I haven't found myself here in few months, now here it is the eve of New Years Eve. Over the course of the past many months Mark & I have been decluttering our space both individually and collectively. The holidays seem to bring more clutter with all the decorating, wrappings and excitement. This week-end we made no plans and the weather cooperated in encouraging us to nestle in. My yoga/art studio had become the central hub of clutter. I felt the need to clean the space and clear out a bit more before walking into the new year. In doing so I came to a special stack. It called for attention. One container was Chad's art. I spent time looking through with enjoyment and came across two empty canvases. I took them over to my art table. I hope I can do them justice. The next container was pictures, news articles, medals and more. I didn't stay long because it can turn into a rabbit hole. The third was full of the cards so many people had sent, list upon list that carried through that time. I felt it was time to let those things go. I wanted a special fire to release it for us, for others. So I went to Mark and asked what his thoughts were and he thought it was the right time. He went out and built a fire , wood from our trees and cedar. I brought out the container and sage from my prayers and meditations as well as lavender, tobacco, and mugwort. We each made our prayers and honoring before slowly placing the cards in the fire. It felt right 14 years, 5 months and 23 days later. We are walking into the new year lighter and freer, open to change and adventure.
Walking in the back yard I came across these matted little bundles below the craggy tree. The tree that shoots 30 or 40 feet towards the sky with its strong tangled branches. An anchor holding steady through the decades as the land holding its' roots went from farm and field to urban/suburban development. Some limbs have been lost through strong winds, lightening and storms but still it graces us with shade and welcome breezes. Alerts us to the changing seasons as well as providing homes for birds, squirrels and raccoons. Today someone was cleaning house. Prepping for winter? A new family? Time will show us.
As the beauty of this gave me pause, I considered Effys nudge, What stresses you out.......
I realized that I do not really "stress out" anymore. After decades of dealing with the sea of change and all the shit storms life has served up I've charted a different course. What ever arrives each day is temporary. Good, bad or indifferent it is what it is. All temporary and passing.
I didn't have a topic this morning and I had already written my thoughts in my journal after morning pages so I sketched. Then Effys prompt arrived and I let it simmer through out the day. What do I want.... What I want at this time is to succeed at being me. I've been a daughter, mother, wife, sister and friend; all of which I still am. I am only beginning to know me and who I am outside those perimeters and the many other roles I've lived over the decades. I want to succeed and excel and fall comfortably into me.
I've been contemplating archiving this blog. From the very beginning I couldn't quite decide my expectations for it which led to it becoming a random dumping ground for writing generated by prompts or life, bits and pieces of art attempts; well you get the picture! Then I ran across Effy Wilds Blog Along for September and thought why not. Maybe it's the kick in the butt I need to step out of the inertia. Instead of wasting time figuring what anyone might want to see here I will post whatever pops up first each day of September! I included the link to Effys' page so you could drop by and check it out for yourself.
There is a story to tell. Will you dare interrupt me if the message upsets you? If I ramble a bit and go too far afield will you just stop listening?
I will not be governed by fear, when I get knocked down I am brave enough to get back up. I intend to take lifes' lessons and make waves instead of paddling in circles.
Days come and go, all marked by work, play and whatever else envelops a persons time. At some point an anniversary arrives. How this is embraced depends on the occurrence of that day in years prior and the memories attached. Point in fact.
Today is the 14th anniversary of laying Chad to rest in Arlington.
We arrived a day prior. My memories feel as crowded and vivid as the hellacious headache that plagued me. Trying to make sure we had rooms for family and friends. Trying to pay attention to what military family was arriving. Agonizing over a reluctant interview with the Washington Post. Mark trying to rent a van only to find his license had expired. People needing answers, everyone trying to get us to go to dinner because we weren't eating. Mark & I wanting to be anywhere but there having to bury our son the following day. A fucking ton of heartache and life shattering sadness that could not be fixed.
The morning we were leaving for Arlington found us in an elevator with strangers. They looked at us smiling as they said " You're all dressed up, are you going to a party?" Our reply was quiet " No, we are burying our son in Arlington."
I am who I am, uniquely me.