Earwig

And I didn’t know the earwig was alive until I squeezed the mop out in the sink for the second time.

It had been floating in a dirty bowl when I’d done the dishes. And I’d thought “what a terrible way to go.” Drowning. In the panic of not having air, the one thing capable of easing said panic. Monks on mountains using only breath to reach states of mind that overcome the deep miseries.

And it had seemed too late until the mop ran clean and I saw it wiggling its legs trying to get away. But seeing the hope, I scooped it up and laid it gently onto a torn piece of paper bag so that it might recover itself.

And this lady I sit for—AZ— is mostly likely in the process of OD’ing. And the worry she’s dead—or worse, not yet dead, still savable with no one knowing—is with me as I clean the floor. Waiting for some sign she’s alive. Waiting until I see some mountain zone daylight before texting her CA mom, not knowing if I even should. Saw AZ so “asleep” yesterday I almost called an ambulance. She wasn’t supposed to be there; asked me to care for her cats and I found her in her bedroom. Took care of her cats; texted her a cute video of them; texted her again later, no responses. Have been on this addiction journey for a few years with her and her wealthy California family, and Don’t know the entire story. She has a trust fund, no job, and a fraught relationship with her mom (has asked me not to contact her); three cats and a dog, a horse somewhere, copious ordered packages always piled feet high over her porch and expensive furniture tagged and still in bubble wrap in a house she never locks despite a previous break in. Goes Into rehab, comes home; relapses; attracts grifters; admitted to hospital, back home, paranoid; trust fund cut off. The last relapse I arrived to her house destroyed—to the point I couldn’t find her dog who was sitting in the mess—and writing on the walls in Sharpie asking people to find a home for a spider who’s sad and a manuscript on the south wall of her bedroom reaching up as far as her height could take it, saying “…and when I’m alive, I’m alone; and when I’m crazy, I get to be loved. But not really.”

And here, in my “own” life, I walked right into a stick with my right eye yesterday. I’m chronically sleep-deprived, fall asleep anywhere. I have no days off but still had to move residences four times in five years creating permanent residence in “lunatic fringe” and am forgetful and constantly swirling with things I have to do/finish/clean/write/tend to as I actively run in place inside the full catastrophe known as the “American Dream”. And Yet on this Sunday in August 2020 before I leave for work, I’m distracted with another’s life—could paramedics even help her when several bouts of expensive rehab couldn’t?—and Squeezing dirty water out of the strings of my mop, singing Sugar Magnolia softly to myself as I wash the house, knowing already that teams of people with love and money can’t save someone who doesn’t want it. “Sweet blossom come on under the willow,…” as I worry over who’ll take her cats (who hide for everyone but me) if she’s dead/incapacitated. Who will love the things she loved? Who will endure this burning to give some light? “Sugar magnolia, Ringin’ that blue bell…Come on out singing, I’ll walk you in the sunshine…” in this morning that is supposedly mine. “But not really.”

And I go to rinse the mop again and see that the earwig isn’t on the paper anymore. I don’t see it when I look around for it in the sink and on the floor. Did it move on its own and is alive or accidentally get knocked off?

And I don’t have any answers, though in some lights, everything that happens is an answer. We look at what feels like ours to claim and we do what we can. Which often looks like nothing except the artful arrangement of our feelings until the worry yields itself to become something else.

And my cats are in their enclosure in the cool of this early summer day. And Julia and Bug are coming over later. And Livy is sleeping a few feet away—her computer still open on the kitchen table just as it was last night when she turned in her essay for History—and as I mop, Kiki‘s shedded Siberian triple coat bunches up in little balls when the mop water hits it. The oil covering each strand repelling the water until each finds one another again like a dream come true.

“Sunshine daydream,…Going where the wind goes, Blooming like a red rose”

And I know as I sing that I can offer my worry and my time and still not help any of us arrive at a better end.

Then back at the sink once more, I rinse the mop one final time and happen to look down at the floor. And there is the earwig. As I watch, it waddles capably along the wall and suddenly veers and tucks itself beneath the fridge.

