Category: intention


After a full and fairly exhausting weekend, I found myself zoning out and shutting down last night.  This morning I still felt tired and burned out.   I pulled a tarot card, and got one that indicated hope and encouragement.  I smirked cynically at it.  “Any card can be read hopefully – it’s all just psychological bullshit.”

Going into the rest of my day with this perspective seemed like an awful idea, so I mustered up some energy for self-reflection.  My running mantra this morning seemed to be “there’s no meaning in any of this”, so I asked myself “what is meaningful to me?  What’s important?”

I sat with the question, feeling around for an answer that didn’t feel superficial.  Finally, clarity came.  It didn’t come in words, but a feeling in my body, relaxing and opening.  This.  Being open.  Letting myself be moved by something greater than me.  Being a source of love.  Being a blessing to anyone I encounter today.  I don’t have to know the plan – just love, and let the rest unfold accordingly.

 

Whew.

 

A woman came up to me after I gave a workshop yesterday, and said she really didn’t like her job as an accountant.  She asked me for advice on what she should do about that.  I encouraged her to use her discontent to drive her question to herself of what she does want.  I asked her if she knew what she wanted to be doing instead, and she said she had no idea.  I suggested sitting with that question whenever she felt frustrated with her current job, trusting that an answer will come.  She said thanks and walked away, but she didn’t seem satisfied.

After my experience this morning, I would add something else to my answer to her.  The details of what we do with our life aren’t as important as the how we live, the spirit from which we act.  If I could talk with her again, I’d suggest asking herself the same questions I asked myself this morning: “What’s meaningful to me?  What’s important?  What’s at the heart of life?”  Then, look for opportunities to use her answer to guide her through the day.  Maybe she’d find meaning in her job.  Or maybe she’d find an opportunity for other work that inspires her.  Maybe both.  At the very least, maybe she’d find some of the peace that I found this morning.

Image

As I was looking for images to go along with this post, I found this one (below) from MLK, Jr. that takes it to another level… a great reminder for me this morning as I think about my work in the world.

Image

One of the benefits of working at a church is having open access to sacred space.  We have a meditation room here that’s open 24 hours a day, and it rarely gets used.  I’ve made it my routine to start my day here, to walk into this beautiful, open room with large windows on two walls, and have some time to myself before I start work.

I only started doing this when I began attending seminary, and a daily spiritual practice was a commitment we made, part of our “homework”.  It took me weeks of setting the alarm for 5:30am, and then pressing snooze until 7, to realize that getting up in the morning before everyone else wasn’t going to work for me.  I finally decided that I could take half an hour after dropping off my daughter at school, before stepping into my office in the morning.  Sometimes I meditate, sometimes do yoga, dancing, or writing, or some combination of those.  I almost always begin or end with pulling a card.  This practice feeds me in amazing ways, helping me start my day with focus, intention, and a reminder of the real work I’m here to do.

Yesterday, I knew I had a meeting in the afternoon that would be emotionally tricky.  A co-worker wanted to take over an exciting project we had developed together, and we had already had one very intense and emotional conversation about it.  I hadn’t been thinking about the meeting much throughout my morning in the meditation room, until I sat down to pull a card.  “What do I want insight on today?” is a question I often ask myself when I get out the cards, and the answer came up in me clear and strong, remembering the meeting.  I took a deep breath and shuffled the cards gently, looking for the one that would jump out.  After a few patient minutes of sifting the cards, two poked up like they were raising their hands to be called on in class.  I pulled them out, set the other cards aside, and looked at the images.

I had the 9 of Wands and the Queen of Pentacles.  The 9 of Wands indicates defensiveness, having one’s finger on the trigger and ready to fight, to stubbornly protect what one has.  The Queen of Pentacles relaxes peacefully on her garden throne, generously sharing her abundance because she knows the secrets of a deeper source.  Because of her knowledge of the “magic” of the natural world, she is confident in her ability to get what she needs, and what she wants.

