Oh my god. Windows down, smarting wind, blossoms of sun, violently beautiful shadows, meadow shine, moss smell, earthen uplift, tree-sap bend, springtime satiation.

Oh goodness. And all the grace of the sky falling on my head. And all the wonder of childhood falling into my skin.

First day as the Kindergarten assistant. I wanted to melt into the room. And sob. So beautiful. So soft, so dreamy, so sacred. All those things that Waldorf is- held so warmly in tiny hands. 3 and 4-year-olds. Sheepskins piled or laid out for tired child bodies; hand sewn pillows stuffed with hulls; homemade tea just swelling a saucer; tiny cups on tiny wooden boards; kneading bread dough early in the morning; letting it rise; warm rolls just pulled fresh out of the oven, smelling up the cottage room all morning, spread over with homemade butter and tossed open with tiny hands; wide eyes, those sleepy, awakened child eyes; all the sweet, loved toys – wooden, wool or silk, all tender with age and life; the shimmering pastel silks that glide across the rings of the wood; the large hollowed stumps with wool gnomes tucked into them; the softly passing story; the sliding, singing voice of teacher that glows throughout. The day, the swelling morning, the silent rain shower, the cacophony of laughter while sliding down the slide. The embraces, the gentle touches, the swift motion to fix a little girl’s hair. The songs, the singing. The songs, the singing.

The things, the things, the tenderness of voice, the tenderness of light, the gentleness of promise. The promise of fragility. The sacredness of the profane. The day opening, at last. At long last.

Those mornings pulling star shine out of my hair, ripping my eyelashes apart to drag my body out into the breaking light of a new day. So early, so early, such body-quaking early-ness. To watch all those sunrises and to swim in all those sunsets. But so many of them would splinter the world in two and I wouldn’t know if I was on a planet or a star or a softly falling meteor. I was out there, I was in the world and yet the world was not following me. No one knew where I was and yet I was everywhere. Speeding along roads and slamming up mountains, following the water, following the horizon, following the sun. Letting the moon bake into my crust at night. And I always let those stars shine hollow into my sockets. Rocks and spinning pathways, I was always scrambling towards and away. Always those sunrises, breaking me apart. Always that space, that visible space – it was a state of being, not a place. It was the passion with which I was chasing the world. That’s all it took. And it took everything from me. I still ache for it. For that feeling of being on fire. Of glowing from the inside.

The whole fucking thing was visible from all those vistas. All the time. The whole fucking thing. That full perspective. Horizon, earth, sky, twisting stars, spinning landforms, millennia shape-hands, catapulting sea, the place where all things meet. I miss seeing the big picture. Horizons get small and dotted with telephone poles here. Splinter-celled with electrical wires, plumes of smoke, hazy, hashy car fumes, dizzy neon lights and all those unwelcome signs. The plummet of signs – dentist, dermatologist, lawyer, tax refund, car wash, nonsense, nonsense, money, nonsense, advertise to me at every breath. At every stop light. Please don’t ever stop. The cataclysm of bold, black font, soulless washed out aesthetic. No aesthetic. No music. No nothing but more shit to sell. Always more shit to sell. Always more shit to buy. Always more buy to burden. Always more bought to fold, to wash, to clean, to tidy, to mess, to filter. Always more belongings to belong to you and yet so very few sacred holes in the world to belong to. So very few communities of love and shelter to belong to. Sacred memories to shelter. Sacred spaces to honor.

Earth, please turn green again. Vines, please crawl your spindly legs towards me. Sun, please wash my aching eyes clean. Fire, come set me on fire. I want to burn again.

I always have the same complaints, it seems. Too much sold, not enough soul.

