wild women wisdom
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
This full moon presents us with a reality highlight. A shining on who we are in our most present, day to day, practical ways.
Who we are is how we Be.
Discernment can be tough when it comes to understanding what I mean. Societal arousal is high. The open, gaping wound of fear-driven, hate-talk projections can be so consuming We all easily forget that we co-create our experience, we are not victims, we are powerful not powerless, imagination is infinite and love is pure and transformational, we are responsible, we can begin within.
Nature teaches. What we sow we reap, and this is what begin within means.
Begin within. What stories do you tell yourself? Literally, what does your self-talk look like?
Do you listen to your inner guidance? Do you trust yourself?
Begin again. Do you take time to feed yourself instead of over-caffenate? Do you constantly expose yourself to an endless steam of social media and click bait content, chemically co-creating your own addiction to hyper-arroused cortisol, your stress hormone? Do you fall to sleep with your head wired to electronics? Is it how you wake?
This also is food, what your brain, heart, and soul absorb.
Begin again. How are your relations? One basic tool I practice is that if my relationships with others are off it usually means I am not being accountable to my own relationship to my self. What I don’t confront within myself I will act out in my relations. This is called projection.
Baby steps. Be gentle with self-truth.
How are you feeling and what do you need to be accountable to? Meaning how do I feel, in my body, right now? What do I need?
Gentle, gentle. Begin again:
People who come from environments where displacing their needs was the norm, like those who experienced normalized dangers like violence or poverty, who had an abuser in the home, who had untreated substance abuse in the home, were taught it wasn’t safe. They unconsciously, through the normalization of this is not safe, learn that it is unacceptable to feel because to survive meant silencing or repeatedly ignoring the normal metabolic, stress-relieving processes of feeling. Folks like this may struggle with the concepts in this post.
That silencing, that self-shaming, becomes a part of your chemical program. It creates the perceptions you have of safety and the world around you. If these normalized traumas exist in the home, we call it systemic because it is of the family system. If it exists in the community, we call it cultural. There is almost always a relationship between one and the other.
What we don’t work out, we act out.
Woman as sexualized object is so normalized that we are accused of sexualizing our selves if we dress in ways that flatter our body. Consider how normalized this dangerous ideal is of shaming the female body.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Break down patterns inside yourself that support shame. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Woman as caretaker is so normalized that mothers and wives often believe they must carry the entire emotional reality of their children and husband/partner. Consider how dangerous this is to shaming your own rights to your own needs, and how dangerous it is to the system because it teaches everyone that they don’t have to be accountable to their own.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Often coming into real health for folks can first look and feel crazy! Because when an individual starts to see that she was taught to participate in the normalization of negating her own needs in order to survive it can feel like she is going crazy. Breaking denial deregulates a persons entire reality.
Break down paves the way for breakthrough.
Healing is a process, health is a process. Transformation happens. Begin within.
Begin within. Begin now. What stories do you tell yourself about your ability, your right to meet your own needs? About what you need and what would happen if you gave yourself the self-care you need?
This moon highlights the peak growing season of spring. Metabolic storages of sunshine getting ready to transform to fruit and bounty! Begin again. Tolerance and love can only be practiced when we are in the habit of tending it inside ourselves. This is an active energy moon, manifesting! Tolerate your truth without judgement. Tolerate your own shame, your own feelings, any self-shaming stories or ways within you with the compassion you would give a best friend. This moon WILL highlight (GROW) whatever your energy level is…which is connected to your stress…which is connected to your self-stories and relationships…which is connected to how you feed your own needs.
Begin within: What are you exposing yourself to? How can you reframe what you are feeling, what you tell yourself, to understand it as your own needs crying out to be met?
What is seen beneath this moon the elders used to say was prophetic! This ain’t metaphysics hahaha! Simply put, we are complicit: we are accountable to how free we keep the infinite source of our heart, our mind, our soul. We are accountable to our choices and how they interconnect us in relationships. Begin within, what do you sow? How consciously, gratefully, joyously do you choose to take this one chance we get to live? This moon is a spotlight into that.
It will grow us toward the peak of the light season–summer’s start. This moon tide will hold us to ourselves, full moons bring the tension of more light, literally the sunlight reflected back at us in the middle of the night sky… Sunlight that increases until it pitches to its height at the Solstice, and after that–harvest or growth will be a momentum that we are already in the middle of.
