oh the times…

Suffice it to say I feel so far removed from new york these days. I have never had the chance (or desire, really) to see what sprung up out of the giant hole where the world trade center once stood. I never went back there.

Here is what i do remember: it was an ordinary day, a sunny day at the beginning of fall, and i was getting ready to ride my bike into manhattan and go to work. Instead, i left my bike flat in the hallway and ran to the roof, moments before a collective, citywide scream as the second plane plowed into a building, knowing i was standing on my rooftop watching thousands of people die, then watching the towers fall and knowing something wasn’t right – the way they fell was far too similar to the way the Purina plant in Brooklyn fell during its planned implosion just a few months prior.

The flag-waving frenzy that ensued, the free air conditioners, vacuums and air purifiers FEMA provided while telling us that air was “safe to breath”, the “missing” posters of suburban husbands in their white button-downs and ties, the exhaustion and sadness on the faces of first responders and rescue teams – it was a lot. It was intense. It was hard for me to express what I was feeling. What i saw looked like something out of a Hollywood movie. It was hard to believe it was real. When does anyone ever witness a plane flying into the side of a huge skyscraper and exploding? It has taken me years to sort this out.

New Yorkers slowed down for a minute tho, and suddenly everyone was kind. For a minute, we were a people united in a horrible, shared experience and that New Yorker way of dealing with shit: we took to the streets, expressed ourselves, and got stuff done.

9/11/01 was the death of thousands, and the birth of my full, acknowledged disillusion in so much. It was the day “we the people” took on a whole new meaning, a day a new faith was born in me, a deeper compassion, and a righteous indignation and rage that has been growing and refining itself since then as i learn how to be a true, peaceful warrior and how to use these potent expressions of power in an effective way.

There are people in this world who suffer these terrors and tragedies daily. Like so many of the New Yorkers that died on this day 15 years ago, they are everyday people with wisdom, lives, loves, and families, at the mercy of governments and war machines (aka “terrorists”). They are, daily, watching their worlds crumble around them and feeling the kind of horror, pain, sorrow and loss we got that one massive glimpse of so many years ago.

Never forget. Power to the people. More compassion. More love.

censorship

let’s just say it’s been a trip down memory lane tonight.

it’s one of those trips that’s made me come back and wonder where the hell i actually am right now. whose messy little cabin scattered with toys is this?

there are those good, wholesome things about life here, for sure: fresh air and mama friends, raising a little girl and channeling my warrior princess, eventually becoming a queen… i am a queen, her queen.

Emerging from the chrysalis, though, and in learning to use my wings, i sometimes forgot where I’d come from, how i’d once writhed my way through life.

that undulating, youthful thing, she was fearless with a strong sense of morals and loyalty and thus, never expected to have to explain herself. facing a blank page was an adventure that looked toward a horizon: to fill one you had to cut the mind loose (and very often hold the bladder). to experience the story writing itself like that was to experience the story multi-dimensionally. what could not be in this one, perhaps was how it went down in another, and there was so much thrill and joy in exploring that, using my mind to answer what ifs.

in my imaginary world, where the catalog of human emotions is encyclopedic, those words would just fly out and land in their appropriate places on the page. i went there without question: i must be trusted to go there because i will always concoct stories. That’s my safe place.

maybe fifteen years ago, i was offered a job at a house of discipline, located in a non-descript building in midtown Manhattan.  I was hired to work the front desk and it was the absolute dream experience for an acute observer with a sense of adventure.

i learned some things. the slight distance from it now is healthy though it feeds me to this day. It still gives me things to think about, things i should probably be spanked for.

what a need it can be sometimes, to feel like you have a place where it’s safe to play in a way that doesn’t involve censorship.

I am a moth-winged queen but that squiggly fat grub, she’s in there, caged and slightly sedated at the moment but oh, she’s in there, trying to remember how it is to writhe and what it boils down to, really, is this:

i wanna dry hump my girlfriend in the corner of a bar where we are all adults and then come home and fuck my wife (relax they are one in the same). and then we can wake up the next morning and be good and really happy parents.

 

fold over but don’t collapse.

at 4am, i woke to find the skylight above my bed filled with stars.

wide awake in the wee hours, i understand this as a time to pray, so at this moment i stepped outside, bare feet on wet deck, gazing up at the spacious mystery.

there was no verbal prayer, there were no words, no platitudes, no random cheesy internet memes passing through, no workshop-speak… just gratitude. just seeing my place in the space again. feeling wet summer air and coolness after days of 90 degree heat.

i returned to bed where my little girl was sound asleep next to me.

i noticed that once again, she’d wiped boogers on the wall next to her head. i wondered where the cat was. she never came in. the dog, asleep in her bed at the foot of ours. oh how much i have to love and clean up after.

at 5am, i got up again. i unfurled a yoga mat and sat for a morning practice.

ujjayi breath, folding over and then arching my back, stretching out the tension, feeling the warmth coming on, the energy, the metabolism boost… folding over and into this, relishing the dawn light – as a mother, these hours of dawn and twilight are mine and mine alone… in them, i need to fit another universe entirely. these are the hours when no one else needs me.

