I wake into the dark; it has been a long night of dreams and movement. My body aches from a ghost memory of a severe accident and the accumulation of years of hard physical work. Waking is a gift, because I can begin to move, and the pain in my body will slowly unravel over the hours of yoga, cycling, dish washing and countless other daily rituals.
Last night I had one of those cries, the ones that ripple endless into every corner of my skin, my sternum undulates and spasms, my breath raw. It is a relief to drop into this river of vulnerability, to let go into the emptiness of the uncertainty of my own life.
When I was younger, and streaming through the days like a wild horse, keeping the kids fed, working, university, gardens, renovations, tussling with concepts of love, politics, family, community, I really had very little inclination to slow down the whirling list of responsibilities that I felt pressured to feed. I rode life like a wild stallion, bareback, often careless and insensitive to myself, other people and the quality of precious fragility life carried. I never thought about the fact that one day I would live differently, that my children would grow up and leave home, that I would grow into an elder, that my body might not be invincible, that I could actually feel physical pain that sometimes dropped me to my knees in tears and frustration. If I had known any of this, perhaps I might have been softer with myself, put a saddle on that horse now and again and sauntered through the pasture. Most importantly perhaps I would have realized that I did not need to do it all, that I could ask for help, that I could let go and know it was going to be alright.
I have lived a wondrous life, it is almost unimaginable to me the countless experiences I have been offered. I look at the scope of relationships and love that are a story inside of me that is worth telling and I know without a doubt that in the deck of life I was given a mitt full of aces.
I am so thankful, and within this graciousness I also have a river of tears in me that sometimes need to rise and break through my skin. It is through this grief that I can give my fear some room to shed it’s leathery pelt and soften. Sitting with a body that grows older, a body that can feel intense debilitating pain as well as a body that has such a vivid, aching memory of holding my offspring in my arms and nursing them, caring for them with the wildest love imaginable and knowing that this phase of my life is over forever can feel extremely intense.
My future has no map ! This is freeing and also baffling at times. I have no idea where I will end up, I have nothing materially to tie me to anyplace, and everything I own is dispensable in a wink, I can simply put it back in the alley where most of it came from.
I feel like a pilgrim, perhaps the lineage of my immigrant gypsy ancestors is strong in my body memory. Dancing away, cackling raucously and rubbing their gnarled palms together with glee waiting for me to pull up stakes and just hit the road.
I truly do not know my fate, I never dreamed it would be like this, I mean I actually thought I would “settle down” with some loved one and be a mom and work and have the house with the accompanying accoutrements and so forth.
Hummm, seemed like I skipped that stop and ended up riding the rouge train, the one, that steams its way into the back woods, the forests where wolves and coyotes slink, and fires still burn long into the night, the fleshy voices calling to me, bringing me back to the folks of my birthright, those gold toothed hags I so loved when I was a girl. There is no sure thing, no planned future, life unravels into its own mystery, and that enigma is so dark that no one can peer into it, all I can do it wrap my babushka around my head and be ready to hop that train when it roars into town.