I am writing this, and it is September.
Leaves move with the wind and the light splits apart, reforming again and again in endless waves. I’m on the couch and my feet are hot. A sense of unreality pings in my chest, a physical twinge of pain disquieting me from a distance.
I know; I do not know.
I am bound by my skin. I breathe in. I am limitless and absolute. Contradiction comes easily to me now. I breathe deeply and exhale myself, boundless and formless. The breathing exercises calm me instantly and palpably. I am connected; I am cleansed; I am communing with myself and the void.
This is a typical morning routine.
The breeze ruffles the leaves, dapples the light, caresses me through the open window. It cools the tea on the windowsill. The book in my lap has a book underneath it; sometimes I like to read two or three at a time, shifting between them, my attention catching and breaking like the surface of water shattered by a kingfisher diving for trout. My mind is whetted on words. There is a fountain coming up and if I don’t direct its flow properly I risk distraction, dissipation, and downright do-no-goodliness.
In the morning I am quiet unless I am singing.
Or unless there is someone present with whom I can chattily share the streams of energy bubbling up through me. I am a morning person; my thoughts run quickly at dawn. I’ll be honest: sometimes it’s nonsense.
HEY say diddle diddle dum diddle day
Sometimes they’re snippets from a song, or someplace like Sesame Street. The lines do laps in my mind. They weave a sing-song backdrop to thought and movement.
To the redwood, to the redwood, to the redwood redwood tree!
I let the chorus play in my head, a joyous noise propelling me forward, keeping me afloat, helping me hold my breath when the way dunks me under the surface.
Does it get any easier?
I am writing this, and it is January.
The bare branches outside my window reveal fat squirrels. A blessing. The cup of tea in my lap steams and cools. There is a book beneath my book. I am reading again, thirsty as a mountain hiker in June. I eat up the words and they flow back out of me by the thousands. I write in acorn-caches. Some I’ve forgotten. Others I return to night after night, running the words through my hands and head and heart.
I am the fat squirrel in the window, and I am the person curled into the armchair. I am the nut and the tree. At night I sense the dead, and calm my child-fear of the dark. I say nothing to anyone about this, except the few who see them too.
There’s a new dawn on the horizon.
I should know; I get up early enough. Working at a bakery has retrained me to wake early: a natural habit of mine but one that depression easily overrides.
Light spills over the horizon and across the sky in slow motion. It squeezes and releases my heart more expansive than it was before. Leonard Cohen lyrics twine themselves through the sing-song weaving in the background of my mind:
there is a crack in everything/ that’s how the light gets in
It gets easier.
I’m writing this, and it’s 2020.
The sky is grey and the squirrels are fat, fat, fat. I love them. My fingers are itching with winter restlessness. Time to write! time to paint! time to weave and spin.
The hours of quiet contemplation I’ve invested are paying off. So is the inner chorus that tills the soil of my creative mind, preparing it richly for the seeds germinating there.
My hands are busy and my vision of the way forward is clearing. New glasses leave bruises on my bridge. Clarity can be dizzying at first, disorienting, but one adjusts. And until I do, I may bump around a bit.
But I’ll get a band-aid. Shake it off. Like the kung fu grandpa in the Food Lion parking lot, which is a video I’ve watched so many times it autofills when I type “k” into the Youtube search bar.
Question: where do we go from here?
It gets better. It gets worse. It gets better.
Leaves move with the wind and dazzle us with dappled light.
I’m writing this, and today is a once-in-a-thousand-years palindrome: 02/02/2020.
Backwards, forwards, it’s all the same. Joni Mitchell sings about the circle game, round and round. The Magnetic Fields sing about the Ferris wheel and the feel of a flying saucer landing.
I can’t sleep/ cause you got strange powers/ you’re in my dreams
What guides us forward?
As the year turned my dreams got weird, vivid, and deep. After the Christmas new moon I succumbed to the process of reflecting in contemplative waters that grow increasingly clear and deep, though dark.
Seeing too much too soon can be a shock and isn’t always advisable. I’ve been easing into it: hydrating, stretching the body, and remembering to eat even when the pantry is less than inspiring.
This is the time of year when I perform New Year readings for new and returning clients and of all the potential ways of harnessing new year energy to encourage contemplative growth and goal-setting, these readings are just. The most.
The depth and breadth of the new year reflecting pool?
It’s gold. It’s clear water running over river stones. It’s friendship under pine trees and sunrise over the hill you’ve just climbed. It’s languid reflection under the sun, time taken for just yourself and your inner world.
It’s honesty and imperfection.
It’s looking for patterns, recognizing them, and knowing what needs to be changed.
It’s asking questions and listening.
It’s connection to your truest self in context.
It’s opportunities for understanding.
It cultivates compassion for self and others.
The reflection process is a reminder that we are safe, because the ultimate truth is love. Everything else on top of that, no matter how hard it is, is faceable with love.
And love is everywhere.
If you’re interested in booking a new year reading, which I will be offering until the Spring Equinox in March, you can follow the link on my Work With Me page — or send $125 via PayPal (email@example.com) or Venmo (@PaigeZaferiou).