Words, my mother my brother. Sister sky, I am still looking for you. The wind keeps blowing, just about to blow spring right along with it. Just pummeling in from all sides these days. And myself, always pummeling into myself. Desiring little creature that I am. Wishing I could find the focus to focus. Wishing I could straddle all lines at the same time. Wishing always for that aching horizon to break me in two and watch me dissolve. Baby laughter is more full these days. More ways to interact, to communicate, to laugh, to discover, to learn. Reading books with such joy. Sitting quietly just staring at his books. Tumbling around like the rough and tumble boy he is. He’s still not speaking…they say that’s delayed…I say he’s doing fine. Pictures, images, words flood my world. This winter has not been as difficult as others. And still I feel inundated with inside. With insular, internal, globular, global pixels that shine back at me like a trillion tiny eyes. And yet I see very little. And yet I smell very little, taste and walk on very few surfaces that make my feet curl up in response. The feeling of grass, of tiny sticks and balls and acorns that riddle the pads and bones of your feet. That feeling of being real. The feeling of being a strange test tube winter bot grows weary. But there is also joy. New and round and revelatory and I am trying to revel in it. There is also friendship and excitement and tumbling around in winter coats. There is so much to be thankful for. There is this strange boy who is my life now. Who hardly remember ever not knowing. There is this way he fills up my days and makes them thick with meaning. There is hope and there is learning. There is freedom, finally freedom. And still somehow there are the things that will never get done, the words that will never be said, the ways I will never learn from my own fault lines.

Dancing, like turning wheels on ancient tunes, like sure-fire wings on timeless turns. Just turning, and turning. Let’s just turn and turn that wheel. That great fumbling spinner of a wheel. It’ll come back round when the world bends straight.

Thought-fire and soul-flame, I will always have this bleeding through me, looking for the way to say. Something I shouldn’t have said. Something that always gets bred and not bought, bound but not taught. Something that gets folded and molded and choked up in the moment. Something I am always saying that I shouldn’t be saying. Something like a heart and how it beats in me. People will always gaze oblong through you looking for where you are. In that skin or through it? Above or below the noise? Inside the sound, that’s where I’m looking.

Little old house, I drove past you. I angled past your pale blue paint, cracking from age and weathering from time. I drove past those windows – the ones I used to look out, stand in, glare at, think of, close the shutters, open the blinds, let the light in, close my eyes to the stars. I saw that someone had planted new mulch. Someone has taken that fallen apart bit of ruble of a house and has claimed it again. Painted the porch fresh white daylilly cream. Someone is going to live a new life. That house will know me still. I drove past the bushes where once I laid and lay and lapped up light and sun. I drove past all those voices, the starry remembrances of the people that had beautiful things to say in those walls. I drove past the walls, past the old granite counter top, past the raucous piano playing at 2am, past the swollen laughter leeched into the walls, past the rainy afternoons in March that still glisten on the windowpanes. I drove past the little ways we all loved each other. The way that family buckled and burned. The way my brother and I held each other’s hand and made it through hell and back again. The way my mother and I cried together. I drove past my cousin, laughing incessantly at silly stories and sideways glances and people piled in puddles in front of screens. I drove past myself, saw myself, left myself there, gathered myself up, put myself back together, piled myself into my car. It took about 1.5 seconds to drive past. I slowed down, as much as I could. I glared at the pale blue paint the way it used to glare at me. I felt time moving like ancient fingers. My baby’s cry broke the silence. My baby sat in the back seat and knew not who I was. Knew nothing of this pale blue paint. He mumbled jitter jatter to himself and I drove past my little old house.

So foggy and lost. Hazy and sick. Life, so many questions. World, so many answers. Love, so many lives. Hope, so few directions. So plentiful with faith, this strange vessel of a human I am. Always, always, let me find my feet. Always, always, I will play my soul on repeat. Music and things to sing about. Hearts and things to follow. Always and unending. Journeys spilling out like woven bird wings. Hawking towards the air. Floating without care. Ease, ease, give me ease. Hope, hope, give me hope. Love, love, I am love.

Some days I can hold my heart in my hands like a folded sparrow and some days I feel the trembling old scars of lines gone rough with overuse. Everything is still vacillating. Everything is still in flux. That is a blessing and a curse. Some moments that feels freeing, some moments that feels incredibly frustrating. I think I’m learning to live inside of that patience. To cultivate it. It is difficult though. When sometimes all I want is the clarity of a simple answer. Living with the unknown, that is certain. That is given. But living in constant flux, that is wearing. And enticing at the same time. At this moment though, it is wearing.