Image                                  Image

I saw these cards as representing 2 of my options for the meeting.  The last time we met about the project, I had quickly gotten defensive and fearful of loosing a project that was important to me.  I clenched my fist around it and got angry.  In the following weeks, I worked through my experience and untangled my thoughts and emotions, and came to some clarity about what I wanted.  I found the pathways out of my defensiveness (again and again).

The cards reminded me of the choice I would get to make that afternoon, and in that moment in the meditation room, I chose.  I turned over the 9 of Wands and focused my attention on the Queen of Pentacles.  I breathed in, and let myself feel her energy spread throughout my body.  I let myself become her, knowing that the Tarot represents archetypes that we all carry within us all the time.  It wasn’t anything the card itself imparted into me, just a reminder that I could let that aspect come forward and take prominence.

I kept the card propped up at my desk all day.  I held the image in my mind as I walked down the hallway for the meeting.  During the meeting when I noticed myself getting defensive, the image of the 9 of Wands flashed in my mind, and I mentally turned the card over and brought up the image of the Queen of Pentacles.  As I spoke, I held her image lightly in my mind, reminding me (again and again) of the power of self-trust and generosity that come from confidence in the deepest source.

I listened with compassion, and I spoke with intention.  We explored options together, and agreed to move forward by trying something new.  This is the work of collaboration, of creative problem solving,  and it takes effort, strength, and trust.  It’s not easy.  The tarot was my tool yesterday, helping me move more into being who I want to be — who I know I can be, when I don’t get tangled up in fear and ego.  The evocative images help us connect with potent archetypes of human possibility, and remind us of the larger journey we’re on.

Read more on my work with tarot here.

Doing the Work

I sat down to write.  Really, I did.  But then I thought I should check my email to see if anyone responded to various things I sent out last night.  And while I was on my email, someone started a chat with me, and we talked back and forth for awhile.  And while I was waiting for her to respond, I checked Facebook to see if anyone had said anything interesting.  And while I was on Facebook, I saw a link to an article that looked like it might be kind of funny.  And then I got a phone call.  And another one.

And now my writing time is gone.

I have Work to do.  Not work that I get paid for, or something on my to-do list.  I have Work to do, the Work of getting out of this rut, back to my center.  It’s the Work of opening, accepting, releasing, trusting.  And maybe I’m scared of it?  Because why else would I choose to check my email instead of doing this awesome, fulfilling, juicy Work?

Today I’ve used up the time I set aside for the Work, but I can still do it in every moment.  The Work can happen as I drive, as I talk with coworkers (co Workers!), and go grocery shopping.

Let the Work begin, again.

When I left Twin Oaks, my partner and I were clear about our mutual desire to live in community.  I imagined he and I would quickly gather a group of people and start the process of forming a new community together.  A week or two after I left, I asked him when we should organize the first meeting and see who was interested.  “Meeting?  It’s gotta happen organically…”

A prime example of our different styles, and beyond that, a source of vital frustration for me as I struggled to align my yearning for community with our isolated nuclear family life.  I resented his lack of focus on creating a life we both said we wanted.  He thought I was impatient and unsatisfiable.   We’ve grown, though, and over the last 6 years something has indeed unfolded as we merged organic and intentional…  we’ve welcomed friends to live in our home for months, sharing tiny spaces with multiple adults, toddlers, and teenagers.  We’ve deepened connections with friends from around the country who gather for festivals a few times a year.  We’ve found ourselves as part of a “tribe” of freaky circus performers who get together several times a week to either practice or socialize (or both) — while our kids of all ages play together.

(Edited after a night of sleeping on it: It’s not just that we now have friends and deeper connections — it’s what we do together, and how we do it.  We cook group meals, help each other move, watch each others’ kids, celebrate birthdays and holidays, share the often chaotic waves of our lives… not just as friends one-on-one, but as a group, as a collective.)

