|artwork by Jaime Zollars|
I’ve missed blogging from my heart. I’ve been quiet, observing, waiting until I could say what I need to say with equanimity, taking the advice I give my women blogging students.
And so, here goes. I’m recovering recently from marital tension (particulars best left undisclosed, but entirely understandable after two, going on three years of two-city living). And so, my body has been the 3% host of my presence, with 97% of my awareness drifting in search of viable ground in an attempt to anchor my family again to the homestead where I try to restore the joint heart of the entity my husband and I created thirteen years ago when we said I do.
I do wonder what happens next. I do wonder why I’m at this juncture. Except it must be exactly where I need to be to grow, even if arriving at first flight involves the red rain Woodman refers to in the quote above. You can focus on the rain, or you can focus on the view from above, the wet, so newly unfurled wings.
But more likely, I need to position myself in the middle, neither observing the wings from an aerial perspective nor observing the fallout, but resting calmly, blindly, in the long black root of the thorax, where I do nothing but sense where wings begin and the rush of air on the downbeat and the up.
I see women’s fragility everywhere I go. In the locker room at the gym, a beautiful graying blonde in her sixties shyly tells me she loves my green dress, the thin black sandals I’m wearing. She used to wear sandals, she says. “But I can’t wear them, now,” she confides… “you know, varicose veins…” I watch her from the mirror where I’m Nefertiti-ing my eyes so I exist a little more, eye-liner for the self-esteem, her pale blue eyes darting away from mine. On my way out I touch her shoulder, say to her, “You enjoy those strong legs of yours.” She laughs, and I hope she thinks about all the places they’ve carried her.
A female poet friend of mine, in response to my confusion, suggests burying something or a version of someone (metaphorically, of course) in response, to plant something new, to start over in order to restore trust. Her words drive me down to my writing cabin, where I stand in front of a piece of artwork my brother gave me three years ago by Jaime Zollars.
It used to hang in my bedroom, until a friend said to me, “I would never hang that image where I sleep.” I suppose for its graphic underworld content, how it might invite one’s dreamer to soak in the image, lead one into strange forests. But I am in a strange forest, and I find the image comforting.
This time, I don’t fear some force swallowing the girl child from beneath, but marvel instead how the umbilical root cord releases her out of the blood coffin to the sky, ever a flower, primally, eternally in bloom, meeting a mirror image of herself on the earth’s surface.
There’s little left to do for now. Wait it out. Observe the heart mending. No seeing yet where the path leads from here. I can walk it alone but I would rather not. But is that either/or opposition accurate anymore, or useful? Time to grow up, again. Differentiate, but not fear it means the end, signals instead a beginning.
Which, in the course of a healthy marriage, I imagine you do—differentiate, take stock, take responsibility for power you may have relinquished, revisit the ground rules--over and over again. When you are both willing to grow.
Hello underworld, hello fairytale perfectly suited to us both in this marriage. Classical music, to and from, everywhere I drive--the silver serenade of violins--traces the tiny fractures where adrenaline courses. I sleep with curtains open, the slight night wind pushing aside the tree branches just enough to give me a trio of stars, dual physical and astral anchor points, destinations from which I draw strength.
Further Reading/Image Hunting:
The talent of Jaime Zollars moves me across selves, if that makes sense—the images, for me, bypass the rational, right to the soul, and accurately depict an array of emotional states we’ve inhabited as human beings, are inhabiting, fear inhabiting, love inhabiting, wish we could shift, and/or wish we could more fully inhabit. Whimsical and archetypal (fairytale meets totem meets high desert meets inner city), settings are often crowned with childlike folk, fragile but sturdy, the promise of resilience barely masked by their beautiful and deceptively innocent faces. See more of Jaime's work: Jaime Zollars.