So Now is a time to tend. Now is the time. Always. Right now. It’s all we have.
Begin again. Be gentle. If you want to change the world, start within yourself. Change happens within with the soft steadiness of love.
Happy Full moon, friends xo
Spring Equinox is today!!
It is the Entryway into Season of Light.
Entryway a word I use specifically, meaning Threshold Time, time of powerful pause, when two states exist side by side.
At once we hold the Season of Dark’s end, right next to our Sacred entry to Spring.
The winter is our dark night, for all of us!
The Season of the Dark Night of the Collective. It is North on the Medicine wheel, aligned with the wisdom of death, dying, stillness, darkness, quiet, loss, letting go, grief and grieving, potentiality in its raw, unformed aspect. It is all of the space necessary to hold the birth of new life that comes with spring.
This weekend we are at the Crossroads, seeing backwards over winter, and forwards into the coming spring. Spring rotates us eastward, it is air which in March on the eastern seaboard brings me into my experience of fierce winds and change, and too lands me in the miracle of breath, of the knowingness of peace that comes when I begin within, with the simple, profound gratitude for that mystery which breathes me. It is birth, intellect, insight, seeds, innocence, foolishness, sweet~ It reminds us intuitively that with rebirth comes another season of light and fun, another season of the Sun.
We are at a Dual Threshold, for this Monday too, the cross-quarters of the Medicine Wheel intersect.
This happens because the Moon is also half light, half dark. She walks backwards towards her dark, while the Sun marches us forward into the Season of Light. walks us as Backwards and Forwards at once every so often, and from its tense momentum comes Birth. This is always medicine of the Threshold, which we call not just Entryway but Initiation.
As well, it is the Good Medicine of Spring. Birth. East. Dawn.
Free Association Meditation:
Make two lists. One titled Light or Birth. One titled Dark or Death. Remembering the Dual nature of Dark, to die and at once, to hold UnSeen the potentializing energy of what still shall be.
What words or phrases come out naturally under each title? What words or phrases, dreams or thoughts, feelings, instincts inform each title?
Hold Space for Each.
Is there a mantra that holds both, that honors the Sacred Continuum of how the two are connected? A sacred way which weaves more than one idea across the spectrum of letting go and coming to be? Which holds the true inner-outter diversity of Life? A sentence that claims what you want, see, or need? Create one or two.
Choose the language that best suits how you want or need to Relate to it. This is an Intention.
Tend your intentions as we move through the Season of Growth this year.
Remember, right relations begin within~With Wisdom, Comes Responsibility. Your own medicine is what is alive in your own life, a day at a time.
Be gentle, be good to you. When the light comes on, the dark dispels.
Love is all there is~
Don’t Let Them Tame You~
Dualistic, or Self Verses Other, Thinking
We got here to this beautiful earth handed down human from human, parent to parent, earth to foot to heart to head, and back again.
We suffer a single wound through which all else arises and which, for centuries, has been largely misunderstood and thus continually misrepresented. This wound is the wound to self or soul. Recognizing it as the blessing through which we are meant to evolve into our real, authentic self is a new way of seeing I encourage!
The psyche projects today its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking. Mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview. Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior. This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!
The number one symptom of an individual acting this out is do do do, keep going stay busy and there’s not enough time. To slow down, to live moment to moment, to embody soul feels wrong. Why is that? Because to slow down means sitting still with the internalized belief system that we are actually bad or wrong. Which is human nature. Christian mythology named it original sin.
“Fundamentalisms,” said depth and ecopsychologist Craig Chalquist, “flourish as eradigms end because people caught in and psychologically fused with familiar modes of thought and habit fight to avoid changing them.” He is speaking of the industrial-era, mechanistic belief system that esteems dualism. Dualism underlies what depth, eco-critical feminists like Christine Downing or Susan Rowland called antithetical thinking or binary thinking. This is the idea of self being separate from all other reality, rather than a point of reference amidst an autonomous sphere of which all of life is a part. It sets up all base conflicts in existence, for example: if this is right for me than when you do it differently it must be wrong. Which is the basic drama of childhood: reward for right behavior. Creating an unconscious association of what is wrong…
As societies we create entire social systems out of this misconception. It’s what happens when we cannot see life as a continuum of constant flow and creation, and our role as conscious creator inside of that.
