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Reflection-Time! At the Waxing-Tide of Final Harvest

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Well it’s times like these I feel so small and wild…

I

Canyon chill is a smile that comes in the place where there’s only room for secrets and strength, which is hope, just under the skin.  I do not like cold but October Canyon chill isn’t the cold of dreary end it is the invigorating reminder that end is Begin! in disguise.
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I am a spring equinox baby so I do best on the quarter moon.  Wednesday was a day of life.  Thursday I went to Sleepy’s to swim.  Where I always find my joy again, sea-bliss shine.IMG_4241 There is sage  to be bundled and mugwort crushed for dream bags and tea.  I picked it from the dear canyon here under the last moon of Summer.  What a harvest.  On Wednesday w my other wise womens Sepi and D, I will honor the peak-end of growth tide. Big ol fat ol full moon! Sacred Final Harvest.  This is vision moon-tide, vision cycle of precious inner-outter alignment sight.  Aligning–which is our choice bc with wisdom, comes responsibility.  We choose to take pause, tend ourselves, align.  With the potent pure potentiality energy, as it floods us through one last time.

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There are such exciting things coming up!  Wild Women Wisdom is undergoing some exciting evolution! I cannot wait to be what is yet to come (as I have already seen or sensed   it, in the wild wisdom or poet-vision inside sacred space.)  Officially, I start my collaboration with Eve of Magpie Life on October 23 in LA as a featured presenter for her life coaching Living Room series. Presenting on the power of Women’s Mysteries!  Ahh so blessed is the soul who follows her own inner light, all the way through the tunneled darkness when it appears to have entirely lost its glow…

II

It is Friday which means Poetry Day. There is ceaseless Feminist Re-Visioning happening in the collective. Social Justice Action being made true and real manifest.  I Poet-Activist.  Since Youth.  Always, Youth.  I sat a long time this morning in my loft in quiet happy reflection.  It is tidey up here and cool, not stuck with thuck-thuck hawt heat.  What a difference, two weeks.  Another reason I love fall. Be Good Tanyas played, and The Waifs.  In my time I have seen ten thousand setting suns.  And I made my bed where I laid my head and it never hurt no one.  

The morning started with Jolie herself, though.  Singing The Littlest Bird, which as soon as the chords hit I knew:  as yes, poetry day for sure.  Vision strong and pure.

Remembering.  

sonoma Feb 2012

Sonoma, February, 2012.

When I called Mike who is from where I’m from and is why I live here now.  He’s been in the OC since 2002 I think.  I was in a panic it was a rotten, drenched redwoods February afternoon.  I was staying in Sonoma fifteen minutes from the coast. Unwittingly taking care of a grow.  I had thought I’d stay there for good, until suddenly that changed and I knew:  I have to go.  In four days I had it all ordered, and back to living in my little car and on the road I went.  I drove all the way from Russian River to Newport Beach. This is how I ended up here!  It was grey the whole way down the 5.  It was cold and I was full of washrag gut.  Wringing.  Fear.  Closer I got to LA shorter my breath got til I was driving the awful updowns of Grapevine in the dark not knowing how to do what I was going to do.  It was bolts of blank and muscle shock and nothing works when your last ditch is get me out of here and fuck even that has turned on you, too.  I didn’t know where I was but know I do.  

Anaheim and busy traffic and neon lights.

Jolie Holland came on.  Suddenly and I remembered.  Breathe.  All you can do.  I played and replayed her song, steady driving down the 5.  Trained my breath to the words of her song.  I sang, and sang.  I sang along.  

The GPS took me some way that I ended up on Beach.  So I crossed the jetty into Newport in the dark and there at the bridge was an eery fog.  But on Mike’s road it was warm and I felt the glow of soul.  I went in and he was asleep on the couch.  Dez on the other one, Tyler studying at the counter.  It all started right then.

