Monday, March 30, 2015

part four: home.

inside the mess i found some more beauty. i found some freedom. i discovered nourishment. 

i began to realize the old story, the story i was born into, the palette of colors that fed my parents and the family they raised, could no longer apply to me and my family. that round & precious placenta that fed who i was and where i came from was no longer able to serve in that way.  the safety nets had big holes, the gods took off their masks, the skin began to peel revealing the bones that define home, safety, warmth, love, nourishment and dare i say: prayer. 

in this unraveling, i had to sculpt something. i had to shoot a few birds with one stone. i had to feed myself, my family, my marriage and my expression inside a new kind of survival. it no longer existed in a new pair of shoes or seasonal bed linens, it couldn't take hold inside of a family trip or a little anniversary getaway. the restart button, the release gear, the reconnection to myself had to come from within. 

i sat on the porch in the dark with my breath. 

i had no idea what i was doing. i just knew that i had to do it. i had to get up before the house got up. i had to hear my own breath; even if it lasted a second inside the noise, the fear, the fantasies. i had to go back to the breath. i had to find my way back to the breath. i had to find my way to nourishment.

to ask what nourishes me, i have to ask who am i? i have to know myself to know what i truly crave, what i want in life, what i want today. i have to make choices that align with my values, with the nutrients i need, those ingredients that reflect who i am in this moment, the story i am writing, the mother i am raising, the children i am growing. 

i sat with all the people who live inside me. i sat with my body. i asked her questions. i took notes on a blank canvas, a cold heavy block of clay, an un-lined sheet of paper, an empty wood floor. i am listening. i heard her fears that fueled me for so long. i let myself know that i am here now. i am listening.

all of this became prayer. 

all of this, inside carpool, soccer practice, red DWP bills, family night, quesadillas, miracles.
nourishment became prayer.

::: this is part 4 in a series about home :::

Thursday, March 26, 2015

part three: home.

"beauty is the conversation between what we think is happening
outside in the world and what is just about to occur far inside us" 
david whyte

what i think is happening and what is just about to occur far inside me. i had to make room for what was happening far inside me. i had to begin a search for trust, i had to try to find the light switch for faith, what it looked like to believe, what it felt like to support me, on my own, table for one. to fall deeply & truly in love with all that i am, broken pieces, torn swatches, whole heart, lonely survivor, messy beauty. 

i had no other choice but to get really really quiet. 

inside the loud choir of chaos, the recipes to fix my life, the suturing of all the wounds, the should have's, the desperation that would creep up behind me inside needing a new pair of jeans, sneakers, underwear or the kids needs, wants, hungry for what everyone else had to a warm jacket, a lunchbox, a bike.

i remember the fittings my mother would set up for my sister and i in palm beach, florida. we would 'get fitted' for an occasion. in the dressing room with a three part mirror, my mom & usually an older jewish woman looking at me over her glasses to see if the length was just right in the back, to see if they needed to take it in a little more on the side, to see if it was perfect. 

my wanting got so thick & sticky like sourdough rising under saran wrap. the waves of wanting would take me under, i could hardly breathe. i wanted to run. i wanted to sit still. i wanted to eat cookie dough ice cream and watch a romantic comedy. i wanted to order 6 of everything. i wanted someone to rub my back, tuck me in and sit with me while i fell asleep. i wanted a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother. to see me. hear me. tell me i am going the right way. everything is perfect, just like the hem on my dress.

the only thing i could find was beauty.
beauty in everything. 
beauty and ocean in everything.
hope was turning into beauty. 

i could gather, create, be inside of, understand, reflect, taste, smell, quilt beauty into the pain. the entire feast of savory and sweet, i could always create space for beauty. i found her inside my grandmothers cobalt tea cups, a warm wide wood bowl you want to nap in, a perfectly deep and loving ladle. peeling parsnips, my hands inside of olive oil & salt, making love to a new kind of abundance. one that had nothing to do with things and everything to do with the story inside everything. i crave the lineage, the past, the present. the stories i didn't know, the ones i was making up on the fly, the permission to let the flab hang over the unbuttoned jeans, the lipstick on the teeth, burning the rice. 

inside the mess i found some more beauty. i found some freedom. i discovered nourishment. 

::: this is part three in a series unraveling on home you can find parts one & two here :::

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

part two: home.

