I want to meet you in the morning

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Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. – Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to wake up and not expect that your eyes will sparkle.

And even though mostly every other morning I see your eyes sparkle,

I do not want to expect that today will be like yesterday

Because this day is a new day, and

This morning is a new morning, and

I want to meet you on this morning.

I want to wake up and not know who will make the coffee.

And even though you made the coffee yesterday and the day before yesterday and every other day I can remember before the day before yesterday,

I want to not assume you’ll make the coffee. See,

I want to wake up and not anticipate the smell or the sound of the grinding.

And when I hear the grinding, I want to not expect the grinding will be in short, regular intervals.

I want to notice the difference between grinds,

And how the difference between grinds depends on the depth and the quality of the beans.

I want to meet you in the morning.

And when I meet you in the morning,

I want to see the sleep in your eyes.

I want to notice my impulse to wipe the sleep from your eyes. And then,

I want to make the conscious decision to wipe the sleep from your eyes.

And when I wipe the sleep from your eyes,

I want to not expect that you will swipe my hand away before I touch your sleep because you do this and you’ve done this every other time before.

I want to be open to the idea that this morning is a new morning and this moment is a new moment and perhaps today you will respond based on the softness of my pointer finger as opposed to your deeply engrained samskara.

When I refer to samskara, I want to not assume that you do not know what samskara is.

But if you tell me that you do not know,

I will tell you that samskara means habit pattern. And so,

I want to never stop having the courage to wipe the sleep from your eyes

And forever have faith that you will remain open and willing

When I meet you in the morning.

And when I meet you in the morning,

I want to smell your morning breath like it was the first time.

I want to not expect that you will have morning breath.

I want to not expect that you did not brush your teeth the night before even though I’ve noticed this pattern developing lately.

I want to not anticipate what you taste like when I kiss you with an open mouth. See,

I want my tongue to touch your tongue like that night under the stars or sideways on the couch, the first time (in a long time).

I want to meet you in the morning. And,

When I meet you in the morning,

I want you to tell me your dreams in great detail. See,

I want to not assume I know what your night entailed even though all night our bums were touching.

I want to remember that our minds are like skies and that much of the time, even though our bums are touching, there is vast blue between us. See,

I do not want you assume you began the moment I met you, or even the moment you were born. So,

Tell me your dreams, dear.

Where did you go?

I do not want to assume where your dreams took you:

The places you’ve been, the people you’ve encountered, the other women you’ve held in your arms. See,

I do not want to assume I am the only woman in your mind when you wake up.

And when I see another woman in your eyes, I do not want to assume that you love me any less. See,

I do not want to assume that your heart is bound.

I want to see your heart. And,

If I see your heart, I will see your heart has infinite depths.

I want to meet you (with a full heart) in the morning. And,

When I meet you (with a full heart) in the morning,

And you are not there,

I want to meet you in your absence.

I want to meet you in this space between us.

And trust that just because you are not there, it does not necessarily mean you’ve gone forever.

I want to meet you (with trust) in the morning.

And when I meet you (with trust), in the morning,

I consider the idea that,

Perhaps you just needed a trip.

Perhaps there were so many cumulous clouds in the sky, and one looked particularly delicious.

Perhaps you decided to climb on top of that one and float along with it.

Perhaps you let yourself be carried by the wild wind currents of your mind,

Not because of any elaborate story or plan but simply because

We all need rest sometimes.

And as I wait for your return,

I want to not anticipate that this absence is like the one that happened yesterday or last year.

I want to not anticipate that your return will be pleasant or unpleasant or neutral, even.

And whether your return is pleasant or unpleasant or neutral, even, I want to wrap you in my legs and arms.

When when I wrap you in my legs and arms, I want to not assume I’ll be the little spoon. See,

Maybe you’re trip was long and you need to be the wee one for awhile. And so,

I will remain equanimous to being both big spoon and little spoon,

When I meet you in the morning.

And when I wrap my legs and arms around you,

I want to feel your breath in the back of your body and the front of your body. And,

I want to observe how on the inhale, your body rises and how on the exhale, your body falls. And,

As I feel each breath, I want to be aware that each breath is a new breath.

And so,

How could I be anywhere but here.

How could I want anything but this.

I want to meet you in the morning.

I do not want to hold your hand in savasana

onehand

“Letting go is an invitation to cease clinging. It is a conscious decision to release with full acceptance into the stream of present moments as they are unfolding. To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attention to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, or liking and disliking. It’s akin to letting your palm open to unhand something you have been holding on to.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

I do not want to hold your hand in savasana.

As much as my mind loves the idea, something in the sweat of my palm says no. But oh,

My mind wants to.

Oh yes, my mind is very excited by the idea. Oh oh, the spectacle of it.

We stay in starfishasana till we are the last two starfishes (experiential evidence of our rare breed). We stay, not because traditionally 10 minutes is required to allow your body to absorb the benefits of practice and no, not because I am particularly calm or still or peaceful even (my mind is orchestrating it all, see) simply so that every other little starfish can wake up and walk out and on their way out see us and see that I have found my starfish, and yes, yes, I am in love, this is love, and if it wasn’t for this heavenly brown skin, (perhaps the lights could be more dim) they wouldn’t even be able to tell where I end and you begin. In a packed studio of sweating starfishes, we, the rare breeds, yes, we could be the stars.

But no, this is not it.

I do not want to hold your hand in savasana.

And if I’m going to be honest, I do not think you want to hold my hand either.

I believe we’re both in agreement that the beginning feels pleasant. The gesture. The initial sensation. Your fingers graze mine, just to let me know you’re there. But after a minute or so I sense both hands getting restless. Sooner or later, you give into a dull scratch. You give into a dull scratch not because you haven’t spent 20 days in silence learning the art of observing sensation only to be seduced by every dull scratch, you give into the dull scratch because you actually just do not want to hold my hand anymore and frankly, I do not want to hold yours either. See,

I like your hand. It is a handsome hand. And

I like you near. But,

I need my space. And,

I’m much more comfortable with my palm on its own and open.

And when the studio is our bedroom and the end of class is the end of day:

I want to crawl into bed with you and close my eyelids lightly. Sometimes I find this difficult because at the end of the day my eyeballs are sore from trying to see what I want to see instead of what is actually there. My eye pillow can help. If only it had a little band to stay on when I went sideways. I need not scrunch my eyelids shut for fear of the dark. I will close my eyelids lightly and even allow a little bit of light from the nightlight my mother placed in the hallway. And I will close my eyelids lightly as I spoon you sideways. The eye pillow will fall and I will become absorbed in your breath in your backbody. As you inhale I feel this moment expand and as you exhale I feel this moment soften. And I will stay with this breath. I will stay with each inhale and each exhale as an anchor to keep me here and (even when I feel this ship sinking)

I will just be here.

I am here.

And I will release the hinge of my jaw now, lightly. And when you ask me with your virgo voice what the plan is tomorrow like you do and you’ve done every night since you were old enough to talk I will answer with a quiet smile. Because, sweet, sweet organized virgo

To be fully present today means admitting that tomorrow, I don’t really know. I don’t know.

And so I let go.

See,

To hold you in my arms today and really feel your arms today means that I cannot feel them tomorrow.

And to let go of your hand in savasana is to trust that when we wake up,

It will still be there.

I must trust that your arms and your hand and your heart will still be there.

And at the same time, I must be courageous enough to know that

Your arms and your hand and your heart might not be there.

And that’s okay.

Because we’re here.

I am here. And

This is it.

This is all there is.

"Letting Go" by Bandico

“Letting Go” by Bandico

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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

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

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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)

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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

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

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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