How I Learned to Pray With my Feet

myfeet2

“The Body is my Temple, Asanas are my Prayers” – BKS Iyengar

There is a difference between knowing something with my head and knowing something with my toes.

When I was 15 and learning how to give a blow job, I used to get all my cues from his feet. If his feet weren’t moving, he wasn’t really feeling. Something needed to change.

When my toes know something, they curl. In anxiety, my second toe likes to try to get on top of my big toe because even though it’s big, big is not a synonym for brave.

In freedom, they spread. Wide.

In ecstasy, they floint. (a rare fusion of point and flex). Excited, they can’t make up their mind. They don’t have to. Yes,

I’ve always been aware of my toes.

The truth in them.

When my head or my heart or my belly or my headheartandbelly feels scared or stifled, I look down.

Ten equal truths,

Waiting to wrap around more of what is true and moving  (sink deeper into what is brown and earthing),

Waiting to wrap around you, Mother.

My toes tell the truth.

When I was small, I discovered the second one.

The second one is from my Father.

The longest one, the way the knuckle was knuckly, the way the tip curled over. It was my monkey one.

Now every man I’ve been with has called me a monkey and that’s not because each were great great observers but simply because

I am a monkey

(and I basically spelled it out for them every time I took off my socks which was often).

At first I was embarrassed.

But after I learned Clown in Theatre School I came to the conclusion that blonde and beautiful is boring. Yes,

I learned to embrace my unsymmetrical face and accept that the sexiest things in life are awkward and strange.

The baby one, the small small Middle-Eastern one, it is Mother -

Small and stubby, there is no nail.

My mother taught me how to play pretend and paint it.

“Only you know there is no nail underneath. Paint over it.”

Yes, I’ve always been aware of my toes.

And this is why I can’t stop doing Toe Squat. And

Like a Ritual, a Great Life’s Quest,

I would like to share the steps with you in great great detail, see

My Great Grandfather (the fourth one) told fantastic stories and

Specifics are important.

I start on all fours. I spread my fingers wide, no

Wider.

Wide enough to feel space to take up space so that the baby is not forgotten, the smallest one the farthest one (Mother, never be forgotten) and

More of me is connected.

I want it in my toes.

I need to find my feet.

And so I kneel.

The texture beneath the pads of my fingers, I press down. As I press down I draw up – energy. Brown, thick black earth energy from beneath me now in the pads of my fingers. And even though my mat is squishy and pink it becomes an earthy, dark dark brown (with a big of red), and so

I release pressure. I walk my palms up my thighs so that my shoulders align with my hips. I sit tall. I bring my ears back in space so that my skull is in line with my spine. I sit taller than I want to. And then I breathe. I breathe deeper than I want to. See

(This is not about my brain, not about symbols or thoughts, no)

I breathe down deep, downer and deeper than my feet because it does not end there.

And when I push myself up to a forward fold I hang heavy. I stay connected to my feet and now without effort without any effort I draw up energy from the earth beneath me (brown, an earthy brown with a bit of red) see

This happens naturally now.

The arches of my feet allow enough space to breathe.

I draw energy up from the earth beneath me and it moves up my ankles and my calves. It funnels through my thigh bones, fast, because it knows that in a moment it will rest in a red pool in my pelvis, see

This is the root.

This is not the end no,

This is the beginning, remember

This is the root.

Once planted it moves to the base of my spine. It swirls, orange and moving. Fast enough to re-create, to remind me of new life, new ideas This. Is. New. It gains enough momentum to travel down my spine like a pre-moistened slide to the base of my neck to the crown of my head and then it drains.

Back into the earth.

I want to find my feet.

I need to find my feet because

I need to feel the earth.

I need to feel the earth because

I am the earth.

Because to practice Toe Squat is to honour the very earth inside of me.

“My Body is a Temple, Asana are my Prayers” – BKS Iyanger

(Watch until the part where he kisses his feet)

The Most Romantic Thing He Ever Did

myfeetwithtext

I remember how he started:

(I’ll imagine you were he)

You looked up at me.

You looked up at me, from the base of me (this perspective is important). From the base of me you looked up and into me and (from this perspective alone)

You softened.

You place one hand on my sock.

