Posts Tagged ‘sunlight of the spirit’

Damn You

October 23, 2016

Second wind.

I did not expect to be so jazzed up all the sudden.

I was crashing pretty hard in my last class of the day and just put my forehead down on the shoulder of one of my classmates and said, “make it stop.”

Or something to that effect.

It was a long day.

But hey.

It’s done now.

And of course.

I am wide awake.

I’m listening to music and writing and drinking hot tea and thinking about high-school.

Yeah.

That sounds like good times, right?

Ha.

But.

It was with a certain sweetness and fondness that I was thinking about myself and with a great deal of compassion for the experiences that made me.

I wouldn’t wish to go back.

I wouldn’t wish to change it.

I wouldn’t go and tell that girl child turning woman, do it different, here’s how, no.

I would not.

I am in love with who I am.

I was happy today and light and free and sad and sorrowful and of service and I showed up and yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but that girl, that girl reading books in her room, cuddled up in a worn out chair covered in my grandmothers afghan, that girl made this possible.

She dreamt.

She would listen to music and read and stare out the window.

I don’t remember what I thought about.

Sometimes I would look in a mirror and wonder about the reflection there.

I thought I was pretty.

I thought I might even be beautiful, but I did not get that kind of feedback.

I was curious.

Am I seeing myself?

Or.

Why?

There was that a lot, the asking why.

Sometimes I would fantasize or play with my hair or dress up.

Nothing that I ever reflected by wearing back to school, clothes wise that is, except with one or two exceptions of trying out a new look one week in high school my senior year that I was so nervous to wear that I could hardly enjoy it.

But I rocked it.

I have always liked clothes and fashion.

I was not in a place to wear the clothes I wanted.

But.

Boy did I covet certain things.

I am proud of myself though.

When I look back.

I carved out my own way.

I was my own woman.

I had nothing to really model on, which was on one hand a kind of curse, but I also got to learn, trial and error what I liked and what I don’t.

I’m still discovering.

But.

Some seeds were planted in that room.

From reading all those books.

My God did I read.

I miss that sometimes now.

All the time.

Reading for pleasure.

I don’t get to do it nearly enough.

Reading for school has super ceded that luxury.

Funny that.

Reading, a luxury.

But my God.

When I think about the hours curled up on the couch, or in my room, or in my bed, or under my favorite apple tree in the orchard.

I was moony and dreamy and fanciful and the stories I read reflected that and also, they were my escape.

I was thinking about that as well tonight.

Escape.

All the ways I can check out when it gets to be too much and how I have hidden out, sometimes in plain view, and yet, how very much I want to be seen.

I felt very seen today.

I did a genogram presentation of my family tree.

I traced inter-generational traumas three generations on one side of my family and four generations of it on the other side.

All the pain.

All that hurt.

All the sorrow.

I felt my chest get hot and I realized that what was coming out of my mouth was not what I had planned and that was ok.

I have done enough public speaking, so much, I have spoken in front of crowds big and small, that I don’t really have a problem doing it.

I’m actually really quite good off script.

I typically do need to know what I am talking about.

And my family history, though not as much of a mystery as it was a week ago, was still settling in my system.

I made sure I was pretty today.

I wore flowers in my hair.

I thought of sweetness and resilience.

I thought of grace and service.

I thought how I could show up and heal by sharing.

Therein lies the issue, I feel, I believe, so much of the secrecy, the shame, the conflict and contention that doesn’t get spoken of, gets twisted up in my heart and lays there heavy and sodden like wet leaves mulching into winter on the hoar-frost covered land.

So.

I swept clear some ground.

I laid it bare.

I spoke my truth, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

I breathed.

I felt my face flush.

I said the words.

I was held the room did not fall apart.

Although after, when I sat I realized how much the class was affected.

Well.

One person.

Her sweet face and red eyes letting me know how my words had landed.

I don’t really recall much of what I spoke of.

Oh.

The bones of it, the narrative, the stories, the lineage of pain handed down the line, mother to child, father to son, grandparent to grandchild.

I do.

However.

Recall pointing out the brightness on the map.

The bright triangles of joy I encapsulated myself and a few members of my family.

The joy of recovery and the strength there.

“Few people realize how the family structure is affected when one member gets into recovery,” my professor had briefly tossed out into a lecture weeks ago.

I hung that star on my paper.

I flashed it bright.

My recovery.

My foundation.

My base.

My place of growth, stellar and bright and resilient.

I have no idea where the resilience comes from, perhaps my grandmother on my fathers’ side, I am named after her.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

I don’t need to know.

I don’t need to change anything.

I don’t approve of it, but I do accept it.

And as I sank down in my pretty dress and felt my heart beat hard in my chest I knew I had succeeded.

If I can do it.

So can you.

If there is a meaning in all of this, it is that I survived.

And that I got better, stronger, more powerful, more loving.

More.

More.

More.

More love.

More magic.

Just fucking more of all the things.

And I’m almost through.

Literally and figuratively.