Even though it doesn’t look like I thought it would, it’s working… in a different way than the systems and Bylaws of Twin Oaks does.  There’s a lot about those systems that I miss (like income-sharing… especially when our rent is due!), but I’m being challenged to translate the lessons from the commune into life in the larger world… and it’s working in beautiful ways.

This, I think, is the new direction this blog is finally taking — reporting to you live from Bohemia with my adventures in and reflection on cooperation for the masses.

working together

figuring it out...

I’m pretty excited to be stepping back into blogging.  Integrating the old “Over the Edge” commune blog into “Passion and Patience” is fulfilling work… turning my seemingly-fragmented life into a cohesive body of work.  Tonight I’ve been re-reading posts from the last several years  — seeing what feelings, intentions, and pursuits have persisted or changed, especially since leaving the commune in January 2006… almost exactly 6 years ago!  In honor of that anniversary, I’m re-posting part of my entry from January 23, 2006, just a few days after I left:

journey of colorI’ve left Twin Oaks. In most moments, it doesn’t feel particularly extraordinary. I’m here at my partner Free’s house, hanging out with him and his kids. This is familiar to me; this has been a part of my life for nearly a year… this house, these people. I’ve been slowly integrating myself into this place (and this place into myself), and it doesn’t feel significantly different to be here without Twin Oaks to return “home” to… yet.

Right now, from the comfort of a house where I feel supported and loved, on a cozy Monday morning of tea and NPR, it’s hard to dive into the grief and fear of two days ago. Where to start? I spent my last day at Twin Oaks in a strange limbo. I had high expectations… I wanted intensity and meaningfulness, symbolic releases and powerful goodbyes. Instead, the whole day was fairly mellow. I had a morning date with Hawina, who has been a giant force in my life since early in my membership. She’s Paxus’ life partner and co-parent, and throughout my time at Twin Oaks we had several intense rounds of polyamory-induced emotional and logistical processing. We started to develop our own independent relationship through working together on the Mental Health Team over the last year, and our friendship now is deeper than I would have expected, given our history.

We chatted for awhile, then walked around the community and told each other stories of our experiences in different places. We ended up at the dining hall, and went inside for lunch. I got a plate of food and sat down with a group of friends in a small lounge area. Taking in the scene around me, friends laughing and entertaining the new baby, I felt an immediate emptiness, noting the joy and comfort and deep friendship I would be leaving in just a few hours. A friend across the room made eye contact with me, and the tears that had been building in my eyes suddenly released down my cheeks. She came over and wrapped her arms around me while I sobbed. I don’t mind crying in public; in fact, I like it. I want it to be natural to see people expressing sadness. I want to embrace sadness as an acceptable emotion, and so when I’m sad I don’t go hide out somewhere to cry unseen.

Other friends came over and sat with me, holding me and stroking my head. I calmed down and talked about how weird it felt to be there with them, and be on completely different trajectories. They were engaged in the continuing functioning of the community — I wasn’t. I was engaged in extracting myself from the fabric of their lives, while their lives continued on.

After lunch I spent a few hours getting ready for my goodbye party with another woman, Alexis, who was also leaving in a few days. We decided to have party together, sharing the experience of letting go and moving on. We decorated a large living room with all of our clothes and other items we were getting rid of, for other people to take. We hung clotheslines around the room to display our clothing, and laid out candles, earrings, condoms, and posters for our friends to choose from.

Once the room was ready for the evening’s festivities, I left to say my final goodbyes to the community. I walked around with my journal and took a few moments in different places around the commune to write memories and reflections on my experiences in those places. I wrote in the dining hall about rehearsals for musicals, meals with friends, wild dance parties, and hackey sack circles outside on sunny days. In the dairy barn, I wrote about the smell of the cows, the playfulness of the calves, the intuitive skill of herding, and the silence of solitary winter mornings. In a high field near the graveyard, I remembered moments of retreat and reflection, rituals for full moons and other pagan holidays, and running in the rain for sanctuary when my grandmother died.

