11 October, 2009

snow laden foxgloves

It feels unfair. Leaves still on trees, foxgloves blooming, rose bushes with opening buds and yet pillows of snow on every leaf, every blossom. I didn't expect this, and so it has caught me by surprise. In the midst of my growing grief this has taken my breath away like an unexpected blow across the face. Undeniable, I reach for my scarf and winter coat. For the past months the weather has been saving grace in my life. I felt a kinship with the untidiness of my garden and it flourished without human direction. Since closing my office in Bryn Mawr I have felt a sense of loss of that dream of the" Wellness Collective". It was such a lovely idea to have a group of practitioners working in the same space, offering services to enhance and maintain wellness. It was an idea worth working toward. Investing our hearts and our time we just couldn't sustain it for long enough to pay the bills. I'm not sure where to go from here...There is value in pausing for a moment and allowing the journey to unfold in it's own time. And so, I remind myself to trust the process, to be the process and to savour this period of incubation, or relaxation, enjoying my free time to catch up on accounts, take a long walk, and day dream. My life has changed so much and so quickly over the past six years that I haven't had a chance to adjust or integrate the new opportunities I have been offered. I remember the fall 25 years ago, with an undiagnosed, ruptured ectopic pregnancy: the pain, and recovery. The realization that I had experienced a near death episode and the second chance I had received with wonder and delight. My determination to devote myself to parenthood and my ignorance about what that might bring over the course of my life. I'm still not sure, but I have a sense of the cycles, with the surprises like this morning. Waking up to snow covered flowers, something of the poppy scene from Wizard of Oz. Perhaps this will wake me up to the fleeting responsibilities of parenthood and the changes occurring over the next months. And the possibility of each day, each conversation being the last. 

plum jam

Growing up in southern Minnesota had it's pleasures. We had plum trees laden with fruit which were made into plum jelly and jam to last through the winter. We had no sense of what a treasure those jars contained. And now I search specialty stores for a similar product. The price tag slows me down, yet the flavor of rich ripe plums on a scone from Rustica Bakery takes me back to the few pleasures of my childhood. We were poor and many, yet we had what we needed for the most part. And as a popular and available babysitter I had a little stash of my own personal funds to turn to when I found something I didn't want to live without... Like my guitar. Purchased in New Ulm for around $100 it was a ticket to another world. A world of independence and charm, popular music, classical, flamenco, and funny improvisations. It was a place where I could escape my younger sibling encroaching my territory. No privacy, only chaos. With tension an underlying element of my parents relationship I grew up thinking that was the way all marriages worked. It was a mark of success. However it is simply a mark of having successfully duplicated the model I observed. I graduated from high school vowing to never marry. To never enter into that contract which would rob me of my personal identity, compromise my values and tempt me into a submissive role where I would shrink and cower like so many of my female ancestors.

03 October, 2009

rainy saturday

Am I in love? With someone besides myself? Am I in love with myself? Will I ever manage to love myself in all my aspects? All the different parts of myself that I try to hide from the world, and especially from my kids, and especially from myself. The fat parts, the aging parts, the ugliness, the horrible thoughts of self-doubt, second guessing as if there was a right answer and I had missed it. In an unexpected conversation, this unexpected question: am I in love? I wonder if she meant am I living with someone. Or perhaps: am I in an exclusive intimate relationship with someone. It's a common question, yet I wonder what is behind it. Is it am I identified as being in a relationship, or am I identified as a partner, identified as my partner whomever that might be...and what the partner does. I felt obligated to answer. As I felt obligated to attend a social function this evening. After realizing that I didn't want to go, and that my internal conversation was bullying me towards going with great reluctance, and out of a sense of obligation, I stopped. I gave myself permission to skip it, without an excuse or explanation. So I walked through the back garden and lingered in the cool rain listening to a distant cardinal checking out for the night. He wasn't going anywhere either, and he wasn't shaming and blaming himself either. I noticed the progression of my birch tree changing color. She knows it's time to prepare for winter and just does it, no nonsense, no questions, no mind games. Perhaps I can learn a lesson from her natural wisdom. Perhaps I have and I'm not giving myself credit for it. I keep those less attractive parts of myself in a glass jar and when I hear their voices chipping away at my self esteem, my confidence I put the lid on to take the volume down a bit. The truth is that after many years of anorexic type behavior, compulsive exercise, attempting to conform to cultural expectations, and approaching dance from the stereotyped definition of a dancer, my goal is to be well nourished  with nutritious food. My somewhat compulsive work habits are becoming more relaxed as I am less interested in my role as a rescuer. My financial status stable and I have discovered a growing trust in my ability to generate revenue I live in a growing abundance which replaces my identification with the word poor. I have not abandoned myself: I am successfully thriving. I appear to be learning from my mistakes. When I choose to spend time alone I don't feel isolated. I give myself permission to be less than perfect, to practice detaching in non violent ways without beating myself up for needing to learn new or more advanced, effective skills. I'm entitled to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I can say "yes" to my life even when it means saying "no" to someone else.