And I’m surprised and I smile, nodding my head in approval. “Holy shit. Look at you.” [Everything that happens is an answer].

And then, a bit later, I text her mom and go to work, leaving my house, and feeling better knowing there’s that earwig now safe and sound underneath the fridge.

Diary of a 4th of July

7/4/2016:

Diary of a 4th of July

Worked (all felines: Izzy, Jack, Piper, Clark, Lucy, Darko, Todd, Burt, Mica—love them all); Graham and Lauren come over, Ellen and Julia join, Ellen’s friend ending his Ramadan; foster kittens, hard lemonade, shitty Malbec, salsa, chips, guacamole, ohdeargodwhydidIeatsomuch; Ellen/Julia to meet her friend, Livy/Lauren go to that little park, pepper gel and caps set off; neighbors’ fireworks go far above parched trees;

we walk to Sugar House Park, blanket says “Dream”, American “pride” bittersweet–injustice, racism, homelessness, hopelessness–the fantasy of clinging to a dying “dream”; cars, cars, cars, boys singing to “Get Low”, fleece blanket making me sweat, can’t reach Julia who’s already there; see James and Indy, find a spot, then another; see Kerry; fireworks start, music starts, same old music, same old American livefeed; so many people, so many many people, fireworks into the sky, blankets, glowsticks, children, drones; weed smoke;

a baby to our left is handed to his daddy, who hugs him and lifts him into the air;

Boom,

sky lights up, silhouettes of so many people, so many many people (why do we come here/why not watch out of the crowds from down the street?); Livy and Lauren lying down, friendship, the new generation, complicated, wise, (do they feel American pride?); people gazing up,

Boom,

lights, pictures in the glow; the daddy speaks to his group, another language/Middle Eastern?, the group laughs, mostly men, on blankets, two feet away, the baby handed back to mom

and she is dressed to match the baby in red, white and blue.  Boom,

And I’m staring at them,

and can’t look away,

for there is family and languages and implied forgiveness of xenophobes who hate them, braving traffic and crowds and heat so they can share “America” with their baby,

And it’s why we’re all here;

because the mom in tan shorts and the baby in American flag Navy and my girls and my friends are children to this new nation; we are her children,

and the sky sparkles as we sit together.

And when the last of the fireworks fade, we clap and collect our things. 

But within time spent in the space of each other’s ideals, walk home in the smoky air dream of a nation rising as one into the hungover dawn of itself.

[Footnote:   Because of crowds/parking at Sugar House Park for their huge annual community fireworks show, we’d walked the few miles to snag our spot that night so when fireworks ended, we all walked to our separate homes and—carrying our supplies—I was almost home when I felt something pinch me And realized that when the Dream blanket had been laying on the grass of Sugar House Park, a bee had gotten caught in it and in the course of my 25 minute walk home, had wiggled its way out of its crumpled prison so to sting me.  I was grieving that year for our nation; DNC/HillaryFestivus wouldn’t break my heart for a few weeks but still you could sense that America was headed for a bleak time because there was rabid verve for AMERICA!!!! mixed with extreme grief and hardship, and the long and the short of growing as one is that you can’t make people change the channel they’re watching until they’re ready].

In flight (redux)

(Written In memoriam to 2020 and All Time)
 
9/17/19: The dream was that [Someone I greatly respect and admire] and I were sitting at a rectangle outdoor table in a small private garden. A tree was to his left and he was across from me—sitting at the head of the table—and the sun was shining and everything was in bloom.
 
And as he sat there, he was kind of mumbling (or speaking in a language I couldn’t understand) almost as if talking to himself but I knew the gist of what he was saying and felt respectful but uncomfortable and embarrassed. Because what he was doing was describing—as if in the omniscience of “The Great Other”(God)— the things he knew I’d said and done over my earthly existence and tears were running down his cheeks for the joy and admiration of what he’d seen.
 
And I said nothing—was mortified/do not like praise at all in waking life—and he was in a zone where it didn’t matter anyways as he was overcome with emotion, red face, tears collecting in eyes and slowly streaming down.
 
