Tonight, I feel soft.
Feminine, in my curves and my tears and my whispering voice.
Tender, and a tad alone.
A few close friends have left tonight.
… always the hardest part of being on the road—the goodbyes to your new chosen family members, which are, as heartbreaking as it may sound, often (and for me usually) harder than the sustained goodbyes to your long-established blood family at home (they’re always there, as we’d like to believe at least, and we’ll know it’s “when” I’ll see them again, rather then “if” as it comes to pass with the heart tribe of a backpacking clan…).
The sky has been raining for over 24 hours straight.
And I’m living in a cloud, that I can touch, for once.
I’ve just watched a movie set in my beloved northwest.
… my most recent chosen ‘home’ in the ‘home’land, that was my original ‘home’ in the ‘home’land, that I still feel more amazed by and intrigued with than all the latter ‘homes’ that have found space in my heart. (although, that one resembling a mitten and full of magical creatures with flesh and fur and fallen leaves makes me lose my breath, and pause my beating heart, I know, when I visit her in my mind…)
My face is scabbed from the thorny tree limb that violently ripped flesh while I flattened myself atop Marie, the albino quarter horse mix , who perhaps wanted me off her back just as badly as I wanted to remain on hers. forever.
Messages from a confused friend land in my inbox. One. Another. Another…And I move them to the Keepsakes/Loves Lost folder. For safe keeping. And indefinite ignoring.
And here I am.
With the memories.
Tonight, joy isn’t at my side.
She’s succumbed to an emotion greater and grander, in all its glory-filled richness, which casts depth, dark shadows, on the fantasy feelings I oft choose to cling to.
Joy is resting, soon to return.
…she always does, that rascal, in her own due time, which is always surprising yet expected, and most times welcome. because what child doesn’t like the light?
But what I feel is beautiful.
What I feel is painful.
And what I feel is real.
It’s the emotion under the others.
The emotion that’s silent, and still.
Waiting for my moments to settle.
For my mind to stop, to stay in.
For my heart to welcome her power.
At 30 years old, with a warrior for a body and a gypsy for a spirit and a ballerina philosophizing poet for a mind, I question myself: ‘Why?’
Why must I continue onward, down this path of unknown tomorrows?
Why must I make things difficult for the child inside who craves to know who her friends will be the tomorrow ten days from now?
Why must I walk farther and farther away from love, into the arms of impatience?
Why must I chase adventure, adrenaline, and awe, instead of sweet surrender into the soft stillness of a simple home and a simple life?
Why must I open my heart to strangers, shielding my soul from the souls I want to choose?
Why must I insist on a planless plan, without promises, or purchased plane tickets?
Why must I fight the soft girl within who wants to say ‘I really just don’t know…’ to everything, because she doesn’t, with too-cool confidence and capability and sass-filled sarcasm and smarts?
Why must I keep leaving, arriving, leaving, and let those who love me never know how long I’ll be around?
Why must I carry my sword?
For which battle am I fighting?
Self-inquiring, I ask, ‘Are you sure you’re not running from something?’ and ‘Are you sure you’re doing the right thing for you?’ and ‘Are you sure you couldn’t be living a life just as full and just as fitting, across the oceans and in the pines, with your dog and your car and your practice and your art and your music and your smoothies and your … home?’
The answer I give others is ‘Yes, I’m sure.’
in not so many words.
But the real answer,
the one that persists if I let myself be honest with myself,
‘No, I’m not sure.’
I like to believe I’m living what I’m creating, what I’m designing, from my unmanifest dreams.
But that wouldn’t be entirely truthful.
My dream life is much like this life, but it’s also like that other life I lived once, and the one before that, and before that… And it’s got so many bits included from the lives I’ve yet to live but that I’ve imagined, I’ve prayed for, I’ve called out to God for while lying face down in the dirt, tears inside my eyes, and while lying face up in the grass, eyes locked inside the eyes of a lover.
Do I know what I am doing? No.
Would I say that this life, with all its beautiful blessings, is worth the possibility that the dream life I write romance novels and fairy tales in my mind about, that I tell travelers and soul sisters about, that I cry about, on planes on buses and in burly bear-man arms, won’t ever be, because maybe I won’t ever find myself in one place long enough to establish this vision, or let the Universe meticulously compose the bits, one by one, so that it grows into something greater than I could ever have conceived? No. Could I fathom that this life, my moment to moment now, is evolving and transforming into that dream life? Not really.
But I do know there is no certainty.
And I do know that I trust, deeply, in life.
And I do know that I am living the only life I could really ever live.
And that all the pieces are coming together, or falling apart, exactly as they should, simply because they are… and so it is…
But I am alone.
And I am ok with that
And I am ok to still be asking ‘Why?’ after all these years.
And I am ok holding my shield, my weapons, my books.
And I am ok
throwing them into the pyre.
When it’s time, take me.
Lift me up and show me what’s next.
For my life. for this life. for…
And I will be ready.
Until then, I rest my head upon a community pillow
used before by believers, businessmen, runners, space-holders, stamp-chasers.
And I’ll eat pancakes in the morning.
With Turkish coffee and turmeric.
And I’ll write a story, on the art of doing nothing,
and the magic that creates.
And I’ll live myself into yet another tomorrow ten days from now
and see who shows up to be friends with the child inside
and see for whom I’ll measure the weight and worth of my shield
and see if the question remains
but I know, I believe,