Places I'm Finding Myself

In the softest stretch of skin across his forehead.

Under layers of soft cotton, flannel and down.

In a hotel lobby that looks like the future.

In the invisible wilderness Miles Davis maps out with his horn.

Around thick wooden tables in pubs with my friends.

In every trace of emotion that plays across their faces when they tell me a story.

In the missing, and the miles between us.

In the way she smiles when she tells me she's feeling sunny these days.

On the subway stairs when my feet slip, and on the handrail that steadies me.

In the kitchen after dark.

In black or blue or maroon ink as it grazes across the page.

In the sweet relief of sleep, and whatever dreams may find me.

Read more January 2014 writings here.

The Art of Window Gazing

Pull your chair up close, prop your feet up on the sill and lean back. Start with what is close by, just on the other side of the glass, then slowly raise your gaze up to the middle ground. Notice the movement--snow falling, wind blowing. Take in the stillness of all that does not bend or dance. Watch as living things run or fly through the scene.

Let the focus of your eyes soften. Sit with the interior gusts, the metal patio furniture that resists rearranging in your mind. Your job now is not to change the scene, but to watch and wait--as if nothing is wrong here. As if seeing is easy when we slow down enough to look.

Move your eyes up to sky, wide like possibility and deep like mystery. When clouds meander and planes draw a steady line overhead, note how the world keeps moving even when you are sitting still. Remember that you do not spin this planet, with your toil or all your activity or angst. Listen as if the answers will someday find you. As if the silence itself can heal.

Read more January 2014 writings here.

Let Yourself Be Held

Jan 2014 Scan_Nevada B&B 1.jpeg

Maybe it's enough to wait until the house is quiet. Or to watch the sun rise without a pen in hand.

Maybe it's enough to light the candles and fill the tub and play the same songs again and again until you're ready to move on. 

What if you took the day, simply as it is handed to you, without trying to change a single thing?

Scrubbing the tiles could be your holy practice, putting everything in its place could be your prayer. 

When it is time to move on, you will know it.

But in the meantime, there is this day and likely many more beyond it.

What if the days and weeks and months could form a cradle?

Could you let yourself be held?

Read more January 2014 writings here.

a "great year"

Jan 2014 Scan_laundry.jpeg

She says, It's gonna be a great year, and it's not until I hear her say it that I realize how much I doubt it.

I'm longing for something quiet now, something docile, steady and sweet. Something just like this moment--under a heap of flannel-covered down, watching the treetops dance in the red morning light.

It's hard to believe that something quiet is enough, or even allowed--that it will not squander the good graces of the universe. But I am watching so many who are ever on display and noticing how unwell it is for their souls.

Every leap must be followed by a proportionate grounding. A time to sink back into the support of the earth, to let the tremble make its way out of my legs and make sure I don't lose myself in the midst of it all.

What if this quiet reaches far past the bounds of February, I wonder. Can I grant myself enough permission for that?

I must. I must.

Read more January 2014 writings here.

What Stillness Looks Like

 Elephant sea lions on the California coast, Horizon Perfekt, 35mm

 Elephant sea lions on the California coast, Horizon Perfekt, 35mm

Not knitting. Letting your arms drop and your hands release even this motion.

Going where the words cannot follow.

Listening to rhythms and melodies on repeat. Forgoing narrative and story long enough to find your way on the inside before having to explain yourself on the outside.

Dropping all the way into memory and emotion like a deep well. Gathering what there is to gather before coming up again.

Letting your face soften. Exhaling all the way. Trusting the ones you love to hold your frailty with gentleness and understanding.

Allowing the passage of time to be a medicine.

Patience while you find your way. Back to center. Forward to what's next (yes, of course--someday), but a long long spell of steady standing patience in between.

Thinking of so many things you could be doing and saying, Not Today.

Watching the sunrise. Doing what the day requires and no more. Ending the day under a blanket (by a fire if you're lucky) and repeating.

Read more January 2014 writings here.