I Knew Him From A Dream


Dreams can be powerful, especially when they inspire or encourage us to act in ways that give meaning and purpose to our lives.

Before I knew that I was pregnant with my first child I had a dream that I was in the delivery room. A baby boy was lying on my belly and we were having a great conversation about how we could help one another during this lifetime. We both agreed that it would be difficult, but that the lessons we could learn from the experience of living this life together would make it worthwhile. We also agreed to forget the details of the conversation in order for the lessons to take hold. Soon after the dream I found out I was pregnant and nine months later, the baby boy in my dream was born.

I could not remember the details of the conversation but I never forgot the dream. And when things got rough I’d always ask him to try to remember why he was here, why we were in this life together and what it was we needed to learn.

His life was plagued with difficulties; he was talented, intelligent, and had a delightful sense of humor, but he had a seizure disorder and mental/emotional illnesses that made his time on earth painful and lonely. He died 4 months ago.

It is remembering that dream that comforts me during this time of terrible grief. If I knew him before he was born then maybe I can know him now that he has passed on. Maybe there is more to life than what we can see, hear, touch, taste and feel.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

That is what I couldn’t figure out. What point was there to living if we were just going to die anyway? What purpose was there to living?

I didn’t feel depressed per se. I was grieving, certainly. I was very, very sad. But I have been clinically depressed before and it was not depression that I was experiencing. Not yet, anyway. Not in full force.

Before Nick died I had quit taking an antidepressant medication that I’d been on for more than 20 years. I quit by accident. It was a matter of running out while I was out of town. A pharmacy was unable to fill the script right away and when all was said and done I had been without it for more than a month. Since I was doing fine at the time, I decided to give it a try on no meds. I cleared it with the doctor and that was that.

The depression didn’t hit until three months after Nick’s death. I went from a grieving mother to a grieving mother with clinical depression.

0701182019_optimized.jpg

I cried all day, every day. I couldn’t get the idea of suicide out of my head. The thought that suicide was the only answer was intrusive and persistent.

I had been this depressed before. I’d attempted suicide (more than once) at other times in my life when I firmly believed that I was bad for people and that my presence in the world caused too much suffering. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. It was that I thought I had to die to rid the world of one of its problems. As soon as I recognized the dark state of mind I’d fallen into I started seeking help.

I tried working with the therapist I had been seeing for two years but she was accusing me of trying to sabotage and retraumatize myself. She wasn’t helping. So I looked elsewhere.

Needless to say, I started taking the medicine again as soon as I realized I was in trouble.

I got workbooks for al-anon and other self-help programs and tried hard to work them, but I could not concentrate.

I talked to my doctor, to my friends, to my 12 step groups.

I talked to my mother and to others who cared about me.

I called a therapist I had seen (and love dearly) who lives 2000 miles away. (You will hear more about her later.)

I called a good friend who said she would be my accountability coach. (You will hear more about her as well. )

And I started an online meditation class with Ram Dass.

All of these things helped.

Also, I had been working very diligently to improve my relationship with Mildred who is like my own mother. I love her so much.

We have a long history of hurt between us but I have made it one of my life’s goals to save the love. It is worth it to me. I am not willing to throw that away. There are many precious and hilarious memories, just as many, if not more than the bad ones and since I am the one living my life I get to choose what is important. My relationship with Mildred is one of the things I choose.

So as the depression worsened I tried to ward it off and I tried to hide the tears, but that only made me feel more desolate and isolated.

I kept working with the tools I had at my disposal. Painting, music, chanting, meditation, prayer, 12-step meetings, phone calls, and the knowledge that the pain I was feeling would surely pass. Knowledge from past experience that suicidal thoughts are a symptom of depression as common as sneezing is a symptom of a cold. I had to wait it out.

Then something shifted.

The day I carried out the trash was a turning point; it was my first day of real hope.

0627180452

The night before I had made up my mind. I said to myself: “In the morning, before it gets too hot, I am going to take out the trash.”

