Healing in Broken Times

It is 3:35 a.m. on the fourth night in a row that I have been awakened by lightning and thunder.  The big dogs have come slinking from their couches into the bedroom, much to the resistance of the small ones who are curled snug in the blankets.  Quieting frayed canine nerves at this ungodly hour under flashes of unearthly light could be a real drain.  But it isn’t.  It is the hour of the wolf after all.  The hour for intuitive work and self knowing.

Almost every night of storming I have dreamed of healing.  The first night I dreamed that I had awakened in the bright morning light and that the windows had been left open.  The sunlight covered my face in a wide ribbon ending at my chin.  I blinked at the brightness of it and had my first waking thought “MAN this is bright!  I could be sunburned right here in this bed!”  Then I noticed that the light was cool and soft in spite of being incredibly bright. Surprised and comforted, I closed my eyes without having moved at all and went back to sleep.  In the morning when I woke up it was dark in the room.  The bedroom blinds were drawn so tight that morning had to struggle to prove herself through the cracks.  There was no way I could have been bathed in sunlight or even moonlight through such windows.  That is when I realized it must have been a dream.

Tonight lightning woke me from another dream.  In this one I was waking from days in a coma.  It may even have been months.  I was not in a hospital, but somewhere beautiful surrounded by nature.  Two of my close friends were standing vigil over me and were overjoyed to see me awake.  The rejoicing at my return was so beautiful I got caught up in the joy of it.  And I was hungry.

These dreams coincide with a real life healing that feels nothing short of miraculous.  I have been so full of joy in my waking life that it makes no sense to me!  Over the past year I have battled dark thoughts and feelings, the depths of which I have never seen in any dark period before.  But quite suddenly this seems to have come to an end!  It was on Sunday night that I had my first fit of giggles sparked off by my God daughter throwing the funniest tantrum because she was trying to beat her playmate into wanting to play with her.  It’s ok – she’s three.  I laughed so hard that the tears were running down my face.  And then yesterday afternoon, in a training session hosted by one of my team that I had requested weeks before, on wry word became the most debilitating fit of giggles I have had in years. As the tears rolled down my face I found myself astonished at the well of bubbles, joy and mirth I had stumbled upon inside myself.  Against all odds, the odds that are killing people every day in a world that seems to have gone crazy, I have found healing.  It has been a revelation from God or the Universe and it has struck as bright as a bit of lightning.

Even now my front yard flashes an unearthly bright, giving glimpses of trees soaked to the skin on the slope now slick with sky water.  I settle under the soft microfibre blanket patterned with leaves and the word “Blessing” all over it and watch the show.  I am flanked by my four dogs, finding comfort in the closeness.  The rain washes the roof in a steady drumming heard inside the cabin like an army of marching faeries.  More and more time passes between the flashes of light and the air splitting sound – a sign the storm is moving on.

God heals and reveals in his own time.

MY HAPPY LIST – Things I have been doing differently this past two weeks…

  1. The CoolingListening to A Course In Miracles on Audible.
  2. Allowing myself to get angry with my ex boyfriend.  I’ve been avoiding anger, and maybe by doing so slowed my own healing.
  3. Spending three hours on Skype with one of my best girlies in Canada.
  4. Running frequently and longer and longer distances.
  5. Reviving this Singlestreaming blog.
  6. Reading my abandoned manuscript for the book I began two years ago.
  7. Ballsing up and having some difficult conversations in my life and in my work.  Turns out they weren’t that difficult.
  8. Voicing a heart-felt response to the killings in the world.
  9. Building my tribe with lunches and coffees and yoga classes.
  10. Finishing a new painting “The Cooling”
  11. Stocking my fridge with food regularly.
  12. Giving away the beer in the fridge that I bought for the ex.  I don’t even drink the stuff.
  13. Long baths and yoga classes.
  14. Reading my favorite book of poetry before bed every night.
  15. Choosing to let go of “low-life” love.  You know, the kind where they are doing the best they can where they are but it isn’t even a drop in the bucket of what you need or deserve?  It’s a term my girlie on above-mentioned Skype convo and I came up with about her ex cheating on her and being mean.  That love was probably the best he was capable of, but definitely not worthy of her.
  16. Calls with one of my favorite people in Jamaica.
  17. Sending stupid jokes to my brother in Canada and having him spit out his drink.
  18. Writing my morning pages (practices from the Artist’s Way) in the room that gets the best morning sun.

