Living in bondage

This morning we walked the slave trail along the river. Imagining shackles, our interlocked hands held on to each other, as if in some sort of séance calling forth ghosts from that river of commerce that was the slave trade in this city.  Trudging clumsily along, single file, simultaneously dragging and holding on, we were invited to enter with our hearts the darkness of that night, to feel the filth and bruises on our bodies, naked and cold, to experience the confusion and terror. 

In the midst of that disorientation, my heart reached for something to hold onto, sorting and searching frantically its hidden chambers, recalling the ways it had learned to survive the immediacy of trauma. My body responded in familiar ways to calm the chaos it felt. One foot in front of the other. Hold on to the moment before you. Feel the presence of what is behind you. Breathe.

Sensing the sharp contrast between the roughness of jostling and the coolness of the air, my feet fell quickly into the shuffling gait of my 86 year old mother inside the box of her walker, within her own confinement – a confinement of body and mind- within the walls of the institution. And I thought of the myriad ways our autonomy is stripped, our ability to choose denied. How the human journey is continually reshaped by such enclosures.  I wondered if perhaps the most noble and mysterious thing about being human is the way in which we survive our bondages.

Bondage. That word comes to me succintly as we walk. Holding on to the person one footfall afore, feeling the handhold of the one just behind, this small band of travelers with whom I am bonded bringing a bizarre but intimate comfort. We are bonded together in and by this experience, desperately needing one another , holding on because of the trauma we share. This is the only cure I can conjure up from these ghosts to survive this terrible breaking. Hold on and Connect.

But of course, the cure for being broken is always (re)connection.

I thought of the people’s hearts severed from their land, surveying the plants here, seeking, their bearings by reconnecting with the earth in this place. Searching for home. I thought of infants and children ripped from their mothers’ arms being gathered into the bosom of a stranger, healing pain by being held again.

Last evening, we were called by the haunting melody of the flute to gather lost pieces of ourselves – pieces we have given away, pieces that have been stolen –  to call them home. I wondered, how does one begin to heal a brokenness such as that?   As I walked that trail today, my body remembered how I have done it.

Perhaps it is true that the long term bond, over which I have so long lamented, was severed long, long ago, but I learned to bond again and again, each time one was severed. Throughout successive traumas and successive bondages, I held on, bonding over and over again,  becoming something new each time in the (re)union.

 I have fantasized that there are those who bond in a more full-bodied way than I, who have been able to hold on by more than a hand, who have known themselves to belong, to be loved, to be good, to be connected whole-heartedly, but I suspect today that this projection is just that, a fantasy. Perhaps each one of us has successive bindings. We connect and hold on in order to survive each time in each place because each connection makes us more whole, each (re)union makes us more human.

In the midst of my heart experiencing the atrocity of slavery, my head was recalling the images from the film, Salt of the Earth, which documented the life of photographer, Sebastio Salgado, whose decades of work chronicled human suffering and terror, remembering how he healed himself by returning home, to his birthplace, which he then grievously discovered had been also desecrated. There, he set about restoring the land, planting seedlings by the thousands. The homeland he subsequently reforested is now a refuge. The land has reclaimed its goodness. Birds have returned to sing. Wildlife has returned to run free. Telling the story of that film to my friend, she suggested to me that perhaps our severance from the earth is the original source of our brokenness. Each successive disconnection is piled, layer upon layer, upon that primal breach. I thought about how this felt true, that we are able to dishonor and desecrate the other when we believe we are separate from it, different than it, when we believe that it is an object we can use, forgetting that it is a sacred part of us, we a sacred part of it in a seamless whole

And so I long to lay down on the earth now, knowing it will heal all my wounds if I can just re-member myself to her here. 

We visited the Burial Grounds of the enslaved. Until a few decades ago, this land had been paved over, made into a parking lot. Uncovered now, we walked through that greening field, where bodies, once desecrated have returned to the earth. Set free? Or bonded again to that primal relationship with the earth?

We survive by holding onto our fellow travelers here- for a mile or a century – one step at a time, together, bonded in bondage, whatever those bondages look like. Whatever our brokenness looks like, we love in the midst of atrocity. We find intimacy in the midst of terror. And then, at last, we lie down on the earth and are healed.

 

 

 

 

 

individuation

bigstock-Jail-Cell-With-Open-Door-And-B-43571764-500x472

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Enroute to the post office

on a Monday afternoon, strolling

mindlessly along the winding

path, soles rolling with the cobble

stones, through familiar ivy

laden trees, you pass

the musty theater.

