paring of the soul
in simple season
of waxing moon and warming flesh
mornings hardly frozen
and air loud with crow and Steller’s Jay
and the shrill whistle of Redwing blackbird
and down by the river
standing on the bluff
where our home one day will be
of foundation and roots and solid walls
containing confining comforting
and so many years of stories to patina the blued wood
a solitary goose flies low
above the river
he follows the course to who knows
where or why
or what he seeks only to move to
someplace else as the sun takes its turn
lower in the sky
and I wonder what impels him on
when all I do is look for a place to remain
Spring air crossing snow covered Divide whips cold across our pasture freshly open promising moist and green at least for a little while. Out there, bitten by the wind I swear I smell the sweetness of flowers. I am certain. From where does this fragrance come? I picture lands lush and rose bushes and lilacs and hollyhocks and marigold flourishing. Here I find pleasure in dandelions and wild iris and the delicate petals and defiant stalks of the wild rose, each short lived as every season but winter is. Little more can grow though who would I be if I didn’t try so every year I do. Last year the tomato plants I bought with fruit already set produced two fruit and the zucchini plants gifted us with eight tiny fingerlings of the most precious bounty I sliced and sautéed in butter and served alongside fresh bread and was wanting for nothing more that night. Such a treat we had not tasted in so long because they birthed before the frost that turned the big broad leaves to mush.
We prepare the Little Cabin for another season there beside the river. The one-room cabin dragged away from the guest cabins to a part of the mountain without history, herstories, tales or roots, ready for us to grow our own. Our lives pending another move. And from the humble front door of the little log cabin we’ll call home once again, we shall watch mud transform and sprout new life.
Our new home.
News for now…
Just out this weekend, A unique take on an interview and article I had the pleasure to write on the wonderful, charming, handsome, and very talented Texas bit & spur maker Daylan Nixon featured in the newest issue (4.1) of Ranch & Reata magazine.
The interview with Indie House Books posted this weekend was fun. You can still read that here.
A bunch of visitors this weekend, so nice to see those who took the time to visit – but no one willing to pose for a portrait. Thus, these. (I will learn not to give up on the people so easily next time…)
From a conversation on Womanhood…
Deep felt thanks to a friend who opened up with me a conversation on womanhood. No, I should write that with a capital: Womanhood. That’s better.
Who was born intimately understanding their feminine side and comfortable with what they found? The few I thought who did, what did they do with what they had and what more did they find? Those that took time to deny or be denied, dive into the depths and ask questions… they found very interesting answers…
Years ago in art school, I did a piece I called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” A large flowery clay most feminine of female body parts decorated in gaudy rhinestones and set into a deep box like a casket with a glass lid. It won first place so at the award ceremony a picture went up in the auditorium on the big projector screen and I swear the whole room started to blush. Few are comfortable with the feminine side.
There are few leaders, women to follow, women willing and able to show us how. If there are many, I’m missing something, for I have found their presence and reaching out/responding rare. I’m obsessed with the concept of mentoring – I don’t feel qualified yet – I’m too young (funny thing to say at 47, some of you will may say), not experienced enough and just don’t feel ripe – I’m still looking for mentors for me. Stop looking. Start being. Most of us don’t have the role models we need. So we must become them. We need to re-group and find our paths, and hold each other’s hands in the process. Encourage, urge, push, and protect when need be. More than just listen. We need someone to talk to us and tell us WE CAN. We can dream, we can write, we can fall in love, we can live through a broken heart and rejection letter and all the crud life brings because in the wave of mud is just one place of crystal clear, and that’s all we need.
There are no right answers, only a wonderful adventure. Womanhood is not a destination, but a process. Enjoy the journey. Dive in, swim, splash, splutter from time to time, and let go and float on top staring up at the billowy clouds. It is exhilarating.
Let it happen, as we become the women we want to be. Emerging… Ever changing…. And so, so beautiful, as the heart of every women can be.
playing with a love poem
because I have spent so many years
in praise of the broken heart
and why would I not when that’s what I had
now that I can have
or cannot separate
a life that more than parallels my own
rather wraps around and breaks borders
in waves of twisting over lapping lines
like arms and legs entwined in bed
until one day we become no more
than rotting bodies in straight lines
side by side in the ground
This is not what I was looking for
I said sort of but no one listened only laughed
as I fell not head over heals
but solidly planted
and now some days it seems so simple
too simple, him, our conversations, being loved
the assumption that he’ll be there
that I can wake early in the morning before light
and ask him and know he would never say no
some things maybe I miss
pain and insecurities and blinding desires
and wondering if he’s The One
there are days I want to be without him
as if I’d be better on my own
think of the things I could do if I didn’t have to
care worry encourage push and pick up the pieces
instead could take care of only me
if only I remember how
and maybe I don’t want to anymore
then I think how lost I would be
how incomplete I would find myself
if you take away half my air
and just as much of my foundation
would I still remember how to breathe?
7 thoughts on “Paring of the soul.”
You shared so many beautiful words in this post. The lines “and I wonder what impels him on when all I do is look for a place to remain.” has stuck with me all day and will, I am sure, be with me for long after I fall asleep tonight.
I am curious if you have read “A Women Who Runs With Wolves”? I am sure you probably have. Or maybe you think it is corny, over the top…I am just so struck at your words when you write them from such a place of dark desire. It is as if I can see the wolves howling at your side.