This morning, it was nice to once more hear that song.  Reflections, you know?  Under Strong Vision Time of Final Harvest Moon-Waxing Tide.  Wisdom of making new out of the rich substance of what is old, what has gone before.  

This is the cyclic work of soul…

The Littlest Bird

Well, I feel like an old hobo I’m sad, lonesome and blue I was fair as a summer’s day Now the summer days are through You pass through places And places pass through you But you carry them with you On the soles of your traveling shoes Well, I love you so dearly I love you so clearly I wake you up in the morning So early just to tell you I got the wandering blues I got the wandering blues And I’m going to quit these rambling ways One of these days soon

And I sing, the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs And the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs Well it’s times like these I feel so small and wild Like the rambling footsteps of a wandering child And I’m lonesome as a lonesome whippoorwill Singing these blues with a warble and a trill But I’m not too blue to fly No I’m not too blue to fly ‘Cause the littlest birds sing the prettiest songsThe littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs And the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs But I love you so dearly I love you so fearlessly I wake you up in the morning so early Just to tell you I’ve got the wandering blues I’ve got the wandering blues And I don’t want to leave you I love you through and through Well I left my baby on a pretty blue train And I sang my songs to the cold and the rain And I had the wandering blues And I sang those wandering blues And I’m gonna quit these rambling ways One of these days soon And I sing, the littlest birds sing the prettiest songsThe littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs And the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs Well I don’t care if the sun don’t shine And I don’t care if nothing is mine And I don’t care if I’m nervous with you I’ll do my loving in the wintertime

In the clutch of the moon.

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The way the crescent moon cups in the center feels deep down in the hollow of my heart like this.  Like yes for many days now I’ve been laid back in that very good place to hang out a while.  Laid back swing–

–that’s home, the east, the fall-changing leaves, the peeps and screeks in the low-land night-part of the trees.  If I were sitting on the moon with fishnet legs in a dangle maybe in my hand I’d have a fishing pole dropped over to hang in the fish-sea of souls.  Which is to say there are so, so many here who deep within me, move.

Which tires me out, again and again.  So many lines on the troll.

Tired feeling: me watching, over and over the circles I know. They grow out from the little space here–shore-side ripples leave go far way out then always return to here where they start, same ol line upon the coast.  Here I–keeping count at the edge on the swing.  Sound of quiet in the stars the footsteps that beat check on the dock to the tides. Swept swept swept again rush rush rushing out and, more.  To return, Home.

Oh moon, your silly countenance such easy laid back way you cause me to sit.  It’s not the same as California-moon charm hanging on my back otter-style in the waves.  More pertinent: action.  The harmonizing way of getting to be part of the flow.

I am tired and surprised by this laid back moon arch that doesn’t feel like ache.

Erika comes and gets me we talk about feminism, racism, intersection, Catholicism a long, long time.  This is the work we do to write.  She tells me she can see my space which I say is good bc I can’t even see my way to my degree.  What the hell have I gone and done?

In the city Walsh takes me to the fancy spaces and also, simply, to the streets.  This is when I feel alive the most, like me.  Walking in Baltimore City.  It does not stop me from feeling unsafe.  Justin doesn’t know I am home and happens to have time open in the same space.  We walk to what back then was boarded up ground, days I was 16 and drove Park from Druid Hill Ave and MLK once a week.  Those were the days that Chat Street used ear guns to pierce a nose and to get a belly ring down to the S&M dungeon of the Leather Underground you’d have to go.

None of this matters anymore.  Now.  California is as sterile as gentrified sections of Baltimore but there is lots of sun.  I don’t know what I am doing and sit a long while at Erin’s waiting to ride to the beach.  Twitter and the untelevised civil rights movement.  Social justice repair.  I lean way back into the clutch of the moon.

Change is coming.

Soon.

 

 

*Vintage Dada* September. Drug kids in the cool white sand.

