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Sunday, April 10, 2016

17, 6, 3...a customized count-down

Hello, Loves.

2016 seems very very far away from you all. Though you each come to mind every single day in one way or another, I've all but ceased recording the conversations and thoughts that stream thru my cells. I don't know why exactly. They certainly don't do much good just cycling and re-cycling through my being. But I've been hesitant for the last year to write anything to you here at all. Hesitant to write anything to you anywhere, even in private pen/paper pages.

Some of it probably leans toward shame. You see, even when I miss you most, I no longer actually wish you each were here. In fact, I'm relieved in so many ways that you are not. This world is not kind though your father and I continue to seek and express kindness as much as we can. But looking in my work and life at the cross sections of grief and social (in)justice more intensely in this past year than I probably have in two decades...well, it's ugly out here.

I'm so glad you aren't here to have to make sense of it. I'm so glad you aren't here to inadvertently become the target of some hopped up hate from ... wherever it comes from... I'm so glad you aren't here to have to figure out how to ask the hard questions, how to live with no answers, how to make sense of white violence while still being in relationship with your white mother. I'm relieved that you are free. I am looking forward to that freedom myself one day because this bs is too much.

My love for you never ceases. I do see you in many reflections here that make me smile or pine for some wistful something, to be sure. I still love adding your names to various places so those signifiers are heard or seen -- even if the people on the receiving end don't and won't really know the context of you. It's like you are my secret brigade.

I love you, little troopers. Hope wherever you are, whatever you are up to, that it is nothing like this insanity here. May you have peace and love and some fun. Wherever you are.

Love,
Momma

Sunday, August 10, 2014

On his 4th death day

Memory is all we are... 
by Kara LC Jones (excerpt from forthcoming "In A Body" collection from KotaPress)

Memory is all we are.
Let it go
and we are       nothing.

I do not want to know you would have turned 4 years old this year.
I do not want to remember where we buried you.
I do not want to remember coming to in fuzzy vision, 
your father bent over me, calling my name, asking me to stay with him.
I do not want to remember the amount of blood

unless it were memory spilling out of me      emptying
til there is       nothing.

Memory is all we are.
Let it go
and we are     nothing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

one of those increments of five


...and at 15 years out, I'm not sure why I'm still here writing. But to mark the day you would have turned 15, Kota, I'll just offer this:

Thank you for teaching me not to cling to living children and motherhood.
Thank you for teaching me not to cling to dead children and grief.
Thank you for teaching me that clinging is just another delusion of the human experience.
Thank you for letting go of me, so that I could let go of you.
Now to just practice letting go of everything.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

3.5 months, 3 years, 14.5 years...reflections and scrambles in a body

Hello, my loves.
Today is Zuzu's third birth/death day. Daddy gave me his phone to download some of his pics, and the image you see here was one that came across. All scrambled. As if it were developed badly in the dark room. Bits and pieces of a puzzle that is put together in such a wrong way.  And yet, it was the one that spoke to me.  I told Daddy I thought it was stunning, and he smiled, saying, "You always do like the weird ones."

It got me thinking about this weird life we've cobbled together from fragments and pieces.  It reflected some sort of bodily experience I've been having all week.  And then it dawned on me.  Oh.  Yes. This was Zuzu's week.  I feel the reverberations of that disorientation.  Not the same as it was in the moment back then.  But some echo of it.  And there are still echoes of your littlest brother who was born dead just three and a half months ago, too.  I am disoriented even while seeming to walk a straight line.

My bones ache with missing all of you.  And at the same time, there is a part of me glad you never had to live this life.  The chaos of planet Earth is ... well, it just isn't something I'd wish on anyone at this point.  It can be an adventure, interesting, fun, even Light in the ways your Daddy is learning about through meditation and stillness.  But always at the edges, there is suffering.  Always dancing around the most still of beings is the chaos of the relative world.  I'm happy you did not have to go through this world.  If rebirth does exist, I hope you've found your way out of the cycle now.

