Next time I will remember

This hour of the day

when the world begins to hum

and the air is soft,

and silky,

and real,

this hour is tied to all

the previous days

of this hour in one

unending moment.

Now,

I am the child, innocent.

Now,

the young man dreaming.

Now,

the husband off to work.

Now,

the old man making coffee.

And with this hour anything

is possible.

It is the moment of bravery.

It is as if you awaken

and catch a glimpse of the

secret world,

but you are still

sleepy

and your senses drunk

with smells

and sounds

and light.

The mystery is revealed

but you are gladly caught

somewhere

between here and

there

and somehow you miss it.

Next time

you tell yourself,

next time

I will remember.

Breathing

“Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.” Pablo Neruda

My muse calls on me at this appointed hour each morning. . Caught between sleep and awake. She holds me here suspended in time, waiting.

“What will it be today”

Thoughts turn to a friendship that has grown over many years. One in which I have revealed pieces of my soul to him, and he has gently carried them with grace and honor. We spoke last night with ease and trust. It was like breathing.

“What else do you have for me?”

My family. Bonds, not only of blood, but of love, forged in the crucible of life. There is no rivalry or judgement. In joy or despair, food is on the table, laughter is present, and hearts are open. It is like breathing.

“I know there is more.”

The women. In this I have sometimes walked with purpose and have sometimes stumbled. After all these travels, I find myself on the shores of something new. I am a man in a mans world, and will never know the fears, the frustrations, the anger, the shear weight that women carry living in a world that holds them down. I have been complicit on some level, of this I am sure, by the mere fact of being a male. This I cannot change. But I can open my eyes, my ears, my heart. Listen to them breathe.

“And”

Sexuality. Honoring it. Facing the shame and guilt I have felt. Being with it. Celebrating passion. It is breathing!

Silence.

Stella. Her presence. Her love. My love. In every inhalation. In every exhalation. She is in every breath.

Myself. In the solitude of my room, awake now, I am breathing.

All things I seek …

I woke a few times during the night, briefly, allowing the pieces of my dreams to filter into consciousness, held them a moment, then slipped back into an easy slumber. Now. Before sun and Stella I sip coffee out of a cup given to me a few years back, with the words, “All things I seek are now seeking me,” painted on it. I drink from this cup often, more for practical than inspirational reasons. It’s a good solid cup that’s holds the perfect amount of coffee to start my day.

But this morning, at this moment in my life, it holds the perfect amount of wisdom. I read, and reread the words, holding the phrase in my mind, just as I hold the coffee I drink from it, briefly tasting its strength, before swallowing.

The words were written by author, Florence Scovel Shinn, an artist and illustrator who became a New Thought spiritual teacher in the early 20th century.

Shinn expressed her philosophy as:

“The invisible forces are ever working for man who is always ‘pulling the strings’ himself, though he does not know it. Owing to the vibratory power of words, whatever man voices, he begins to attract.” The Game of Life, Florence Scovel Shinn

I try not to overthink all this. When a phrase or an idea strikes, I tend to pick it up emotionally or psychologically rather than intellectually. How does it feel? Does it resonate deep down in my psyche?

Today it does. Something has been shifting inside. Body, mind, and soul are trying to realign themselves. It is what I want. What I seek. And in so seeking, my heart is opening and my connection to the energy around me is heightened. Because of this vulnerable state, everything I’m feeling, from delight to anxiety, is also heightened.

People and moments are affecting me in ways I have not anticipated. I had learned to build a wall around my emotions that very few were allowed to pass through the gates of. I can analyze the fuck out of the reasons why, but those reasons don’t matter. I’m here now, seeking and receiving. I’m willing to be vulnerable to the mystery unfolding before me. I’m willing to take chances and drink from the cup.

4 in the morning

I awake with a start and feel as though I’ve forgotten something. Not something important, but a small trifling. I immediately search for the phone thinking that perhaps the answer lies there. Nothing. But the bright screen pushes sleep further away and I toss it aside, silently cursing my technological dependency and think that, yes, the robots will one day rule us.

It’s then that I notice the rain. Not just rain, but thunder, and somehow it’s disorienting. Something primal kicks in and I go to Stella’s room. She’s sleeping soundly. I pull the covers up and close her window against the storm. I begin to make my way around the house, checking windows, and turning off lights I had left on the night before. The bathroom beckons and I oblige.

Back in bed, covers pulled up, eyes closed.

Mind begins to race. I’ve been here before and it’s at this point I try to convince myself that sleep is necessary and desired. Give yourself two more hours and you’ll be better for it.

Five minutes later I’m brewing coffee.

Cup in hand I crawl back into bed and I sit sipping in the dark. I try to recall what I may have been dreaming right before I woke. Perhaps that holds the answer as to why I’m up at this hour.

Nothing.

What about the night before? Was something troubling me? I mean, more than the usual unresolved feelings. A slight anxiety seems to be festering right below the surface so I try to take some focused breaths and come back to center. This works for a short time but my mind will have none of it. It’s off and running. It’s racing through a day that has yet to happen.

And then a thought crosses my mind.

Maybe it’s not anxiety. Or a dream. Or something negative.

It’s more like a feeling of anticipation. Excitement slowly bubbling to the surface for no other reason than feeling good. I’m not talking about feeling good because of a decision or an action. Something deeper. Something primal. Something honest. Something playful.

Then it comes to me.

Joy.

It’s been awhile but here it is. I want to reach inside and shake hands with it. I want to say “Hello old friend. How I’ve missed you.”

The rain has stopped and the first strands of sunlight are making their way into my bedroom. Stella will be up soon and the promise of a new day will shine fresh upon her face.

I’m awake now.

Awake to the possibilities and to the magic. Awake to the muse who I thought left me, but was merely waiting. Awake to my heart. A heart that was there for Stella, but locked against the storm of life.

I realize now what I had forgotten. Turns out it is no small trifling, but something important.

I’d forgotten to allow joy to happen.

No Name

We have a new cat. A kitten. Who has figured out that I am the human most likely to awaken if gnawed on at 5:30 AM. He has figured out that my proclivity to wake early these days and my body’s need to use the bathroom are optimal opportunity to get fed and play.

My insistence on not getting another cat has been undermined by my wife Lindsay’s ability to recruit Stella to her cause for getting one. I couldn’t say no to a two and a half year olds sweet plea, “They’re so cute!”

They are indeed.

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This little fellow joined our household a little over a week ago after some especially difficult, nightmare filled nights for Stella. I could no longer fight the inevitable and the time seemed right for a breath of new energy for us all.

When asking her what the kitty’s name is, her answer, “It’s a boy.” She points out, ” Two girls and two boys now, Daddy.”

I have achieved a balance of gender equality here on the home-front.

Thanks for the company little guy. I’ll see you bright and early.