A Mixed Reaction

IMG_5731I look at my canvas and think that Liberty is a bitch.  She has a decidedly European face and means freedom but not for all.  What if I were to make her black with a hint of caramel?  Give her dreadlocks and a spear, a nose wide as the horizon, a red dawn of pain to be born upon? Keep her eyes green for balance?  I think of my own power and how I’ve been protecting others from it.  I think of my art as a guide to what I need to be paying attention to.  I find myself reeling, hurting, needing to see my grandmother as the world goes mad.  I need to see her and let her love me and let her know that I love her as the world goes mad.

 

We are veterans, she and I, in this war against hate.

IMG_5735I need her to know that our hard-fought-for-forgiveness still stands and towers over the harm she did before my life began.  I need her to know that I remember she tried to destroy my father and my mother’s love for him and that her family wanted to have me killed in the womb.  I need her to know that I remember AND love her still.

I need her to see the truth before she dies – the impact of her upbringing on her family and the fact that love can conquer even this.  I need her to know that I am here and I will hold her hand as she struggles over the stones placed in just the right places to be treacherous as her old feet seek a solid place to stand.  She will not fall because I am here, black and white and strong and forgiving all that has been done.

I also need to thank her for showing me hate and how it works and for making the journey to the half-way point where I could meet her.  Contrary to jaded belief, I did not need to defeat her.  It took listening to understand from both places on either side of the divide.  It took hearing the hurt beneath the hate, the love beneath the pain, the cry to be seen and accepted for us to be one again.  Because we weren’t born to be two.  Disharmony is learned and distrust is hard-earned.

IMG_5741My brown arm reaches out to steady her age-spotted once-white frame as she shuffles one uncertain foot in front of the other, reaching out unsteady, shifting weight slowly so as to allow the ground time to earn her trust – as she must have done with me.  I need to see her today so she can put a balm on my wounds, rub my scars with gentle hands now wise to the lie she was told and told herself.  We are not so different.  I need to clean the flesh wounds and bind the bones from the week spent fighting with her kin struggling to let the light into their dark thoughts.  I need her to remind me that the love on the other side is worth the war we wage today.  My own blood – her people – would care as little if it were me shot in cold blood in front of my children or my local supermarket.  My own flesh and blood would be fine with it if it were my blood spilled.  When those who love me cry out “her life matters!”  they will counter with “All lives matter.”  They would help the system find a way to say I’d asked for it – after all “she was no saint.”  They would care more about the police coming and taking their gun from their suburban homes than the white hoods or blue uniforms drawing me – their cousin – from my bed and hanging me from the nearest tree.  She was no saint.  She drove ten miles above the speed limit to work every day.  She never used her turning signals to switch lanes.  She was asking for it.  She was no saint.

IMG_5777I need my grandmother today.  For her I don’t need to be a saint.  She won’t say a word.  She won’t mention the news she’s been glued to immobile all week in her house alone.  She won’t mention the hurt on my face or the limp I walk into the house with.  She won’t even see the blood-red paint on my hands from the blood of Liberty that I’ve been moving around to keep my longing limbs coiled for a fight from adding to the harm already happening in the world.  I will have to show her.

She will be glad to see me, pat the arm I offer, and squeeze my hand as she draws me closer.  The best thing that ever happened to her, she says.  God gave me to her, she says.

May God give every one of my racist kin a black baby to love.

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I am serious.  May all the young of my family find love in smoothe black embraces and may they kiss the faces of the killers of their hatred.  May a beige-coloured love be our only fate as humanity faces the dawn of a new age.  As people picket, pretending that the line between them exists, I will raise my afro-hooded face and lift my green eyes to the sky and call the divide of race a lie.  The black spots of age bursting through the milk-white skin on my grandmother’s arms reveal the false god of white-supremacy.

In the end only the colors of love and wisdom win.

THE DAWN IS MINE

dawn is mineShifting, rising, waking

at the sound of song,

shuffling into slippers

to face another dawn.

One pup in her bed,

one out his window peering

as silver creeps across the lawn

that night is done with sharing.

Coffee poured and leashes latched –

a canine celebration!