I look down at my sock. I look down at you, (but not on you, this perspective is important) and I do not smile because wait see

These socks are not socks not the soft socks I might wear if I knew this was going to happen. These are not my cashmere socks (if I had cashmere socks), these are the lost socks, the miss-matched souls with lint balls and see-through bottoms. The ones with worn elastic at the ankles. The themed ones. Poor quality, Christmas or something. No,

These are not my cashmere socks.

You soften,

My socks soften.

You touched my socks like cashmere socks and

Everything from that moment softened.

I remember how you pulled them, no

Slid them no,

Guided them.

You unroll the ankle part first.

Like a small small cinnamon roll; (a French kind, in a corner delicasante)

Un, deux, trois,

Small delicate rolls to reveal my heal (rough, chapped, now somehow like butter)

And so, you are ready to slide them off.

You pause first.

You look up at me (and into me) and without words or symbols or shapes you ask permission.

I look down at you (and into you) and without words or symbols or shapes I give you permission.

And so, you are ready to slide them off.

And although there were two,

You do this with the care and the precision,

Like there was only one.

And then there were ten. And

You touch each one.

You pull and you stretch each one. You see each one. You feel each one. The baby one, that is my Mother. The second one, that is my father. And when you finish each small one stretched and open, ready and willing.

Ten small parts of me opened to you, by you. Now all 57439857348435 parts of me opened to you, by you, And and and

And even though you touched my feet, I feel my fingers and my heart and my spine, (and in particular the orange arch in my low back) and all the water in the bowl of my pelvis runneth o’er. Water, orange swirling water pools into the bones of my thighs and funnels back down into you I know you can feel it yes you look at me I know you can feel it yes yes yes

You reach for my sock.

You reach for my sock and I am struck:

You grant me permission to come back home.

You reach for my sad sad Christmas sock.

You slide it onto my foot and

I am home.

Both socks, both feet

Just like we started.

You look up at me.

You look up at me from the base of me (this perspective is important).

And from the base of me, you soften to me.

And the end doesn’t matter because you’re at the very base of me and

you’re actually already there.

Image

The Things Your Heads Knows But Your Body Needs To Resonate with Once Again

The world is spinning right now.

You are spinning right now.

Closing your eyes can help you tune into what is going on inside of you.

Close your eyes (and feel yourself spinning).

You are not stuck (you are actually spinning).

Your heart is moving right now.

Your blood is beating right now.

Your heart, like wings of a bird, it is actually beating.

You are a sweetheart.

You, sweetheart, are not stuck (you are actually beating).

Your heart is always speaking you’re just not often quiet enough to hear it.

Everything you need is already inside you.

When you look at the earth from above, you see a mix of green and blue.

When you look at the earth from above, you see mostly blue.

70 per cent of the earth is covered with water.

70 per cent of the human body is made up of water.

You are earth.

You are water.

Water moves.

Drinking water can make you unstuck.

Water will carry you closer to your soul.

Freedom is flowing.

You are not your words, you are your actions.

Your toothbrush should be changed every 3 months.

Birth is the source of all things.

Birth is one of the greatest miracles of all times.

A woman has the capacity to give birth.

Birth is one of the most powerful sources of strength and life.

A woman is one of the most powerful sources of strength and life.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is experiential evidence of her ability to give birth.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is symbolic of birth.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is one of the greatest miracles of all time.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is the most powerful source of strength and life.

Blood is red.

Red represents your first chakra.

Red represents your connection to the earth.

When you bleed, you are alive.

When you feel your toes, you are alive.

Doing toe squat brings you back to your mother.

Making sounds will help you feel better.

The winter will always be cold.

The weather is there to talk about when you get anxious that there is nothing to talk about.

You are talking about the weather because you are anxious about saying anything truthful.

You live in Canada.

The winter will always be cold.

The winter will always be cold.

The winter will always be cold.

There is always someone colder than you.

There is always someone hungrier than you.

There is always someone more beautiful than you.

You will have your period for one third of your life.

You are breath and blood and nerves and skin.

You are not separate from the physiology of your body.

If you hate your period, you will hate yourself for one third of your life.

If you hate her on her period, you will hate her for one third of your life.

Thoughts are powerful.

Everything starts with a thought.

All action starts with a thought.

You are not your words, you are your actions.

It is easy to say something, it is not so easy to do it.

