Tuesday, February 9, 2016

where the hell's baby bucket


Eliana called me over to the sofa tonight.  She was stretched out, arms overhead, ballet leotard and tights still on, listening to A Diary of a Wimpy Kid on audiobooks. 

Come here mom, look.

The expression on her face was a hard read.  She looked exhausted, confused, sort of out of it.

Mom, it's scratchy.

I came closer.

Mom, it's hair.

I was sure she was wrong.  I was sure her underarm was just chapped from the cold or a scratch from rock climbing yesterday or a weird rash.  But, alas.  There it was.  A little splay of fine, blonde fur with one long guy stretching his awkward limbs as if to say, "Surprise, sistah!  Here we go!"

Eliana has been growing a ton lately.  She's hungry all the time, looks strong and sturdy, her belly warm and soft.  Her hair seems to shine a bit more, it's longer than ever before.  Her reading is soaring, she recently had her first legit sleepover and on Sunday, she and her buddy walked from our house down the hill to said buddy's casa, crossing through the snowy field, traversing the tricky curves, holding hands while buddy's dad and I texted back and forth, making sure they were safe.  This is not the baby bucket that I once blogged about, her every move a marvel, her every sigh a celebration. 

This is a young girl.  Dare I say, a young lady.  A developing lady. 

I just want to put my hand straight out Diana Ross style and stop it all.  After I'd taken a few deep, holy shit style breaths and pretended to refill my water glass, I returned to the living room and took a seat next to her, asked her how she was feeling.  She said she it felt funny.  It felt weird.  She wasn't exactly excited.  I think we kinda met in that same place of disbelief, of change, of time passing way too quickly. 

My girl is changing.  She will never again be a bald, hairless, helpless little squirmy worm sleeping next to me in a bucket.  Now she's confident and quirky, crafty and considerate and loyal.  She has little hips and a gorgeous collarbone that streaks across her regal chest. 

And from that calm of water gently swaying in the bath, I hear her start at her brother.

Soli, no!


MOM!  He's saying I'm in love with Bob.

I wonder who Bob is.  And then the sliding glass door to the shower hurls open and she steps out of the tub, all legs and soft angles, golden curls piled on top of her head in a fuzzy halo just like mine. 

She comes to me and gives me the lowdown, the latest thing that her beloved brother has done that shows just how much younger than her he really is.  And by the time her story is over, he's out of the shower too and they are laughing together and retelling the story.  Soli tries on my old red slippers and slides across the hard
woord floor.  Eliana gently eases her way into her nightgown and I have to keep myself from looking too closely at her, trying to hold on to this image before it changes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

creative fervor

A creative fervor is upon me.  I feel it in everything I do, need it with an intensity, a voraciousness.  Without it, nothing feels quite right.  Without it, I need to scrap everything and come up with a new plan.  With it, the plans continue to show themselves in all their platinum sparkle, all of their loud beats and perfect harmonies and my hips know how to sway just right.  I'm pretty certain that creativity is my main superpower, my main source of inspiration and purpose.  It helps me problem solve, stay psyched in the classroom, in the kitchen, in the closet when I greet a new day.  It drives me to craft dance classes, write poems, find new music, look closely at the natural world.

Last night my girlfriend invited me to see, "Stomp" kinda last minute.  I watched myself get swept further and further into the percussive beats, the innovative ways to make sound.  As I became more immersed in the show, my brain began to subconsciously problem solve.  I began to shift through the issues of my day, of my week, and create unexpected ways to move through the stuck.  My brain was firing and gliding, gracefully navigating the muck of the day and creating something that was fluid, that could shine.  This fluid shine is what I want to bring into my life as I approach 42.  I want my creative self to guide all that I do, right next to my heart, alongside my empathy, in line with my rhythm and hard work.

At the start of the new year, I went to a friend's cabin with five other women.  We were committed to spending the weekend writing, each one of us at various points on creative projects.  When I arrived, all of my ladies were already tucked into their various corners of the cabin, scribbling and typing away.  There was a calm in the house, a settled sense of determination, of cracking open.  Without asking a whole lot of questions, I found my spot by the large window overlooking the lake and I unrolled my yoga mat.  The first step was moving my body, stretching her open, preparing her to go deep and go hard.  Before I knew it pages were strewn all around me, drafts of poems, piles of poems, sections of poems waiting to be organized, revised, rehashed.

The night was divine food and conversations about how much truth we tell, what the magazines don't want us to say, why our story matters.  Each one drifted back to her area when the time was right, heeded the call of the muse, of space, of purpose.  Morning caught hold of me like a torrential and unexpected storm and the first draft of the poem book, all 70 pages of her, gently fluttered together.  When I finally flew from the room, it was like I had been flung from a great cave, a great and glorious cave full of drive, of purpose, of clarity.  I devoured my breakfast, added extra spice to my eggs and avocado, experienced that hunger that only comes from a deep and heady place.

That afternoon, I skied across a frozen lake watching the Montana clouds shift in the January sky.  The air was soft and the novelty of my cross country skis gliding across the same water I had dove into months before felt surreal to my California sensibilities.  My girlfriends were beautiful and graceful in the sea of white, their voices drifting across docks and driftwood, across boundaries and borders.  We were swept up in it all together, the sacred space of creation, the divine surrender to our stories.