relaxing into it

Today I got word I needed to find a new place to live by tomorrow. I had known it was coming but didn’t know how quickly I’d need to move.

I kept steering, hard, into the magic. Instead of making a desperate housing ad, I wrote a celebration of ten things I was loving in that moment. Instead of going to see a commune (when I thot of it I felt soo tired), I went and played by the river with Ruby and got clearer and clearer. I took a long luscious shower and decided to go use Internet at a local community center to apply for a job I’ve been excited about.

At the center, a woman walked in who I’ve met before. I visited her home yesterday to consider a wwoof position, (which as of last night, they thot wasn’t a good fit, which really surprised me because I felt so home there). In the course of our talking, she decided, smiling, to invite me into her home.

As my new host continued talking, I looked down and there was a little honey-colored ant with wings, doing a funny dance on my knee. Like it was cleaning itself. It was really into it. Then, something shot off. Another and another, the ant’s wings landed on my knee. Then it walked off, it’s message complete.

This season has been all about flying, traveling, wings and willingness. But now, the wings have been shed. I’m so excited to see what this next season of my unique life will hold. I’m guessing dirt, and roots, and this luscious land.13346809_10208527719488903_1829928393739923637_n

Turning into fascination

It’s been recently brought to my attention that not everybody is familiar with fascination. Like, familiar in the way that they know what to do with it. How to dance with it.

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Do you know how to dance with fascination? Do I? I think I do. I think this gesture right here, of letting the words that are on repeat in my head out in a stream, making room for new and newer words, is a key gesture that I use to dance with my enchantment. I do indeed get hung-up with the words I hear on repeat until I let them out, starting the flow.

 

The gesture of how to engage with fascination is often a simple one. Perhaps, it could be considered mindless, in the way that it doesn’t require much thot. It makes more room for the fascination to take over. Like, tracing a gorgeous shadow on the paper. Getting to revel in the edge, and the places where it blurs and you kind of have to make it up. But, it’s not mindless in the sense of dumb or trivial or disengaged. No. It’s a heightened engagement. It’s flow. The part of the brain turns off that is thinking about later and hunger and pee and that conversation where I maybe didn’t say the most polite thing. That all shuts off, or at least, goes very dim. That kind of mindless. Which makes room for the higher mind. The mind that feels connected to the shadow’s edge, to the stream of inspiration, to the grace, the deepening urges. It’s when we become a channel. Whoosh!

I’ve been lucky enough, and made my own luck enough, to have a deep relationship with fascination. I’ve made a whole lot of room in my life to follow those urges, and I’m working, daily, on making even more room. Because letting that channel flow, opening that creative portal, so to speak, allows for inspiration about all other areas of my life to flow in. And I mean creative portal in a broad sense. Not like, fascination must equal art, or that art must equal paper and paint and a smock. Not at all. Creative in the sense that when we turn towards our fascination, when we reach out our hands and our eyes and become willing to it, all the energy we bring towards situations as Creators comes to play, too. I start to see how I’m creating the situation anew with my interest, my willingness, my succumbing to the lure.

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Creating the situation, like, being so curious about the way my body swings and bounces as I run that I find a way to run with my body’s jiggles that makes it feel even easier, lighter, more fun. Turning toward the sensation in my legs as I bike, with my breath, where I let the burning flow and churn and pulse and inspire. Enchanted by the way the rain drips down the window, catching other drips and making streams, and I follow it with my eyes and become the streams. Fascination, like we have all seen in small children, like my sweet one-year old putting the cherry tomato in a bottle cap, pouring it out, putting it back in, again and again and again.

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In talking about my own fascinations, and those of wee children, it’s utterly important to say that we don’t have to be fascinated by the thing someone else is fascinated by. I’m often not engaged in my baby’s obsession with beads or the little knob on the floor. And likewise, I don’t have to find crochet appealing just because my friend does. What captures our unique fancies and the ways we feel inspired to engage with it are so exquisitely all about US, the flavor that only we can bring to the world. The reason we’re fucking here.