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*This post originally appeared on September 13, 2009, titled My First Time, on The Impulse Itself (2008-2013)

In September the tourists went home, it all sort of started when Felix came in early August which was also the time I kicked Kevin out of the house for the PCP. This left us, Suzette and me or the hot Tico Kiki who was way older which then meant like 35, with lots of time to holler back and forth to each other on our mics. Hurricane Felix was a big one and I got on the local news screaming kooks go home–the reporter was on 9th street, three up from us where the old deadhead house was, we learned from them early on where not to buy our drugs. Jerry died that summer, it was almost omen-ic: Deadheads by then couldn’t be trusted a lot of them were tweakers, everybody knew. I imagine the reporters edited me out, we didn’t have a tv so I never knew. We didn’t even know the hurricane was coming. I got off for my afternoon break and came home for a puff or jay and a swim or some food hopefully someone had some otherwise it was soft-pretzels from the Pier for free the only place I could surely get hooked-up. Sparky was the only dude around though, he was a squatter one of those 9th street kids. Besides Black Mike and Little Kid, the only ones still down to hang after I kicked Kevin out, there was Sparky. Sparky I never trusted cuz of the deadhead squatter thing but we still hung cuz my roommate thought he was the shit. He never had anything to offer he just came looking. We had nothing though since Kevin and the boys went, nothing at all. So instead me and Sparky just took a swim and it’s the only time I ever remember the Ocean slamming me again and again like a hard wood board. I swam hard but never never got to a place where she was settled and smooth so I could just float and roll. Like I said the Hurricane was coming but we didn’t know. No one else was on the beach though! Mom somehow got in touch with me and said to put all the stuff on the floor up so really that just meant my books and music on the lowest shelf. The pots and pans earlier in the summer, since we didn’t ever wash them, all got thrown out.

After Felix it was all different. Like I said, then it was just Black Mike who slept on the couch every night and also suggested we each sleep with a little switchblade under our mattress. Which is funny to me now, cuz like cousin Joey says a weapon will end up getting you in even more trouble if you dont know how to use it. And I for one, didn’t, no one ever taught me how.

But luckily we never had trouble. Kevin moved out, he and his boys trashed our house broke windows and the outside porch lights and tagged all over all our shit, then Felix came and after that everything changed. The alleys were more quiet, there was a lot more of the large grey sky. And when the sun was out it was ethereal again, funny yellow glow. I didn’t know it yet but that was the summer I first started to learn: there are tides that come and they move as one and they bring a certain power all their own, and they effect us all.

 And the earth is where and how we learn.

By September it was cool already I had the greatest snaked Hoodie I lived in with holes down at the edge for my thumbs. Everyone was gone. Just 14 years ago, that’s all, but OC didn’t have the condo weekenders it’s so full of now. Even my aunt and uncle and grammy who lived summer here were gone, they had to go home to the county to teach school.

Which meant we ditched 6th street for my family’s house at the Pines, the girls and I, because it scared us being alone like that with just the beach rats who were hating on us and the ghosts that we heard again and again–no lie, the old fashioned player piano music or loud foot steps upstairs on the outside deck when for sure no one was there, or even the radios in our house that would go on without reason sometimes. Local folklore said the Broadripple on 14th, and our place too on 6th, were the original Bordellos from back in the day. It was mid-1800’s that the town came to be. But Wikipedia says the original Pier burned down in a fire in 1994, which isn’t true, the fire happened in the winter of 1995, winter after Felix, I remember because we drove over that winter to see. The fire took Morbid Manor and the waterpark, too; I smoked pot everyday in Morbid Manor in 95 then got to ride the water rides for free since I worked there, ran a betting game for the same guy who did Fool the Guesser, Suzette Kiki and me. And that fire took everything, all that, down. 1995 last of the Pier and the Manor, the Riptide Park and Jerry, too.

So me and Chrissy who worked Morbid Manor and loved a guy, Johnny, started hanging at the Pines. It was cool and vacant in town and I learned all at once to love September, the sheet clear blue sky, the white clouds puffy and bright as a smile. The way the water looked suddenly so navy blue. September, goddamn I learned to love you.