And all of the colors and all of the adjectives and all of the patterns of brain rain run me back to home to the place of here and now. There and then. We and me. This and that. And always everywhere all at once.

Yesterday I had my last day as First Grade assistant. I walked to my car, my arms bumbling full of bags of gifts and treats and things to take away and I felt so fulfilled. So wretchedly full. I thought of that first day in September, hot, sticky and sleep deprived. I thought of their faces, the full circle. How much they’ve grown already. How much I learned. How deeply I sunk my feet into my mud of the school. How entrenched I am now. How in love I am now. I didn’t want to leave. Of course, now I am relishing the free time. The air, the endless night, the freedom of motion, the time with Jamie. But I am grateful. Beyond grateful. I took them outside for recess one last time and I tried to hold on to them in my mind. Etch the lines of their full, round, joyous faces into my mind. Close my eyes and hear their tiny, jangling voices shouting at one another. Imprint their laughter on the back of my eyelids. These 6 year old selves. For now they are gone to me, and I will watch them grow through the years…and I will see them…but never like this, never again. These little 6 year old selves encapsulated in time. On a biting winter day…racing around the dead grass in their gloves and hats. Jumping into a hole they dug in the ground. Just because. Just to feel the fall. Just to feel the dirt spray up at them. Just to laugh. Pummeling each other to the ground just to feel the collapse. Just joy and innocence and that naiveté that life will protect them, will keep them safe. Something precious and passing. Moments frozen in winter light.

All those words. All those words that trail at my heels, that whisper on the wind, that slither through the streets. All those tiny sounds still hammering at molecules. We’ll be ok, we’ll be ok, we’ll all be ok, they say. And time circles round like a runaway train, firing up your brain with nonsense rain and silver strains of light and love.

Love is still the foundation I rest on. And when the world is drained of color, and the crumbling breaths of polluted air fail me, I will still have love. And love will still have me. It’s real if you say it is. Belief is our strange world in our hands. We create our own reality, we live in a world of created meanings. The fact that we can believe that we matter, in this spinning universe of grandiose size and shape…that we believe in the confines of our own specific society; that that creates actualized psychological responses…that is something strange, unique and beautiful about our species. The fact that the universe responds. That quantum physics plays at small and fantastical levels. The fact that we have this strange and glorious thing called love. Love creates everything. Love creates love. Belief creates love. Love creates reality. Love is always real. Belief creates.

We shape the reality of our world, the specific meanings of words we have created. It’s hard to find objectivity here, there or anywhere.

I don’t know what true love is. What the one is. I don’t know, anymore, if I need THOSE words, those terms, in order to hold a love in my hands that is real and raw and sustaining. All words have meaning, all words spark magic. But maybe other words will do now. Maybe we make our own words, and they curve and carve new meanings with their own tongues. Maybe we craft concepts that hold more weight in these particular hands, these 21st century hands. Maybe true love still holds a beautiful ring to it. Maybe acknowledging the fullness of my life and the strangeness of my story holds honesty, as well. Maybe there is some place where all these words can meet.

I do believe in possibility. In belief. In the power of mental force. I believe in a time a hundred years ago, when a model of love was simple and clear and unmuddied by post-modern pessimism…I believe that that clear-hearted belief made life-long, ‘true’ love and a committed marriage a much more easily attainable goal. That people could walk into that darkness and carry themselves along to the ends of their lives. I don’t know what a life is supposed to look like in this post-post modern pool of statistics and jaded eyes. I don’t know how it plays out. But I don’t NEED to. I’m not supposed to KNOW. WHERE is the fun in that? I will trust. I will believe. I will always believe in love. And I will keep letting that belief knock me on my ass a thousand times over. Force it to keep reinventing my reality, keep getting more wise, more real, more honest, more closely connected to that source of something true for me. At this moment, at this time. There are simply pros and cons. To the side of the romantic and the side of the pragmatic. Of walking the line between. Of learning from both, of falling into star dust and contemplating truth. Of gather bits of magic and of analyzing into clarity. Into honoring what is beautiful about typified gender roles, and honoring what is honest about breaking those gender roles. Right now, in this unclear world…this puddle of all that is 21st century and throbbing…I am just going to walk the line. And see what I create. See what feels honest. See what I need from love, what I don’t need. See how to be, how to operate, how to know myself better, how to know other people better. How to know love better, and how to honor that I will never know love- that mysterious one that knows far greater wisdom than I could ever hope to know. I will know that I know nothing. But that I believe everything. That my belief shapes my world, my mind, my reality. That that is power, and that is mystery, and that is wondrous. I will honor that mystery. I will honor that very real power of love, which still holds ancient magic for me. That is rooted at the base of my brain, so deep and so powerfully that surely there is reason to behold it.