And from either letting him live in the moment of his emotion or perhaps in deflection of/embarrassment of what was happening, I got distracted and looked down at the table to see little bits of light collecting right on the tabletop in front of me.
 
The lights were moving as in the manner of sun moving through leaves but suddenly I could see that the bits of light were actually teeny fish moving in a school that was part of the surface of the table. They were swimming in the solid surface of this table like the table was becoming water and as I was looking at them swim they began swaying in a collective wave of a school of fish swimming in unison. Moving together in varying patterns and shapes, back and forth and up and down across the table, like showing me with their light-bodies what liquidity can look like. Then suddenly the school of fish darted as one to the right edge of the table, and instead of turning back around to keep swimming on the table, they leapt off the tabletop of “water” and flew like a flock into the sky because each little fish had transformed to become a bird.
 
And I gasped in wonder. Was so alive in the magic of it all I wasn’t even self-conscious it might be disrespectful not to be actively listening to […….]—for I knew he’d feel the same way as I did—so just watched as out the edge of the table and around my chair, these tiny light birds took flight, twisting in my chair to marvel with body and words what had just occurred.
 
And in some part of my awareness, I wondered to myself if I’d actually made the fish turn into a flock of light birds. Did I do that? Can I do that?
 
Then I tilted a bit into wondering whether this magical world I’d just witnessed as observer was something that’s always right “there”, forever waiting for the ideal moment of a human’s soul to reveal the 100% potential of ourselves. Waiting for every condition to be met—waiting for the point where human sight has been appropriately unchained—before pulling off the disguise of normal consciousness to utter aloud the supernatural ways of the profound other world that’s always right here. The other world that acts as observer to one another before swimming in unison and heeding the call to transform and all together take to the air in flight.
 
**************
 
1/5/2020
 
On January 5th of this year, I woke up early to meditate.
 
I’ve been meditating with widely-varying dedication for 30 years and that morning in the predawn—legs crossed, earplugs in, making an event out of breathing—I attempted again to carve from “normalcy” the profound truth of the supernatural ways.
 
The last few weeks of 2019 into 2020 had ignited the tinder within me—the personalized points of insecurity; the places of archetypal inner gnawing; all the different ways I’ve disappointed myself and my kids; the separation I feel to humanity, who take frivolity very seriously as the world starves and burns—and I wanted to connect with the me who could look at those feelings. It was a slow work day—in a very slow January—and slow work days always bring on my darkness and the Jaws music called “lack.”
 
And typically in the random selection of thoughts/visions that meet me in such meditations is the sense of the blade. A sense of the events, the eruptions, the causes of my purposeful endeavor at finding calm. But not that morning.
 
That morning in my minds eye—amid what I assumed was all my worry and feeling—I saw a bird which right in front of my face, hovered as if in the flirtatious delight of its capabilities before suddenly jetting away, wings dramatically tilting as if it was showing off. And I giggled.
 
The sun was due to come up in Salt Lake City at 7:52 a.m. so at 7:30, I made tea and parked myself in the chair overlooking our backyard bird feeder. The first bird appeared at 8:06—its friends arriving soon after—and as my cat sat nearby and offered her little cackling mix of outrage and derangement, I realized that
the funny thing about life is that the same worry-themes will occur again and again, year upon year—shaking our combustibles—but then one day, one year—somehow, understood clearly during meditation—we’ll have changed. As if the tinder that we thought was still inside us waiting to burn had actually been tiptoeing around flipping lights on, patiently waiting for the sun to rise within ourselves.
 
And so as the birds stayed aloft—daring gravity to protest—reverberations of self replayed in muscles that just a short time before had giggled from joy. And in the simplicity of quiet, I watched animals not bound to earth flirt with the air as if in deference to my shift in perception.
 
*************
 
 
 
 
 
 
4/2020:  Pandemic.
 