The dumpsters are pretty far from our house, and I was recovering from two broken feet and an autoimmune disease. (Another story.) But I’d decided that I would take the trash out no matter how many times I had to stop and rest along the way.

I was beginning to feel focused enough to make a plan and I went into self- rescue mode.

Before I went to sleep I looked up Kundalini yoga exercises to do to treat depression and found one that I was familiar with, one that didn’t seem to hard or too taxing. I planned to do it as soon as I woke up. I had had good results with Kundalini before. I knew it worked and I knew I needed it.

I was doing the Solstice Meditation Renewal class with Ram Dass online, so I looked up the lesson plan for that day. We were into week two and I loved the mantra: “The power of God is within me; the grace of God surrounds me.” I said it over and over until I could feel it in my body.

Processing things through my senses is a skill I learned from Elaine, the therapist that is 2,000 miles away. She trained me in the art of mindfulness and I was using it to absorb as much of the mantra as possible.

The next morning, I sat at my computer, getting into the heartfelt teachings of Ram Dass. Then I switched gears into Kundalini. I was trying to change my body/brain chemistry and energy to that of a person fully engaged with the business of living instead of the zombie I’d become. I’d texted my sponsor, L.A. and told her that I was choosing to look for things to be grateful for. It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t really in the mood, but I had some kind of new force inside of me, a willingness to exercise my will to live. Like any muscle that is not used, my will to live had atrophied and it took gentle effort and loving kindness to bring it back.

Time to carry out the trash.

I had to force myself out there. I complained about it by telling my mother we need to invest in a little trailer for the riding mower so we can haul trash to the dumpster instead of trying to carry it out. But out the door I went.

At the halfway point we have a chair so we can sit if we need to rest before going on. I did need to rest. I was out of breath and my feet hurt. But I was ok after a few minutes. In fact, the birds were singing and the trees were green. There was a very pleasant breeze. “Nice.” I thought.

After taking a few deliberate, deep breaths, I got up and walked out to the dumpster and then back again to the halfway point.

Sitting there, enjoying the shade and sounds of an early morning in summer I began to calculate the distance from the chair to the house as opposed to the chair to my vehicle, which still had not been unpacked since Nick died. I had the wheelbarrow already and the distance was about the same. It was still cool enough. I decided to go to unpack Nick’s paintings, to bring them into the house.

Please understand that all the steps up to this point were monumental and extremely difficult for me! It may seem simple but it was like climbing Mount Everest while wearing a lead coat. Such is the nature of depression.

So the decision to make a detour and go to my vehicle to unpack Nick’s paintings instead of going straight into the house was a significant sign of progress.

But wait, it gets better. It may not sound better at first but bear with me.

When I got inside there was a phone call from a cousin who had just had knee surgery.

Her husband had fallen onto her surgery knee so thdey were both in the emergency room.

Mom and I didn’t hesitate. We went straight to the hospital and then to their house so that we could be of assistance in whatever way we were needed. We cleaned and washed dishes, we cooked and ran errands, we listened and visited. I even got to do a little Reiki. We were there with them for the entire day. (It all turned out well by the way.)

Remember that my feet were just healing from broken bones and I still have an autoimmune disease, but I was able to do all that work and I enjoyed doing it. I felt needed. I was useful. For the first time in a long time, I was able to be of service to someone. That day my depression lifted!

I could hardly wait to tell my doctor, who I was going to see the next day. This was big news. I knew that service was going to have to be part of my recovery.

It was still a struggle to keep my feet on solid ground and If I was going to make it out of the pit of utter despair I knew I’d have to be of service to someone who needed me every single day.

Here is the place in the story where we have to switch to present tense because this is an ongoing process.

I cling to the mantras from the Ram Dass meditation course. I keep in touch with the online group of fellow meditators.

I keep in touch with Elaine, my friend and former therapist from NJ, who taught me so much about how to stay alive, how to thrive in a world where cruelty is the norm. She sees something of value in me. She is teaching me to believe that there is still a reason to be alive. This is Elaine:

Elaine.jpg

I am glad I stopped seeing the counselor who was holding me back, who was actually causing more harm than good. I’m glad I started seeing someone who wants to work with me in a creative way, honoring the fact that creativity is useful, that using art and music to recover is not a waste of time. It was hard for me to stand up for what I believe and choose a better way; I’m glad I did it.