Wisdom and intellect are separate.

Wisdom is being comfortable with certainty and uncertainty.

Some things are not meant to be “figured out.”

Wisdom cannot be studied from a book.

If you eat beets, your poop will be purpley red.

You are what you eat.

A Quest To Synch Up My HeadHeartandBelly

Image

The first time I found out about words and actions was in Theatre School.

It all started with “Character Breakdown.” Say we were working on “Anne.”

I would open the first page of the script: Scene 1, Act 1.

I would make two lists: “What Anne says” and “What Anne does.”

I would make a thick dark line between two columns. I would usually go over the line a few times. I liked to use an old school pencil so I could press hard see

The separation was important. By the end of the script, I knew a lot about Anne.

The first time I experienced betrayal was near the end of Theatre School. A beautiful blonde girl said she was my best friend then fucked the man I loved most closing night in a closet.

I really understood words and actions after Theatre School.

I remember almost instantaneously, my relationship to words changed.

Jaws moved, mouths opened but nothing more than sound came out. Sound resisted structure and letters flailed freely laughing at any rules of time and space. Words became sounds, stripped of any profound impact. “Forever” sounded good only when Ben Harper played it, “never” became a word that rhymed with “forever,” “I love you,” a pretty chorus of vowel sounds.

Ironically enough, the writer in me loves words. I adore them. I lust after them. I want to eat them, touch them, feed on them like walnuts. When I write, I read what I write out loud. It’s not just about the sequence, the order, but the way in which they crunch between my bones and (maybe it’s just because I almost always have something electronically sweet and slow and deep playing in the background that makes me feel like a New York City beat poet, but no) I like the sound, the feeling in my teeth.

I like words.

Words are not the problem, no. It’s that thick black line in-between.

Fastforward:

Years later, my lust for words and my distrust for words cause confusion between my headheartandbelly.

So I set out on a quest.

A quest to merge waters, build bridges. And

(because there is no end to water)

I continue to quest see

This bridge, this quest is never-ending:

I want to synch up “what I say” with “what I do.”

So I start a love letter to all of my parts:

Dear head: I want you to love sweet belly.

Sweet belly: I want you to love full heart.

And I continue:

I continue to write and I continue to gather all my love in one small fine point and I continue to press hard see the meaning is important:

Dear head, won’t you honour sweet belly and sweet belly won’t you listen to full heart. Full heart won’t you listen to sweet belly and sweet belly breathe peace to dear head.

To say what I do and to do what I say is hard.  Coming from a history of childhood trauma, this link was broken early on. When I was little I became silent, scared to speak. My belly would know something but my head – too scared to speak it. Too scared to speak with my head so I’d do it with my toes but I’d almost always wear socks.

There is a difference between knowing something with your brain and knowing something with your whole being see,

If your head and your belly are not speaking,

Knowing something with your brain does not necessarily give you the power to put it into action.

If you peeled away our layers, you would find teeth and bones yes. But if you peeled away the teeth and bones you would find breath and blood. The depth of our body is not made of something solid and still, what is solid and still and made of stuff is not the essence of us.

The essence of us is what moves.

How could we possibly be measured by anything stagnant (how could I possibly be measured merely by what I say) when

The very core of me moves.

I am movement.

I am action.

I am my words only when they synch up with this action.

So, Past Moment:

When that

oldfriendroommateelementaryschoolmatestudentmatedoesn’tevenmatteranymoremate

asks you for a coffee date and you really don’t want to go

And you both  stand awkwardly and make plans to meet for a food or a drink as you pray for your phone to ring or the bus to come or an elephant to appear and bend down before you and the Mekong River to appear and swirl round to you and the elephant  for you and the river to carry you you say the words standing on the street corner with zero intention of making it happen. Every time you do this, you break a link in your chain.

You make a thick black line that separates who you are from what you do.

You make a thick black line that separates you.

You are movement, you are action.

You are not just your head, but your headheartandbelly so

Present Moment:

Maybe you start with this song (the most romantic song of all time),

Maybe you lie down and place one hand on the low of your belly and the other hand on the bones of your chest. Maybe you close your eyes and breathe into that spot between your eyebrows. And maybe your head, heart and belly becomes headheartandbelly and without any effort, any effort at all, you begin (quietly now), to

Do what you say, and say what you do.

