Monday, December 24, 2018

Next Time


We're almost passed this horrible year, aren't we?
 After writing some this morning I felt more light; 
I felt lifted again, felt you softly lifting me again.
 I felt God and I felt lifted. 
That is something, all things considered.

Thank you darling boy,
You are such a good son.

When we walked in the woods together just now, along the river, I jabbered on about all the things you used to do....the things we used to do together, and you walked along with me there, you most certainly did.

My weak and unfocused mind can barely keep a thought, but nonetheless your presence was strong and so warming. I smiled. I told you about my problems with Irene, my sadness and deep disappointment. I told you that Chris and Kenzie love you so much in their own throbbing painful ways; and all the other stuff I am mad about or hurt about or confused about. I told all and you listened and I felt your head nod in agreement and fealty. You are on my side as I have always been on yours. It is our special secret, this unity of purpose and blind loyalty to one another. You know my heart's odd ebbing and flowing, and you accept my imperfect soul.

I also said you and I were never going to lose each other and as I whispered it, I felt the certainty that transforms a wish into reality. I felt the melted wax seal of it on our love letter to each other. I said to you, "You are the strongest and most loyal person I have ever known, and once I love, I never let go." That combination will keep us tight through many incarnations, I believe.  Who knows what is next for us?

We might be strangers that meet one day in another life and suddenly know we've met before and form a smashing friendship. We might be born together off an island near Africa, a part of some crazy tribe that occasionally spears annoying Christians. We might be a in a pod of massive whales, plumbing the indigo waters where humans cannot go. I can hear the whale song as we would speak it. It is that real, that possible.

We may possibly be two small and exquisitely painted spiders on tiny dew-drenched webs, or two lacewings buzzing about in the night together around random porch lights to the rhythm of cicadas, then sleeping away the daylight in the cracks of an ancient oak.

We might be brother and sister, maybe twins, or Mother and son again. We might be 2 soldiers sharing nasty jokes and smoking weed, or we might be astronauts. We could be cliff swallows with fantastic mud mansions living in the constant reflection of Lake Amistad.

Wherever we end up next, I think we will be closer, closer than ever, for the pains and tears that have marked this particular life.

I know this, Ian. Not too many souls figure out how to keep hands clasped on different plains, not many still can speak so clearly or hear so well as you and I. This is at least something, right?

If I ever shake this shroud away, perhaps there are angles to our love yet to be seen.



Thursday, December 20, 2018

 Sorrow's Companion


Sorrow is a dance, they all say;
A back-and-forth sway
A circling of better and worse and better again.
And in the end we must find our own way,
And in the end maybe there is Wisdom to find.....
Gathering it up like acorns in the dark woods of sorrow. 
No one can help.
It is a solitary business.

But is grief my ally? Such an odd thought to imagine that my only steady partner through this year has been grief. Of course I have my family, friends...I have God....He is always with me, but as I have lamented so many times, God does not assume the form of the tangible. I must love and accept Him in abstraction. 

That's a part of the deal with God. 
You have to use your own imagination and and faith
 And senses.
His clear and elusive vapors....
sniff them and dig them out...
More truffles than acorns
 Is our Creator's elusive love.

But grief, now GRIEF is a solid companion I can feel with certitude. Evident, persistent, real. She is the wailing Mother, confused child, the terrified soldier looking down at the bloody place where his leg used to be...No imagination or faith is required, just desperate sorrow.

For me, grief arrived the day you left me, Ian. As I sat numb and transfixed on the thought of you gone, she slipped her shivering hand into mine and we began our walk. She is here with me every second of every day of this walk and she never tries to lie to me or cheer me up, whether I am out in the world of the living or silent and still in my soft bed.

She is truthful and she leans in.

I find that after a year of this shit show, her embrace is still the most authentic and honest moment of every day. I think she is my friend now. Without her terrible and tender presence I cannot seem to move. Henry Thoreau said, "To regret deeply is to live afresh." The deeper my sorrow and regret, the stronger I feel her arms tethered around me in agreement.

I do this funny thing in at night sometimes. On the cusp of sleep in the soft bed (on your mattress pad) I often wrap my arms around myself very tightly. Too tight. It's not even comfortable and it makes my shoulders ache. I give substance to my broken heart. It is how the feelings become flesh. Then I gradually relax of course, my strength wanes and I finally fall body in agreement with my sorrow. She stays beside me even here, just on the edge of my sleep and waits like a small ember, ready for me to warm against in the morning. Then we start it all over again with the rising of the sun.

Then there is this surprising thing that happens sometimes. She gives me a blessing in all this I think. She is a physical reminder that (for now) this sorrow is stronger than me and I cannot escape it, so I might as well relax against her and let go. Like skydiving, the jump is terrifying. The long fall is not a natural thing for humans because we are fixed on fear of hitting the ground.

With my hand in hers, I forget the fear and can drift on the warm air a little while without gravity. It is nice. Then unexpectedly, relaxed and ready, she places both our hands on something pouring in from the Other side, from you my baby,  or from God. She draws my eyes or ears toward the miracle; a butterfly, a cloud formation, the wind chimes toning, or a blanket of fog. She makes me look and smell and hear it.....linger in it for a moment drinking it in. 

Together we know the Holiness of it.

Then we move on to the next wave of pain.

And I miss you
And I miss you
And I miss you....

And She nods and knows.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December 2nd Dream


      I woke up at 6am with Kim here, then went back to sleep and dreamed I am in San Angelo, College Hills to be precise, within view of Ram Stadium. In a car with several people I know, we are going to see a couple that Dorothy Duncan knows.
      I am not sure if she is with us but I feel this is a mission or expedition that she sent me on.
     The house is an old 1950's style, with a sliding side door and a low concrete entrance on the side. Old fashioned brick I think. We drive right up to the entrance.
     Although the flowers aren't visible, it is evident that the couple have a butterfly-friendly habitat, because as I get out of the car, I am immediately surrounded by hundreds of butterflies.

 All sizes, colors, and shapes....tiny and huge....translucent ones of pale green, tiny metallic, drab grey, light and dark. They are so thick that I feel them touching my body, my cheeks, my eyes. So thick I can feel their wings move the air and hear the fluttering. Exotic, from all over the world...delicate, intricate and beautiful. I am careful to not let them fly into my mouth or step on them. They surround me on all sides. Butterflies and moths blanket me and I am astonished and amazed. I feel them touch me, light on me and the breeze of their wings is light and so clear. I can hear fluttering in both my ears.

      It was a transcendent moment and even in my sleep I think I knew it was a moment you gave me, Ian. I am so careful not to breath one into my mouth.....

     I go into the house and begin to talk to the couple. They are artists, researchers, or something. There are drafting tables with lights, art supplies and stools around as the man carefully scrapes the magnificent and luminous flakes of color from the wings of a giant butterfly. It is as big as a dinner plate and multicolored.  At first I am worried about the insect, but the man explains that after harvesting the color, the wings can regenerate. He carefully puts the butterfly back into a compartment so it can heal. The pigment will be used to make paint, magnificent paint.....
     We talk for a while about the people we all knew in San Angelo and I think we talk about Dorothy. I am aware that I have had two lives in San Angelo....the one from my college years and the one I have now with Kenzie and Hudson. I tell the people Dorothy's story about Allen Savory and his method of preserving the land through the innovations he observed in Africa when he watched animals migrating across the savanna. The Savory Method, which has always amazed me, even all those years ago when she told me 
about him.....  and I wake up happy............. 
Image result for allan savory method of grazing

Love, Momma