We struggle to remain warm despite it; only love can drive away hate
This railing, a musical instrument with its shiny beautiful curves that hummed when I rubbed my hand along its soft yet strong shape
Today the earth held me
while I danced to the sound of drums
while I hiked through the still of winter
while I rounded breath through body
Today there was no ending
Only beginning, again and again
As the earth held me tight
Tomorrow, a promise on the cusp
She has an entire 12- step program of denial :
1. Take a hot shower. Many things can be worked out in the shower. Even viruses! Especially if she talks to herself. Humming and singing are optional additions to this round of denial.
2. Drink coffee. Because mostly she’s just really really tired.
3. Eat something. Then at least she knows it’s also not just because she’s hungry and cranky.
4. Stretch. Maybe she’s just been clenching her entire body all day and that’s why she’s all achy.
5. Breathe. Deep and long, even just the rhythm can distract her from really thinking about what’s going on. Though truthfully, this could also be labeled “big sighs” – which she does all the time.
6. Walk around. Because sitting is the new smoking. And [insert other phrases from wellness articles she’s read recently]. Plus check out the crappy average 51 steps recorded for each of the last 4 days on your iPhone health chart. Yikes. Problem obvious !
7. Consult the internet. Type in a random sampling of ailments, just in case she’s overlooked some treatment that isn’t normal. Consider seriously whether she has a confluence of rare and deadly diseases instead of the common cold.
8. Meditate. Different from just breathing because she’s now actually trying to clear her mind. Except she has to abandon this effort 30 seconds in because she can’t breath through her nose.
9. Rub random parts of the body. Ideally against door jambs and hard furniture. Nothing distracts from pain better than different pain.
10. Drink water. [More unrelated wellness thoughts here]. She’s just sort of delirious now anyway – so a little water can’t hurt anything.
11. Wait. Pretend that steps 1-10 require time to kick in and that nothing else should be done until these are given a chance to work their magic.
12. Nap. See point #2.
I walk in the woods & remember “my side of the mountain”
1. That donut holes are really just what’s left of the doughy center cut out of regular donuts
2. That feathers are slipping out of my down jacket because they get smaller when they’re chilly – probably from shivering so much
3. That I have a soulmate and I just haven’t met him yet
4. That I will get up the first time my alarm goes off tomorrow morning
Yesterday’s quiet suburban rebellion: wearing my internet trendy “right” sock on my “left” foot….
Over our meal, he talks mostly about his girlfriend. She is almost a decade younger than I. In the photos, she is one dimensional–beautiful and happy, unmarked by the strain of failed marriages and motherhood.
It is a strange and giddy unease with which he speaks about her: as though her youth and beauty heightens his sense of the power of his wealth and his own mortality. He seems to feast greedily on her vitality; she makes him feel more alive and vibrant, no doubt while her own existence has sallowed.
When we part, he comments with surprise about my graying hair. In his mind, he says, I am young. But no, I tell him: I am hurtling toward death like everyone else and trying to seize all that life offers before it escapes me, too.
I get in my car and realize with relief that I am no longer an object to covet.