Thorn in My Side

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a poem that is a dedication, or a poem with a dedication.

Thorn in My Side
to my Gadfly

Here’s the thing:
The outrage dissipates so much more quickly now.
There’s the kick in the gut when I see your name
there on the email, and I think, “Here we go again,”
and then a moment of panic, another of anger,
and then, this time. . .

I sat there just watching what was happening
inside my head, expecting the roaring in the ears,
the tunneling of vision, the white light blinking
in the back of my brain. And there was nothing, really.
And then, what I didn’t expect: gratitude.
Quiet, twinkling gratitude, and steady purpose.

That shocked me. I’m so used to the exhausting fury,
the worry and self-righteous indignation.
But this time I may have begun to pass the test,
to rest a moment in my breathing, then focus on my center,
to enter–finally–a space where I can see myself,
and you, and shift the focus of the attack.

The thing is:
You have been a better teacher
than you could ever imagine,
and likely more than you intend,
and I have been a less than willing student,
too eager to defend my ego
in the face of your attacks.

You’ve taught me to be curious
about the fury that you send my way,
to stay within my heart-space,
even to offer grace in the midst of your rage.
I have found safety that you cannot touch,
your cages will catch me no longer.
I’m stronger now, and I can hold the net
you toss my way, and turn it
to a golden thread.

Maintaining Balance

The gypsy wind came rattling through at 4:30 this morning.  It raised gooseflesh on my arms and the hair on the back of my neck tingled.  No more sleep.  No more sleep.  Down the stairs, some quiet reading, a little coffee and then some yoga tree poses.

In six months of regular morning tree poses, my balance has improved considerably.  I’m happy enough in my body, don’t get me wrong, but physical balance has never really been one of my strong points.  It’s a little startling to me that I can get this rather unathletic middle-aged body to pick up a new trick.  And it’s odd to me how place-oriented my balance is.  When I try the poses somewhere other than my kitchen, I teeter and totter and tumble all over the place.

On the internal front, I have been living with a low-grade fury again.  I have allowed this government shut down to throw me off my internal equilibrium.  I can’t seem to maintain balance,  to keep myself upright.  I want to rant and call names and burn bridges.
Somewhere I’ll find the poetry for this, the way to speak the need for justice in this story.  Right now, it’s still a little blind and crazed.  One thing that seems to help me hold my morning tree poses is the mirror in my kitchen.  When I look into my own eyes, my body suddenly remembers its upright nature and I stop thinking about falling.And oh.  I have not been writing gratitude lists.  I have stepped out of my space, walked away from my internal mirror.  How could I expect to keep my balance?  Here, then, is me back in my place, practicing my balance postures:

Gratitude List:
1.  A weekend with thoughtful, hopeful women.  All the grandmothers we carry with us.  Open hearts, open eyes.
2.  Dragonfly
3.  Autumn bird conversations.  Mockingbird is back at it after a summer of quiet.  Screech owl and great horned owl have been calling  even after dawn has brought the day.  Phoebe is moving through again.  Robin hordes have been amassing in the hollow every evening, and they begin the mornings with a deafening chatter.  I have even heard the kingfisher’s fussy chitter along Cabin Creek.
4.  A community of rebels
5.  Morning solitude

May we walk in Beauty.