 

The dusty scenery appears

to be leftover from  Act 1;

the plot, surprisingly, the same

one you’d performed when you were 5.

Although the stage has long been dark

(you gave up acting years ago)  you know the lines

by heart, you pause

to glance, and there they are

as if they never tired, the players,

apparitions of the way

it was, ghastly

distortions crafted over time.

 

But you continue on your way.

You’ve no desire

to perform that role again. Besides,

the hope tucked in

your pocket holds potential

for something new.

 

A first glimpse

into that box, you’re disappointed,

the package you had hoped for still

in limbo so it seems.

But what is this ancient postmark?

Expectation shifts at once

into astonished wonder, as if this

postscript has been circling

the planet 50 years, awaiting

this precise

time to drop out

of the sky into your open,

outstretched palms.  Confession.

 

And though you didn’t comprehend it

was a cell that you’d been living

in, you feel its instant

release, fall away,

an opening, the first deep breath

in years, a thrill!

Decades of guilt reprieved

in the turning of a key.

It wasn’t you.

 

It never was. No matter

you could not

recall being laced

with drugs, the ones that made you

doubt reality, that made it next

to impossible for you

to walk without that hidden shame.  No

matter that the story told

for all the world to read

confirmed complicity.

 

That key

that you’d kept secreted

so long indeed unlocked

a treasure chest. You simply hadn’t

realized where to look.

 

Passing by that

stage again on your way home,

the lights now up, transforming

tragedy to comedy. The actors

just as tireless, parrot

their recycled lines,

you glance again and smile…

 

as you continue on your way.

 

 

 

star thrower

sea-star

I’m really quite bleary eyed tonight, but I’m going to post this, rough and rambling as it is, anyway.

This morning I opened my email to read about the virtue of ‘monotasking’, paying attention with a singular focus.  Funny that word should slip into my awareness on a morning when I’d awakened from a dream pondering, yet again, how it is that I can possibly attend to all the loves in my life without sacrificing the others. I’d opened my eyes thinking about the 9 legged seastar my sister had found washed up on the beach of Sanibel Island, remembering the chapter in Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s classic, ‘Gift from the Sea’, where she describes the lives of so many women as  ‘Zerrissenheit’- ‘torn-to-pieces-hood’. The author of this morning’s essay reminded me that one form of medieval torture was tying the penitent’s limbs to four wild horses and literally tearing her, limb from limb.

This week, my dear friend was hurting quite deeply, in need of a friend with whom to just sit for a few hours over a pot of tea, a gift I might easily offer, one that feels healing and calming for us both. Instead, I was able to provide to her a mere phone call while driving to visit my mother at the rehab center. My daughter, likewise, is feeling quite lost these days, at times on the verge of despair, her sense of identity suddenly stripped away. I was able to give her an hour on the phone yesterday morning too, the cell phone propped up to my ear as I chopped and cooked, beginning, with the stubborn hope of winter, to prepare the nurture that will carry me into the water and woods this summer.  My shoulders and neck felt that tension this morning, too, as I woke.

My husband needed yet another surgery this week, a minor procedure (I think) on the same day that my siblings had scheduled a visit to a potential new home for our mother, smack dab in the midst of my old neighborhood. I’m reeling in quite a few ways from this sudden closeness to my mother after all of these years, trying to fit that realization into my own sense of self somewhere. I had already been forced to cancel my promise to be with a granddaughter that day, because of this sudden scheduling of my husband’s surgery, and now it seemed likely I would not be able to keep the appointment with my siblings either.

I wanted to be there. I needed to be here. I was torn by that as if down the middle, felt it tear right through my heart.  But that morning in the hospital, waiting for word that my husband was out of the operating room and into recovery,  I noticed, even more markedly than that ripping, a more pervasive feeling of guilt. I would, once again, fail to prove myself good enough. And on the heels of that particular realization came a third dog gnashing – being so very tired of feeling guilty all the time.

I really love all of these people. Truly I do.  Every day I realize how blessed I am to have such a problem as this… too many people to love. So then, I wonder, where is this invisible line I step across between love and guilt? Do I believe that love means Doing for? Being present with? Is that true? Is it true, as they say, that attention is the most concrete expression of love?

“ What you pay attention to thrives. What you do not pay attention to withers and dies”

Ugh.

