Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Gratitude

Thank you, Great Spirit, for loving my little boy up--for making him strong and healthy so that he could transcend these challenges. As his ninth birthday approaches, I remember:

You are very small. Much too small for photographs or phone calls or bubble gum cigars. The incongruity of what this moment might be and what it is leaves me pale. Still. The empty pouch of my vast belly loose and strange in my lap.

I am alone in the room, and I know you will not be brought back to me here. I make one phone call to my mother whose sleep is still heavy in her voice when she answers, sounding very distant and slightly alarmed. "The baby is here," I say in a monotone just tinged with hope. I feel five years old, except my breasts are enormous and already leaking milk.

I have given birth tonight to a too small boy with lungs that stick together on the inside, so that each attempt to open them again, fill them with this stale air, is a monumental effort, and you will soon tire of it, I know.

Daddy has followed you and six doctors down the hall, has promised me not to leave you alone with them. Our tiny moment of contact, you sputtering quietly on my chest and me whispering my love already--it is absorbed in this protracted night of your absence. I can see you at nine a.m., I am told, and I do not sleep or move until then.


As I reflect on this year so far, and on the new developments in our lives (namely the opportunity to move to Vermont and work at our dream school), I flip back to a journal entry made back in January:

Doors open and close around me, and I understand them as what the Universe offers me so that my hope does not die out entirely. Each door sends a slight disturbance of air that fills my lungs with possibility and keeps me breathing for another week or two. I cling to each rung of hope like monkey bars, believe I will eventually arrive at the other side, though it is not in sight.

It is time to be where I need to be, and perceiving that I get a sense of urgency, allow myself to be influenced by so many things; as a result, I lack clarity. The spirit world makes sure that the interval of each opening is not long enough for me to pass through.

When it is the right door, it will certainly be a grand passageway that is unmistakably right, and I will move through it in gratitude and with certainty. I understand these words as both placating and as potentially containing the higher truth that sustains me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eat Cake

I say that I let go, and then I immediately attach myself again to the shape of things as I want them to be. Why does everything in my life seem like it has to be part of some arduous spiritual lesson?

I see many people going through life as if they are sleepwalking. It seems to work okay for them. I wonder furtively if heightened consciousness is not completely overrated. If it wouldn't be easier to be a spiritual pedestrian, wholly ascribing to the popular interpretations of ancient texts, where "God in us" is dismissed as wholly metaphoric, rather than recognized as the suggestion of God-consciousness I believe it to be.

What if I closed my eyes to the super-real? Ignored the energetic layers of our existence and, say, ate cake? Ha ha. This bizarro symbolism for complacency only reveals my twisted mind: eat cake. I love cake.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


In this one you are hovering above the village of Monthey like smoke or fog. Dwaine will say it has to do with heat and cold, pressure and altitude, but I see you there.

You are no longer strung about with the golden cords of our desire, our longing for you, but are free to move among us, above us and below. Freed from your flesh and bone, you hover weightless, all intention and light. Nothing to encumber the perfection of your intent.

Your mother will howl tonight, your father melt into a medicated bliss, because you are gone from them and will not return. Not the way they want--their boy in his blue down coat, ruddy cheeks and mussed hair the color of straw.

No, you are something different now and I glimpse you beyond my prayer flags, slinking along the base of the mountain we climbed last fall. It is a glorious resting place, but of course you are only there when I am looking--the way I need to see you, in the place I need you to be.


I hang my clothes to dry now. The Mediterranean quality of our climate allows for this. It encourages a kind of airing out of everything in our lives. We move from day to day like this: each action protracted, slowed almost to a stop. It is this waiting that is so heavy, this place that counters the sensation with light.

I no longer have to scoop hot, snapping ions into my arms but instead pick one cool, wet garment from the basket at a time. Shake out its folds. Clip it tenderly to the taut line above my head, where it will flip and snap along the breeze and lighten with each passing moment until it smells like the earth and is as dry.

I hang my clothes to dry now, and it is a meditation of sorts. It is a reminder that I am on the ground now, no longer floating on air like a kite. This is real and I am now and home is an action.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Karmic Recovery

I finish the next layer of revision on Inertia today. The novel finds its shape. I keep breathing, keep holding space for the miracle of seeing our little dream emerge from beneath the snow, bloom into this air, open to receive us. Oh. Thank you thank you, as the reality unfolds in its perfect timing. It is as it was always meant to be. It is as we dreamed it. Indeed, as we created it. I begin to sense the restoration of my faith in our good karma, the fine manifestation of our perfect intent. I add the 'm' and close the syllable: Om.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Negative Capability

I begin to understand that my life up to the age of 30 was not, in fact, mapped out by me and did not occur according to that plan. That only appeared to be the case. The events of my life, from high school graduation onward, with the exception of a few isolated events (which though they radically altered my core beliefs did not significantly reroute the intended course) only happened to coincide with the plan I had laid out for myself at the age of fourteen.