::: this is part two of a series about home part one is here :::

the day we let go of hope, our new story could begin. 

mind you, i had no idea this is what was happening. we had so many clear tubes, colorful wires, electrical sockets, tied up placentas, injections of hope inside starting new, over and over and over again. 

we started a new for seven years. 
we were not going to give up. 

there were many firsts. documentary style firsts. american express coming to the door on christmas eve to take my husband to court, selling the rings or the car being repo'ed in the middle of the night. car alarm blaring all the way down the hill with the car seats in it. 
picking the car up later that day with 6 pit bulls to guard the gate. 'this doesn't look like the volkswagon dealer dad.' 

heart breaking. 
heart all over the place. 
hearts full with hope. 

i couldn't find anyone who came from where i came and landed where i landed. i tried to make small talk. i tried to answer the questions how are you? where are you going for spring break? i tried to share the story. i tried to look for help, for support, for a mother. in the depths of hope i tried to lose the story or maybe i was hoping to find myself inside of it. the story never fit me. it was too big around the neck line or too tight in the hip. i was trying to do anything i could to lighten the heavy in a serrated terrain of thick thick shame. the yoga, the walking, the playdates, the writing, the working. how to live when so much is dying? how to live period. how to make a life in this life? the dreams, the vows, the definitions, old beliefs, the thinking, the knowing, my mothers voice, my fathers voice, the groundlessness of it all.i couldn't find anything in there. i was no where to be found. 

i started to get really hungry. 

the only thing i could find was the fire. the cake plate. the wood board. the bread knife. the bartlett pear. the golden beet. the farmer. the land. the source. my breath. 5:30 am. the shame. the shame. the shame. the olive oil cake. loneliness. the bad ass book. 5:30 am. my breath. miracles. homeopathy. my body. courage. the unknown. anxiety. panic attacks. deep loss. friendship. sadness. my vulnerability. all the broken pieces. soup. altars. arthritis. my marriage. baby white turnips. ocean. beauty. values. mary oliver. pema chodron. a kitchen healer. meridians. cupping. poetry. grief. dreams. fear. fearlessness. suffering. softening. my breath.

the only thing i could find was beauty. 

beauty in everything. beauty inside the pain. beauty inside the suffering. beauty in this polyester suit in summer. beauty in not knowing anything. beauty in the beatings. beauty in my breath. beauty in a bowl full of golden nugget tangerines. beauty in my lop-sided c-section scar. beauty in my body. beauty in my inflamed toes. beauty in everything. beauty in the leaning in. beauty in letting go. beauty in my fears. beauty in telling the story. beauty in the permission. beauty in the freedom. beauty in not knowing what is going to happen next.

::: this is part two in a series about home :::

Monday, March 23, 2015

part one: home.

today we closed escrow on our first home.

i am everything about it. i am the loss, the depth, i am the shallow, i am the commas, the period, the question mark, the exclamation point all in one. i am the spectrum of colors, i am roygbiv, i am the joy, the gain, the heavy, the light, i am all of the altars we made, the prayers we prayed, the longest of exhales, all the tears we shed. if i had to pick one word, one feeling to describe it all, to label this box in black sharpie, to print this chapter in a fancy font, it would read: grateful. 

i continue to ask myself what is a house? what is a home? so much. so much is a home. our home. i want to write all of it down, i want it to be in one short form, one map, one poem, one song. i am finding (in my research) that a home is where we define our first stories, where we edit, cut, paste, change, shift, grow, die, birth ourselves, our childhood, our adulthood, our motherhood. it's a beginning, it's an end, a backdrop, a bed, a soup. a home is cupcakes, silver, a floral tea cup with a broken stem. a home is a place, a feeling, a smell in the morning, a sound in the night, a body. a home is sauteed onions, garlic and olive oil.  

as a little girl, a home was chandeliers, limoges, amber glass, anger, broken mirrors, walk-in closets, a foyer, fancy parties, lazy susans and pianos that played on their own. a home was toasted plain bagels with whipped cream cheese in a plastic tub, sliced thin tomato with thick ribbons of bright orange nova on top. a home is where i learned about beauty, the good and the bad. it's where the mirror went from dear friend to confusing & complicated. a home was big and grew bigger over time. a home was so many things.

in our story, a home was hope. it was a marriage, a beginning, a wedding, conception, birth, midwives, doulas, wood toys, a miscarriage, growing bellies, paintings, gatherings, breast feeding. it was my husband's pride, it was what you did to begin your story, it was a start to so much more. it was the top of the mountain, the view, the vastness, the definitions of who and what we were, how to live a life, how to create a day, how to turn on the fire, how to nourish all the broken bits. in time, our home became white knuckles, desperation, unpaid bills, shame, vulnerability, loss, a desire to run and never come back, an unraveling of the cellular structures from which we came, a garage full of fabric, seven years of 1-800 calls, strangers coming to the door, taking pictures, almost losing hope, then gaining hope, then losing it, then gaining it until finally we let hope go all together. 

the day we let go of hope, our new story could begin.

as we take the key off the key chain and leave it in the drawer for this new family, i feel grateful for their new beginning, their new life together and the family they are creating. so many new stories just waiting to be createdxxxx

::: this is part 1 of a series about home :::