This Pearl

The warm hand is removed

and what is left behind is both cold and warm

at the same time

a breeze lifts the gauzy curtains

and brushes over the sweat damp skin

like a caress.

A kiss on the lips

leaves a tingle

a tongue flicks to taste the sweetness left behind

eyes slowly open

and what was once there is gone

or perhaps it was just a ghost

or the whispering fingers of the wind

And does the ear not hear a voice

or is it just the beating of this lonely heart

are all these words and poems

just illusions

left to make a life seemed lived

while it coils in its shell

comatose

and wanting

Everything that has come before this

is a lie.

And all that I am is the truth.

Waiting for the time

when the shadows pass across the room

dawn to dusk

and the moon rises

dusk to dawn.

Nascent grit

trying to grow a pearl.

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Hindsight is 20/20

Looking back I can see it all so clearly.  Why can’t I see as clearly in the present as I do in the past?  First impressions.  They mean everything.  Hang dog.  Sad.  Nervous.  Ineffectual.  And perhaps an absence of integrity.  Oh I can see it now.  Bright.  Beautiful.  Shining.  I saw it then too.  But I also saw the potential.  Right?  The potential however is not always the reality.

Bullet dodged beautifully, like Wonder Woman’s bracelets, deflected.  Don’t waste one more second on this villain.

Angry.

In a pique I do something I swore I would never do again.

And now?  Right now?

I am thanking my lucky stars.

Don’t know where it is going, but the potential?  Exponential.

And first impressions?  As I hold these warm and dry and big strong hands in mine, I look into eyes that reflect back intelligence, warmth, gentleness, and hear a voice that is liquid and friendly and masculine.

As I ride in a purple car, with a V8 engine, slow, so he can spend more time talking to me…

As I look at the computer to find something in reference to what we are talking about and arms wrap around me…

As he introduces me to his children…and the young man he allows to live in his house….

As I reach out to touch him, he does not jerk away, and as I softly caress his forearm he smiles happily with closed eyes.

oh.

oh.

I wrap my arms around his neck and tell him softly,

you are the first man I have ever dated.

Enough is Enough

There is a point at which everyone must simple give up and walk away.  Something proffered is declined with love.  Something proffered is declined with a brush off.  Something required is insulted, something required is ignored.

Fear is a terrible thing.  Fear of loneliness, fear of abandonment, fear of a good life with a good woman.  Fear drives the weak.  They find make their agreements with Johnny Cash songs that he wrote in the throes of heroin addiction.  It will let you down, it will make you hurt.  You make this your anthem.  Even though the only thing you are addicted to is your own simple misery.

My anthem, despite the worst of my depression is one of joy, happiness, and survival despite the attempts of the demons.  You may be one of them.

And where is the lesson in this.

Let it the fuck go.

Seriously, let it the fuck go.  I wave goodbye to the pirate, have a good adventure sailor, I hold my treasure in reserve, you never sought it, you never saw it, you never realized it.

Play on dear DJ.  Despise your life and your wife.  All I asked for was respect, and you don’t even respect yourself.

In the quiet of my meditation and yoga, I realize that I will not be single for the rest of my life.  I have not been single since my ex left, one miserable short term relationship after another.  Absolutely miserable dejected human beings me included.

I throw down a gauntlet to myself, I challenge you dear girl, I challenge you to knock off your nonsense and let go of the bullshit and MOVE THE FUCK ON.

Challenge taken.

half an hour later hope.

two hours later

a date

2 days later a promise of another date

and before I even get home

a phone call.

a thousand questions, answered right

and hands big and thick and a testament of hard work

a tear in the eye

I trust not my own judgment after all of this nonsense.

although the judgment right now is that of a big softie and a good man.

But there is this small voice in the back of my head saying.

It doesn’t really matter anyway.

I really can go it alone.  And that I think, is what makes the biggest difference.

Don’t get caught up.

Observe.  And observe.

and remember, when it is enough, it is enough.

I am a turtle.
Watching as the world speeds by.
I am an elephant, waving my ears and my tail and my trunk,
I shall never forget. 
I am not a wallflower waiting for the sun to shine.

I am the sun shining.

Still Standing

My mind dwells on the fierce nature of my words.