One more day of class and another weekend down.

One more small step down the road.

One more opening of the door to my heart.

Just a little wider.

Just a little more open.

Just a little.

More

Available.

For.

The sunlight of the spirit.

And.

All.

All of it.

All.

The love that gets to come in when I clear out the wreckage of my past.

Yes.

Please.

More of that.

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There Is No Dress Rehearsal

July 4, 2015

The tears pricked my eyes as I heard the slow Texas drawl of the man standing in front of the room.

“So live your life now, today, go, do it, what ever it is that you want to do, do it now, don’t wait.”

The tears slid down my face and puddled in my cleavage.

Fortunately I have a bit of cleavage, it can hold a few tears.

It was not the only time today that I shed tears, but it was the most profound and poignant share I heard today.  There were many great and marvelous things I heard today, miracles, and sweetness, and grace.

So much grace.

I happened upon the man with the Southwestern accent completely on accident and I was happy to sit and listen for his entire story.

To bear witness to another person’s life, to grow from their experience, to enrich my own and to understand completely that the things I have done, the risks taken, even when I fell completely flat on my face, were all so worth it.

He spoke of wanting to live in New York, so he and his wife just up and sold all there things and moved to New York for six months.

And he spoke of service and showing up and what that looks like.

It is such a small thing, this showing up, to the page, to the screen, to my words, to my experience, to my life, to show up, be present and accounted for, such a gift.

I don’t always like who I am or what I see, but I am no fool, I see the value of my worth, though I deign to accept much by way of accolades.

“You so, so, so deserve this,” she said to me tonight as we sat in the Georgia Dome counting down the minutes and waving at folks and sitting in awe of the vast number of people present.

She was talking about my graduate school program and my scholarships, my friend has just finished her 3,000 hours required for her MFT liscence and passed all her tests and went to the same school as I am going to for my graduate degree.

She admitted to me that she had wondered what I was going to do and how I was going to handle the financial burden and whether it was the best choice for me.

She and others.

Others who I love and admire and I knew the financial burden going in, but there, underneath it all, was a still quiet, sure voice, that said, do it anyway, the money will come.

And it has.

And that scares me, but also shows me that I am on the right track, walking through the wide open door and walking towards that sunlight I know so well which fills my spirit and leads me forward.

It’s bright walking into this light and I cannot see what it holds, everything is backlit and the screen is dark, I can only see vague outlines, but I can feel the warmth and I know that I am going in the right direction.

I am living my life unafraid, well, mostly unafraid.

I do a lot of acting as if.

Act as if your student loan will get paid off from your undergrad degree.

Act as if you will be able to pay for graduate school tuition.

Act as if you will be able to afford living in San Francisco while going to graduate school.

Faith.

I have faith.

In more and more areas of my life, I have faith.

It astounds me and as I hugged my dear, dear, sweet friend I knew that she was right, I do deserve these things, I do deserve abundance and joy and prosperity, and love.

I do.

I also know that I have to play it forward, I have to be of service, I have to continue to grow and change.

And live.

Because there really is no dress rehearsal, there is only this day, only this life, only this moment.

I got to talk to a friend tonight and share how much I wished he was here, even when I have thousands of people around me I can get lonely, though it was good to have some alone time today, some quiet time just for myself.

Again.

How grateful I am to have my own hotel room.

When this thing goes to Detroit I am booking my own room again, unless I am sharing it with a partner, I want to have my own space, it has been saving my butt.

I slept in today and when I did wake up it was raining, big thunderstorm, flashes of lighting, rain pelting the windows.

It felt so nice to lie in bed and listen to the rain.

I fell back asleep and let myself get the rest my body needed.

Then a nice bit of time sitting and being still and taking a knee and doing that thing and writing, doing the things that anchor me to my day, so that I can go out and experience my life.

This has been quite the experience and I am so grateful to have had it and to have another day of it.

Though, I will be playing hooky a little tomorrow and heading into another part of Atlanta.

I need to get out of the downtown area and get some fresh fruit for myself and wander around a little on my own, do my own exploring and have my own little adventure, maybe go meander around an art gallery, and hit a farmers market.  I looked up a few possibilities and I want to do that for a couple of hours before going back into the fray.

A wonderful, marvelous fray, no doubt of that at all, but a fray nonetheless.

I am glad that I can see that I live my life and take myself places and let myself explore things just a little off the beaten path.

I found a wonderful shop today in my neighborhood and they helped me take care of my humidity hair, homemade pomade with fresh lemons in it, my hair looks amazing and I smell like lemon merengue pie.

I bought a tiny jar of it and a pretty ring as a souvenir of my trip.

A little bauble, but sweet, and it matched my pants–I wore my safety orange cords and took advantage of the warm weather to wear platform sandals all day.

I had a great little conversation with the ladies there and got a great tip on a BBQ joint in the neighborhood and had an amazing lunch, yes by myself, dining alone, but smiling, enjoying the view, enjoying the continual adventure of my life.

More adventures to follow tomorrow.