Again, this sort of thinking arises out of our earliest internalizations of opposites, and concretizes around age 2 or 3 when we understand that I and my caregiver are separate, too. Now man against man, man against woman, black against white, rich against poor, man against self thinking sets up. Internalization of getting positive attention from the Other as confirmation for Self as Right sets up a lifelong tension, meant to be the doorway to the authentic self. Jung called this creation of the persona. Taking on the tension of the opposites, doing the work of self verses other, is how to individuate. He said that individuation is our true life’s work. To become who we really are.
Embodying the female menstrual cycle means seeking inward to the autonomous place from which Self arises for confirmation of our Life. The menstrual cycle teaches life embodiment in the series of different energies that rise and fall throughout the month. These phases of female biology move back and forth from being the subject, or in control during ovulation; to being receptive or the object, at the mercy of a larger biology (the right brain) during the second half or post-ovulation. The cycle embodies the deep knowing that we are life-givers, and too experience death or loss as part of the perpetual circle of life. This is supported chemically by the hormones that are released. It is proven that the hemisphere’s of the brain stimulate differently according to where a woman is–hence the energy moves between the lobes of thought driven or creatively intuitive. Women’s biology is equipped to learn inter-lobal being, or heal the damage of the split in the self.
The wound of soul is the wound of being split off from the autonomous, uncalculated depths of wholeness and endless continuum of life.
At ovulation, for women who suffer this soul-split within, it is likely that the old, internalized beliefs about what is right or wrong, what writer Julia Cameron called the Critic, will start to play through her head. This is because the psyche, at ovulation, prepares the body to create new life. So too new ideas are stimulated, new energies that draw us outward in a motivated, excited way…just as the cycle of growth in Nature or the phases of the moon teach. All is connected. But if the psyche, as most if not all do, has that split of internalized good and bad that is not being gently, daily tended and worked out, than ovulation can be a time of unnamed sadness or frustration. It is literally the wound of soul trying to create itself anew but being stopped by the old beliefs that our true inner life and instincts that arise from within are wrong.
I know I am living in an embodied way when what Jung called active imagination, or fresh thoughts, ideas, literal images in my head or energetic new thoughts or words or poems are pulsing during ovulation. I know I am honoring my truth, living my rich life in a present way from day to day. I identify with this knowing as a feeling of being rooted deeply in the relational: when I show up first to myself and it is a buoyant joy to do so. From this joy space I can then use me as witness to see what is going on in psyche. In this way I recognize that from within I am both subject and object. I see myself, and can see that I am doing the seeing. In doing so I have a choice as to how I relate to me, to the “otherness” that I label or experience as good or bad, from within. The choice is showing up with love and gentleness, compassion. Whatever the tapes that play, the feelings or beliefs or thoughts that flow from me and that I judge or repress by not looking at them, judge or repress according to old associations of good or bad. I show up to me and witness this inside, with love and acceptance. This keeps me present throughout the day. This softens the split. This heals. It’s quite simple. I am healing the wound of self/other thinking by choosing to honor and fuse both within. The heart is where this fusion lay.
Active Imagination at ovulation is a powerful archetypal tool. Work with this can open our life to deep psychic mysteries. In my experiences, the symbology at this time, and coming into relationship with it, can introduce us to generational and lineage themes that underlie our entire family pattern. This is a rich and in-depth way to approach our life, our play, our being, our work. Our true self.
Such amazing life this is. So many, many tools and riches. Begin, within!
This is the part on the wheel of the year where birth, from what you’ve grown, is but a barely there hint of a dream. Because of the Mercury Retro, we are reviewing whatever happened in our life, especially your opinions of it, since summer solstice onward. The review is almost over, and the catalyzing intellectual energy of Libra which has felt stuck bc of the retro will blast through on the other side of the weekend.There will then come a lot of emotional processing, followed around Thanksgiving by a clarity of will and values, before we enter the deeper stage of restful sleep to prepare the soul for rebirth.
We burn lights for our ancestors now, as we are in the West or Reflective time of the wheel of life. We honor them, seek their vision, guidance, support.
With the solar eclipse as well, we take time to tend that in our day to day lives which we will consciously let go of now. What will compost? Later it will feed life, again.