Love, that thing that makes me do every little thing I do. That is the source I point to. The magic spinning the dust of the world. That force that remains unexplained. That Love. Great, terrible and magnificent. Love IS the goddess.

So no, I don’t know how it plays out. And I think the bravest, most honest and most magical way to approach it – to approach all of life…is to say I don’t know. But I trust. I trust the world to keep unfolding in ways more splendid and sensuous than I could imagine. Stranger and more fantastical than I could think up. And I am grateful for that. Here I am again, nowhere I imagined I’d be. And isn’t that a fucking great adventure? Isn’t that the world laughing at me, knocking me on my ass, making me enjoy the ride? Making me have an adventure. Making me sure, once again, that I don’t know anything I think I know. And THAT is the joy. That is what faith is good for. For the fucking uncertain world we live in. Where we know nothing. Around each and every corner. Walking backwards through time with no awareness of what is coming next. THAT is a brilliant game. A place where mystery still exists. That is how you tell a story. We cannot, we should not know all. For where would be the intrigue, the meaning, the story, the adventure, the discovery, the impulse to move, to live, to follow, to explore. The whole picture- knowing EVERYTHING is stasis. This is how you tell a story. This is how you believe. This is how you fall in love. By honoring the mystery.

Can I say I still believe in “true love”…even if I don’t know what those words mean anymore? I love the way the tune of that phrase tickles things that are buried deep – psychological rivers that still run through my brain. Can I say that romantic phrases sing so sweetly to my soul that regardless of what I think pragmatically, I can still find soul-stirring beauty in romantic ideals? While at the same time being smart enough, being experienced enough, being analytical enough to recognize how relationships really fare – with rocks and crags and ways you have to steer your ship to and fro to keep it afloat? Can I say that all those silly words mean something to me and these primal bases in my soul, but that at the same time I have this big, strong brain on top of my head that knows the frailty and the failures of these words. I know their limitations and I know their downfalls and I still want to say them anyway. Because I want to honor ritual. Because they mean something to the deepest part of my soul. Because they rock those ancient urges within me. Because maybe they still hold magic. Because words hold magic and words hold meaning. Because that’s all we are. Meaning making machines. And we get to set the rules. And we get to fall in love. And that is a fucking adventure I am not ready to walk away from yet. Miles to go before I sleep.

Can I say that I will forever be a hopeless romantic AND that I am smart enough, old enough and broken enough to know better? But that I want to anyway. The way we ALL choose to still live in this world and glean out joy from it EVEN though we know it’s fucked up. The way we all find ways to smile EVEN though there is tragedy at ever corner. What do you make with this world? With this awareness. Well sure, you can fall into a puddle at all the despair and horror. And sure, I can honor that that is real. But we can also choose another way. Call it what you will. Call it blind optimism. I call it power. I choose to MAKE more magic. More love. I choose to take what I have learned and USE it. To not be blind, but to honor the beauty in running towards something with arms outstretched. To keep falling, even though sometimes the ground is hard. To be that fucking optimist. What other choice do you have? Let the fuckers crush you? No one will take hope from me. No one will take my magic from me. Not love, not power, not beauty. AND not wisdom and awareness and self-knowledge either. Neither. They can live together. They can inform each other. And they can create something EVEN better. Even more honest. And thus, even more real. Rooted and flying at the same time. Stronger, more complex, more real love. Love with eyes wide open. What bravery is THAT. What kind of strength can spill from those broken people who STILL refuse to give in to the sham and drudgery of the world that says there is nothing left. THAT is where it gets good. THAT is where real, deep, thriving love can be born. On the side of consciousness aware of danger, on the battleground of a heart littered with scars, on the underside of a brain littered with knowledge. So that you might find REAL courage to love. Real connection to vet. Experience, brokenness, knowledge does not take you further from love…it makes you more able to discern, thus more prepared to know how to love, how to honor another, how to step carefully on another’s heart. Sure, you lose naievite, but you gain awareness. Each step closer and closer towards understanding how to really love someone. How to love yourself. How to honor love. How to question what it means.