Suzette invited us over for for spaghetti that’s how I found out she was into selling and smoking crack. She got arrested later that winter which I learned the same night as I heard about the fire at the Pier. It sucked cuz she had a little one, I dont remember his name anymore he had brown hair with flints of yellow curl, he was three-years-old. Guess he’d be 17 now hope he’s not in jail. That night over spaghetti when I first found out about her drug of choice, it was the first time I ever got that gut-twisting sweaty-necked premonition-chill. It was September, the streets were flat and empty but she lived all the way downtown so the air from the inlet was coming off the water and was damp with a terrible cold. The sky was low and hung with thin grey clouds.

Addiction is a hell of a fucking disease.

In September now I come here every year weekend after Labor Day and have a reunion with old friends. Last night we were up to 3, boardwalk, dancing, talking, laughing and lots of quiet on the cool, white sand. Round 2am I walked past sixth street, Kevin is dead, I’m 9 years clean.

Everything is changed. And also, September, the clean earth and shushing sea, is just the same.

It happened every place we ever lived. I hated cleaning.

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This little hobbit house. I can count on one finger the amount of times I have cleaned it, like scrub cleaned the way I was taught when I was a girl.

When I was clean, like sober  clean, almost two years, I had moved into my first place just for me, no roommates.  It was a studio on the third floor of an old colonial house in a colonial riverfront town in rural Maryland.  There was no air.  In the summer the oxygen was thick as canned paint.  We would ice each other down and you couldn’t tell the difference between melted water and sweat.  The ceilings of the place slanted at an angle so that I ditched the frame of my futon–the one I’d flopped on all through college,  through dropping out twice but finally finishing at 25–so I could just entertain guests on the mattress, backed up L-shape partly against the wall, sitting part on the floor.  We ate and drank tea, a “magic blend” from herbs I’d cut and dried and blessed, around an antique, knee high table.  The guests were girls I knew from being clean or else mostly friends of the honey-eyed local townie boy I was so in love with back then.

That was my first real, adult love.  In my first just for me place, he slept over every night.  We had two twin beds pushed together so that we could stretch out.  It was hard to avoid the crack.  My dad gave me those beds during his mid-life crisis. Dad quit his job and put his condo in Northern Virginia on the market all in one day.  The beds at dad’s had been for my brother and I to visit.  In six years I’d slept at his place twice.  In my apartment, which we called Mt. Vernon after the street it was on, the beds were in a corner of the one big room, which besides the kitchen and a little closet-sized room I used for writing and meditating, was all it was.  I put a white gauzy curtain around those beds, so it would seem like a private, sacred place for me and my man.

I used to get so neurotic there about cleaning. I hated cleaning.  It was some weird, unconscious body strain that would take over me.  I would clean, scrub clean and it would take days.  Two usually.  He would come home, to my home which wasn’t technically his, and this unspoken tension would limit the air between us.  I would be angry at him, for a reason deeper than us, unspoken, in my DNA.

He moved in to Mt. Vernon eventually. And later, it happened every place we ever lived.  The trailer on Oregon’s central coast which was his step-brother’s that we crashed in while they were in Mexico teaching people how to surf.  The mother-in-law suite further up coast, where we never got our deposit back because for once I refused to clean, and instead, as we were leaving hired someone to do it for us.  And the landlady said we didn’t clean and jipped us our couple hundred dollars which we really needed because we were living again on the road.  It happened at Truslow, that magical place where our organic veggie garden was its own wild country, and lettuce was knee tall and swiss chard was big enough to be a sunhat on your head.  And it happened the worst on the farm, Anngar, where we had four bedrooms and two storage rooms above the old kitchen where the “servants” (the farm’s owner said with a grin) years back on that old southern farm, used to live.  Once monthly or so, I would decide it was time to clean which, even if I tried not to, never happened without me getting mad.  I would get so resentful, turn in to such a martyr, and when I would try to talk about it I never had the words. Just a blank hanging stress that was its own form, and was bigger than me, and made me disinterested or passive, which is the most rotten kind of mean. The body holds what the heart doesn’t want to know.  

