Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.

I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.

My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).

Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???

I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.

Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.

The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.

I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.

There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).

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precipitating events

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Trying to stay present. Soak in all of the glorious sensations of new love. Let go of my instinct to recoil when a man sings my praises. Silence the voices in my head ringing the warning bells of, that’s what they all say.

Somewhere deep down I’m confused as to why the beginnings are filled with eloquent soliloquies about how I’m an angel and so much of everything that they’ve ever wanted. The ends come riddled with stone cold projections about things that I have never been. We both know the truth, and it’s not their version of the story most of the time. But, I let go these days. Remember.

Today, the place that I live now.

Today, I dig claws into my reservoir of optimism, syphoned and over tapped some time ago. Just a woman naked under the full moon of lust. Dancing for heavy rains of abundant care. Prayers that this time, he really means it.

Tempering my heart with intentional inner dialogue: even if it doesn’t work out, I will be a better person for loving.

Just here, now, balanced on the edge of fear, attempting to translate this visceral feeling that somewhere between our mutual words of adulation is an incredibly viable promise of lasting love, and still, me, searching for words.

Living in incredible awe of you, of me, and the phenomenon of falling in love. Kissing good night my attempts to rationalize magic. I am so sorry for doing that to you.

Humming bird

Love, soulfood, therapy

When I showed my ex-ex boyfriend my archetypal piece, where through tears I explained the parts of my destiny that I could not yet understand to a room full of people, he sat there silently. It was a turning point, I would tell my therapist. He didn’t even care enough to say anything at all.

When I showed my ex-boyfriend my archetypal piece, I was explaining that it was a turning point last spring. The image that clarified that I want to be married, I want more kids. My vision of a very wholesome commitment to a joyous man. Someone really sweet. My professor was really hung up on it having this big all seeing eye.

I said I think it’s you. He said, it can’t be me, I don’t have blue eyes.

Turns out it couldn’t be you, you’re not sweet. You are not the promise of eternal love. And both of your eyes are sewn shut.

You know who has blue eyes.

Successfully took another bullet in the name of love

Love, soulfood

Picked up the box you sent me today.

The man at the UPS store hit on me,

“When I saw the name I was expecting a big burley German woman, but look at you.”

“Hum”. My signature response to the strange things men feel propelled to say.

He said, “This didn’t come very far, but they sure packed it good”.

“Yeah, I’m not even sure how there was this much stuff”.

 

I had forgotten that I gave you a key to my car,

a key to my house,

a key to my soul.

takes up a lot of space I guess.

The stages of a break up

domestication, Love, silly goose, soulfood

1- this prob isn’t going to last, tread lightly. bookend every criticism with 2 compliments.

2- yup, getting back together, at least for makeup sex, picking out the wedding dress right now.

3- that mother fucking asshole. probs going to burn his house down. unless he apologizes at some point in the next 72 hours, I don’t want to lose all of those hours of pinteresting our future baby’s nursery.

4- ahhhh good. he really sees his mistakes and has shown satisfactory remorse. yay I won’t die alone.

5- ohhh for fucks sake. dude literally can’t even fake being nice for 3 days.

(repeat steps 1-5, 3 to 7 times until you’re worn down to cinders of your former self. you’ll know it’s time for step 6 when you look at his pictures and expletives accidentally jut out)

6- you’re dead to me. outta lives. unplugged the gaming console and took a long walk to the woods to bury the last remaining drops of hope, empathy, and love that I had for you.

7- sit shiva for 5 days.

8- do you, but for real this time.

Still

domestication, soulfood, therapy

31 years ago I was just a heart beat in my mama’s belly.

30 years ago I was just a sweet baby in my mama’s arms.

12 years ago I was just a girl leaving her mama’s house.

10 years ago I was just a mama with a heart beat in her belly.

5 years ago I was just a woman leaving her the place where she’d grown.

1 year ago I was just a girl watching her mama marry a man who had long been no good.

5 days ago I was just a woman witnessing the heart break of self sacrifice in her mama’s voice.

Today, I’m just a heart beat, holding fast to the tension of in between. Honoring time and decisions that shouldn’t be rushed. Biting my urge to rescue, rally, defend.

Just a heart beat humbled by the ticking hands of what we do, and who we do it to. Ourselves.

Under it all, a girl who surrendered to love. Looked away from the fact that relationship requires two sets of open hands ready to receive and two sets of open hands ready to give.

Now, coiled, heaving, betrayed by no one but herself. One thousand reasons why. And none of them matter when your face is pressed hard against the cold damp ground, bottom, home, beginning, nothing and absolutely everything.