 

Touch me (Like a Tree)

Touchmelikeatree

I want you to touch me like a tree.

And although I am high,

I want to be like

The one you look down at.

Not because I am small, no (for I am 400 years old), but because

I live with my root system exposed.

I want you to guess what kind of maple I am with your eyes closed.

I want you to guess what kind of maple I am with your eyes closed and your hands hidden.

Blindfolded with leaves,

Tied up with grass,

I want you to guess what kind of maple I am not with your eyes or your hands see

I want you to taste me and

And I want you to taste me like a tree.

I want you to peel my clothes off like bark and I want you to find my sweet spot no,

Not there,

I want you to ignore what is obvious.

Because although you are aware of my thick, rounded layers, you are curious about what I sound like underneath,

I am hard and I am soft,

I want you to hear me like a tree.

Touchmelikeatree2

Use your ears:

My body is a delicate mix of flesh and sap and wood.

Yes, I want you to peel off my bark and find my underneath spots like

My earlobes and my elbows, yes

I want you to taste my elbows.

I want you to taste my earlobes and my elbows but

I want you to wait until March because

March is maple syrup season.

March is maple syrup season and I want you to honour and respect the earth’s natural rhythm, see

Earth’s natural rhythm is not separate from my rhythm, see

I want you to know that

I am earth’s rhythm.

Image

I want you to feel me like a tree.

I want to get my sticky on you.

I want you to be covered in my sticky and

Just for fun,

I want you to try and contain me.

Not out of power or control but of wonder.

I want you to fail.

I want you to cry when you fail.

Not out of anger or defeat but of surrender.

I want you to wrap your fingers around the circumference of my thigh and I want you to not quite be able to.

I want there to be space.

I want there to be space where your fingers can’t touch and

Every year, I want this space to change,

Bigger, smaller,

I want you to get lost in

My circles of growth.

I want you to move me like a tree.

And although you are strong, I want you to move only my branches, see

I want you to know that my roots are connected to the core of the earth and although they can wrap around you, they have nothing to do with you, let me explain see

My roots are not actually mine,

They are my sisters’ before me.

And when the wind blows, I will not fall down, not because you are holding me up but because

I cannot fall down because

I have roots that connect with the core of the earth of my sisters’ and mothers’ before me.

I want you to cut me like a tree.

I want you to cut me and

I want you to peel me.

I want you to collect whatever comes out in a birch bark bucket.

I want you to make liquid come out of my body because this means that

Everything is moving.

I am moving.

And although you collect me,

I want you to never completely understand me.

Because even I know there is nothing more complex than the way the sap moves through the trunk of my body,

And even scientists have trouble defining the process.

I want you to know, only, that I carry a  “watery, slightly sweet fluid.”

And this “watery, slightly sweet fluid” is produced by every one of my cells and that if you open not only your mouth or you heart but your cells too,

This sap can feed you.

I want you to know the difference between me and in imitation. See,

With iron, potassium magnesium calcium phosphorous, trace amounts of vitamins B2, B5 and niacin,

Not to mention higher calcium contents than milk (because I care about your bones and so)

I want my sap to feed you.

I want my sap to bypass your brain and flow into your body, because (now I read this in a book I can’t recall the name of, but:)

“The way that maple syrup flows inside a tree is one of the least understood mysteries of nature.”

And if you really want to know exactly when my sap flows, you’d better make friends with missus moon.

Because according to some of the most beautiful people the third full moon is the maple moon. And the maple moon shines only during the time of year when the sap flows.

Image

And I want you to ask:

Does the moon shine make the sap flow or does the sap flow make the moon shine?

And I want to say:

It doesn’t matter.

And I want us both to realize that probably both does both and that’s what (earth) mother calls a symbiotic relationship.

So like Mother and all her green children

I want us to be like the tree and the moon.

I want you to write you initials on me.

I want you to crawl inside me,

Because

This story takes place inside a leaf, 400 years ago.

And if you could shrink and crawl inside a maple leaf you’d find yourself in an efficient sugar-making factory transportation system and

I want to take you to a delicate mix of flesh and sap and sweet and wood.

And even though I’m only 26, (or 56 or 36 or 103 or 3) I want you to know that my story doesn’t end here.