In February at the time of First Seed moon I knew in my muscles I needed to clean this place, and to start in the room behind my closet where I used to write.  Ever since I moved my desk out to the main part of the hobbit pad that other little room is thrashed with storage and random shit.  In the magical way that wisdom moves uncertain but clear through the blood I’ve known that I needed a true spring cleaning.  So this weekend that’s what I did.  I am sitting here now, so thankful, so peaceful and with such motivated energy for so many other areas of my life which until now felt deadened to me.  My place had become a distraction, it needed a re-boot.  I am sitting here now, considering why I hadn’t cleaned.

Making room for that to change.

The words

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I don’t even remember what the words feel like when they move through my body anymore. Instead, I feel the memory of them which is alive in me like some vine whose roots are cement.  The stopped growth is wagging in the almost not blowing air and can’t move at all in its base. This horrible, dusty longing.  I feel their absence, the words, how a creek bed must be, exposed, uncertain in its devastating shrinking, abandoned when in the summer height all its been left with is dehydration. When I first started going to Santa Barbara every month my biggest fear on Sunday was burn-out.  Sundays we used to be divided in to small groups and then we would process our lives, our weekends, our process of trying to avoid or understand our process.  I ran out one of those very first Sundays, to avoid what I didn’t want to see.  I got outside and was breathing heavy up and down, scattered vision scanning all directions to the left and right of me.  There was no place to go and next I was standing with the arms of two women wrapped around me.  I barely knew them. Even then I was pressed by my own mythology: I martyr, I who will be the one.  With my very life I will lead, I will learn, so will I teach~We were there learning how to be authentic and present, vulnerable.  So under the awnings I let them in. I told them what I hadn’t even admitted to myself.  All those years teaching in Maryland and then working for the college had burnt me out, I was so terrified it would happen again.  Vicarious trauma. It happens. Again, again, again. What will make you feel alive again is if you get off the couch and go walk the beach.  Open a book and find poetry.I have no energy to get up That is because you won’t get off the couch. This snake eats its own tail.  It has been a year and a half of Sundays.  I healed PTSD, and started it again? I was a drug addict I was a teacher I was a lover I was a leader …way back then… Crow croaks in the difference and laughs at me.  Bounces on second sight feet.  I can see. The words move my fingers move the words.

from Big Sur

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Any drinker knows how the process works: the first day you get drunk is okay, the morning after means a big head but so you can kill that easy with a few more drinks and a meal, but if you pass up the meal and go on to another night’s drunk, and wake up to keep the toot going, and continue on to the fourth day, there’ll come one day when the drinks wont take effect because you’re chemically overloaded and you’ll have to sleep it off but cant sleep any more because it was alcohol itself that made you sleep those last five nights, so delirium sets in —

She listens to the Avetts

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dancing in sunshine, happy
bc finally they
feel like peace

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She moves on.

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There are certain things I never, ever do.

~

I never write about him on here.

Or, I never write about our love.

~

There’s no proof of us now.

~

Unless you know where to look.  Two busted computers, saved for the hard drives.  A tupperware box big as a bathtub, in a jewelry store storage garage in West Ocean City.  Picasa.  My blood is there, I somehow won’t take it down.

My animism, how I talk to the earth, words of rock, breath of sea, wordless vision–and rest–of trees.  An antique table in the attic.  A Grateful Dead shirt in a black plastic bag I can’t throw away.

A stack of journals.

~

They made it across the country with me.  Just pulled them out of my closet.  Look in my second desk drawer.

Or Chapter 1.

~

I tell my self it’s because you married her.   Out of respect, that’s why I’ve wiped us clean.

~

I actually keep a totally secret blog where I can write this stuff.

