Saturday, June 19, 2010

a healing place

My favorite place to be...green and softly glowing, animal traces through tall grasses, bird and birds and birds and a click beetle, clear bubbling up and flowing like life from a green hillside, faeries and gnomes and a healing embrace, heal-all seeding itself among a meadow of bright red columbine for mirth and tiny purple monkey-faced flowers for contemplation and ancient wild roses for melancholy and dandelions for what else: wishes.
There is no other spot in the world like this one, and know it like the back of my own hand. I know where I might be likely to find a hummingbird or a rabbit warren. I've held church here. I've held myself together here. I've come with a headache tight as a fist, and after 5 minutes it was gone...blown away on a slight breeze. I've lain among the tall grasses, hidden away from bird-watchers and hikers, with my eyes closed. I've made friends with grass spiders here. I've watched a fat robin take a choke cherry from the bowered roof of my hiding spot. I've dipped my toes in the ice cold, straight from the mountain spring water. I've longed to drink it, but never dared, anointing my arms and legs and the back of my neck instead. I've let it carry away my anger and my hurt. I've gone there to be thankful. I've gone there in a rush to make sure it is all okay still. It is like a bright patch on my heart that waves in the wind like grasses, and stays put purely by the amount of things growing on it, rather than a seam. It is me and I am it. I never expected to love a little bit of earth this much...but after 8 years of coming and going from it, it is just like an old friend who wants nothing better than to begin where you left off last time. When I step there, I remember who I am under the layers I put on when I am away. It strips me down to the bones and says, "Ahhh, see, there you are." That is magic.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

more and more and more


Time is supposed to heal. But I often wonder if time is just a mechanism to help us process, distill, who we are NOW...who we are NOW that this has happened, or who we are NOW that we had that experience....who we are NOW that we met that person.
I lately had the opportunity (rare) to spend the evening with my best girlfriends...one of us was moving to another state. Since I found out, I was excited for her dreams come true and selfishly sorry for myself. My friend who is leaving has been a very kindred spirit...albeit in a skinny, gorgeous Latina body (I'm decidedly pale and, shall we say, "round")...bodies aside, our souls found themselves looking into a mirror. I'll forever be in awe of that true thing.
She is maddeningly precise in business affairs, irritatingly (when I'm not) positive about life, a kind listener, a true hostess, a gracious giver, a soul listener, a fiery arguer, a companion of good health (chocolate and heavy whipping cream aside), a soul-fed artist, a protective mother, a life questioner, a confident dream-taker, ...and all of this and more that I can't flesh out in words at the moment, makes her one of the dearest friends I've ever had.
So, who am I now that I know her? Who am I now? I am MORE of who I was. . . more confident in who I am. . . taking my dreams in hand... asking questions that will never be answered and being okay with it...standing up for myself...being a better hostess, a better artist, a better listener. ..rare...rare rare and rare.
Last night when I gave her a card that expressed how I see her right now, in art, but I couldn't find the words, and we hugged...neither of us could find the words to say, just gulping back the tears and hugging tight...then everyone left and I was still drinking my coffee at 11pm and thinking, I should get going, too...she said, "I'm so glad you are the last one left. I was hoping you would be. Let's go sit and talk." It struck me then, she's also made me realize that my friendship is something that people would really want. My friendship is desirable. People want to be my friend. Another gift from a beautiful person...how I'll miss her.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Self-Portrait Friday


One of my blog friends always does a Self-Portrait Friday, and I have been taken by her candid reflections on herself. She is a beautiful woman, but she just takes her pictures as-is at times. Not feeling well, sad, no make-up included. I thought it might do me some good to put pictures of myself up so I can learn to see ME the way others might. Finding that glint in my eye, or that mischievous grin. Here I am today, soaking up some much-needed sun, arms thrown back, eyes closed.
Tired, but grateful.

Every day is a god, each day is a god,
and holiness holds forth in time.
I worship each god,
I praise each day splintered down,
and wrapped in time like a husk,
a husk of many colors spreading,
at dawn fast over the mountains split.

Annie Dillard

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Straight in the Green



I've had one of those kinds of headaches that feel like a vise is tightening up just like a band around my eyes for, oh, probably a month. I know it has been because of stress. It is in my Indigo Chakra...my Third Eye. I am not listening to my intuition. I am not communicating with Spirit. It is an ache I can do without. The exact moment I realized it, I was out in the greenhouse at work watering plants and I said to myself, "Hey...wow...my Third Eye is aching. What is it trying to say?" I listened to myself and the ache went away. Like a dam creating a build up of pressure on one side, and finally letting it go...
When I get a stomach ache and I feel nervous or worried, I know my worry is making my Yellow chakra hurt. I listen to my chakras. When I ail in some part of my body, I remember those parts of what make Katie, Katie and I can help myself. I call my yellow chakra, my Confidence Spot. If I lack it, I hurt there.
When I get really scared, or worried for the mortal safety of someone I love, I literally have a pain in my butt. I don't know why except that I believe that the Root Chakra, the Red Chakra, which is said to reside right at the base of the spine, corresponds to my Tribal Feelings...my instinctual connection to my Tribe/Belonging/Loved Ones. You get the picture now.