You’ll get up you always do. But I think you should stay there a while. Take inventory of your pieces and just sit with them. Still.

education

Love, soulfood

The Things You Taught Me:

To love bar soap.
How to accept rejection gracefully.
What it is like to be betrayed by your own boundaries.

How to argue my point.
To laugh early and often
That sometimes there is no explaining myself, stop trying.

To witness my own mastery in fabricating the depth of love that I wanted so badly.
The joy of having a man to travel with.
The diagnosis for the pain in my belly,
feels like a swallowed scream,
often doubling me over in pain.
Her name is grief.

The art of cooking with butter.
What it feels like to dance with selflessness.
To love jazz music.

How it feels to be the desperate one.

When to let go of other people’s judgment.
To recognize that regret often coats the soles of my feet,
forcing cantilever, deliberate steps.
How to be profoundly diplomatic in all points of contention.

The sting of indifference.
How to give my self emotional sutures,
forcing the sides of my flesh back together,
healing over the void that I called destiny, mutual, boundless, love.

How to wear a scar.

It was all so beautiful

Love, pretty things, soulfood, therapy

I met this boy with a big nose, a skateboard and a heart of gold. He asked me to be his girlfriend on a swing set. We would walk to the same pizza shop every afternoon that summer and then his mother would drive us in her old Saab to the movie theater. We were those kids in the back row groping each other’s bodies with the immediacy of learning sexual touch for the first time. It felt like Christmas morning and singing the hook from your favorite song too loudly at a stoplight. Every. Single. Time.

This boy and I. We didn’t know better. The only pertinent information was that we were both mild-mannered and utterly infatuated with each other. He would come to be my first great love. The one who would ruin it for every man to come.

What do you mean, men don’t buy you gifts just because it’s Tuesday? What do you mean, men don’t write whole albums of love songs for you yearly? What do you mean you don’t want to lie in bed with me all day exploring every bend and crevice in my body? What do you mean not every disagreement can be worked out be me batting my eyes and leaning in for a kiss? What do you mean?

Our love was sweet as pie and twice as nice. I lived in unadulterated young love bliss with that boy grown man, myself slowly losing my grip on girlhood, for five years.

I hope everyone knows at least once how it feels to be adored. What it means to wake up in the morning a fleshy temple for someone else’s devotion. The space between us, six inches, or six states, oozed with the divine nectar of love. Innocence. Joy.

What do you fucking mean it’s not going to be like that?

The past eleven years have felt like one long fall from that cliff. Hitting every boulder on my way down. Bruised, bloody, and gashed. You should never hike in sandals. Bring plenty of water. Tell your friends where you’re headed. It’s dangerous out there. It requires lots of perseverance. A steadfastness in exactly who you really are or you will be shaken. To your core.
Shaken.

In a crumpled pile at the base of that mountain again. I remember this place well. The rocks that at first looked ominous now glisten in the light. The little specks of mica call me to pull them in for a closer look. The dried pine needles can be gathered in around you, they make a descent enough bed.

Even that patch of cactus can be touched if you’re careful. There it is in all of its splendor, long lost hope for a heavy spring rain instead content with sipping from the morning dew.

 

Born of Fire

create, Love, save the whales, therapy

There’s this picture that my boyfriend took with his arm splayed out as far as he could stretch to fit our whole family in the frame. That photo, four wide smiles all piled on top of each other, that’s my life. Do you know that Jos Stone song, Spoiled? It’s that kind of love. And now he’s sick. I want just one person to tell me how I’m supposed to feel okay about that. In my heart of hearts I’m just so sad.

The Galapagos Islands are an active volcano hot bed. The islands move at rapid speeds, they survive for millions of years and then slowly prepare to die. As their land turns barren most of the native species leave to live on the other islands. But the problem is that some of them have evolved on that island. The Waved Albatross and Sea Lions still travel to the desolate seaside cliffs of Espanola’s  south side. The Waved Albatross, is a huge bird with an eight foot wingspan. They fly for six months to reach the island once a year. The way back to those cliffs is ancestral and instinctual.

These birds can live for up to fifty years and they pair for life. They will wait on the shore for days until their partner to arrive from another part of the world. Once a year the world’s entire population of Waved Albatross are on this island at once. A blanket of white dots stretched across the rocky terrain. When the mates find each other they start executing a dance of sorts where they clack their beaks together in a way that reminds me of the gentleness that takes over when playing swords with a kid, gentle but playful. They take turns incubating their egg, each one sitting for two weeks at a time. They raise the baby and then fly their separate ways. Until they meet again the following spring.

That’s what this love feels like. Like coming home. An old familiar home that I can feel in my bones. This is simply not our first spring together.

I would fly for six months without stopping to see you again.