Traditional Samhain (Halloween) is celebrated at sun down. For thousands of years people venerated the Oneness of Life through its manifestations of living and dying and living again right here on earth. I call this the Earth or Wisdom Path. Post-Christian peoples assimilated Samhain as Halloween. You’ve heard it said: the veil between knowing and not knowing, light and dark, living and dying thins as these realities meet in between. This is quite literal of the thinning of the line in Psyche of conscious and unconscious. My own sleep has been nothing short of magical all week!
The wind blows here in Pennsylvania with a giant sweep like the angels have a push-broom going shhooshhh shoooshhhh shooooshhh because they’ve come to scrub slates clean. Another growth season passes, our internal clocks right now take pause, especially with this unique alignment of New Moon. Now more than ever your Psyche says gimmee Quiet, take A Moment! Give thanks for what you can see.
Right now you have light-touched eyes.
Take A Moment. Make it Holy. This is your choice, how to be Wise.
We enter now together the season of dark, when what has grown decreases and dies on the vine in order to become food that feeds next years seeds. What do we honor, cherish? What needs to be turned under and let go of? Learning to honor the natural cycles of birth, living and dying are the true lessons of the soul. this is how to understand rebirth, which every human experiences as we grow.
With the season of dark upon us with a New Moon(the restart/rebirth of every month!) too, here is an important question: From down, deep deep inside, from your own unique, regenerative essence within: What do I wish to grow?
In this quiet space, what are your wildest dreams? Or, perhaps more humbly, what subtle inward shifts do you need? This is the time to be still, take the time to see, to be honest with Self, meet those intentions deep within, and align your heart so they may grow.
From gratitude for this years bounty comes tomorrow, and especially next year’s, seeds.
We enter now the time of Sacred Rest. This is what our souls anciently know.
Honor this knowing today, tonight, tomorrow: Be Still: The Balance is Held. From here we see behind us and ahead with equal wisdom and grace…Bless this time and our eyes that can see. If we choose. Fill the space in between with Hope and great Thanks.
As within, so without.
To swim at a spot where there’s a deep divot drop-off and lots of backwash from pounding shore break, this is what you do.
Stand at the seem, the furthest place the water flows up on the sand. Get your ankles wet. If you’re not timid go up to your calves. Now imagine you’re about to jump into a double dutch session–to get the rhythm of the ropes what happens is your hips cradle, you start to rock back and forth to get a feel for the swing. This is what happens at the water’s edge.
Or what oughta.
The primal beat alive at the ocean naturally moves in you. If you put panic aside. The amount of time for me that I’ve been away dictates the time I need to find the beat. For me it’s never more than one week but can still take forever which is up to five minutes because as much as it’s about the ocean–it’s also about the false rhythms of life disconnected from Nature–they are alive in our bodies. They make themselves KNOWN right there at the edge, and need too to be shaken off to find what’s elemental, what’s real. Then you can know the sets with your body.
On days with surf when there’s little let-up I like to wait for a set wave. That’s the one that comes after a barely there pause, and it peaks a certain way which I swear has a glean. The second you see it swelling wade in to the white water and when your hips are in it’ll be bigger so start to swim towards the wave. It’ll look like it’s gonna break on your head. Timed right you go under as it’s peaking and the momentum pulls you out fast then easy, surfacing just on the other side of the break. Then you’re past the crash zone. You can just hang laid back and bobbing style. And feel the swells pass through you.
Surfing? A whole other beast because to do what I just explained is a lot more hectic if maneuvering a board. Mine’s seven foot fun which for me won’t dive. Also the pay-off is different. A swim gives me that deep body chill and I’m lazy (my board’s been dinged since Memorial Day and I haven’t once thought to get it fixed.) It just depends on what you’re looking for–to swim is a no hassle reward. Surfing is lots of labor but equivalent or even way BETTER result–LOTS of stoke! It all comes down to the energy you’re working with/need.
Which for me is about being in the One. Doing what I can to keep unprogramming the false rounds, doing what I can to de-program autopilot. Which has been on my mind. The way it always is at season-passing: the deep life: The thing that moves us. The thing that’s of you, that we can only somewhat see. There’s Soul in there, lest we forget. It is. We are of it. We are It. Great Mysterious One Soul. World-Rhthym. Creating and destroying of it’s Self over and over again.
Season-passing, like a hip-rock taking stock of the wild rhythm of which you are actually a part.
This post appeared originally on The Impulse Itself, Saturday September 13, 2008. 6 yrs ago, today.
