50/50

Limestone_quarryThere is hope in the fact that I know I can sink, release, and open. This is the space and possibility that I experience during most yoga practices or even sometimes late at night as I count my breaths. I can feel the possibility of the water below my feet – like my son standing on the 7 meter platform last night, peering over the edge at the blue pool under him. But it takes a leap of faith to expand into the seemingly limitless space.

I know this, too, and it scares me so much – there is just as much possibility for closing down, growing tight, hitting the cement. It’s a 50/50 deal, a crossroads in the middle of Nebraska. This way to a small, scary death; this way to openness and joy.

I listen to an interview — my weekly dose of Krista Tippett’s On Being — and repeat-repeat-repeat the section about how some people never deal with their demons and grow harder with age, their world caving in on itself, their geography literally smaller. I imagine them nearing death as shrinking crustaceans.

Some warped proof of this:  one of the people in my life who seemed to fly in the face of such smallness – a painter and printmaker who appreciated new art and sought out  younger artists, who filled her house with books by challenging authors and magazines with fresh ideas – recently entered a nursing home, a place where she did not go but where she went, a painted smile on her lips and wonder in her eyes at the dark reality of it. She looked both chagrinned and dismayed when I visited her. As though she’d lost at a hand of cards despite having a full house.

****

I want to go to New Orleans with you, my darling. But not there. Some place new. I want to go to the idea of New Orleans. To a late night road trip with Steely Dan morphing into Prince morphing into Sinead. I want to hear that story again about your friend and the dog and the run away RV. I want to see your eyes twinkle as you look at me sideways with longing and love, a flower bursting from your chest, your heart beating under its 46 years of skin and muscle, built like layers of limestone over a source of fresh water.

But you’re going to suburban Chicago to learn and opine, to be with your tribe. You’re standing on your own platform board, looking in a different direction, as I try to seek out some blue under the layers of my own limestone. Seeking the sea inside.

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One thought on “50/50

  1. I just reposted this on my FB page, Jennifer. Your writing, always lyrical and filled with vivid images, is vulnerable and authentic—so admirable. My heart resonates this truth today. Thank you for posting.

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