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Posts Tagged ‘becoming’

Hiya First Pagers!

It’s been a while, I know.

I so very deeply love the community that has developed here over the years… we’ve shared much.

I haven’t been blogging for a while because I needed to reconnect with my 3d world, although I’ve missed this space you’ve helped to create.

Summer is approaching which means I’ll have time to let all my creative juices start juicing… or something like that.

In the meantime…  here’s a little video to let you know what has been happening in my wonderfully messy world ~~~>

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i stand at the edge of the world and i jump and i soar higher and higher

… and then
a tug
a pull
i am unable to move forward
my leap was so high and so far and the wall that floats around in the between places of what we are and what we can be is there, just ahead

… and then
it starts in my feet
they cease their movement
i begin to float slowly back to the edge
a rope lassoed to my legs tugging me
tugging me
my arms try to swim through the open air
try to propel me onward towards that wall

… and then
the struggle takes all my strength
my arms keep moving and flailing and i can see that gravity is wrapped around me and every time i move it tangles me up more and i am moving and struggling and lurching and forgetting to pause

… and then
i inhale and fill my lungs and i exhale
inhale
exhale
repeating repeating repeating
i caress the pause like a forgotten lover coming to ease my mind

… and then
i am free
i am floating to that wall with my hand stretched out my fingers extended reaching past the safety of who i am

… and then
i pause, looking at both sides because both sides are equally beautiful and filled with the dreams of an awake mind

… and then
i jump into the middle of who i can be but the wall between the two has dissolved
the struggle has faded
the sadness of gravity has released me to move freely

so i do

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… I’m not asking you to move on or forget it, but these are better days

… to be loved like a song you remember even when you’ve changed. ~~ Brandi Carlile

When I answered the phone that morning, I already knew she was dead. Nothing good ever comes from a phone call at 5:28 in the morning. When I left the night before, she was near death… always “near death”. I guess in a hospice facility that describes everyone — “near death”.
But still, that morning the phone rang, and I already knew. I answered it anyway, my sister said, “she’s gone”. I don’t think I said anything, maybe I just hung up, maybe I said okay, maybe I said I’m on my way. It wasn’t a shock and yet — it was, it was a shock.
I collapsed under the weight of the knowledge of forever being without a mother. I collapsed under the weight of all the things I needed her to tell me, all the things I needed her to listen to, all the things that wound my mind and my stomach in knots. But that was it… time was up. No deathbed revelations, no deathbed confessions, no deathbed secrets revealed — she was gone.

I’m sure my mother isn’t the only mother who could make ice water run through your veins with her glance. I’m sure she isn’t the only mother whose perfectly placed sigh could bring an abrupt end to any conversation. I’m sure she isn’t the only mother who could make you question your decisions as a competent 40-year-old as if you were 10 again — I’m sure of these things.

I’ve often wondered if people who get the news of someone dying in a sudden car wreck or a massive heart attack can process the news easier — probably not. But, waiting 15 months for the inevitable to happen is tiring… yes, I’d say it’s tiring. You think you’ll wait for the perfect time to say the words and to hear the words and you screw your courage and decide tomorrow will be a better time. There’s always tomorrow.

I drove to the hospice facility immediately — I was already showered and dressed, it’s not like I was sleeping that year she lived with me. A baby monitor in her room allowed me to hear every creak of the bed, every cough and nose blow, every turn of the page, every trip to the bathroom, every quiet calling out of my name for help — for a year, so… why sleep? I was always waiting for something to happen… waiting, always waiting for something.

I felt relieved to not be the caregiver and, of course, guilty at my relief.
I felt a new disconnect from things holding me back, not that my mother was consciously holding me back from things I needed to do, but her care was always fully on my mind.
Or maybe, she was holding me back.

The months, the years since her death have been a confusing time.
My body still fights sleep, it still wakes at the slightest creak, it still listens for my name.

My mind wandered and did backwards flips and tangled itself into tight knots of questions and confusion. My therapist must have been one hell of a girl scout because she has untied some horrendous knots in me.
The friend I looked up to more than any other person — my knots crept into her life… those knots, they weave their way around everything near like kudzu taking over a once manicured backyard. You cut one away and another grows twice as big… a noxious weed invading every crevasse.

It was a confusing time.
A time when it seemed the knots would stay forever — the knots of my mother, the knots of my friend, the knots of my failures, the knots of motherhood and womanhood and becoming a better me… the knots of another Mother’s Day.
Seems like a perfect day to help untie each others knots.

Mothers are a confusing lot, aren’t we?
We learn from our mothers, we attempt to recreate that amazing strawberry cake, that enchilada casserole we had at Christmas all the while cursing ourselves under our breath because we even try. We vow to be our own person. We learn to control the sighs and the icy glances, the all too familiar judgements.

Motherhood should be a collective. We have a much better chance of figuring it out together than we ever would alone.