Then comes the forth horseman, Jealousy. Yep, that ugly one’s there too. Projecting is always dangerous, I know, but I find myself feeling jealous of the grandmother with just one grandchild to pay attention to.  Jealous of my friend, who can fly across the continent to help her one daughter settle into a new condo.  Jealous even of my sister, who has had the time and space to take on such a vital role in the care of my mother, a role that has stressed her to the extreme.

And of course, then I feel guilty about feeling jealous.

Sigh.

Sometimes I wonder just how many intimate relationships one can hold in one’s heart at any given time. So often I can feel precious relationships, so important to me, slipping through my fingers like sand. I have lost important friendships in my life when my arms were too full to hold them. If relationships need nurture in order to not shrivel away, how does one even begin to feed them all?  Suddenly this one, with my mother, seems to be siphoning a lot of what I have to give.

You see, I have been estranged from my mother for many years. Perhaps I am trying now to make up for that, make up for the guilt I feel both in relation to her and my sisters. If I check in with myself, it doesn’t fully feel that way.  It feels more organic than that, something more like the flowering that comes with just the right mixture of season and soil –timing, healing, readiness, hope, maturity, peace, wisdom and forgiveness (of both her and myself).  Suddenly, I feel like I belong in my family of origin again for the first time in a VERY long time… perhaps since I left home at the age of 16 so many long years ago. Perhaps there is something in me that craves such a primal place of belonging as this.

I am always the bad one, in my mind, I suppose. The bad daughter. The bad sister. The bad friend. The bad grandmother.

The day after my husband’s surgery, we had a full docket of elder-care homes to visit and to consider. He promised he was ok (it was a skin graft on a foot wound that had not healed). He could care for himself.  He was allowed to get up to the bathroom , walk the 10 feet to the well-stocked kitchen for food. He was neither drugged nor in a lot of pain. Please go, he’d said.

So I did.

And when I was there, I was there, present, body and mind, whole-heartedly with my siblings. I didn’t feel divided, I didn’t feel conflicted, I didn’t feel guilty. I was simply present, attentive, and immersed in the moment. The belonging felt good too, perhaps too good after such a long time of brokenness there. Perhaps I basked in that possibility of healing  a bit too long. Perhaps I wanted on some level to prove my worthiness, assuage my guilt.  I did check in with my husband between stops (one of those times, I admit, because I was asked about him and then I felt guilty for not remembering to check in…. I mean, what is WRONG with me?)

It wasn’t until I got home, after the dinner stop for the debriefing that my siblings had suggested, that my failure fully flogged me. On one of those in-between phone calls, I’d mentioned to my husband that I was tired and hungry, having missed lunch, asking him ‘Should I come home or go on to visit the next place?’  I had already visited that particular facility earlier in the week, after all, and they didn’t really need me. What right did I have to any input after all of these years anyway? It might be easier for them without me.

When I got home, much later, as we spoke, I noticed the grimace in my husband’s paled features. He was clearly in pain. It was a ‘6’, he said. Later, I noticed the glass of wine, poured in the fridge. For me. How terribly sweet. Soon, the rest of the scene unfolded… the containers of sauce and cooked meat, the spinner of salad. He’d gotten up, wanting to surprise me, cooked dinner, made salad, set the table with candles… then with my last phone call to check in before going to dinner, washed the dishes, packed up the food, eaten a salad alone.

Bad wife.

One me.

While driving yesterday, I listened to a TED talk, which explored the linguistic implications of the subjunctive in the English language, giving us the ability to explore all of those ‘what if’s’ rather than being bound by indicative ‘what is’. It was suggested that the subjunctive offers to us speculation, and so the potential for both hope AND regret. The speaker suggested that for persons who grow up without having the subjunctive tense as a part of their language, they simply can’t form in their minds the concept of compunction.  Perhaps I need to learn a new language, then, in order to think differently.  A new love language, perhaps.  But I am afraid my mind has been too well-formed by the language I learned from my birth, those brain neurons that held the potential for some other language pruned back when I was a child.  New languages at this age must always eventually pass through that translator.

I thought about that Seastar again, remembering another friend, who asked me this week if I was really supposed to be the center of a wheel with many spokes, or if this place was intended instead to be more like a spider web with many interconnecting threads. That made me think of Indra’s net, a traditional Hindu and Buddhist story given to us as a metaphor for understanding our place in the vast interconnection of things. In the story, each of us is a necessary jewel, suspended by and holding our particular knot in the web by being who we are and reflecting the light to one another, and so it is that the world is kept from unraveling.

