Take care of each others children.
Walk each others dogs.
Feed each other. Regularly.
Make bread, make soup, make cookies. Leave care packages on door steps.Cook together.
Pray together. Even when, especially when, our prayers are not the same.
Search for buried treasure.
Go to parties.
Step in with a helping hand at the moment it is needed.
Know when to hold space and do nothing more.
Share good fortune, surprises and exciting adventures.
Visit each other’s past.
Venture into the woods together.
Stay through the rain together.
Make art. Make music.
Tear down walls and defy boundaries.
Watch each other blossom.
Take big risks with the heart. Cry if needed. Its ok, really.
Retreat if you need to, but leave a trail of bread crumbs to find your way home.
Expect nothing but receive joyfully and completely.
I am in the process of becoming more and more the person I already am, the person I have already been. I am on a journey that takes me home, right here to myself.
I recently had the occasion to hold a new born baby.
Babies are funny creatures.
They are completely capable of receiving love, deep love in all its forms without reservation. They receive it all effortlessly–the practical (food, diaper changes), the physical (nursing, cuddles), the smiles and cuddles what ever comes their way. They don’t think about it, or question the motive. They don’t wonder if they deserve it. They just take it in–indeed their very survival depends on it.
Likewise, babies are capable of bringing forth joy and gratitude, simply by their being. They open up spaces of lightness. They can make the grouchiest old fart smile. They aren’t trying to prove anything. They don’t yet know that there is anything to prove.
We are brought into this world to accept love and to bring forth joy and gratitude. We don’t ever need to learn how. It is who we are. Inherently.
We then spend much our young lives forgetting everything we ever needed to know about ourselves, and then, if we are lucky, wise or awake, we spend another portion of our lives forgetting the forgetting and just coming back home to ourselves. and to the perfect way we always knew how to be before a series of somethings false made us question what we know so deep we need not language to express it.
Sometimes silliness is all the world needs.
Sometimes the cure for the war with the gremlins in your head is a death-match in a moon bounce with 4 mini-warriors (age 4-8) who morph into lions and gods and super heros and tackle you and demand hugs and monster-like growls so they can have the excuse to tackle you again. Eventually the only thing to do is surrender.
Max and I went to a party on Saturday night. A party with a moon bounce. The kids had an hour of hilarity before the sun went down before they tromped in to settle down for the night. After all the kids had settled in in front of the movie, Max came and pulled me from my fire side chat with the civilized adults. He whispered conspiratorially, “Mom, I want to bounce some more.”
“Ok,” I said and excused myself to supervise, even though it was dark. A parked car was providing light Max told me. And the moon too. “Why not,” I thought. How often is one in the presence of a giant castle made of rubber and air.
Max climbed in and turned around. “You coming?” he asked as though the answer was already clear. I shrugged. I took off my grown-up shoes and crawled in after him. A boy can’t bounce alone.
Tumbling, and falling down and getting up and laughing. He is Lord Poseidon, God of the Sea and I am Kronos the Titan king. He is a dog and I am a cat. He is a summo wrestler superhero and I MUST be taken down. He is pure joy. Radiant like the moon that allows me to see him in the shadows as he prepares to bounce once more into my arms.
Later, after dinner he finds me again in front of the fire. “Mom, a bunch of us want to go back outside but we need a grown-up.” There are four shining expectant faces looking up at me. It is mission impossible and I am their last hope. I put down my glass, my plate of finger food and head for the door, assuring the parents that a responsible adult will supervise. I hoist the little ones in, Max crawls in last. He looks behind me with a look on his face I wish I could bottle–I look that says, “I dare you not to bathe in joy”. “You coming?” he says. “Absolutely” I say answering his challenge as I hoist up my dress and kick off my shoes.
The way to tame the gremlins inside is to simply jump. Jump high. Jump until your skirt threatens to fly over your head. Jump until the laughter is so loud that you draw the crowd away from the warm toasty inside, as they all comes to see what is so marvelous that five voices laugh like 50.
Later that night as I was snuggling Max before sleep, he whispers to me, “Mama. That was the most fun I have had in years.” I kiss him on the forehead and hold my whole life made right, made whole, made complete.
My keyboard is missing a “g”.
A few weeks ago, when my friend Anne was visiting, Max and her daughter were running around the living room while I typed away. They were playing a game that involved a magic wand made from a stick they had found in the yard. Something slipped, and the wand flew out of Max’s hand, landed on my computer and suddenly there is a big hole in the middle of my keyboard. It was no one’s fault. There was no one to blame.
And so it goes. Isn’t it true, that life comes at us this way. We are going along and suddenly, without warning, a hole appears right in the middle of something that until that very minute felt…well whole. Suddenly, things that felt so easy and natural, like typinG thinGs become a little bit harder. And we don’t know quite what to do, what to make of it. We work around it. We try desperately to glue the “g” key back. We just give up and close up the computer.
Why the heck am I talking about my missing G? Only because it is missing and I feel its absence. And because its a metaphor. Because writing about the real stuff, is too raw right now.
The friend I used to talk to everyday who is transforming into pure love, moving from one world to the next. I miss her voice. The friend who shared my home, who has left to build her own. I miss her touch. But more than that, so many of the bricks, the ones who formed the foundation of my life as a single mom, they are shifting. I feel a dismantling but, its not destructive. More like creating space for something new to be born.
But I miss them. I miss them all. Even as I applaud whatever positive is moving them from our orbit, I miss them. Even as I mourn whatever difficulty pulls them away I let them go.
It is scary and hard. I wonder how they hell I am going to to keep typing without the “g”. With this big hole in the keyboard of my life. I wonder how I am going to keep writing my stories. But look! I am doing it. I am doing it. I am somehow, nevertheless, quite certainly doing it.
November is an empty month, hollowed out by the rain and wind, which strips away that which is no longer needed. November dismantles leaf by leaf all that once was beautiful and green and red and gold. November calls to let go and to face the dark quiet, without knowing what comes next. November calls us to let go of everything but our most essential selves and then, even then, to let go of all our ideas about what that might be, and just be..
Dismantling, breaking down, letting go, distilling. It takes a whole lot of faith to settle into the rhythm of the clearing, the making space for something still unknown. A wise woman once told me the faith of a mustard seed would do. I hope so.