I spent today wandering the woods and breathing deeply. This time of year always enervates my senses and fills my heart with delight. Leaves glowing brilliant, boldly letting go and falling through the air, reminding me to do the same.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”~ Hermann Hesse
Never in my life have I had such a year of steeping in the greys, the raw education of a feckless world given faces to in the children I kneel with and run to and hold and hear howl against the indignity of having no say in how they have come to be with me.
The first months were filled with shared tears and rage and desperate wanting. Wanting to absorb, to understand, to fix, to heal, to wreak vengeance for each one. The color ran high in my face, a constant sweep of crimson across my neck and chest when I wanted to spill every blackened thought and desire and flood the world with my fury.
But that place it isn’t a sustainable place to stay. There is no air to breathe there. There is no place to rest there. It is only meant to be a pathway.I had a conscious choice to make. I asked myself what gifts beyond passion could I draw on as a companion through this place?
I found that my greatest strength lay in a gentle heart. This heart that wants more than anything else to absorb and to heal knowing exactly what hell is, I’ve been there. I’ve been to some of its rooms and bled my way through them again and again. This heart chose a path to a gentling, to neutral moments where it could expand and contract and expand again.
I could have stayed inside of the fire and burned along with the ones I held, or I could walk into the fire, kneel, hold, feel my whole self blister in these moments and then walk with each child through this one fire, past the cooling of the ashes, show them where to find those places inside to look for water, for nourishment, for places to rest the mind. Places to breathe between the storms.
We picture colorful rainbows after storms. The truth is closer to grey. Grey is a neutral place where other colors mix and splash and subside. I love colors, vibrant and bold and enervating. My clothes are riots of bright pallets. My home is painted in passionate hues and intense pigments, but though I cloak myself in rainbows, inside I am greyness and stillness and peace.
Here. A moment suspended. A moment to close my eyes and slowly inhale salty air until I feel my very soul swell along with my lungs, feel it expand and spill out into the space around me.
Here. A moment to exhale and let it slide away from me, slip down my shoulders letting its weight fall from me, taking everything that is pulled tight inside my chest with it.
Here. A moment suspended from my routine. A day just to breathe, to immerse myself in only the space that I take up, the air around my body, the sand I am standing on, the water surrounding.
I tried. I honestly tried. I punched buttons, and punched buttons, and punched buttons, aiming high and low and waving the thing around in the air above my head like a magic wand. I pushed multiple buttons at the same time in an effort to attempt the whole control/alt/delete wizardry on the television set via the remote control.
It’s nuanced secrets eluded me. It’s mysterious and titillating entertainments remained hidden beyond a veil of confounding technology, and my experts and guides in this matter, to a one, were all away for the night.
I glared at the wretched thing in my hand and shook it violently as though perhaps it simply needed its memory jogged in order to work. It didn’t work. The battery casing slipped free and it’s contents flew far and wide, dragging with them a string of obscenities from my lips as if they were caught in the same net.
The dark screen mocked me. It’s portal through the ether to sitcoms and action adventure remained closed to me. Damnit.
All around me beckoned stacks and piles and baskets and shelves of books I’ve adored, books I bought simply because they were so beautiful, books I’ve wanted to dive into but couldn’t find the time, and books I’ve bought because someone somewhere loved it, was transformed by it, was discomforted by it, was broken open by it and I absolutely had to experience that too. So I bought them and stacked them and piled them and tucked them near soft spots and good lights in the hopes of finding myself alone with them.
This was my chance. I dropped the remains of the remote on a table, piled my hair on top of my head to keep its unruly locks away from my face, and slipped my glasses on reaching for the closest book.
The Girl Who Drank The Moon….
*sigh…..the gorgeous words spread wide, the smell of ink and paper and dust. I sank back into the corner of the couch and pulled pillows around me to prop my arms as I read. Geeked out in splendor. The tyranny of the remote was no more.