cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

here is when we settle . 16 January 2017

sunset over the west hills from the aerial tram

The mercy comes like the rains do. And then like the snow.

If I were better at coining language I would come up with a dozen terms for "happy." There is the frenetic happiness of sun on your skin in the middle of summer, the weight of a ripe thimbleberry on your tongue, the heat of kissing someone for the first or near the first time. There is the satisfied happiness of pulling tomatoes huge and ripe off vines you have grown yourself, the sparkle of good salt sprinkled on slices, the tang of new olive oil, setting a jar or a dozen or two dozen on your shelf for the winter. There is the sparking anxious happiness of sitting in the car next to a new love, bringing her to meet your family, proud and pleased and not having any idea what you might say.

There is the happiness of shock and awe and a little of the pain of one's head hitting something one never knew was within reach -- knew maybe but never quite believed in the way we believe things in this world of false and lost hopes.

Sometimes happiness has to be made out of dreams (impossible ones) and the whispered words of intention. Say them enough and they'll come true.

"Words have power," I say all the time. "Words are magic." And then I go back to look at something I've written a year or years ago and get a quiver between my lungs that almost stops my breath.

There is the happiness that lives on your skin: the biting cold of your nose and wrists and cheeks when you're walking miles through the new beautiful snow with someone you love. The love's fingertips over the soft skin over the muscles on your shoulders, the softer skin over your ribs under your arms. The tension in your sinuses, the anxiety, of fitting loves together like links on a human chain, strong but ever-changeable. Human chains can let go, can disconnect, so easily; but then again they can grab hold, and again, adapting to fit the needs, opening, sometimes, to get around a barrier or allow another link right in the middle of things.

My human chain is strong and I trust everyone in it to keep hold. I'm happy to keep opening my hand, our hands, to let go and then grasp again. I've found a happiness I never could have imagined living in the space that other people in my life found crushing, annihilating, that tore them and us apart. Not because I was unafraid or because I was superior but because I felt the pain, and instead of running, in the end, I just opened up my arms and let it pour over me until it all was washed away.

In October I wrote this man I love a birthday wish, I told him everything he should be: Be thunder; be the steel-blue clouds that hearken it; be the rumble and the electricity and the ground into which it connects. Be the raptor who rides the wind in the storm. "And," I wrote him, "I will be the tree."

So here is when I settled. Now. Wherever it is I am. In the limbo I told myself mantras of rootedness, I said to myself, in the winter I settle, deep into the blackness. Bone, blood, ash, detritus. That which has broken and bled before me, into this I settle. I decompose; I consume.

I say it over and over. Here is when I settle.

There is the happiness that lives deep in your bones, in your belly, in the light that's emitted from your cells, in the constant inaudible "buzz" of your body working, working, working. There is the happiness in lining of your intestines and the tissues of your womb, all the cells that have lived and died in your body melding, becoming a cosmic soup or magic poultice. There is the happiness of knowing no one can ever leave you because you hold their love deep within you, you have been pressed again and again by their glorious consciousness and you -- truly -- carry them in your blood and in your heart.

I haven't made the words for all of this yet. Maybe no one has. But I have a new place at the very frontier of the Pearl and everything is beautifully connected and I am not -- I am never -- doing this alone.

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read my previous post . start over again, again . 17 October 2016