Sometimes, when my mind is busy and spinning and sparking a notch too fiery, I tell it to be quiet. When that doesn’t work (that never works), I try to ignore it and find myself reading (but not quite retaining) self-help or reminders on post-its with advice for myself from myself.
If my mind is still reeling, unable to settle, I will write a list of the pulls fragmenting my attention. What books I want to read or research that needs to be done. There are scenes to be fleshed out. A page of displaced sentences impatiently awaiting adoption. Phone calls to suffer, people to connect with and appointments to schedule (the dentist – you must!). Not to mention the numerous life changes necessary for perfection.
The list expands into a fury of unrelated obligations and reminders about posture, forgiveness and potential dog behaviorists. I write a list of things to list on separate lists, and now I’ve really (totally) lost it, for underneath lies the compulsion to achieve it all instantaneously. It is the habitual inner crusade that drives all thoughts together into an impossible tangle of immediate demands. Now I am caught (again).
What I long for then, is to reset the mess and get clean. I seek out my haiku book. The white one with the fresh, spring green pear on the cover and open to any page. I carefully read one three-line set and float into simplicity and calm, thankful for respite and peace.
The time it takes –
For snowflakes to whiten
The distant pines
On February 29, 2000, my mom leaped between worlds to a new place where I could not see. I drowned without warning, unable to swim as my roots were now tangled around me. To return to land, I took my own leap through cold time, dark embers, and hologram waves of the psyche. I since came around to myself, but recast. Death must be something like that, a luminous transformation where the soul is returned to the source but now changed.
The thing about the Leap Day loss is I have more comings than goings. Each August, we dine on her favorites, sweet corn on the cob and ripe peaches. All of us feel the heat and the storms. The lightning is common and deep. The roots of the willow rise up to meet the lily, hydrangea and lilac. We are dressed up and singing like heaven or love when just born and celestial. Your heart, that is summer, her birthday. The day she arrived in this world.
When Leap Day does come it is rare and strange to see the occasion marked there on the wall. What else can I write in the square? Most years send the gift of detachment but here it is staring me back. Is there really a way to escape? Perhaps the void between the 28th and the 1st is the space the most real because I make that leap every day – every time I leap back to her darkness and light. Every time I leap back to myself.
A blog that will explore various topics designed to educate, entertain, engage, encourage, and empower both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking readers via writing and audio-video expression.The primary vehicle of self- expression will be Poetry and Essays but other forms of writing, including fiction, will make an appearance from time to time.