So today, I went to see a house that was for sale. It had the usual things we've been looking for: acreage, views, barns, irrigation, quaintness, closeness to my family, closeness to work...but when we stepped inside the kitchen of this sweet little 1901 home, I felt it right in my chest. A gentle twisting of my heart, straight in the Green Chakra. Green is my love area. That is the spot at which my love comes and goes. The place at which my complicated connections to people I love are centered. I saw the old cupboard with a scrolly cutout over the sink and I turned to my mom, opened my mouth to say something to her and she looked at me at that exact moment and said, "Does this kitchen remind you of something?" I smiled. My mom hears me and we both hear "the other things" and we GET IT. My Grandma was THERE, telling us both, reminding us both, saying, "THIS is the place you want. Take it."
From that moment, everything was falling into place. The old make-do latch on the peeling greeny-white door to the PERFECT chicken coop. The old barn windows with painty latches. The tall as my armpits yellow mustard. The hemlock in full fuschia pink blooms. The low rafters in the old barn. The sloped ceilings in the bedroom. The crazy steep stairs to the bedroom. The view. The land. The stories it holds. The white lilac in the front yard. The old poplar in the front yard. The funny little laundry room. The clawfoot tub. The pedestal sink. The walk around the property. The rushing canal with yellow flags growing along it's bank. The ancient willow. The giant black barn cat I saw prowling. The promise of what it could be, and the truth of what it had been. I've never quite felt that way before about a property,
except
when I was

home.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

no words of my own

created by Katie Estvold on Polyvore.com

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, June 04, 2010

longing

I guess I don't have to live up to anything here...in my little spot on the internet.
I guess that I can say exactly how I feel even if I may feel differently later, or if I think I "shouldn't" be feeling this way.
I guess I can.
If you've read Into the Woode for a time, you might have read somewhere about how much I love to teach. You may have heard that I do not have a teaching job. You may have also heard me lament about it.
I'm lamenting again...*sigh*
It seems so so very unfair that I want to teach SO badly. It isn't even the actual "I've got a job!" part of it, either, which is sort of ironic in a way.
It is in that way that only those of us who KNOW our niche in the world feel when we are not in our niche in the world. You'd do it even if you weren't paid (though it is so nice that you get paid to do it sometimes).
I'm trying to be happy being what they've termed a "paraprofessional"...not a REAL professional, mind you, just a "para"...like a tag-a-long, or an "almost." Well, today I'm crying for myself and trying to suck it up and feel glad that I'm alive and all of that blah blah blah...well, whatever...I'm giving myself some time to feel sad and sorry for myself and then tomorrow I'll be better.
P.S. Conditions that are NOT conducive to taking time to feeling sad and sorry for yourself:
1. when your children are winky-whining about every little thing
2. when your children are jumping off their beds upstairs and sound like they are coming through the ceiling
3. when your cat wants to sit on your laptop
4. when all you've had for dinner is left over boxed macaroni and cheese
5. When your mouse isn't working

on second thought, I think I'll feel sorry for myself about not having time to feel sorry for myself properly...then TOMORROW I'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

the truth of it...

I've been very poetic lately when I write because I've had so many feelings and things going on, I hardly know how to begin.
I figured that it was about time I wrote plainly, rather than prosey.
I am feeling that I'm in a stage of BEGINNING.
I have such a hard time working in a job that I am over-qualified and under-payed at.
But I'm pretty proud of myself for not giving in to that feeling. I've spent lots of time just giving this job my absolute best, and yes, overdoing almost every single day.
I've also spent most of this school year in packing my goods away, paring down my house so it can be put up for sale...again.
I've put myself into a place of truthful, honest-to-goodness optimism. It is AMAZING.
Of course I have days where I just want to cry at all the disappointments
and clutching at dreams, but I pick myself up, put up my chin, thank my pioneering Mothers and say,
"No matter. We'll just keep going. There is a goal in mind here. I'm about getting it, don't you know."

There is terrible news for public schools since yesterday, here in Oregon, with our governor having to cut that spending by 9%...and I can hardly believe it. The cuts at our little school alone have to go much deeper than salary freezes, cutting back days, or reducing spending budgets. They are cutting back from what they don't have to cut from.
I do not understand how you can get blood from a turnip. If I let it, I can get downright red-in-the-face over the state of education in Oregon right now.
And I worry about not getting my job back next year.

BUT, I have this tingly, sensitive little feeling in the soles of my feet that says, "You are just about to get what you've been wanting. Are you ready for it?"

I just can't explain it, but in the midst of all this bad news, I hold onto this lantern of optimism.

I see myself teaching next year.
I see myself living in the middle of farmland in an old farmhouse next year.
I can hear it.
I can smell it.
I can feel myself in it, letting tears of happiness run down my cheeks and letting them dry in a warm wind on a summer day.

I can hear the wind through the leaves of an old tree.
I can hear my goats bleating at me for attention.
I can feel kitties at my feet.
I can hear my kids laughing and running as fast as they can in the openness.
I can smell the fresh cut grass.
I can feel the coolness of the wind off of the pond every so often.
I'll lay down under my tree and open my eyes and see the bluest sky I've ever seen.
I'll see a little sparrow flying from the eaves of our barn.
And then I'll grab the grass in my fists and say, "This is mine. I dreamed this and now it is here."

I want it for my children. I want it for my husband. I want it for myself.
The happiest moments in my life were spent in the openness, in the grasses, and the sprinklers. My most precious memories are of being caked with mud and sunshine and wind and finally getting my pig back in her pen, or scratching behind the ears of our lead cow, or throwing buckets of tadpoles in the pond that I'd rescued from evaporating puddles.
I want to give them this gift of sweet freedom and confidence.

And, I think it is beginning...