Images from the morning’s walk.
“Daughter, the songs of women
are the first words of children” —Abby E. Murray
“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, ‘They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —Dreamwork with Toko-pa
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.” —David Sobel
“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb – but the darkness of the womb?” —Valarie Kaur
I’ve always wanted to take more art classes. I love to sketch and doodle. Still, I haven’t taken many classes, and I feel like I don’t have a lot of courage about getting images on paper. I love certain comic book and animated art, and I always find myself wanting to draw “like that.”
So for the next month, I am going to try to commit to doing one sketch page a day. I have borrowed Shaun Tan’s The Bird King from the school library, and today’s sketch is sort of a copy and sort of an extension of one of his drawings. I am going to try to be brave enough to sketch some things directly from life and from photos as well. Just today, I learned some things about line and shading. I hope I can learn to apply them.
1. Yesterday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at school. Good music, powerful quotations.
2. Geese all over the sky
3. The office staff and dentists and hygienists at the place where my children get their teeth cleaned. They’ve always been understanding and friendly and helpful.
4. Walking outside. I can’t really bear the cold, and I haven’t spent more time outside than I absolutely have to for several weeks now. It was nice to have a balmier morning for some outside play.
5. The Emergency Women’s Shelter in Lancaster. I always have to gear myself up for the long night awake, but it’s good work, and I always come away inspired by the women I meet.
6. The Women’s Marches.
May we walk in Beauty!
“Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.” –David White (via Toko-pa Turner)
In the dream, I am visiting a doctor. She is surprised that I still have my uterus and recommends a hysterectomy. I am relieved in the dream to be rid of the burden of it.
What change is on the horizon? Perhaps something of the first part of my adult life needs to be relinquished in order for me to find ease and relief for the next stages of the journey. My womb was the soil in which my four children were grown. Even the two it was unable to keep for the full term, it struggled to hold onto even when it was clear that they were unviable. The two that grew to full term, it refused to relinquish. The story of my womb has been one of not letting go, of holding on even when hope is lost. Perhaps the next stage of my life will be one of learning to let go of hope, to release hold of my identity as fertile soil and life-giver.
That seems to be the way of it: At the turnings of our lives, we are asked to give up something that has served us, that has given us great gifts, in order to find the wisdom that approaches when we have met the challenges and tasks of the next stage. Like the child in the woods in every fairy tale, we leave behind an innocence, an old identity that has served us, and pick up a new name, a new skin to travel in.
1. Auntie and Uncle Goose paddling on the postage-stamp of a pond.
2. That grove of trees in the field on the detour. I complain about Ducktown being closed for bridge repairs, but the new road offers delights of its own: the way the sun shines through the grove, the view of the ridge where I make my home, the horses, the field of giant round hay bales.
3. That song this morning–the Prokeimenon (I love that word), with the high A, and the brave voices who sang it.
4. The way clouds create the perspective of distance, diminishing toward the horizon.
5. The Word, the Wisdom, and the Way
May we walk in Beauty!
Day 29 Poem-A-Day Prompt: Write a Birth Poem.
We all came in through the same door.
The young ones just beginning to learn
what their bodies can do,
the new crones bidding the blood farewell.
And all those rounding bellies.
There were more of them than any of the others.
I sensed the wolf the moment I walked in the door.
I almost looked around to see her,
before I realized the shadow was my own.
I stepped across the carpet
carefully toward the desk,
past the pair who sat together
with heads bowed in wonder
over the full bowl of her womb,
willing them not to look at me
lest they sense the blood on me,
lest some contagion contaminate
their innocent joy,
lest the wolf turn her face their way.
Me, I had walked this way before
with my strange and dark companion,
carrying my empty bowl.
I was only there for confirmation
this time. I knew what I had come to hear,
knew how to follow this particular path of grief.
Walking out again, afterward,
the fresh-faced ones were still there,
and the wolf and I again took pains
not to taint them with our shadow.
We left by the same door
and closed it quietly behind us.