For me, that meant sewing pieces of trash together for a long-ass time. I was so into it. And giving myself wholeheartedly to that phase has led me to where I am now, which I’m so deep in, I don’t think it’s even ready for words, except for these words right here, my love note to you, to the you that is deeply engaged in your own fascination.

 

{Coming soon: Key Gestures in the Dance of Fascination // An Info-Doodle}

A prompt: What is something you’ve found interesting, engaging, appealing, or fascinating today? What is one way that you could engage with it?

 

Hay Play Jay!

I live in a house where each day, someone is in charge of tending the house’s joy, and they document the day in this book:

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We call this person the Play Jay, and we each sign up to be Play Jay about once a week. It’s the coolest system for group living I’ve ever heard of, let alone directly lived.

Here’s a short list of what the Play Jay is actually supposed to do:

  • Greet visitors, and help them find a way to plug in to the flow of the house
  • Initiate 10-minute cleaning parties by blasting music and wooing everyone to join (of course other peeps can initiate these too, as needed)
  • Make sure a group meal happens (not necessarily being the only chef or the chef at all, but checking in with people and coordinating)
  • Harmonize the kiddos, maybe take them on an adventure or have some kinda activity for them, or see who might be up for something like that

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That’s pretty much the extent of the shared roles of the Play Jay. And from there, each person gets to make it their own. The Play Jay question is: how do I want to tend the house’s joy? It’s an invitation to go pretty deep, because it’s a full day, just one day a week. Go hard. Make it count. Have a really good time.

Some Play Jays wake up early for Joy o’Clock. They tend the fire, and set out some conscious play prompts, inviting people to make gratitude lists and dream things forward. Some make breakfast. Some make dinner.

Some Play Jays clean the fridge. Some reorganize the basement. Some invite people out for walks. Some put up prompts on a big piece of paper on the wall. Some take the boys out to McDonald’s playland or the beach. Most start epic dance parties.

The day before Christmas Eve’s Play Jay went shopping for gifts and Christmas foods, and orchestrated a super fun wrapping party in the downstairs art space, while the boys played in their cardboard ship and eventually started unwrapping and taking the candy out of everything.

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We’re refining the system. We just invented an even shorter cleaning party called Blitz, where you go hard for a one-minute group tidy. Someone just yells “BLITZ” and it’s on. One person who works five days a week decided she’d rather share her Play Jay day with someone else, so she could have more time for herself. Things like that are making it feel easier and more fun.

I’m so glad to be living in a community where we prioritize joy. Where the main system (the only system?) is about supporting joy, knowing that cleaning and kiddo care and adventuring and relationships and money and everything else falls into place when dance music is on and we all get to feel like we’re showing up fully in a continuous way.

 

Returned to earth

Today my mama’s body rejoined the earth body. She was being held aloft, isolated somewhat, contained…her ashes resting in a plastic bag sealed with a golden dog-tag label inside a black plastic box, inside my dad’s garage.

Her death was sudden. A year and a half ago, she made the decision to end her life. She struggled with depression since I was about eight years old. Her depression stemmed from trauma earlier in her own life that she uncovered by going to couple’s therapy with my dad. She was hospitalized many times as her desire to die wrestled with wanting to be present for her children, wanting to be better for us.

When she finally made the decision that took her spirit out of her form, we were all grown. I was four months pregnant. A new vessel for spirit being formed. My younger brother, Max, about to graduate from college. My two older brothers, Nick and Josh, being successful in their own powerful, beautiful, business and party animal ways. Today, a couple of us reflected as we sprinkled her ashes onto a cloth, before submerging the cloth in the ocean, that she seemed to hold on much longer, until we were all strong enough to be on our own. What a beautiful way to re-frame it.

