Full moon soaring like a child’s heart that doesn’t yet know to keep it buckled up for safety. I started a fire out back – the best decision I’ve made in a long time – with the rich supply of sticks and thickened branches from our recently fallen elm limb.
When I lift my gaze, I can see both points of light cutting through the slowly lifting darkness. Sticks burn quick, so I’m up resupplying the blaze in frequent intervals.
My long hair will carry the scent of burning wood well into the day, perfuming the air in my wake until I shake it loose when next I shower. A badge of honor to be sure.
I’ve reinvigorated the fire with more sustainable fuel so that I can draw this grace-filled morning out a little while longer.
A backdrop of crows and the snap, popping of the fire stood in for my morning chant, as I sat in meditation in the glow of the flames and the sinking moon.
There are more people than seats or room in this bar, downtown on a Thursday night, and I wonder who chose this subpar venue for such an important event.
We’re sectioned off from the may-lay of intoxication, still, this bar floor squinting under florescent lighting has seen its share of misery – just like those whose feet grace its linoleum facade. Perhaps it’s this commonality that binds us to this location, verses some more comfortable, more spacious, less seedy place.
This Me Too reading is an ovary fest. Still, speaking to the choir has its merits. Empowering others out of the darkness of their shame to join the chorus of Enough! is perhaps the only way to burn this whole thing down.
Strange as it sounds, I feel rather like an intruder. Perhaps this is why there are not more men here. I have no voice of experience to lend to this particular chorus of women. But I put great stock in learning, knowing, and understanding the systemic issues that plague our collective consciousness, so here I am.
And so maybe this sticky saloon isn’t the worst place for this dialog to ensue. Maybe this hotbed of back alley lusting for something profoundly missing is right where we need to be. A place to match the darkness of this topic and meet it face-to-weathered-face.
As Harrison said in a poem: there is a place in us to weep for others. So maybe this is it.
This morning, I finished a new spoken word piece called Turning 40. Spoken word is the performance art of poetry, so it translates better in person verses on the page, but here it is anyway :)
Also, it’s worth mentioning that in my spoken word repertoire, this piece is by far the shortest. But sometimes, short and sweet and to the point just makes good sense.
I’m not interested in towing the heavy, lead-laden line given to me by those who’ve come before. The one that says I shouldn’t be on good terms with aging – ya know, the one that says I should pretend to be some other age than I actually am and would do well to color up over all this grey hair coming in.
The one that says I should learn creative ways to outstretch my neck or gain an affinity for scarves to cover up the fact that I have folds and that I lose my sexual allure the further I drift from the shores of 18.
You’re welcome to keep towing that line but I’m not interested. I am setting it down, in favor of something…more.
I wanna tow the line that says aging is part of life and not separate; I wanna end the drama filled strife by pursuing a life based on responses and not reactions; I wanna water the seeds of mad love for the whole of things and not split it up into fractions; and I wanna swim naked in the waters of whatever age I’m kicking in and embrace my body, the whole damn thing.
cuz there ain’t no shame in not being a size 2, there’s shame in playing the beauty-looks-like-this game that no one wins. I’m fixin’ to tow a different line, saddle up if you’re in cuz I’m not sweatin’ turning 40, I’ve been enjoying the ride since 1979 and I love this mixed-bag world – and for what it’s worth, I’m interested in towing the line of being more than a pretty girl.