I’m Walking. East to Canal, south to 5600, west to Redwood, then north and back around to 1601 Paradise—the last place I’d live with both of my girls; where I’ve lost my livelihood yet trying to keep hold of my mind—walking in the bleakness of April 2020 in a modified meditation. Terrain is flat, my hood is up, headphones in but not on; I focus on a point ahead and breathe. Processing the huge changes, wanting to hold on to what I know—not wanting to be destitute, not wanting to move, not wanting Julia to move out—yet also understanding that as an emotional being, this is how humans change. This is how things move us out of position so we can come to see things. For the only reality is growth and that growth is often first and foremost pain so unbearable you don’t want to go on. And Thirty years ago, I didn’t know the self I walked with—and certainly wouldn’t have aspired to the events that created her—yet as I walked, I felt being called to wake and be alive. To breathe into discomfort and unknowing and be okay.
 
So I walked. Breathing.
 
Late March, early April, late April. Walking. Observing the teetering. My worries of early January dialed up in decibels.
 
Walked/walking—every day, sometimes twice—breathing. And later under baseball cap and sunglasses, I’d drink a Bloody Mary sitting in those stadium chairs Laura gave me before she moved back to Chicago, and as classic rock boomed from the neighbors house, I’d sing the songs and cry on the back deck of 1601 Paradise in the afternoon sun of early spring.
 
**************
 
12/16/2020
 
I woke at 5:24 to meditate.
 
I could hear the guy peeing in the upstairs apartment (sounds like a heathy guy) because I moved in July. Again. That makes four moves in five years (all necessary; I didn’t want to) which is a special blend of crazy. Four moves in five years has made my girls and I the singular justification for why you always—ALWAYS. Okay, Julia?—tape the bottom of the goddammed cardboard box. (Don’t just close the flaps on themselves, man. Come on. That’s rookie moves; its all our shit in there).
 
And this particular move deserves an Oscar. Moving from a large abode to a tiny one in the middle of a pandemic will forever make this move the one where Scarlett O’ Hara is stepping over the bodies in the streets of Atlanta trying to get help only to get to the hospital just in time to hear the screams of a guy getting his leg sawed off. The girls and I Looking around going, “excuse me? I’m pretty and do not want to deal with this shit” while smelly, gangrened soldiers try to grab us and we motion in protest to No One Cares about the audacity of this unbelievable nightmare.
 
But chaos and I are old friends. We stroll side by side holding hands—as equals—and fall in love while the world goes to shit.
 
We meditate together in the stillness of an early morning and while the guy puts out a fire in his toilet microphone, she and I breathe as one.
 
And we’re now in the last few weeks of a year we’ll forever talk about. During which some of us had no choice but to look at our shadow because the only thing we could even afford was “growth.” So we walked—and walked and walked—and breathed, and gave space to what it is we were becoming.
 
And I’m still breathing, giving space; observing. My oldest bird has now flown; my income’s in half, every little thing is still uncertain; I’m yielding my moments to the Zen of someone’s leg getting sawed off.
Yet in delving into breath, quiet, (time, space, consciousness, love, pain, chaos, gangrene,…), I know I’m the creator of this dream. For one day, I sat down to face my worry and instead saw a covetous bird, as if Time itself had sent it for the longing to hear me giggle.
 
And from rising each morning solely with the goal to come meet my better self, I open the door to discover the infinity of Life inside me. Where the fish become birds and hover before me, telling me what I am and who I can be. Where I breathlessly ask [my most admired person……………], ‘what makes something real?’ before I fly off a table and into the air of every possible thing.
 
And to quiet the noise to witness the inner knowings, we begin to wonder ‘what does “perfect” feel like?’ Will I know it when it arrives? Will it make me giggle? And in longing to make sense of the stars inside us, we don’t always see that we’ve moved to the homes of our (as yet) most awake selves. But when the world spins violently, we can better understand the truth of what we are and, in discovering the life nestling within, can look around in admiration, gasping ever anew from the wonder of what we’ve seen.

From my “Me” page

I once read that “Om” is the sound that was made at the inception of the universe. That when the entirety of all things was somehow formed out of a void, Om was the vibrational emanation that erupted when the energy transferred from one state to another.