~

Once, in the kitchen, your mother came and begged me to stay, I was sitting midway up the stairs sobbing, her swearing she’d get you to marry me–once, right after that, I took a picture to capture the exact moment I knew you’d be taken care of  by her.  I just never thought you’d marry her.

~

Why didn’t you marry me?  Name our baby after the character in our book, the reason we fell in love?

~

What the fuck.  A lady never tells.

What is that?

~

But I knew she’d be the good woman you needed.  Knew this even as she called to say she’d help me move out.  Maybe even knew it the first night in the old row of movie chairs in the side room at Andy’s, when I first introduced myself to her, brought up the potlucks, all you kooks playing that one shuffleboard game behind us. Knew it sure as I knew my tree in the side yard.  Where the purple crocus’ bloomed in early February, that last year.

~

I. Take. Pictures. Of. Moments.

bran

~

I obliterated Facebook, no proof.

~

Then there’s the whole tangled mess of how I left.  The continued wreckage of why.  Fucking Philadelphia.  Look, now these poltergeist fucking text messages–seriously, they are blank messages, just a blank fucking screen, all the fucking time–show up.  He’s saved in my phone as Douche Bag Don’t Respond.  I don’t get it, I never got it, but also.

I get it completely, it’s the myth of me.  I never knew how to explain it to you, it wasn’t verbal, but it was never, ever about Him.

That first night alone I said I’d come here, to give myself the space and breath for it all to make sense.

The lie I told myself all those years, it was about Him.  A Him!  Any one!

~

Jesus Christ, it’s about me.

~

Today I saw the saddest thing in the world, which is that maybe Althea died?

She is supposed to live forever.

In the place of bathtub tupperwares, gratitude, National forests, bonfires, country whiskey and old logging roads.  Not her, not her turned under, not her back to earth again.

~

Ok, finally.

Not you?

And this, this is Solstice

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In the middle of the night we think daring thoughts, unless mind-dulled and fraught from darktime bedtime haunts we have learned to numb.  It was past 1 am at the Tavern and this place is basement punkrunk as HB or Long Beach ever was or could hope to be.  Randolph was on the drums and when it was over in the fifty degree December balm and mist of the wshhhhhhhing Atlantic sea I said to him, remember me?  Yes, Kevin’s girl, that one summer, 6th street.  He said I see you around all the time which speaks to time in this timeless beach town, where I haven’t lived since 2011.

Kevin of course is gone now, and Konan getting finally clean on his own beach in Florida on the phone with me in HB.  Muller calling every day from prison north county LA.  Ghosts ghosts ghosts that haunt. I could see the pier in the distance, or where the pier would light and speak throb neon and dance if it were summertime but from where tonight, dark, it is a prism of black in the blackest part of a night that bends in on itself and its desperate reaching towards day.   Because opposite the light is the dark that we need, that we so need, for it’s necessary tempts draw us ceaselessly to the light.  For the dark, without which we see nothing for there’d be nothing to see.

And that is Solstice.  Sun far away in the southern sky, shadows dark and long, always attached to our feet. Never outrun, but dissipating, dissolving as delusion does with the light, with each and every day.

In the morning before Walsh came I sat on the floor of my old room and went through journals as far back as fourth grade.  One opened onto my lap as if my soul sparked its life just for me.  A paper fell out with handwritten benedictions from an old girlfriend, and the front of the moleskin were her well wishes.  The last time I saw her she was taking the hand of the man I had just spent six years of my life with…They are married now with a child.  I haven’t once back to that town…the farm where we lived potluck dinners with hippie friends, vegetable gardens tall as our heads, winters around woodstove fires, falls with guitar artists and pines, cornfield bonfires and late night river bath naked swims.  A man that haunted me with my own voice because poltergeist art works like that.  I sat on the floor of my old room and cried the hot cry that only comes with memories and smiles.