In that same pasture, I engaged myself in a ritual of release. I had brought a piece of wood that I found in Maine before I moved to Twin Oaks, a bouquet of lavender from the herb garden that had been hanging in my room, and a rock I had found during a full moon mediation in that very field. I released the wood and set it softly on the earth, symbolizing that which I brought to Twin Oaks with me, and was leaving there: hesitance, passivity, deference to authority, fear of being wrong, naive independence. I then scattered the lavender beside it, symbolic of that which I acquired and experienced at Twin Oaks, and was also leaving behind: the cows, the land, daily responsibility to community members, full benefit of the collective resources of the community, safety, sanctuary. Finally, I held the rock against my chest, envisioning the confident, powerful, compassionate Self that I’ve found at Twin Oaks. Awareness and empathy, clear and honest communication, an active sense of responsibility… I want to carry this persona with me as I move on, and so I brought the rock, infused with that vision, with me. I looked at the wood and lavender on the ground, and felt the weight of the rock in my hand, and I realized that I didn’t have anything to symbolize that which I brought with me and am also carrying on with me. I looked through my bag and couldn’t find anything that fit the description, so I used my body, my eyes and lungs and nose and skin and heart. I thanked my body for carrying me to Twin Oaks, and thanked it for staying healthy enough to carry me away.

I came down from the pasture, and had enough time before dinner to hang out a bit with Paxus. It felt important to spend some time together on my last day, rooting ourselves in our continuing connection despite our many changes. We will certainly have a different relationship now that I’ve left Twin Oaks; what it looks like is up to us.

After dinner, I headed down to the courtyard to finish preparations for the party. Alexis and I had decided to have a “feed your friends” party, where no one fed themselves from their own hands. Instead, we had finger food (pineapple, grapes, chocolate, popcorn, and cake) that people could feed to each other. Once it got rolling, people walked around with platefulls of food and offered to feed each person they interacted with (I did it a lot, and loved it!). The whole party was great — folks grabbed the clothes we had on display and wore them as party outfits. We had a coffeehouse where people performed (juggling, singing, and spoken word tributes to Alexis and me), and we all danced until late in the evening. I returned to my room around 1am to finish packing. I went to sleep at 4:45 and woke up again at 6:15 to get ready to leave with the 8am trip into town.

I spent my last hour and a half at Twin Oaks running around doing final details, cleaning out my message slot, returning things I’d borrowed, and emptying my trashcan. I found Paxus one last time for our final goodbye, and then picked up my bags to load into the minivan. A friend had posted a note on the office door for me, saying simply “You will be missed” in big bold letters. I took it down as my tears started, and held it in my hand as I climbed into the van with the other folks going into town that day. We drove around to the dairy barn to pick up the milk that was to be delivered to cowshare customers (though raw, unpasturized milk can’t be sold, people can buy a share in a specific cow and receive milk from the cow that they partly own). On top of that day’s milk was another note for me, from a friend who was that morning’s milker and knew I was going in with the town trip.

Her note kept my tears flowing as we drove away from Twin Oaks, my home of three and a half years. Folks in the van asked me about my plans, and assured me that I could always come back if I wanted to. The driver offered jokingly to turn around. I cried, and felt comfortable with my tears. I chatted with a friend who I hadn’t spent much time with lately, a man named Thomas who joined the community just before I did.

The 45 minute drive passed quickly. We dropped one woman off at an early dentist appointment, and then everyone else unloaded at the downtown library. Before we headed off in our own directions, Thomas hugged me tightly and offered to help me carry my bags into the library. “No thanks,” I said. “I want to know I can do it all by myself.” It wasn’t a feminist political statement — more, it was a symbolic act of independence and my capacity to take care of myself.

