Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gratitude from the Comfy Red Couch

There's no place I'd rather be on a Saturday afternoon than sitting on the Comfy Red Couch drinking coffee, listening to music, talking about nothing and everything with my fellow commune-mates. It's such a simple joy, being surrounded by people you love who love you back for exactly who you are. It's an enormous gift that I'm counting my blessings for day after day.

With 80 days until our Epic Bike Journey, the little things, which are really the biggest things in my life, are sketching themselves like a smiling profile against a blanketing blue sky. Brunches, dinners, chocolate chip cookies, the simple act of cleaning the kitchen, spontaneous art projects and dance parties and times we exclaim, "Yes!" to each other's wildest dreams. I'm sitting back, watching this masterpiece re-create itself over and over again, feeling immense gratitude to be part of something so beautiful.

I'm holding onto the beauty, these days especially, as we brush up against the end of an era--and the beginning of new a new one. What's to come for us, post-commune, post-Sunday Couch Sits? It's a mystery. Really. So much is unknown. But I know it's bound to be daring, bound to involve risk, and sure to shape our souls for the better. We will survive and we will thrive, because that's who we are. We show up big for this thing called Life. We step into the terror and the comfort and we hold it all with gratitude for simply being so.

These past 2 years at the Green Vine Co-op has healed my need for a certain kind of home, a certain kind of community, a certain kind of being known. And this past year, when my closest friends on earth decided that nothing mattered more than being in the same space, I was opened again to the greatest kinds of joy and power. I walked alongside believers, possibilitiarians, hopefuls, and doers. I stood in a puddle of Love. And Joy sat with us on the Comfy Red Couch because it had nowhere else to go and nothing else that mattered nearly as much.

It's true that I've got a lump of Terror in my throat over our bike trip. Who wouldn't? This is no sane or stable undertaking. It's a dream. A possibility. The result of saying Yes to that crazy look in the other's eyes. And--it's actually going to happen. Most of my biggest fears are highly manageable, but some are more like lingering truths that I'm sure will eventually surface: I'll get jaded on the road, I'll miss my friends, I'll be tired and rundown and eventually get sick, I'll go insane, I'll want to quit 2 weeks in. The big fears of either of us dying or getting seriously injured seem less real, less likely. But they're there, too.

Yesterday, on the Comfy Red Couch, we whispered our fears in between our thank you's. We took more time between sentences to just sit and be together. We felt the power and the joy of what we'd created. Something as simple and strong as tribe. Something as necessary as breathing.

And gratitude found its way into my shortened breaths, pulling them out with hope, elongating them with knowing: we chose to create this tribe once, we can chose it again. We can.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Assateague Island, New Year's Night

His chest rose and crashed like waves on sand.
I lied awake listening to both,
nestling in by his side, catching his heat in mine,
cold air whistling through the damp nets of our tent.

The embers had cooled,
my giggling friends gone in slumber.
All I knew was myself,
drippy nose, eyes open, tasting the dew of the hidden moon
and my tender midnight fear.

Sometimes I like to keep the flashlight a glow
a little longer than needed
so I can lay there wondering, without falling asleep,
if I'll ever feel normal in the wild.

That night there were horses licking the bottom of my steel pan,
and old fears washed up on the shore with the shells.
The shells--the shells spoke to me with fury,
writing messages beyond paper, beyond words.

I listened, as the waves gave their soul to the sand,
as the clouds kissed purple through the sky,
as my own teeth calmed their chattering mistrust.

I lay awake next to my love,
eyes open to the peaking and retreating night.
I lay awake there in silence,
tasting strength on my tongue,
hearing songs of powerful wind--
thanking the Wild Surrender,
that I could just as soon, call my own.
Just as soon as the geese call bridges
their staircase to the sky.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Love-Filled 2010, Bring on the Power

2010 was the most love-filled year I can remember. It wasn't without tears or anxiety or complete nervous breakdowns. There were plenty of those! But for each one, there were equal nights standing at the kitchen counter holding a dear one's hand as one of us shed those tears or confessed our aching. There was communion and listening and no-words-needed and just the right touch. There was real deep love. Love that's taken years to form and grow comfortable in. Love with housemates, best friends, new friends, strangers, Brian, and my very own heart. Love that I am so so thankful for and will never take for granted.

I chose "daring" as my word for 2010, and a daring year it was. I dared to spend a month away, re-learning what it means to feel joy. I dared to quit my soul-sucking marketing job and embrace my inner-educator and entrepreneur. I dared to read my poetry to strangers, sell my art, and begin the vibrancy that is now Small is Beautiful Arts Collective. Brian & I dared to defy norms, having a pot-luck, grass-roots, no isle or officiant, "love-fest" wedding. I dared to take my dreams more seriously in so many ways that are still unfolding as we speak. And I committed, full-heartedly, to our unbelievably daring 7 month bike adventure across and around the USA.

The funny thing is, if 2010 was full of daring experiences even before the bike trip, what could I possibly hope for in 2011?

Power. Power to do or act--to accomplish something. Power to choose how I experience my experiences. Power to change and power to accept. Power to speak and power to inspire. Power to move, push and breathe from one place to another. Power to practice without ever needing to make perfect. Power to believe that even without knowing how, even without feeling strong, even without any certainty or understanding, there is a divine power greater than I that is working on my behalf, and rooting for me (all of us, really) all the way. Power to feel gratitude for all the beauty that surrounds us--but most of all, for the way it emboldens us with courage to step into every ounce of divinity we carry.

2010, thanks for such big love. 2011, I'm ready for you. I'm ready for your power.