Thursday, January 30, 2014

hundreds of ways

there are

hundreds of ways

to say I love you.

Hundreds of ways

to throw a daffodil into the sky

and watch

as each petal

touches different lives.

look closely

for the tenderness of my smile


as i sing and break

and open


into wonder

lavender mornings

i pour my colors unto you

until your chest splashes

with lavender mornings...

turquoise nights.

our bodies spill

as daytime undresses into night.

still here

i am suddenly fragile


i have always been.

and life has slowed down

so I can notice others like me.

the old lady with her cane
pausing with each step

as if to say


I am still here

I am still me.

longing for a softer world

silent tears
the everyday talk

everyday hellos

and hows and dos

sometimes one drop falls through

but her laugh
too loud

the tear slips away


Sunday, January 26, 2014

larger love

the longest kiss
cannot stretch into
for sure

and you can hold my hand
just remember
 to let go

there's a larger love to feel
the moment we say

I don't know

Sunday, January 12, 2014

learning about less

My body has seized up due to nerve and disc damage gone too long undetected from my bike accident 3 years ago. After I left the hospital I refused to let pain limit my way of life and very quickly went back to playing a heavy accordion, running miles everyday, and all other activities not good for a recently torn body. 
For most of my life, I refused to acknowledge physical pain. I fiercely believed in mind over matter and that I could push myself to be more than my body.
I often escaped pain by staying in my head and reading or any other pure intellectual pursuit. 
Living fully to me was ignoring the limitations of the body. 

I would go on a run if writhing in cramps.
 I would bike everywhere, refusing to take the subway even if I had to go as far as Washington Heights. There were numerous summer days where I rode my bike to Fort Tilden, played soccer, ultimate frisbee, swam in the ocean for hours and then rode all the way home. 
All of these extreme physical activities were more of a mental experience. I wasn’t actually deeply in my body sensing what I could handle.
If I had been fully in my body I would have felt the subtle aches... 
tiny cells crying for a rest. 
Two years ago there was a vibrant house concert followed (as usual) by a crazy dance party. I had been having a lot of tension in my shoulders and back, but had been ignoring them thinking it would pass.  During the raging dance party I was so exhilarated by the explosive energy around me that I danced on top of chairs, jumped up and down to Beyonce, and threw myself on the ground trying to slide across the room to “girls just wanna have fun.”
The next morning I woke up feeling shitty, but figured my morning run would snap me back into place.
and that’s when my body broke.
when I saw an acupuncturist he asked me how I got to this point.
why I didn’t come in earlier.
I said I thought I was stronger than my pain.
I thought that living fully was living extremely.

I had to push myself in order to be more...
in order to be recognized.

Did the person I was so in love with at the dance party notice me?

(It’s hard to miss the silly girl dancing on the couch). 

If all my life I grew up with the belief that I had to be MORE and BETTER in order to be loved, why would I stop for a moment to rest?
Why would I only practice piano/accordion for 2 hours when there were 10 more hours that I could be getting better? 
Why would I hang out with friends at night if I could bury myself in my journals and write and read into the night?

I would only be seen if I were different and GREAT.

How tiring it is to be at war with myself!!

But younger me didn’t realize how much the war was hurting... and that both sides were losing.

This past summer, my body started to crumble more. and now I am seized up in pain from years and years of ignoring asymmetries and tension in my body.
Now, I move slowly not by choice, but because my muscles are frozen trying to fiercely protect damaged nerves.
I have eliminated all of my activities down to the most essential.

I am learning about less.

Yesterday all I did was go on a walk for 20 minutes and pain started shooting up my back, into my neck, shoulders and head. 

Now, I HAVE to listen to my body because it is [SCREAMING!!!] all of the time.
There is no mind over matter. Actually, the mind does not matter!
I don’t care about stimulating and expanding my mind if it means I’m disconnected from the rest of my body.
The ONLY thing that matters is being present each and every moment INSIDE my body, aware of sensations.
It took the crying and neglected child to run-away in order for the parent to realize that the most important thing in life is paying attention to the child.
My body will heal. 
and when it does, I promise I will NEVER take my physical health and simple mobility for granted.
Two days ago a good friend was over and I was heating my lower back with a hot-water bottle to help my spazzing muscles. We were talking and at times I noticed it was REALLY hot on my back, but I was completely absorbed in our conversation. I was even telling him about my new revelations about how I experience disassociation and leave my body sometimes.
After he left I touched my lower back and to my surprise found a blister the size of a quarter from the heat burning my skin!!
I was so hyper-attentively involved in conversation that I let myself get burned???!!!!!???

I guess learning to slow down and listen to my body takes time.
I can’t just suddenly change life-long habits. 

Extreme can’t be countered with more extreme.

Years ago, I was in Costa Rica working on a farm, and one of my life mentors, Chandra, gave me advice to stay more grounded in my body and connected to the earth. She suggested walking very slowly, bare-footed, focusing on the sensation of each step. 
So I, the overachiever, decided that I would practice this a LOT and intensely in order to get enlightened FAST.
I spent an entire day walking bare-footed throughout the farm and forest, even in the rough, rocky parts.
I came back to her with blisters and cuts on my feet.
She laughed:
“I didn’t say to go walk on sharp rocks!”
I laughed too.

Luckily being human is hilarious. 

Luckily, life keeps offering gentle (and harsh) reminders, and many many more chances to learn.
As I sit now in acute pain I ask for some more chances.
and I will try to stay here in my experience...
to stay here in my body, noticing everything... for even in the times of extreme pain there are subtle things changing slowly.
I will try to wait for the healing that comes simply by being 
tenderly present in my life.

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