Like a woman who goes
to her lover’s room when he is not there,
I go to the woods.
Like a woman laying her hand
on each of his possessions
and loving him all the more,
I walk in the trees and touch–
pine cone, leaf, feather, husk.
Always a longing to catch sight
of squirrel, badger, deer.
The forest pulling me deeper in
until the trees reveal
it’s not a glimpse of wildness
that I crave, but more like
one of those stories
where the stranger welcomed
into the family home
turns out to be a fox,
or the fisherman’s wife
after long years of marriage
proves to be a seal.
Sometimes my need is
to lie down beneath the pines,
to curl, heart to earth.
Only the breath. Only fur.
“Pace” by Grace Wells
At this stage in the journey, I find that surprise has been replaced by delight. Where I once felt at odds with the discovery of just how out of step I am with established trajectories and traditions, I now revel in the clear, specific knowledge of those things that feed my heart a local and daily provender of joy.
Dang if I don’t start writing fancypants just because I have been burrowed into poetry until — much like a bee stumbling half-drunk around the pistil of a rose– I am decidedly loopy and prone to wild exclamations. I told you I was gonna be hanging out with Walt Whitman and the guy is an ecstasy walker bar none. Plus there are another half dozen volumes of poetry by my chair which means somebody has finally dropped into holiday mind and overwrought prose will most likely be the rather unpalatable and sorry side dish. Oh well.
Hey — maybe if you are lucky Santa will take mercy and slip a little Alka-Seltzer into your stocking. Never hurts to ask.
For the record, below is a quick recap of what holiday means to me vs more traditional definitions.
me not me
WEDS reading napping walking shopping cooking talking
THURS walking reading napping cooking talking eating
FRI sorting cleaning organizing shopping
SAT reading napping walking socializing watching tv
SUN yoga (maybe) feeling good feeling exhausted dreading Monday
Bear in mind that I LOVE to cook. It is in the top three of my most favorite things to do and I kind of am always cooking as a regular part of my life so it’s not part of my holiday mindset– when I say “cooking” above, I mean people are coming and an actual menu will be created.
Mostly, just reflecting on how the question I was asked most frequently last week was “what are you doing for Thanksgiving?” and when I replied “nothing” — the response was either pity or confusion or, a mix of pity with a hefty dollop of confusion. And, what has changed for me is that I no longer defend, explain or feel in any way ‘weird.’ I just don’t.
When it comes to doing what will actually make me happy I am a straight-up genius. And, as I type to you in the middle of Saturday– otherwise known as Day 3 of this exquisite five day stretch of holiday– I am feeling that it is quite possible by Monday morning I will be entirely rested, relaxed and ready for a new week and a new month. Boo-YAH!
Right now I must stop and take Oliver to the beach for two reasons. One, he has recently developed a most annoying habit of whining for what he wants* and he wants to go to the beach. Two, it’s a ridiculously spectacular day and being inside feels spiritually criminal.
So — apologies for the ramble. I think I sat down to say something but I have totally lost track of whatever it was so I’ll just share three things that brought good mojo to the past few days:
*Yes! Just when you think a 15-year old dog can learn no new tricks, out rolls this beaut.