To Breathe Desire

I woke up this morning feeling last night's excesses in my skull, but the rest my body was so filled with happiness, that it didn't matter.  Last night, I went to a baseball game. I haven't been to a baseball game in 10 years. I'd forgotten the perfect whock of the bat making contact, and the intense focus that enters my body when I watch the last pitch on a full count. Sometime today I will watch Bull Durham, one of my favorite movies.

But first, I drank my coffee in the bath. That was a new and delicious experience. And then I finished reading "The New Wolves" by Rick Bass. Tears running down my face. I remember how I used to ache with this feeling all the time, the feeling of loving animals, loving the wild.  And I remember the moment that I replaced that feeling with a cold and practical study of political math to git er done. Doing instead of feeling... instead of being alive to the heartswell and ache of now.

My focus left the wild and the green places and became settled on 52%. And motivating one out of four voters, and persuading persuadables.

It “settled” there. 

Last night at the baseball game my girlfriends and I were talking about the idea of "settling" as in "don't." And because I am a nerd, I got out my phone and logged in to the Oxford English Dictionary to look at the history and deep meaning of the word:

·      To descend, sink down; to lower.  

·      To lower in price or value.

·      To sink downwards from its proper level.

It also means: To sentence (a person) to imprisonment, put in prison.

I feel this ache in my chest again, the ache of wanting things that could hurt me: loving the wild again truly, though animals are suffering, loving a man, being fiercely in love with my son in the midst of his hard struggle.

I settled. That is what I am emerging from, now, at long last. As my body heals and as my sap rises, I can see that I I lost myself when I gave up on loving the wild everyday and settled for politics instead.  I lost my connection to the magic of my own heart. Not anymore. And I can see again. Down at the creek today, the colors were as bright and vivid as they were when I was a girl in Northern California. 

After the baseball game, we went to my favorite Karaoke bar and I sang “Come Together” and Jamie and Joy danced backup and my friend Monty sang a heart-wrenching ballad and a stranger asked me to dance and dipped me and Nash stood with her arms around me and Jason gave me some advice and Kimberly was happy for me. We were breathing and singing and laughing and loving all at once.

It felt like the opposite of settling. It felt like a life I am aspiring, which, nerd that I am, I just looked up also. Of “aspire” the OED says “To breathe desire towards.”