Fast tide rising…..

Did I really disappear for this long?
I think my breath got too short in the thicket
of dear ones in pain and feeling too thin spread over jagged edges of great need.
As if there wasn’t enough oxygen left over in my life-living
to come over here and say my words.

Because I felt for awhile too small for this world,
like there was more to lift than I could heft.
And while I doggie paddled through the soupy swirl,
something hard and sharp and brilliant began to slice away at some of my false parts
until I could feel the true of me rise.
Like new wine from the press.

I’m not sure how to come back;  feels like too much story to tell short.
So for now I’ll share some gifts I’ve discovered in the unpacking.
Celebrating found gold from the road:

~ the gentle surprise that I’m better able to hold space for my dear ones in their pain
because I’m more comfortable sitting now in my own.

~ that I’m safe to make peace with whatever is in my path,
even what I can’t yet see around that scary-looking corner up ahead.

~ that I can own my mistakes and also hold it tender for myself
that I didn’t know how to do different or better
….to forgive this quick and not waste the grief.

~ for change that shakes my shaky things,
that stirs my stuck places into rock and shudder,
and the spaciousness that settles in sweet when I make some room for defeat.

~ that the sense of groaning, splintering floorboards that scared my breathing shallow,
fearing that it was the sound of my life in collapse,
was only the end of things as I knew them.
But not even close to over.
That life is made to be breakable.  And so are we.  Nothing is beyond repair

Because this storm is like a fast tide rising,
lifting the doldrums until my ship floats free.
There is meaningful motion where before were only dry-docked dreams.

~ that the birds keep singing;
(always they teach)
and so,  yes so,  can I.

“The pain that comes from loving someone who is in trouble can be profound.”

“We’re so careful to see that no one gets hurt.  No one,  that is,  but ourselves.”

“Remember the key principles:  boundaries,  letting go,
forgiveness after feeling my feelings – not before,
self-expression,  loving others,  but loving myself too.”

– All priceless gems from Melody Beattie

 

 

fluttering fingers and moonlight twirls…

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I didn’t mean to see her so big.
Went looking for an address so i could send a letter that was for our eyes only
and, like a dream, I found her instead.
I wanted to make sure she’d heard me….to walk all the way to the edge
and lean over the side to make certain that she’d received my heart unedited.
But there she is and I cannot look away.
It’s like discovering this incredible Christmas present in the closet when I go looking for the lights.
I know it hasn’t been offered yet,  but my eyes can’t keep from dancing:)

I scroll through more images,  like I’m hearing her echo under years of rubble.
and my heart thumps wild hope as I dig.
The rest of the world goes quiet as I unwrap gifts – a local talkshow interview
and then another,  and I’m hearing at last the music of her voice.
The moving water of my children all together laughing is my favorite sound;
now hers is flowing across my ears and I throw back my head and join every glad noise
in the universe, belting out thanks for the wild beauty of this thing.

There is a timbre that siblings share,  like the voice of rippling waters.
The river just got wider and my heart stretches with the sound.

I watch her mannerisms, mesmerized,  matching every nod and tilt and gesture,
all so famliar – I know this rhythm.
I need to grab somebody’s arm and say,  “look!” – to share the wow of this discovery
but my feet are planted where they stand,
wilding over the beauty – her intelligence and humor and heart..
What she’s building in this world is just so cool and I’m grooving to her words,
powerful and clear,  even as she explains,  “I’m adopted,”
and I take in the way a shadow passes over the light in her eyes when she says it,
the way mine do when I’m feeling hard or pain
and my hand floats unthinking to the face on screen.  Am I seeing anger?
Is that grief?  Shame?  Or do I only imagine – just my fear on the screen.
Oh baby girl.
“Please talk to me,” I ache.

053

Facebook.
Do I even dare?
I’m standing in front of her profile picture
and the long road I’ve traveled seems to end right here.
I squeeze my eyes to hush the “don’t you even.”
My fingers flutter above the friend request key.
No.  Stop.  Too much.  Is it?  It’s an invitation,  right?  Or is it barging in.
Will she welcome this discovery or feel it intrusive?
I don’t know.
I don’t know so hard it hurts.

