Sunday, March 19, 2017

Emptiness into Shadow

Fast moving clouds
leave light
shifting shapes
on bare bedroom walls
turning emptiness into shadow
and back again

What is grief?
I could give an answer
of what I thought it was
of what you’d expect it to be
How do you describe
the intangible  
when words you thought you knew
are now simply letters arranged
on blank pages

When light disappears
for too long at once
the vast space
seems to swallow me whole
and my breath
needs reminding
of its natural steady pattern
coaxed in
sweet-talked out

But clouds keep shifting
and light continues to find
its peculiar way through

Monday, March 6, 2017

Oklahoma Wind

That Oklahoma wind came to visit me today
-strong invisible power-  
I sat and watched as it guided 
tall grasses and young trees
I sat and watched as it helped them discover
their own unique ways 
to bend and bow

I felt that Oklahoma wind
as it kissed my cheeks,
and ran gentle fingers through my hair
and I knew she was here
singing sweetly,
‘Amelia Claire, I love your hair’

Eyes closed, that Oklahoma wind 
swept me back home
and my tears became
film projections 
of near forgotten memories
when white eyelet lace curtains
danced between open windows,
and cornflower blue bedroom walls

And so I sat and watched,
entranced 
as she sang to me
soft and steady,

drawing fingers through my hair

Thursday, February 23, 2017

sacred ground

Walking in the forest
I see one after another; 
tiny dew drops resting on young leaves 
They collect and share light
like soft fleeting diamonds 
Viridescent moss crawls up the deep saturated trees, 
encircling their trunks 
like delicate lace hems 
Tender white petals sprinkled down the trail, 
are commingling with fallen foliage 
of seasons past
Scattered further and further from their source, 
they bring their message with them: 
Spring is here
My puppy's curious nose follows a small purple butterfly,
 no bigger than my thumbnail, 
as it flutters low 'round the ivy 
 She watches from a distance, 
seeming to sense its magic 

Wandering along the creek
I start to weep 
My tears fall below me 
like salty sea cousins of the fresh morning dew,
 gritty and rugged as they splash the ground 
How does the dew form in perfect round droplets? 
My grieving pauses in a moment of thanksgiving
for this beauty surrounding my feet
Though my head hangs heavy 
I am soothed by this sacred ground 
that receives my weight
one step at a time.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

no words

Today marks one month since I left ATL and arrived in Oklahoma.
It has been 31 days since my grandmother Celia passed away.
It has been 26 days since my great Aunt Jan passed away.
It has been 23 days since I called an ambulance to take my mother to the ER, and on to ICU.
And it has been 5 cloudy, heart wrenching, sporadic uncontrollable sobbing days since I watched my mother take her last breath.

This is all still so raw and so very very sad that words like 'sad' seem to have lost their meaning. I still don't really know what is happening. And don't know how long this feeling will sit heavy on my chest, making it hard to breathe.
But I do know that my mother and the generations of strong women before her, two of whom we also just lost, have raised my sister and I to be strong and adventurous and loving women. And I feel that in my blood and my bones, even as it's hard to move and speak. I am forever grateful for the powerful village of amazing people my mother stitched together like a beautiful warm quilt, now wrapped around Carrie and I. This will take time, but we will be ok. Love you all. Miss you with all my heart, Mama.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Tashlikh

I'm not Jewish. I can't claim that I know anything about anything I'm about to write on here. But my boyfriend is, and I have many many dear friends who are Jewish. Funny enough though, it was actually my mother (another non-Jewish but very spiritual person like myself) who reminded me a few days ago that Rosh Hashanah was coming up. She decided she was going to celebrate this year, in her own "internet guided pagan hippie" way. It made me laugh and got my interest, so I started my own search and read up about the traditions and customs of this High Holy day. The ritual of Tashlikh, where people walk by moving water reciting prayers and sometimes throwing bread or pebbles in as a symbol of casting off sin, sounded like a beautiful way to invite the Jewish New Year into my life. 
I took Fig for a walk to the urban forest near our home today. We spent more time than usual down by the creek walking and thinking, it was peaceful and lovely and sweet. Then I tried to take a picture of my adorable baby puppy by the creek (probably not recommended to bring your iPhone to Tashlikh, but I'm usually pretty sacrilege in most things I do). I started to get so frustrated that I couldn't get her to sit and stay, even though I brought the good treats she loves! I finally realized how silly I was being, and snapped an "un-perfect" photo of my curious sweet pup who just wanted to play and explore. I had to cast off my own sin of trying to find perfection in everything. Fig was able to show me that this is perfect, in every way it should be. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Patience

Yesterday, after taking class at my yoga studio, I ran through the parking lot getting drenched in an unexpected downpour. I crossed paths with another teacher friend of mine also caught in the same crazy shower as she entered the studio. The minute I got to my car, the sheets of rain that had been coming in sideways at me, drenching me head to toe, slowed to a light shower, then on my drive home, almost stopped. I had been so impatient to get to my car and on with my day, that I hadn't stopped to think that this rain could clear quickly. My friend and I laughed about it today, how we both got soaked because we needed to be somewhere else and couldn't wait one minute to see if the sky would clear.