And quietly we slip outside

to face a new creation.

Winged musicians yawn a song

as gold slides in their nest

“Of all the visits light has made

today will be the best!”

Palm boughs drip with diamond dew,

mist parts their leaves to rise,

grass flowers disrobe to bathe

in sunshine from the skies.

Green flash seekers line the beach

to search day’s end for a sign.

They can keep the burning sunset.

As for me, the dawn is mine.

 

Cuban Lover

He wordlessly reached out his hand,

this t-shirt clad and quiet man,

as he led me gently to the floor

I couldn’t help but wonder

how exactly this would go,

whether he would or wouldn’t know

how to lead me through turns and twists and steps

and correctly dip me under.

My lies about love grew bold and loud

floating round my hair like a rain cloud

and when he pulled me into his stance

the cloud clapped angry thunder.

But in a moment still and clear

I looked at him and saw no fear

a gaze free of calculation

tore my lies asunder.

The steps we took at first were slow

till both were sure how it would go

and surer, surer still we stepped

till feeling just took over.

Soon enough the cloud had cleared,

my shoes had up and disappeared!

and onlookers to my laughing glow

would scarcely guess me sober!

Through spins and strides and turns and dips

of brightly swinging salsa hips

my unexpected gallant man

did lead and pause and hover.

The flush rose to my warming cheeks

as feet matched latin dips and peaks

and spanish sang out on the breeze

until the song was over.

My fluid partner, strong and true

kissed my hand and said “thank you”

and as he walked into the night

I shrank into familiar cover.

The choice was mine – I could resume

the lies that had foretold our gloom

or bask in the remaining glow

of my Cuban dance-floor lover.

BRAIN

There was a time when all I was was right brained – I lived to play the piano, danced and didn’t care who saw, wrote poetry well into the morning hours, believed in love, stripped down to underwear and ran and jumped into the sea, and thrived on meeting and connecting with new people.

And then I grew up.  Or that’s what I was told happened.  I began to analyze the shit out of everything, to pick apart the music for the inaccuracies, justify everything I did or wanted to do with evidence and reasons, calculate income less expenses in my head while walking my dogs in the morning.  Getting things right became more important than being beautiful.

But now… I’m gonna regress a little and wallow in the gorgeousness of my childhood.  I’m gonna spell stuff wrong, throw a tantrum here and there, wear big hats and dance in my comfortably round body and skip down the middle of the damn road thank you very much.  I will drink in the morning, laugh when I sneeze, and stare at gorgeous paintings for hours barely breathing.  I will clothe myself in colour, blast music until my car vibrates, speak with flowery words, and eat dessert first.

The right brain, the part of us that is being killed off by education and expectation, is where beauty lives.  It is where the purpose of life exists.  Time to reconnect.

A Brain-Blush

Attention Readers!!
BUSHLETTE HAS MADE A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION!!!

I don’t think I ever want to get married!

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I might be able to attribute this decision to “daddy issues”, but I think I will end up as one of those women who, at age 48(24 years from now), has been with the same man for 8 to 12 years, but won’t ever get married. I’ll call him my “partner” because after being in an 8 to 12 year relationship, “boyfriend” will sound too juvenile. Because I will refer to him this way, people will think I’m a lesbian, which he and I will always take in good humor as we spend our nights drinking dry wine from the east of Bolivia and staring sideways at abstract paintings.

I will wear long flowy skirts with delicately embellished flips flops that I will acquire on my vacation to a quaint, untouched Caribbean island. My scarves won’t match my outfits, and I will learn how to sew. As of now, I can’t knit, but I will try to learn in my spare time (when I’m 48). I will knit hideous scarves and sweaters for my family and closest friends. As ugly as they will be, these tokens of love will be appreciated because of how much they love me. I will have no idea that my knitting is horrendous…but those are the kinds of friends and family members I will be lucky enough to have.

Hummus will be one of my closest allies! I will eat a modest diet of completely healthy foods that are good for me but taste like cardboard…not because I should, but because I’ll like them! Okay…maybe I won’t like all of them, but most of them! I will like most of them!

I look forward to adding to this list! These thoughts were recently extracted from the tiny part of me that generates the most ridiculous, and most honest ideas that make my brain blush.

What makes your brain blush? 😉

xo
Bushlette