Similar cycle: last of Summer, of growth or bounty energy, but on the apex of Moon Wax, day before Full. Rather than now, day before last-quarter wane.
yes yes yes, a weekend all to me, starting despairingly bc i dear reader am always no-thing if not dramatically self-involved in the happenings or so perceived non-happenings of my very own life…and do tend to let such perceptions overcome the best of me…
so said, what a glory day i’ve had since yesterday passed and i subsequently got my head out of my ass. handscrubbed my versa this afternoon after a trip to the library–where my card was so outdated i had to open a new account in order to check out Girls Like Us Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation which called to me literally off of the shelf as i passed it by. i hoped, as i heaped said work and a slathering poetry books on the counter, that it would deliver me in a similar mythically-steeped retrieval of trailblazer femin-ista historia as diPrima’s bio My Life as a Woman The New York Years did. and so far i am adequately quenched.
made some jewelry today, too. and wrote a poem. tonite, it’s my plan, after the moon goes up and the light is all over the land the way only darktime light can be, i am going to write. like, maybe even all nite long….
I’ve decided to waste my life again,
Like I used to: get drunk on
The light in the leaves, find a wall
Against which something can happen,
Whatever may have happened
Long ago—let a bullet hole echoing
The will of an executioner, a crevice
In which a love note was hidden,
Be a cell where a struggling tendril
Utters a few spare syllables at dawn.
I’ve decided to waste my life
In a new way, to forget whoever
Touched a hair on my head, because
It doesn’t matter what came to pass,
Only that it passed, because we repeat
Ourselves, we repeat ourselves.
I’ve decided to walk a long way
Out of the way, to allow something
Dreaded to waken for no good reason,
Let it go without saying,
Let it go as it will to the place
It will go without saying: a wall
Against which a body was pressed
For no good reason, other than this.
The thing about waves they teach wild wisdom better than any other teacher who stripped me filled me made me brave.
For days this week I’ve been thinking on that last September. Fall 2008, I lived on a place called Anngar Farm. Waves teach you: the ways of the season on a farm, how to host a garden, how to track the sun rise and set across the space of sky from winter to fall, how to know in your body how it moves bit by bit across the year across the sky, by watching for it at the tops of the trees. How to know in your body that eventually, movement, no matter how long it takes, always moves you back across the same ol space.
That last season, on the farm. The Fall that year ushered in the larger cycle of who I am, how I am, where I am now. It’s alive in me, greater wave set incoming, I SEE YOU from the space within where for years I’ve tracked your tide. My car is broken down. The dear upstairs neighbor I adore is replacing the battery for me. He works late nights on the weekend (means he sleeps late in the day) so it won’t happen til early next week. For which I feel SO relieved. Means I don’t have to go anywhere, do no thing. Ride my bike to the beach…
And deal in words, who are Alive in me the traipsing, living way. Words, like waves. Waves of Poet Mad-Eyed Vision-Making. Seasons-passing. Cycle-making. Cycles inside cycles. Cycles ready…as they always are, are we paying attention…?
*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.
At the peak of the summer it makes sense, I have no underwear and haven’t since I got back from school. Meaning I haven’t gotten to the Laundromat. I give thanks to the goddess of bikinis who oversees summer’s peak. I have so many, the tops and bottoms never match, yesterday at Sleepy’s I scrounged and found the fringy Billabong black bottoms from that warehouse sale last year when Walsh was in the town. Far in the back of the trunk. The top was Hollywood red, OP, bought at Walmart one June afternoon in 2009 when I’d left Chesapeake College and drove straight one and a half hours to the beach because I needed to swim. Michael Jackson died that day, I remember right when I got down to the sea two ladies who were strangers read the news off their (then) fancy internet phones and one started to cry. I ran over to them, we stood in a circle and hugged while I changed into my new $12 swimsuit beneath a towel standing on the sand.
The man I most recently have been seeing is vegan. I think about this in the closet scrounging together another set of mismatched bottoms and tops to change for my day. At some point I will do laundry but why when bikinis are The Way. I will get a burrito on my way up PCH and can’t wait. What would he say?
Three work days from now I will be done at my job. This is a prayer to discipline, bikini gods of love and sun, a prayer to the poetry nymphs whose job is to oversee how to be into being, how to yearn into words on the page. This is an act of offering, of moment in-bliss, to show that I am willing to show up again, and get it all down.