Widow

I’m hiding my wound from you,

even though I know you feel it too.

As surely as the Mourning dove leaves the church spire at sunset,

knowing that her love has flown

beyond the places she has still to go.

She struggles against the heaviness of her realization

and settles in the eaves.

She listens to dry leaves rustle over the driveway.

I Offer It Up, as they say.

I woke up..no, I got up after being awake for hours. My eyes hurt from crying so much yesterday and I’m grumpy.

So the first thing I had to do was to pull some kind of yucky creature off my dog. I don’t know what it was, but it looked like something from outer space and was driving her mad with itchiness.

Then I went to get my coffee cup and mom said, “There’s a dead bird in the yard.”

But it wasn’t completely dead. omg

I couldn’t give it a quicker death…. But I felt so sad watching its last moments. All I could do was pray. I covered him with a blanket and put the little red wagon over him so the cats wouldn’t disturb him.

I pray for his transition.

Then I came in and tried to get that coffee when Jane promptly threw up. So, there was vomit to dispose of.

All this before coffee!

Finally, with coffee in hand, I called my bank to dispute a claim and secure my card since some unknown person seems to be using my bank card.

THEN during the lady’s closing, scripted spiel, I remembered that I might have actually made that purchase, though I am not 100% sure. Yes I am. I did it and now I have to call the bank and say, “Opps.”

Okay! I give it up. I offer this prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to work out this karma, or to be of service to God’s creatures in spite of myself.

I let go with love, for love.

Then mom comes in with a bowl of Dawn dish soapy water and a towel. “We have to give her bath.” She said. “Come own, Jane.” (That is not a typo, she really does say, Own—Come own, and the animals respond.)

Now, may I have a cup of coffee?

Cierra’s Mountain

People do not think of mountains growing tired, but I am weary. I am happy, but sleepy, in that in-between state where one is conscious of her dreams as they begin to play out, like a movie theater darkening for the main event.

Another thing people do not realize about mountains, is that we can sense when a bird, on one side of our vast body, first learns to fly, or has a successful landing upon a branch that looks too thin to hold its own leaf, or when a bird falls to the ground and is no more.

We are aware of everything that lives or dies on our boulders, our trees and grasses, in burrows, in our waters, and I can tell you, we love them all.

And this mountain, in particular, loves you.

I have seen you in the meadows, gathering lemongrass. I’ve felt the joy you absorbed through your skin as my brother, the sun, bathed you in his light.

I have heard you singing to the wind, heard every lovely word and sent your songs echoing as far and wide and I could so that more could hear.

I have listened when you wept. Why do you think my rivers are so full? How could I let one tear disappear without adding it to the healing power of a river that is flowing back to the sea?

I love you.

Come into the silence with me and share my dreams. When we wake up we can discover this world anew.
There is nothing to lose when we surrender our all but every wonder in heaven and on earth to gain.
Now is the time, my friend, to be here as fully as your heart allows.
Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Settle in.

The House That Walked On Its Nails

Once upon a time, in a little town by the water, a girl and her mother were sleeping side by side in the guest room of a cousin’s cousin’s sister. The house belonged to this relative and had been in the family for generations.

It was dark in the guest room, but not scary, even though there were many new sounds to be wondered about.
 What was that noise?” The girl asked
 That was the wind in the trees.” Mother said.
It was quiet then, except for the sweet sound of the wind whispering through the Aspen.
The girl was almost asleep and so was mother.
“Uhaa! What was that sound?” The girl asked as she snuggled closer to mother.
“Oh, that? Well, that was all the hens scooting over in their roost to make room for the hen that was the last on duty. She finished her chicken chores late and had to slip quietly through the gate and into the roost and that sound is the fluttering feathers of each hen scooting over.”
The girl thought about all the sleepy chickens until she felt sleepy too.
Until a creak creak squeak skip-skwip woke her right up.
“What was that?”
By now mother was so sleepy. She said, “Oh, that’s just the house walking on its nails.” And then she snored. She was fast asleep.
The girl did not know houses could walk, much less walk on nails. She began to imagine all the houses picking up their skirts and walking all about the countryside in the moonlight. She was a little worried that they would not find their way back to the right place by morning.
Soon, the rooster crowed and mother turned over to finish her dream. Then the birds in the trees sang all the morning songs they knew as they darted through the air and swooped low for breakfast bugs.
The girl remembered that the house had been walking on its nails all night so she ran to the window to see if everything was where it should be.
The little pink and yellow and blue bath shacks by the water were where they had been yesterday. Her relative’s house was in the same place too.
At breakfast, she asked her mother how the houses knew how to get back to their own yards after walking on their nails all night.
After a moment of bewilderment, mother realized what her daughter was referring to. She laughed so hard she snortled coffee out her nose.
“Oh sweetie,”she said, when I say a house walks on its nails I mean it just settles in, you know, it wiggles around to get more comfortable. Old houses do that.”
All the relatives laughed and clinked their dishes merrily as they enjoyed their breakfast.
Thank you, Virginia Warren, for the beautiful photo. I have been trying to write a story about the real events that are the crux of the story, but it never came into focus until I saw your picture. That was it! All of a sudden I  imagined all those houses dancing in the moonlight…the story then wrote itself.

