Each night I dig these words like turnips. It is important to me to disturb the soil, reach below the surface, unearth a theme or nugget. I aim to feel relief for some burden shared, and the sense that I have told the truth. At the very least the truth of the minute I was in.

Tonight under the soil there is air. Breathing space. A proud little pocket of oxygen waiting to be of use. There are no rocks, or soil clumps, or roots. Just a sweet breeze, lingering. I feel clean, and refreshed, and a bit of a startling bright void –the way heaven is always cast.

It’s unexpected for a Monday. And all the more delightful because of it.

It’s a choice. Perhaps someone to came along and swept every concern under a carpet store worth of rugs before I even conceived of assent for the cover up. Possibly I’m blocking out any thought containing the word ‘should.’ Mayhap my guilt was given a lot of chewing gum to distract itself.

I’m not going to think about it. I’m going to savor this space I harvested, tiny bounty.

It’s Monday Morning

When I lay my head in my hands to think, I can see the flicker of the screen. This old computer, the ever more put upon charger, not consistently pulling the juice from those holes in the wall. Cycling.

I have been happier these past five hours than I was all week. I am grateful and reassured by that long, luxurious moment.

My psyche is still picking at the knot.

What’s wrong? Is anything wrong? How can I fix it? When will it be over? Will I always feel this way? If so, how do I deal with that?

For a temporary resolution, I have decided I am growing, though I don’t know yet into what. Growth is what separates youth from stagnation. Growth is what we all think we want to return to, conveniently forgetting its aches and traumas. Growth is dynamism, a blind force which doesn’t mind it’s p’s and q’s. Throws elbows, and gut punches, clotheslines and trips. Growth is a JOURNEY. Cue the weepy strings and cursive script. Growth is what stands between you and getting over that bad marriage. Growth is awkward limbs, acne, and a lisp, in truth and in metaphor.

I am growing right now (I hope) and it hurts.

Emotional victory

This is my fifth go at the words for this space today. While I would chalk today in the win column, my inner fork-tongued, pageant-mom is shaking her head in silent disappointment. “It was an emotional victory,” rumbles the peacekeeper. And the department heads on overnight shrug and nod in acceptance. That’s the victory that matters. That’s the longest, toughest war. In the end it’s those outcomes which will string together into what we remember of this life.



I feel strangely blank tonight

Teflon. Those moments which hurt me and helped me this week all spattered out of the ‘What to write?’ stew, but none of them stuck. The weekend is already a weight. The next work week may actually be something of a relief from my own expectations. And even now I can hear the tuning pegs tightening the strings on my hopes and dreams to a tautness no longer pleasing to the ear.

Which all sounds so dramatic, when really it’s just the error half of that old “trial and blah blah” chestnut. An error I will live to make again, because the stakes are about as high as my knee. Which, to be fair, is almost toddler height; and standing is really a significant milestone for the recently ex-utero crowd…Per-spec-tive.

Will I ever rein in my fantasy life? Will I ever stop being so literal about that aphorism “if you can dream it you can do it?” To be continued.

Body and Soul

“Body and Soul” is a 1930’s jazz standard by Heyman, Sour, Eyton and Green. The music is stunningly beautiful to me, and the lyrics create one of the few pining love songs that I really enjoy. And though I am not a woman who likes to sit and remember, this is a song that tugs hard on memories in a way I enjoy.

“My heart is sad and lonely,” is where the lyrics kick off and it gets deeper and more painful from there. This week I feel that. My heart is sad and lonely. Again. As usual.

And again, as usual, I wonder what to do about it.

I don’t have any new answers this time around, so I have found myself, uncomfortably, trying to feel which of my old answers are true. No verdicts yet. I suspect I’ll be hearing the cases for some time. One of which is this song.

Childhood memories aren’t my warm fuzzy go to, but recalling small ensemble rehearsals in my high school band room can make me glow. One chord of this song can take me right there. I can see the page in my fake book and remember: how I could feel the presence of the jazz ensemble around me, even in silence, without seeing them; how the choral director would jam on the piano  when he (thought he) had the rehearsal room to myself; that I once called up a boy and sang “Lush Life” to him.  Then the poetry makes me wonder why it’s such a struggle for me to imagine one human meaning all the glorious, aching weight of this song to me. How am I not convinced that’s what I want? Why isn’t all the falling-apart world talking about other choices?

I have never performed “Body and Soul.” Lots of reasons. But when I first met the song, on the way to Boplicity in the fake book, I was intimidated by the chord changes and the key. Yet, as in life, the elements that make the music uncomfortable or challenging to play are the same elements that give it depth and power. I could play it now –I sing it often– not because I’m so much more talented, but because I’m less self-conscious, more forgiving of my mistakes, and I’m more practised.

Perhaps I like this song because of all the lessons it has for me: meeting the hard thing half way – get better at it, and better at accepting that it’s difficult. Pin your heart to your sleeve, the ache and the bleeding are part of the journey. And at the end of the song, there’s a resolution, but no promise of a happy ending.


It’s quiet here

I turned off the external input…an hour ago? To do the resume. I didn’t notice at first, the sound of tires stretching to minutes apart. The cooler weather keeping human voices indoors, hushing insects; everyone in the building come home, had dinner, stopped thumping around. Silence.

I didn’t notice it until spell checking. Until finishing aligning and resizing to get everything to fit on the page. Until the words in my head went out. Silence save for the electric hum of the downstairs neighbors’ apocalyptic allergy ameliorator.

It is my favorite moment of the day to be awake, and finished, and silent. There is room now for the me held down all day by the heavy, sweaty enormous being of other people, to come up for air, and play in our dreams, and lay thick plans for tomorrow.