My sap flows,

My roots grow,

And nothing begins or ends here.

Image

Do it in the Kitchen

Sarah Brose-131

Carmin Davidson and I collaborated on a project. Carmin is a really brilliant photographer and just so happens to be someone I went to pre-school with, wore snowpants with, played four-square with, had sleepovers with.

We share a history.

And although we never traded carrots for fruit roll-ups, we bonded over the fact that we desperately wanted to. That our mothers packed us colourful crunchy things we didn’t want to eat. Two carrots, better than one.

Carmin and I wanted to explore our own individual creative process.’  We wanted to explore what it would be like to take them apart, what it would be like to put them together.

Before the shoot, she asked:

I want you to write down some words about where you are right now: in your life and in your body.

She then provided me with very specific instructions:

I want you to be comfortable. Wear whatever you wish to display. Display you. I would like some music playing. Music you love. I’m going to bring some film and 3 cameras, my aeropress and ground hazelnut coffee (we can press it together) and some flowers.

So,

I wrote.

I gave her what I wrote.

From here, Carmin attached different words and feelings from these words to specific rooms in my apartment. I chose a pose that encapsulated these words, this feeling. She took a photograph that encapsulated these words, this feeling.

We always talk about what it’s like to take your Yoga off the mat. We do this through our energies and actions, yes. But what happens if we include the Asana part? What would it be like to kick back in Dancer’s in the kitchen, forward fold in the bathtub, shoulder-stand on the bed.

How can we really bring Yoga into our most personal spaces.

Paschimottanasana on a cold leather couch (what happens when I surrender on my grown-up couch, the one we bought from Craigslist Chris, replacing memories of crying, cockroaches and York.

Paschimottanasana on a cold leather couch (what happens when I surrender on my grown-up couch, the one we bought from Craigslist Chris, replacing memories of crying, cockroaches and York)

Ardha Matsyendrasana on the cut-off coffee table (it used to be my desk)

Ardha Matsyendrasana on the cut-off coffee table (it used to be my desk, the year I couldn’t stop crying)

Seated Meditation on an open field of leather shag (the one we laid out to cover what was cold and barren, the one we dug our toes into to mark the beginning)

Seated Meditation on an open field of leather shag (the one we laid out to cover what was cold and barren, the one we dug our toes into to mark the beginning)

Dangling in the middle of the living room (stand on something you shouldn't stand on, let go completely)

Dangling in the middle of the living room (stand on something you shouldn’t stand on, let go completely)

Natarajasana in the middle of your grandmother's kitchen (that is my kitchen)

Natarajasana in the middle of your grandmother’s kitchen (that is my kitchen), reach for the plates (they are the Sound of Music)

Setu-Bandhasana on the  cold kitchen floor, with a view of the plates.

Setu-Bandhasana on the cold kitchen floor, with a view of the plates (close your eyes and imagine the her singing)

Ustrasana by the stove, a heart opening for the kettle that screams

Ustrasana by the stove, a heart opening for the kettle that screams

coming up slowly,

What does it feel like to come up (slower than you want to)

leading with the heart,

Sarah Brose-127

Sarah Brose-128

Sarah Brose-132

Mountain Pose against the mustard-coloured tiles, the ones that hear my heart talking

Sarah Brose-134

Garudasana in the shower, how to focus your gaze on one thing even thought there are a million mustard-coloured things around you

Sarah Brose-137

Forward fold in the tub, how to surrender, even when the door is wide open and everyone is watching (although nobody’s home, nobody’s watching, nobody’s ever really watching)

Sarah Brose-138 Sarah Brose-139 Sarah Brose-141

Sarah Brose-158

Shoulderstand on what is soft and mushy, how to be a little bit naked and reach with my toes in front of a small bear named Rosie

Sarah Brose-165

How to “see the light in me” on the bed I use to disappear completely

Sarah Brose-169

For more of Carmin’s photos, go to: http://www.cdavidsonphotographyblog.com

I Want to Go to Bed Alone

I want to go to bed alone.

I love you more than our toothbrushes love kissing but

When I wake up tomorrow morning and feel my eyelashes get warm

I don’t want you to be there.

Oh and,

I’d like a bigger bed please.