This Mother’s Day, my children and I will eat out and go for a walk and I’m sure there will be a trip to the bookstore and we’ll go to the lake and feed the ducks and we’ll laugh and we’ll enjoy that time and when we get home… we’ll all retreat to our own corners and a few of my knots will untangle and a few more will loosen.
I don’t plan on being on my deathbed wondering if I was a good mother — I am always becoming a better me… these are better days. The stories I take with me won’t be worth confessing and the confessions I make will be well worth a listen. I won’t look at my kids and wonder if I sighed too much or judged too many outfits and boyfriends and girlfriends or used my icy stare too often. They won’t tell me anyway, of course. Who tells their mother things like that on her deathbed? They’ll wait and they’ll tell it to a therapist and the therapist will untie those knots… (maybe that’s how we can tell, the number of knots that our children have in them and the time it takes to untie them… maybe that’s how we’ll know) then they’ll write a post in their blogs about motherhood and its perils and its triumphs and how the bond between mother and child endures many things and maybe they’ll even post it on Mother’s Day… but, I know I am loved like a song they remember. Still… I wonder what it will reveal about me and my knots.

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My mind keeps searching for the answers…

harassing my thoughts like the waves with the shore.

Everything that I’ve ever known…

can’t compare to what I forgot so long before.

me,

… always becoming.

I look up to the night sky…

comforted that we share the same moon.

It makes me smile…

even when I walk this beach alone.

me,

… always becoming.

I wrote out so many of my hopes…

and tossed them in the sea.

letting all those scattered thoughts…

fill the space in between.

me,

… always becoming.

I’m tired, I need to rest…

still battered from handing you my words.

I remember that horrible feeling…

as if my parts were all left in discord.

me,

… always becoming.

Sitting on this beach, my bruises so exposed…

feels like I’ve walked a million miles.

Dreamt in black and white of this hope…

shielding my soul from the brightness of your smile.

me,

… always becoming.

Trying to gather all the pieces of my heart…

holding them so delicately in my hand.

You’ll find me standing at the edge of the shore…

watching the waves battle my footprints for the sand.

me,

… always becoming.

My hopes bottled up…

rolling away on top of the waves.

I willingly tossed them…

now it’s clear how to be brave.

me,

… always becoming.

I’d walk those million miles…

just to sit on that beach for a while,

just to feel the cool ocean breeze,

just to be there and relax and breathe,

just to dig my toes in the same forgiving shore,

I’d walk those million miles.

But now I know,

the tide rolled away, again…

and me?

I’m always becoming, always.

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I think, honestly, the dreams we have when we are sleeping fall into an area of “must have’s”. You must have dreams — occasionally at least. Dreams seem to be something, good or bad, that we need to help level out our waking hours. I think dreams can enlighten us, entertain us, confuse us, scare us. I read recently that the number one emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety — I don’t need to be asleep to experience anxiety…. but it does seem to be a prominent emotion in my dreams.

Dreams seep into our nocturnal down times, sometimes like boulders falling off a tall cliff, sometimes like a small pebble being thrown into a still pond — we remember them if we’re lucky and we share them — sometimes we embellish them. The good ones get repeated or continued and the bad ones never leave our thoughts. We can recount them years later with accuracy, as if they were true events experienced vividly and consciously. I still remember a dream I used to have when I was younger about a basement and Frankenstein. There were steps leading to the basement and I had to go forward — backwards was never an option in this dream. And as I went forward, I could sense that Frankenstein was drawing ever closer. I would stop… afraid to move, and there I would stay until I awoke — scared, anxious, teetering on reality. Why some dreams leave us and some stick around I have no idea.

Perhaps the dreams that have a more significant effect on who we are and who we become are the ones we have while we’re wide awake. The ones that take us to visit new friends and the ones that lead us to new trails. The ones that guide us down unfamiliar paths and hand us new opportunities and new experiences — those dreams… the wide awake dreams are the ones that feed our souls and form our psyche’s.

When I was younger, my wide awake dreams were of being a professional tennis player, a writer, and one of those people who performs juggling feats on Venice Beach. I learned how to juggle, quite well actually, and use the skill to impress friends from time to time — sadly, I’ve never been to Venice Beach so that portion of the dream is still waiting to come to fruition. I played tennis on my college team — but losing seemed to be easier than winning… so the dream of being a professional tennis player has gone. Then there’s the dream of writing. The internet and how-to blog sites made it easy to revisit this dream a few months ago when I started First Pages. So the dream of writing is (partially) alive and (sometimes) well.

Our dreams change throughout our lives, just as we change — and change is good. Change means we are present and continuing and becoming. Sometimes our dreams are fulfilled and sometimes they need a bit more time. Some dreams stay dreams.

I like the thought of our asleep dreams and our awake dreams meeting somewhere in the middle of laughter and hope. We must have dreams… we must have hope and laughter and even anxiety. Because we are forever emerging and evolving — and your dreams will make sure you get there… when you’re awake, or when you’re fast asleep.

A painting comes too me from afar; who knows how far; I divined it, I saw it, I did it, but even so , the next day, I cannot see what I have done myself. How can anyone penetrate my dreams, my instincts, my desires, my thoughts, which have taken so long to develop and to see the light of day, and comprehend what I have put into it, perhaps even against my will. ~~ Pablo Picasso


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