“Mom?”

I hear my old stories kick in. I can’t do anything except mother. I am too busy for self-care. I am sucked dry from need.

It takes everything, everything, to rewrite that story.

I breathe deeply as I fill my cup again and bring her some water. Go back to sleep, I say. It’s too early. I will be here for you when it’s time to wake up, and I will be happy, ready to serve again. And dutifully, sweetly, she does. Within mere seconds I hear the deepness of her rest take over again, the heaviness of her breath as she so trustingly sinks back into a land of dreams… this balmy, post-rain summer air so peaceful, so energizing, full of so much promise for this day.

the mud

i’m navigating the ups and downs these days, mirroring the weather. 80 degrees and sunny today. Gray, rainy and cold the next. Ready to sprout and bloom and just hoping there isn’t one last freeze.

some days i can hang it all out on the clothesline and others… i just keep it on a rack inside. i’m only motivated to put it away because it takes up so much space.

i’m not an easy climate to be in right now. there’s some serious turbulence in the air. strong winds foment change.

i see how my process affects the whole. i am putting this time here consciously. i am giving in to a little more selfishness while the opportunity affords itself, while there is full excuse. i need to explore myself this deeply one more time, to savor some last moments with some bits of myself that will need to go find another way to be here soon. it’s taking time and i don’t want to rush it. i need to feel the expansiveness of it and get to know my fear so i can face it eye to eye. i realize that it moves as it should, that it will move as we allow it to, that it is what it is. i contribute to this with my process. i create the space for magic to happen. i offer my belief, i have faith that it will.

please forgive me. i am learning patience and acceptance and truth. this could take a while.

 

 

 

i’m a murderer…

i used to be the one with trays of seedlings, a doorway arched by night-blooming tobaccos, a full daytime array of succulents and blooming cacti.

come over, i’d say. you need to see the san pedro.

lately, i’ve lost several houseplants, most of which i’ve had for a few years since settling into this little mountain town.

i’m not sure why either, which troubles me – i have yet to identify the dis-ease, the un-ease, the lack of ease with which i used to care so deeply for my chlorophyllic friends.

this, more than many things, has sent me into an emotional tailspin.

things in my care are dying.

i am in agony.

right now i’m surrounded by wild bloom – a veritable field of mushrooms appeared first, followed by an even larger field of miner’s lettuce and a huge patch of luneria. dandelions, already providing opportunities to wish. it is green and awe-inspiring.  but also, it makes me a little sad. there is so much i cannot always walk softly. i haven’t yet learned how.

that’s the courage, too, i always say, of being a wildflower. you sprout where chance has placed you and start setting roots. you have a period of growth. if you are still lucky, you bloom where you are. if you are luckier still, you will be able to do that in a place where you will not get stepped on, where you will radiate with color and feed bees before you scatter your DNA and ascend, your essence carried on through the honey and the seeds…

it’s a risk you take if living in a pot doesn’t sound like an alternative to you, but even so you run the risk of having to push through pavement. just hope it’s a vacant lot. or a playground, depending how long you think you might want to have that trip.

what are we, though, really, without that particular struggle? it’s the thing that keeps us connected to the earth, the whole reason we’re here having this human experience, learning to be in harmony with ourselves and everything else. we will eventually learn it, or not. most children leave their mothers eventually.

whatever is inevitable is okay with me. all of it is as is. the journey will more than likely continue. or maybe not.

in the meantime, i wonder what is reflected in the death of my houseplants. is it simply a lesson to learn in letting go? if i take it as such, will i grow careless in places where i do not need to? or is it simply a message from my little green friends that i need to listen more closely, that the details of life really are far more complicated than i’d like to believe, that all things require dedicated focus and special care, and anything that doesn’t, doesn’t currently require my time. some things adapt to their circumstances, and some do not. there is always the compost, which is also a spiritual thing.

i know. i am sensitive, it’s true. i mourn the loss of my houseplants deeply, even though i understand that i am witnessing the cycle of life in all ways. And that i also have the power, here, to honor their deaths with dignity. it still hurts. i think all living things have sentience. something in my care is dying. i am in agony.