And every night I call my friend, Wendy, who has agreed to be my accountability coach. She wants to talk to me at the end of every day to hear how I have done my share to make the day a good one, to see how I used my energy for that day. She very gently, but firmly kicks my butt if I fail to see my good qualities or opportunities for growth and progress. What a blessing to have a friend like that!

Of course, I have not told you everything. How could I? I didn’t tell you much about L.A. who is my 12- step sponsor and a bright light in the world. She has helped me in so many ways.

She is also part of a kind of magical thing: the Convergence of Lions, which is a story I will tell you soon, I promise.

First let’s talk about this other thing—this phenomenon that I might understand better if I were a quantum physicist. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I will try.

As I said, I have always had a stormy, painful relationship with Mildred.

Well, I have a similar relationship with a girl named Penny, only the roles are reversed. She can barely tolerate me. She cringes when she sees me coming. Yet we are bound together by love that is deeper than the rage that roils on the surface, but you’d never know it by our interactions. I grovel and she holds me at arms’ length.

The interesting thing is that when I started working on my part of the relationship with Mildred, taking responsibility for my actions and my attitudes without having expectations of her, not only did things get better between us, but things got a little better between Penny and I as well!

These two people never see or speak to one another, but somehow the progress in one is affecting the other! It is kind of like one particle affecting another particle even though they are separated from one another. Einstein called this phenomenon Spooky Action, but is it really so spooky? Think of it more in terms of harmonics. When one tone is active it causes another to be active. I believe that is what is happening with Mildred and Penny. My inner work is the activating force. I’d better not slack off. But I don’t have to go crazy either.

It is wonderful to know that a little bit of honest work in myself goes a long way toward mending things in the world –out there. Progress in the way I relate to my own needs and feelings, hopes and dreams improve the way I relate to others and the goodness goes on from there.

Now, about the Convergence of Lions and the need to be rescued.

I was five years old when I had the lion dream and I was living in Hawaii.

The Lion Dream

lion

It was the end of the world. The ocean was flooding the streets and pushing the sidewalks up into little pyramids. Everything was falling apart except for the house I was in. I was hiding in a kitchen and had somehow split myself into a bunch of little “me’s.” Each of me was in a different cabinet. Two giant lions were padding through the house. I can still the sound of their pads, soft and strong thrump, thrump, all through the house, checking every room to make sure I was safe. They were checking to see if I was hidden, to see that none of my toes were sticking out.

I love those lions.

Well, one week I wanted to paint a lion for a friend who is a Leo. I was mesmerized with the task of painting this lion and didn’t stop till it was finished and delivered.

L.A. had no idea I’d painted a lion, yet she gave me a little stone lion at a meeting that night with a card about the lion’s strength and courage. I thought it was interesting that two lions had shown up together.

That same night, before I went to sleep, I looked up from a book I was reading to turn off Youtube, and there was a picture on the screen of a kitten looking into a mirror and seeing a majestic lion instead of his own reflection. I said, “OK God! I am listening now!”

The convergence of lions happened before I was feeling suicidal. It was as if they came to warn me that things were going to get bad –that perhaps the end of my world was coming and I needed to have courage.

I have always been blessed with vivid dreams and premonitions and I treasure them. I love to see how they unfold and see what mysteries they hold.

I don’t know how I knew it was the end of the world when I was five, but the message to have courage during a time of great upheaval came through with the convergence of Lions precisely because the Lion Dream had made such an impression on me back then. Those dream lions have walked with me through all these years, only showing up when things were getting really bad.

The world I am living in now is not like the one I lived in before Nick died. It has changed.

I have changed. The world came to an end and nobody saved me.

Here’s the thing:

I have always wanted someone to save me, to rescue me, to discover me, to sweep me off my feet and take me to the magic kingdom where real life happens.

I have wanted that since I was a little girl; it probably has something to do with all those fairy tales and knights on white horses.