One of those King size kinds that implies a big strong boy needs to be there. And a man named Leon needs to sell it. And although I’d like you to be there, I’d like you to be there only to carry it. I’d like Leon not to be there. See

My staircase is windy and

My doorframe is small.

We’ll probably have to remove a frame or a door or a doorframe or something and I don’t understand I just need you to carry it and kiss me on the nose and then leave right after because

I want to go into my big boy bed alone.

I am a girl.

I want to slide my small body into what was built for something bigger because

I want to take up a whole small corner of the bed.

I know there’s room for you.

I know there’s room for you but I don’t want you to crawl through my bedroom window and fill it

Not just because my Dashboard Confessional days are dead now and no I’m not over I’ll never be over Joey or Dawson or the ladder they climbed on but because

I want the space to be there.

I want the space to be there and I don’t want to fill it.

I don’t want to fill it with anything you can see, see

I want to take up space just by breathing.

I want to take up space the whole other four corners of the bed just by breathing.

I want to starfish.

I want to breathe starfish.

I want to breathe starfish and I want to go to bed alone

Especially when I’m sad.

And I crave your arms your long arms your long brown monkey arms around me my face in your brown monkey chest like the baboons we watched at the zoo when you asked if I’d groom you and I laughed knowing I would,

Lost in each other,

I want to be lost without you.

Especially when I’m sad.

I want to brush my teeth first.

Tonight I’m even going to floss.

Not because I’m going to kiss you or my toothbrush is kissing your toothbrush but because dental hygiene is one of the key components to overall health and

I want to care about my health, see

I want to live to one hundred and three.

Not because I want to spend 103 years with you (although I would like to spend 103 years with you) but because my great grandmother did it and she did it with incredible Grace and she did it not for anyone but for herself and perhaps tea and biscuit time.

I want to wake up to pee.

I want to wake up to pee and I don’t want you to be there because

I want to run back to bed a little bit scared.

I want to run from the toilet before my pee is done because I heard something downstairs and I want to jump into my bed and into the arms of a bear who never looked more like just a bear.

I want to wrap myself in arms I can’t hide in.

I want to have trouble falling asleep.

I want to have trouble falling asleep a little bit because I’m scared mostly because I miss you but partly because that pee feeling to still there and I can’t get up what if somebody catches me.

I want to find comfort in my own monkey arms.

And then I want to fall asleep.

When I wake up, I want to spread my limbs like noodles and

I want to look for you, reach for you

Like I spent all night becoming Al Dente, for you,

And I don’t want you to be there.

I want to lie in stillness sans you.

I want to wonder if your eyelashes are warm and

I want to wonder if you’ve missed me.

I want to not ask you.

Because even if I asked you and you recited a line from Pablo Neruda (like that part about the feet) words are just words and I’d never really know and

I want to be courageous enough not to know.

And I want to miss you so much I ask for a sleepover tomorrow. And the next day and the next.

And every 5437829075423098473208472 days of the year I want to go to bed with you. But every once in awhile,

I want to go to bed alone.

And even when we’re 103,

I want to slide out of bed even if it takes three hours. I want to slide out of the bed and slip down the stairs and sit in an upright chair.

And our granddaughter might come by because it’s still only 9PM and think I’m dead because I’m so perfectly still but then she’ll touch my nightgown-covered heart and feel me breathing and thank goodness grandma’s sleeping.

But I won’t be sleeping, see

I’ll be resting in space.

I’ll be sitting there in eyes-closed space feeling what it is to be without you.  

Because even when we spoon my bum between your thighs and your low belly there’s a spot where we’ll never touch. The natural curve of my lumbar spine will always move away from you. And there will always be space there, see

I know that toothbrushes can’t kiss forever,

and that this space will always be here.

Love is Green

I was careful with kale.

I was careful with the kale.

On our first date we sat at the bottom of the ravine and dipped our toes in. Later we found a giant tree with its root system exposed. It looked like something you’d see in a movie.

On our way out we looked up at the edge of a ravine. It was steep with fallen trees.

“One day we should come back and climb that.”

He looked at me.

“What about today?”

After that moment, everything grew.

I told him about my garden and he expressed an interest in starting one on his new balcony. He just moved and was proud of his new home:

“It’s like living in a canopy of leaves. It’s like being in a tree fort all the time.”