Today I am on day 6 of a cleanse, and the first 5 days were weaning off of caffeine, alcohol, cheese, sugar, gluten, corn - basically all of the things I have become addicted to and dependent on. I was being impatient wanting to see a flat belly and clear head immediately, then got discouraged when things got hard and I just wanted ice cream. Today things are going better, and stuff that I hadn't even considered could be food and caffeine related (teeth grinding at night, neck pain, muscle stiffness) have started to subside. I still find it difficult to resist a glass of wine at the end of the day, or going out to dinner with friends, but this isn't forever, and I am trying to be patient.

One of my biggest reminders to be patient right now is our new puppy, Fig. She is so sweet, and learning very fast, but of course she is still a puppy... Things get hard and discouraging when she is having a good time learning to potty outside, or walk on her leash, then totally disengages and wont come when we call her. My boyfriend witnessed me turning into a child one day when she wouldn't come to me and I declared that she hates me and none of our training is working (I know, DRAMATIC) He reminded me that she is just a baby, and these things take time. I totally Virgo-ed out and wanted perfection right away. But, she really is the cutest hourly reminder of patience.  

It can be difficult sometimes to find the balance between finding patience and becoming complacent. I've found it helps to keep a personal journal, and write down goals and desires that I want to work on in different areas of my life. This also allows me to get clear and honest with my current reality (what's working, what's not). There are times when we must be patient remember that the storm will pass, and there are others when we have to run through the rain.



Thursday, September 1, 2016

28

I was at the doctor last week for my first physical in about 10 years. The sweet older woman drawing my blood looked at my drivers license and said "Oh, you've got a birthday coming up! Watch out, you're creeping up on 30!" She meant nothing by it, just making small talk, but it felt a little strange to me.

A few days ago, C and I were at a wedding and another guest we just met was discussing his family and kids and asked if we were planning on having any kids, then said "jokingly" that if we were, we should probably get started soon (again noting that I am getting closer to 30). Once more I told myself that this perfect stranger only meant well, but why is it okay for anyone, especially someone I just met, to comment on my age and body and life plans like that?

Today I took the day off for my birthday, but made no plans. I puttered around the house a bit, drank too much coffee and spent too much time on the internet, but then I felt called outside. I drove through the city to one of my favorite spots, Sweetwater Creek, for a walk in the woods. I've become birthday spoiled, the past few years I have spent my birthday surrounded by breathtaking beauty in Glacier National Park, and last week I savored the amazing rolling hills and vineyards of N. Cali wine country and the awe-inspiring Redwoods. Today I felt a little snobbish as I approached Sweetwater, noting how small the trees looked and how thick and hot the air felt. But as I started on my trail, under the shade of the oak trees and thick mountain laurel, I felt at home. My walk slowly turned into a run, just because it felt so good to move my body through the familiar forest. My feet hit the ground and seemed to bounce back up from the layer of fallen pine straw atop thick Georgia red clay. My breath and heart beat played louder in my ears as sweat formed along my brow, like condensation on a tall glass of iced tea in the summer heat. The cicadas and crickets sung a soundtrack atop the trickling of the creek. I felt my belly (softer than usual from indulging on a vacation diet made up mostly of red wine, cheese, lemon tarts, cappuccinos, ice cream, and pizzas) come along for the ride of my jog, jiggling gleefully under my t-shirt and running shorts, and for the first time in my life, I was okay with it. Instead of feeling disappointed, my soft belly reminded me of the amazing trip I had just experienced with my love. This body, much like the trail itself has had its ups and downs, highs and lows. I've struggled all of my life with body image and eating issues, and will most likely continue to. But today I am celebrating this body. I am reminded of my years from markings that are linked to memories, like that scar on my thigh from a bug bite in South Africa, or the cut on my second toe from a rock in the lake at Girl Scout camp, or the three tattoos I have that each remind me of a very specific place and time in my life. There are also the markings on my heart, everything from joyful adventures saved to replay, and painful memories that linger and resurface every now and then. This body continues to carry me through life, whatever explorations I get into.

I stopped along the river to lay on a rock and watch the water go by. There are places where water turns white as it rushes over and through rocks in the way. At the same time, in the same body of water, there are places so still you see all the little tiny bugs landing like pin pricks on the surface. Again, I am reminded by nature how varied and amazing our life is. When we can find the beauty whether the water is rapid and exciting, or peaceful and still, our hearts will be full.