As I write it now, I realize that’s only part of it. The truth is, we are all interdependent, whether we recognize it or not. The very nature of life on Earth is interdependence. Living in community just makes it more tangible. I don’t want to forget that truth simply because it’s more obscured in the mainstream culture. And yet, it felt important to me to feel my independence as I walked away from the van and my life at Twin Oaks.

Friday was hard for me, more than I expected. Sitting in the library, I felt aimless, no roots, no direction, just floating in limbo. I spent the day in deep grief and sadness about leaving my home and my friends of over 3 years, wondering what I’m heading towards and being fearful about not knowing. I cried with Free and he held me. I blamed him for picking me up late at the library and dragging me around town to run errands, and he held me. I cried and talked about my fears and he just gave me the space to be scared, giving me his love and reminding me about hope and faith.

Then on Saturday, I borrowed the car and ran some errands around town. I started a bank account. I stopped by the library to check my email. I sang in the car about how the earth is my home. I’m not rootless, I’m rooted in the earth and the global community.

As I walked down the street towards the library, this time unencumbered with bags, I felt my independence and my interdependence merging. I smiled at people I passed on the street, and they smiled back. This is my mandate for myself on this piece of the journey. Trust myself, and trust other people. Remember my independence, my capacity to create what I want, and my strength, and at the same time remember my connection with others, my responsibility to the people around me, and my commitment to honoring each person for who they are, even when I don’t understand them. We’re all in this together.

lots of fire!

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday — it feels pretty big, much more than any other birthday since 20, I think.  21 was no big deal because I already drank alcohol, and not much of it, so nothing really changed.   There’s something about my sense of self that changes with these decade birthdays… a shift in my perspective on who I am in the world.

30 feels like turning outward, after spending my 20s learning about myself and testing out my ideas and ideals.  My 20s was about experiencing and experimenting, opening up to new possibilities and pushing perceived limits… and then noticing how I felt, how other people reacted, and how I felt about other people’s reactions.  Data collection, my 20’s.

And now I have a sense of a mandate to act on the information I’ve gathered.  I know myself fairly well — I know my tendencies, my emotional and mental “gravitations”.   I know the well-worn paths and the traps that lie therein.  It’s my job now to take responsibility for all that, and navigate gracefully around the traps.

I know how to open when I’m shut down, and I know how I justify not opening up.  I know that I have a tendency to be controlling, and I know the power and the danger of that habit.  I know the things I need to do to take care of myself, and I know I enjoy life more when I do them:

  • EAT WELL– avoid wheat and sugar, and don’t skip meals
  • DRINK A LOT OF WATER — I need a beautiful water bottle that I carry everywhere, otherwise I forget to drink
  • GO TO BED EARLY — I can’t let Facebook suck me in night after night… I need to give myself a bedtime
  • WRITE IN MY JOURNAL DAILY —  I need a daily routine where I write at the same time every day (right now it’s when Aurora naps)
  • WORK WITH TAROT CARDS REGULARLY — I need to give myself over to magical experience to get out of the illusion that I’m in control here
  • GET OUT OF THE HOUSE WITH AURORA — I need to plan things the day before so in the morning we get up and GO!
  • WALK IN THE WOODS — I need to have time surrounded by the creations of raw nature, rather than the creations of people
  • WORK WITH PLANTS — I need a garden, and I need to be making medicine from herbs
  • DANCE — I need to have a regular date with myself for dancing, otherwise I let it slide
  • CHALLENGE MYSELF — I get bored if things are easy… I need to be challenging myself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually if I’m going to feel satisfied with my life, because I want to be growing.

And the purpose of all of this is shifting to be more outward now — not just the development of self-awareness from my 20s, but now shifting outward to being of service, making my life a contribution to the communities I’m a part of.  This family, my circles of friends, this city, this world… humanity.   I feel like I’ve been scrambling since Aurora was born (15 months ago!) to reconfigure my modes of service.  It’s hard to be an “activist’ as I wash diapers and dishes at home.  As it’s all played out, though, I find myself focusing on theater and ritual as my contributions.  Jeffrey has supported me in performing in 2 shows in the last 6 months, staying with Aurora during rehearsals and performances.  The stage has always called me… from my first role as Goldilocks in kindergarten, right up to tonight’s opening night for Godspell.   Yes, this is a clear path for me.  Sometimes it seems like it’s so obvious that I forget I’m an actress, when I’m in angst about not having a focus, not having a “profession”.  I do, it just doesn’t pay.