And “Om” is deceptive, for when said clearly, it’s actually three sounds, “A”, “U” and “M” and it’s in our haste to utter it as a cohesive unit that it often comes out–incorrectly–as only two.

And of course, to believe the universe made a sound at it’s “birth” is a story right there. The “big bang” is the current working theory explaining the universe’s known physical properties and it’s hard to imagine such a bang not making a sound but because the emptiness of space doesn’t carry “sound” (current science: except for gravitational waves) we would actually have to redefine sound in order to understand it. What can something say if it can’t be heard? Begging the question of the deep existential unknowings, asking who is the observer in this? Who is the one who hears? Is there a consciousness humans don’t have that experiences energy and light as it explodes into being? Questions which probe our growth, bringing us back to “Om” and the communion of heart. Where cross-legged on the floor we make space for the quiet, and in so doing, come to chant those three emanations from our voice box which no matter what the science or philosophy reveals is actually and truly the universe creating the sounds of itself.

The site title “Aimless” is a moniker I received from my AP Economics teacher Mr. Rosen at Aptos High School (CA) in front of a class of my peers–who didn’t know me except as the shy, new girl whose face turned red when she had to speak. The moniker which hit an emotional target that’s taken me over 30 years to fully understand. Because I was someone born looking for the deeper meaning. I read spiritual books at an early age, took religious studies courses as my “fun classes”, and purposely-geared my University of California, Davis psychology degree into the “pseudo-science” of what consciousness was, simply because I respected science enough to see that the full arc of its story is that science is ALWAYS in its infancy. So the description of being “Aimless” was not only an insult but a fear. For to be “Aimless” was like saying I’d never find the enlightenment the Buddha described, or walk the earth in love with humanity like Jesus. “Aimless” was someone ambling purposelessly along a road of meaninglessness, the glancing blows of love and experience barely reaching into the deepest significance of who I was and what I thought was possible. But now at 52 years old, I see things more clearly.

Because over the course of my life, I did feel aimless. I’ve lived in four states–moved in and out of towns and cities, and relationships. Became a single parent in 2007 after a savage divorce, went back to school for a masters degree in teaching and started a pet sitting business to supplement my income then graduated in 2011 into Life’s cosmic sense of humor where I didn’t get a job, experienced unemployment, financial hardship, the traumas of my beloved daughters, irreparable rifts with the unkind judgment of those I thought were family, and all the other full catastrophes (grief, fear, isolation, desperation) until I began to question the validity of a life which could deliver such experiences. Who cares about deeper meaning when things are so hard and why do I even want to be here for this cruel social experiment known as “humanity”?

But one night while sitting on the stairs of my former home–the wreckage of my life hitting with an incomparable loneliness–I somehow reached a stillness. And from that stillness I rose knowing that within the external circumstances of my life—within the hardship I was still actively engaged in— rests the opportunity to see the profound purity of the love I’ve offered this world. And that it is in fact the ego-less love any of us offer this world that is our only true possession–the only thing we ever get to keep– and is what turns back to speak to us on the carpeted back stairs of 1531 Garfield Avenue during the depths of our dark night of the soul.

And it wasn’t magic. It wasn’t some voice from the sky. It was my self, and my muscles, and one moment free of ego, showing me/us that love is bigger than Amy and her family, and her goals and her loneliness.

I currently live in Salt Lake City, UT (no; I’m not Mormon), was 52 on 10/1/2020, am a single parent of two girls (Julia, 22 and Livy, 20), a business owner/pet sitter, an animal lover, a teacher, a writer finding her voice, a devoted believer in the emotional freedom that comes with complete authenticity, and an aimless soul intent on expanding into the ever-changing self of a single second.

Because the search for a deeper meaning to life is actually an unsolvable logic puzzle unless we can find a way to not “be” anything. For you can’t be anything or go anywhere or see any truth until you find a way to be alive inside the peace and unity of just one moment. For that is the only meaning we ever truly are.

And such it is that all these years later, I bow to the wisdom of Mr. Rosen, the painful clarity of emotional targets, and the dark nights of the soul that forced me to explore the deeper significance of no thing and no self.

