Monthly Archives: November 2013

Ear infections

Day 68

Mothering is the strangest thing. It is the only thing I’ve ever done that absolutely stretches all of my boundaries every day in every way.

Loving Revel has changed my world around, rearranged me so that I am all the parts I was before, only now I’m different.

Being a mother continuously challenges my boundaries, my patience, my ability to nurture, my ability to give of myself, my ability to forgive myself, my ability to love.

Revel gives me new eyes to see the world. The colors more vibrant, the noises more amazing, each moment more magic.

He gives me really big hugs now, squeezes me tight around the neck, bounces a little.

He has another ear infection. Yes, another one. Cries when he wakes up from the pressure in his ears, wants to nurse nonstop.

He needs his mama, so this post is short.

Revel, I love you so much. Thank you for choosing me as your mom. You are the greatest gift.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Advertisements

We, the wild-blind

Day 67

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

On many nights I can feel the land calling me,

needing me as much as I need it.

It speaks to me of hiding spots,

cavities in the trunks of trees, burrows underground,

and camouflage,

the speckles on the cardinal eggs, the hazy brown of the deer.

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

The first time I made fire I cried,

loud and strong,

smoke hanging in the air around me,

bow drill at my feet.

These are gifts the land gives us,

holds out in outstretched hands with shy smile.

She is also afraid,

to forge new ties with ones who are reckless and fast,

who walk with clumsy steps on soft surfaces, who cannot see even with open eyes,

we, the wild-blind.

Her voice sounds like ocean waves and dry slither of snake,

the first caw of the crow at dawn, and the hallowed howling of wolf.

I want to know how the mountains move,

and where Raccoon goes at night.

I am a child for her,

her touch is soft, like Revel’s hand brushed against my chest.

She is wild,

glowing animal eyes in the night.

Let us heed her call.

She is unfamiliar, but do not be afraid,

her love for us is great.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Yank

photo by Yank

There are other ways of knowing

Day 66

photo by wilson alvarez

photo by wilson alvarez

Hope is abandoned buildings, tree limbs twisted through busted out windows, glass sparkling like diamonds on the floor.

Hope is thistle breaking through cracks in the sidewalk, slowly, slowly turning solid rock to dust, honey bees circling spiked stalks, purple flowers, bodies heavy with pollen.

Hope is the crumbling stories of skyscrapers, disintegrating bit by bit, lichen climbing cement, crawling up man made rocks.

Hope is the secretive bobcat living in the empty house at the end of the block, scattered bones, the remnants of meals, scattered across the yard.

Hope is the garden in the empty lot between the auto repair store and the check cashing place, ancient beans trellised high to the sky, native corn stretching straight to the heavens, arms raised.

Hope is the roadkill deer gently skinned and butchered in the apartment building backyard, antlers cradled sweetly in warm hands, full bellies of fresh meat, offerings.

Hope is the child, sure of foot, and sound of mind, high in the branches of the twisting tree in the abandoned house, sparkling diamonds made of glass, singing,  clear and holy like the white throated sparrow’s delicate song.

We may be living through collapse,

But we do not need to be collapsed.

Go outside, lay down, warm back on cold ground,

Look for Orion’s belt, the slope of his bow, arms outstretched, arrow at the ready.

Listen to your own heart beating, feel the great turning of the living earth beneath you.

There are other ways of knowing.

Find them.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

Let our wails be war cries

Day 65

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

I am woman.

All round belly, heavy breasts, and thick thighs.

All womb, and ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and mammary glands,

vagina, clitoris, lips.

My body can make babies, grow them from scratch,

in an ancient alchemy of saltwater, crimson blood, and love,

a planet unto itself.

My body is rhythmic like the moon, knows how to swell and soften at all the right moments,

moves as the mountains do,

rising up and crumbling down again.

They say the revolution will be led by a woman.

And they are right, but only in part.

The revolution will be led by a woman, but not just one.

It will be led by lots of women, by all the women,

because we women, we know the world works in the circle way,

in partnerships, and groups, and communities,

through cooperation.

We women know that there is wisdom in working together,

great power in numbers,

like birds,

flocks of starlings, dipping and diving in dance,

blotting out the sky.

The culture of destruction wants us women to hate ourselves, hate each other. They poison us with advertising and lies.

They want us to hate each other, because they know that weakens us,

makes us sick, and separate, and sad. They are afraid of what happens when we join together, in the old ways, hand in hand, united.

They are afraid that we will remember our rightful place in the world, and that we’ll want it back.

Well, guess what?

We’ve never forgotten, and now the time has come. To gather together, to rise up, and fight.

To take back our world.

The stakes are high, the lines are drawn.