Honestly, I didn’t finish the book, I started reading it a couple years ago. The first few pages, chapters really, struck such a chord and it is rare to read words that take on that quality and fight that I found in the book. Yours are on par, no doubt.
Always a pleasure to see a post from you. To have my house quiet, my boys asleep, my husband home late and me reading to the sound of the creek in the wash making its way past my house and a slight breeze offering a hello…this is a good evening made better by your words. Thank you.
I can picture the peace of the rarely quiet house, Carrie, and I’m honored to be a part of that! Thank you.
Yes, I read and loved Women Who Run with the Wolves many years ago and loved it. Twenty or so? Is that how long ago? It brought me comfort that I was not alone – the only one howling to the mood on some lonely mesa in New Mexico, so far from family and friends in New York. And yet there I learned to belong. Yes, I am still looking. That strange journey. I don’t think I’m the only one. Some seek that belonging within, others with community, others learn acceptance where they are, and some of us still are forever moving to find it, knowing deep down it’s within us.
It’s a peculiar thing, personhood, whether one happens to be male or female. I was enlightened by Jung’s concepts of Animus and Anima. Each of us is a mixture, an amalgam. To men’s shame, the female is the harder to acknowledge and develop, whether one is a woman or a man nurturing Anima. Yet the feminine side is precious, perceptive, wonderful. Believe me, it’s much harder for a man to manage a feminine side, the options are fewer and more restrictive. And more open to judgement…..men are not supposed to be “soft”. Well, stuff what we are supposed to be. Which is not to ask or sympathy, I know full well that woman have walked the harder trail through all time. Rather, at some level, intuitively, unconsciously I understand. Of course possessing Anima yields a meeting point between us, Gin.
Mentoring is an interesting subject. I started to feel “qualified” at 48 – so you’re nearly there, Gin:) One needs a mixture of experience, self-awareness and confidence. Also an understanding that one isn’t telling the mentee “what to do”. No, one is helping them to think. And I still pick apart what I say to people, self-conscious and concerned that I might have given poor advice. You’re right, it’s up to us to become our own role models. We reach a point where we choose to become leaders, of ourselves and of others.
I agree with both major points, Julian. Both fascinating topics. First, the male and the female within each of us. The “healthiest” of humans seem to be those with an understanding of each side within themselves. Likewise, we too often see the unhealthy balance – both in women and in men – where one side dominates and denies the other within him/herself. World wide, however, my concerns of the plight of women go beyond the inner reflections of those of us in the Western world, safe and sound and able to allow our self such deep thoughts when women and girls are traded, sold, raped, treated as possessions and prizes. We are a long ways from equality. Second, as you wrote, “We reach a point where we choose to become leaders, of ourselves and of others.” I believe it is in helping others that we learn our strengths. We each may not realize how much we have to give until we start giving.
Wow Gin! Very deep and profound. I share the struggle within. Have been searching and working on my own transformation for a few years. Really, maybe most of my life, but only realizing that is what I have been doing. The search has been more intentional the last couple years. And I am much older than you:-) I am a late bloomer, and still in the bud stage :-) Sometimes I seem to be in the role of mentor to some of my friends, or even a whisper of a moment with a new connection. I pray that what i say is truly the right message for each if that is the kind of conversation we are having at the time. And I am blessed to have a few people in my life who, kind of mentor me, subconsciously. It is great when they are honest and share a message that I need just then.
I have always been frustrated with myself that I don’t learn quick enough, that it takes me longer to learn what others learn much faster. However, recently going through Living Your Strengths Journey that the extra time it takes me turns out to be one of the insights of my 3rd strength – Intellection. So now I remind myself that the extra time it takes me, is a strength and becomes more beneficial in the long run.
As for finding where I belong…that sense of place and community…it was only while visiting Greenville, SC as just a place to get away from where I was living, that I found that sense, the “feeling” of being HOME when there. After seven years waiting for house to sell in Georgia, it finally sold and I was able to move to this place, this community ~ HOME.
Of course, I am still searching to fully find the real ME. We should always remember to enjoy the journey :-)
Happy searching everyone!
Wonderful, Ann! Wonderful!!!!
First, Ann, I have to confess that I love your comment initially because sometimes I think maybe I’m the only one going through this – the search for belonging, for finding “your” place. So I take comfort knowing you too have a similar quest – and found it! That place, the place where we belong, is different for us all, and comes about for each of us in a different way. I think many are lucky (or simply don’t think much of it) and content where they are. I know we’re always supposed to find contentment within us. But finding that place around us that balances and enhances us is essential as well, and often an overlooked – or compromised upon – element. Considering our place as part of personal evolution!
I’m all for being a late bloomer – “always in the bud stage” – and thus open to every new, rather than holding on tight to what was, what you once were. My greatest friends and inspiration prove this to me daily in the way they live with an open mind, heart and soul.
We have our entire life to learn. Does it take you longer? Good – then you’ll live longer! What is the point of living if we know it all, Ann? Those who claim they do, we know do not. You’re already smarter than many for seeing that in yourself. Enjoy the process. That’s what it’s about. Not being there, but getting there. The process, the journey. Because once you’re “there,” chances are, you’ll be on to the next. Not necessary the next place, but the next phase. Like maybe, learning to remain. The adventure of standing still. Finding new in the usual. The beauty of being where you belong.
Geez, this got long. Sorry.
Thanks for the great response Gin, and don’t be sorry. I love the “connection and conversation.” :-)