I’d honestly been thinking that maybe she had to die because she couldn’t bear to witness the way I was being pregnant: a traveling gypsy without much of a plan besides Community. I was doing a fundraising campaign online to buy a car to get to this vague Community. I thought maybe she couldn’t handle my version of parenthood…she wanted me to have something more akin to her own story, a husband who could buy us a house in the suburbs. To afford nannies and china cabinets and custom-upholstered armchairs. $ecurity. And I was swimming in magick, knowing that’s where my power comes from, and I was just starting to flirt with the idea of money being an alright thing to allow in, an acceptable form of energy to play with. I didn’t think she got it.

But yeah, maybe it was more that she actually saw how ready I was. How capable I was of doing it without her.

As soon as she passed, I got the phone call. It happened pretty soon after the car purchase and venturing out on a play tour of the country with 10 wild and beautiful friends. We were actually at our first landing spot, a gorgeous mountain-top community formed by a man we met in a Walmart parking lot. He took a liking to our done-up robin’s egg blue RV. After I heard my dad say on the phone “Mom’s dead”, I don’t quite remember how we got off the phone, but the sobbing overtook me. The tribe walked me to a rock where I’d meditated the day before, an already-friendly place, and left me in a nest of blankets to wail.

The wailing subsided, and the question poured through me, “WHY! Mama, why? I’m pregnant!!!” And I heard an answer. A clear answer. She said “Honey, this way I don’t have to pass along my stories of how hard motherhood is, how hard birth is, and I can be pure love. I can always be with you and supporting you now.”

I had somewhat warped this answer in my memory over the past year and a half to say that she couldn’t approve of the way I was mothering while she was alive. In fact, I originally wrote something closer to that, but then I remembered that’s not what she really said…what she really said was that bit about not wanting to pass along her stories. So, it’s more like, she knew I was capable, she just didn’t know how to support me without telling me her own stories that were perhaps clouded by her depression. Oh mama, you free bird, you wild fierce lover, you excellent biter of tongues, not passing along your clouds. I want to hold your portrait to me, to keep the small vial of ashes I have left. I want to feel your chest against my face, your warm, broad, often rosy, freckled chest. Mmmm. I do feel it in my memory.

And yet, today is the day we returned you to earth body. I hadn’t even thought it was that important. I mostly organized the ceremony because Max was so bothered by the idea of you being “captive” in Dad’s garage. Anyway, as we all put our hands into the pile of your ashes on the cloth, on top of the herbs from yesterday’s Thanksgiving table, on top of the wedge of pomegranate I bit out, on top of your grandmother’s lace-edged cloth, on top of the sand, I felt your energy sinking into the earth. Since our conversation on the mountaintop, I felt that you had rejoined all-encompassing Spirit. It hadn’t occurred to me that there is that balance of body to earth, as well. But, there you went. I felt it through my hand, and then I felt the amazing instantaneous disappearance as I released a handful of your vessel into the wind. And then, carrying your ashes, lighter than baby Ruby, towards the ocean with Max. Helping him shake out the cloths into the water, as he shook with tears and the cold. Scrubbing the ashes out, like I’ve scrubbed so many cloths before, one side rubbing against the other. The clouds of you floating on the surface of the water, until the movement brought your vessel under, within. As we walked back towards the crevice in the cliff where we started the ceremony, I felt you underfoot in each step. I feel you now in the Earth Body, the way I’ve felt you for a year and a half in the Spirit Realm.

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Unraveling the cocoon

I feel myself on the edge of something huge. A frontier. I feel the spaciousness, the room to expand. I feel myself still nestled in my blanket-cocoon, not quite ready to step all the way out. Simply looking, and feeling full, to the point of overwhelm, by the looking. The same as when I was pregnant, and I could eat a meal first by looking at it, feeling sated for many good minutes before the urge to dive within overtook me.