No longer will we stay quiet as they poison our water, air, food, and land. No longer will we look away as they target our children with their shiny gadgets and plastic toys. No longer will we allow them to destroy our families with their false Gods and slick advertisements. No longer will they make us hate ourselves. No longer will they make us hate each other.

Let us wipe the chemical color from our lips, and greet the dawn with fresh faces.

Let us tear their heels from our feet and feel the bare earth soft under our toes.

Let us shed the clothes meant to lift, tuck, squeeze, and contain. Shed the bras strapped tight across our chests like chains, let our bodies be free and unrestricted in their movements.

Let us smash our mirrors in the streets and recognize ourselves from the inside out,

Let us wear feathers in our hair, blue of the jay, red of the cardinal, black of the crow,

and weave bones into our braids,

let us paint our skin with the juice of the brightest berries, and midnight black of charcoal.

Let us leave our jobs and learn, how to find the plants and animals, how to turn them into food, how to make music with our hands and hearts, how to feed our babies at our breasts, and heal everything so it’s whole again.

Let us plunge our hands into the blackest soil and weep,

so the seeds might grow.

Let us build up the home fires and stand like beacons in the night.

Let us wail, loud and hard with heartbreak,

and let our wails be war cries,

the battle cry of the breasted ones.

Let us take up arms,

with the ones we love,

circle up and stand united.

Let us tear down the cities and plant forests in their place,

watch our children play under the sun on the ruins and wreckage.

Let us grow fierce and strong,

let us wear knives on our thighs and buckskin on our breasts.

Let us be led by warriors,

women.

Hear

us

fucking

ROAR.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

The reality revolution

Day 64

photo by wilson alvarez

photo by wilson alvarez

It’s still very hard for me to say how I feel.

It’s getting easier here, words on a blank page. I’m able to speak from the heart when I write. Very often I cry. That is one of the ways I know I’m speaking my truth.

But face to face connection, and I’m still a mess. There it is, the pasted on smile, the jokes, the sarcasm, the small talk.

Today, for example, I felt very sad. I felt like crying for most of the morning. I was edgy, and irritable, and not in a good mood at all.

But instead of just saying to the people around me, “Hey, I’m feeling really shitty and sad and I’m just gonna sit here and cry for awhile.”

I tried to act like everything was fine, like I was having a great day, hustled and bustled around, got the kids bundled up to go out, ate breakfast etc., etc.

And that made me feel exhausted, and frustrated with the cold weather, and even worse, because I just wanted to lay my head on Wil’s chest and BREATHE, but for some reason I just

couldn’t

say

the

words.

” I feel sad.”

The air is poisoned, the soil is poisoned, the water is poisoned, the people and the animals and the land are suffering, corporations rule our government and the world, and they do not protect the interests of things that are alive.

And still, and STILL,

I just can’t make myself say when I feel anything other than blazing happiness.

And I’m sick to death of it.

And don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly blessed. Blessed to have a beautiful and healthy son, and a beautiful and healthy nephew. Blessed to have an amazing husband, and family, and friends. Blessed to live on this beautiful earth. I am endlessly lucky, and endlessly grateful.

But the good things don’t erase the fact that our ecosystem is collapsing, and nobody seems to give a damn.

And it makes me feel almost guilty to be sad, kind of ungrateful or something.

But I know that is just another way the culture of destruction keeps us in line, keeps us quiet. Grin and bare it, be happy with what you’ve got, other people have it worse than you, don’t be ungrateful.

And all of that bullies us into staying quiet, into complying with the rules, into saying we’re happy when we’re not.

Because if we admit that we’re sad, or  mad, or anything less than overjoyed, we might have to take the time to figure out WHY we feel that way.

And that’s just too dangerous.

Although maybe something is shifting in me because suddenly I am finding that sometimes it feels easier not to see anyone at all than to try to keep up the permanent charade of happiness I can’t seem to shake.

And that’s new, because I’ve never felt that way before.

But I guess that’s also a characteristic of grieving. A hunger for solitude, a reclusiveness that separates the one in mourning from the rest of the world. A quarantine, just in case sadness is catching.

I am afraid to be sad, afraid to admit that I am anything less than happy all the time.

Because to be sad would mean that I am not perfect. It would mean I don’t have it all together, it would mean I am sensitive, and vulnerable, and in need of help.

And that’s terrifying, because my whole coping mechanism, my whole survival strategy in this world is based on being the one who is always fine, the one holding it all together, the one holding everyone else up.

And now, I’ve been playing that part for so long, I even have myself convinced.

But all that’s bullshit you know? Just a story I tell myself so I can feel superior to everyone, perfect, above reproach, free of guilt.

But I’m sick of this story. I’ve read it so many times I know it by heart.

I’ve got to start getting real with myself, stop this old song and dance, give up my go to mantra,

I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.

