merging into one

familyhikeI wrote this piece several months ago when I first started considering the difference between Then–any then–the 12 year old then, the 20 year old then, the 38 year old then, and Now.  The process is inescapable if we are to shake ourselves loose of any attachment to the past and invite possibility. Combining MJ and Misa was a huge step for me, though when it came right down to it, it was only a click, one moment, one action, one decision. I actually submitted this piece to Bella Grace Magazine, but haven’t heard back from them since my first submission so I am posting it here, the birthplace of all the shifts that helped challenge and shape me, and will continue to do so. As always, thanks for reading.

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A beautiful hue of weathered, orange rust collects around my edges, an alchemical shift that coincides with age and time and an invitation for bitter and sweet to mingle between my teeth. I try not to move as quickly as I use to, preferring a slow of motion like Tin Man getting caught in Spring’s rain. I remind myself a hundred times a day (still not enough) to stay present, that the next moment is always uncertain, no matter how much I plan, prepare, and (try to) predict. Peering into the vastness that is my open heart, I see only tiny speckles of regret, not enough to sprinkle an ice cream cone. And so, let this be my crystal ball, my fortune cookie and soothsaying prophecy, I must be doing something right to sink with peace into the soft morning light.

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There was a time I felt all too well the vast chasm between who I was and all that I ever hoped to be. Most of us have stood in that place, ripe with feelings of not enough-ness and arms bundled with ways to hide those feelings. There is futility in trying to manifest perfection and uselessness in hiding from our darkest demons, yet to do such things is part of our endless education. We must begin somewhere to ever progress to anywhere, and to dance with those demons is the only way I’ve learned to overcome them. Through challenge and fire we melt masks and shed the costumes that once protected us. We expose a fleshy, soft vulnerability– our truth and our first birthplace of authenticity. And in the deepest, richest dirt, we emerge over and again, rooted further to the earth but with a greater capability to fly. We are something more now than we ever knew we could become.

“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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Spiraling upward, I’ve had more than twenty years to reconcile the parts I once thought irreconcilable. To look back and acknowledge what we’ve created, and to recognize the thickened walls we’ve smashed to expose new truths are the irreplaceable moments that help harmonize our past with our present. We must remember to kiss the moments that marked our growth as they are the ghosts that made us real. Then, if we are so blessed, we can continue on to the next pregnant moment. The work to mend, strengthen, and fearlessly reveal our truths will never truly end as Ego is here to stay with us in this life, wholeheartedly essential to our human’s nature. We are, as ever, continued works of unparalleled art, in process and in progress. In knowing and accepting this with deep certainty, we allow grace and patience to arrive on seasoned wings, giving us gratitude for where we began, acceptance for the choices we’ve made, and love for what we continue to become. This is the absolute gift of merging into one.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

With all  my love,

Misa

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Tracing tracks

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I know, it’s still summer, but the season’s permissive laze and daze has snuck out quietly and left us. Autumn’s invigorating breath has found her way into our mornings and soon I will don my fuzzy slippers, robe, and plan soups for dinner. Like many, we are into school schedules and events, after school chauffeuring, teacher meetings, Fall trips and volunteering. I look back and remember where we last left the hurry. Tracing the tracks we’ve left behind, I touch with fondness the moments that made these last few months memorable.

I started teaching dance at a beautiful studio a little over a month ago, not traditional dance like tap or ballet, but heart-centered, choreographed dances that pull from all styles to inspire soul, emotion, awareness and freedom. It’s a dance made for anyone and everyone, no formal experience required. This is the manifestation of a dream–to call myself a dancer and share my love of dance by teaching. “Inconceivable” is what I would have told you 10 years ago. Truth: The rules we live by in this world can often feel unyielding, but to challenge them, un-define and re-define them, we can surprise ourselves by becoming something completely unexpected. My choreography now unfolds on a wooden dance floor spilling from a well of creative freedom that I knew existed, but never tapped openly until now. Teaching, leading a class, and exposing my heart and creativity to be judged and used by others has brought me to challenge and question the necessity of old insecurities. I see it now and I find myself peeling again.

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This month, in Issue 5 of Bella Grace Magazine, a piece I wrote was published. For a few weeks now I’ve let this soak in, and thoughts of my father have surfaced again. I am so different from the daughter he knew before he died 17 years ago, before I began healing, before I became wife and mother, before I began my climb out of the many shells that kept my soul hidden. Yet, somehow I know I am the woman he always knew I’d become. I use to resent the goals he once had for me, like the one where I would be an engineer or the one where I would go to military school, but I understand those really weren’t the dreams he had for me. What he wanted more than anything was that I just try for the things I wanted most, that I believe in myself, and find what true happiness is. And those dreams, Dad, have come true. Perhaps this joy is fleeting, perhaps the next big catastrophe is around the corner, but for today these tracks are very real, and they are, gratefully, all my own.

