Inhale, exhale

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Inhalation, exhalation.
Bridges and rubble. Tall spiraling staircases and the after-math of bombings. Light so bright it hurts my eyes and dark, moldy, terrifying corners.

Transformation. Death and birth and death and birth and birth and death again. The full moon is in Taurus. Remember to remember, they say. Let that shit go, they say.
It’s the last super-moon of the year. Harness that creativity, they say.

Tap in or tap out. And it feels like chaos.
Inspiration, expiration.
Inhale, exhale.

It’s a whirlwind of destruction. It’s a fertilizing, a readying for the planting, a preparing to receive. Brush the dry skin off. There is beauty in the particles floating in the sunlight…and it is skin – old, dry, decomposing debris. I’ve got one foot (and perhaps half of the other) out the door. I’ve got two hands hanging onto the windowsill, trying to pull myself back in. I can hear the pitter-patter, I can hear the thump-thump-thumping, I can hear the unbridled-almost-ferocious-roaring of my heart.

Inspire, expire.
Space and sweetness. And gasping too. And just a hint of fear. Fear is good, they say. It keeps you moving forward. Fear is bad, they say. It freezes you in your tracks.

And then there are the trees, breathing and reaching, simultaneously shedding and quieting and getting ready to sleep. Earth and metal. Salts and ores and quiet streams. Water so powerful it’s about to break the dam.

Don’t you dare hold back, they say. Be wild and true. Create a container, they say. It’s not polite to be who you are.
Inhalation, exhalation.
Inspiration, expiration.
This room is too cramped. The walls are too tall.
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(top photo by Christopher McKenney, bottom one here)

the art of getting lost

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the last few months have been a rollercoaster ride, a series of ups and downs, hair-raising turns at breakneck speeds. she gave me a few moment of quiet but i couldn’t fully trust them.
it started to settle. it always does. it’s a cliché, but time takes care of it all. we should trust that more.
the ride left me worn and a little disheveled, windblown hair and a few tears in my jeans.
just when I thought I had landed safely, she picked me up one last time and threw me around.
perhaps she thought it was fun?
or maybe she was testing me?

i found myself driving home toward something i knew would be beautiful. a celebration of the heart. i caught my reflection in the rearview mirror. my face told the tale of the day: one moment a sparkle in my eye and a flash of pearly whites; the next, floods on my cheeks akin to the rising banks of the mississipi. (ben howard makes a great soundtrack for emotional drives on the highway, just so you know.)

it isn’t quite over yet, this i know.
i’ve come to learn how she works. i’m a little more prepared for the next change in direction. it takes practice. i wasn’t planning on it, but i’ve been getting a fair bit of it.

stepping out of the car felt good.
once i trusted my feet, the ground gave me some steadiness.
i touched the earth, admired the tulips on my short walk to the front door.
the wind chimes welcomed me home with their sweet song.
i willed myself to shake it off. there was nothing I could do about it, not for a while in any case. i needed to put on a happy face, we had guests coming after all!

and so we celebrated. i marveled at how smoothly i transitioned from the dark to the light. little babies in cute dresses and glasses of bubbly certainly help.

Another transition still, the bottle now empty and the baby fast asleep next door. we packed our bags, ready for the early morning flight.
there is something magical about going to the airport, regardless of the nature of the trip.

“Playing games with the faces.
She said the man in the gabardine suite was a spy.
I said ‘be careful his bowtie is really a camera’.”

as we boarded our flight, i had already landed. i felt right at home, immersed in anonymity and the smiles of strangers. the sudoku puzzles are always more entertaining when you’re 10 km above ground, sipping on salty tomato juice, trying to touch the clouds.

lostincrowdand then the humidity wrapped its damp arms around me like a clammy hug as my curls retracted by a few inches. we wandered the streets, perfectly organized in that checkered-shirt kind of way. we walked hand in hand, we wore each other’s clothes and admired our freshly painted toes.

at other times i wandered the streets on my own. they asked me for direction, mistaking me for a local until they heard the missing southern drawl. i was as confused as they were, the only difference is that i welcomed it.

wrought-iron balconies and narrow streets led me to the dark room where i held a snake for the first time. She curled up in my hands, warm and silky smooth in her brand new skin.
she woke up the sorceress in me.
i wrote my name on a piece of paper, wrapped it around a quarter and dropped it in the old trunk of the cypress.
i knocked on the wood nine times. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. 1-2-3.
i saw myself standing over a swirling cauldron. i prayed to the gods of rain and thunder.
i walked out a little more alive.
i held my old secrets, and new ones too.photo (5)

Sometimes the best thing you can do is get a little lost.

i know we are magic – all of us. we are the universe gift-wrapped and neatly packaged in bones and sinew.
we don’t need gris-gris bags or voodoo spells.
we can choose to let the heartache break us open.
we can choose to feel the ragged surface of the tree bark and take in the musty smell of the mud.
we simply need to remember to kneel down and kiss the earth, to look into the infinite expanse of a stranger’s eyes and trust that we still know how to love.

“there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground,
there are a thousand ways to go home again.” – Rumi

roller coaster ride

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i’ve got that feeling again…
it’s a feeling that is all too familiar.
it’s the one that creeps into my neck when my throat clenches a little too long, when i have something to say yet i don’t really know what the words i wish to speak actually are.
so instead of talking so much, i am trying to listen deeply. i am trying to hear the language of my heart.
that usually works.
i’m in the habit of asking my body how it feels about momentous shifts… my head usually knows when to get out of the way. but not this time, it seems.
one moment, my heart sings a sweet whisper of a song. it’s a soft, comforting yes. the next, it shouts no so loudly i have to cup my hands over my ears and dream of the ocean. and so my head is confused.
the opening is too small for me to fit through. nevertheless, i can’t quite shut the door.

i’m on a roller coaster ride with bright neon signs coaxing me to try the buffet at the bottom of the hill. it really is the best!
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another billboard convinces me that the food is always fresher next door. i’m moving so fast i can’t figure it out. the ride is wild – slow, rickety rises and hair-raising drops. i’m sure i am turning left and without a warning I turn right.
i’m tired and I want to get off though it seems whoever is running the show isn’t ready to let me slow down quite yet. in any case, if i were to step off now, the ground would feel shaky and it may not hold me in my dizzied state.

stones are grounding, right? we’ve figured that out together already.
i’ve been carrying my sodalite with me everywhere for the last two weeks. i reach a hand in my pocket and feel it’s smooth surface and visualize it’s creamy white and blue. no one knows it’s there except me, and whether or not it’s true, i imagine it helps me get the words out.
it’s one of the stones associated with the throat chakra. it is meant to help me discover my inner truths and then assist me in expressing them freely and lovingly. i don’t know if it’s working. there is no on button and it’s taking too long. i can feel the stone’s frequency in the palm of my hand but my throat is still tight, my words are still frozen…

i know that time will help me figure it out. it always does. i just wish i could speed things up a little. images-5even thought it could make the tilt-a-whirl go faster, it might also quicken the whole process and end it before i get motion sickness.

only, what if time doesn’t lead me to a decision?
what happens if I never get to know what my inner truth is?
what if there is no right or wrong answer to this particular question?
i am putting more weight on myself than i need to. I know that. it’s difficult not to when i know the outcome of my process will affect people i love.

it’s a lesson in patience.
apparently i’m still learning that one.
it seems i keep getting knocked over the head with it.
the cast iron pan is heavy this time.
i’m scared it will knock me to the floor.

the only thing I can do is be gentle with myself. so that is what I am doing…
touching cedar, running baths, eating dates.
the sun feels lovely on my skin, and the spring breeze helps with the emotional nausea.