Beyond this site, I’m scattered around and nowhere. But here’s some more pics of my life. Thanks for coming by.

Aimless/Amy Palleson. (Permanently: TBD).

Contrast

[Pic of myself on the Empire State Building, 12/1999]

Nineteen years ago to the day, my ex-h, James, and I were in Reno. We’d driven the 8 hours with our then-2 year and 10 month old daughters, Julia and Livy, to combine James’ business trip with a visit with my mom, who’d driven from California to meet us. Courtesy of my sleepless daughters, we were awake early that morning in our Nugget hotel room with the TV on, and when the South Tower started crumbling it looked—at first–like an innocent puff of dust from one small area high-up. And I can remember thinking the very same thing that Katie Couric(?) was saying: What is that?

“What is that?”

And by the end of that day, America knew what it was and we huddled around collective vulnerabilities, humbled by a shared trauma we couldn’t escape. Enduring together the aftermath of acts of warfare, the pre- and post-9/11 American Story revealing precious naïveté and the injection into our most austere monuments of ingenuity—the tallest buildings, the freedom to feel safe—the visceral understanding that we’re hated enough to die for..

That day in Reno my daughters played at a park that had well-tended equipment placed in a garden setting with those little animals on springs that go back and forth and that spinny thing where you sit on a platform and hold onto bars to revolve into sickness. And while my daughters smiled and laughed, mom and I straddled the two incompatible worlds of children squealing from idyllic fun and Grandpa Bob not dying at the Pentagon by only the most coincidental of reasons. Wondering in clear sublime weather if the death count was in the ten thousands, my daughters unrelenting peals spinning on the same platform as crying mothers strapped into doomed airplane seats. And as coworkers holding hands while jumping to their deaths, their thuds marking a nation’s skin on the inside of her wrists.

Could I ever share with my daughters the reality of this world? Would it break them to know?

And when we returned home to Salt Lake City the next day, I held 10 month old Livy in the calm of night, crying quietly as I rocked in an easy chair from the grief of understanding that being honest about the complexity of humanity is the deep wound we hope to never inflict.

Yet no event ever stops it’s act of becoming. For held within the static nature of a single tragedy is beheld the dynamic experience of myriad humans answering the call to the service of empathy.

And out of box cutters and screams and casually head-down “Falling Man”—[identity still unknown; possible suggestion takes him as an asthmatic sound engineer working at Windows on the World]—were people dying that day comforting each other.

From “What is that?” were Firefighters running up endless stairs they couldn’t see to save the lives of strangers. From frantic voicemails messages were Human beings perishing in a field in PA because they offered their own life to keep others from harm. From rabid murder was the innocence (and tragedy) of American soldiers offering to make right the actions of a foe that had no interest at all in avoiding their own death.

And living always into the fullness of Life is the choice to grow large enough in heart to shelter one another, taking the singularity and solidity of emotion and processing it within the light-magic prism of ourselves.

For the arc of every single story is the growth of Humanity itself.

And into Time bears the witnesses of those so rich in their love for others that their life weaves a connection so strong it evolves to become our universal shield for despair.

[James’ and I had moved to Salt Lake City in mid-2000, and sold our Burke, VA townhome to Stephen Neil Hyland who on 9/11 was killed at The Pentagon; James’ dad, Bob, also worked at The Pentagon in the very section that was destroyed but part of the section had undergone remodeling and was finished but the furniture and equipment hadn’t all been moved back so Bobs normal office was vacant when the plane hit.

James and I divorced in 2007 and when his brother Steve was deployed to Iraq that same year, the girls and I placed our American flag on the middle pillar of our front porch of 1531 Garfield Avenue in Salt Lake City, and it remained there for the duration of his deployment—becoming weathered and tattered and faded; a hole developing on the bottom, front corner (as even the slightest wind had made it catch on the thorny bushes that edged our lawn)—and when Steve returned home, the girls and I took the flag down, folded the frayed fabric as best we could, and gave it to James to give to his brother].

