using what’s gone fallow inside her

photo of poppies by a wall, their shadows collaborating with the graffiti there.I missed you yesterday! After a gorgeous and intense workshop on Monday night, I wasn’t able to get up as early as I’d wanted — not til 7, which gave me enough time to do my morning three pages in my notebook but not enough time before leaving for work to do the blog. Thought I might do it from work, but work was, you know, work. Busy. And most days when I get home from work (since I spend all day on a computer), I don’t turn the computer on. Last night I got to have a quiet meal at home (miracle) with my honey, and then we spent a little time in the back art cottage, getting table and art supplies set up (finally), moving the storage around, bringing candle and incense and images for the walls, bringing a radio and red wine and human scent, so that the little visitors who maybe have been spending time there in that space know that they’re about to have some company. Felt very good.

Once I was done hanging pictures and consolodating boxes, I sat in the rocking chair and imagined myself working in that space. Then I picked up the copy of Jack Kornfeld’s  The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, a book my mom lent to me when I was in Omaha the last time. After this weekend’s body mindfulness workshop, I was grateful to read and think more about the idea of mindfulness, and how constant and deep-veined busy-ness is the opposite of mindfulness (isn’t it?). I let myself just notice the places I was tense and achy, just notice, and maybe breathe into them a little bit, like Alex would suggest. I’m grateful for her guidance and leadership and friendship.

Last night I dreamed about my mother and sister and stepfather, again. Do you have those recurring, themed dreams? In this one, I was throwing things at him, feeling so strong, hating him cleanly, not pretending like everything was ok. At the end, my mother said she was going to leave him, but she was Bruce Willis (but only when she said that part) in the dream.  Maybe that was the persona she’d have needed to be able to go — I could analyze that further, but I just want to leave it alone.

Today I’ve got a prompt and a write for you.

On Monday I offered these four sentences as prompt suggestions:

1-They know she is capable of just about anything

2-We ought to hold on to what we’re given

3-I’m not one of those women who can…

4-I used to think my eyes were the problem.

The invitation is always the same, but I repeat it: notice which one seems to be choosing you, which one has some electricity for your writing self. Change it in any way that’s interesting for you: add a not where there isn’t one (or take one out that’s there), or change the pronouns (from I to s/he/ze or you).

Here’s my write in response:

We stop and make love for ourselves. They know
she is capable of just about anything. She tendrils her arms
around the wishy-washy, through the hesitation and the moldy
plants of whatever you want is fine with me, she sheds her green
through what’s begun to decay, sits quiet at the center
of a dark morning room and makes marks of chlorophyll
on the page, she suckers in the dew and the pollen,
she is seeding what’s gone fallow inside her —

they know she is capable of just about anything. Her mouth
is sewn shut, not with ribbon or lace or sutures
but with morning glories and sweet peas, she sweats
beneath the dense layerings of new winter
foliage, the plants are using what’s gone fallow
inside her. Someone sprinkles her back
with vetch, nudges alfalfa beneath her arms,
puts fava beans between her toes, and she takes
what gentle feeding these plants have to give

she can hear them whispering to each other, going
about their work, she doesn’t have to say a thing,
can feel the roots of their toes pushing into her,
peeking out what nutrition she can still offer,
beginning the cyclical work of land that needs
some healing. Her hands are nested down
into the grasses beneath tiny mouse babies
and her legs are taken up by anthills and grasshopper
perches — the sun is a thick grey green glow

on the other side of the vining that shades
her forehead and as the light fades she can listen
to the warbling, feel the douse of breeze that the bat’s wing
pushes to her cheek, she knows there’s a daddy longlegs
on her calf and she wants to rustle her own fur
back in its direction, releasing what’s gone
fallow inside her to all this tremendous artistry,
alchemy, that will make her whole again.

Thank you for your alchemy, for how you spin gorgeous possibility out of what others have called dross, for your quietnesses and your fierce voice. Thank you for your words.

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