Oh friends! It’s been too long! It feels very…different to go from writing every.single.day for 365 days to writing every.single.day for 24 days this year…and then BAM stopping. But the truth is…I just can’t do it again this year! There are too many other *BIG* things going on in my life. Perhaps I’ll figure out a way to write and share more frequently. The magnetic force connecting me to posting every day has weakened tremendously. Some days, I don’t even think about it. Isn’t that curious?
Curious. That’s my jam, it seems, so far this year. The word keeps coming up in conversations, in oracle cards, in prayers…and so I’m going with the flow of it. It is a word that gives me lots of room to breathe. And that’s what I desire.
I’ve applied to be Windsor’s next Poet Laureate. It is a four-year commitment. I am ready to commit. I am also ready to keep doing what I’m doing. And this, dear friends, has taken much reflection, much gratitude, much prayer, and much energy. I’ve always been ‘curious’ as to when I’d begin to reach a point in my life when ‘outcome’ loses its thick rope around heart and soul. Such a grip it has! I’ve done some deep excavation about the Poet Laureate position: from asking myself if I truly desire to take on this role, to dreaming about what I (we) could create, cultivate and accomplish, to accepting that whether I get it or not, I still am and will forever be a poet, a teacher, a community-builder.
It’s true…with age comes wisdom! It comes in tiny drops that actually weight a universe, but it comes and it seeps in and it feels very, very…curious.
I am overflowing with gratitude for the pouring in of support for this application. I will keep it near me always and when I’m feeling blue or red or discouraged or lonely, I will go to it and read the outstanding letters of love. Thank you all so much!
Another truth: Mama’s in peri-menopause. I’ll be 44 in May, and my body is heaving through the beginning of its change. I’ve been fighting it. Doing the things I’ve been doing my whole life to change my body, to feel better, to quiet the demon women in my head. The thing is, my body is shifting from a baby-making vessel to a wise-woman vessel. It’s a whole new ball game up in here. My hormones are weather and I’m a sailor peaking out from below deck wondering what the heck I’m in for each day. I can’t ‘workout’ like I used to. It hurts. And it’s exhausting. And I don’t want to. I can’t pig out like I used to. It hurts. And it’s exhausting. And I don’t want to. These feelings and experiences are very new, very raw, and I need help figuring out what the new ‘feel better’ means and how to achieve it.
That means lots of reading for research. That means diet change. That means lots more water intake and lots more pee breaks. That means lots more detox and so.much.journal writing.
Inside, I feel like I’m 12. Wait, 10. Nope…6. Gah. I don’t feel my ‘age’, but my body is its age and it’s changing and I’m beginning to accept it. But in the accepting it – there is much confusion because nearly every new thing I’m doing feels un-natural. It goes against my up-to-this-point-in-my-life beliefs and abilities that are cell-deep in me. But that’s how deep the change is! And so there’s no escaping it.
“The negative feelings are real, and we may need to grieve the loss of the body we have always had…there are solutions that can nourish your mind and body as you make this sacred transition into the next season of femininity…”DailyOM
Confusion, I’ve learned, is welcome. And as I shift my food choices, cleanse with water, give my body gentle exercise and long sleeps, I’m learning to feel what it feels like in a body that…wait for it…I don’t want to change…that I love. I’ve never felt this before. And it is scary and wild and confusing…and yes, I am grieving the years of harsh and hardcore treatment, sugar-attacks and negativity that I’ve put myself through.
This takes time and energy and, for me, lots of writing. I’m embarrassed about how I’ve treated myself, and I want to not feel that…or feel it, and learn to let it go.
And, I want to write about it. I want to write poetry and essays, but my ‘voice’ is playing hide and seek. I’m seeking! I’m seeking! And in the seeking I am overwhelmed by fears, new and old, and confusion, stormy and smooth, and, thank goodness, love.
The State of Things in Photos
Each day my desk looks like this. Each night, I clean it up. I have piles and notebooks and file folders and pencil cases. There is always the great explosion of things to do and the great clean-up of things completed…and lists about what to do next. This is one of the reasons why blogging every day is hard for me. I’m having a hard time fitting in even a haiku on the blog…! But I’m taking the pressure off myself. As I embrace my body changes, complete big projects/grant applications, continue to work with writers…time will open up as she does and I’ll figure out how to speak through my blog again.
Poetry continues to inspire me. Old. New. Serious. Humorous. Doesn’t matter. It’s in my life and it’s medicine.
Since the holidays, I’ve been walking the dogs. I have to walk one at a time because I’m not strong enough to walk them together…and quite frankly, they don’t love it because they each want to take the lead! But I can tell you that dog therapy is legit. I spend loads of time rubbing bellies, smooching snouts, brushing bums. Pages and Oscar are my familiars, and their love is unconditional and it’s the.best.