We ended the date by going back to the roots and the tree. By this time it was dark and we were comfortable enough to hold wrists but only in a way that provided stability when my birkenstocks got slippery and not in a way that we would call holding hands. Still in a way that cause a zillion tiny little electric bolts all over my body.

Halfway up we discovered a homeless man sleeping at the top. There appeared to be space and we asked if we could sit with him. He politely said no and we understood his concern and climbed down.

We never got to sit at the top but the important thing is we found roots at the beginning and then we went back.

There was nothing left to do but lie in a field after.

I can still feel the grass on the backs of my thighs. Starfish Savasana, the green field our studio and yes this is what it feels like to let the walls down. Close enough together to synch breaths, far enough apart to free the sides of my torso, feel my pelvis like a flower fall open. Open enough to close my eyes and see stars.

We discussed postures and poems and everything green. And even though right before he kissed me he said: “Do you want to know my favourite yoga pose,” it was the most romantic thing I’d ever experienced.

Dates later we discussed his new garden project. And although I initially offered to help simply because I wanted an excuse to see him again, it genuinely meant something to me. Not just because I love forts and when I was little my brothers made a zip-line that I never really felt a part of and maybe this was my one chance to belong but no, I genuinely wanted to make his treefort more treefort-y.

We went to the Farmer’s Market and picked out geraniums.

One morning before work we planted them. It was close to 9 and he was wearing his work clothes and we’d barely digested our muesli but he couldn’t wait. We made individual pods of dirt and poured seeds in our hands and stuck our pointers in. When we finished we looked down at earth-covered palms. I slid my fingers over his and everything was growing.

It wasn’t long before he wanted more.

We planted beets. It was too late for beets but we planted them. He wanted flowers. It was too late for the flowers but we planted them. The most important thing was this:

There were seeds and there was dirt and there was water.

I approached my own garden with a new vigour. I was careful with the kale.

The way I stroked the edge was similar to the way I stroked his hair at 4AM, his head in my lap, sick.

I was falling in love. Tending is tending.

Just over forty days later, his balcony is alive. Maybe it’s the new composter because not everything is visibly growing but it doesn’t matter. There are orchids in the window  and there are seeds and there is dirt and there is water and there are two people tending to it all.

I knew I wanted it to last when I made him a clipping.  My favourite vine, I cut a soft edge and put it in water. Soon, we would be connected through the same green root.

I was biking home the other day. I saw a tree and stopped and stared.

“When I’m with you, I see trees more.”

cucumbers have babies cucumbers have mothers cucumbers have lovers and their love is green

cucumbers have babies
cucumbers have mothers
cucumbers have lovers and their
love is green

Make Love and Meditate

Image

I knew it was something after we made love and meditated.

Maybe it was the fact that he didn’t have a bed.

Because although it was rustic and made me feel like an earth goddess, lying naked on the floor is lying naked on the floor and lying naked on the floor can hurt my bony bits.

So when he asked if I wanted to sit with him I felt a lot of things see I begin to feel a lot of things

I feel my heart and the sternum that holds me. I feel my breath and my lungs that contain me. I feel my blood and my vessels that carry me. My insides are alive in a way that compares to that other yes thing and my whole container tightens. My whole container tightens but my insides are alive and

Yes.

I say yes.

And maybe my yes is just my yogateacher speaking maybe my yes just means giving more support to my lumbar spine maybe the meditating part is secondary. But regardless of the love for my spine or the love we just made, when he asks if I wanted to sit, I feel my container and I say yes.

He looks at me like a sparkler that’s about to start sparkling:

“I’ll prepare the stools.”

He starts sparkling.

If I could blow it out I would. If I could blow it out, just for a second, I would. Just for a second to stop and ask:

Did that sparkle in his eyes almost outsparkle the sparkle from the first time I said yes to the thing we did just moments ago? I feel the sparkle in his eyes almost outsparkled the sparkle from the first time I said yes to the thing we did just moments ago. My brain wants to be upset but my body is not. A sparkle is a sparkle and it makes me feel good. I let what wants to feel good feel good. I resist the urge to blow out light.

He leaves the room.

I put on clothes and feel more naked.

He re-enters the room.