For your day this year, Zuzu, I think we'll spend some time near water, the beach, something.  Even if just for the afternoon.  We'll watch the birds and boats.  We'll take in the immense nature of the large body of the Puget Sound.  I'll imagine that huge body of water as one being who is staring back at us, two specs on the shore.  A being who wonders who these two small creatures are and why they are here.  If I see any starfish, I'll send Reiki to them for you, Zuzu.  If we come across ripe, wild blackberries, we'll eat a few for you.

In the scrambled picture of the life we are still living, we'll be loving you this day.  Like we do every day.  But through and through in the ache of my body today.

You boys take care of each other.
Love,
Momma

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What is seen and unseen...

Well, my dear sons, you are joined in your other-world by another sibling. Amid the big transitions your father and I were making early this year with the move back across country to come home to the island, we discovered we were pregnant again. I hardly dared touch joy. I held my breath.  We told no one.  And in the first tri, soon after starting to re-nest here on the island, the blood came and wouldn't stop.  We were not pregnant anymore.  For weeks, we told no one.

Even your Nanna-Memoo and your living brother and sister heard weeks later.  And at that, I found myself typing on chat or PM with them to tell them.  I seem to have lost my out loud voice with the death of your most recent sibling, loves.  I'm sure you know already, but Mimi died on Easter morning, too.  Your world over there is getting more populated than my living world in some ways.

Before this baby died, I was already clearing space in my life, trying to shift as many things away from me as possible to open space.  I have wanted to do nothing but focus on the work I'm doing with Auntie Cath and then have space and space and space.  Our new house share here on the island is perfect for that.  It is often quiet and sunny in the backyard with lots of growing greens and lovely creatures.  Even when we hear our housemates, it is so quiet and full of love and space.  There is a very deep, resonating chime hanging next to the house, so with the wind each day, I feel I'm hearing the ring you'd hear at silent retreat.  I knew I was wanting quiet, calm, space for this baby brother or sister.

As it turns out, I am wanting that quiet, calm, and space for myself.  For mourning his/her death.  For pondering what karma is playing out as each of you has died.  For sitting with what was probably my last chance.

It has all left me with a need for huge swaths of time alone and in silence.  It has left me very hesitant to make too many plans each week.  It has left me wanting to just have open days -- as many in a row as possible -- to spontaneously do (or not do) whatever feels ... ??? ... right? good? okay? inspiring?

It has all left me incredibly grateful for the paths I took in life to end up married to your father.  To find my way to self-employment so that I can have days as I wish.  To find my way back to this quiet island so there is space, large bodies of water, and gentle creatures who aren't afraid to approach me.  Incredibly grateful.

Odd.  Third child dead.  Heart broken with grief.  Again.  And yet.  Incredibly.  Grateful.

I miss you each so much.  I wish I'd had more time with each of you.  I will always love you.
Your Mama

Monday, February 25, 2013

Punker Skellie and love...

Hello, my lovie loves.  Been thinking about you boyz so much, and Erin, too, as we've been preparing for our transition back home to the island.  As I'm pulling items off the fridge door, I seem to newly see the photos of Erin and can't believe -- all over again -- that she's dead now.  I do hope both you boyz are able to spend some time swimming like little fishes with her wherever you all are.  I used to love swimming with her and her sister in the summers.  Certainly seems we are all a family of water beings.

As I was pondering your butsudan, trying to figure out what to take with us in the car and what to pack for the movers, I couldn't decide and so sat there doodling a little.  Out of my pen came this punk rockin' skullie.  :)  It struck me, Kota, that you'd be 14 right at the week we move.  I wondered if we'd celebrate your birthday during the whole trip home?  Maybe we'd pick 14 things along the way to stop and see?  Maybe we'd head out to the coast and throw 14 stones into the ocean and wiggle our toes in the water as a celebration of returning to the water?  Gawd, I miss you boyz so much.

Zuzu, it will be wonderful to get back to your Cedar Grove and sit with you for a bit in the silence and wind and with the birds.  I wonder if anything was developed off the back of the grove? The last time we were there, it looked like they were gearing up to build back there.  Hope that whatever has taken place hasn't disturbed you at all.  Or that you've had fun with all the diggers and stuff :)

Well, just a short note for today, loves.  Just wanted to share the punker skullie with you really.  And tell you that I love you and miss you so much.

xoxoxoxox's,
Momma

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Starts and fits and stops...


