29 December, 2010

so it burns, so I live...

For Meghan

I feel so many things,
I think too much. My mind is always racing,

my insides are always fluttering.

My tear ducts
are constantly open,

and my heart is permanently attached to my sleeve.

Though I avoid commitment,
I have also learned when to ground my feet
in the earth,

for I'm never able to walk away from a heart-----no matter how it thwarts my own.

I lose my breath at night, thinking of him,
and I wake up sweating with teeth clenched.

My. Peace. Has. Been. Shaken.

Still, my heart beats recklessly,
impulsively and foolishly.

I have a passionate fire
that consumes my insides.

It's beautiful and yet dangerously out of control,
the way only fire can be.

I hurt.
I miss.I long for.

But I am well.
I would never smother my fire,
for though its burn is painful . . .
the life it brings me is invaluable.

I will never trade my burning fire;

its worth incalculable.

And I will never settle for the stagnant, lifeless existence that
is left
in the remains
The Fire.

14 December, 2010

"[...] see this flame [...]"

"My Burning Heart"

My heart is burning with love

All can see this flame

My heart is pulsing with passion

like waves on an ocean

my friends have become strangers

and I’m surrounded by enemies

But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me

I’m at home wherever I am

And in the room of lovers

I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances

Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world

I have lost my senses

in my world of lovers.


When something good gets thrown at you,

just let your feet

be free.

It feels good to catch it.

And the earth remains below you,

whenever you're ready to ground


(Yes, that's me catching the bouquet )

10 December, 2010

A Sequence of Breathing

Don't Forget to Focus On Your Breath...

Ma showed up yesterday, and we're all glad.

"Normal, But Not" 1:00 am: everyone in the house was asleep, and in general, everyone was breathing normally. Energy was moving, but we all knew we needed our rest.

"Ready To Go" 4:00 am: my attic light flickers on, Ma's standin over me, anticipation on her face..."Bek's contractions are about 3 min apart now...thought you'd like to come down!" Breathing starts to speed up, within minutes we're all in the living room, Bek on her hands and knees, me and ma squattin' over her, and all three of us are starting our deep breaths as a team, but with a good 3 or 4 minutes between each full-body breath.

At this point we headed to the hospital, and meanwhile started the 8-hour-long music playlist we had set up for the labor...it was amazing to have such beautiful art throughout our entire morning.

Here was our room with a view of the city and the sunrise!

"Things Are In Motion" 8:00 am: regular (half-screaming) breaths, every 30 seconds. Intensity. Tears. I find myself sweaty and out of breath after each contraction, as I'm strattling and squatting and lunging and basically doin' full blown yoga all morning; group yoga with the girls.

Here is a nice image of the skype birth with Jas, far away in Afghanistan, but still being present.

Let me interject here, that the power and magnificence that lies in assisting a woman through the birthing of her new baby (especially when it's your blood) is indescribable. I felt like I got to play Jason's role, not nearly as well as he would have, but nonetheless I felt like I was infusing life into my sister, on behalf of Jas, and for the sake of baby Dre. Every moment with my hands placed on her back or chest was me getting to inject love energy; every time I shoved my head into her tail bone I got to be a part of Dre, a part of Jas, a part of Bek. Even though I had no clue what to expect from a birth, my core knew exactly what to do. More than ever I am convinced that we are all intrinsically designed to know how to love and nourish those around us, from the little people inside our bellies, to all the other faces that walk across our paths throughout our lives here.

Moving on...

"Are Things Really In Motion Here?" 10:20am: not much progress. Bek is in a lot of pain, au natural of course. I'm basically punching her in the back to keep her sane, she's clawing at my neck and writhing around, nearly breaking the bed and really for the first time so far, finally allowing the scream that has been begging to come out for the past 7+ hours to fill every room of every floor of this hospital...

....I'll skip over the next 20 minutes, for mystery's sake. It wasn't even altogether eventful...


