Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And Sometimes The Yearnings Come

I spent all day yesterday reading about mindfulness (I keep thinking it's mindlessness) and psychology and you'd think I'd have a clear understanding by now what the whole thing is about but no, I don't. So much of the mind is not understood by anyone and don't let anyone tell you that's not true. There are so many kinds of therapies and schools of thought on how to help people and their contrary minds. Mindfulness somehow incorporates Buddhism and all of its philosophy which, you know, is about suffering and how that's our lot in life. Period. The End. Don't call the pope.
Well. I don't know.
I don't know shit.

I filled out all the little bubbles and sent in my answer sheet and we'll see, we'll see. I don't know why it was offered as a nursing course in that nursing wasn't mentioned once. It was for working psychologists and therapists and that's all there is to it but so what?
I'm not really a nurse anyway.

Owen spent the day and I tried all day to practice mindfulness (be here now, thank-you Ram Dass, I think sums it about up) and that's not too hard when you're with a little one. Now I am playing with this boy on my lap and I hold his hands and they are warm and alive and now I am giving him a piece of apple and he is chewing it up and he is happy and now I am changing his diaper and kissing his tummy and so on and so forth. Mindful of what I was doing but at the same time, not really mindful at all. But when thoughts or feelings came, I did as instructed and let them come and examined them with equanimity and not judging them or getting too involved with them and then let them go and tried to come back to what I was doing, where I was.

Then I took Owen to Publix to meet his mama when she got off work and on the way I put in Devils and Dust by Bruce Springsteen and it was one of those things where it was perfect, that music. The sky was dark as a bruise and a white cow-egret flew across the darkness like foam on a pewter sea and my heart wanted to fly too, I don't know where. Or why.
Just one of those days, one of those things.
I had the image of me in a car alone, just driving over the rain-dark roads with Bruce weep-singing his sobsongs from his throat and the mouth harp wailing and the Hammond B3 throbbing and the guitars slash-flashing and the bass and drums pounding it like the heart and just going. Going. Gone.

I did not avoid that feeling or tell myself it was stupid for a woman of my age to think like that. Like a nineteen year old boy might feel, really, but so can women of my age. Believe me. No matter how centered we are in our home, no matter how much we love it there and we love our babies and our men and our grandbabies and our chickens we sometimes want to flee by flight, drive into the night, listening to music wailing too damn loud.

I'm just tired. And my nerves are fired and sure, everyone wants to escape sometimes but maybe it's not escape. Maybe it's just getting tired of destinations and wishing for a black-top journey, a screaming into the windshield-wiper-whipped space. I don't know.

We all get tired.

And I knew I wasn't going anywhere, just to the store and then back here, home again and so that's what I did, playing Bruce again, all the way. He never disappoints with his words or his music. Not me, anyway. He says things like, "The sun bloodied the sky," and I sort of want to cry and he says, "I reach 'neath your shirt/lay my hands across your belly/and feel another one kickin' inside. I ain't gonna fuck it up this time." And I do cry. I do. I cry for all the yearning and the pain and the suffering and the joy too. I cry for the times I flew and the many, many times I sat silent in one place, this place and so many others.
I cry for the loves I've had and lost and the one I've found and plan on never letting go, no matter what and I cry for the dark, bruised sky and I cry for the sun I know is behind it somewhere.
Sometimes it's better not to see it, the sun. Sometimes it's better. Wildness can sometimes be felt more sharply when the sun is hidden and the sky closes over like a black cave of hiding.
The sun comes out and reminds us of redemption and maybe we don't feel like being redeemed or maybe we don't feel like we've spent enough wildness to ask for it yet.

Even at this age. Even now.

Well. I bought purple gladiolas at the store, dark as the darkest amethysts because my friend Lynn always said that when you see purple gladiolas you should buy them and bring them home, even if you don't have enough money. I had enough money. I bought them and put them in a vase and I put up the groceries and cleaned the kitchen and started the laundry and picked up toys and cleaned up dogshit and pee and even still, even now as the sun is coming out, I feel that dark wildness but hell, I'm too tired to do anything about it. I barely have enough in me to finish the laundry, make the supper and that's how you get tamed, that's how you settle down. That's why you're alive.

But I can close my eyes and see that white bird flying across that black sky and I think of what it would be like to be that bird, flying across the coming storm, great wings spread and I think about dancing, I think about driving, I think about flying.

Well. It is something that I can sit here and write about it all. Pour it out of my chest, these yearnings that come about sometimes in the least expected moments, triggered by a coming storm, a bird, a song. I don't know how mindful I'm being but I'm not judging myself. I'm just letting it fly, the words, the yearning, the feeling and it's not suffering and it's not joy.

It just is.


  1. Well that sounds pretty mindful to me. And wise. x

  2. I am too defeated to even come with the words for a good comment.

    Thanks for your words, though.

