Monday, April 15, 2013

is this possible

is it?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Dark, again

It was not even 4:00 today when I noticed the streaks of sunset coloring the sky- striations of pink and orange peaking through low layers of clouds. The rain has been sparse. Although my cheeks have been bitten red from the cold, the sun has been shining and it hasn't yet truly felt like winter in the northwest (I say this with down booties on and a fire in the woodstove that has been roaring for hours). Today as I was whipping down a side street on my new bike, I was thinking about real winters, and what immediately sprang to mind was not the snowy expanses of Montana, but the heaters of the dorms in Massachusetts. I remembered bundling for walks that first year of college only to wait and wait some more for this person to be ready or that dog to arrive,or that vat of tofu to be done cooking, all the while sweating underneath my infinite layers of thrift shop sweaters to protect my fragile southern California countenance, and then the shocking blast of cold upon exiting those hydraulic doors out of the concrete into the air. I remembered the pine trees at the end of the forest, the way they swayed in the wind, and the sense of mystery when looking out where the woods gave way to corn field, dead stalks waiting out the winter.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The dark.

Finished watching True Blood for the season. I have no more vampire novels at my disposal. Watched the current episodes of Californication and Heroes. Ate dinner. Had a post dinner snack. and then another. What happens when the diversions run out? There are always more- endless to be had. I should be studying, but have little desire and even less focus right now.

I have become part of a writing group, at our last meeting the theme was "accidents" and people expressed that this was a downer. We free wrote and shared and there was this philosophical levity as no one actually named an internal scar and others of us held our notebooks to chest and muttered "I'll pass." When i did share some writing about my car accident there was an ugh and I felt as if had dropped a weight into the room. In another piece of writing, a woman misread the source of sadness and tried to talk me out of it- offering another way to view the situation. Sweet and well-intentioned, but she was off the mark.

I have always known that there is a darkness that is part of my personality, and at times I have clung to it like a comfortable blanket, yes, but I don't believe it is a bad thing.It surprises me when I discover that others shirk from this underbelly that certainly underscores my existence. I suppose being around so many quasi buddhists I have come to believe that everyone is grappling with the idea that life is suffering, but then I sat in this room of lovely women who originally were drawn together for a food writing class and I see how they have created a norm of positivity- an embrace of zest- and I wonder if who I am these days can have a place among them.

The thing is, I'm not so sad anymore, not most days. I still have my moments, but this is life. grief and joy, two sides of the same coin. I now know this intimately. I spent a weekend with Sobonfu Some a month ago where she led us through a ritual to pour out this grief- to drag it out of ourselves and lay it down, and it was powerful, uplifting. My limbs have been lighter since. And even now as winter closes in, the sun sets at 4, and I feel myself, too, pull in crawling under cover, I don't lament or fight it. I don't have to be something I'm not.

I suppose I am needing to accept that just as I don't want to pretend to be happy, or light, others may not want to act cynical or wry- perhaps just plain goodness is not always embraced either (especially among writers). The question is, do I place my writing on their table- is it safe? for me? for them?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleaning up

Thanks to recent visitors, the garden beds are clean with the seeds of a over crop waiting to germinate, the leaves are raked and piled in compost bins, gathered in the area that will maybe one day be a fern garden. I too feel a reining in, a cleaning up, a slowing down. Winter is creeping in.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cricket in the lawn strip

Tonight I ate my first beets from the garden. They were bitter, as Talya had forewarned. This garden that has been such an abundance of joy and pride for me in its jungly finery is dying. Gone are the squash plants, victims of powdery mildew. likewise the cucumber. The bean tepees are drying up. I will miss the complements of passersby. Tonight Tula was fervently barking. At first I ignored her as she is a barker, but then I became convinced that someone was stealing the enormous pile of firewood sitting in our driveway. I stepped out into the unseasonably warm night. There was no one there but a very loud cricket, chirping away, hidden in my the dying yarrow and sunflower stalks of the lawn strip. I was glad to hear his voice.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Having spent so much of my life in the educational system, fall always seems to be like the beginning and end of a year. Summer comes to a close. leaves curl up and die. The plants in the garden drop their fruit. Children return to school. I, too return to school. The crisp sunny days are my favorite kind of weather. I take stock. What has passed? Where am I? It is hard these days when people ask how I am, what I have been up to. How do I answer? The truth is generally not what people are looking for, so I smile and say "good, good" and try to escape before the conversation can go any further. and maybe they do want to know about the most recent miscarriage, about my unfulfilled desire to birth and mother a child, about how that dream seems further and further away, about my grief and how it has sucked the light, about all the ways I try to escape myself. Maybe they'd be interested, but do I want them to know? Do i want the world to see just how vulnerable I am? Whether I want people to know or not, it will not stay under wraps. It is constantly seeping through the dressings and spilling out the edges making messes I have no idea how to clean up after. As Cameron said the other day, there is just so much that is left untidy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Phoenix Rising; Dancing Cycles of Death and Rebirth"

Session 1:
I couldn't lay them down. I was holding these small fragile birds under may arms, in between my ribs, kittens in my belly, and as much as I knew it was causing me pain, I couldn't let them go. One by one they separated from me, but were attached, as if I was letting them out on a leash to look at them. As they moved from my body they morphed, a bird became a frog with a human face, a kitten a small troll. All lined up they stared up at me with big eyes, pity, curiosity. I gathered them back into me and continued to dance, knowing full well the entourage of grief I kept stored under the skin.

Session 2:
I received an email: "Dear Dancers, Tomorrow is a good day to die!" Out of breath, I tried to push it away, jerking in my body, the exercise weird and esoteric, yet at the same time scary. "Imagine your systems shutting down". When I reached the point at which I was lying on the floor "dead" I was acutely aware of my heart beating against my chest wall, reverberating on the wooden floor, my chest rising and falling."and when you feel the spark of life, begin to move." so I did, rising from the floor slowly at first, then more quickly, vigor! life! joy!

Session 3:
One by one, we dance our death. We dance to emptiness, with others watching on, witnessing, waiting. One by one we are shrouded and carried through the room. One by one, we emerge from the shroud, a brilliant fluttering of life encased in white sheets that eventually float around the room like wisps of clouds, or even wings.

Session 4:
I dance with all of those children I have created in my mind, and then I begin to let them go. At first, one by one, then they fly away from me in droves, flocks bursting forth from beneath my arms, my hands, my heart, until finally, they are gone, and I fly, too.