I cannot tell you how many times I've started this post, deleted it.  Wrote it again, deleted it.  Started again, leaving a draft copy on the server with just the image saved and all the words deleted.  It isn't that all of you, my loves, my sons and you, my goddaughter, have not been on my mind since mid-December when the dozen pairs of toe socks in this image were donated.  In fact, Erin, on your birthday in mid-December, they were donated, as a gift to and from you to some young girls in a local domestic violence shelter who really need some color and spark and fun, not to mention some warmth for their toes.

It's just that on the very same day, I began to feel...well...just not right.  Physically.  My immune system went into over-drive, my nerve endings caught on fire, my need for sleep was unquenchable.  While I know the body is physical and I can't just blame myself for feelings that were "negative" that might cause "sickness" because frankly, I don't think it is that simple... but I know that much of the fire coursing thru my nerve endings was the fire of sorrow.  Of simply missing you all.  And missing Unkie, too.

My body felt haunted.

And as I spent the next 6 or so weeks, more or less in bed, taking frequent naps, trying to sort out some of the *knowings* I was having in body and consciousness, I began to see that haunted-ness reflected in the physical space around me.

I was in bed for your daddy's birthday, boys...I was in bed for Christmas Day.  I saw your father haunt around this house with no real community to turn to with me zapped out of it.  I saw that where I knew nettles would help exorcise some of the bodily ailments, there was no one here for me to work with, but rather I was online to Auntie Jane back on the island.  I had a moment of sitting in front of your butsudan and being haunted by the fact that your ashes, Kota, are here with me, but your brother's remains are in the sacred cedar grove on the island.  And there is also just the sort of bottom line:  As much as I miss all of you who are dead, well, living this far away from the living loves makes it feel like everyone is dead.  But they are not!  Time to be a bit closer to some of our living loves again.  Though I do have moments where I wish we could live in all three - West Coast, Mid-West, and East Coast - as we seem to be all spread out across the North now.

So it is, loves.  Another big move is in the works.  I've edited my schedule so that it can accommodate lots of naps and heART-making dream time -- I'm grateful for the visits all of you pay me in those reveries of art making in the studio, by the way.  We are slowly putting the pieces together to return to the island this spring.  Kota, I'm thinking about taking some of the dirt from your brother's burial site and adding it to your marble jar.  Or giving him his own space in a beautiful little something so that I have pieces of you both in the butsudan.  I can't believe I came this far away without an handful of his dirt.  I need to go back.

Anyway, just like the starts and fits and stops and re-starts of this blog post over the last 6 weeks or so, it seems life is the same way.  Begin again.  Remembering things like what your Auntie Sherene reminded me of the other day:  No matter how long you walk down the wrong road, you can always turn back or turn off to another road.  Try again.  Take the next breath.  Allow for the learnings.

I'm grateful for my time here for many reasons:  I got to try on a different hat.  I got a good sun fix.  I got the chance to see the difference between depth healers and plastic shamans.  I got a chance to create in cooperation with your Auntie Cath and learn how much I love being self-employed.  I got to see how integral community is so that I don't take it for granted next time I encounter it.  I got to see that stereotypes exist for a reason; there really are people who think the Civil War ended badly; and I really am a liberal, peace-nik, Northern who needs a LOT more practice at being tolerant of those who are not.

What can I say, my loves?  I, your mother, am just a messy human being, living a messy life, knowing death comes all too soon.  And I can't let any more time pass without trying to begin again, to try a different play, to re-start again in gratitude for all that has passed and not taking for granted anything that will come.  Even more importantly, to re-start again this moment with a breath, a conscious listening to the needs of my body and soul, and a gratitude for love however it is expressed this moment.

That said, in this moment, I thank you, my dead loved ones, for teaching me that, no matter how much time we have here, death will come too quickly.  So don't miss this moment to live with as full a heart as possible.

Love your incredibly flawed, human being, mother...
xoxoxoxoox