Then the other path, more recently acknowledged, is that of holding space for ritual.  Being by my Grandma’s side during the last days of her life inspired me to pursue work as a chaplain, after I was already in training to become a doula.  Holding sacred space for birth and death (and marriage, and divorce, and other life transitions) is another clear path that stays lit when I’m confused about everything else.

I think writing all this out here helps me claim it, helps me say “YES — this is who I am right now, on the eve of my 30th birthday”.  Of course I have no idea what comes next, what I’ll learn in this next decade.  But, controlling as I am, I know I thrive when I have a clear and tangible plan for where I’m headed… even if it turns out to completely change.  I’ve learned that much about myself… so I move forward with that information, doing the best I can.

yearning for the edge

Aurora is asleep in bed next to me, and I’m typing on the laptop I inherited from my Grandma a week and a half ago.  Today I found a refreshed determination to WRITE.  This is my mode of self-reflection and of engagement with the world around me — this is how I’ve learned to go deeper in my understanding of my experience… and that’s exactly what I need right now.

And blogging, different than journaling, holds me to a standard of keeping it *relevant* — not just bellybutton gazing and self-sympathizing.  With blogging, I keep thinking of the reader asking “so what?”.  How does my experience relate to the larger world?  That’s a big piece I feel myself missing these days, as I putter around the house with Rora in the sling, washing dishes and laundry for a whopping 5 people (compared to the 100+ people I used to serve with my daily actions).  I keep asking myself “so what?”… and rarely come up with a satisfactory answer.

This lifepath is turning out to be boring, lonely, and frustrating… I spend too many hours alone with 5 month old Aurora, without people to bounce ideas off of or to provide fodder for my mental and emotional growth.  These days, I feel incredibly stagnant.

AND, at the same time, I feel the fire burning in me, the passion just waiting for fuel.  I ask myself daily, “what can I do?”… and then Aurora wakes up or bumps her head, and the question drifts away.  So I’m going to write, nightly, after she falls asleep.  I’m going to use this time to bring the questions forward and keep my fingers moving through the self-doubt and fear and see what answers come.  Until she wakes up, and maybe even keep writing through the nursing, thanks to Grandma’s laptop and our neighbor’s wireless connection.

SO WHAT?

So I’ll be more able to be present with Rora, so I’ll be a better mom, so I’ll be back exploring at the edge instead of in the muddled middle, and the edge is where I grow, where I learn.  So I’ll be more alive, and happier, so I’ll have more to offer the world around me, so I’ll be a better mom.

Getting it all out of my head helps make it more real.  I’m going to write, and through writing, remember who I am.  For myself, for my daughter, for all the people in my life, and for (  ) … the spirit that permeates all.

breathing…

Last night I though I might be starting the birth journey, and I panicked! So much nervousness and “But I haven’t yet done…”

Thankfully, that was just a practice experience, and I got to see how I’m not being open and ready for it to come. So, my intention today and for the days to come is to seek full presence in the moment, to clear my To Do List with intention and ease, and dance, meditate, paint, breathe myself into the moment, into full acceptance of What Is.

My dad wrote me an email today, asking if I’ve hooked up with a gynecologist/pediatrician yet. I realized that maybe I hadn’t been clear about my intentions with the birth. Here’s what I wrote back:

I have a meeting with a midwife this week, kind of like an interview. I’ll be meeting with a few others, as well, and then choosing who I like best. She’ll be my main source of biological support, and then I’ll get blood tests at a doctor’s office (to check my iron and hemoglobin levels, among other things). I have a lot of herbal support from friends and my own knowledge — I’m drinking my raspberry/nettle/alfalpha/oatstraw/red clover tea every day!