Wait, that image doesn’t really help me at all. I don’t want to be that important.

This evening, I recall the stories that came from the research being performed with a community of trees in the northwest temperate rainforest. Those discoveries revealed the ways in which those trees reciprocally care for one another, sending a little extra nurture to one of their forest-mates in need, for one instance, or antidotes to plagues to another, through roots that are entwined and intertwined,  threadlike and jumbled, all the while individually standing firmly and rooted, completely still, while reaching for and gathering light.

What has helped me this week is to nurture myself in place in that way. To reach out my tendrils and phone that friend.  To chat with another via the internet.  To receive the wise counsel of a stranger on radio.  To sit with my sisters.  To write a brief note to a brother. To connect with a son.

Still, the rooting that has truly kept my limbs from succumbing has been to draw deep nurture and strength from the earth, even if only to bask in a short nature film at the end of the day – or to gaze at the dark, reaching sky on my walk to the car – or to throw open the bedroom window to a blustery night, where wave after wave of wind in the trees helped my heart to recall that I was being held by an ocean of love.  Like Mary Oliver’s, Wild Geese, each of these reminded me of my true place in the family of things.

“Each night, I have nothing to do but look and listen, to see and hear how smooth and changeless the water becomes, how indifferent it is to my presence. Far from other people, I feel a certain calm come over me. I am glad I am not great enough to be missed by the busy world, I’ve left behind” – John Muir

 

It’s always good to remember my smallness at times such as this, to be humbled by the presence of something far greater than me. Sometimes, kneeling my wounded ego down to my own insignificance is just the antidote to my not-good-enoughness that I so desperately need.  Of course! I don’t need to be God, after all. The idea that I am supposed to be all things to all people in order to be good enough to be loved is perhaps the one thing that I need to stop feeding, let that learning wither and die by not feeding that belief it with my attention.

Here comes the Star Thrower now, not tearing me limb from limb as I feared , but walking the beach, picking me up and tossing me back into the vastness, which is the sea where I belong.

 

wild-geese-poem-by-mary-oliver-via-karinchen-dot-com

 

gleaning

dscn0101

I have been continuing the work of uncovering the treasures from my experiences of last summer and fall. The process felt rather like this at first, looking into the fog from a seat on the sidelines, trying to pull forth the memories of what was there. Quickly though, the words in my journal and in messages sent home, bring with them images and feelings, and the fog is beginning to clear. Islands of awareness are slowly emerging.

When I returned from those months away, life here took me by storm – a surgery for my husband with a long and now complicated recuperation, not to mention the political season that swept me into its chaos for awhile.  It is good to revisit in these deeper waters and  search for its hidden message.

I am posting these new entries directly into the calendar where they occurred. You can find the latest post here .

https://emmaatlast.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/summer-of-becoming-initiation-so-this-is-life/

If you poke around from there, either using the calendar in the righthand margin, or the previous post/next post arrow from the bottom of the page, the rest of the story will begin to unfold.

 

counting birds

dscf0309Yesterday morning, as my husband sat in a hospital bed for the 3rd morning this week, I took a long stroll in the woods. With a friend. To count birds. Perhaps Thoreau would have called it a saunter in the way that he elevated such non-efficiency to the realm of the sacred.  I simply understood that after a week where it seemed as if each twilight-to-dusk was spent navigating hospital corridors, first with my mother who had fallen earlier in the week and now with my husband, my feet needed the touch of the earth. After staring hypnotically at flashing numbers and dripping IV’s, my weary eyes yearned for the poultice of sky.

Indeed, that same sapphire sky had been gracing my morning drive all week. Cresting the ridge, the whole of her expanse on display, she offered her spacious embrace, whether to low lying clouds playing a colorful game of catch with the cockcrow sun, or to the thousands of snow geese winging their riotous expectancy of spring, or to me making my mechanical way along the conveyor of cars.  Into that vast dome, ever constant in a way that even the earth beneath my feet is not, whether watching over the wilds of an Algonquin landscape of lakes or the wilder alien streets of the cityscape, I need only lift my gaze to find my place.  