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I love my pace. I love my cocoon and how it has taught me innumerable things, as the rain drops on the window blend into rivery tendrils. I am savoring these last moments in the blankets, before stepping into the full glory and power of skin against air and sun and rain, legs bared and stretched and standing, supporting, dancing…arms reaching, lifting, twirling…hands grabbing, fingering, kneading…

Oh I love savoring the last bits of what is. The foamy, densely sweet puddle at the bottom of the mug. The lover laying on my chest as we breathe together. Packing up. Licking the plate. Eyes shining so alive and appreciative in the goodbye. Recognizing Ruby won’t be nursing forevermore, and scooping her up, squeezing her tight, savoring the smell of her sweaty head and the way she pinches and twists the nipple she’s not latched onto.

Ruby has walked a couple of times on her own now. We’ve slept apart a couple of times, too. We both have these teeth coming in. We are both starting to climb. I’m so bottomlessly fascinated by the ways we mirror each other’s learning and growth.

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To know a season is shifting, so much more than a tidal swoosh. To see it ahead of time, the leaves aching into yellow, the urge to leave, certain clothes no longer appealing, ideas blooming so vast the vague outline leaves me trembling in awe. A new spirit guide emerges.

And then, the miraculous shift occurs. All of a sudden, without any announcement, she is walking, not holding onto anything but her joy tantalizing her forward. I don’t know what my miraculous shift will look like. There are these clues, these dreams, these desires and callings and glimmerings and wishings. Wings unfurling. My joy dangling like a carrot.

I am leaving my spring and summer home at the end of this month. Plane tickets have been bought. The other side of the country’s teeth gleam golden. A horseshoe toss into a beckoning smile.

Three sisters

Listen. Listen to the soft voice in the lavender cloud. Listen to the stark motivation behind the asking. Listen to the heartbeat ripping through and between the bodies spooning. Listen to the ache and the pull and the refreshing window of in-between burgeoning towards. Listen to me. My heart is wide open and dancing in the breeze. Listen to me. My heart is an ocean made of a zillion fish turning into salt. Listen to me. My heart is tender tenterhooks tap-dancing along the shore. The dock is made of many teeth laughing. The paddle boat asks for surprise, and the dog swimming along rips open the water of the wake.

I am awake. My eyes softly reflect the light of the screen and the sunset, mixing like a smoothie of jumbo power. Each blending is a fresh moment. The light keeps changing, in subtle ways that scratch my bug-bitten back.DSC_0245

However many there are of you, angels and elves, I am one hundred. I am one hundred motions and one hundred slapjacks and three hundred towels dripping on the shower door.

If we are backwards, looking across the earth into false pajama idols, then the creeping whispers of internet passwords slipping into the crevice shall revive me. connect me to what is real. Really my feet rest on shiny hardwood floor; one foot really, one foot on the other. The colors of the room dim and blend into dark behind the screen and the lessening light thru the window. I am thru the window, my energy soars in an arc around me. I welcome you through the window, my husband. My tender-footed husband. My slapjack backpack rutabaga husband. here we are with flannel and beards, friends and forehead kisses and a baby with the brightest eyes.

Here we are with frankenfurter fallopian tubes, and gargantuan gumballs, and jars of water jumping into splashing hands and tumbly tummies.

I forgot to call you, as I slept in the cabin with my family of faeries. I forgot to call you, and it all worked out. You picked up the e-mail after with grace and flex, like a tangerine peel dangling from a line.

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I’ve forgotten to call before. I’ve forgotten to brush my hair, to braid my hair, to floss between my teeth. I’ve forgotten to touch myself in the quiet times when I ache for another. I just lay there and ache and imagine.

Someday soon the ache will be met. The two aches will meet and relax into lips spreading into smiles. I am so excited to relax into the smile spread. I am so momentous about trusting that I can wait. Here is the momentum: bum bum. bum bum.

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Tomorrow I go to class. A development circle. A seance semblance of witches holding hands. Except we don’t hold hands, and we sit in folding chairs, and I think about everyone’s hair. Last week I started to cry as I sensed the woman’s sadness.

I hear Ruby crying and I don’t go to her. A constant exercise in trust. An ever-interesting observation of the reason. I can barely see the water in the jar on the chair. I hear a mosquito. I want to write a story on the stripes of my shirt, but this is easier. More downstream.