It’s important to me that you know I’m following a non-medical model of pregnancy and childbirth. There are many reasons why, and I look forward to talking with you about it all! Something that isn’t well-publicized is that homebirths with midwives result in fewer complications/infections/deaths than deliveries in hospitals with drugs, forceps, vaccums, and doctors.

Beyond that, I have a deep belief that giving birth is as natural of a process as breathing. My body knows how to do it — I just need to take care of myself during these 9 months and have the support and wisdom of a midwife, who will know how to tell if something is out of the ordinary.

There are many resources available that talk about the problems associated with hospital births and the medicalization of preganancy. I haven’t read this one, but Free reccomends it; it’s a book by a French doctor called “Entering the World: The Demedicalization of Childbirth” by Michel Odent. Another book that a friend of mine from Twin Oaks suggested to me (she’s reading it now) is called “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born”, by Tina Cassidy. That book just came out last year.

I hope I don’t sound too defensive or preachy. I just know so many women who weren’t supported by their families in their choice to have a natural homebirth with a midwife, and I want us to be on the same page about it.

love,
tickledspirit

I took the artwork down from my walls last night.  I’ve been packing in small bursts since last week, books first, since there’s little to cull and they’re easy to stack in boxes and the quickly-bare shelves affirm my intention to leave.  Then art supplies, choosing what to pack away, what to bring on my travels, and what to let go to the universe.  I’m a hoarder, especially when it comes to art supplies.  If I think I might want to use something later (tissue paper, ribbons, a random tube of paint), I put it in the “art tower,” a set of shelves I devoted purely to supplies for creative expression.  Twin Oaks helps me feed this slight obsession — we have a “grabs” table up at the main dining hall, and there’s often weird photographs, scraps of fabric,  and earrings-that-could-be-turned-into-something-else.  I try to be selective…

As for packing, the artwork coming down from the walls was significant for me.  Up until now, my room has still felt like “home” despite the boxes all over the floor and the empty shelves.  I noticed myself feeling antsy and anxious while I was packing up my “body supplies” (medicine and makeup that I’ve scarcely used in the last 3.5 years).  I realized that I didn’t feel like I was REALLY packing to leave… more like I was packing for a trip that I’d be returning from at some point.  But that’s NOT what I’m doing, and the emotional discord with reality was distressing to me.  I decided that I needed to have a more tangible space of transition for these last four days (FOUR DAYS!).  So I spent the late evening talking with a friend who sat on my bed while I meticulously pulled out thumbtacks and took down posters and paintings and photos and the smearing genius of my 3 year-old friend Willow.

Behind a few of the posters, I found love notes taped to the wall, some from over a month ago, some from as recent as New Year’s Eve.  Paxus strikes again — the master of love letter delivery.  He and I are in a major transition in our relationship as I leave the commune and align my life more closely with another partner.  We’ve struggled and fought the change, and now we’re moving into a place of accepting each others’ lives for what they are.  He has a new lover here who I’m in awe of, who I’ve respected from afar for years.  Seeing them together and seeing him growing in new ways is a joy and a relief for me, most of the time.  Some moments of grieving what we’ve lost and feeling envy when I see it in them… for the most part, I’m happy that we’re both in powerful relationships and continue to feel the power of who we are together.  The whole “monogamy/polyamory” question has been coming up a lot — Free and I experimented with a “sexually exclusive” relationship for awhile and discovered that it felt too restrictive and didn’t credit the trust we have for each other.  We ended up agreeing that we both feel we want to be “sexually focused” with each other right now, and carrying that as an intention (rather than a rule) feels more in line with how we want to engage with each other and with other people.  I’m not interested in pursuing sexual energy with other people, but if it’s there I’m not going to feel guilty or ignore it.

so many changes…