So, instead I’m going to try,

I’m not fine, I’m not fine, I’m not fine

for awhile and see how that feels. See if that loosens up some of the old patterns I’ve gotten myself stuck with.

And if I don’t return your calls, or I cancel our plans, or I fail to reach out,

Please don’t be offended.

Just know,
I love you.

and

It’s just that I’m in the midst of a dismantling of sorts.

And you all are welcome to join me,

if you have your own dismantling to do.

Perhaps eventually we will be ready to rebuild

together.

It’s a matter of radical honesty I suppose.

We must be radically honest with ourselves, with each other, and with the world.

It’s the reality rebellion.

Yes.

Now that is

FINE.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

Tonight’s guest post is from my wise and creative friend Deanna. She’s also a mama, and a blogger, and wrote this thoughtful piece about TV and media and the affect it has on our kids. Deanna writes,

“You should create things for kids to grow up and into. Kids will rise to meet your expectations. All kids of all levels. If we give them fill and fluff and expect that to babysit them then that’s all we’ll ever get back.”

Thank you so much for your words Deanna. Please click the link below to check out the full piece on her blog, The Mother Load.

http://versographics.com/smartsesame/

safe passage

Day 62

You were created to surf the waves of the wind on tissue paper wings,

to fill the space between heaven and earth with shatteringly beautiful color,  fire in the sky.

Surely you were intended as a gift, the love of a creator made manifest.

All you wanted was an intact world, a safe place to settle your babies, a home to rest your tiny bodies after your mighty journey, a breeding ground, food.

And for a long time there was always enough. Enough blue sky to travel through, enough green earth for navigation, enough starlight to find your way at night, enough forest to hold your weary bodies.

Like celebrations, you were, a great ribbon stretched across thousands of miles. You knew to arrive in the south on The Day of the Dead, a time when our world is most open to all kinds of winged ones.

Your people, you understand the way that generations work together, must cooperate for the greater good.

Thinking of you today, and writing this, I can almost sense you here with me, a fluttering at the edge of my vision, a whisper against my cheek.

I apologize for my people. Many of them do not understand the way the world is, how the big ones are supposed to take care of the little ones, take care of their homelands, see to it that the earth is kept healthy, happy, fertile, and rich. Humid, and dry, and warm, and wet.

They tell me your numbers are dwindling now. Down by a quarter, a half, two thirds, that you may not recover, that this could be a march to the end, that the same things killing you are killing your sisters, the bees.

And still, we pour poisons on the ground, mow down your milkweed fields and turn forests into parking lots.

And you know,

I take that back, what I said earlier, about apologizing for my people.

They are not my people. The ones who forgot how the world works.

They are not my people.

Are not.

My people

remember.

I pray for safe passage,

for the winged ones on their journeys,

and for all of us during this time of transition.

My heart is very broken.

I am hurt in a thousand different ways.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

Check out more beautiful footage of the Monarchs at
And dear Azralmena, my Spiral sister, thank you for our incredible guest piece tonight. This, in your words, “offering to the rebellion.” Yes, we begin. Thank you for your words Azralmena. I love you. Thank you for sharing.

as i began reading, i began weeping

so many tears for so many different reasons

a tear for the RELIEF… in knowing that i am not alone in this mourning

a tear for the heart-shattering DESPAIR… in knowing that i am not alone in this mourning

so much to mourn

how can we just let all this pain in?

what will happen?

the sunshine will never find its way thru all this darkness

it is too thick

“there is nothing to be done” we say

a tear for the sadness of self-limitation
so many souls, so much confusion, so much despair

a tear for the part of me that thought “i wish it was me that started this, I want to be recognized, I want to be heard….I, I, I