Instead,  I keep my hand over my heart
and let my eyes wander through her posts and pictures and perspectives,
savoring each one as I go,  like picking up feathers and leaves in the park.
I’d choose to hang out with this woman.
Like all of my kids,  this is someone I enjoy.
I can’t dig any deeper and not say something…..it feels stalker-ish.
And disingenuous.  I need to brave up and tell her.

I hit the message box on her profile and the daunting blank canvas pops up on my screen.
What do I even say?   
I want Amanda to know that I found her and I’m here,
– just a few pecks of the keys away – want to connect?
And if she doesn’t want,  or doesn’t want now,  I promise not to push.
If I don’t hear back,  I won’t withdraw my love.  I’m in either way.
I tug the message into words and my finger stalls on “send,”
my heart a jumble of joy and yes and please and oh shit.
I can’t do this.  Yes you can.  Go.  Just go – I mash the button quick to send.

When at last I get around to checking addresses that night,  I’m spent,
so it doesn’t bowl me over right away the several years she spent living in my city,
leaving just before we arrived.
Tomorrow I’ll go see,  I sigh as I finally nod off,  drained by the electricity of the day.
Like a kid after too much Christmas.
A few hours later,  I pop up with a start – Instagram!  I totally forgot to check….
I trot down the hall to my computer and  there she is again -too beautiful for words.
I linger for a while,  so punch drunk in love that I can hardly send my silly self back to bed.

One more quick check – facebook, did she answer back?
Not yet.  Okay.  It’s okay.  She’s on the west coast right now – time difference and all that.
I sit for a minute and hold the sheer awesomeness of even knowing this now,
my soul twirling grateful in the moonlight.
I’m guessing tomorrow,  then.  When she’s had time to digest.
And as sleep sweeps me up at last,   I’m smiling still.

big rock love
“When you get right down to it,  Lily,  that is the only purpose grand enough
for a human life.  Not just to love,  but to persist in love.”
– Sue Monk Kidd
(The Secret Life of Bees)

 I’m seven weeks into this Summer series and I love that you’re here.
Thanks for hearing and holding the pain of my story with such balmy care;
If it doesn’t shine through the ripples yet,  I’ll write it more clear around the bend,
the peace that’s holding me and the squeeze of Love’s hand.

 

 

Rippling waters and many moons …..

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Maybe it’s just the noisy crowd of this big wide earth –
this thought takes hold of me as I barrel into having a website built.
My first blog.  I stumble eager onto the web so that she can find me if she wants.
Maybe she feels the imposition of  eyes at the agency as deeply as I do;
I’m gonna stand up,  wave a sign,  and make some noise.
Clueless,  inspired,  and boistered by the strong winds that are often mistaken for courage,  I dive.

I have no camera and no agenda;  not sure what to do but I want to be real.
I’d been earlier asked by a gardening client if I would make some notecards to sell,
like the little bites of art that I sent out with each invoice.
Making and sending them out on the waves of my days has poufed fresh breath back into some
places grown thin and now an idea bubbles up like a song:
I’ll write a little something and show a picture of what I make
– I think it’s the most childlike thing I’ve ever done:)

I walked into this room looking for her and found you.
And my voice.  And my own way home.
This is pure gift and I know it.
I was jumping up and down so maybe she could see,
but in the way of serendipity,  God was dancing me back to me.

terminally hopeful

In the years to come I send her bites of art that I  feature in the images on my blog
with a tiny “Ripplespeak” sneaked in here and there,  like a secret code that will lead her to me
if she wants.
It’s why I don’t use my name.
I laugh at this now,  so deliciously silly and unnecessary,
but it empowered the joy that buoyed me.
She can find me if she’s looking and I take comfort in this as the years pass.
Five of them,  busy and full.
Always challenging,  often joyful,  but deeply painful,  too.
I reach and let go,  grieve and hold on,  riding the waves with my arms stretched mostly wide.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
March is always crazy-hard and it’s March again,  2014.
Edith calls just before her birthday and I hear sorrowful news in her voice.
“I’ve heard from Allison; she’s asked me to let you know that her mother has died.”
Her mother.   One of the most influential women in my life.
She has been this mythical tower of intimidating virtue to my 16 year old parts,
the one who bested me,
and I’m 35 years grateful and jealous and altogether curious of this woman.
Now she’s gone,  her memories and stories with her.
Years earlier I’d asked Edith if I could write her;  would she please forward a letter?
No,  I’d been told.
I respect.