I can’t see his face because of the books. Something about “Quantitative Methods” is covering his eyes but I don’t need to see them and I don’t want to know about quantitative anything so I close my eyes and feel his glow. I open my eyes.

Two separate stacks.

He covers the books. The books become stools. He covers the bookstools in two pieces of patterned cloth. The books disappear and with sit-bones supported we sit on our stools. And although they appear similar in height, similar in patterned cloth, mine is made up of Financial Reporting and his Derivatives and Portfolio Management and we each have our own. Propped up by the pages of his MBA, we close our eyes.

We close our eyes and feel more naked.

I tune into sensation.

I feel my left nostril.

My left nostril is naked.

I tune into sensation on my naked left nostril.

Dear lovely left nostril, I know you are naked. I know you are scared and naked but I will stay with you.

I feel an expansion. I feel a contraction. I feel each expansion each contraction start to still what is fast and moving. I feel calm enough to move my awareness throughout my whole body. I feel the breath, the blood, the nerves, the heart and the container that carries it all.

I feel the container that carries it all and

I am not naked at all I am covered in vibrations.

I feel what is inside the container that carries it all and

I see home

I see home

I see home

I feel home

I feel home

I feel home

I come home.

The second time we did it there was a full moon and I straddled him. My legs over his my lips close enough to his but not touching. Close enough to feel each other’s breath but far enough apart to keep each exhale separate. Because,

I can bring you to my home and you can bring me to your home but when we come home and we sit on our own separate bookstools we remember that yes waters merge but every river started somewhere.

And now, whenever we make love, whenever we come together, I want to come

Home.

Because to sit with you, to come home beside you is to be more real with you than if I took off all my clothes when I was sad and turned around slowly.

And the more familiar I am with my home, the more I’ll be able to let you in.

The more familiar I am with the door and its hinges and more I’ll be able to open it for you.

The more familiar I am with the walls that were stacked, the more I’ll be able to stand by you.

The more familiar I am with the floors that were laid the more I’ll be able to support you.

The more familiar I am with the roof that was built the more I’ll be able to cover you.

….

Weeks later he got a bed.

But we promised that no matter how much we enjoyed what was soft and lovely,

We’d always do it on the floor.

.Image

Wake up and Want (Do it Again)

I want to make you pancakes.

I want to pour maple syrup and I want it to be real. I want to spill some on your chest hair on purpose. I want it to be there tomorrow because

I want you to taste like syrup always because

I want you to have the qualities of a tree.

I want to lie in a pile of puzzle pieces with you. I want to spend the afternoon only working on the corners and what if we left the middle. What if we left the middle as a big empty space the middle just space to stick our fingers through.

I want to make you pureed soup and

I want to blend only what’s in season.

I want to make you Middle-eastern food. I want you to eat it with your fingers and I want our kisses to taste like a delicate mix of lemon and mint.

I want you to place your hand on my belly. I want it to be below my belly button and I want you to tell me you like it best when it’s soft and round.

I want you to photograph me.

I want you to think I’m beautiful when I’m sleeping. Even when I wake up and my pillow is wet and I didn’t take my double-black mascara off the night before.

I want you to think it’s cute every time I wake up to pee.

I want you to never call me princess.

I want you to be curious about my first boyfriend.

I want you to be curious but only because that tells you more about me see

I want you to be the perfect mix of jelous and accepting.

I want to leave my underwear in your bed.

I want you to find them.

I want to leave my hairs all over your apartment.

I want you to find them.

I want to play the piano for you.

I want you to listen.

I want to slow dance with you and I want there to be no music and I want it to be the middle of the day.

I want you to help me when I’m lost.

I want you to fix the faucet.

I want you to hold all the broken faucet parts and try to put them back together.

I want you to hold all my broken parts and not try to put them back together.

I want you to know the difference between me and the faucet and

I want everything to be both literal and metaphorical,

Especially when we garden.

I want to wait for you to get home from work.

I want to be wearing an apron when you get home from work and

I want to have dinner ready.

I want to do all of these things and I want you to never think I am anything but the perfect mix of 50s housewife and independent woman.

I want you to like hanging out with my parents as much as I do.

I want you to massage my feet.

I want you to put my socks back on after.

I want to keep waking up,

With you

I want to keep wanting

With you,

I want to keep wanting,

You,

Even when we’re old and buy a house in Florida.