Starting right around the age of 33, nothing has happened as I might have anticipated. I could choose to see a causal relationship between that and the essential end of my teenage-heart-generated blueprint and its subsequent absorption into the general "happily ever after" I had envisioned for myself, but I rather think that their synchronous occurrence is entirely coincidental.

I become aware that though it may be my higher self, God in me as it were, directing my life, I am in no way consciously determining its direction. The generalities, yes: profound love for my family, deep appreciation, intimacy and camaraderie with my husband, shared vision of a mindful, compassionate, environmentally conscious lifestyle--check. But as far as the details?

Well...I can't say I've been shocked--the epiphany has been far too gradual to call it that--but I've been incrementally surprised at the infinitesimal (if extant) degree of control I actually have over the pieces of the puzzle. Where we live, how we support ourselves, where the boys go to school, how much time I am able to devote to creative endeavors, seem to all be dictated by some benevolent force. And I am only now able, and still with some dubiousness, to use the modifier benevolent. There were months, maybe even years, during which I could not have been sure, and these were punctuated by brief moments in which I was sure that the opposite was true.

I sit back and relax. I have enough evidence, finally, that the puzzle pieces have been laid (notice the passive construction) in a way that will indeed form the whole picture of my life. I resist the desire to expedite their placement, not only because it is futile, but also because certainly its completion is tantamount to the end of my life, which I hope will be fantastically protracted. Therefore, it is with peacefulness that I allow those pieces to find their ways to fill each gap, bring nebulous color and line into focus as identifiable image.

I begin to feel the end of a period of struggle upon me, as I relinquish my imaginary control. My boys are happy, beautiful in their innocence and perfect intent; Dwaine and I are exultant in renewed love and the approach of our seventeen-year-anniversary; I bloom into the novelist I had not allowed myself to become until now; our home is abundant, eden-like in its tranquility and beauty; our friends are near--this year not only in our hearts but in physical proximity as well.

Such blessings. Where do they come from? My ribcage swells with gratitude, and I feel ready for the next leg of our journey, whatever that might look like, whatever the pieces of the puzzle, wherever they may land. I open myself to change. I open myself to stasis. I open myself to uncertainty. This is what Keats called negative capability. Being able to embrace what is wild, uncertain, mystical and strange in life, so as not just to experience it, but to become it. Yum!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Six Ways of Seeing this Horizon

..after Wallace Stevens


Aquamarine filament slithers between heaven and earth:
we are in good company.


Thin membrane between the real and the super-real
lies like gossamers along the ocean's spine.


Whispery kohl promise--blue-black line
shimmers beneath a heavy sky: we
are who we think we are, after all.


The boundary between days. Inky
sheath separates yes from too tired.
No from perhaps.


Gold presses down on coal, limning
the edges of our world. How we
know one moment from the next.


Thin axis of our longing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Touching Down...

The wheel of my artistic experience disengages from its airborne axis--that which has elevated it these many years, yes, but which has also kept it from touching down, gaining traction and moving with purpose on this earth. Such art is otherwordly, I know, but it is in this world, on this ground that it will serve its purpose; this voice, these limitless words, they carry the vibration of truth, the strange and visceral instructions for harnessing one's own ability to achieve balance, effect right relationship, heal the soul.

Easter Weekend 2010

Tucked at the back of the Valley, dripping with lush foliage, rainwater and perfect intention, the quanzit hut cradles three boys and the four parents who love them--who by their love and in creating moments like these hold space for them to grow, live, become the fullest versions of their little boy selves. Their lights swell and fill the cornerless space, fill us with hope and the desire to protect their innocent, burgeoning faith--but we will soften, open ourselves even to their vulnerability. It is the only way to save ourselves from this devastating desire and to pave the way for the unfolding of their many petals.

Thank you P, R & R for inviting us to your Waipi'o hale for this special weekend. Namaste.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Dream


Albert Einstein is still weeping
over the application of his perfect
constructions. Ideas and even language
can be perfect, he croons, but people
never can.


In this lifetime, he is
a caterpillar, destined
to live only two days
as a blue butterfly. Life
curtailed by beauty.


I fly across the night
sky without wings, the stars
breaking on my shoulders,
my forehead, like water.
Like dreams. Celestial
baptism in my insomniac