KEEP questioning love. KEEP questioning what it means. KEEP finding new answers. KEEP saying fuck you. Keep having love pull you back. Is it new? Does it feel different? Not the way it did when you were young? GOOD. It shouldn’t. New experience. Raw experience. Discovering ALL parts of it. All parts of what is love. Tempered, hot, chaotic, addictive, gentle, trusting, calm, wild. All different parts of this beast we call love. All different ways of knowing love, of knowing ourselves, of knowing what it is to engage with others, with the world. Love is never wrong. Just providing new discovery. New turns, twists. Never wrong. I don’t believe in wrong and right. Just love. Always bringing you closer to the light.

How can I live with ALL of these things that I know and believe and want to believe all existing at the same time? Well, the same as love, it’s life in the same cross section. To abandon love is to say, people die, so why should we live at all? Yes there is war, there is horror and there is pain. Welcome to the planet. It’s been going this way for a few billion years. Let’s take the first tennet of buddhism and say life is suffering. And then move from there. That is not inherently wrong. That is fire and flood and ice age and magma and core of the earth which spews up volcanic lava. That is action and change and atoms banging into each other in flight. This IS life. Do not fear it, fly with it. Yeah, you get heartbroken, but that is no reason to turn your back on love. Fucking break me. Break me open, let me see all those tiny jewels spinning. Heartbreak inspires. Heartbreak is a force, a wild, rampant beast that gives us fire again. Things are ALWAYS breaking. To teach, to show, to experience, to discover, to enlighten, to open, to create anew. It is painful and it is glowing and it is power and it is a force that I trust. It is life. Do not fear. You cannot make a mistake. Only step after step after step that in the end looks more like a dance and less like a climb to some imaginary plateau. When see the world as art, not as profit…when we see our steps as dance, not as ascendance…when we see our love as brilliant fires on the horizon that match the stars, and not as failures or successes based on some arbitrary law of society we have created for ourselves…then we will remember how to fly with the wind. Art for art’s sake. Love for love’s sake. Life for life’s sake. Not because you’re going to check off boxes. Not because you’re going to win. Not because you’re going to lose. Because you’re going to see those strange, binary concepts- winning losing, succeeding, failing…as the strangest and most useless obsessions humanity ever took up. Because you will have the awareness, at last, to laugh at them. To enjoy the dance, to enjoy the fire, to enjoy the spectacle of love unfolding all around you, in a thousand spinning stories that want to be told…just to be heard.

We are the universe perceiving itself. And we love to play. We love to discover. And yeah, we love to set things on fire. Because light always bring illumination to our shadows.

 

