The Leavings of Love

painting on wool flannel, 6’x6′

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I have found that for me-

Any Love I have ever had the privilege to experience;

Be that in communion with human, animal or mineral

Is still very much alive in me.

If I feel deeply into the variety of ways I have been touched by Love

It seems like I have had my giant Crayola coloring sticks in hand and whatever my beingness needed in all it’s pesky genius unconsciousness  was conjured by me and delicately drawn into form, endowed with hue and tone and particular energy-  all imagined by me.

I interacted with that picture I created until my own needs were met 

And then a great rain washed the markings away leaving the shadow of the thing and either a whiff of the scent of communion

Or maybe the full on perfume.

I don’t desire to see my ex-husband  again in person as I have not the ballast to remain in love with myself around him.

Yet, there is love there still.

I had a mother unskilled at mothering.

Recently, I uncovered the very alive love between us hiding under my unresolved bitter blame and disappointment.

She has passed yet this love has the quality of organic substance; the ocean of which we are a wave; utterly and deliriously neutral.

In my experience..the leavings of Love are immutable…indelible.

I have loved trees and canyons; my ardor these days moves toward a particular globe willow.

It doesn’t feel that different than my love for my friend or good dirt or my own Self.

There is a sense of hierarchy but I’m likely mistaken.

What I speak of is not “happy” love or “joyful” love or really any label-able type what-so-ever.

It just is.

And seems to stay alive in me; either growing or remaining as is.

It  blossoms with attention, intent, reverence. 

Neither a gladiator nor wall-flower..

We are in it, of it,

It.

 

 

Tiny Noises

The day Emma and I met for the first time. Finally safe and off the streets of L.A. We rescued one another. Still do.

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TINY NOISES

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Emma’s tiny sleep noises

Heat up my heart

And my heart

Melts it’s way

Down to my toes

And my heart seeps

Out onto the damp land

And takes me with it

So-

In the end

There remains  

Just Us.

As Every

Thing.

In Spring.

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-CA

 

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Girlz

 

detail of painting

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My girlfriend came over the other night with sushi and wine.

Her partner was off playing poker .

We were slightly giddy having so much fun;

Like two youngsters pulling something off on unknowing parents.

I sat there with her and felt the adventure, safety, pleasure and communion

Of two good friends building a fort together;

An adult fort with wine and raw fish.

Dim light and confessions.

I just love being an adult!

This  does not mean I have thoroughly matured.

My friend is smart.  Beautiful in her wide and capable leadership capacities.

She is fed by beauty.

Considers vulnerability a necessity for the role of warrioress-in-life.

Which she is.

When we are together there is a satisfying mixture of creativity, tenderness, capability, revelation, a tinge of sadness that comes from not needing an anesthetic to ward off how rugged is the world,

Fun, authenticity and freshness.

I say something like this to her: “I feel unsure of myself as I write my blog from such vulnerable and imperfect places sometimes.  I wonder what people must think and feel embarrassed in my exposure of self.  Then, on reflection I am quite sure if I am feeling or experiencing something I am pretty sure I’m not the only one.  I have to think there is solace for some in this.”

My friend keeps her interested and appreciative eye on me .

I am seen by her.  Truly witnessed in all my transparency.

Wine and raw fish….perfect.

 

When No One Is Looking

 

 

I feel as though I have a permanent clench in my jaw.

It is unbearably fatiguing to protect myself from the  collective wave of adrenaline and escalating heartbeats

As military might and might not

Crowds out the birdsong of Spring.

A good number of years ago a girlfriend I taught workshops with 

Was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Her wish nearing death was for her caretaker to tie a scarf around her head and under her jaw

In order that (in her glorious vanity) after her demise she not be viewed with a gaping mouth when her jaw muscles had finally relaxed.

I smile at this attempt of hers to have a lovely visage even after death.

The point here is that we all hold A LOT in our jaws.

The other morning I sat in my favorite chair, closed my eyes

And allowed my lower jaw to drop down away from my upper.

An immediate space of about 1/2 an inch was created.  My lips were still touching.

Was that the end?  Could I drop more?

Yes!  Lips still touching I got another 1/2 inch.

My tongue pressed lightly behind my front teeth and my eyes softened too.

Any more?

This time my jaw moved down a whole inch and my tongue inadvertently pooled in my lower mouth.

Bones shifted into unfamiliar patterns

And I understood why my friend wished for the scarf at the end.

How very much we all carry without realizing how hard we are working to do it.

It felt soooo good to abandon all trying and surrender while still very much alive. 

