Capricorn, My Mother’s Moon

My mother’s moon. Capricorn.

Full moon and fox den and hotflash…
In lieu of releasing into a deep sleep,
I open to the sensations around me,
including the ocean-like rustle
of the breeze through the trees,
and the squeal of pups,
and the fine mist across my forehead & between my breasts & in the crook of my arms;
and I ride it all,
like a wave,
only not the kind that crests & breaks & tumbles
toward the shore,
but the deeper swell,
that rises and falls, rises and falls,
like breath…
And I think:
This is how I’ll die.

And I think…

Thank you Mom.

“Ready to die”

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-v1_at_8001.jpgMy son returns to college this weekend so I’m thinking about death.
Mainly my own.
How everything good ends.
And how life is such a trickster.
Sucking us in by love, disarming us of our defenses, distracting us with the infinity of doing, and then VOILA–death! Ending. Finality.

Having a family is the worse (or is it “worst.”) Simply because it seems so permanent. Particularly in the trenches. Like the diapers and the feedings and the messes will never end. And when they did, I was HAPPY.

But now, I’m 51. With a second foot into the decade that took the lives of my beloved mother and the grandmother I adored.

Plus it’s winter. A particularly hard and cold and frozen week of January in Vermont. The darkest time of year. And in Paris, a bunch of people were butchered.

“We’re ready to die,” said the terrorists.

A friend relays that he had a moment on his mat this week where he felt that it was okay to die. Really okay.

I had that once too. On my knees. In the garden. Rain soaked. My hands in dirt.

What if we woke every day with this aim?

Without saving any love or expression “for later.”

To be ready TO DIE in each moment.

But not like this:


Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”

~Bertrand Russell


Perhaps as humans, our souls are steeped in abandonment having left Heaven for Earth. And perhaps it is also the deeper condition of womanhood throughout the Ages.  And then, the legacy of certain families, like mine, through time.

I ponder this as I fall to sleep in the afternoon sun, waking to my mother’s arms as she hands over the child she has borne.

Two decades later and my sister does the same.

Who is it that is abandoned?  The adopted child? Or the mother, childless now?

My walk with abandonment is distinct from theirs.  At 16, I abandon two pregnancies and approaching 30, two abandon me.

A long-awaited son, born Caesarean, is separated from me after birth.  That single hour– apart– is the longest I’ve ever ached for anything.

But it is only now, at 46, as I glimpse the playground of the Gods, that I realize how tightly I hold the hand of my Restraint, fearing the wild abandon.

I’ve bumped up against this fear before.  Each time my life begins to open.

This morning, as I walk in delight up the road toward my special space and loose my mind within the still waters there, I feel myself squeeze the hand of my Restraint.

Hold on, I chide. Hold on!

And so I ask, Why?  Why, in the depths of such GREAT JOY, do you pick up the hand of Restraint?

And I remember.  The moment.  The one after which I choose Safety over Play. Protection over Expansion. Caution over Delight.

It is my last FULL moment of Innocence.   About to be swept away by the first wave of… Death.


Strange that we, abandoned to Earth, hold to it so tightly that we miss the opportunity to have Heaven everywhere.

Kelly Salasin

(This is the first–in what is to become a series of pieces on “Lila“~the last excavation of pain from my life.  To see piece II, click here. )