So can I live with all aspects of myself? Pragmatist, romantic, lover, believer, knower, intellectual, mystic, analyst, 21st century, progressive woman? What does love look like? What does a relationship look like? I don’t know. But what a grand mystery to discover. And keep discovering. And keep discovering. So live with it all. All those aspects of yourself. They all serve a purpose. They all exist for a reason. They all move with each other. They all inform each other. They make me more. They make me more complex, yes, but more dynamic. More rich. More full. More expansive. More honest. More open. More capable. So my love will be too. So my relationships will be too. Pros and cons, pros and cons. I will never get the simplicity of a relationship in the 1920’s. And yet, they will never get the full, raw, bloodied, complexity and fullness of a relationship with THIS modern awareness. Who knows which is more romantic, in the end? There may be fields and wells of romance that can exist without blindness that taste even more sweet…even more meaningful. Craft the new romance. The new relationship. Use it all. Use it all. Don’t be afraid of letting all your pieces clang together. Dragging all your organic material together. To make something new. To forge something even more honest. Use it all. Use it all. Let it all be right. Every part has something to offer, some purpose to serve. Some color to add. Let us move back black and white love, to technicolor love – all full bodied and real. Cynical and hopeful nonetheless. Jaded and brave. And for that matter, fuck the word jaded. Just because you are AWARE and EXPERIENCED and KNOWLEDGEABLE doesn’t mean you have to be jaded. Just because you are broken does not mean you cannot heal. Healing is the best part. Believing again is the best part. Sometimes I think you get broken just so you can experience that feeling of healing again – because isn’t that the most enlivening and exhilarating thing? Which can only exist WITH brokenness. All things work together. Yin and yang, darkness and light, night and day, winter and summer. All things move together. Just because you are JADED doesn’t mean you don’t have capacity to believe as well. All things can exist together in one body. Allow for the hugeness within yourself. Allow for ALL of the complexities. That is where we make ourselves small and confused. Because we think we don’t have room for all of these things. We label ourselves one thing and close ourselves off. When an actual full bodied human adult has worlds within worlds. Jamming and jabbing at each other. Cross firing neurons and patterns over patterns over scars over wounds over old primal desires that fire up over walls over globs of softness which still ache for the light. An actual human is not one thing. Is never a collection of labels. Is NEVER a series of words. An actual human is poetry in motion. Contradiction over contradiction over contradiction over hypocrisy over fire over flight over fight over conscious over primordial basic response to the world. Trillions of neurons in the brain and miles and miles of soul wrapped up in your bones. The most complex of worlds. So many things want answers. So many textbooks want words to define. So many well meaning doctors want to diagnose. So many humans want to say I am this. But all of these humans are this and this and this and that and that and that.

And this is one of the most dangerous aspects of modern society. The inhumanity. Not recognizing the full fucking, electromagnetic, wild, confusing and expansive nature of contradictory, complex humans that want so many things at once. That ache for romance and reject it at the same time. And that is OKAY. That is real. That is life. All things can exist together – SHOULD exist together. All things together make a full body – not a series of parts. It’s important to break things down into parts, the way we have in our scientific age. But all of the trillions of parts of a brain have not explained consciousness and there is a messy wholeness to life, to being a human, to being alive, that should not be discarded and cannot be ignored without missing the crucial reality of what it is to be human. It is so many things all at the same time. And that’s the way it should be. It SHOULD be pain and joy, light and dark – this push and pull creates everything. And all the thousand spinning, contradictory parts of yourself, that creates the inexplicable magic of being alive. All things do and SHOULD exist together. To make the circle round.

The way we all have so many parts of our body. These lustful parts which do not know as much as our brain knows, and these heart parts which do not know as much as our brain knows, and these brain parts which will never know fire and flood and blood and magic the way our hearts, bodies, lusts and loves will know.

Things planted deep, things rooted hard, things conditioned powerfully…those things in my brain ache for certain words. Even if I can honor with another, more critical part of my brain that they are not necessary. Or they are naive. Or that some respond to the same words with the exact opposite brain response – they have walls and ivy and thorns and brambles built up in their neurons against these words. Same connection to these words, but different response. Same life experience, in a way, but different reaction.

They’re just words though, in the end. And I honor my honest experience with another human and their set of brain circuits and hangups and soul fires. And if someone else’s disdain for certain words overpowers my need for certain words, I can honor that. I can find that compromise.

Me, I’m an acher. I’m an acher for love, for romance, for hope. I’m an anchor. A root in the soil that refuses to be pulled. I am a lover. I am love. I’m a believer. I’m a creator. I create belief and belief creates me. Love just shows me the way.

Yeah, my life is a spinning wheel of nonsense and emotional explosions on all sides of me. But it’s been a shitshow for so long now that I am no longer calling it a shitshow. It’s been messy for so long that I no longer feel like a mess. This is life. This is one of those big scratchy, mountainous areas on a heartbeat monitor. But everything has its time. And my tolerance for nonsense is at an all time high. Nothing is so large anymore. Expectations have evaporated. Life is free. Like ten thousand doors that keep opening.

Life is unexpected, but not wrong.