Something about September

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There’s something about September. 

I used to have a friend with September in her blog name — something about finding her in the month that brought hope and renewal. I feel the same. Even though my restart doesn’t really happen until October, when the leaves are thick with color and the air crisp, September reminds me that it’s coming. 

September reminds me that I made it through another season of ash. 

Maybe it’s because the summer is just so hot here. Maybe it’s because so many things have happened in the summer, when the sun’s oppressive rays refused to relent and I was forced to push through and believe. 

Summer is when I realized a partnership was toxic. 
Summer is when I experienced the death of a dream.
Summer is when I packed up newborn onesies and bottles and toys.
Summer is when everything fell apart with violent necessity.

Ultimately, the season of ash proves useful. I know this. I prepare for it. I let go. I shed. I release. Different seasons require different things, and this year was no different. My life looks nothing like I thought it would back in May. And yet here I am, nine days into September, taking stock of what is around me and what I’ve left behind. I think in a way I thought I was past the season of ash — that it dealt specifically with dreams and hope and things I once believed would never happen. But those things change, right? What we once hoped for, we now have, and that desire has been replaced with something else. 

We breathe in, we breathe out.
Everything is a cycle.

September is the month of book releases. It’s the month I breathed life into the word mother. It’s the month of slower days and new beginnings and easy dreaming. The breeze turns cool in the mornings, and I’m struck with just how sudden change takes over. 

I breathe in, accepting the newness.
I breathe out, releasing the ash.

Posted on September 9, 2018 and filed under The Memoirs.

The Nameless Thing

Here is a truth: there has been a nameless thing resting in the space between my heart and throat since the beginning of the year. 

I don't know what to make of it. It swells at the most inopportune times, like now, when the world is asleep and tomorrow morning's wake up from a little lion two rooms over will come oh-so-soon.

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I think it might be story. 

There have been a few wisps appear — tendrils in the imagination — too nebulous to grab hold of and name.

And so I do what I know to do: I come to this space, and write, knowing I won't be actively sharing because I need to know I'm writing for me. I need to know this nameless thing is not for you.

Here is a lie, tainted by the truth: sometimes I wonder how I got here. How I went from writing incessantly to grasping moments out of thin air like miracles. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just close up shop and pretend this was once something I did, but not anymore. This is a lie because there is no way I could ever not write. It's not possible. Even when I wasn't writing because I was holding Jubal or crashing into bed or chugging coffee at work, I still wrote with invisible ink. My fingers reaching for the keys and various pens while I dreamed, the muscle memory kicking in and poems appearing out of nowhere, floating above my head into the ether.

Here is a truth: every day I begin again.

And so tonight, I'll close this window before I can think twice about syntax and edits and curl my body next to my love and feel his breath against my chest and the story will begin again and again and again....

....the nameless thing pulsing with new life and promise, waiting to be seen. 

Posted on February 21, 2018 and filed under The Memoirs.

Mornings.

My legs start moving first. I feel the friction of my skin rub up against the pillow that's been pushed lower and lower throughout the night. I turn and reach for Russ, my fingers crawling against his torso, anchoring me. I try not to stir. 

For a moment, I succeed. I feel myself falling back into oblivion, the deep dark of morning not yet tinted blue. But then I hear him. He's grunting. Half crying. Moving around in his crib, trying to find the perfect spot. 

I know it will be an early morning.

His cries turn more frequent, the comfort of sleep lost. Now, he's only concerned with his very wet — no, soaked — diaper and the fact that he cannot see either one of us. I know I will find him on his stomach, his arms tucked underneath him, his rear end perched in the air. 

But I cannot open my eyes. As much as I try, sleep is puling me under again and again and maybe I can rest here for five more minutes. I curl into my pillow, Russ has already gotten up and started his morning routine. I think I hear him whispering to Jubal, but I'm not sure. It's not until I hear his wails echoing off our walls that I know Russ is changing him. I smile. He hates being changed in the morning. 

I don't blame you, little lion, I think to myself as I lift my arms above me and stretch. 

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Within minutes, papa is walking in with Jubal and Neruda, our chihuahua. Jubal is already giggling, his mouth precariously balanced close to Neruda's ear. I'm sitting up now, rubbing my eyes and taking deep breaths, willing my body to wake up wake up wake up. I reach out for Jubal and Russ passes him off to me. I squeeze him against my chest, kissing his forehead. 

"Good morning, Jubal." I whisper.

He answers by kicking his feet and reaching for Trulee, our older dog resting at the foot of our bed. When she doesn't give in to his wish of kisses, he sighs and pushes himself toward the edge of the bed. Russ walks over and grabs him. 

"Come on, Jubal. We need to give mama her Valentines." 

Valentines. 

Immediately my mind migrates to where we were last year. I was here, alone in the house. This bed, with all of the pillows I could possibly fit, stacked on top of each other. Neruda, snuggled somewhere underneath.

At that point, we'd been separated for almost a month. Russ was in North Carolina with our son, waiting for courts to say it was okay for us to take him across state lines. When I went to work on Valentines Day last year, a coworker gave me an obsidian stone. 

"To dispel negative energy," he said. 

I cried at the gesture, and then cried myself to sleep that night — missing my men with an ache so fierce it felt like my heart would crack in two. 

But here — now — they are within arm's reach. Russ grabs something out of his drawer and gives it to Jubal to give to me. It’s a hat. Jubal immediately puts it on his head and I laugh softly at how it tilts on his head and hold my hand out, inspecting the word written across the front.

QUEEN 

I look up at Russ and he gives me the smile he reserves only for me. I lean forward, kissing him once, twice, three times.

"They had one that had KING across the front, but that's not really my style," he shrugs. 

I laugh again, my body waking up, and make a face at Jubal. He shrieks, amused by the hat now resting on my head. He falls forward, planting a wet kiss on my lips.  

I let myself breathe deep from my chest.

I am awake. 

Posted on February 14, 2018 and filed under The Memoirs.