Day 27: ink and paper prayer

11113918_10153284406116952_5809379280973695816_nI slide across the wood floor in my socks and end in a yoga stretch at Dan’s feet. He stands with his jar of chai tea and a piece of toast in his hand.

“Hey, I think I’ve got a blog coming on. What are your plans? Can I write? You want to sit with me while I write?”

Before he can finish his chewing I get impatient and say, “You think about it. I’ll stretch.”

I arch into a back bend. There is something new and exciting opening up in my spine. My body is discovering itself, releasing the way it has held together in a tight fist of heart and lungs and things unsaid. Every day, it is remembering an ancient and wild freedom in its form.

“I need to write,” I say, blood rushing into my head. I sway a little as Dan nods to my upside down gaze, “Go, babe. Write.”
I pull myself out of the bend by imagining strong arms reaching down from the heavens, pulling me toward a lion of a hug. “Nanea got my cards,” I say. “I’m so happy about it I have to do something.”
So I do, I do a few cheeky shimmies as I leave the room, thanking Dan for his patience and generosity.

In the darkness of the hallway, the lightness of my mood drops away and I’m imagining Nanea opening the cards I sent her. I smile thinking of her reading the little adventure I took us on. And then I’ve got the tears in my eyes for knowing that my love reached her in the ink and paper prayer of it all.

I took Nanea with me in my heart as I went into the sweat lodge this weekend. As the heat increased and the option for relief was made available, I chose to stay in the sweat. I thought of Nanea’s preparation for a double mastectomy and the last time I hugged her tightly. I thought of us sitting around the fire pit in Monterey, our gang of geeks and freaks, sundresses on, drinks in hands. I mourned for the tender parts of her body she must let go of and gave thanks that she will not have to let go of her greater person, because she is so very precious and important to so many of us.

I have a difficult time describing the nature of my faith or how it continues to express itself to me through others. But the relationships in my life are some of my favorite stories of how I continue to discover and listen to God. I’ve been blessed by a community of strong creative spirits, people with great hearts and a desire to serve others, and while most of them still flinch a little when I use the word ‘God’, they are the part of the reason I speak of God so often and so freely – because how can I not when I am so blessed?

When I came out of the sweat, I think I left behind a certain idea of suffering and what it means to me to be given the gift of this life, with all of its pain and challenges – it is a journey we get to share with one another and that is a miracle to me.

Kia kaha, namaste, and a mighty amen.

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