And so I went to count birds, not consciously thinking at all about the way these ones also find their way home in the sky, but simply saying ‘yes’ to the invitation to a habitat nearby that welcomes a heart such as mine. We strolled, noting the presence of the ordinary – Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches, Juncos, Woodpeckers- Downy and Red Bellied, Crows and Vulture-Turkey and Black.  At last, our eyes were drawn skyward by the cornflower blue of the late winter sky, to be elated by the snowy belly and ink dipped quills of the undersides of an uncharacteristically soaring Harrier Hawk.

I’ll not pretend that I didn’t have to fight every guilt-laden brick in my psyche to take that quiet walk, especially when I learned that my son and his wife, along with two of my granddaughters had visited my husband in the hospital that morning and I’d missed them. (Yes, I’ve noticed myself trying to repair that chink in the wall ever since.) On the morning of my husband’s surgery, I’d run back and forth from his room to the waiting area on the first floor as much to care for the needs of my friend as she was caring for mine. And I kept my commitment to babysit a granddaughter later that evening… mostly because I really had wanted to connect with her (it had been a long time) when I’d offered my time last weekend during a phone call, and I still believed that some one-on-one time with the child of my child would be good for all of our hearts.  She and I had also noted the sky that evening, walking back from the playground after dark, when Venus, that bright evening star, showed us the way home as my granddaughter regaled me with some magical story about her glowing hair and its secret pull to that particular planet.  

When I’d gotten the message from my younger sister that my mother had fallen and she had been taken to the hospital, a larger regional trauma center, nearer me, I immediately went. Willingly. Dutifully. Guiltily. Lovingly. Perhaps a bit Hopeful.… oh, the whole of that cloth comes when a single thread is pulled, does it not? …that I might at last step back into a place of belonging with her in some life-giving way.

It seems my mother and I have reached a strange kind of truce now that each of us has at last stopped demanding that the other be what they are not, or give what they have not to give, as if I might actually come to peace with her here in the end, now that she cannot see, cannot hear, cannot speak, cannot remember. And I feel sadness, in this deep-and-forever emptiness inside of me, that I won’t ever truly know her. I’ve noticed the shift in me over the years, from that all-about-me wanting to be seen to this longing to see. Her. As she is. As good.  

I have for some time now wanted to know what it was like for her as a young woman, then a young mother, a tired mother, a defeated mother, a finished mother, an after-mother. I’ve inspected old photographs like a detective looking for clues. I wonder if any of us can ever really know our mothers, the way they deserve to be known, as whole human beings with gifts and flaws, hopes and disappointments, desires and griefs, strengths and fears. I can only imagine the one-sided perspective my own children surely have of me. With only a chapter of the story… perhaps the tired mother we experience when most of us reach full consciousness… the rest can at best be inferred.

As I was maneuvering the transition that comes at the end of the constricting birth passage that is motherhood, my youngest son completing his last years of high school, three of my older sons were married, three of my grandchildren (of eight to come in a span the next 7 years) arrived, my husband retired (he is my second marriage and had joined this circus just 6 years before this whirlwind began), and we sold our home to begin trying to craft this ‘one wild and precious life’ of our own. Not to mention the heartrending and constant refrain beneath all of that chaos that was the constant ringing (read 20+ times a day) of a cellphone reminding me that my daughter had been badly broken by it all and was suffering deeply.

Of course, that particular whirlwind was occurring about 10 years after a 20 year marriage came colliding into wreckage, leaving me to process that grief (which pulled up with it the buried-alive griefs of the lost 16 year old girl who had married and the babies who had died during those treacherous long-ago years) with a child in elementary school, one in middle school, two in high school and one in college.

That was a lot to hold. I can see that now. How could my children see me then as anything other than tired mother, overwhelmed mother, exhausted mother, broken mother, finished mother.  And so it was that I wondered this evening, as I beheld my own mother sleeping on the hospital bed, what unfulfilled life she had also yearned for once upon a time. I knew her only as tired and overwhelmed mother- a forth babe in her arms when I was yet a baby myself- as  depressed and detached mother, as frustrated and angry mother.  My own children coming into her life before she was ready, I knew her as distant and unwilling mother.  In the midst of her own profound grief, when her dreams of ‘after-mother’ died with my father at such a young age -58 years, I knew her as lost mother. When my own grief overwhelmed me, I knew her as dead mother. Always, you see, I knew her in relation to what she could give me, as mother, never through eyes that could see her as woman, like me.

