Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a secret told only to me

The first day of Fall came as a secret told only to me. The morning light changed, leaves scattered and chattered, grasshoppers bounded through the complex, the pool looked sun damaged and water logged, the sky curtsied a bit and the air was damp with stories of rain and snow and hail and wind. Dakota caught a praying mantis near our home and bought a conclave for it, dumping in tiny crickets. Within five minutes the green and watchful mantis grabbed a cricket, popped its eyeball out and ate it. Cold world, as Dakota is fond of saying, cold world.
I feel a tenderness for life that has been almost completely the domain of my baby and children for the last two years. As my body begins slowly to prepare for Ever's independence, my heart opens first. The news is too much. The stories of horror happening to children especially, those stories could kill me. I read them and I can feel the great and terrible futile suffering begin to smother me, so that were I ten years younger and off zoloft, I could spend the night shaking with sobs. I begin with what is true: I cannot save them, those that are gone. I cannot save everyone. Those two facts. Third: I can help someone. Then fourth, as I stroke Ever's heel while she nurses, I am helping someone. I am helping this human child right here in my arms, raising her in love and the safety of this family. After that, I can spread further out. As Ever grows so will my reach into this world. For now, this blog and my words are my reach. For now, small things and small movements. 
The story of Winter is on the tip of Fall's tongue, and it is that we are all alone in this together. Alone together. Together. Buddhists say that transcendental meditation has a similar effect to some serious drugs, in removing the brain's boundries from 'me, myself' and everything else. The state of freedom and love and bliss that follows is what we feel when we recognize our connection to everyone and everything. I believe this because I have had moments of it in my life, that I reached for desperately afterward, falling off a cliff and sliding down a silken rope. To achieve this kind of peace takes work I have not been willing to do yet in life. Daily practice. But to know that it is there? Is a gift.

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