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The last thing I wanted to share just happened this past weekend over Labor Day, our family’s camping and volunteering trip to a wolf sanctuary here in Colorado. I will write an entire post on how deeply this experience affected me. Wolves, truly, are one of the best teachers this earth could have ever graced us with. The problem is that generally wolves are seen as a threat to man and livestock and, by stories, movies, and misconceptions, thought to be mean, menacing, and aggressive animals. This is false and documentaries such as “Living With Wolves” and The Wolves of Yellowstone serve to educate those who will listen about the gentle and social nature of wolves, as well and their importance to our ecosystem. But this is only a micron of what I personally learned from meeting a wolf, and, as I look a little closer, flows not at all surprisingly with the undercurrent of my latest lessons on strength of character and how true we are to our spirit. This, I will share in a new post sooner than later, but for now, a glimpse…meet Zeab.

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Much love to you
XOXO

Unfettered

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Since I last wrote in this space, summer has settled in without hesitation. Spring was a wet blur and humidity has taken up residence here in Colorado. So much has shifted here, so much to tell you. The only perennial promise is the blooming of my beautiful children. Oh how they have changed!! When I began writing at Wander Wonder Discover my children were 5 and 7 years old. The girl is now 10 and the boy turns 13 next month. Our moments are a complete mix of magical, terrifying, mysterious, gorgeous, mind-boggling, boisterous, and ground-breaking moments. His entering into adolescence has prompted internal remodeling from me once again, reminding me that parenthood is meant to challenge everything we know about ourselves. What worked two years ago may not work anymore, and I sometimes feel I stepped into the Matrix. By the way, the walls are lined with ones and zeros.
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walk Maya

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Many of us soul-seekers have written about shedding skin, learning and becoming, moving closer to the likeness of our true, creative, and bare-boned selves. Rightly so as most of us have perfected the art of reflecting in these spaces. I have been thinking about this again as little crumbs of childhood insecurities have been surfacing lately. I’ve been wondering if we truly and completely can let go of these old ghosts. Like most scars, they heal only in tiny bits over time. Like grief, they may never really disappear, but just fall quiet until something stirs the memory in our fibers again. Each tiny bit of healing is a long-walked milestone though isn’t it, a secret passage to another well-earned ounce of strength. For this, I will take my crumbs. For this, I will walk as long as I need to.
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Since birth we are clothed with layers of layers of our imposing environments. We are meant to trust the things that nurture and love us. Often times though the things that serve us walk hand in hand with the things that don’t, and so we unintentionally absorb unkindnesses along the way. It is the way of this human life and for those of us that are aware, we spend the remaining years of our lives undoing whatever damage has been done. If we have children, we do our best not to heap our own layers of sediment onto them. It’s an ongoing process of “cleaning house”, peeling the ugly wallpapers and shedding light on uncomfortable corners that were once useful but no longer serve anymore. By doing this, we hope and pray that they have a better chance at knowing themselves sooner than we did.
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Even on this winding road of challenge and change, gratitude is always close by, scenting my days with the perfume of lightness and grace. I had another birthday last month and refined versions of self continue to emerge. Two missions set in January have been realized, dreams that required energy, focus, faith, and the complete rejection of fear. I’m learning there are several pathways that lead us to our dreams, but we need courage and resilience to find them. We are magnetized to the unfettered greatness within as long as we ignore the voices that ever tell us otherwise. Alas, never an easy task, but not impossible either.

I wonder as I finish this post, if the blogging platform has actually passed its time. The days of sitting, reading and writing post after post are long gone for me and I can almost feel my brain shifting to a quicker processing speed, needing shorter and faster accounts on everything. The poetry of long narratives in blogging might be fading, yet I want to cling desperately to them as there is still so much to write, recount and reflect upon. There was once such sweetness in reading and writing in these spaces everyday, sharing our lives with other blogging friends, and I can’t recall the last time I lavished in this. I miss it, I miss it very much. And just so you know, I miss you, too….

