To Tell You the Truth…

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Do you wanna know something honest?  I think I let my frustration speak too often with Serena.  Moments of tension and restricted breath, gratuitously spoken with smoke and sparks.  The F-word flies free as a flag at a baseball stadium perched at the edge of the world.  And every time I hear myself express from this agitated state, there is a voice in my head that says, “Athena, you’re gonna be mighty ashamed when SHE starts speaking like this in public domains.”  Yeah.  I’m not proud.  But you know what I AM proud of?  Writing something that makes me squirm.  Risk=Energy=Compelling.  Because let’s be honest– we are ALL a bit crusty and tattered around the edges (but mostly mooshy in the middle).  And it’s thrilling and terrifying to get naked… in a world brimming with people too oft invested in “presenting ourselves”.

But I didn’t bring this up so that I could spin out in philosophical generalities…  I was simply inspired to tell the unflattering truth.  Another dimension of this confession, is that a dominant part of me doesn’t even aspire to be wholesome and clean.  This aspiration seems more like social conditioning than a true read on my internal compass.  Not that I want to be frivolously filthy, either.  I want to be relaxed in my range of expression (while continuing to cultivate patience and a genuinely pure heart).   I don’t want Serena to hear a swear word and fall to her tiny, perfect knees, imagining that the apocalypse is upon us.  Aversion has it’s own malignant sphere of influence.  Still, I could be better.  But it’s a lot to have ZERO breaks from the incessant rigors of parenting.  Listen to me– NOBODY takes my baby off my hands for a goddamn hour (let alone a minute) so that I can go for a sweaty, cardio “prance” (my lax version of jogging), or sink in to a satisfying yoga practice, free from being climbed on, whined at, beseeched for boobie…  It SEEMS like most mothers get SOME relief, SOMEtimes…. Even once a week seems monumental from over here in Athena Graceland.

Sigh.  But I love being with her.  Sometimes my fuse just gets remarkably short and I become a reckless sailor.  Now I’m going to tell you something fabulous about me.  I wonder if it’s actually more risky to speak highly of oneself, than to shine the floodlight on one’s faults.  Self-love might actually be the greatest taboo of all, in a society built on insecurity and perpetual consumption.

For as short as my said fuse can be, I bounce back in a lightening flash.  I am quick to apologize, and quicker to say “I love you.”  My girl will have not a shed of doubt as to how loved, right and good she is.  And if she is anything like her mother, Serena will have no qualms about admitting her mistakes and shortcomings, and compassionately making another choice.  Boo hoo.  She’s awake.  Talk to you tomorrow.

I guess it was kinda good that she woke up… cuz I had the whole day yesterday to observe myself and notice the ratio of impatience to bottomless generosity and nourishing presence.   Though not all days are created equal.  The moment I’m most ashamed of yesterday was when she was having her pre-night-night-time sink bath.  I think she was over tired, since she missed he afternoozie (nap, not tea!).  She kept throwing her “toys” (red plastic tablespoon, cup, rubber ducky) onto the floor, causing gratuitous wetness, and I asked her repeatedly to stop, explaining that I didn’t want water all over the floor.  So THEN, she proceeds to intentionally fling her arm and splash water on the floor!  BRAT!  I ask her to stop.  Nope.  Instead, she does it again.  Making solid, rebellious eye contact all the while.  Wow.  My thermostat soars and bursts.  This is not acceptable.  I grab her squishy little arm and squeeze it.  Hard.  Holding her fierce, brown-eyed gaze, I tell her to STOP.  She pauses.  Before splashing MORE water on the floor.  This repeats a few times before I realize she is just tired and is really telling me she’s done.  Time for some naked pillow diving, honey scented oil on her too-perfect skin, diaper, snowman jammies, and boobie-to-sleep.

It felt horrible to squeeze her little arm.

But mostly I’d nominate myself for Mother of the Millennia.  I give her tons of room to explore the world.  I continuously aspire to see through her eyes of perpetually fresh wonder.  I speak to her as a highly capable and intelligent being.  I listen to her deeply.  I tell her how exquisitely beautiful she is.   Oh, and this one feels especially crucial– I don’t make her behave a certain way in social situations.  I hate it when parents force their kids to respond with the right script… just so they “look good” and avoid awkward moments and uncomfortable feelings.  Yuck.  I pick her up and dance around like a God-drunk earth angel.  I take her outside and let her sit on the earth as much as possible.  (That’s her favorite!)  I encourage her to explore.  I read to her a ton.  I feed her high quality, nutritious food.  And on and on blah, blah, blah.

It really DOES go on and on.  I’m great.  And I’m human.  And sometimes my fuse gets teensy.  Just like my mom’s did.  Back then I thought she was so mean!  Her jaw would clench and she’d say, “God dammit Dawn!” as I cowered.  But here’s what I didn’t know back then– she was way more than just my mother.  She had a whole world of emotions and hopes and dreams and needs and a mountainous heap of responsibilities… in addition to the simple though incessant invitation to be present and loving with her precious little Dawnie-cakes.