Solstice, this is Solstice, too.  Greif, unnamed, the dense cleanse of our year.  It happens, has happened this week to us, each and every one.  Or are you so fraught you’re too numb?

Walsh drove us to Snow Hill to see the Runoff play.  She has finally left Chestertown.   An era passed.  These boys from there, where I for so long have not been able to go. There is always a return, for the darkness, its job is to take us back.   And so we dance, we dance in the dark, it is what life’s taught us to do.  How I’ve danced…The one time, at Howards….the one time, at Ben’s farm…the one time, at Truslow, that once at Andy’s, that other time at Andy’s, all those times at Andy’s, or out at Sam’s, on Anngar, at the River, at the Prince….How well I know these men, these brothers of mine, Sam who a million different nights under the same roof we’ve slept, the meals fed the laughter shared, to know a place you know its trees, its limbs, its outlands and limits, the places you run to hide, mouth of spit from its sky of rain and rivers of wash that run in creeks and tides and streams…how I know you, home, how I know you boys, how I know me…

They played I Know You Rider second to last and how I  danced. I thought of these three weeks back home, of my family, friends, my heart and soul, my mom and dad.  Sure as I knew the muscles of my own two arms, my own feet, it all came back to me as it always does…Of ourselves we never really leave.  All of who I am based on who I was, and based on this:  all of who yet I am still to be.

And this, this is Solstice.  The most itty spark, visible only, ever, in the darkest point of dark.  That newborn, barely there seed.

Enter winter, welcome.  Sacred wisdom, welcome.  Blessings. Time of renewal, rejuvenation, in restful yearn towards what still, of course, is yet to come.  What has come to past which grows us on.  Towards what will certainly be.

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Dream of back then

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In Newport I sleep in Beth’s basement which is actually her garage, which has no electric and no heat.  The sleeping bag is arctic and keeps me warm and the couch down there is the one I slept so well on the fall I came up from Humboldt for Thanksgiving.  So I look forward to it and then when it finally comes and it’s time to sleep I am a little surprised by Monday when I wake up and after the long weekend eight hours is normal again.  I feel good, the way only well-rested nights round out your body from within.

 I wake up from a dream and the sky is blue.  It is October near the end so that’s not normal here.  I was in a front pew or actually the fourth row back at the Catholic church.  It was me and no one I knew but I was in St. Catherine’s and happy to be there and from what I recall the people all knew me or at least knew my face, and I seemed to know them somehow, too.  When Mass was over I was in an alley of bricks and sunlight and Cynthia was there and the woman with short wirey grey hair and glasses and a soft, kind look was continuing a message about the mass, and I wrote to Cynthia on a piece of paper about the church disowning my power as a woman and something about the feminist movement but she couldn’t read my writing.  Then this woman was trying to teach me what was at the core of the Catholic teaching for that week and what she came out with was this example of me having to pretend to be talking to a friend, which I pretended was Cashour, and what was she saying?  And first she was talking about a guy and then about her girlfriend who was in trouble and the whole thing of it, the lesson, was about empathy, which I laughed and said I know that I study psychology and the lady, kindly, but with the kind of exasperation which said I clearly hate this part of the job or maybe I am too old for this wouldn’t relate that it was empathy we needed in order to practice the way of Jesus but just wanted to make sure I got that we had to understand one another, to meet people where they are at.  Then out the window Sean G is there and now I am in a corridor for jail, an in the reception area, and I am talking with people about when he will get out, maybe it is my mom?  And where he will stay?  And Mandy is there and I am showing Sean pictures of her kids and Mandy is moved by the fact that I have a recent one in my wallet.  And I assume she will take care of him but she is like hu-uhhh no way I have a man now, but in that relaxed reserved way that since she’s become a mom says I don’t engage.