On this day’s sun

Stella this morning looking towards the sun, her position concealing the large open, untreatable tumor on her face that is the reason she is currently in hospice care.

Stella’s human is enduring a personal emergency and was called away from her girl but Stella is a cat that gets twice daily insulin, pain meds shot down her throat and painful cleaning/dressing her face wound then mere seconds after these insults, pulls herself back to center.  Sitting then with me on the slope of their driveway, watching squirrels perform their life on the roof across the street.    The silver lining to Stella’s pain is her very own self.

As she and I watched this morning, one of the squirrels parkour’d down from the roof of the tan building on the left and ran to the yard next door.  Then, standing up and looking around casually, surveyed the scene as if having decided that the vibes were real good.

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A few years ago, I had an experience with a kitty named Melman where I leaned down to him to tell him that I loved him, and he (uncharacteristically) started rolling around affectionately on his cat tree as if he knew exactly what I was saying.   So I added, to keep this thing going, “Do you know what love means?” intending to breezily describe to him–with a mini-channeling of melodic words–the answer.  For this is what I do for my life:   I love creatures for a living.  I come into their homes and listen to what they need to feel loved and safe.   I read the room, and vary my words and my vibe until I nail it.   But all at once, right there near Melman’s cat tree, I stood up and was speechless, unable to verbalize what I wanted to say.  What did “love” mean for me and for Melman?   How does the word or the vibes combine inside the body of an anxious orange introvert on a cat tree to where he rolls around in pleasure and I immediately want him to keep feeling that?  What makes that happen?

And I had nothing–could say nothing/said nothing–suddenly understood that “love” isn’t something words can make truth from.  And that “love” is so much bigger than me I can’t encapsulate what it is from within the limitations of myself.

So I left it alone, intending to just rest with the concept of it as it existed inside me until perhaps some day, from the brew of experiences—with self, daughters, animals, sunrises—I might have another go.

And for several years, I’ve done that.

This morning, as I looked up the driveway at Stella—her shadow reaching back towards me—the sunshine was like this Navajo folklore (pic).

My initial worry that her mom wouldn’t get back to see her before Stella’s end time has faded out from our visits together because animals aren’t like that. They don’t live where we do in that way.   They live in the sunshine of the Navajo, where each day it rises to be the most beautiful sun there ever was.  Where those squirrels jumping around in the gutters on the house across the street are the most entertaining thing she’s ever seen.

And as I made to leave her house after our visit, I walked up the street a bit towards my car and looked back to make sure she wasn’t following me.  And she was.  So I turned back, and sat with her again, in her sun.  

Then when I got to my car, the music from my speakers was saying “… it’s the same old story, all love and glory, it’s a pantomime; looking for love in a looking glass world is pretty hard to do.”  Mother of Pearl by Roxy Music.

And 2020 has been a year of potential disaster, and the trip wires were all set for me.  Financially starting back at square one; trying to find my way to other opportunities but doing so unwillingly, with a bank account to match.  And for a while this year, it felt personal.  As if all that work—all the struggle, all the sacrifices—was going to start over, and repeat.  Carving out a path of “this shit again?”, with all the players dancing around in convergence of a targeted apocalypse.

But the bigger truth about struggle is that the trauma can change you.  It can crack you open to where you know you have nothing to fucking lose but to start seeing yourself and the world you’ve created differently.

Because, in sitting with “what is love?” I’ve come to understand that love is everything.  Love is all of these words; it’s the struggle; the opportunity to see ourselves, to become, to reach around outside the barrenness so as to rise.  

And had these days not arrived, again, I wouldn’t have believed this to be true.

Yet from this shift of worlds, with no idea of my next step, I drove home from Stella’s house living inside a moment where the sun is only alive for one day.   For Love is growing and experiencing itself constantly from within us, and is a story we’ll never stop writing, nor would we want to.

Stella‘s mom got back several months later— it got really rough for Stella before she did—and said goodbye to Stella in the way we’re sometimes called to do.
This is Stella before her tumor. Stella, means star, like the sun.