Here’s what I’m holding now:
The moment when, that night in his house after he opened his door, and after he told me how it felt for him, after he said all the ways that I hurt him when I did that and I listened and nodded and stayed open – after all that… I’m holding the moment when we started to talk about what should happen next, and I said “I guess when I’m feeling disconnected from you, I need to figure out how to not be so reactive.” And he leaned toward me and said “No. When you are feeling disconnected from me, you need to tell me.” “Oh. Right,” I said. This is my work. To say what I need, instead of swallow it until I can’t stand it and then leave. To speak up instead of break up, even here, in love, where I am most likely to be afraid… I am holding the moment he said “Tell me.” And remembering that one of the reasons I love this man is his wise heart.
I’m holding the moment, the next day – after I had come back home and after we had agreed to try and had kissed again in a way that felt to me like it was (forgive me for how sappy this is but) my heart entwining with his, not just lips, not just tongues. I went home and I hoped it was true. That we would be able to get past this… I thought it was true. Because in the morning, after we woke up the way that we almost always do, which is a very good way to wake up, he told me things he hadn’t before, and sang with his gorgeous voice the way he had so many times before, plus put on his Patriots hat and drove to the grocery store to get hazelnut half and half for my coffee. Before having his! Which you don’t do if you are just pretending to forgive someone and don’t really care about what makes them happy, right? Right?
I am holding the moment after all that, when my wonderful witchy friend Kimberly showed up at my house with a bag of soil, a bag of seeds and magic in her heart. By that time, the fear had begun to creep in again. He had decided to take a little more time for himself. He wasn’t coming over that night. Which was fine. It was fine! I was resolved to be calm. Sanguine even. I love that word so much. From Latin for blood. I was blooded. Like a warrior who doesn’t get scared easily. I’m not scared of a little space. Space is good! I’m the queen of space. True! Also true that I was afraidafraidafraid. The missing limb feeling was going away. But was it real? Uncertainty is so hard. So, I cleaned the house. I saged the shit out of it. And when noticed that fear was telling stories and singing nasty little inquisition hymns in my heart, I drowned it out with feminist anthems and love ballads but really, it was starting to get a little loud in there and then in comes Kimberly. Kimberly! A hail of trumpets and rainbows! I swear the sun actually broke though the clouds and shone down on her. It lit up her huge smile and the cherry trees and especially Mabel the Ruby Magnolia, which I named after my rebel Great Aunt Mabel and which is so gloriously, labias-ly (yes, that’s a word now) pink that passers-by stop in their tracks to stare. Kimberly took one look at me and said “You need a reset. I have a spell.”
It had come to her while she was running in the Arboretum. We were, she informed me, going to invoke the energy of spring: Clear, Bright, Open and Strong. The pieces came to her while she ran, one by one, from Spring itself and it tracked with the elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth. Clear! Bright! Open! Strong! And we were going to lay that spell on the Butterfly-attracting seeds in her packet and plant them in the dirt and plant them in our lives. And I said that maybe there was one more thing that might be part of the spell- for the fifth element, spirit… and we started mixing the seeds and I remembered that one ritual when we were working with the myth of Baba Yaga, and we were asking people to mix seeds and our intentions were so good but it went horribly, horribly sideways and the people were rioting and not behaving at all, plus my tu-tu almost caught on fire and I panicked and fucked up and then was saved by I remembering what I loved. (You might have been there. If you weren't there, that is a story for another time. I promise)
I looked at Kimberly and said “I think that the fifth thing might be Love.”
And she looked at me and said “Clear, Bright, Open, Strong Love.”
“Yes,” we said. And we did. We got way witchy and stood in my front yard, with the sun filtering through the cedar tree and the marsh marigolds beaming their gold faces from the pond’s edge and the seeds in a pie tin, moistened with rainwater. We held the pie tin together, heads bent, stirring together with our fingers and chanting clear, bright, open, strong, love… calling it all in until the swirl was so fertile that we could feel it and then we planted them and after she left, I drew the spell on the chalkboard oak tree that I have muraled on my kitchen wall, too. It felt so good! Look:
I am holding all of that and I am holding the moment after that, when I was alone again. Kimberly gone, the last tendrils of magic fading. Alone, but not so scared this time. Filled with faith in love. I sent a thread out to him, and a whisper: “I love you, dear. I want a clear, bright, open, strong love with you. If you want a clear, bright, open and strong love with me, I am here. If you don’t, I release you. But if you do, I am here.”
Then I sent him that picture of the mural. Because even though I meant that about releasing him, still: Hearts entwining. Hazelnut half and half! “Tell me.”
I am holding all of that. You know?