Extraordinary Territory

Maybe part of this work is to consider territory: Cougars need 50-150 square miles. They don't share. Coyotes share. The females range 5-8 square miles, the males 30-40, but coyotes, like humans, can have much smaller territories in urban areas, and overlap, and adapt. Foxes need under 3 square miles. Frogs travel up to a mile and a half to converge in spring. Owls need only a few acres and barn owls share.

I'm not saying it's better to need less.

I am thinking about what it takes to sustain a complex life. To not fall into the trap of overgrazing one's job, or partner, or walk in the same old circles and never see the diversity that’s out there, never be fed by it. I’ve recently begun to put more of myself into more spaces and to love and depend on more people in my life and I am so much happier for it.

Also, I just did this workshop at my co-working space in Pioneer Square on Thursday night. 12 women gathered on couches and chairs around a candle-filled coffee-table-cum-altar. When I reserved the space, I asked the woman a couple of times, “And we’ll have it all to ourselves? No one else will be here?”

“Oh yes,” she said. “It’s reserved for you.”

What she didn’t mention and what I didn’t ask about was the fact that that area is the common space for all the private offices in the building.

So while I was putting on the necklace of skeleton keys, and telling about how Bluebeard courted the sisters with horses bedecked in ribbons and while I gestured for the many rooms of treasure and when I screamed what was really, if I do say so myself, a blood-curdling at-the-top-of-my-lungs-scream because the sisters found the room full of bodies…

There were folks sort of… passing through.

While we made our animal costumes, and moved in them, and courted our predators…

There were dudes in the kitchen talking shop.

It was distracting. It was not what I expected. I tried not to let it throw me and mostly succeeded. But it was, my friend Tracy said when I talked to her tonight, part of the magic.

Okay. Wait...Yes Yes..

What does it mean to have a territory? What does it mean to let a territory get so small, that you don’t tell your story, or bare your teeth, or fill the space with the sound of your voice because someone else might hear, see, know that this is not an ordinary night?

Who the fuck wants a territory filled with ordinary?

Isn’t this the work? To change this territory, to fill our territory with ourselves? To do the work even when people are there?

I will say this. I want mine to be taffeta in the daytime and singing in the square and meetings where people say something that is totally unexpected and reach into the mythic space, like animals gathering at the waterhole, all our territories meeting, the altar bedecked with the truth and beauty of our intentions and a new story about to be written with screams and laughter and art and dudes in the kitchen, smiling and passing through.