There’s a part of me that, if I allowed myself, would fall into a pile every day and have a good weep about my father. It’s the part of me that will never grow accustomed to the loss of him—to the large, willowy, gleaming gap his departure created in my true and devoted heart.
But I work hard to free myself from wallowing in the mark that his disappearance branded me with.
I work hard to remember his out of control cackle and the way he worshiped the sun. How he loved to treat everyone to everything as a way of showing his gratitude for being alive. How he thought I and my sister were the best things that graced the planet since the mountains and the sky. How he grappled with all that he failed to understand until the day he died and how the grappling made him feel worthy. How he forgave the unforgivable and then he forgave again. How kindness was his religion and introspection his badge of honor.
How, now that he’s gone, I drift over toward morose grieving but I’m able to pull myself back and remember how hard we used to laugh the night before elections and I know, if he were here, he’d be proud and happy about that.
What I Want To Say Is What Will Keep You Here Forever,
Tender Tammy of the Trepidatious
Over the years I’ve grown so very accustomed to the characteristics of my own anxiety. The way it proliferates from one moment to the next, covering everything within miles of me. The way it creates a blanket of denseness, leaving me confused and mapless. How, after knowing it for so long, I’ve come to admire its unusual fierce quality, its way of entering regardless of being uninvited—it stays the course and casts large shadows across the landscape, changing everything it comes in contact with. The way its taught be how to be a student of allowing and letting go, even though these are the qualities I most lack. And, mostly, how it has orchestrated my life’s course as an example of how one forces oneself to gain a new perspective because one has nowhere else to go.
No Big Whoop,
Sally the Shaky Student
My process of becoming undone started in my late twenties. My process of unraveling and questioning and deciding to be awake came over me like a sledgehammer. For all I’d learned and all I’d endured, I knew that, if I were going to survive, I needed to be a potent observer and learner. So I made a decision to take several steps down a path that I felt would lead me to myself. I’m still on that lush, gorgeous, solitary road. I’m still generally overwhelmed by letting go and accepting but, most of all, I’m determined to keep moving forward toward that thing that will deliver me—lay me out at the feet of myself, saying “I still have more questions” so because of that I always have a place to go. I always have a mini-journey I take every day that has a confused yet hopeful hue to it.
My struggle has been to keep on going. My struggle has been to remember that I matter. My struggle has been to be comfortable in my own skin while I’m foraging for clarity on my winding, unwieldy route.
But when I stop and rest on my laurels, when I stop and take an inventory of all the unraveling that I’ve allowed myself to let happen I see that, if nothing else, I’ve surrounded myself with comfort and I’ve never not told myself You Are Going To Be Okay and when I conjure up that philosophy it frees me up to stand up straight and gaze at the good things and people that surround me and I have no doubt that the place I am going is the place that I am meant to be.
Grab Your Compass, Let’s Go,
Sheila of the Shuffling Forward
Dear Big Man, I know you are as mired in activity as the most ornery members of congress but if there is any chance in hell that you can find five minutes to look on me and the ones I’ve loved and haven’t loved forever truly and bless us with teensy moments of bright quiet, I would be forever grateful. If you could look down on us all—the grievers, the mourners, the confused wanderers, the ever present coordinators, the lost sleepers, the vibrant welcomers, the sweet spirits—if you could throw a large blanket of peace and gentle awareness over us so that we know, deep down, that our powerful tears are the very thing that meld us together as if we are each other’s guardians. As if we are forged to be each other’s keeper with the worthy mission to keep one another safe and awake and alive. And if you can’t do that, Mister Man Universe, then at least occasionally can you whisper a reminder that, regardless of our staggering stupid self-righteousness, can you keep us out of harm’s way? Okay then thanks for your time amen you may now be seated.
Yours In Finding a Way To Flourish,
Lucinda of the Longing-ers
It’s a strange thing—worry. That amidst the daily glorious manifestations of stunning beauty and mystery there is an underlying longing to understand the color of the sunset and just slightly beneath that feeling is the slightest pang of unrightness, the tiniest fear of ongoing angst.
How is it that I can’t shake myself when I am so often trying to mend myself?
And all the while there is the sky. And the mountains and ocean and people scurrying here and there with, I suppose (assume?) burdens much larger or just as large as mine. It’s the stepping outside myself, just beside myself, observing myself that shines a light on the lovely circus it all amounts to. My confusion around being joined and being separate. My constant wonder at the depth of patience I have with myself, rarely. My assumption that I am the only one who is doing this all wrong.
But when I step back from my own lovingly packed drama lunch I am able to say, “Look at the majestic sky. Look at that miraculous color of orange. Look at how it all smushes together to make you go ‘Wow’” And then I know there must be hope for me.
Yours In Lessening the Grrrrr,