Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…

Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…


September 29

The grass is so green, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

September 28

Last week it was like Where’s Waldo.
Today, it’s like heads in the back row.
Peeking through.
Soon to be center stage.

#red

September 18

the sound of an early rain on the leaves
the first breath of air through the trees
the union of self and sound and air and ease
without doors or windows or shoes or sleeves

#savoring

September 7th

August is the month that brought so much harvest into my life. My beloved, both of our sons, even these Green Mountains, upon which a soft rain falls, this first week of September–my grieving week–spinning a cocoon of communion–inside the arms of all those Goddesses of compassion–Mary, Tara, Kuan Yin–and all those who plumb the depths of what it is to be human.To love.To lose.To love again.

September 6th

best source of white twinkle lights?
indoor/outdoor
solar?

Late August

Maine is Vermont’s wilder cousin. I have one of those too. I adore her riveting company, but soon retreat to the familiarity of home where I romanticize her rough edges & salty sprays.

Mid-August

museums. movie theaters. malls.
blackberries. watermelon. cukes.
ponds. streams. seas. sprinklers. showers. ice. sweat.
left nostril breathing. curled tongue breathing. slow movements.
frozen treats.
rest.
spaciousness.

August morning

Wild berry scat
Path to the woods shower.

Early August

The older I get & the more I travel away from home, the more I realize what it is about this particular spot that suits me so well: S-p-a-c-i-o-u-s-n-e-s-s and the balancing embrace of the woods. The proximity of water. Still. Flowing. Fresh. Frozen. The rainfall. Lush. Moist. The shade. Secluded spaces. The tree to people ratio. The head space. The room to see and smell and feel.The light in the east and the south, the west and the north. Southern exposure, particularly come winter. Quiet. The call of the thrush. The hoot of the owl. The hush of snow.

Mid-July

oh, july! a night like summer.
cool shower under a rising moon.
bare bodies, even ours, fresh like dew.
the stone path, underfoot, still warm,
lit by lamps, fed by the sun.
the house, from the woods, aglow.

Early-July

It took me years to surrender. To allow and even welcome the sweltering heat. To know it as a gift. Fleeting in these mountain spaces so often filled with chill.

July morning

When I see a man
on his knees
in the garden
on a Sunday
morning…

No Virgins

No Virgins

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There were 20 minutes when no one was there.
Not on the beach.
Not in the water.
Not across the pond.

I strip down in an instant
and dive into the September waters
without compassion
and daringly continue out
toward our town
center–
the altar of summer.

I lift myself onto the dock
and lie there
under the sun,
one middle-aged breast
deflating to each side.
No virgin offering
to this lasting day of summer.

And before I hear a car door slam
or the crunch of a stick underfoot,
I slip off the dock
and make my way back through the cool water to the shore.

I wrap myself in a towel,
and stand at the water’s edge
to let the sun kiss my face,
in communion with the stillness
of water
of Everything.

Just then, a head appears,
out of the soft ripples I left behind.
It’s the one we’ve watched grow from a chick on his mother’s back
to being left behind by the mating pair to come of age on his own.

The loon and I regard one another,
and then he dives under the water again,
and I sit down with a book.

Russ and Andi appear
in their beach chairs
behind me
in the grass.

And together
we hold the silence
of the eternal moment…
of this summer day

Until we’re startled by a flock of geese
who lift from the banks
and swoop across our view,
and circle the pond
and rise over the mountains

Heading south.

~


Vacation, 2:30 am

Vacation, 2:30 am

IMG_4489

What about all those times when any kind of bed would have been a welcome relief:

…that night on the park bench in Pamplona
…the bucket seat on the ferry crossing from Ireland
…the overcrowded train car from Milano to Switzerland

But I had slept at least some on each of those nights without the pressure points of this deck-of-cards body; and there had been nights, like this one, with a bed, even at 20, when I couldn’t sleep…

… the Shrimp Diablo
…that night in Nice
…the mornings after cheating

And now the second margarita instead of supper at Happy Hour.

There are children
Without beds
With aching stomachs.

There are the ill and the aged and the terrorized.

Who am I to claim deprivation?

What of nursing mothers, teething toddlers, and the dying–and those tending them.

I should have had some dinner.
I should have skipped the indulgence of a second cocktail.

Should I have stayed home?
Never left the comfort of my bed?

Instead of writing now, at 2:30 am, with a view of the lighthouse, on a island across Saco Bay?

~

Sometimes I can’t bear the pain that lies ahead
So exquisite is the joy I’ve known.