  3. I hear you. Even at this age, even now....I sometimes think I haven't felt this intensely or deeply since my younger days. I think it's the hormones and life, but I think too much about where I should be, or where I want or need to be and the wanderlust just comes over me. Run, Forest, run!
    And then I do laundry, just like you. Isn't it wonderful though, when the perfect song plays at the perfect moment and just crystalizes what you're feeling inside?
    Anyway, be well, be happy, stay cool, stay present! Hugs,

  4. The thing is, that bird isn't flying because it's free. It's flying because it has to go someplace warm, or safe, or get food, or feed it's babies. It's doing the same thing you are. Only it's doing it out of instinct, no mindfulness needed.

    Like you said, it just is.

  5. "The sky was dark as a bruise and a white cow-egret flew across the darkness like foam on a pewter sea and my heart wanted to fly too, I don't know where. Or why." Wonderful!

    Very lovely writing this afternoon about that feeling of deep longing for...sometimes we don't even know what. It is still with me, too, but less, I think, because I come and go from here to France. And the feelings get grounded when I dig in the garden.

    Thanks for writing to us, Mary Moon. Love you. N2

  6. Mwa- I feel the opposite of wise this evening. Oh well.

    SJ- You're welcome, sweetie. Is your apartment any dryer?

    Mel- "Run, Forrest, Run!" Yes. Indeed! We had no idea when we were young what was going on in the heads of those older women, did we? Amazing.

    Steph- I choose to think he was on his way to visit his lover.

    N2- Yes, that would help. Going to France. And it's too damn hot here to dig in the damn garden. I think that's part of it- my blood has been boiling.

  7. Ahhh, My Moon Friend,

    What a great piece of writing. I brag about the Boss being the same age as I, with birthdays very close, and I do love how he just drops us all to our knees regardless of "age." Like he has for decades.

    Don't you suppose we will be pushing up daisies when there is no yearning or desire?

    For me, this post is an excellent example of "mind-full-ness."

  8. I know. If Bruce Springsteen were to open his car door and tell me to jump inside, I just might do it. If you were in there, too, all the better.

    Love to you in your exhausted yet powerful mind.

  9. Swallowtail- "Don't you suppose we will be pushing up daisies when there is no yearning or desire?"
    Dear god I hope so.

    Elizabeth- Honey, we would. The screen door slams, Mary your dress waves...
    I mean really- Bruce would drive all night to buy us a new pair of shoes. Why wouldn't we get in that car with him?
    I knew you'd understand.

  10. That was beautiful thinking and writing, Mama.
    There's something real special about getting in a car and listening to music real loud as you adventure on in life. I'm grateful that I kind of got to do that recently, and I have a big feeling that when school starts back up, those feelings are going to surround me a lot.
    Hope you're sleeping well tonight. love love you.

  11. Some times I feel so overwhelmed by the beauty of all there is. And the beauty becomes sadness because of all that there isn't. And that is just how it feels at times.

  12. Wise as always Ms. Moon. The mindfulness sounds pretty awesome. I would love to just have thoughts come and go without examining them. Nice to hear that Owen is still a bundle of joy. Take care.

  13. I love 'I feel that dark wildness but I'm too tired to do anything about it'.

    I do relate to that :)

    Music is dangerous, thank god.

    This is a beautiful post.

    For some reason, I can NEVER remember the word mindfulness. I search and search for it and it just doesn't come.

  14. Do the yearnings ever stop?

    Just wondering.

  15. Yearning is a great word. It conveys so much to me. So much about being human.
    I have red gladiolas blooming in front of my house right now. They are a gorgeous flower. Flowers always bring me back to mindfulness, because they are so fleeting, they are certainly "in the moment."

  16. i read your words...your-must-take- and-apply-straight-to-my-heart- words...
    and found home.


    send me an email and i will answer you with mine...and include my mailing address....
    i just knew the chickens would speak to you...and your generous heart.

  17. Syd spoke for me. He put it more beautifully than I could.

    You speak for me also and certainly and always more beautifully.

    I love you.

  18. I've had too much mindfulness lately and I think that's what sent me almost over the edge. My days are getting a little better though and I think reading your words has certainly played a little part in that!

  19. Ms. Fleur- Oh. I doubt I'll be going anywhere.

    HoneyLuna- Yes, when school starts, they will be. That is the natural state for a girl your age. And, it would seem, for an old mama my age. Sometimes. I love you so, darling. I'm so glad you've been able to follow those yearnings recently. That is a joy to me.

    Syd- You are exactly right.

    Mr. Shife- Thank-you. And your boy? So beautiful.

    Jo- "Music is dangerous, thank god."

    Nigel- I doubt it, dear.

    Lora- Yearning is one of my favorite words. I wish I could see your very-in-the-moment gladiolas.

    rebecca- I KNOW your corazon yearns.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- We are all humans and our hearts, at the core, are all so similar, aren't they? I love you.

    Lois- Here's my wish to you for more peace of heart.

  20. I sometimes get an uncontrollable longing - a longing for what, I'm not exactly sure. Your words took me there.

  21. "We took the highway till the road went black

    We'd marked, Truth or Consequences on our map

    A voice drifted up from the radio

    And I thought of a voice from long ago" - The Boss

  22. Lisa- Yes. Unfocused longing.

    Judah- He knows from yearning.


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