I am nearing the age that she was lost to me now. She’d seemed so old to me then. Foolishly, I’d judged her ‘What could she possibly want for herself at that time in her life?’ or more condescendingly, ‘Why did that she let that one grief so destroy her?’

Perhaps it wasn’t one grief.

Perhaps I project.

My own husband has been hospitalized this week for a 4 month old surgical wound that just would not heal, a surgery that some part of me fears he has had to attempt to defy his own death, which of course is coming. He is 10 years older than I, a truth that I knew when I married and chose to love him til death. Next week, another surgery is being slated, scheduled on a day I had excitedly promised to spend with another granddaughter, whom I’d love to hold closer. Lately, the vision of George Bailey on the railroad platform with suitcase in hand has been rising from my subconscious again.

Yesterday, yet another new grandbaby girl arrived in our family. I made the trip from one hospital to another to welcome her. As I sat welcoming her to this terribly beautiful place we call home, from the designated rocking chair next to the window, my gaze was drawn from her new sleeping face to those long lights of the city, reflected in the darkening water, now stirring the apricot-and-raspberry palette of that fabulous, welcoming sky. This baby girl’s own mother, seated on the bed across the room, juggling her yet unconscious toddler sons, did not notice the salutatory gesture of that wondrous sky, just outside her window. The miracle inside those walls was enough. I remembered that too.  

After receiving the salty kisses from those little boys, I drove from that place to sit by the hospital bed of my mother, now in rehab, watching her face as she also slept soundly within those four sterile walls with no view at all.  She stirred, noticed me, and smiled. I’ve not seen her smile so much as I have this past week. Smiling has not been part of her countenance in the years that I’ve been aware of her (though it was there in those pre-me photos I’d poured over once). We chatted for a bit, me grasping as much as I could of her babble, likely no less than I ever could hear, until the intercom announced that this sacred hour had also ended.  Kissing her too, on lips cooler, thinner, and quite a bit less salty now than once, I left her room to navigate yet one more unfamiliar corridor on my way out.

Exhausted, I opened the door to the star-littered embrace of the sky.

Juncos. Chickadees. Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. Vultures and Crows. In the midst of these ordinary miracles, the snow geese are finding their way home. Beheld by a sky that can somehow hold it all in her arms when we cannot, the circle of life ever spins. We are not called to be sky, I suppose, to be all, see all, know all, encompass all, or even love all, but to let ourselves simply be earth…humble as one small bird, sacred as one quiet star, let ourselves  simply Be …enough. Be seen, be known, beloved, beheld by whatever it is within this great arcing dome of our lives that does the holdingAnd perhaps, occasionally, if we are lucky enough to follow the lift of our hearts with our gaze, the snowy white underbelly of one, who rarely soars, just might make her surprising appearance.

 

ephemeral grace

Vague impressions of a dream, 

which seemed to hold such certain

clarity when it awakened me at 3,

emerge like subtle ghosts

within the fog of day,

entreating me to grasp

ahold.

 

How is it that such

assuredness, that feeling of complete

and utter comprehension in the dark, so vibrant

that it seems that one could jump

from bed to sing it,

(as if one finally understood the meaning of it all!)

can fade so in the light, diminished

into blind inanity.

 

I recall a harsh environment,

the bashed remains of a violent ice, perhaps

the broken shards of limbs, 

a dwelling crafted from those ruins,

not for survival or protection, but

rather for perfection, rugged,

with great sheets of transparency,

crystal windows, through which to see

the frozen beauty round about me.

 

I understood only that there was

something absolutely right and true about its sturdy structure.

and awakened almost laughing, the ‘yes’ of it so

much deeper than a sigh,

something more akin to joy.

 

I’d found the answer that I’d sought

but this afternoon, I wonder

what the question was?

 

 

 

summer of becoming

These fallow days of snowless winter are good for both remembering and dreaming (my trip to Algonquin last week, of course, helping to inspire them both), and so I have dug out my journal from last summer and fall, realizing I’d never done a thing with them here. For me, the brief notes that I was able to make bring the fullness of the sights and the sounds and the feelings so clearly. For you, perhaps not, but I will record them here nonetheless, as much for my own weary eyes as anything.

I intend to post date the posts to the times they occurred, and link them here.

I begin with a letter I wrote home somewhere in the middle of that remarkable time.

Summer of Becoming One

me and the boys

Two women, one canoe

North-West-South-East

Hay Lake Morning- revisited

 

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