Sea Kisses

It’s been one of those days spent embroiled in fantasy to escape the storm.

A friend of mine called me and told me to get up.  Now.  Get off the couch.  He gave me specific directions.  Drive 1.4 miles up the street from your house, past the condos on the beach, and park at the white gate.  Walk down the rise to the water and get in.  I don’t care what you’re wearing just get in.

I followed instructions.  Walked through the hole in the gate and down the drive to an abandoned foundation of a house reclaimed by the sea in Hurricane Ivan.  The drive has long been eroded away with holes and eaten edges now claimed by bur grass and sand.  There was a single family to the East and clear beach to the West and, still unmoved, I sat down.

My friend, as though stalking me on bbm, said “ok now Bushy, get in.”  But there’s a family in the only spot free of grass!  “Swim out past the grass.  Just do it.”  And so I did.  But not far.  Half-sitting, half-floating in 4 feet of water my body began to relax.  Tension eased out of the shoulders as they let go.  And then I saw it.

I stood up straight, shocked to see what looked like a head sticking out of the water about six feet out from me.  Relieved to find sand beneath my feet I shot up about 2 feet out of the water to see better, and then thinking better of it, I clambered to shore.  Squinting out with concentration I watched for it again.  And there it was!  And  another one!  I asked two little girls walking the beach if they saw them – did you see that?!  They looked at me and smiled at eachother in agreement (this one’s nuts).  When I turned they had disappeared.

From the height of the shore, when they reappeared I could see better the graceful animals as they came up for air and dove right back down out of sight before anyone else could see them and believe I was anything but insane.  When I was alone again they came up for longer periods, eyeing me as they swam across my view back and forth, their leathery heads and the hint of a shell sparkling as they broke the water.  My heart just about burst with a smile, looking at my fellow Caymanian creatures swimming in waters that our ancestors have shared for generations.

Seeing them and feeling the connection as our eyes locked, I walked back into the water with calm and a singing spirit.  To any onlookers I must have looked a fool!  A woman up to her neck in water blowing kisses and singing to turtles no one else could see.

My Sheets

Monday morning sunshine

calls me singing from my bed,

a million busy thoughts

fight for attention in my head,

the daunting tasks at hand

grow into mountains in my sight

but my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

The week is full of battles

folks to lead and lives to save,

Goliaths gang up on

my inner David forcing brave.

The thought that fortifies as I

face down the righteous fight

is my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

As Wednesday grows more bloody

and defeat feels very near,

the arguments grow louder

with defense and craven fear.

To just make it to sundown I

turn my cheek against my plight

for my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

The tide begins to turn

as solutions bubble up,

energy swims to surface

as I drain my coffee cup.

I focus on the goal

with eyes squinting all my might

at my sheets of gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

Finally the week is ended

and war melts down with the sun.

Kicking back my soul reflects

upon the battles God has won.

Grace rains down in drops of beauty,

my heart rests and dreams take flight

in my sheets of gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

Resistance

It was a blur of calls to clients, making sure the checks were cut, the bills both corporate and personal paid, instructions left with the helper, the assistant, provisions made for the care of my canine children, duties distributed to employees, bags packed, passport in hand, and currency enough for one week carefully stashed in safe and secret places.

For the past few weeks – perhaps even months – I have operated on fumes as fuel quickly burned off from my last replenishing vacation.  So much strived for, battled against, lost and accomplished.  My mind and body and spirit screamed at me as I reamed out first gear.  Begging for a time in PARK.  Rest.  Stop.  Quiet.  Nothing.

And so I got on a plane knowing rest would not be available to me at home with the needs of friends, family, co-workers, employees, animals ever present and pressing.  I was delivered safe and sound to Kingston airport by Cayman Airways, stood none-too-patiently for an hour and a half ot get my passport stamped (thinking all the time I would FIRE the person who scheduled five flights at once!) and was collected lovingly by my brother and his girlfriend.

Rest is what I came for.  But fear is what I came with.

It has been 48 hours and already I’m going crazy.  I am a ball of pure unreasonable resistance.

There is no rest in my weariness, no relief in my repose.  Today I tossed and turned as my tummy twisted in turmoil – perhaps a tummy bug but more likely the fear that if I succumb to this quiet I will lose something.  Or find something I don’t want to find.

But instead it found me.  The predator long of tooth and sharp of claw has waited for my quiet to make his presence known.  He takes the thoughts of my mind and roughly yanks them toward himself, a part of myself, the part I run from with my meetings and engagements, my sushi and coffee dates, the problem solving sessions for the problems of others, my busyness and business.  He is the part that is left last to fall asleep at night.  I push myself daily to breaking point to make our nightly encounters brief so that when my head hits the pillow I am too exhausted to feel his bite into the artery of the neck of my soul.  This piece of my soul called by the male gender for his ability to hurt me, known best by the smell of lonely tears about to burst, and fears of childless and loveless futures, is most dangerous when his presence prompts regret and self doubt.  Never have I left behind a love that did not need leaving and my brain knows this but this animal asks me like a spoiled and nagging child over and over and over and over… “are you sure?”  “would you not be better there than here alone with me?” “are you sure?”.

Already on this quest to rest this bastard has wrung tears from my dry eyes.  My challenge is to find peace and not be won over by the compulsion in my nature to work myself to the bone and into a state so distracted by tiredness that his voice is lost in the babble.  For tonight I must lose myself – especially this hungry, febrile, visceral part of myself – in the peace of simply BEING.

Pray for me.