"This Is It" 10:40am: Bek is only halfway on the bed, Erica is dutifully holding onto Bek, Dre is pokin' his head out, Ma is nowhere to be found (unfortunately stepped out at the worst time), Jason is basically pissing his pants from the computer screen (from Afghanistan) and I am racing in and out of the room, because "WHERE THE BLOODY HELL IS THE DOCTOR?!"
Suddenly there are at least 6 nurses in the room, lookin' a little panicked, trying to convince my poor and focused sister to stop pushing until the Doc gets in here. At this point, I think I'm going to be a witness to this nurse's first delivery (she was a doll) and I am just overcome with the electricity that is jetting all over the room.
Doc comes running, shows up just in the knick of time, sliding under my sister like Hank Aaron sliding up to the home plate at the bottom of the ninth, and says something about his head. Waaaaaiit, whaaat? That's his head? What the ****? Doesn't look entirely right...ok, that is definitely not right, his umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck. Twice? Yikes. He's not breathing. Is that normal? I know he's not entirely out of her yet but come on, this is my first live birth--I have no idea what's what.
"Somebody hand me a scissors," murmurs Doc, way too calmly in my opinion. Shouldn't she be freaking out a little bit? Snip, snip. Cord is good, no longer strangling this little man. Ok, Doc is now officially Dr. Bad-Ass.

The next moment was undoubtedly one of the most illuminative and enriching milliseconds of my life;

Everett's first breath.

The journey of getting to watch this little human learn Taekwondo in his momma's tummy for 9 months, singing to him and cultivating some familiarity for him while he sat cookin' still, was invaluable. And after all was said and done, I got to pump loving energy into him for his last 7 hours of gestation before he entered this world and joined the rest of us. Incredible.

But the pinnacle of it all? The acme? Getting to experience that split second where he went from being a blue mutant-like blob lying motionless in Doc's hands, to an eruption of animated life, all from that single first breath.
That moment, from inanimate shape to wiggling little boy, was sacred.
As he erupted into life, I erupted into hysterical tears of elation.

"Temporary Wrap-Up For The Last 26 Hours" 3:00 PM

Ma, Bek and I fully honored the beauty that we got to experience together today, as a trio. How unbelievable to get to share what we all did.

Our mom has been a part of a lot of births in her day, and she was there for both Ava and Ev.

Dre getting his first of many kisses to come from his big sister Ava.

Of course, we all still love Ava Rene like none other.

♥ ☮ ♥ ☮ ♥

So my conclusion?

Never forget your breath.

It's what separates the dreary from the spirited;

the mundane from the inspired;

the living from the dead.

09 December, 2010

Just One of Those Days.

Today, was perfect.

From the energy and health that possessed me as I rolled out of bed at 8:30 this morning, to the skip in my step as I walked in the door at 8:30 this evening, things went perfectly today. I got to giggle with Avita in a coffee shop this morning (after she looked at me solemnly and said, "Auntie Hannah, I NEED coffee. We NEED to go to the coffee shop) and take her on a train ride around the mall, then I proceeded to have great interactions with all the clients at the gym today--despite all the problems people came in with, I was able to resolve them, and get people on with their day with smiles on their faces.

I can't possibly detail every little thing that went perfectly today--as everything did. Stars were aligned. Health was restored. Forces were surrounding me. Karma was in the positive.

Needless to say, it seems like a great day to help bring a baby into the world :)

08 December, 2010

The Fourteenth Hour

I'm going on hour 14, I think. I haven't slept, I haven't interacted with many people, I'm losing track of time. The world is spinning, and I feel it. My mind is screaming. I'm going insane.

Eh, just kidding. I'm doing fine. I've done alright with this solitude, it's good for the soul. And after only 2 doses of my meds, I actually feel improved. Don't get your hopes up pharmaceutical world--I'm not about to jump ship.

Found out I should only be contagious for 24 hours, so I even get the joy of going in to work tomorrow.

Not a bad day. Not bad at all.


