Good greetings! What a summer it has been. I always forget how deeply I exhale after a long inhale (like last winter). And then I begin to stress out about whether it's always going to be so busy until I marvel at the balanced treasures in the expansion and contraction of life. And, clarity in the contraction can feel intense, but so cleansing: I love writing letters, and I took a sabbatical and thus clarity washed me. I determined how deep is my epistolary love.
This year I've been working intensely with sacred ceremony and writing a special log of different ceremonial gatherings as a foundation for the Wild Rites of Passage programs that I dream of facilitating one day. I've been busier than ever as a mother--Leroy can run, and when it seems he may fall, he leans his weight backward and does a vertical air-worm! And Willa is (with mama bias aside, ish) the most compassionate scissor cutter I've ever met, and she can measure and cut shapes, too--and yesterday I did the dishes in my tap shoes! I decided early this year that I couldn't keep writing letters as I was, the weekly outpour averaged 20 missives. I had to give something up and letters was it.
Until, like a surgeon, I dug deep into the faceless cavity of my passions, and with hygienic tools surrounded by white walls I stumbled upon a new organ puffed and red and raw, bleeding out. The monitor began to beep with great rapidity. And in the contracting moment, this is it, I knew which size blade to use, which place to cut, and how to stitch the knot so tissue could again re-grow (I'm sorry if I missed your birthday this spring or summer). Suddenly I became so clear that writing letters is as much a part of my calling as poetry or articles or prose. In my break from letter writing, it became clear that I was actually harming other areas of my life by withholding something so special to me. Writing letters, I accidentally discovered, may be the biggest piece of my connection, connection for which I deeply long. Taking the face out of the equation--in the height of the action--cleared the path for my heartless evaluation of my doings, and writing letters, it turns out, is the salve.
I have a little project in mind which I am excited to share with you soon. Yes, it's epistolary. Yes, it could include you.
Until then, I hope your garden bounty abounds, your purpose on the planet begins to shine, and your deepened path to selfhood illuminates your Yes in clear concise steps.
Welcome to the Corn Moon, sweet reader! This month I'll be enjoying sourdough crumpets, corn potato chowder, sweet potato noodle bowls, slow cooked pulled pork, and fresh tomatoes, by the gallon. I'm reading The End of Your Life Book Club (it's my book club book), Crossing the Water (an old favorite), Seven Times the Sun (I love her approach to rhythm), Aimless Love (a new favorite), and Full Moon Feast (the best, period). This month I'm gathering donations of household goods for families in the central Washington fires who have lost of their homes. Please contact me if you would like to send your gently used home goods. I'm also gathering prayers. Your prayer is held sacred and safe. Thank you.
Oh, and, I wrote a letter to the letter.
Your livelihood may be at stake,
am I too frank?
I’m worried about you. Not the stay-up-at-night kind of worry, no,
the faint and eerie fog horn kind of worry.
A smokey mist on a moor kind of worry.
I know that among the fast-paced haste to replace your grace,
is the movement to slow down, turn in,
and be with you again.
The movement wants to eat local food, drink slow drip coffee,
spend more time really breathing,
they want to do it with you.
In good company, you're found tucked and tattered,
you're stained with tea and ink, you're creased and torn,
you're on the desk, on the table, on the porch, in the closet,
like any tried romance, you cavort in all the crannies.
You're so steadfast, prevailing.
Like the air, you're often unnoticed,
You’re alive in me.
Remember when I first told you I loved you?
I mean, totally loved you.
Twelve with a fresh haircut—an unforgettable bob with bangs,
neon-banded braces, new in school, and totally in love.
Unrequited and quiet you sat in his room in the wastebasket
beside used tissue and orthodontic rubber bands.
We can both be grateful for that silence.
And, without you I may never have had the courage
to tell my Creative Writing professor he changed my life.
How could I have said that out loud? In my early twenties!
I admire your presence for birthdays and well wishes,
congratulations, new arrivals of human babies,
when gentlemen marry ladies, prayers, and just because.
Like a well-oiled axe, you make life warmer.
You’ve been a keystone in my marriage:
true to the good morning ritual to which we vowed,
each morning I awake and find you perched atop my desk,
eager in wait, some of your letters scribbled quick,
smudged or sidled off the page.
I’ve saved you so many times, in this box or that one—
wood boxes, cloth boxes, shoeboxes, lock boxes—
because each time you come into my life, you save me,
and I want to remember that.
So it may be in vain, it may be in vein,
you are alive