Waking to the sacredness of the female body will cause a woman to ‘enter into’ her body in a new way, be at home in it, honor it, nurture it, listen to it, delight in its sensual music. She will experience her female flesh as beautiful and holy, as a vessel of the sacred. She will live from her gut and feet and hands and instincts and not entirely in her head.
Such a woman conveys a formidable presence because she resides in her body. The bodies of such women, instead of being groomed to some external standard, are penetrated with soul, quickened from the inside.
(Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd)
- An entire week, a year, a life… to sense, reflect & write my way to 50.
- The gift of my body… to love, to dance, to birth, to nurse, to move through space.
- The community of Marlboro, Vermont.
- Marlboro Elementary School.
- Southern Vermont–where so many find so many ways to celebrate art, voice and humanity.
- The state of Vermont which I’ve been proud to call home for 20 years.
- SOUTH POND.
- NERINGA POND.
- The Whetstone Brook.
- MacArthur Road.
- Dan’s emerging rock sculptures up MacArthur Rd.
- Whetstone Ledges Farm Stand
- The music makers. Local. Worldwide.
- Libraries, everywhere.
- Cafes, everywhere. But especially our Amy’s.
- Cities. Kyoto. Paris. New York.
- The United Nations.
- Men, men, men.
- New life… plants, babies, animals.
- The splendor of frost.
- The sun on the water at day’s end.
- That time of day when water becomes glass.
- 7 Sisters.
- ONE BROTHER.
- Two sons.
- One AMAZING man who has loved me and taken care of me and celebrated me for almost 30 years.
- Childhood friends. Highschool friends. College friends. Traveling friends. International friends. Local friends. New friends. Friends to come.
- Mentors. Colleagues. Leaders. Teachers.
- The SUN.
- The male mind.
- Male confidence.
- Male competence.
- The men who have been my friends. Who have fed my mind. Who have complimented me in ways that have nourished me through time.
- WATER. Drinking, bathing, showering, playing, watching, gliding, skating. Wine with.
- The women who have shaped my life. Who have paved the way.
- The sacred.
- Loving Me.
- Being 49.
- (Shit, how did I get to 50 already!)
To Be Continued…
East of Ordinary
There exists the landscape where
you take yourself by the hand.
Where you walk forward trembling with tears
running down your face.
West of Doubt
where you fear your greatness and
embrace it anyway.
We join hands and
listen for the whispers of how we each make a
North of Hello
for the doing.
South of Regret
we loosen our jaws, lean our shoulders away
from our ears
let our eyes turn upwards.
It need not be hard,
we have each other.
A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me–a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic–or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.
by Denise Levertov
I wonder why we’re so quick to reach toward the Sun on Solstice.
Why do we dismiss the gift of the darkness?
Sipping margaritas under the summer sun is simpler. Much simpler.
I’ve read that the days leading up to Solstice are the most feminine of the year–a time of pause, of rest, of surrender. Winter’s yin to summer’s yang.
I need that.
Why do I fight it then? (Curse it, even!)
Why do I place a higher value on the expression on my yang than on the yin which necessarily conceives it?
This Solstice day is a dark one in New England. I’ve lit my tree and my staircase and my wreath to make Holy the darkness. In this week before Christmas, I’ve opted for extra yoga classes instead of the gym–seeking that which is slow and restorative to anything more invigorating.
My doctor calls, suggesting an upgrade with my progesterone cream–offsetting the havoc inflicted by my shifting hormones.
I’m hesitant to claim the relief.
Do I not deserve it? Wouldn’t I prefer to be my usual, satisfied self?
These are the questions I ponder in my therapist’s chair.
She tells me that some women say that it is their PMS self that is their truest reflection.
Am I an edgy, agitated, easily-irritated woman?
I can be.
Do I want to be?
I’m surprised to discover that, right now, I do. I prefer her. She fits. She has something important to say.
Annie Dillard writes that, How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
This morning I wake in self-love, the first I’ve felt in weeks. Gone is my fractured mind and my ever-present angst. My body is tired, but I feel whole. Still. Contained. Embraced.
I open my computer, and watch as that changes. With each click of the mouse, my mind wakes to the day. My fingers speed over the keys, delighting in the rapid succession of taps. Despite this engaging stimulation, my wellbeing begins to fray.
When I click on my browser, I am at once overwhelmed by how many pages I work at one time. I close all but one, and then suffer the lack of efficiency.
I resist the urge to check email while a page is loading. I don’t scan Facebook. I stay present to the site that is open in front of me. Even though nothing is happening. Even though I am bored. Even though this is impractical.
I witness how my thoughts race ahead of my body. I bring them back. I am gentle.
Slowly my sweet sense of sanity fractures away. The phone rings. An email comes through. A Facebook chat chimes. The Christmas cd skips. I have to pee.
Had there been sun–or hormones–I wouldn’t have noticed any of this…
This is how I live my life.
This is its cost.
This is the darkness illuminating the price tag.
Kelly Salasin, December 21, 2011
“I don’t care if you walk into the “same” office or scenario you’ve been in a thousand times before. You are dreaming this dream. How do you want to play it? Look for the angels & observe the coyote tricksters. Pay attention to how everyone serves you. After all, they’re in your movie at your r…equest. Can you smell the popcorn?”
~Tama J. Kieves
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”
In the wake of teen suicides around the nation and the call to cease the bullying, particularly around sexual orientation, these lines from Dostoyevsky, point the way…