Strength combined with compassion.

And anger too.

though righteous.

In the middle of speaking clear

Something lost is returned.

And in the middle of it

I am a small child

No

A broken toy.

I sew my heart back together

And push the stuffing back in around it.

Patching the hole.

The problem is,

It is too big for this body.

Or maybe it is only my perception

That is the problem.

Love

there is only this:

love thyself

love others

the rest

is an illusion

is there anything else?

Do I have this right?

what i do want

Here is the rub .

I DIDNT EVEN WANT THIS!

Insanity begets insanity.

I see it now, the loss of mind.

I am sane here, there but not everywhere and every time I lose my mind it’s because the me that is a sponge of empathy, the me that soaks up the emotions of everyone around me, the me with a wide open heart that feels everything, that me, gets crazy around crazy people.

And this is why I love this place and these people,

Their sanity.

The laughter.

The love.

The peace.

The intelligence.

The wit.

The normalness.

Seek out and cultivate this.

This.

And don’t waste one more second on bullshit.

Bullshit.

That is what I want no part of.

Not one tiny bit.

But that does not mean I don’t want the woods and words and music and art and fishing and love and cuddling and honesty and integrity and all the good things that come with it.

She said it.

Meg needs to be around normal men.

Amen.

My true home.

The autumn morning is crisp and dark.  We walk back and forth between the cars taking things out and putting things in.  Brr it’s cold she says.  I just farted so you will be hitting a warm pocket. I say.  This is how the day begins.

After a pancake fund raiser for the county 4H we go on a farm tour of a community I managed to get lost in several times last summer.  I tweet at turkeys, pullets, geese.  I scratch mules and oink at piglets and kiss goats.  Ah this, this joyful life.  And later we eat whole grain bread dipped in red Apple vinegar and soft goat chevre.  More fuel for heating the crisp morning air.

We do the daily barn, two men drive by us, and when they park they ask if they can film us for a documentary.  I agree and tell my corny story of this being my family, my home away from home, and letting stress dissipate as I travel the winding roads to this place.  We meet a famous trapper and treasure hunter and some serious Deliverance type toothless men.  As we walk away, we realize they are probably hunting Sasquatch and we laugh about my ex boyfriend watching the show and being jealous of how I met these men and got caught on film.

She counsels me on this walk.  How are you so good at all of this?  It’s easy to see from the outside.  I confess my deepest fears and sorrows and loss and she paints it into happy words of a marriage lasting more than its obligatory three years and one day.  He did love you.  And this a man who stuck with me a couple weeks longer than he should have because I am amazing.

I drive north along, yes you heard it here, the Northway.  The leaves just past peek but glorious, the trees alive with an almost psychedelic vibrational energy.  I catch my breath again and again.  The beauty is astonishing.

Route 9 is one of the most beautiful drives in the whole world.  The blacks and greys of granite cliffs tumbling down as a river cascades in winding rocky runs, the white of the birch the green bristles of the pines the sun peeking through in brilliantly lighted patches of bursting yellow, shining orange and the remaining scarlet trees contrasting in breath taking gloriousness.

The other thing I see along Route 9 is long lines of cars parked at the some of the best hiking in New York.  I know it well be busy before we even get to the brew pub in Lake Placid.  We wait an hour drinking craft beers and talking, tears spring to my eyes as they tell me of my daughter’s grandmother knowing she will be judged by God for not doing enough for her, or I.  And the pinched nose and furrowed brow of him as I tell him, unwittingly, about how his brother threatened to kill me and my unborn child when I was four months pregnant.  This is why I left him, I say.  Later, she tells me he called his brother an idiot while I was in the bathroom.  But we talk not just of this unhealed rift in all of our lives.  A rift they both work tirelessly to redeem, for themselves, my daughter, and me.

I feel their love, as we talk about books and art and teaching and the love of family you make.  They call me sister in law and tell me of my goodness and all that I deserve and speak of my strength in raising this child, and of the incredible difficulties of being a single mother, even in this day and age.

I tell them of loneliness and my desire to cultivate this kind of supportive loving relationship in my life.  I need this I tell them, I need you in my life.  And they are there with open arms, home canned foods, frozen fresh pesto and gratitude and compassion and loving kindness.  Later in bed I think this is the kind of thing that my therapist spoke of, finding healthy relationships and leaving the unhealthy ones behind.