Minnesota just confirmed my sneaking suspicion that it holds a whole lot of magic. Not the type of magic that shows up for the night, fights off the evil of the world "real quick" with a whole lot of instant cures, and makes it back home for dinner and this week's re-run of Seinfeld.
Naw, I'm referring to the kind of magic that has been hard at work for longer than my time here (a measly two decades...) never lazing out, never giving up on the latest mission. It's composed of a double-dose of the potion "Intensity" (the, 'found-within-all-types-of-relationships,' kind of intensity) mixed with a hair of "Integrity" (same brand as that used when committed to longevity of any kind), topped with some "Faith-In-Humankind" (a perspective which can be gained in most life experiences near you), and left to steep in the cauldron for however long it takes to cultivate some kind of magical energy that possesses something of substance, something of love.

It seemed like there was divinity at work which got me to Minneapolis this weekend. As I was leaving work Thursday night, bragging about going home, a coworker (Shawn) mentioned that he would be headed to his homeland (St. Cloud) shortly after me. I joked about him seeing me on the side of the road, as my little mercury sable (aka The Black She-Devil) has had its share of mishaps. An hour later, I came to find out my rear brakes were entirely out; metal-grinding-on-metal out. I took a moment (or two) for my "frustration dance," had a laugh, and made a call to Shawn, kindly asking for a ride to Minnesota...

I rolled into Minneapolis late that Thursday night, took a deep breath of that energy which is so unique to this particular city, and proceeded to spend 3+ days with some of the world's finest human beings--with whom I fed my soul, my belly, and my now very tender heart.

The weekend was filled with a series of side-splitting laughs, frustratingly bona fide kisses, and many lucrative conversations, all strung together with fairly inconsequential moments like bubble baths in my brothers' claw-foot tub, sippin' delicious French Press coffee with Barnabas, Judah and Brandon, and staying up way too late, trying to keep up with the city-slickers.

Retrospectively, I suppose it's not fair to deem the latter set of activities as inconsequential;who am I to decide what is significant in life and what's not? We'll call em' all equal, assume each moment of the weekend contributed to it being a wholesome and necessary chunk of 86-ish hours of my life, and call it a day.

Ehhh, but not quite. Wake up Tuesday morning. First full day back in Des Moines, first full day reunited with Bekah and Ava and Gold's Gym and these slow-ass yahoos that call themselves drivers in Iowa (insert Iowa joke here). The energy as we deeply prepare to welcome Everett Dre into our world is thick, and pulsating in and around our house. I am excited and happy and at peace once again with what the day ahead of me offers...

...hOld up! what is this--sore throat? Yep. Did I not have a cold for the last two weeks of November? Am I really due already to get sick again? No. But alas, it is now Wednesday, I have just returned from the doctor's office, and indeed, I have strep.

I am to be quarantined in the attic for the next two days. No work, no interaction with my family below me, hell it even hurts to sing. My room is now an infirmary. I'm cursing the world for immobilizing me.

Ma' encouraged me to take some medicine (first time in my LIFE this has happened, and will probably ever happen). Anyone who knows me well, or knows anyone in my family, knows our stance on medicine. We're different, holistic if you want to call it that, and we generally let our bodies heal themselves. In the words of my eldest brother, "we have the immune systems of horses."

Clearly, not true. I'm ill. I'm contagious. I'm an untouchable...for the next 48 hours at least.

With the circumstances--a baby whose due date is today, a two-year-old who loves to open mouth kiss me, and a sister that needs all her strength to bring said baby into the world without any problems--I'm going to take the medicine. I feel a little bad, I hope my body doesn't feel too belittled, but apparently this medicine will simply make me less contagious, sooner. So it's for the greater good.

Do I think the ends always justify the means? No. Definitely not. But for today, they do.

So here I go, takin' some antibiotics. Theoretically weakening my natural body. Theoretically giving my immune system a crutch that it doesn't really need. Ok, I digress... I'm being a twit.

I'll probably be back soon, as I have nowhere to go...