And then I am at a big house, it is in a neighborhood and there is a long curved driveway and out the window we see that Sean is walking up, and he has no place to stay.  And I am bummed, truly pissed, to have to take care of him and handle this but also kinda stoked because we will get to have sex.  But then what about Josh Mudd Josh, if I sleep with Sean can I still sleep with him?  And I am pissed again that Mandy can’t help me handle this, and at one point I seem to think there is a car load of them from back then on a corner of a backroad in the woods and Jeremiah is there, and Brad?  But all I know is next we walk in to this bar which is “downtown” and there they all are, Serio and Brad and Hill and Donald Johnson, and Byron and Steve D and Hupman all of them with big, manly bodies and all grown up.  Keith is there with Ashleigh, Steve is there with pictures of his kid.   And Starkey, and there is a circle on the floor of people just talking and catching up.  It is Christmas time and dead in this small, cozy town and people are arriving, they are all there and happy to be there and Katrina walks in in a red dress sort of like her Halloween costume and she is excited to know everyone and get to settle down. I want to follow her to introduce her to everyone but she seems to handle it just fine and I get stopped by this middle aged woman that everyone everyone everyone seems to know, and respect, and she is very… ordinary but strong, with power, and people get that she is a center, a coordinator of their social affairs.  She reminds me of having old school punk rock stature.  She wears glasses and is maybe a younger version, with the same short hair but not as grey, as the lady teaching me in church.

My mom and some of my girlfriends, Cynthia?  Cashour, Mandy?  Are at the corner of the bar and I hug Calvin who is really Donald, then Steve, and Steve picks me way up and kisses me but I fight it at first because of my mom and then give in.  We kiss a lovely, gentle kiss and I feel warm and safe and good about it and he lays me down on a table and Donald starts rubbing my feet.  I want to kiss a long while and am excited that it is my party and I can kiss all the guys I want, and then Steve and I are done and he lifts me back up and no one cares about this kiss, it is still warm and happy and welcoming and peaceful having everyone there, but also people are getting ready to leave and I am disappointed by this, then Annie texts me that she will be in Newport today but that Kaya has a game at 6 in Waldport and this is in real life and so there is a ding from the phone and I wake up.

And I don’t want to meditate, or spend all the energy having to write this dream down, this part of the story where we all turn out ok.  It is sunny and cold out on the Oregon coast and all of that is many years ago and what is real is my life out West, there are friends here I have had now for 8 years, Brandon’s ex-step sister in law that I am trying to see because I feel a magnet to her in my heart these past two months, and also Derynne and Nici and the kids and other girls down in HB.  Seeing Serena this weekend for the music fest in town.  Hoping I can pay my rent this week but not caring if I do or can’t, bc it is temporary this cash crisis even though it triggers all my safety issues I hold way, way deep down from when dad first left and what a woman can and can not do without a man.  And I am scared, it is the turn of October, the last part of widdershins and a Mercury Retro and I don’t want to look any further within, don’t want to look at any of this but also feel all these walls like so much sand just running and folding and pouring in and how like water consistent they just break me down.  And more than anything I want to hitch inland a couple miles, up the river, and hike in to the coast ranges where it is finally so, so quiet and I can truly, really, breathe.  And I want to find a cabin and write and also backpack a long long time through the forest and up some mountains on my own.  But I am older now and know the time will come for these things, and for the first time ever understand this as an urge to be related to and comfortable with as an important part of me, not so sharp and extreme so that in all other areas I say fuck it and for this one driving need of green impulse call everything else quits.  I don’t know what this means other than I have to go, I have to go back, I have to do this without interruption, this real work and breaking apart all the back thens that live inside and haunt or sleep quiet in blinded parts of me.   And the money and the men and the wound of archetypal mother, the quiet treasure box in yesterday’s meditation that I got to get to because of Ben.  How do I get to that for what it is, what is inside of it, are they pearls not meant to be given out before swine, or is it a box of fools gold that keeps me locked down there, trying to protect something and missing my life all along, out of a ignorant belief in a false need that this is actually how to be and always stay safe, protecting something that, other than an empty fear, isn’t even there?