Don’t Hit Send!

I am weeping my eyes out.

Well, My eyes are still in, but I did have to stop typing to wipe down my keyboard when I tried to hit a few keys and splashed into pools of my own tears. I should have taken a picture—it looked liked of cool, really. The black keys were all shiny and there were actually little tiny pools of tears on the R and S keys.

But wait. That is the whole problem. That is what I was crying about. I thought that Facebook and Youtube had hijacked my phone and that every single picture on my camera, every stupid, messed up video that I tried to make but rejected for its utter absurdity, was made public.

I have been searching phone settings since 3 am trying to make sure everything is clicked off. I still feel shaken and violated.

This was a wake-up call for me. I could either stop taking stupid pictures of everything, including close-ups of that thing I can’t see on the side of my face, that thing I use the zoom lens of my camera to get a closer look at..I mean, you never know, it might be cancer or a parasite. One has to check. And I could stop making imperfect videos until I get one that is good enough to post on youtube and just be perfect the first time around.

Or I could just disappear off the grid completely.

 

Thank You For My Pain

Sometimes it hurts so much to get out of bed I have to sing the gratitude song before I can do it. “Thank you for this day, Lord, thank you for this day, this healing, this healing, this healing day.” It is a beautiful chant I learned at thanksgiving last year when I moved in with mom. I’ll tell you who wrote it at the end of this post. I am writing on my tablet and it’s too hard to switch around trying to find the song on YouTube. I’m such a caveman on the computer I’ll end up erasing everything or emailing embarrassing pictures to Facebook if I try. For now let me just tell you it is a chant that has served me well; I sing it when I’m happy and when I’m in pain, when I’m scared, grieving, worried, despondent–whatever human experience I happen to be having, I sing that song.

It is possible to be grateful no matter how miserable a person is feeling. In fact, gratitude may  be the very medicine for what is causing the misery.

Sometimes it’s not the stuff that is happening that hurts as much as it is our running away from it. We don’t want to have a headache so when we get one we start freaking out and adding all sorts of worries to it like, “Oh no, how am I going to climb Mount Everest now? Or How will I mow the yard, go to work, feed the masses, wash the dishes.” And so on. So we fight the pain.

Here is what a wolf in a vision taught me to do. I had been having one of those days and I was crying. In my mind’s eye, I saw a black wolf walking in deep, white snow. He was entering a thickly wooded forest. He turned and made eye contact with me, his breath curling blue into the air. I understood that I was to follow him, to walk in the steps he made in the snow. It didn’t matter that he was a wolf and I am human—it was a vision where anything can happen. I understood what he meant. I knew that I was to follow my pain in exactly the same way: carefully, mindfully, each time I take a breath, I need to notice the pain. Where is It? Is it hot? Cold? I try to describe it and ask if it has something to tell me—a message of some sort. Then, when the pain disappears, I am home.

We go out and then we come home again, following our pain or our bliss. Maybe when we realize this we will realize that we never left home at all. Maybe it has all been “home” after all.

It is amazing where the pain leads. I usually worry that pain will prevent me from doing the most important thing, but time and again I have been proven wrong. When I follow where pain leads, I find my life’s sacred path. and It is the same path that I walk when I follow my bliss.

Stay on the path. Let’s go home together. What stories we will tell!

Effing Ripoff

Some of you may have felt cheated when you read the title Silence Is Juicy and instead of getting some sweet tidbit of gossip or mystery you got a poem about a pear.

Do you think that is false advertising?

I’m not sure what I think. It’s fun to make up snappy titles for these posts. And you know words are some of my favorite things. I like them more than whiskers on mittens.

But I’m beginning to feel like I’ve had too much cotton candy at the fair and too many pickles and corndogs too.

I’m hungry for simple.

But will you read what I write if it doesn’t catch your attention?

I guess that is not up to me.

I want you to.

More than anything I wish I could make you a cup of tea and adjust the sun to shine on you just right so you could read to your heart’s content. And when you finish the last word I’d be happy if you felt like the universe winked at you or gave you a hug.

But I don’t want to trick you into that space with a hook title.

So I promise not to do that on purpose. But I can’t help it if the stuff turns out funny sometimes. Words are just like that.

I’m A Creep

Steven Hayes and Russ Harris are the founders of ACT, which stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy. I’m sure that with a quick search online you can find more information on the work these two men have done than this writer could provide. I am not educated in ACT. All I know is that the methods taught in the ACT program and the exercises I have tried to relieve anxiety and change ways of thinking that are not really helpful to me, work.

One of the exercises is to defuse thoughts that cause harm.

This little video gives you an idea of fusion vs defusion.

 

 

Silence Is Juicy

I wonder if I could write less and say more, or say less because what I say holds more meaning.

Sometimes I just like to play with words, mold them and mix item all up like wet clay to see what kind of pottery it all has in it.

But this time of year I crave more silence. Not complete silence, obviously, but more than usual. I crave something more like a poem and less like an essay.

To see a plowed field,

Or the fruit tree by the gate:

One brown leaf, one pear.