Seeing

Grateful for finding a little space for drawing.

  Much as Danny Gregory speaks of in his graphic memoir, Everyday Matters, it is helping me see, and so appreciate, the things and the people in my life.

A new way to pray, to practice gratitude.

Practice

  I am only just learning about practice. I mean that life is all a constant learning and growing, and not to hoard supplies or wait until we’re better. To just do. I used to stress out about not wanting to “waste” paper or paints, not understanding that they are never wasted in learning, experimenting, discovering–only in not being used.

Now, all of my life is practice.
I practice being grateful for the low early rays and cool air of the morning, for the excitement with which small children greet the sun and each other.
I practice asking for help and calm before I rise.
I practice taking a moment to take care of myself.
I practice sticking to my grocery list.
I practice being gentle with my family, taking a calming breath and reminding myself a mess is not an emergency.
I practice naming my anxiety.
I practice, every day, the life I want them to learn.

The pressure of trying to get it right every time lifts a little each time I remember. Every day is an experiment, something which my kids seem to know already. Like the person who practices yoga or meditation, practice is not for an upcoming test, or for the “real thing” later (whatever that means). The practice is the thing, the step every day on the path I want to live.

Sacral

The chiropractor presses
my pelvis, coaxing the bones
back after they’ve spread
their boundaries. My hips protest
every morning as I pull
myself from bed, lift from a game
on the floor, shuffle down
the drive. Spaces are growing
inside me, ligaments and joints
stretching their borders even
as things become tighter, more
crowded in my stomach, my ribs.
I want to realize the wonder,
even as I swear I will never
do this again.
Someone said we never
want it to be over, even
the difficult parts. Voices
compel me to seize
the day, enjoy every thing.
But sometimes that which is sacred
holds little pleasure:
sitting with my son’s
raging, witnessing the wounds
of a friend, walking through
a spiritual shift. These joints
tearing and stretching
and becoming more
open to the point of almost
breaking. I feel ancient
with it as I swell and sway
my back on all fours,
seeking some ease.
Os sacrum.
Holy bone.
Protecting, holding
a space set apart.
An offering.

Enjoying These Moments

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Navel oranges, their juice bursting in their skins

Painting my nails while all my boys are out

Bees busy in the honey-sweet blossoms

Sketching from a favorite photograph

Listening to Beatrix Potter stories while the kids paint

Reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time

Baby Girl’s movements becoming larger, fuller

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Hone

Skull slams my glasses, the bridge
of my nose screams and tears erupt.
This child barrels through his days,
cranium a cannon shot propelled across
the room. Parenting is a contact sport, full
of all that salt water of sweat, tears, gore
and brokenness. He exposes my weak
spots, seems to be programmed to hone
in on them, pointing out just where I need
to care a little more kindly for myself, the places
I’m tender, sensitive, bruised and wounded.

Note to Self

I am giving notice:
my home will be more
messy than I like, our meals
will not be as balanced
or fancy as I used to make,
my makeup will be mostly
nonexistent, my clothes
will be simple and not likely
trendy. But I will see more, catch
the exact tenor of my child’s
giggle, will trace the slight
curve of his calf as he jumps
and jumps, will note the clouds
sinking like a too loose skirt
over the mountain range, the way
my son exclaims over the tiny
point of light blazing
through the marble’s shadow.

Child’s Pose

I stretch face down, my nose
pressed into the pile
of the carpet, lungs dusted
with the remnants of early
summer wind storms; no matter
the amount of sweeping, the aroma
is dry and dust. A rust-clay
stain and the places the two-year
old has expressed his newfound
skill at directing his pee,
the marker ink tracking
race car lanes in a loose s-curve,
the crumb of pizza crust, dried
tomato sauce like so much pollen
fringing the edge, the almost
ivory llama color of this rug we chose
from the clearance rack, because of course
it wouldn’t last, and the grape-juice
purple and chocolate-ice-cream-colored
ones were not on discount. The lines
from where a butter knife gouged
miniature troughs, a curled-up bandage
from a make-believe scrape, bits
of crayon-label paper littering the corner,
scattered scraps and snatches, a fleeting
testament to the collected order
in this chaos, the fullness
of my days.