People say that you come to understand and forgive your own mother at ever-deepening levels as you walk the path of motherhood yourself.  Yep.  It’s true.  It’s like doubling back and delving into the veins of your very own being and  Life again from an even richer vantage point.  Surfing and mining your own blood and stories from a wiser, more compassionate, loving and clear vantage point.  It is ancestral healing backward and forward.  Building a bridge of Love to a better world for ALL.  I know this is why I am here.

I could be better.  And I WILL be.  As I continue to love my own innocent heart through all that Life is and isn’t.  As I learn and grow and relax into this miraculous, blessed path that unfolds through, as and beyond me.  And I might say a few too many fucks along the way.

This vid is for wOMen.  It’s totally time to cut the bullshit of assessing and defining our beauty by external standards.  Seriously.  Please take my hand and lead the Revolution by making the decision to LOVE YOURSELF and SHINE as the radiant light you are.  Let’s shift our focus to what truly matters.  WAKE UP!!!!!!

For the LOVE of Words

When push comes to shove and shove comes to knuckle sandwich and knuckle sandwich comes to a gruesome strangling affair by a seven mile long snake with prism skin… Well… I don’t know what then. But I know that now I am here on the page to sooth myself. I have not slept well in weeks. I think this happens when my spirit is integrating a lot of new information and my poor, dense physical body, bound by time and space struggles to keep up. My spirit is a hardball playing, dragon slaying, fire spraying, business meaning machine. What’s a girl to do? Except step unabashedly onto the page and make strangely textured love to her own insides, letting her word-dripping imagination take her for a ride. So today I dedicate this blog to words that quench me, pleasure me, sooth and amuse me. That said I am suddenly burning to tell you that I sampled a new church last Sunday. I have no interest in recounting the experience, except for one crucial sliver. This was the day following Mykael’s antithesis of a lucrative art show, so we were both feeling ground down by fear in spite of ourselves. We had some kind of abrasive, unsavory exchange in the car before entering the disheveled though spirit saturated sanctuary. A handsome black man with the most soulfully luminous eyes I’ve ever seen in my entire life greeted me. He asked me how I was doing. I said something like not so good, which was all it took to open the flood gates and then in less than the space between sacred syllables, I came hopelessly undone. His eyes bled compassion all over me and he took me in his arms. He spoke in a soft loving voice and told me to let it out. I heaved in waves of surprise attack sobs. He just kept holding me and speaking soft words of reassurance into my ear. I am astounded by the beauty and generosity of his anonymous, unconditional heart. I wish I could arrange a string of words that could come somewhere near the miraculousness of the light that poured from him. I’m gonna try, because you only live once, and what else would I be doing with this razor sharp, explicit holy moment of my existence? Really… The recipe for this stranger’s eyes… in a sky-sized bowl, mix the following ingredients thoroughly~ the soft purrs of an ecstatic cat, the song from a large, deep, resonant wind chime stirred by a warm, lazy tropical breeze, the soul-shivering first kiss shared with one who enchants the pants off you, the feeling of being entirely, rapturously held in the armless embrace of warm, lucid blue tropical water, a stirring piano sonata played in complete darkness and the thick, buttery scent of croissants baking at sunrise. Does that give you some idea of the soulful beauty he poured on tearful me? In a recent-ish blog, I explored the true meaning of Grace. With the help of my readers, we came up with some bitchin’ definitions… but really, it was Grace that splashed from his eyes. It was Grace’s timeless, unconditional generosity that held me while I cried on his shoulder. It was Grace whose tears watered this thirsty desert of human suffering. Grace. She is the space between expectation-stained dreams. Grace. She is the breath that streams through me and you on nights wrapped in yearning and days splayed wide with gaiety and sweetness. Life is like surfing, isn’t it? All these waves of energy… and we must ride them. Skillfully or not, it’s up to each of us. I had a yogurt drink this morning. I blended organic low fat plain yogurt with fresh strawberries, stevia and a generous sprinkle of maca. Why am I telling you this? Because I want to. Because I LOVE sweet, creamy drinks. I love feeling them fill my mouth. I guess it takes me back to being breast fed. It is such primal, soothing pleasure. Moments spent sipping sweet creaminess are some of the most peaceful, profound and complete moments I have ever met. I imagine that when I finally remember God again once and for all, it will be like imbibing in the SWEETEST, CREAMIEST drink in all of creation multiplied infinity times by its own profound deliciousness. Fuck that’s gonna be so awesome! I can’t wait. But I’ll have to… because I haven’t yet been successful in releasing from my fear-stricken, ego-tense rollercoaster riding, ceaseless streaming spew of thoughts. I will keep knocking… and like Rumi says, when I finally open the door, I will realize I have been knocking from the inside this whole ridiculous timeless time. THE JOKE IS ON ME! Shrug. I guess all I can do is LOVE and forgive, love and forgive, love and forgive love and forgive. And BREATHE. Amen.