~

I began writing at 18 to feel less alone.
I began offering my work at 36 so that others might feel less alone.

~

I am lying awake on a tiny strip of land beside the sea.
Who are these people in the passing cars and where are they going at 3:30 am?

~

I’ll close with  a poem for all those who are still awake.

The Sleepless Ones

What if all the people
who could not sleep
at two or three or four
in the morning
left their houses
and went to the parks
what if hundreds, thousands,
millions
went in their solitude
like a stream
and each told their story
what if there were
old women
fearful if they slept
they would die
and young women
unable to conceive
and husbands
having affairs
and children
fearful of failing
and fathers
worried about paying bills
and men
having business troubles
and women unlucky in love
and those that were in physical
pain
and those who were guilty
what if they all left their houses
like a stream
and the moon
illuminated their way and
they came, each one
to tell their stories
would these be the more troubled
of humanity
or would these be
the more passionate of this world
or those who need to create to live
or would these be
the lonely
ones
and I ask you
if they all came to the parks
at night
and told their stories
would the sun on rising
be more radiant and
again I ask you
would they embrace

~ Lawrence Tirnauer

(note: I first heard this poem read by author Dani Shapiro in her workshop, The Stories We Carry.)

The Month of May

The Month of May

The Green Man arrives. May Day. 2016
The Green Man arrives. May Day. 2016

May 29
The world conspired to keep me awake. The warm air. The intoxicating sounds. The sky. Especially the sky! First Mars. Then all those constellations whose shapes & names I never bothered to learn. Then something else. A first for the season! So soon? Maybe it was a plane. A falling star. A UFO. I got up three times. After midnight. To be sure.

Fireflies!

~
My guys strut around in the Rockin Rose towels I bought for spring, Makes my feminist heart sing.

May 27
Here’s to black fly bites & ant infestations.
Without which we’d drown in the intoxication of May.

~

I suppose I was 17 and she was not quite 2. We dove under the sea together and the salt water soaked her long lashes and made the gift of her in my arms under the warm sun almost unbearable.

“You have such pretty eyes, Bon Bon,” I said.

After which, she looked at me, just as earnestly, with the sand kissing the fine hairs of my face, and said,

“You have two eyes too, Kel Kel!”

~

One year ago today. Bernie announced his campaign. On the waterfront. In Burlington, Vermont.

 

May 26
both boys back in the house

~

At 52, I’ve become such a risk taker. In relationship. First with a friend. Then a sister.
Exposing where I’ve been hurt instead of tucking it inside. To fester.

After I share,  I listen and respond to the ways I’ve presented a similar challenge. To them.

I am so brave. And vulnerable.

We all are.

~

May 24

after 10 days away, i love re-integrating back home
under the cover
of rain…

May 22
Another day, another graduate!

Cousins

May 21, 2016
Am I pretty?
52, and I still want
to know. Daddy,
do you think so?

May 20

Medicine enters the next generation…
Nephew Corey (my sister Robin’s oldest and the first of our next gen) JUST graduated from Medical School.
Continuing on the path of his father (ER doc), grandfather (Surgeon) & grandmother (Nurse), great-grandfather (Surgeon), great-great grandfather (Physician) & great-great grandmother (Nurse), and his great-great-great grandfather (Health Officer.)

May 19
The island in May. Empty of commerce. Pulsing in preparation. Landscapers. Dune-shapers. Painters. Stockers. Deliverers. A shoulder season like September, but intemperate & gusty with an unwelcome chill. A desire for baring, not covering. Skin. Aching for swimsuits, not sweatshirts. The anxious cheer of Open for Business. Eager staff training & being trained. Busboys seeking anything upon which to apply clean rags. Everyone practicing on pretend customers, like me, before the real ones arrive, in throngs, in season, with the height of the summer sun…

~
Happy 26th Anniversary of our Marriage, Casey
the “backdrop to women’s oppression for centuries”
(I wouldn’t want to live inside this institution with anyone else.)

 May 18

Though I was born here, and lived here from time to time throughout my life, it is the returning that I most appreciate. And in this, I have been well received, both by the sea, and by those who have welcomed me and my family over a lifetime. First grandparents, then parents and in-laws, aunts & uncles, siblings, cousins, friends, friends of siblings, parents of friends–each providing spare bedrooms, empty apartments, entire homes–so that I might know, and always remember, that I belong.

May 16

The pre-patriarchal goddess, Hera, returned for a ritual bath to the Spring of Kanathus every year to renew her Virginity–the quality of belonging to herself.

~Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

~

In my bag, I have packed, just about 700 pages
My own
Ready for gentle eyes

 May 14

If ever cease I to call Vermont my home, this may be what I’ll miss most…

~

May 13

To her home state. The great state of North Carolina.

“Let us learn from our history and avoid repeating the mistakes of our past… Let us write a different story this time.”

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

May 12

How often have I lived my life in compensation…
for another’s lived or unlived life…
Or my own…
How might I live without it…

Where does the balance of self reside?

 

 May 11
Healers, artists, builders, coaches, counselors, teachers.This rich village in which we raise children.With special gratitude for Beverly Current at the Colonial Pool & Spa, who retires this summer, but not before coaxing a reluctant swimmer into proficiency & delight. True mastery.

May 10

the communing season

~

 Christened the new picnic basket.

Life is good.

~

I don’t read a lot of fiction. Because I feel manipulated and all. But my favorite fiction is once read. Sent by a friend. Who just had to share. Post office and all. Hoping I’d love it too.

May 10
I guess there’s some alchemy to an old white guy reminding us who we are as a country (and who we are not.)

#Bernie

~

30 years ago. The phone rang. It was Casey Deane.
Calling for a job.

~

 what if i didn’t try to change how i was feeling.

what if i felt tired or depressed or heavy or all three and i just let that be. as if there was nothing wrong with me. as if how i am feeling is an invitation. as is. to really know. me. nothing to change. nothing to fix. nothing to flee.

next time, i’ll try this.
today i had chocolate. (lots of it.)

~

~EARTHSHINE: Sunlight reflects off the earth and lights up the moon; most intensely just before & after the New Moon of April & May.

ECOlogical Calendar

 May 9

Mothers Day sightings:
Racoon. Porcupine. (both dead)
Fox with two kits. Crossing road.
Turkey. Crossing highway.
Mouse. Crossing Rte 9.

(honorable mention: Golden Eagle, seated, on Rte 9, the week prior.)

~

Mothers day. Every day.
Feel the love. The sacrifice. THE POWER.
Every country.
Every home.
Every womb.

May 8

Weekend witnessing:

~A middle-aged man & woman, searching for trash along the side of the road, pause to exchange a touch & a kiss. ‪#‎GreenUpDay‬

~A silver-haired man wipes tears from his cheek as the chorus sings, “Every week, I visit my mother. She lives in a place where they can take care of her. She’s not sure that I’m her daughter, but that no longer makes me cry.” ‪#‎BrattleboroWomensChorus‬

~HEROINES with young children at performances throughout time, braving the gauntlet of breakdowns, while the rest of us get to focus so intently that we bristle at each squeak. ‪#‎Motherhood‬

~

Celebrating all the ways we’ve been mothered well, and all the ways we can mother ourselves…

May 7

I can look out the window and see another dreary day or I can see the carpet of white blossoms on the greening earth.
I can look toward my kitchen and see the crumbs and disarray, or I can sense into the years of feeding a family and celebrating home.
I can look into the past and remember a mother who abandoned her children or I can see a woman who looked her demons in the eye and invited to them to the table where she nourished my soul.

May 6

Even the cd shuffler knows that stealing the sun after a few hours flirtation is crueler than another day without it.

~

Daffodils on a string of cold, dreary days; like sunny people at funerals.
~
You know that moment just before you transition into deep sleep? It’s there that He appears. Waking me. With a startle. Each night since Cruz dropped out. (Thank the Lord.) But now there’s no more pretending. He’s their guy. #Trump

~

Yesterday I finally tracked down a beloved. I can’t believe how hard she’s been to find. Made simpler by one fact: the smile that greeted me every morning in 7th, 8th & 9th grade was the same one she beamed at 51.

From her obituary.

~

That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.

Pope Francis – May 2016

May 3

After a 6 month hiatus, I’m struck by a tidal wave of sensation. Fear. Constriction. Resistance. A
nd something even more immobilizing:
Shame.
Who do I think I am?!
The stakes are this high.
9 years of experience washed away.
Forced back to the beginning.
The initiation.
Ishvara Pranidhana.
Let my successes and my failures be an offering.
#‎TeacherAppreciationDay‬‪#‎Unmasked‬

May 1st

I asked Father Hodges–the one who wore a hair shirt and had us sing Irish drinking tunes in our senior theology class at Wildwood Catholic High–if I might be excused from getting on my knees and saying the rosary.

“I’m not Catholic,” I said.

The next day he volunteered me to crown Mary in the May pageant.

#‎PatriarchalGoddessInitiation‬