, and books into the back seat of the car.

“Going out? Got plans? What’s your Friday look like?”

Um.

Ok kiddo.

Chill.

I just want a ride home.

“Going home and sleeping so I can go back and do another eleven hours of class tomorrow.”

“Oh!”

Yeah.

“Oh,” is right.

And I’m totally ok with that.

I actually feel pretty damn good about that.

I am in a different place with my classes this semester.

That being a state of preparedness.

I did all the reading for the weekend prior to class and even had enough time yesterday to re-read some of the articles for my Multi-Cultural class.

And.

Get this.

I like all my professors.

ALL of them.

That feels really extraordinary.

I don’t know that much about the one credit online course that I have to do, I found myself talking to a fellow in my cohort and we commiserated on the idea that we already do a lot of what the class calls for–it’s applied spirituality–basically implementing some sort of daily spiritual practice into our school life.

Um.

Yeah.

Got that covered.

And immediately I copped a resentment.

Dude.

I pray, write, I read spiritual readers, I pray some more, I review and reflect on my day, I call my people and check in with spiritual principles, what fucking more do you need?

I have to do more?

Then.

I thought, well, fuck, maybe this is God saying, change it up, shake it up, get flexible, there’s other things that you can do.

Maybe it’s time for some martial arts.

I used to study kung fu.

I could pick that back up or perhaps yoga.

I have a writing practice that I am loathe to give up and my prayer and meditation aren’t going to change, nor will my checking in daily with my people or the passing on of what I have been given.

It’s just not an option for me.

I have to do it.

It’s life or death.

And when I realized how seriously I take my routine I could see, with some perspective changing from my person that maybe instead of coming from a place of hubris I could come from one of humility.

In the discussion I realized the martial arts aspect.

I could also do T’ai Chi or Qi gong.

I have options.

Moving meditation is good.

Being in my body is good.

Something to explore.

The path narrows and I wish to stay on the path.

I have to as a matter of fact, so widening the circle of my spiritual exploration can’t hurt.

Fuck.

I could dance.

Haha.

I have had spiritual experiences dancing.

That is a concept.

This is actually, now that I am writing about it, the way that I might just have to proceed.

More getting into my body and less my mind.

I am super self-reflective and thoughtful and aware, I live a moral life, I feel an ethical one too, at times, not always but I am highly aware of my values.

They are the spiritual principles that I have based my last eleven years of life on.

Moving out of a way that is logical for me and re-orienting myself in my body maybe just the next part of the spiritual path for me to explore.

Now that I have that covered.

I can focus on the rest of the weekend.

Which is basically showing up for my classes, being on time, contributing my knowledge to the conversation and engaging as much as possible with the material being presented.

I found myself so much more relaxed having covered all the material, even when it wasn’t necessarily brought up in the classes, it just gave me a sense of accomplishment and stillness in myself that I wasn’t anxious, that I could listen, that I could be attune to what was happening.

Basically, I got to practice being a psycho-therapist.

Which, you know, is the end goal here.

I actually left tonight being excited.

I felt alive.

In connection.

And grateful.

To see my friends and to re-connect with my classmates.

I had a little heart to heart with my dear friend from Paris and made plans with another friend for dinner the next weekend of classes.

I felt like I belonged and I was a part of and yes, still finding my way, oh, there’s forever that, and I discovered a new modality that I have a lot of interest in exploring–poetic therapy!

What?!

The teaching assistant for my class in the Clinical Relationship read a poem by John Fox to get us situated to being there in the first moments of class and it resonated so strongly with me I had tears coursing down my face just minutes after sitting in my chair.

The poem managed to ground me and uplift me and reminded me of a precious memory I have of my grandparents home in Lodi, Wisconsin.

They had there own well on the land and the water from the kitchen tap was always so cold and earthy and good, strong with minerals and pure, it tasted like all things right and it refreshed me in a way I don’t think any other water ever had.

My grandmother had a set of plastic green cups with pebbling on them, and for whatever reason as a child I was drawn to those cups.

I think water tastes best out of a glass, but there was something to those cups and I can remember filling them up and drinking the water, looking out the window into the back yard, seeing the stretch of lawn rolling towards the fruit trees and grape arbor, the vines and canes from the raspberries and the garden full of so much lush vegetation it is hard to enumerate all that was there.

Tomatoes and corn.

Onions and shallots, garlic, peas, peppers, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, wax beans, eggplants, okra, broccoli, and the many varietals thereof of the above vegetables and many I am sure I am forgetting–cabbage and brussels sprouts, red and green lettuce, asparagus, watercress.

The smell of the tilled earth, the warm of the grass on my feet when I walked barefoot through it.

A bowl of raspberries with sugar and cream in my grandmothers kitchen.

I was flooded listening to the poem.

And discovered another thing that I can use.

Another way, I can perhaps, integrate myself, my words, my language and vocabulary to help others.

Poetry as a way of being of service.

Divine.

I’ll take it.

Happy to be so situated at the start of this, my second semester of graduate school.

It’s a lovely surprise.

Here’s to more.

I am ready.

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