Sunday, February 26, 2012

half eaten

Bodhi leaves half eaten apples, and the occasional pear, all over the house.  I find them beneath couch cushions, on side tables, in sock drawers, abandoned and discarded, rotting.  Bodhi is all about that first bite, the conquest.  A dozen clean and shiny apples arrive in the fruit basket every week, each one new and unexplored.  He waits, knowing if I see him I will take the apple, cut it in half, remove the seeds and offer it to him.  In these instances, he eats the entire apple, leaving nothing behind but he doesn’t ask me to cut the apples.  He prefers to grapple with what is too large, too much and more than he can ingest.  Bodhi approaches life like half eaten apples, nothing needs to be finished, it is about the next great thing, the next forbidden something to monopolize his interest.

my sweet Owen


When I tuck my head into Owen’s long black hair the strong odor of unwashed oil wafts unwanted into my nose.  I pull back and look at him.  He smiles at me, wide with plaque coated teeth gleaming off-white.  I smile back and resist the immediate urge to chastise him for hygiene.  His arms wrap tighter around my middle, head pressing into my diaphragm, content.  I breathe the air above him, drawing the fresh scent of the surrounding air and hug him back.  He is never the first one to let go.  He could hold on all day, lake some carrier monkey attached to my back and secure.  I gently release him, making a mental note to insist on a shower and remind him of the importance of shampooing-to-a-lather, but for now I bask in my sons love, unkempt and secure.

my beautiful Bodhi boy

Bodhi will proudly tell you that he is five years old, with a voice loud enough to convey his advanced years to anyone who might be standing nearby.  He is a child with an intense approach to life.  When his eyes open just before the sunrise and sometimes even before his long lashes have parted their nightly rest, he begins talking- of Scooby Doo, or what he wants for breakfast, what video games he NEEDS to play or if he has to go to school today, which inevitably leads to a download of all the reasons going to school is not fun, from cutting up states, to writing his name, from friends that won’t play with him to friends that won’t leave him alone.  I take him in my arms and hold him close for a moment, he doesn’t relax into my arms but struggles to be free again, demanding my help in turning on the TV he knows I won’t turn on or setting up a game on the computer that he knows he can’t play.  When his older brother awakens, not of his own choosing, but from the persistent efforts of his younger sibling, he groans, saying “Bodhi will you leave me alone?”.  The answer of course is, “NO”.  When Bodhi’s will is thwarted he may not be able to find the words to vent his frustration before his body responds, with a hit or a scratch.  This action, somewhat outside his volition, often results in a flow of tears and an outpouring of grief, his sensitive heart often hidden beneath his busy persona and intense approach to life.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

what do you do when you're feeling depressed?

A friend recently asked me what I did when I was depressed.  I wasn't sure,  I couldn't actually remember.  Did I binge eat on ricecakes? or gluten free sweets?  No.  I ventured that perhaps I ate an excess of raw nuts and moped.  That was true.
Today I had the chance to remember when I felt the weight of sadness drop like a low laying cloud and my heart began cramping with sorrow.  I did mope for some time.  I tried watching TV.  Nope, that certainly did not satisfy.  I sat, like Macbeth, on my meditation cushion but peace was not forthcoming.  I ate a few ricecakes and just felt worse.  I was eyeing the nuts when I looked down at my dog and said, "Let's go for a walk".  I wrapped up in scarves, donned my parka, sunglasses and hat, pulled on my boots, grabbed a leash and we tromped up the back yard into the arms of green mountain.
 We trudged through snow and mud, over cactus and yellowed grasses. I began to breathe.
Once we crested a few hills we ventured off the trail until we found a dry spot with southern exposure.  On the face of the hill opposite, eleven deer grazed peacefully, only turning toward us, ears erect and listening when Maya made a particularly jubilant leap through the snow.  I lay down on my back and felt the warmth of the sun on my face and the solid earth beneath me.  I nuzzled into the soil, smelling its rich undertones and soon fell fast asleep, while Maya stood guard, her back pressed into mine.  I don't know how much time past, thirty minutes? an hour?  But when I awoke all was well with the world again.
I suppose this IS what I do when I'm depressed.  When all the world feels too daunting and my little life looms large and unwieldy.  It is my version of "considering the lilies" and while I am there I feel deeply part of something and not isolated or separate.  Like the grasses, stones, flowers, shrubs, deer and snow, I am life expressing itself and if the grasses don't need to worry about the morrow and what they shall eat or wherewithal they shall be clothed, need I?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

peripatetic

Okay, I just found a new word and fell in love.  I often fall in love with new words, particularly ones that describe something I have struggled to frame into concept for years.  The word is peripatetic.  It means: 

Adjective:
Traveling from place to place, esp. working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
Noun:
A person who travels from place to place.

Hello!!!!  I have been calling myself a gypsy for years trying to describe the feeling of restlessness that  gnaws at the edges of things.  It comes like a breeze, changing directions and suddenly I need new scenery like I need water and food and shelter.  I fight this part of myself, trying to forge roots and content myself with sameness.  My younger brother, who is certainly a peripatetic, used to tell me that people are sailors or farmers.  Farmers plant their roots deep and grow where they are planted, where as sailors always long for the next horizon.  Sailor, gypsy, peripatetic.  The winds are blowing and I keep looking for anchor.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I stare outside the window at the mountain beyond the house.  I listen to its wildness, here amidst the city, a refuge reminder of the feral and wild.  I am surprised by my heart in such contemplations, leaning as it does toward the gentle slopes with the ardent desire of a lover. Though I am cloaked in sweaters, shawls and shearling boots within the walls of a heat controlled environment, I  find myself longing for the un-tame expanse with a tangible ache. Recently, I considered my ever changing reflection in the mirror and listened to the voices of our collective expectations focused on uniformity, enamored with youth and beauty.  I listened and realized with a start that the bloom of youth has passed.  I am spring no more, nor early summer.  I stood contemplating this and listening to the tinny voices of our culture, implanted in my earliest ear and I laughed.  I laughed at the sameness and all it implied.  I laughed at the wrinkles and I laughed at the effort.  I laughed at the longing and the expectations.  I laughed and something within me stirred, wild, like my mountain amidst the city.  Untame and untamable.  Suddenly it didn't matter.  None of it.  Home and safety, romance and desire, success or failure.  None of it matters.  The wind blows.  The snow falls.  Life simply is.  
The snow has come at last, after a dry winter and a bi-polar thermometer. A snow day.  A gift.