Easter Redux

TREE OF LIFE, ceramic, 26x4x4″

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I wrote this 2 Easters past but liked it enough to offer it again:

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I just returned from a midnight roll with Emma; full moon.. me dressed in gratitude to the dark (meaning: just socks but no shoes, hair all sticky-outy, shawl range-ily wrapped round my dubious outfit).

Emma doesn’t care.

I obviously don’t care either. It was the adventure of the thing.

This past Sunday all the Catholics were out on the Santa Fe plaza in high church regalia in a Palm Sunday processional.

The head man swung incense to and fro followed by the ecumenically outfitted ..followed by the general public waving palms..

Emma and I watched.

I had to go home and google Palm Sunday.

I’m really keyed into this time of year because I know something about what feels subjectively like crucifixion and the journey of return.

My urge to be free finds me looking to all religions for keys.

It seems to help me very much to bring the Jesus stories in very close as metaphors and relate intimately to his teachings.

Surely my way is only that: my way. All I ask is for you to read here with a modicum of curiosity and forgo showing me the highway too soon.

By way of Easter time, Jesus is nailed to the cross and has to just hang out there with what is.

He has lost the luxury of his own will and by default must look inward for salvation.

His suffering goes on and on and on and on.

The agony is witnessed by those at his feet.

As his consciousness dims he pretty much gives up all “Woe is me” and “Why me, GOD?”

In favor of final forgiveness and surrender into Death.

But then…

after a little rest and recuperation

He RISES!

Not just good as before but better.

You may think me sacrilege but variations of these same transitions play out in my own life and I’m pretty sure a good number of you experience them too.

MS has shattered me, crucified me, wrested my trusty will from me.

It seems foolish to lend a hierarchy to suffering; (yours isn’t nearly as gritty as mine).

Divorce annihilates who we were..loss of job or spouse or child or fortune; addiction, depression, jail time, surgery, disappointment or betrayal.

Hell..even a bad break-up leaves us bloody and wrecked.

All our cells are called to re-assemble into some alien pattern and no friggin’ instruction booklet is included.

We’ve all just gotta hang there on the cross till every damn one of our precious numbing agents, blame-games, uber scavenger hunts for relief and distractions from what IS

Are used up.

Man, this can take a loooooonnnnng time.

And we die.

Metaphorically speaking.

We die to who we thought we were even though we thought we were pretty damn great and it looked like we had all the tools we needed to cut through the pain and discomfort..

HA!

Not.

After all that foll-de-rol we go through writhing in our suffering we need a big time Siesta with a capital “S”..

Three days is really not long enough (says me..).

I really do hope Jesus had a few margaritas to chew on in that dark cave..

Of course there were the intimates there to help him do his re-entry by moving the rock because not a one of us can do this ourselves.

I repeat: NOT A ONE OF US.

Released–he rose again.

And I have too..lighter, happier, less dense, more curious.

My neck is saggier but hey..the costs of war and time…

I am pretty raw as well. Naked to the wind.

Sometimes haphazardly dressed. Sometimes Chanel.

The Shattering. The Reconciliation. The Return.

Happy Easter to every darn one of us magnificent, brave, beautiful, beautifully human, humans.

We are the miracle.

We rise.

Dirt

“PORTRAIT OF PLACE”, earth, bird wing,ceramic,thread, rock,corn husk, 22×22″

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I really like dirt.

I like the word.  It has grit as opposed to “earth” which is good too though it sounds cleaner.

Dirt is dirty.

It smells not like saccharine perfume but  the deep amber oily  droppings of birds and trees and dogs and flowers and rain and snow and sun and fog.

It lay there on the ground all winter with nary a bath; coddling grape hyacinth bulbs and crocus.

Somehow, each year as the sun stretches higher and she lets her hair down in relief

Micro temperature rises tickle the tubers

Of eager daffodils.

They climb out of the dirty dirt

In the hope of catching glinting rainbow light 

Bouncing off the sun’s clean hair.

SPRING!

Everything and everyone gets washed

New.

Our lungs relax and expand into the unarmored ease

Vaguely remembered from a year ago.

Shoulders drop into the sigh of melting stress 

We took on from lack of faith

The Sun would ever warm us again.

The dirt can be seen to move with awakening worms and insects and white roots.

Emma digs her toenails in and with noble effort

Hurls great clods of dirt

Willy nilly.

I wish I could do that.

Maybe roll like  ecstatic porcine  pinkness

In the dirtiest of dirt.

Perhaps tomorrow I will relate to it as “earth”

But today my preference is dirt.