On my way home, and mind you the whole journey punctuated by the wonderful rich eclectic talented musicians on my iPod, I think of this thing I have done my whole life, this notion of the observed.  Who is the observer?  I watch myself this whole day, and see.  I love this me.  I love this person, Meg Gregory.  She is fucking wonderful, she has amazing family and friends.  She is smart and cool and compassionate and she watches herself and sees.  I am this.  I am. I am.

And fuck any one who sought to tear her down, who left her with a cruel coldness, who does not see that she is the scarlet tree the stark white birch the tumbling granite and the crystal trout filled waters cascading down mountains.

This is my true home.

adding up my day

I pray hard in the morning.  Mercy. Forgiveness. I feel a great peace come over me.  And the phone rings.  She shares her fears her anger her sense of loss of her dreams her plans for the future.

A bullet dodged she tells me.  And it is so clear.  All of it.

Bits of good.  I give.  Selfish ones only take and care not the damage they do.

I give.

I am playful with a boy who could potentially be troubled.  He soaks it all up.  Want to have a good day I tell the sub….give J. LOVE all day. Hug him tell him he is a good boy love him.

The school psychologist stops me in the hall, you friend is having a bad day she tells me.  I pull her out.  She buries her face in my shoulder and cries.  Her tears on my neck and down my shirt.  When I call her mom later she asks me to mentor her.  Sure I tell her.  I am happy to.  All day I am love.  All day I am giving it all day I am rewarded for the goodness inside me.

I drive north.  This road is a comfort, like setting a fire, or preparing soup, or the smell of homemade bread.  I can feel the vestiges of stress leaving me, I feel awfulness dissipating.  The road to my home, my sanctuary, my family.  I see a coyote the first in many years and I think a bobcat the first ever.  I feel the magic blessing of the earth entering me now.  I am.  I am.  I am.

Greeted by the whole family with warm loving hugs.  A. Telling me I need to be around a normal man as her husband squeezes me tight.  Her children teasing me seconds after I walk in.  Laughter bubbling out of me.  The dogs ecstatic.

Do you have food?  And wholesome goodness is set before me, a feast for a goddess of this earth.

And I am home.  I am home.

And none of the last six weeks matter to me anymore.

What failure of spirit and absence of joy would choose not to have this.

I am full of a joyful loving spirit and I am strong.  So strong.  And I am surrounded by love.  Because I am making it like a sorcerer or an alchemist.  Spinning gold from flax.

I am starlight.

Trying.

Watching as seagulls wing round and round into the slippery grey clouds that run across the rising yellow sun.

The religious one speaks of Jonathan Livingston Seagull

I snark at her.

If you love something set it free?

Ha!

Four geese honking just out of reach.

I watch their bodies with an artist eye.

Do your bit of good in the world.

My quote for the day.

I have nothing else.

But this.

Faith in my own goodness.

a handful of pebbles

A weight in the balance.

This handful of pebbles too small to do the damage.

And in this other hand.

Behold the heart

Still beating.

Watch as it pulses, gushing blood.

Love comes when you least expect it.

And leaves just as unexpectedly.

One pebble tossed ripples fading

When life throws you lemons….

And there a rock splashes.

No, a boulder.

fuck lemons and lemonade.

A prayer for mercy goes unanswered.

When all you have is a blessing

The treasures seem to shine so much brighter do they not?

I didn’t ask for a blessing, I was done with blessings.

So why was it offered?

This handful of shit.

I feel like I have been drinking salt water

Whenever I utter the name God.

Tired of being flicked detritus.

I am garbage?

Tired of crying out in anguish.

Throat hoarse.

Tired of the fountain from which this water flows

Blind.

Tired of the snot that clogs my skull.

Vomit.

Tired of the silence of a ticking clock.

Deaf.

Lips parched from a thousand thousand prayers.

Each pebble falls and the ripples fade.

But the heart sewn together with a mattress stitch

Keeps being ripped apart.

Watch as it beats

Every pebble tossed is another spray of blood.

There is no magic of a skipping stone.

It just plunks.