Now she has died and I’m so sad for my girl.
For this family that I’ve long loved and longed to know,.
It is a strange and dizzying pain to long to comfort the child you bore
because she has lost her mother.

Keep writing,  Edith counsels;  it’s lifegiving, Allison says,
and I’ve only ever wanted to give her life and so I do,
careful to only offer,  invite,  welcome and accept –
resisting hard the urge at times to push or press or plead,
and this feeds my life,  too,  in a way I can’t even understand.
But I feel it like a cold wind blowing,
my place in the storm,
outside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Grief is a casserole best served warm and in good company.
Cold and unnamed,  it’s ugly business to swallow.

026

“Was she strong enough to allow both of them to be themselves?
Bahama had instilled in her an honoring of promises,
but she could not keep her promises unless she was willing to allow Nik to be Nik,
not a projection of someone who could fill her empty spaces,
heal all her wounds.”
– Madeline L’Engle

Thanks for sharing this Summer series with me;  it’s a tall glass of water to have you along.
I needed to take a smaller bite this week;  my heart is wrestling this out as best I can.
I appreciate your patience.

Teardrops in the wind…..

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I post this every year….a healing,  loving ritual

because I need to somehow honor those days out loud,
especially for those who maybe still haven’t found their voices
yet.
And for all mothers everywhere,  because our hearts bear always the stretch marks
of loving and letting go.

It was March,  1979.
Breezes turned balmy and I pulled off my shoes,  letting swollen feet tramp across warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby,  due St. Patrick’s Day.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut to the coming separation,
the word “relinquish” heavy on my heart.

But today the weather had turned,  and hadn’t everything somehow changed?
Spring had come with her own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.

I spent the day sunsoaking,
watching the wind stir the tireswing I’d played in
not so long ago.

I was newly seventeen,
an “unwed” mother
with an unwanted chore:
to give my baby to someone she deserved.
Soon she would come apart from me,
gone before the leaves flushed out.
Their buds were fat and ready to pop.
Like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.

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But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.

As the sun began to dip low,
a storm of pain rumbled and hammered down urgency
inside my belly
as grownup voices began herding me into the night.

As my frightened parents gathered my things to the car,
I lunged back inside for one last moment alone
with the gentle life that had shaken mine
with her own gentle worth.

I lowered my heavy frame onto the bed and tried to sing one last lullaby
but could do only tears.
A fragile goodbye.

Following strong contractions downstairs and into the night,
I returned home with only fierce memory
of her tiny fingers and face.
But I’m forever marked by her essence,
often swept away by her melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.

I recognize her song.

Thirty seven Springs.
I honor each of her days.
And today I tenderly comfort the girl-in-me who carried her
before she was transplanted into the garden
that nurtured her to thriving.
And I remember those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

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Thanks for giving a listen.  For being a witness.  I hold it as a gift with love and thanks.

“The dark does not destroy the light;  it defines it.
It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
– Brene’ Brown

“When you get to the place where you understand that love and belonging,
your worthiness,
are a birthright and not something you have to earn,
anything is possible.”
– Brene’ Brown

I’m celebrating life this week and want to offer up a package of goodness,  Stargirl style,
in a drawing.  Just because I can.  And it makes my heart smile.
I’ll draw a name from comments and make up a gift box
full of handmade art,  handwritten love,  and beautiful little surprises
picked especially you.
A little love bomb:)
Just plunk a comment in the box and I’ll send your name into the mix.