When the knight didn’t show up, I wanted a husband. When that didn’t work, I wanted relationships, then doctors and therapists and religion and books and herbs and yoga and this cure and that cure—always something outside of myself.

I was always grasping.

Now I wanted someone to save me from suicide.

But this time I knew that I was the only one who could save me after all because every other thing had been stripped away.

I had to do it myself. But I didn’t have to do it alone.

Let me say it another way. There is no one who can enjoy taking a nice deep breath for me. I have to experience that for myself. In the same way, no one can save my life or give my life meaning and purpose except my innermost self because no one fits in my skin like I do. No one can give a big sigh of relief when I fall into bed at the end of the day—I have to experience that for myself. No one else can make me understand what it feels like to have water on my skin or taste an apple or run or laugh or cry or sing. I have to discover these things first hand. And that is how I have to save myself too.

Step by step, task by task, one experience at a time, grace upon grace.

I am responsible for me. I get to decide what is important to me and what I want my life to be about. I get to decide what is valuable to me, what matters most. And I don’t have to figure it all out at one time. I get to trust my instincts and know as I go. I get to make mistakes and start over as many times as it takes. And I get to include other people in my life, people to cherish and serve, to laugh and play and work with. I get to have a sense of community and to build it up, nurture it with kindness and solidarity.

Yes, I have to save myself, but I never have to do it alone.

And who knows, saving myself just might have a ripple effect.

May there be

Peace

Joy

Love

Hope

Courage

Light

Life

Enough

Laughter

Tranquility

Creativity

And dreams of lions to protect you, to remind you to tuck in your toes.

Now this is where the story ended BEFORE Nick connected with me on his birthday.

What?

That is right.

You see, I had been working on the story for quite some time, trying to save my life, but the story didn’t have a heartbeat. It just didn’t have life. But on July 5th, 2018, Nick’s birthday, I woke up and sat at the computer, fingers flying. All of a sudden, the story came together in a way that made me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Nick was nearby. I felt his energy. It seemed like he was right there in the room with me. And not in a creepy way at all, but in a wonderful, happy way.

My friend wanted to go to lunch, so we went to La Paz, Nick’s favorite place. I had not been there since he died. But it was a joy to be there. I felt him there too. I tried to tell my friend that it was Nick’s birthday and that as luck would have it I finally finished the story, but I accidently said “breathday” and I thought, “Yes! It is his breath day.!” Because I felt like somehow, somewhere, he was taking a new breath.

L.A. said she felt him too and the energy was good.

When I went home, after lunch, I was finally able to finish unpacking his boxes. I got to the very last box. When I opened it, there on top was a copy of the book Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass!!! I felt the whole universe wink.

I just wanted to let you know that I do feel connected to Nick and I do feel a continuation of life. Life does go on. And that does NOT mean that life goes on without the ones we love, but that it goes on with them. They go on too, with us, but in a different way. And if we are open to their love, they are able to share it with us, and we can certainly share our love and prayers with them.

Nick was born July 5th 1981 and died March 15, 2018. His Breathday was July 5th, 2018.His spirit lives on in light.

Update: This was the first Christmas since Nick’s passing. It was difficult. I have tears in my eyes as I write. I know he is not gone, I know he exists, but I want him to sit down with me and watch some of the new comedians I’ve found since he’s been gone. He would love them.
I need to talk about him more and look at his pictures. We can’t stop talking about our loved ones after they die just because it hurts. We need to say their names. Nicholas Paul Matz, you are as precious to me now as you were the day you were born. You were a familiar soul in my prenatal dream. I can’t wait to meet up with you again. I’m so sorry you are not here now. I miss you terribly awful much more than the world and all the mountains and galaxies and universes’ and black holes and rabbit holes and man! I am so glad we got those last two years together to make dinners and watch comedians. You would love my new friends. They would love you too. I am going to start writing to you.
yours truly,
mom



I Am A Rainbow Warrior. I Fight A Colorful Fight.