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much love to you
XOXO

Collecting

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I am watching my life in stories. Some words have been written on paper, but lately collected pictures have become the narrator. I string the details together like a popcorn garland, then line them end to end along the walls I call my world. Details like…

Like the day we hiked like madmen only to be stalled and softened by a nest of baby nuthatches in the hollow of a pine tree.
Like the day we saw a small murder of crows perched on naked, gray branches to keep watch over the city.
Like the afternoon she made me a dandelion taco as the rays broke through the shroud of a clouded sunset.
Like the day we walked Goss Grove, found Christopher Walken’s green head on a snail’s body and the yellow and purple house of wildflowers I want to live in when I’m 60.
Like the day we saw the man in the mountain exhale into the sky.

I complain of time moving quickly but each precious moment leaves a palm print, just like the ones we leave on glass. We spend our days thinking of what we need, what we want, and what we hope to have, burning time away like melted wax when the truth is, we receive all the time. We miss them—the palm prints—we look right through them, because what we want always seems to be on the other side of the glass.

Meanwhile, I rock my collected stories in cradles like newborn babes, wondering what they will be when they grow up, waiting for that perfect time to cut the strings. Maybe all along, just like my children, they are ready far quicker than I am ready to let go. One day, despite myself, they will become something all on their own.

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much love to you

xoxox

Here and there

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All this is here and there in a month. The Great Escape Mustang sanctuary, the Eagle Plume museum and store, the Broadmoor hotel, the glories of Spring…. I am reminded often of why I named the blog as I did. Wandering never really stops and my thirst for exploring remains unquenchable.

In a couple days, we step out of school sneakers and into flip flops, water shoes, and summer break. Soccer practices and tournaments, piano recitals, school field trips and volunteering will now be replaced with summer camps, weekend excursions and barbeques. I welcome it. I welcome the laziness of pools, the saunter of hot days, tubing on the creek and badminton on our dandelion lawn. I am also wholly and heartily welcoming 43 on Saturday. I learned long ago that happiness can only be present when realized. I have all that I will ever need.

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Below are the 3 baby robins we have been watching grow over the last few weeks. They each flew from their nest one morning last week and have yet to return. We were able to witness their first flight into the world and thus experienced the true meaning of “empty nest syndrome”. Flutters was the biggest, strongest and the first to fly, then Malcolm came next. Hiccup, the last, took his time, and though still unsteady and a little unsure of himself, made it across the lawn. We miss them, but this is the magic of birth and the approaching close of Spring.

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I just finished taking Pitch Perfect, an online class on how to pitch articles and ideas to magazines and more. It’s a wonderfully thorough class for any writer interested in taking their work beyond the blog pages or their laptops. As much as I liked the idea of monetizing writing or shaking my words onto widespread, paper pages across lands and oceans, I don’t know if I am one of those writers–at least not at this point in my life. Perhaps maybe never. For now, the blog is enough, and coming here to share words is joy and a category all its own. Thank you for that. Thank you for reading or even just stopping by.

much love to you
xoxo

Fluidity

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I remember trying so hard to speak (or was it scream? I don’t remember), but all that managed to eek from a vivid sleep and a dry throat were whimpers, loud enough to wake my husband and cause him to lay his hand on my head to wake me. I remembered every detail of that dream at that moment, and I remember imploring my conscious self to record that dream somewhere so that I may recall it when I wake again. But I should know better. That dream has now drifted off to whatever infinite space that lost dreams descend to. This seems to be the case most nights lately, the feeling that I didn’t rest as well as I think I did, with faint recalls of images that moved through my wakeless mind swiftly and silently.

The translation I think is simple. Things are moving with blurred fringes lately, so fast that I am having trouble focusing on one thought, one emotion, leaving vast expanses of vulnerability dangling out in the open. My sweet cat has been very sick with IBD, demodex mites and ringworm, causing this house to turn upside down and inside out with worry, paranoia, disinfecting/cleaning, and frustration. Also, the boy was recently accepted by lottery (and perhaps providence) into an exciting and coveted middle school program here in Boulder county. This also means he will say goodbye to the wonderful Montessori community that has embraced and nurtured him–all of us actually–since we moved here. The girl will remain in Montessori for a few more years, which slightly softens the sharp edges of watching my son approach adolescence. But who am I kidding, she is moving with the same velocity and with just as certain a purpose as his.

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I find solace in my routines of respite that tenderly give me a bonelike framework to lean upon. The dedicated dance on these calused feet, the melodies that pluck from these nubby fingers, the flux of words that have feverishly filled one journal recently and have moved on to another. These things flush a wave of fluidity into my days, not unlike an IV that brings the rush of cold freshness to thirsty veins.

It is not the passage of roughness that I seek, but the distinct details that define this moment from the next. I want in waking what it is I cannot have in the apparation of my faded dreams, the texture and tangibility that makes this life my very own to live.

Much love to you on this Wednesday…

xoxox