White Noise

This morning I felt it. As I sometimes do. I woke up early before the world to see the quiet, and the cool stillness.  Nature–the Great Mother–was baring herself to the unconditional acceptance of the sky and falling back into the wonder of itself. And I paused on my front porch while my soul connected to the place of it’s true home, devoid of the white noise of people and air conditioners and cars and flurry and chaos.  And as the sun rested in self-assured imminence behind mountains which stand guard like new parents, felt called into remembrance, that at every turn, nature—The Earth—will impassively stand in non-judgment of our human drama and flaws until we either save ourselves or perish.

And the indifference of it didn’t make me feel small; it made me feel reverent.

Continue reading “White Noise”

An interesting species

Steve and I at UC Davis, circa 1989

I’ve been thinking about my college boyfriend Steve so much lately. In August, I reached out to him impulsively—knowing that he probably wouldn’t even get the email; I was drafting his address from my malfunctioning memory— because it felt like what I had to say needed to be expressed and in just a few words I told him that even after almost 30 years of not seeing him, I continue to be grateful that he’s in this world and that I even got to know him for a short time.

And the breakup itself in 1990, at 3317 Biscayne Bay Place, Davis, CA—non-Steve losses having made my heart shutter like it was out of business—started a landslide of searching for life outside our experience, and each year on his birthday was an ode to the “closure” of that chapter because I was new to grief and in my mistaken belief that any such thing could be finite, I thought that’s what was healthy.

I thought “closure” was what healthy people did; I thought that psychological theory and brain space spoke the biggest truth and that “moving on” could heal the loss and make me whole.

But such was not the truest way and thus do I reflect that I’ve spent the better part of my life beating to the rhythm of that era as if it was the legend by which to gauge my growth until finally—when the full sight of grief was faced—I came to know that “loss” is actually a malleable entity.

Because even in the barren land of logic, thought was never meant to eclipse feeling, and that there is darkness in life that claws at us forever so also should something of heart be allowed the space to nurture us in equal measure.

For both over grief and Time, something of heart never really can be finite, because the love and the joy and the connection never stops existing, and in fact, it’s the exact opposite: the love and the joy and the connection speaks to us forever and acts as guide through life lighting the way in our quest of those same feelings even as it simultaneously makes all the other things that happen more bearable.

Knowing Steve nestled inside my soul to heal me in ways my logical mind can’t even speak to and for that it was not a loss and never could be. It was actually a gift that I’ve spent the rest of my life receiving.

[My most authentic heart space and deepest condolences to the mother/teacher who lost their child to suicide this week; I do not know you except through the words of my child which surround you in veritable halo but I do know that darkness comes to the kindest people and that I wish with all my soul that it were not so. I’ve been suicidal, courtesy of a succession of overwhelming life events to include my own daughter being suicidal as well as an onslaught of unkind people, and know that besides my children, the one thing that kept me going is one night coming to understand that the love I give this world—love free of obligation and ego; for the tenderness and the vulnerability that exists—is actually the most healing experience for my own darkness I could ever receive. And I know that some people can’t do that —some people go to cynicism or hedonism—but I believe that you can, and I have faith that your own love will protect you in these times when it is obvious that your heart will never be as it was before].

[This blog occurred because the other day when I found out about her child, I was standing in the kitchen, texting my youngest daughter about it, wanting but unable to help this suffering mother, then remembered a dream I had the night before about Steve—had been thinking of him the day before in an epiphanic moment—and suddenly a Carl Sagan quote came into my head. Carl Sagan, from Contact: “You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.”

We are our heroes and in some way large or small, we can all make our own emptiness bearable. Thank you for reading and much love to you for doing so in non-judgment].

4:51, and Ripe

This morning I rose at 4:51 to a chorus of high-pitched mews from the foster kitten room (rough translation of which was: “get up! ‘the f-ck this door still closed for?”) and my own cats scrambled when I got up and let them out because the old batch of fosters had been trained to stay the hell clear but this new batch uses my cats’ litter box and scamper around like happy little assholes and it’s bullshit, and watching my cats bitchslap kittens makes me wonder what would happen if cats had access to low grade uranium and Internet forums.