I Am A Warrior

No one can hold me down. No one can tell me I am not strong. No can can call me fool. No one has been through what I have been through and come out smiling at the sun shining in a new day. 

Apparently I spoke those words at the end of a struggle. My Reiki II attunement was like that scene in the movie Contact where Jodi Foster is shaken to altered states of reality. Here, let me show you.

https://youtu.be/scBY3cVyeyA

Yeah. It was like that.
My ego took a beating. Or more accurately, I took a beating as the rough edges of ego were stripped away.

It was rough.

But now I feel strong and bright, aglow from the inside, out. My locus of control is shifting from outer to inner and my journey through space and time went from linear to multidimensional and the element of time just bouncy ropes to make things springy..

I still have much to learn. So much to learn! Thank goodness. I love learning. I love having a sharp edge of perception, to see clearly as when something is still new enough to command attention but not so new that it is unrecognizable. I walk that edge and try to balance, glad for all the warrior poses I’ve done to gain strength.

I’m also glad for my crazy pink paper hair and wire frame, paper mache body, because a human being that claims to be as valiant as I am is probably a liar.

Original Songs

I had not been singing. There were several reasons and none of them worth going into right now. They would all bring you down and that is not the intention of this post.

This morning, after finally getting a good night’s sleep, I woke up feeling like a human being. I took care of the dogs and cat and made coffee. I checked my email, blinked my eyes and did some of Mark Beat’s exercises to create a little space for my soul to stretch out.

And finally, after what seemed like a million years, (but really was only a couple of weeks,) I began to sing. The Hindu mantra Har Haray Hari seemed to well up from the core of my being and spill into musical notes to fill the room, the whole house with happy song. I knew the chant had reached a ripe point when suddenly all the animals were especially quiet and listening. you can tell when someone is really listening. Even if a person, or an animal in this case, is quiet, there is an inaudible noise they make when they are not really listening. Then, when they tune in to what you are saying or singing there is a tangible kinetic difference in the space between singer and listener.

I can’t just say there is a change in the room, because I believe this change can be experienced in any distance as long as a connection has been made. Maybe it occurs in the morphic fields that Rupert Sheldrake speaks of.

The dogs, and Pascal, the cat, seemed to appreciate their morning concert, and I appreciated a receptive audience. I was so happy I baked a crustless pumkin pie and brewed a little more coffee to stretch the morning out a little longer.

I am looking forward to the day ahead in the way I use my eyes to connect to the points of the room in the 8-point anchoring exercise that Mark teaches. I connect with the day ahead: I love the day ahead and create a space of love bewteen where I am now and where I am headed.

May I walk in grace. May I feel true gratitude for everything that crosses my path. May I think before I act and may i act with mindful intention to keep myself in tune and singing so that others may remember that they are music too and that our lives are all original songs.

Fourier Transfoms: My Time/ Space Machine, My Love

When I first noticed a glitch in the space time continuum, I was in Jr High school. I went to class early one morning. No one was there yet so I sat on the steps outside the classroom. I waited for what seemed like 5 minutes before going in.

The teacher stood over her desk, packing books into her bag.

“‘Bout time you showed up.” She said. I thought she was joking because I was obviously still too early as no one else was there.

I felt the room spin. By the look on the teacher’s face I began to suspect that the reason no one was in the classroom was because everyone had gone home for the day.

Somehow an entire day had passed by and I had no idea where I had spent it. As far as I knew I was only waiting on the steps for five minutes. If I had been there the whole day someone would have said something. I must have gone somewhere, but I didn’t know where. That time was just gone.

I thought it was odd, but really I didn’t give the missing time that much thought. I didn’t think it was any big deal; I thought it probably happened to everyone. It was normal for me. It made me feel stupid, but it wasn’t so unusual.

Inconsistencies got more dramatic as I got older. For example, I ran away from a foster home once, disappearing in a cloud of road dust and woke up a month later in the top bunk of a camper in Albuquerque. I couldn’t figure out where I was or who I was so I just faded into the black of my mind space and didn’t reappear until somehow I was in my hometown again a year or some time later.

