Hymn to a room of my own
The room where I sit to write is a room of my own, the first I have had since I was a child. It is filled with images of strong women on whose shoulders I stand: family, healers, spiritual masters, goddesses. Filled with books overflowing with both knowledge and questions. Decades of journals. Artwork of family, friends, my own. Lilah is stretched out on the healing table for her extended morning nap.
Here I exhale. Here I feel myself. Here I meet with other women who are in pain. Here I plug into Zoom and meet with colleagues across the country and across the ocean. Here I watch a strong wind speed clouds towards the southeast. Solitude and connection.
Hymn to writing
I have been blogging weekly now for fifteen months. As with any practice, sometimes I am inspired, and other times it’s a slog. Always, the practice demands honesty, the most impeccable discernment I can muster. And it hews me to conventions of language and grammar and a willingness to break with them for good reason. Drop the subject from a sentence. Run on like a Proustian paragraph. Give up on narrative altogether and turn to poetry.
Poetry – here too I exhale. I trust sound and line length and white space. A period: ● Or its absence. When a Hebrew word לְדַבֵּר speaks or detracts. This is my brief hymn of Thanksgiving to punctuation.
Hymn to gifts received
A life that is more stable than most. A body with some growing limitations that still allows me to move around the world in the ways I treasure. A mind that is wedded to one passionate inquiry after another. Currently: bringing the wisdom of nondual practice to working with social identities; and the Hebrew letter Gimel, which is said to personify Giving and also has a numerical value of 3. A husband who silently recites his wedding vows to me every Friday evening at the Shabbos table as he slips the wedding band on my finger. Daughters who continue to teach and inspire me through shring books, moveies, and their own life lessons. Friends who loaned us their condo for a month while we had work done on our house. A colleague who takes so much responsibility for her opinions and actions that I am actually learning as we work together how to be in conflict, even disconnection, and stay in relationship. A richness of communities and colleagues – of healing, of inquiry, of writing, of practice, of vision and action, of readers.
Hymn to the Thanksgiving Table
This year I come to the table as a guest, in a tradition-breaking and welcome change, the table….
….. as a gathering of aromas and flavors and recipes to be exchanged
….. as a an invitation to listening and sharing and rewriting stories
….. as a privileged place of safety in a world where legions of humanity are without roof, walls, table and food
….. as an altar and a focal point of ceremony and ritual
….. as a place of healing, where each guest may take in nourishment she needs to come home to herself
May we each be inspired to work in our own way
to bring about food, table, walls, roof, a place to exhale,
for every human being.