Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter and Water


The night seemed heavy as it closed about the house. I could hear ice tapping against the windows; frozen rain beneath dark clouds outside the window frame, a virgin winter's storm. The day had been full of uncounted trips up and down the steps, silent lugging of laundry and Christmas d├ęcor and a somewhat heavy heart. My elder sister is in California, her mother (she is my half sister) battles after cancer related surgery...a friend of mine is struggling to tread water with her son, and another contemplates life-altering changes to his horizon. The holidays seem to amplify life - in all of its loveliness as well as its agony. 

Two weeks ago I was taken to court as my ex-husband petitioned to quit paying child support. In his words, "the eldest child is quickly approaching emancipation" (Sawyer's 18th birthday is in June) and he no longer wanted to provide for Sawyer or his 15 yr-old brother (who happens to be 6' 8" tall and wears a size 15 shoe, just imagine the grocery bill alone). The story is tangled and long and personal, but when the line of questioning from the Judge went a particular direction pertaining to his ethics in business - he angrily withdrew his petition. I left relieved, strained, exhausted...and when I discovered he'd retaliated by leaving an anonymous scathing review of my book on Amazon two days ago...angry. 

The spray from the shower head is heavy rain at the end of a drought. My dry shoulders hunch against the torrent, the tight muscles slowly relaxing as heat penetrates through sinew and bone. I watch the water swirl about my feet and bend to push the plug into the drain. I hear voices in my heart. Beyond the closed bathroom door I listen to one of the boys on the stairs...I slowly kneel in the tub. This claw foot monstrosity was one of the reasons we bought the house off Craig's list seven years ago, and I fervently promised it was going to be worth it despite the living room ceiling falling in four years later when there was a leak from the plumbing.

Tonight the tears stream down my face, mingling with the water that now rises against my waist. I turn, slowly sinking back, letting the steaming warmth envelope me. I take a breath, and pull my head beneath the hot, wet silence.  

The hush. That moment when your heartbeat is louder than your thoughts.

Several weeks ago I found myself in a conversation about our virtual selves vs our concrete. Our ideals vs our handshake. Please don't tell me you're for $15 minimum wage if you don't tip your waitress well or that we need more kindness if you cut off people in traffic on a regular basis. I took the boys Christmas shopping yesterday and thus commenced a lesson in rude behavior, dangerous driving, and terrible manners. Who are we? In real life - not online where we debate policy and morals and supposed integrity; where we can attack without consequence. Who are we...who are you? What kind of neighbor are you? Employee? Parent? Spouse? Friend? In real life where the scent of you is as palpable as your words...

My lungs burn as I clamp the muscles in my throat and keep my head beneath the water, my heartbeat furious thunder against the rage within my flesh. Gasping, I surface...my quiet house seems so loud. My soul shouting.



Thursday, October 6, 2016

The days pass and the clocks tick and it's a new......Season.


Sometimes I feel as if the sky is another shade of blue than before...but I fear it is I that has changed, not the sky.  I'm not exactly sure how to pick up where I left off here - how does one play 'catch-up' and attempt to describe the color of the sky? 

I resigned from my job.

A week later one of my clients shot his girlfriend in the head. 

I made up my mind not to wait for permission or time or the right moment, but to finish some of my dreams.  I'm painting again.  And I've spent late nights and later midnights and even some very early before-dawns....and this happened. (my head is still spinning - please take a look, feedback?)

Some of it is here, some not.  Parts and bits and the sinews that knit my soul together. 

I'm at loose ends, looking to begin once more.  I may stumble some, and trip over stones and roots and the dark lumps that sneak up on us all in the twilight that hovers before the day....but I am determined to write my future, as much as live it. 

I will be back...please, what have you been up to??





Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring


The lilac trees in the neighbor’s yard are tipped with soft green….I feel as if I’m holding my breath.  Although, if truth be told, I’ve felt this way for months now.  Last year didn’t end with confidence.  I’ve just reread that sentence four times.  Its simplicity somehow is satisfying while it falls chasms short of describing those months.  There are moments in life that absolutely have no words.

I don’t believe I could live in a climate that didn’t have seasons like this part of the world – for the sheer and basic reality of emotional stability.  Every year Summer’s igneous heat pummels the grass of our yard to a faded yellow pulp; and then Autumn arrives with her glorious cloak of nutmeg and ocher leaves that scatter in the smoke-scented wind.  My soul soars those months.
The frost appears, tracing icy lace along my windows, reminding me to pull out the sweaters and Christmas garland.  The holidays are magic; twined with music and mulled wine and the glitter of starlight on snow….and then Winter creeps in.  I swear he steals beneath the trees when we sleep, his claws so hard and dark and cold.  The air burns just to breathe.  The slush and grit of winter invade me; cling to my feet and drag upon my soul…and then the lilacs bud.
Life has such seasons.  I’m rather tired of winters. 
Have you ever had a dream that when you awoke, you didn’t know whether to be relieved or sad?  I am in such need of Spring that I fear I am reckless this year.  I’ve torn the plastic from the kitchen window already….there are hyacinths on my dining room table.  I’ve painted my toenails.  Please Lord, let Spring be near.  I fear my heart cannot keep up this mad pulse without sunlight and warmth.
Hope is a season.  A spring renewed that is astonishing in its ability to reappear after the dark.  When the storms have passed and the wreckage is left, how amazing are the glimmers of green that forever persevere between the fragments of our humanity.