To life and death and rebirth and everything in between.

To love and hope and the horror of being alive.

To all those moments scattered in the wind.

To my life. And your life. Intertwined like air.

To discovery, to disintegration. To reclaiming that voicebox that is my own. To reclaiming that life of joy and fire and light that is my own. To owning my heart like a song. To burrowing fear deep in the soles of my shoes and still walking.

To Jamie’s life. Holding it in my hands. Learning to sit up. Learning to crawl. Learning to walk. Learning to communicate. Learning to eat. From 6 to 18 months, what a radical change. What a remarkable boy.

To the Waldorf school. Flashing into my life like a sharp rain. Flushing me out and growing me up and watering all those dusty bits of soil I’m learning how to take care of. How to accumulate. How to nurture. How to give. How to teach. How to listen. Be silent. Be connected. Be empathetic. Support and foster. How to love.

How to love.

To love. To never knowing its name. To never knowing how to do anything other than love.

To freedom.

To places, to people, to things. To objects on walls and solid feelings in hands and soft glances in dark rooms. To all those things I am and am not. To all the ways I’ll keep changing. To all the me I’ll keep me-ing.

To fear. To strength. To fruition.

To finishing my teacher training online. Bumbling away writing essays on a laptop while Jamie slept on my chest.

To creating the Terhune Instagram, becoming the photographer…wandering around endlessly taking pictures.

To writing. To creating that other instagram. To accomplishing some of the things I wanted to. Not all. Never all. Hardly cracking the list, really. To getting published. To my first poetry reading.

To my wedding. To that shitshow. To losing Kara.

To all the things I can’t write about. To all those moments stuck in space.

To Puerto Rico.

To pain and glory and wonder and stars. Not looking enough at them. Looking too much at them.

To swinging under a tree, chasing after Jamie, throwing him down slides, snuggling in bed with him, kissing his soft cheeks, carrying him in my arms until all my muscles ache.

To Bryan and all his lawsuits. To Dan moving to Princeton. To Bogad leaving Hun. Julia moving to California.

To the whole world getting flipped on its head.

To dancing and singing and laughing and running and never being able to catch up with my breath, or with my desire for more of it.

To music and drinking and stumbling and bumbling once again. Remembering what it is to smile.

To writing myself on fire.

To kisses, sweet and soft and aching.

To all of the things that get forgotten. To all of the things that never get said. To all of the things still waiting.

To the song still singing.

What a year. What a year. If I could say it in words. But nothing ever could. Nothing could ever replace the firehot, red-rolling, sideways-falling, collapsable, rhythmical, rotational, dysfunctional, walloping, wallowing wind tunnel of a year it’s been. And thank you for that. Thank you, strange life. Thank you, sacred life. This is lifeliving. This is the heart of the heart of the heart. This is love. In a form that is me. Let’s keep running. Past the past.

To 2016.

To fire, flood, rich soil, warm heart, soft rain, courage brain, nonsense train, all the places I’ve yet to feel my soul dissolve into. All the moments I’ve yet to wrap around my fingers, press against my skin and breathe into my lungs. All the kisses on the wind still waiting. All the beats of my heart still waiting to sing. All the magic and mischief and madness still waiting to burn alive. To catch fire. To swell out at the bottom and over at the top. To crash like waves. To whisk like wishes. To watch like words – pounding up at the shoreline. Whispering – here we come. Here we go. Here we go.

Here we go.

I am what I am what I am.

I was shocked at first, when she told me today was the day. His condition deteriorated incredibly quickly over the course of 24 hours. At first I protested, then I laid down on the ground with him and put my hands on him…I felt the way his whole body was shaking, the way his muscles had given out, the way he could no longer walk. So I laid on the ground with him for a long while. Then we picked him up and let him sit on our laps on the couch for 2 hours. I felt his fast little heartbeat trying to keep up with his body, I felt his quakes all through his bones and I felt his sweet little life coursing through him. I tried to feel the weight of him in my arms, take in his smell, the coloring of the hair on his ears. We told him warm love words and let him eat freshly baked gingersnaps out of our hands. His eyes were still so sweet, but sad and slightly lost. The most gentle winter light spilled through the windows all afternoon.

I thought about his life, I thought about my life. I thought about how it was the end of his journey, and how he was going to go back to the earth. I thought about his pain, I thought I could almost feel it for him. I thought about how he was always my favorite and how somehow I always knew he would go first because of that. I thought about the most adorable little puppy he was and how he jumped into my arms when I was 12 years old. And if I could have some periscope from that moment to this moment at 25…he having gone through my whole life with me…all of those moments, all of those pains and joys. I thought about that journey. I thought about death and I felt unafraid for him. He seemed unafraid. I felt bad for upsetting him with my crying. I cried all day, a constant stream. Never ceasing. I thanked him for his little life, for sharing life with me. For being full of life.

At 2:30 we got in the car and I held him in my arms and kept trying to feel his life in my hands. His breathing, his heart, his warmth, his love. And I tried to give him my love, to let him pass out of this moment with love. I thought about why we think these moments are so necessary, what the point of it is…to give this love away to something vanishing…and I couldn’t quite come to anything other than it feels right. It feels absolutely and wholeheartedly right. I think I’ll always remember the quality of light streaming around me on that car ride. Mid-afternoon winter light…so bright and subtle and streaming. And I thought: December 20th, this will be the day that Palmer died. I tried to lift his heavy head to see the world out the window one last time. I knew he was going blind but I thought perhaps he could feel the light.

The vet was sweet and gentle and he lay there so peaceful and sweet faced. He seemed ready. He lay there and looked at the three of us (Will, Victoria and I) and seemed full of love. I watched the light go out of his glassy, moon eyes. I saw it happen. And I felt freedom for him. And release. And that was full of love. The hard part was sobbing through the last final hours, but once the moment happened, I only felt that wonderful freedom for him. I don’t know what it is or how it happens, but I believe with all my heart – it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Leaving his sweet body in that room was the hardest, strangest feeling. Walking out and driving home with nothing in my arms. 3:30pm. Letting reality sink in. I still have a warm stream of tears falling just writing this. I miss his sweet, little soul.

I don’t know what happens now, but I believe that it is full of freedom and full of love.

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Somehow the time went by.  Life went by. Writing went through my fingers again like smoke. Somehow the world cooled, softened and turned brown and grey.

The children. I’m going to have difficulty leaving the children in a week and a half. They are all such beautiful lights to me. They gaze at me like I have answers now. They trust me and respect me and little Rapha runs to me and hugs me when he feels overwhelmed. I wish I could take the whole journey with them.

I subbed, so many times. Which was exhilarating and exhausting and trial by fire wilderness. And I grew and I rose to the challenge and I feel so confident now. I started training to become a reading specialist. Delving into syllables and phenomes and the letters and sounds that make up this strange and wonderful language we have. And that was a gift too.

Today the children banged rocks apart on larger rocks with bigger rocks to make a fine dust. They gathered the dust up into pots and called it pixie dust. They all sat to work together through their recess and said they needed endlessly more pixie dust. Their banging was so pure and intentioned.

Maybe I am running from the world by wanting to immerse myself in this magical Waldorf world of childhood and beauty. Maybe that’s the way to save my life. Maybe we all need to run from the world more. And see from a distance what nonsense it all is.

Love is still the answer. In all its fumbled tones and miserable sounds. Love is still that beating heart in the back of my brain. The soul of soul of soul of soul. That center of all things wheeling and spinning. The turnkey banging on the door. Always saying: let me in, let me in.

 

I’ll watch as you go, I’ll wait as you glow.