More adventures every day.

I got a second chance at my life.

I get to live.

And I am going to squeeze as much from this life as I can.

Do as much as I can.

Be as present as I can.

It’s the least I can do.

Considering the gifts I have been given.

So many gifts.

So much.

Love.

You Have Changed So Much

January 14, 2015

He said.

“You are so beautiful, look at her,” he said to the man sitting next to me.

Thank you.

I have grown up a lot.

My heart so tender today that I would rather not write tonight for fear that if it, my heart, were any more on m sleeve, it might burst.

Just the ache that fills me when I look at the ten pink Gerber daisies my boyfriend left on my scooter for me to discover when I got home tonight is enough to make me want to stop writing.

I know the only way through this is to grow through it.

That was not a typo.

I really have to grow more.

Just when I think I can stop stretching my arms toward the sun I find myself needing to reach even harder toward that warmth and light.

The sunlight of the spirit I need more than ever now.

I still feel so new at this thing called living.

I still find myself trying to find my voice.

Last night as I was heading to bed I played the Bach cello Sonatas again that I had been listening to, one in particular that reverberates within me when ever I hear it, Cello Suite in G Menuett 1 & 2, and I cried.

It just filled me with grief and joy and sorrow and gratitude and awe and I was astounded that I could feel so very much, that I could hold all those emotions at one time and feel them each and every one.

Painfully so.

Gratefully so.

I held him in my arms and kissed his hair and said, “shhh, I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, it’s ok.”

He sobbed like the two and a half tired toddler he was, overwhelmed with the sugar from a rice crispy treat and a trip to his older brother’s pre-school class for a family share day.

He was inconsolable with feelings.

He wasn’t able to express, without screaming in frustration what he wanted.

He wanted it all.

And he could not find the words to ask for everything he wanted.

I am forty years older than him and sometimes I feel like that too, the words get stifled in my chest and I cannot find the way to have you hear me, to express myself, that my heart is tender, that you have touched it, that I feel you, even when you retreat again and leave me here to stare at pink flowers on an aquamarine table, next to a bunny night-light from Paris, tears well up and then down.

I breathe.

I held him and calmly spoke to him and let him know he was heard and it was alright and he didn’t need to do anything but breathe.

“Take a big deep breath,” I told him and inhaled through my nose and exhaled slowly.

“Again.”

“Baby, try again, you can do it, I’m here, I’m here holding you, you are safe.” I said and held him and swayed next to the sound machine.

It took some time.

It always does when our hearts are so full and there is so much to say and no words to express all the feelings but to holler in a scream, NO!

NO!

He screamed.

The tantrum lasted about 20 minutes.

It felt longer and all at the same time timeless, effortless, the screaming, the heart wrenching holler of a frustrated child.

And when it was done, a snuggle, a story, a song, lullaby my baby, down to sleep.

A two and a half hour nap and it was like the world was a brand new place and yes!

Let’s go to the park and play fire engines and slides and hide and seek and tag and please, more shovels, and diggers, and sand, yes.

Feelings they pass and when I am overwhelmed, I remind myself, this too shall pass.

And.

To thine own self be true.

So I do what makes sense, I make a cup of tea, I arrange flowers in a Mason jar and smile that I have once again been given so much more than what I asked for and that, yes, I am allowed to ask at all.

I don’t have to be a quiet wallflower.

I can keep changing.

I am not the same woman.

I am this woman.

Alive, imbued with emotions, all allowed, intelligent, funny, sweet, beautiful, hopefully more on the inside than the outside–that’s where it counts, really, physical beauty fades, but heart beauty, that which is inside, that only grows deeper in beauty and fullness.

Rich.

That is what this life is, full of flavor and spice.

Salt and pepper, smoked paprika, grated nutmeg, golden turmeric, spicy ginger, sultry cinnamon, spiky mace, sweet Cicely, clove, anise in all its wild glory.

So much.

Tonight as I was riding home through the park, just past the end of the Pan Handle where it ends at Stanyan, I rode by a patch of the park that smelled so pungent I was bowled over with memory.

Wet, dark, damp, sweet, the smell of soft rotting nectarines and the wound of a night-blooming jasmine melded my heart to the here and now and the little girl I was so many moons back.

I did not perhaps have that same comfort and soothing that I was able to give the littlest boy I take care of, but I could connect the woman I am to the girl that I was and see how far I have come and see how tender I can be to that part of myself and know that no matter how open and vulnerable I feel, that I really won’t be hurt be letting others see exactly what there is to me.

All of it.

I am as see through as the pink of a bunny rabbit ears.

Have you seen that?

The translucent light, pearled and pink with blood and the white of a fur softly ringing the tender skin, that shines through a rabbit-ear.

That is me.

Tonight anyway.

Tomorrow?

Let’s not go there, shall we?

Just let me sink, soft, and unbound into the sound of cello rasping away into the evening as the stars shimmer over the woods, deep, wild, and omniscient in their tangled ramble toward the sea.

 


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