I want to feel wise and huge and magnificent. I want people to trust me and reach for me and I reach for them and we arc like the sculptures I imagine us building in the field.

I love that I am friends with him. I love that his love feels like honey rain recycling sweat. I love how he is the perfect, perfect, perfect papa. And I love that he is and is not perfect, and how we grow together like beans and corn and squash. Perhaps we were three sisters at some point.

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Bewholed

I’ve gotten so used to gratitude lists and re-framing and only wanting to share the juiciest, best feeling nuggets. And yet, things are conspiring to remind me to sit with the feelings. To honor the harder feelings. And so here I am, with this opportunity to share.

The hard…

I was really inexplicably sad and frustrated for a while. Or perhaps explicably. The explication having something to do with wanting so much to create, and not quite knowing the release-form, the outlet. But I’m not sure if that was all of it, because the feelings just kept bursting.

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The wondrous…

Letting my feelings be, and the emergence out of them and into new feelings being so exquisite. Truly the death of a caterpillar, the birth of a butterfly. Knowing midst the terribly sad thots how really melodramatic I was being, and poetic, and perfect. Letting it all be. And speaking about it to a friend, who made me feel divine.

Learning with L. a little thing that really improves our communication and understanding about who is going to be with our darling baby when. Wow the little things.

Sitting on the back porch with Emily, seeing how this is heaven on earth, the horses meandering in the pasture, the gorgeous pond-lake, the super green grass freckled with dandelions, the bright blue sky, the invitation to share and deeply listen.

Recognizing that in my not-making of art, I am preserving what is. So, that kind of makes what is a form of my art. My leaving that tree alone, not cutting it down or obstructing the view, somehow makes the tree itself a part of my art. How fascinating.

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A phone call with my love, Sara, and realizing that when she comes to be with me in a few months, we’ll be living together, sharing more of each other than ever before. I can already taste the beauty of it, the flavors of what we’ll create and feel together. And I feel that it’s okay and right for there to be this spaciousness before then.

Sara knew what I meant with this “allowing what is to be is the art”ness. She called it Bewholeding. The wholeness of all that is and I am. It feels so right and ripe and sugary to think of this as the first layer of my art in this farm. The what is-ness. Seeing it and appreciating it. And nurturing it…how lovely it is to water the plants and pull out what doesn’t belong in the vegetable beds.

And perhaps, there is a golden layer beyond the bewholeding, where I might catch glimpses of what is to come, and I can then create that, following the thread. I think that might be what is next. I have an urge to make a stick-model of a structure that Jess and I have been dreaming of. I have a glimmer of it in my imagination, beckoning me.

My new computer arriving, and feeling so happy gardening that I was like, “Oh I’ll wait to open it.” And then opening it just in time for an internet play date with my miraculous friend, where we arranged for there to be a play camp at the farm I’m living on…bringing her to me less than a month from now. Zing! Zing zing zing zing zing!

Coming to a beautiful clarity with my friend about how the sessions we do together will now involve an agreed-upon payment, and it being the right amount with bonus art, the sweet spot. So grateful for the sweet spot.

This art studio. Being a beautiful haven where I can step away from the glorious bustle of the main house and get my groove on, with the gentle tapping of the curtain and the creak of the door and the hiccuping songs of the high-pitched birds, the far-away swoon of the loon: the perfect accompaniment to my lyrical thots.

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How my new computer has already learned my spelling of thots.

*~*~*~*~*

My superpowers…

Being with the hard feelings.

Bewholeding.

*~*~*~*~*

I wish for…

Really reliable trust in my finances. Letting the how be a mystery.

Clarity around what I’m wanting with my Love Tending practice. Feeling ready for a couple more love tendees, trusting that we’ll find the sweet spot as simply as happening to pick a dandelion with my barefoot toes as I walk through the grass.

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I’m borrowing this format from Havi Brooks’s weekly Friday blog, where she has similar categories to help her frame her week.