And on their way out, the kittens summit the pile of laundry indelicately blocking the hallway and it’s Class A athlete stuff because the pile is enormous (to include all the clothes that need washing AND all the clothes I even own=I have no clean clothes) and the laundry room is downstairs which might as well be nirvana so it’s been growing in “complexity” (ripeness) but the kittens push forth through my shame and my cats find higher ground as they explode like shrapnel into the living room.

By neither nature nor profession am I a fancy person. Yesterday, I had six animals and two kindergarteners climb onto my lap; I scooped five litter boxes, walked three dogs; helped one girl with lice pull back her hair, reminded one boy to stop picking his nose, one not to hysterically laugh when he passed gas, and washed a thirds accidentally-flicked applesauce off my bottom lip with what (I’m hoping) was superhuman zeal; then today by 8:10 a.m., my Siberian cat rubbed against me with a suspiciously wet tail and I had to give two kittens a bath because they fell into the toilet. When I leave the house, I may or may not be covered in cat hair, toilet water, boogers, lice, or someone else’s crusty food, and there have been moments during my work days when I’ve said “oh my god! What’s that smell?!” and I wasn’t that surprised to find out that it was me.

And it used to bother me because the world likes to keep score, and I know that society values folded laundry, kittens who aren’t covered in toilet water and women wearing their most presentable self. But just past the pile of laundry, is the realm of personal pride in doing something meaningful and the self-love needed to accept that not everyone is here to be black and cream patent-leather Kate Spades, coiffed hair, tailored coat, beautiful to look at with an unmistakable air of frigidity.

And while I don’t always cheer to look down at myself and think “holy shit; wtf happened to me?” I have accepted that it is your heart that tells you what to value and if you don’t listen to her, you’ll one day end up pissed off because somehow you got stuck living a standard rather than your life.

So…I’m out of pants.

Yesterday I wore what amounts to a fashion “concoction”. Sweater over dress, dress over yoga pants with my Nepalese boots disguising the fact that I ran out of socks a full week ago, and, today, my pants are my “Velcro” pants, that are basically size 6 miracles capable of energetically-manifesting lint, fuzz, dirt and copious quantities of animal hair up and down their length even when no animals were even present which is not a joke and not at all funny because it’s like being a walking advertisement for witchcraft.

But whatever. It’s all good.

Live in your heart. Be real. Everyone has a place in this world.

God/Us

A few years ago, my daughter Livy was surprised when I told her I believed in God. She was 16 (I think) and didn’t know because I don’t tout God or observe religion unless it’s imminently relevant because for me God/source is such a big truth it doesn’t need to be spoken of. Since: of course there is a larger experience than human for all energy in existence; of course there’s an energetic presence of benevolence who we’re all as yet aspiring to. Speaking of it doesn’t make it more special; it just adds the “flawed myopic human overdub” to an experience best left to quiet.

And that religion has been bastardized—god pivoted around so as to basically become ourselves—I know that three letter word up there might stick in the craw so feel free to zero point and replace it with a word of your choice.

Because we live in times of deep grief for which We will all have to find a love that’s bigger; for the suffering of others isn’t for anyone/anything else to step up to. It’s for us to step up to.

And that’s a shortened version of what I intended to write because I haven’t even had my damned coffee. So: Happy 11/11/11(2018) and large, shot-in-the-dark, come on over here, baby.

[Someone shared that saying on Facebook a few days ago and I wanted to offer it here in addition to FB and IG because it was so powerful for me when I saw it that I lost breath for a second. And even today, looking at it again—thinking about what it means from even a deeper place–I felt gratitude for its truth. For that I’m still emotionally-available enough to hear the vulnerable is a gift I won’t squander because yes, when you make yourself emotionally available to hear suffering, you face the grief of the world but in not hearing it–or in actively accepting the turning of blind eye–you’re living a lie in which you forfeit your opportunity to become powerful through offering your own self. Be the change].