Sunday, May 29, 2016

memory lane

Snow cakes the treads on my shoes. I have no traction. I hope I don’t slip.

With Claire secured to my chest in the carrier and my coat zipped around her, my body temperature rises as I walk. I take off my hat. The cold air feels good against my neck.

The playgroup starts in ten minutes. I underestimated how long it would take me to walk two miles on these snowy roads. Claire shifts in the carrier, pressing her hands against my chest and leaning back. 

She looks up at me, blinking against the snow flurries that want to settle on her eyelashes.

“I know you want to get out,” I tell her. “But we’ll get there much faster if you just let me carry you, okay?” Claire is 14 months old. Walking is her thing.

She starts to whine. We still have a long way to go. Sweat trickles down my spine and I wish we would have stayed home. But I know getting out will be good for me. For both of us. It’s been a long year.

Friday, May 13, 2016

still practicing

The dogs are staring at me. They are willing me to take them for a walk. But I’m going to finish writing these morning pages first. It’s something I need to do. All three pages today.

Sawyer’s eyes are locked on my face like he’s influencing my thoughts with a Jedi mind trick. Harley thinks a simple Force choke will make me drop my pen.

Sorry, guys. I’m not done yet.

But they’re not settling into their waiting. Harley paws at me. Sawyer yawns at me. They pace.

The dogs are like my mind, moving around, anxious about something.

I’m working on noticing when I get distracted. I’m working on reeling my mind back into my body. My breath turns the wheel, 
            pulling me back in until I am close enough to focus on the scrap of light living in the center of my chest. The moment I recognize that light, it begins to expand to fill my body. It spills out into the space around me. It radiates in all directions.

I’m trying to see that light as infinite, limitless, but my mind presses up against boundaries. Solid walls it doesn’t know how to climb or dissolve. I keep practicing, though. Pushing.

I believe that at some point I’ll be able to experience the vastness of my own mind, how big I really am, how little I have to fear.

Because –


I don’t have the right words. My time is up. Three pages almost full. I’ve hit the outskirts of my imagination and my mind cascades back into itself. The spell has broken.

But I’m not done practicing.

When I walk, I see the full arc of the sky. The sun is still low, still climbing out of bed, and the light angles through the trees and warms the color of Sawyer’s fur. The dogs sniff and zig zag across the path in front of me. My lungs are full and I am right here.

Monday, May 2, 2016

seeing, looking, noticing

The wind comes from every direction. Any direction. Strands of myself are blowing out, billowing, wrapping across my eyes, getting stuck in my partially open lips.

My mouth is dry.  I am at the center of a tornado. It is loud. Chaotic. Dark. But I'm not fighting. I'm not trying to get away.

I am still, in here.
I am still in here
I am still.
I am here.

I can see
even though my eyes are stuffed with sand
I'm not looking with my eyes.

When I look with my eyes I see:

  dog hair
    a very patchy lawn
        coffee cups
           my computer

When I look with my Self, I see:

the grain of wood on the floorboards.
the wrinkles in my pillow,
       crumpled crisscrossing lines
           that I wake up with on my face.
the faint lines on the bottom of Rose's foot when I check for slivers.
   life lines
      lines that will stay with her for life.

This is the kind of looking that makes me feel alive, unclenches my jaw.

A child is crying. My blood pressure is rising. A backpack needs to be zipped, hair needs to be braided, the bus stop needs to be arrived at. But my eye falls on the bookshelf with its evenly spaced boards and the books leaning at every angle. Order and the disorder existing together. I take a breath a remember that I am here. Now.

Seeing, looking, noticing like this is a lot like dropping my fists when I'm running, opening my palms, stretching my fingers, shaking my hands out like I'm letting something go, so when I fall back into my stride there is a looseness where tension used to be, clarity where the fog had been settling low, and a few full, long breaths that go all the way to the base of my lungs before settling back into a rhythm that's comfortable again, a rhythm I don't have to think about for awhile.