Right before I went into therapy I was in the hospital, recovering from severe depression. I was almost catatonic I guess, because I remember not being able to move.

A nurse put a radio beside my bed and even though the sounds from it didn’t make sense, the vibrations drew me toward it. After a time I was able to reach out and touch it.

I kept my hand on the radio for hours as if linked to a life line. After a day or so I was able to get up with assistance and go into the day room. I remember trying to make sense of the “moving noise”on the screen of the television but it didn’t mean anything to me and unlike the radio and music, the TV noise was uncomfortable.

Let’s fast forward to the year 1990, past many of the most painful, more disturbing years and talk about the good work accomplished with Elaine Prendergast Paulson, from NJ, whom I continue to learn from to this day. She is a treasure, a wealth of information, experience, and wisdom.

One of the most valuable practices she taught me was how to be present in my body with all of my senses. She used a technique of mind/body awareness called Focusing that was developed by Eugene T. Gendlin. With that modality and Metta meditation, she literally helped me learn to make sense of the astonishing array of experiences that had been nothing more than chaos in my life.

I am only beginning to learn what this body/brain can do, what any of us can do. There are experiences that have made me think we don’t have as tight a hold on reality, or at least as objective a hold as we think we do.

For example, I have been in two places at one time. (This is not a unique ability by any means, but since I am the only one I have the right the speak for I will go ahead use myself as the example here.

I was sitting in the cafeteria having lunch with a friend and I didn’t feel fully present. You know how it is when you just feel like you are not all there?
So my lunch companion, Wendy, being the metaphysically playful type, asked, “Well, where are you?”
I looked around with a sort of  inner vision and realized I could see and make “eye contact” (in this other dimension) with people in a place I would later learn was a street in Belize. This will be important later.

I was able to describe, in detail, a street I had never seen nor heard of before.

Later that night, I told my boyfriend about having lunch with Wendy and then told him  I’d had dream the night before. 

Sorry to the powers that be for the little lie; it was to protect him. I was worried he’d think it was just to weird to have the information about the street I saw and the way the sun and breeze felt on my skin if I told him I had experienced it while simultaneously sitting with Wendy in the hospital dining room over a plate of Sloppy Joe’s and green beans. 

 

Years later I stumbled into the world of quantum physics and began a brief, but passionate affair with a formula known as Fourier Transforms.

Let me show you a little picture I carry in my wallet.

Handsome, right? How could I resist? I had the idea that this beautiful formula could explain how a person can slip from one mental state to another, and how one can jump with ease over great wrinkles of time (Madeline l’Engle would be thrilled.) I thought they might also explain how I could have been in two places at once and how I could miss an entire day of school and think that I’d been waiting 5 minutes outside the classroom. I thought FT might unlock the mystery of where I went when I wasn’t where I thought I was or where I was when I thought.

I didn’t have a background in math or science. There was no way I could prove or even form the questions necessary to find out if mind states, especially as related to time and space were using a type of Fourier Transform Mechanism to perform their (seemingly) magic feats, so I just “let myself be curious” as one of my doctors used to invite me to do.

Then I stumbled upon a YouTube video that describes the FT’s as a smoothie in a blender. Apparently, the FT take the ingredients of the smoothie, shall we say, separate each one so that we can see exactly what is in the mix and then whirl it all back together again.

THAT is it, I thought. Now we are getting close. There is something in the brain, in our mind/body system that works like that. I don’t know what it is, but if we could figure it out there is no telling what fun we might have!

There is exciting research being done today that makes me curiouser and curiouser about time and space and the nature of objective reality, about trauma and neuroplasticity of the brain and that makes me wonder if we are really as limited as we think we are to the skin that holds us in.

I intend to find out.

Some Mountains Dance

I woke up ready for yoga. I reminded myself that I am the mountain.

That was all well and good from the waist up. I couldn’t get to my feet. Not yet. So with mantras playing and oxygen concentrator keeping time I began from point zero: the side of the bed.

Hands in prayer position. Breathe. Pray. Sing.

The prayer came to life. It filled my heart. I kept my eyes closed and let it move towards God. Hands in prayer position at first, reaching up, up.

