let go

I don’t let go of friends easily, partly because I had a difficult and scary childhood, where I was passed from person to person in my first year. Three times, a nearly complete change of adults. By the third time I wanted to be independent at nine months. A nine month old cannot really be independent.

We went to live with my maternal grandparents when I was three. I don’t remember much from that year. My mother said I would lock the child gate at the top of the stairs and stand there and cry. My imaginary friend, Dazo Freenie, was the one who shut the gate, so I couldn’t open it again when that happened. This was an old house with 14 foot ceilings and a fireplace in every room. My mother was recovering from tuberculosis and the second child, and she says she hated climbing those stairs to unlock the gate. I do not remember this, though I do remember Dazo Freenie.

What I remember was a moment in the garden. My maternal grandmother, Katherine White Burling, was out with me. There was a bush with berries. She told me they were currents and that I could pick and eat them. I was not to pick anything else and eat it: only from that one bush.

I was beyond thrilled to have a bush that I could go to when I needed food. I did not understand that it would not produce year round. I think I figured that out later. I was three. I had to let go of the idea that I had that food source. Sometimes we think we have something very very special and it turns out that we don’t. Then we have to let go.

Blessings.

The photograph is one of my son and daughter-in-laws pet rats. They rarely live beyond three years. Then they have to let them go.

Falling II

poem: Falling II

I can’t fall
until I let go

my cousin says that people learn
to stay away from angry people

I am hurt and then let that go
and think, yes, she is right
my cousins say over and over
that I am too angry when I’m not angry
until it makes me angry

my cousin gives good advice
I let go and stay away
it’s not my anger

I thought allopathic medicine
was where we listened to the patient
I let go of that too, disillusioned

a family member wants to be free
I let go

I let go of you slowly
I let go of coffee
I let go of sitting next to you
I let go of seeing you daily
I let go of asking
I let go of driving by

I let go of hope

I have not let go of longing

I think that I can fall
without letting go of longing

it is only a thread
like a spider’s web
thrown into the universe

I don’t think it will stop me
from falling

even if

even if

I never see you again
you never speak to me again
you never love your bearish parts
you never let yourself get angry
you never let yourself get sad
you never let yourself feel
you tell yourself you are happy
you tell yourself everything is the way it should be

even if

I never see you again

I still love you
I still forgive you

I still love you

I hope that you truly do

find happiness

What do you see?

What do you see in this rock?

Unarmored

I have been working with orthopedic massage for three years. My sister died in 2012 and my father 14 months later, in 2013. My father’s will was from 1979. My maternal family grieved via five years of lawsuits. I lost my sister, my father, and my maternal family. For good, as the song says.

I showed up for a massage in 2014. The ortho massage person said, “You are locked in an armor suit. Toes holding on to the floor, knees locked, head and shoulders forward, a fight or flight defensive posture.” I lift my toes up and say, “My toes aren’t clenched.” But they were.

For the next week I was to walk around, or attempt to walk around, with my toes off the floor. I practice: toes up, knees bent, lift foot, gently touch heel ahead, then shift weight forward, weight even on great and little metatarsal, toes are not to grab the floor, lift the trailing foot and repeat. I am furious that I have to relearn how to walk. HOW TO LET GO OF THE ARMOR SUIT?

I go once a month, now. I went weekly for a long time, then biweekly. Pieces of armor would drop off in the massage, but I would armor back up at work. Posture, posture, posture, breathe, don’t tighten those muscles up, check in with toes and with abdominal muscles…

Yesterday I go. We talk. It’s been a really weird month and I don’t know why. Letting go of all sorts of things and people and stuff. My pile of stuff to get rid of, clothes, books, mugs, art, is getting larger. And I was very grumpy the day before the massage. I thought, well, it’s been a dark February, I hate taking pills, maybe I need some sun, I mean, vitamin D.

But at the massage: a huge piece of armor, locked muscles in my lower back and hips, is gone. It feels weird. I didn’t know it was gone. Certain movements feel entirely unfamiliar, because I am used to moving the muscles as a locked group. My brain attempts to tell individual muscles to move and then there is a pause… as the brain and muscle negotiate unfamiliar territory. Medial gluteus medius… moving that feels so odd and unfamiliar.

Ortho massage says, “Usually when I ask you to move muscles, you are ON or OFF. FULL STRENGTH or no response. This is all new: modulation. Gentle.”

It feels so strange..

He knows how I feel. He says, “I felt so unbalanced as my armor dropped off. As if it dropped off bits at a time, a piece on the right side and suddenly I don’t know how to move because it’s all different. ”

Yes, that is what I am feeling. Unmoored. Light. There is less gravity. Gentle. Surprised. Less grumpy afterwards: I am so surprised, I had rather given up that I would EVER drop ANY of the armor suit. Pleased and a bit shyly proud. And deeply deeply grateful…. to my ortho massage person and to many others: friends, books, kind strangers, my patients, my colleagues (that is, the ones who have been kind. There are quite a few who were not. Let them go.) and the parts of my family that I keep… the ones whose actions DO mean they love me.

And my significant other says that I’ve seemed more peaceful this month. I check. I do feel more peaceful, which is so odd when I started the week feeling peculiar and unmoored and as if something was wrong. Something wasn’t wrong, I just had not even realized that I dropped a huge piece of invisible armor. The night before the massage I went to a dinner. Because of the deaths and lawsuits, I had very little social life for many years. A decade, really. After the dinner I thought, that was odd. I am not who I was ten years ago. I am not sure who I am in a social setting. I am surprised to be invited to a dinner. And I let the old me go: it’s ok. I will find out who I am after a decade as a hermit, a hermit due to circumstances, not by choice nor under my control. I let it all go: and I think that is the moment that piece of armor finally let go.

For Good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQJaZO2nfGg

let go

For Ronovan’s weekly haiku challenge, the words are hope and luck.

I saw my doctor yesterday, still on half time and it looks like it will stay that way until January or longer. Slow healing. I am finding it hard though I am healing and often people don’t or aren’t or won’t…..

I let go of hope
for love my luck is to be
alone writing love

the picture is from my garden

Hard

It's hard to let go of you
and stay present

I don't know why
The Beloved set me this task
I argue and struggle
a fly in Her web
But I hold still when She bites me
Paralyzed by love

You connect me to Beloved
that's what I want
Like a spring
Like a stream
Like a geyser
Like a tsunami
Like an ocean
I am lost in the depths

It's ok really
I am used to pain
I am used to the air hurting like knives
When I draw breath

Oh Beloved
The sky is crying hard with hail
while I write this

It's hard to let go of you
and stay present

Luckily I have so much to cry about
That you can't tell which tears
are about you