thank you thank you thank you
it was all i could hear besides my foot imprinting in the mud and my pulse beating in my ears.
apparently the ferns filter out more than just co2 and pull in the chitterchatter and squealing and yelps of 3 girls so it sounds far away and underwater and not part of me anymore.
all i could hear was the whispered mantra at the crown of my throat thank you thank you thank you and the song of the green, of the forest, of home.
* * *
i have learned a few things. and truly only a few. one of them is that the only way to feel at home is to just feel at home.
this most recent move may very well be my 53rd move in my life, i am not quite sure, i’ve lost count. regardless, i have had practice in cultivating the feeing of being home, over and over again. i should be an expert at feeling at home with how many places i have named home, including the open road, a glorified tent, a tiny apartment above a chinese restaurant, and a tiny pink house in the middle of a hollywood compound surrounded by PTSD Vietnam vets. but still, i suck at this feeling, i am stumbling lost, dry heaving, dirty, tripping over my own feet on unfamiliar ground.
it feels like it’s just another place, another stop on the journey to nowhere.
i am always thinking there is somewhere else to go, the next and better place, the place i am “meant to be”. but there isn’t anything like that, not even close, as quickly as things fly at me from the future and claim me, i also know that the only way to go is to just stay, in this exact slice of faith in space. the vision is clear, so i might as well just get comfortable wherever i am and trust that where i am is the only place i may every be. i feel my desire, and use it, but it’s a tricky dance. desire, although useful magic, can also be the strangling death of spirit, a thief that pulls us up and and drags us to what yet hasn’t past. i know there is so much more than this, there must be, i can feel it waiting for me. and yet i know there is nothing but this, and the more than this? there is nothing more than being filled on this delicious coffee, chilled by the wind, pressed against a hill, surrounded by a million other people, in a city i have not fallen in love with yet.
and so in every moment the practice to feel at home also feels impossibly difficult and uncomfortable and makes my skin itch. but i keep at it. i become a ritualist around it. every slice of butter spread on toast is ceremony. every light turned on and off is a prayer of belonging. every crackle of the fire is a hymn to the god of home. every dish washed is a sacrement to my staying. and eventually a cord will grow. from my pelvic bone and latch itself to the center of the earth. pulsing red. connected. i have hope.
* * *
i saw the animal in my eyes in front of the mirror. not the wild and powerful, but the hungry and rabid. it wasn’t the best look for me, i scared the living hell out of myself. it was ugly and at it’s limit. red eyes. black fur. i just got this crazy mascara in the mail, the kind where you put one coat on and then then next coat is like fibers… actual fibers that stick to your lashes to make them all long, and i was using it for the first time. it made me look crazier. i kept staring into my eyes. the brown was mucky and cluttered and there were traces of fringe and moonlight and foam, but mostly they were black saucers of lostness with insanely long lashes that were sticky and clumped and borderline drag.
we have only been here 3 weeks. so i don’t expect roses and whiskey and butterflies all the time. but the emotionally strangling fights between them. the forgetting which door is the closet and which is the bathroom. the carpets, good god the brown carpets. the feeling of totally falling off the map, your map, and being totally unsure of what land this is under your feet, although you know you belong to earth and her soil is all one, it doesn’t matter. the dirt smells different here. the air strange. the people stranger. the oldest unable to sleep alone. the youngest is trying to be brave. the middle one just plays off my cues and does whatever needs to be done. each one of them feeling it. feeling me.
until i get this home feeling thing down, they will just continue to float in space. we all will. i determine the feeling. i am the one who creates. and maybe floating in space isn’t bad, it’s the only way to be, the place where we aren’t attached. because the other thing i know is that there are no guarantees. nope. nothing is a sure thing.
i guess i always thought by now i would be doing this differently. and that’s just some bullshit story i tell myself. that i am not a good manifestedr or i am not worth my dreams. the farm by the sea are far away. or maybe it’s not. maybe i am so close and i just need to not know when, but know it calls for me. lean into the mystery.
and until then. i am here. home. because it’s a feeling, not a place, that i long to be.
thank god we have a dog. and thank god my dog is turning into one my all time greatest teachers. because sometimes i forget the really important things. like how to really get into that feeling of home. but he reminds me when he eats entire chocolate cakes, and acts like a total spaz needs to get the fuck out, like really out, to run free.
* * *
the licorice ferns! we have to harvest them before christmas. she runs to the closest tree with their mini forest growing down mossed tree bark. can i take one? and chew it? me too! me too! and they each just took one. because for now we decided that just wanted to say hi, see, we are rooted, even side ways growing on a tree, we are connected. they didn’t want to be pulled and chopped and dried. they just wanted to be seen. their root systems interwoven, tangled between vibrant fancy moss carpets on the tallest conifer trees. we stuck our noses right in there can you smell the licorice? we got inches away from tree after tree, feeling familiar, feeling at home, feeling like we have done this before in the forest, because we have. so many times. see it’s not much different from here to there. and. at least we know were to come if we get a cough and need the root. and. mama we should hike here every day.
we should hike here everyday, mama.
nature is home. it is being in her that makes us feel the most like ourselves. why do i forget this? this is the feeling, the place or absence of place, that creates the feeling within me. we ride the wave and rush through time, trying to be somewhere and someone and thinking we are so much more than what we actually are and that we have so much more to do than we actually have to do. but really we are so simple, so fucking simple. layers and layers of simple bark. we are grass and moss. wood and feather. bog and dragonflies. we are root against root. dirt intertwined. rock pressing against rock. we are dead shit in the soil and we are life rising up. we are the decay and the birth. whenever we come back here, to this, no matter where we are, we are home. nature is home because we are nature.
i run fast ahead of them with my dog and just listen to my own voice chanting gratitude. the beat of my heart in my ears. to the story etched in second growth conifer hieroglyphics and scripted by the branches that move wild in the wind.
* * *
home has always been clinging to the sides of rivers, leaning against foothills and stepping up into peaks. i induced labor on hikes to elevated lakes. melted off post partum fat wearing 2 babies at once, both hanging off each tit, spiraling down a cliff towards the sea. we found the plants and we named them. we gathered them and shoved them into bottles and drank them. so specific to that land that it could only mean we were here, we were most definitely here. alive. breathing. home.
we are not just part of this, we were This. it’s funny how we will tell ourselves a different narrative, like now i am in the city so it has to look different, and i have to find something different, or i have to find a different kind of home. but that’s bullshit. i am still me. my home is everywhere that is wild, where medicine and poison grow together- the one to the left kills me and the the one growing right underneath it’s will save me.
everything else that comes with the somewhere new, the stunning skyline, the unreal tasting food, the kick-ass people + urban energy, it’s just a golden bonus that i gladly and wholeheartedly accept.
* * *
thank you thank you thank you. it was all i could hear. my dog pulled me faster, running me down a mud covered trail and splatering my plants with brown dots. three sisters skipping behind me, their voices muffled and filtered. and i was thanking them. and me. and all of it. for being my home, for this feeling that i can’t keep down anymore, because if i do life will sneak by me without ever knowing what home means, with always seeking something else under my feet. and i am not willing to do that, i am not willing to accept that i am not home. i am always home. and that this year is my year of feeling home, of understanding that my home is not place; it is space, it is feeling, it is love.