 …so lost in our “I”s
a tear for the part of me that thought i had no right
a tear for the shame
a lot of tears for shame
for all the times i have pretended i am…or am not something;
while i kicked my truth beneath the rug telling it to keep quite; and not to embarass me
that was hard to write…it is hard to be raw…a nerve exposed to the biting wind
i am ashamed i am so selfish, i am ashamed that i care what people think, i am ashamed that i keep turning my eyes;
excusing myself from the responsibility that is my own
i am ashamed that i can so easily forget the sickening inequality of the world as i drink my wine and buy my new boots
as children perish with bellies swollen
i am ashamed that i so often do not cherish these gifts i have, but wish for something different…just…..something
there must be something to fix this curse of discontenment, some magic key, some secret path……something
a tear for the constant searching; for moments forgotten; passed by in our insatiable search
but….our shame is NOT our truth,
our self-loathing and limitation is not our truth
our guilt is not our truth
our truth is what we CHOOSE
so we must be RAW now…hold nothing back
we must acknowledge our shame, our fears, our deepest darkest secrets
we must bring them out from the dungeons and guide them gently into the sunlight
let them be bathed in the light, in the warmth
and then….little by little… there faces begin to change, not looking so dark and menacing as they once did
but sad, and confused and lonely….in need of a hug
and as we accept those broken parts of ourselves….we remember….
we are everything….AND… we are what we choose
we have nothing to hide
we have nothing to prove
we have this moment, and the next, and the next, and the one after that to be “us”
to be truly, fully, unapologetically, openly, joyfully US
and when our little world of walls that we have spent so many years building up inside of ourselves begin to fall…
the walls between everything else begin to fall too….
and we begin to SEE each other
a tear for that…a tear for all the walls that are crumbling as we reach out to one another
no longer hiding, but standing before each other raw and vulnerable
putting our foot down and saying enough is enough!
a tear for the heart bursting, laughter filled, hand joining, torch raising,, voice raising, mind blowing beauty that is the
HUMAN SPIRIT
so many of us feel we do not have the right to shine, to be the carriers of light
we look around, and think “oh…her light is so bright, mine will never be that bright…..
he’s already shining, there is no room for me”
BUT WE DO
and WE MUST
the time is now!
light goes on forever….unless there is something there to obstruct its path
there is ENDLESS SPACE
it turns out… we can all shine our very brightest! turn ourselves on full blast!
we do not cancel each other out, there is no competition, there is only LIGHT
there is only LOVE
and as each person decides to switch on there own light… our own lights become even brighter, and then our brighter light shines onto someone elses,
causing their light to shine brighter
until….
WE ARE ALL ONE BRILLIANT PERFECT LIGHT
we have all chosen to be here on earth…in this time of great shifting
and it is NOT EASY
the responsibility of it all is cell shattering….ripping us apart and scattering our pieces so violently
that we believe we will never be put together again….
many of us forgotten we were whole to begin with
but we must remember that we cannot be separated
separation is an illusion
and as this memory floods back to us….this ancient, primal, simple wisdom that
WE ARE NOT SEPARATE
as this truth fills us up….
we RE-member
every part of us
because we know that wherever our pieces are scattered
they are not alone
we are a shattered people living on a shattered earth
but we are also whole
so with this knowing, we set to work
bending down, with baskets woven in solidarity, resting in the soft nooks of our elbows
and we gather
piece by piece
we BEGIN

To my mother on my birthday

Day 61

31 years ago you went to bed.

Sometime, in the middle of the night, your stomach muscles must have tightened with the first of the rippling contractions that would bring me into this world.

Were you scared I wonder? Or did you feel like a warrior readying for battle, gathering your strength, breathing deeply, laser focus, centered, ready.

3 years you waited for me, hoping and praying, dreaming of babies wrapped in white blankets, tiny booties on their feet. The doctors told you there was really no chance. Scarring, they said, of the fallopian tubes, caused by a childhood sickness maybe, a high fever.

“It was the best day.” you’ve told me many times, “the day we found out we were pregnant with you.”

“I walked miles and miles that summer.” you’ve said, “with a hand on my belly, talking to you, telling you of my love for you, how excited we were to meet you, to have you, to hold you. Thanking God for you. ”

You nursed me well into childhood. I can remember curling into your lap, playing with the chain around your neck. I remember weaning too, “this tastes like strawberries. ” I said, ready to be big, ready to move to the next phase of our relationship, ready to pass my “mee-mees” to my little sister, recently born.

You stayed home with us, a constant and comforting presence in our lives. Made breakfast in the morning, toast, and orange juice, cereal and milk. We actually ate at our small kitchen table every night, you and dad at either end, me and sis in the middle, talking, laughing, fighting, loving.

You read us books for hours on end. One winter, in the small bedroom my sister and I shared, with the twin beds pushed together,  we read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books out loud. The following summer, Anne of Green Gables. Story after story of wild snow storms on the open prairie, and the racing pulses of first loves.

Eventually, you started teaching, yoga and dance. After all those years of mothering, your muscles must have itched to bend and stretch, your feet must have ached to travel across the floor. But I still wasn’t ready to let you go.

You talked loud, to your mother and grandmother on the phone. Separated by thousands of miles, those conversations must have been your lifeline, a connection to a world left behind.

There are things I couldn’t know about you, until I had a child myself. Why I see you staring at me sometimes, across the room, not speaking, a small smile on your lips. And why you find cars scary, are terrified of driving. Our small, fragile bodies were never meant to go that fast.

And now, watching you with Revel, and Zander, it all comes rushing  back. The endless patience you showed us, never raising your voice, always there with a cookie, or a hug.

I’m sorry that this world is such a hard place to live, for one so sweet, and gentle.

There are things about you I mistook for weakness; now I can see them for what they are,

your strengths.

You have loved and sheltered me all the days of my life.

Thank you.

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you so much mom,

love,

Tash

i love you mom

i love you mom