The world seems to be unraveling. I cannot turn on the news without turning it off within minutes. Each new FB post make me angry and awash with tears. Is this 1984? Has one flown over the Cuckoo’s Nest? I turn to my writing. I turn to the hope of a future that upholds the tenets of RBG’s life, one of my heroes. Yes, I look to art and nature and my solitary act of writing and saying prayers at the ocean. I look to the dawn of a new day where hope and love dwells and lifts us up.
Thank you to Frostburg University for hosting me!
|Thanks to Elaine Marie for being so kind as to include me on her blog this week. Please check it out!|
My recent session with a body-mind-spirit healer, Raylen, brought me back from the edge of despair. Swirling downward in the spiral of the pandemic, with both personal and universal relationships out of control, I needed a calm, integrative time-out. I needed a sense of Hope, what I named the mother mourning dove that nested and gave birth to the small beings of light I named “Faith” and “Grace.” But in the natural order of life, they had flown away and so had my anchors to them. I was lost in the black cloud of despair.
As I lay on my purple yoga mat in my home office and Raylen transmitted her image, words and energy through Zoom from her home, there was a sense of redemption. The first thing she said to me after we did some breathing was, “I sense your father to the left of you.” My dear father, who died when I was seven. Just to know he was with me, wrapped me in a soft field of safety. Then she told me, “He is proud of you.” I cried with this acknowledgement, this sacred blessing, of which she was the conduit.
Throughout the session, my body, mind and spirit were quenched by her energy work. I thank the spirits who I believe have not abandoned our universe, for this reprieve from the fear, anger and sadness, I and so many others, are experiencing each day now.
Raylen’s work is a rose opening in a parched desert, a feather-touch reminding me of the spirits and angels that surround me. I look forward to nourishing myself again with her message of healing, which parts the heavy pain into silken strands that lead us to the truth, that bind us all – love.
I love my character, Anne Bergman, but when people ask if her story is mine, I answer “no.” I answer “This is a book of fiction.” Yet that may not be the total truth. For Anne is everyone who has been through hell. She’s a complex woman whose life journey is extremely difficult – broken into pieces when her father dies suddenly, when her mother has a breakdown, when her stepfather molests her. But in this world of #MeToo, as stories pour out of the walls, the pavements, the sky, about assaults, coericions and suppressions, Anne’s story is one of survival despite the pain, survival despite the odds that are against her. Anne is me. Anne is anyone who has faced her own hell and shouted it down. The Woman Puzzle is that shouting down. There, I’ve claimed it.
Last week a dream of mine came true. One of my novels was printed and can be purchased now on Amazon.
The publishing company, Devil’s Party Press, did a yeoman’s job of getting this book out there. ￼￼￼
My dog Windsor and I began reading it right away.￼I’m so happy to share this good news.￼
I’m here to get better — heal my heart — and there are a lot of people trying to help me. But every time I turn on the TV news, my heart aches again. So the kind professional people here plug me in, take my blood pressure and my temperature, monitor my vital signs etc. to help me achieve health, while the news sends my heart racing, my blood pressure surging, the tightness in my chest break off into deadly edges.
So why don’t I just turn it off? Because I care about what’s going on and this land that my grandparents came to despite many great risks is the land I love. I do loudly sing the “Stars Spangled Banner,” all the words. My grandparents, the immigrants of the early 1900s, the occupant of our White House, the People’s White House, might have thought belonged back in Eastern Europe. There’s a problem with that because of the czar and then the fascists who would have slaughtered them.
And so while the hospital is hospitable, the morass of evil in the rest of the country impinges on my recovery because I am in mourning for our country and that is what really hurts my heart the most.
I adore my husband, Bill. He’s a fellow writer I met when I was 34 and he was 45. We often say, “If only I met you sooner.” Actually, we were at Ohio State at the same time during the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement. We have pinned down the demonstrations, marches, confrontations with the National Guard, teargassing, which we both survived. He was a returning Army veteran leading the thousands of us gathered on the Oval. I was a freshman from New Jersey, a follower. But we didn’t meet then. Instead, we met in a class at a spiritual retreat in Phoenicia, New York. Perfect timing, it turns out. Thirty-two years later, we have both worked in government, share the same political views that fueled our actions in Columbus, Ohio, continue to share our original spiritual connection, are still deeply in love. Enough said. Despite all this, when I’m off-kilter, feeling the barbs of everyday life, my patience wears thin and he stands there, innocent and loving, an unwitting target of my raw edges. I apologize. I tell him it’s not about him. I explain I’m railing against life and/or another person. But the arrow has hit, has wounded the absolutely wrong target. So this is my umpteenth apology for my twin flame, my soul mate, my best friend. I hope he reads it. I hope I read it – and do better the next time.
Bill and I sat in this amazing cacophony of hearts, cupids and a view of Indian Bay. By navigational error, we had arrived at Serendipity for lunch. The ceiling was red gently rolling scarves of fabric. The fountain encrusted with pink, purple and red blown-glass grapes. Except for the tables, all surfaces up, down and sideways were encrusted with symbols of love.
Three white-haired women had gathered at the table in the center. The last one to join them spoke the most. As I listened to their weaves of conversation, all centered on the final act of their lives, I felt a chill.
“You think you’re going to live forever,” the late-arrival began. “I took care of my mother and thought I was done. But it’s been 15 years with him and I am tired.”
The woman to her left, touched her hand gently. “Of course, Sadie, of course. Will you cook at the senior apartments?”
“No stoves, Gloria. Thank god. Time for a meal, I’ll march myself down to the dining hall.”
The third woman chimed in, “And doctors, can you get to doctors? That’s all I do when I’m not sleeping or eating.”
“Francesca, they arrange the rides if you don’t drive,” Sadie said.
Gloria cleared her throat. “How much does it cost – everything laundry, heat, lawn service, in your home a month, everything compared to this senior apartment?”
Sadie smiled. I could see her the clearest. She was in the middle droning on and on about being too tired to do the wash, not wanting to pay anymore bills, being almost done with the everyday tasks of life.
I didn’t want to hear this. I wasn’t sure how much older they were than me. But I saw them outside my peripheral vision, outside me. And I didn’t want to go there. Instead, I looked at the ocean, the menu, my husband and all the hearts and cupids. I hung onto my beloved’s hand – and love.