Monday, February 25, 2013
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.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
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...