Pink

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drawing,22×36

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I saw a pink river

Yesterday.

It wound it’s way from Moscow

To Alabama

And Antarctica too.

That river was wet

With nastiness;

Yet

To sink teeth

Into the neck

Of it’s prey.

But yesterday..

I sweated pink.

I cried pink.

A new voice

Arose in me;

Sounding primal and pale pink

From disuse.

My thread of pink

Was woven together

With wrinkled and weary elders

Having given so much

And now

Urged to do it

Again.

If the god of pink

Asked what yesterday was about

I’d say: “Everyone matters.”

Trying to pray

For divisive dictators

And coming up short

I turn once again to 

The pink river

Running a brand new marathon

With no end

In sight

And my sister beside me

Shoots me a nasty glance

And I laugh

And dip my head

Into the oncoming storm;

Grinning still.

Love Letter to My Neck

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Back in the day when I was a gymnast

I practiced the art of a head held high

Without any stain of snootiness.  

Just pride.  Fierce resolve.  In-the-moment knowing I was the perfect container for the tumbling routine about to be released.

The skin of my neck stretched like a caterpillar ; intent on the impossible reach toward something other than human density.

As a teenager my head curled in toward invisibility and my lithe neck was forgotten.

I practiced girly comportment with a book on my head and my neck retains the muscle memory of this still.

Photographs of my wedding day expose the fear I was not even aware of as my chin jutted far forward; away from the safety of a calm born of the recognition I was making a good choice saying “yes”.

Carrying myself with grace in the world has given my beautiful neck muscles a workout; faking it to make it and reflecting genuine character won on the muddy playing fields of life.

My neck reflects years of yearning; desire to do whatever it has taken to peel away the layers obscuring the luminescent seeds God left as a treasure hunt.

This, mixed with the cramped curling in on myself as I have tried to bear the blows of misplaced self hatred.

All this lengthening and contractions has left my beautiful neck exhausted and she has recently succumbed to flirting with gravity.

She is rightfully tired and her vitality has given way to quite a relaxed surrender.

The first time I saw her I hated her; so bereft of tone and intention.

But I am too bored with turning love away from the preciousness of me.

Maybe, just for today I will champion the love affair between my neck and gravity; allowing a sort of spa day down time for her after a lifetime of so masterfully carrying my thick head  masterfully amidst tsunamis and hurricanes as well as adoration and prayer.

She deserves a rest.

Sigh…..

I Feel Good

possibility

 

 

It feels so good to feel so good!

There’s so damn much to feel bad about.

So very much that it almost feels a little odd to say how good I feel.

The religion of complaint is fat and overfed.

Things are so bad that the idea the theater of life is on track elicits steely, sideways glances.

But I feel good.

Yesterday, I sat with three other women-of-substance and our conversation was fun, fascinating, inspiring.  Three of us were dealing with MS.  Sort of a no-brainer to think the vibe could have fallen pretty low.

I made the most amazing Paleo granola and ate too much.

My body feels thriving this morning because I needed the fat it seems.

I feel good when I could have felt very bad.

I danced in my wheelchair to a CD a friend made.

Emma slowly blinks her shiny  black eyes as we love one another.

My needs are met.

The snow has melted.

There are indeed conscious people afoot in places that matter and I am one and you are one

And we matter.

The act of disallowing the the easy drop to the familiar negativity swirling ’round us all each and every day

For a million different reasons, often making perfect sense

Is a revolutionary act.

Life lived on the razors’ edge is a warriors life;  sensing when to fight the fight or to surrender to what is takes Olympian hyper-vigilance which makes one weary at best.

Courting the almost unbearable presence it demands to ride that edge with courage, style, humor, intelligence and fortitude is the work of Samurai;

Never recognizable by a nametag but by our nameless acts of resistance to the lure of riding with the common denominator of the dark.

Tides

visitation

detail of installation,ceramic,earth

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I visited with a good friend this morning I hadn’t seen in many months.

She was severely kicked in the knee by a horse and has been recuperating.

The two of us are deeply connected spiritually and with that knowledge allow one another scads of ‘room’ to withdraw, pull the invisible cloak and return as we always do in our own time that often does not match the cultural expectation of what passes for ‘normal.’

Today we sat.

Sharing the vulnerabilities common to those of us ‘gifted’ with the challenges of broken bodies

And the excruciating exhaustion needed to re-calibrate into a new normal.

Neither of us spoke of the weariness as a fixed condition;

More a room at a school we’d rather not attend but knowing that in order to be ok we’d have to make new friends, bear the isolation of beginners mind, figure out what’s safe and not, who’s safe..and not

Learn to use the tools unknown to us, ask the questions we didn’t know we had…

And keep asking.

I said: “I feel strange as I have one foot in this world and one in another in which my personality and identity are not the grail I thought they were.”

She said: “Cathy..your purpose now is to just BE..Roll around town and write and let others experience you just as you are; vulnerable and not…putting one foot in front of the other as best you can.  It is enough.”

After she left, bravely hobbling with her crutch, I dropped my head and closed my eyes in gratitude for the room my friend gives me because she knows about and trusts the wisdom of the tidal qualities of every darn thing; health, politics, happiness, pain, friendship, memory, curiosity, belief etc…

Emma shared her warmth on my belly as I stroked her newly groomed whiteness.

She sighed a deep sigh.

This is enough.

Pick a Word

squirm

monoprint  12×12

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A friend told me she would pick one word as her touchstone for this new year.

No resolutions.

Just one single word to live in to.

Today in Starbucks Emma and I sat calmly reading the paper, sharing cappuccino foam and the comfort of fellow New Year’s Day inhabitants.

Suddenly a man pushed the front door open screeching some odd song with the intent of making himself known by all.

He wouldn’t let us ignore him.

Next, a disheveled yet familiar store owner who, in the summer sits outside his poster shop (outer wall lined with dying pointsettas) with a scary pit bull and the morning newspaper scattered about his feet so customers must step over the mess to enter

Abruptly sits down with me to finish his breakfast saying: “Are you ready for the Trumps?”

Aghast, I form the words “I don’t want to talk about politics”

And he tells me I could just as well have said no

Slinging his messy breakfast in the trash with a “harumph” heard far and wide.

Somehow the disenfranchised have donned the mantle of entitlement in a large way recently.

Right then I chose my word.

GRACE.

For me this includes civility, patience, containment, empathy, compassion, good manners, waiting for the miracle, prayer, kind boundaries, keeping my word, turning everything seemingly unhandleable over to God.