I wanted it to be a yoga pose and tried to make it so. I kept my arms close to my ears and kept shoulders relaxed, but it hurt. I’ve had so much pain in my arms lately. So I let go of the pose but not the prayer. The mantra kept my arms moving in beautiful little spirals, forward and to the sides of my body, slowly, like leaves, floating and falling from a tree.

Soon my entire upper body was involved in the dance, stretching in every direction, gratitude flowing outward, while my heart stayed open and receptive to grace.

I realized that I was in less pain with this gentle dance than I was when I tried to hold even the basic urdhva hastasana. That will be good information when I start teaching again.

So there I am, dancing on the side of the bed, oxygen tubing still attached, Reiki Jane sleeping with one amused eye open.

Two long mantras later I am ready to get up and move on.

This mountain can dance.

I Am The Mountain

I had to let Reiki Jane out to pee one more time before bed. It was so hard to stand at the door. Everything hurt. It felt like all my flesh, all the weight of ME was just going to be too much for my poor bones. The weight of ME was going to rip me apart.

Enough. If I have to stand here and wait for Jane I might as well do it with purpose. So I stood squarely on two feet, building the pose from the bottom, up. Each foot balancing on four points of the sole so that the arch is just right to support the lower legs, adjust knees, thighs, straighten spine, pulling tailbone down, front of body up, top of spine lifts with expansion of chest, shoulders roll up and back, neck adjusted. Then comes all the fine tuning. The mountain is never still. There are always micro movements as muscle and bone dance together, balancing energies in a performance billed as Stillness.

It feels good to stand in Tadasana. It’s been a long, long time since I have done so. Coming back to yoga after being so angry for such a long time is bound to have side effects like stiffness and loss of strength. But I am amazed at what my body does remember.

I am breathing in the pose, through the pose. I feel the breath as it moves through my body as if consciously finding its way to every starved cell, every neglected fiber.

Then all at once I am the breath. I am the mountain. And it’s time for Jane to come inside and go to bed.

That was my first step onto the mat, so to speak, even though there was no mat and it was dark and I was in my PJ’s waiting for my dog to pee in the rain and then come inside. Deciding to stand in mountain pose, to consciously build the pose and breath life into it as I go is the first real yoga-by-choice that I’ve done in a long time.

I should say it’s the first Hatha yoga I’ve done. Because I never stopped chanting. I never stopped learning from my breath. But I had given up on Hatha yoga.

It’s good. This is good.

A friend uses a word instead,of a resolution each NewYear so I’ve been trying to think of a word to contemplate for 2019. I’d thought of the word encourage maybe because of the wonderful encouragement I’ve been blessed with this year. I thought I’d like to consider how to give the same gift to others.

I thought of the word love. I was in love and then crushed by the loss of it this past year. I was destroyed by it. And now I am coming back to life without the delusion that it was the Other that I was in love with. I have a lot to learn about love. So that is not my word.

Then I thought, what about mountain?

No.

What if I just say that I am for the next year and consider the power and all that is associated with those two words? Whatever I say after I am can change. I like that. But the core stays the same. I am.

Yes. That is as good a place to start as any.

I am encouraged. I am encouraging. I am loved. I am loving. I am love. Or better yet, why not shift the focus away from me to what I love.

I love you.

Now.

There is real power in those words. Can you feel it?

I love you.

Storm

In this dteam I am a black woman whose wisdom has brought her to a place where she lives alone to come and go as she pleases. It is any town, USA.

She is not happy with something and she storms around slamming doors and wondering out loud what could possibly be the matter with everyone.

I just smile because I know we can always go talk to mom who knows just about everything about art and I wonder why she hasn’t been called yet. It starts to worry me that the other me hasn’t called her yet. “If I don’t get it right this time I’m going to really screw things up completely.” I thought

The edges of the room are dark. Now I’m only five and the black woman is gone. It’s just me and the shadows and Buck.

I’m tired of this dream. Time to wake up!

I’m tired.

Wake up. Wake up! Come on!

Wake the fuck up.