I Get It

I lay on the floor in my living room in front of the balcony door.  I will start going away from home to write more.  I will say goodbye to my teaching for awhile, in a while, and pursue my writing with allowing.  With no expectations.  I will study more.  In parks, coffee shops, at friends houses, on porches, on my balcony while my cats scratch at the door to get out.  I will think of a way to allow them out in a way that they cannot put on their super kitty capes and jump off onto the step below and to the right.

I grieved this morning here on the couch with David.  Anticipatory grief for the loss of what I have.  I saw a house in the distance while in meditation.  Today I kept my eyes closed for the first time.  He kept his open.  I wondered what was going through his mind as he watched me cry.  We sat in silence.  I want to sit with others while they cry.  He said it was an honor to watch that human experience.   I felt very lucky to have his support in this way.  We made a plan to get together every Tuesday for our practice.  Although next week I will give back to him, with therapeutic cranial touch.  Maybe I can get some work doing this at Melissa’s new massage business.  That way I can still make money but not have to constantly prepare the way I do when I teach.  And I will still feel like I am giving and not just doing everything for  me, me, me.  That is important for me.  I need to give back.  To help others in some way, in order to feel fulfilled and not self-absorbed.

I strayed from my writing to use the bathroom then I did my stretches assigned by my new physical therapist.  They are easy and require only a few minutes.  I see the loveliness outside and hear the birds sing.  I am called to just go spend time in nature.  Simply amazing.  Last night I was very sad.  If only I had gone outside the world would have been right by me again.  Speaking of the world being right…I know the majority is.  Alright, that is.  It’s that minority that can bring a person to a state of doom and gloom.  This is where I am called again to get outside of myself and help in the world.  I can’t sit by while my own country falls apart at the hands of insane politicians.  I come back to questioning this grand political system of ours.  And what role I can have in ensuring this is a more sane, more peaceful, place to live.  Some people are jumping on the Jill Stein bandwagon.  I just don’t know.  I have to do more research.  When my friend first told me about this I thought she was blind.  Could she not see that a vote for someone other than Hillary would only really mean a vote for him.  The man who’s name I do not speak.  The man for whom I am utterly confused how there is not something in place in our system for those running for office that does not draw the line and require the person to withdrawal.  I guess some would say that applies on the Democratic side as well with the federal infringements that were committed. Ethics would be nice.  Sanity possibly a consideration for those running for office in our dear sweet land of milk and honey.   I will need to find lawyers to talk to who can answer these questions.  Or maybe some poli sci majors at the university.  Or my friend’s son studying just north of here.

These things distract me from where I want to be.  Yet I know nothing is in isolation.  I’m reminded to keep my focus.  That being, how I can bring more peace into the planet.  Spread seeds of love.  And every action can fall under that umbrella, whether it be acts directed towards me, including speech, acts directed at strangers, friends, lovers, those I have an aversion to.  Peace comes from being in the moment.  Today there is another little distraction in the back of my mind.  It’s time.  Making sure I have time to prepare for my class.

My organization coach told me to focus on one thing at a time.  No multi-tasking.  That is outdated.  More productivity (and peace) comes from focusing on the task at hand, or the here and now.  Right now I think I should go outside and crawl into the earth on this amazing day.  I want the day to unravel not have constraints such as preparing for class, the phone call slotted for four o’clock, or dinner out with my son tonight.

I  think of Thoreau and simplicity.  If he can do it I can.  I will have the comforts of my apartment though, running water, electricity, food from the store across the street.  Many creature comforts at my disposal.  I am waiting for more of a mental shift in this progression I keep inching towards.

I do know I have to be very intentional about getting out though.  Too much in-time and I get depressed and unmotivated to go out and do the exercise that is necessary for mental and physical happiness. I can very easily go black/white, either/or.   My friend, a fellow mom, said we deserve as much time for us as we want, or need, given that we have been playing the mom role for so many years.

I see the books on the floor next to me.  This Side of Nirvana, Anything We Love Can Be Saved (Alice Walker) and another by Alice Walker (she’s my buddy), a book underneath called Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  A blue composition notebook, my go-to as of late, and a white pad of paper – legal stye, and pen.  l think about my brother-in-law (once removed) my sister, and their daughters.  I search for answers and know I need to do my part and am ashamed for not doing so much more than I have.  I think he is controlling them, even though they are adults, his daughters that is.  I start to feel very hot and want to switch gears.  Movement is needed.  Food is needed.  A desire to switch subjects.  A big red flashing sign has appeared that says, “Danger, Danger.  Don’t go near that topic.  It  is loaded.  So potentially explosive.  You know the options.  Talk to your counselor.  Talk to the police, to a social worker.”  I’ve already talked to the women’s shelter.  They just told me to be there for my sister.  Meanwhile what is he telling his daughters to make it so they won’t have anything to do with me.  This is not in character for them.  My sister lives there.  I live 3 1/2 hours away and am left wondering.  Left to make up stories.  Fill in the blanks.  I have been thinking about sending a text saying I may be calling the police soon since I haven’t heard back from them.  See if this stirs anything up.  My sister has talked to a victim’s rights specialist but I don’t know how much she has told her.  One niece is in college in another town so that is good.  The other lives in the same house as her father, with her two little girls, and her husband.  When my sister said she wanted to separate he moved in with his oldest daughter and her family.  And never left.  Eventually they got another house all together.  The youngest, a teenager, goes back and forth between mom and dad’s houses.  It is a sad sad story.  He acts fine outwardly.  He has a lot of health issues.  What does he say to them to keep them from communicating with me?  I know it is an isolation technique directed at hurting my sister.   They didn’t even come to their grandma’s funeral, which again, is so not in their usual character.

 I’m here, feeling helpless, usually it’s out of my mind given the distance.  Then I remember and understand that if I am not part of the solution, then I am part of the problem.  This is my own family.  If you have made it this far in this long post and have any insight, I welcome feedback for this issue.  Being in the middle of the forest it’s sometimes hard to see the trees.

My thoughts travel back to my hometown in IL and lemon ice cream at the Dairy Ripple.  It’s still standing there,  when we go for a visit, passing out cones every weekend.

If our visit falls on a Sunday, I swing by to see if they have my favorite flavor, lemon vanilla swirl.  And I remember that little girl with the red hair and toothy smile.  No one ever told her she was pretty.  No one said much to her.  She was quiet.  Kind of shy.  Loved to be outside, climb trees, ride bikes, draw pictures, and sing.

Copyright Suzanne Norton 2016

About Suzanne

I write poetry, flash fiction, quotes and personal essays. Words flow forth like a river that cannot be dammed. Writing is my soul.
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