Leap of Faith
One hundred days ago I agreed to join my friend, Lorissa, who was starting a book-discussion group online. We were gearing up to follow The Magic by Rhonda Byrne for twenty-eight days and to change our lives through the radical practice of gratitude. The invitation actually came at the perfect time for me as I was also days away from launching this blog. So, I doubled down and committed myself to the journey of practicing gratefulness as well as carving out time to create every day. I trusted my friend, the timing, and the intentional choices I was making to vulnerably put my voice out into the world with joy.
As the end of the book drew nearer, I needed to decide if I would continue with my practice and take the time to figure out what that looked like without a daily handbook or guide, or if I would let the last month become not much more than a memory.
Here's the thing about growing gratitude: it is not a choice you make just once, but one that The Universe calls us to make repeatedly. Throughout the last one hundred days, I have dug deep through death, financial uncertainty, things breaking down left and right, the lingering pandemic, and a whole host of other things that would knock any of us to the ground. I have fallen, I have struggled, I have cried, I have cursed, I have struggled and cried some more, I have leaned on those I love, I have regrouped, and I have steered my ship back toward gratitude over and over again.
Tomorrow I will submit five poems I have written during the last one hundred days. I found Sweet Mammalian, a New Zealand literary journal completely a month or so ago by accident when a retweet about their June 30th deadline for submissions popped up into my Twitter feed. After checking out their previous issues, my gut told me that this was the "next right thing" I had been waiting for. This is my first step into unknown territory, boldly and unapologetically because I refuse to stay small for even one more minute, and also because it's really just been a whole lot of fun.
If you commit to taking your own leap of faith today, who knows where you might find yourself one hundred more from now?
Big-Ass Black Bird
Oh, to have the confidence of the bird that has commandeered our driveway, strutting like it pays the mortgage and owns the concrete.
To be proud enough to stick my flag and claim a patch of land I have no business claiming, grifting shiny things buried in the torn up street.
To be fearless enough to throw a renegade barbecue in front of a house on a block where I don’t live, pumping up the bass and dancing with my friends to the beat.
Oh, to be so bold.
In the neighborhood with sleepy houses,
nestled in their beds,
eyes still closed at this hour;
under the sky with breakfast in its pockets,
juice all down its chin,
belly empty and tending to chores;
on the round park path with gravel stones,
full of overgrowth and geese,
morning meetings underway;
by a pond with rippled rings,
popping up on the surface,
lingering like we do on the bank;
are those trees we found with fruit set to ripen,
six of them in total,
half a dozen reasons to do this again next week.
Whales thrive in unknown worlds,
traverse rolling waters,
and break the surface
on eager spouts of air.
Gray, blue, killer,
the blurred margins
smaller than the krill
that sustain them.
Whales do not drink,
for they are the ocean,
gliding, as unconcerned
How to be an Orange
In the beginning, we are flesh, bone, and earth.
We are tears, sweat, and water.
We are oxygen, dioxide, and air.
In the beginning we are and no one taught us how.
We are before we’ve been conceived, born, or named.
We are before the ways of the world tell us the ways that we, decidedly, are not.
This unlearning is what unties our sure knots of knowing; undoes the intricacies of being; and hides our shoes somewhere under the bed.
We are whole before our one new-in-the-box selves are damaged, outgrown, or lost.
We are “how it is.”
And an orange is an orange is an orange is an orange.
No matter how you slice it.
It was before we ever discovered, tasted, or grew it; and it certainly was before we deigned to slap a label on it.
An orange is an orange is an orange is an orange, undoubtedly, but maybe simply because the world has yet to convince it otherwise.
The instructor invites us to close our eyes,
spread our feet to the very edges of our mat,
let our knees fall gently together
The further my feet spread the easier the fall,
the more I relax
I have been so afraid of this place
Moving toward our own edges,
I know it’s the way these things go
I have been afraid of no way back
The worst thing just happened,
you told me you were afraid
from your side of the mat
Those words barely inched out of your mouth
and nudged us to our very edges
We fall gently together,
Thank you for joining me. I am so glad you’re here!