Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice



Monday morning, Jackie set me up, with my smoothie
my banana and peanut butter, my water bottle, my pills
my computer and my work pile,
Mondays are spent paying bills and doing payroll

I sat down at the table
Ben showed up with the payroll
and I got to work
I got up to take a bathroom break
and to make myself a cup of coffee
and this is what happened:

I warmed up the milk already on the stove
I tentatively poured the warm milk into my mug
then the already brewed coffee

slowly I moved the full mug
the three feet from
one counter to the other
with only a slight spill
when I put it down
then slid it across to the opposite edge
closer to the kitchen table
and then the real challenge

to carry it the ten feet
from the kitchen counter
to the kitchen table
one small step at a time
walking with my trekking pole in my right hand
coffee mug in my left hand

I’m balanced, I’m doing it
one step at a time, 7 small steps
I get to the table
I’m there, I lean over, I put it down,
my hand shakes
the coffee mug rattles and tips over
I push aside all my papers
I push my computer away
the coffee spills everywhere
on to my foot warmer, my slippers, the rug, my chair
all over the table

I don’t just cry, I bawl
I yell for Howie, sound asleep downstairs

I call him on his phone
I text him
I call him
I text him

I sit at the kitchen counter
and bawl and bawl

I gather myself, try to calm down
gather strength to yell
as my voice has begun failing me

still crying
just so so upset
about my failure
and my inability to clean up my mess
puddles of coffee on the table
soaking into the rug
into the cushion of my chair

I walk ever so tentatively to the downstairs railing
lean over and yell, HOWIE!!!!

I hear movement
he yells back, Coming!
runs up the stairs in his underwear

I’m crying uncontrollably
I tell him, I’m O.K. I’m sorry I scared you,
I spilled my coffee
I show him my mess

I go sit on my bed
and cry and cry
the tears dripping off my face

he comes over and sits next to me
he’s crying too
he puts his arm around me

I calm down and apologize
for scaring him
he says, it’s o.k.

we walk back over to the mess together
and I tell him what to do,
he moves all the wet things away,
switches my chair,
makes me a new cup of coffee
and I get back to work
trying to get payroll done
before Sara comes by to do energy work with me

Howie makes me lunch while I work
walks Buddy
and goes to work at the store

After Sara leaves,
I get started on the bills
Lauren comes by and helps me finish
and takes my computer to the store
to print the checks and file the paid bills

I’m alone when I write this,
somehow I can still open a bag of chips
and carry them to the table
then go to the fridge and get some hummus

the wind still howls and howls
gust after gust
sounds like all the trees
are going to timber down
yet they stand tall
rooted in the ground
they sway in the cold wind

they are surely brittle from the frigid cold
but they do not break

            *          *          *


Tuesday I worked for a few hours at the store
which meant sitting in the dining area
drinking a latte and meeting with vendors and customers
it went well, almost felt normal

I had a 3:00 pm acupuncture appointment
so Barbara picked me up at 1:15
and we head to Bozeman
we talked, my voice raspy and bothersome
but we talked about talking, about voice banking
about stuff, and she drove
we stopped to pick up Bequet caramels for the store
and we got to my appointment in plenty of time

Lauren, my acupuncturist, focused on my neck
my spine, and my scalp,
after the treatment I definitely felt calmer
my voice a bit stronger
we drove back to Big Sky

we dropped the caramels off at the store
Jackie drove me home,
I lied down to rest
Howie drove her back to the store and picked up
Chinese food for dinner
when he got home I showered,
we ate dinner, we made popcorn
and we watched a movie

            *          *          *


it is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year
today is an unbelievable sunny bluebird day
the sun shining on my spot at the kitchen table

today was visiting day,
Gena came over to discuss health insurance
and hospital bills, ugh.
despite that we had a really nice visit
Nettie came over to spend time together,
make me lunch, help around the house
I sat at my spot at the kitchen table
Lori, in town for the holidays stopped by for a visit
and brought me a stone heart with gems and laughter
Michael, in town for the holidays stopped by for a visit
and brought me healing prayers, wine and smiles

The four of us sat around the table drinking tea,
and talked about me, the store, friends, wine, big sky, the kids,
meditation, breathing, healing, mindfulness
I told one of my favorite yoga stories

taking a master’s class with 25 others in a small studio
this young super fit, super strong homeboy from New York
teaching yoga in southern France
doing a special class in Big Sky, a class so difficult
that at the end of the class, my shirt was so wet from sweat
I could have rung it dry
at one point during the class
he noticed me huffing and puffing
came over to me and said,
get your breathing together, bro!

after Lori and Michael left, Nettie shared a story she wrote
over a year ago, with me, a main character
the memory was doing handstands near the river,
but the story was about so much more
it was such a day of mellow but intense sharing

the darkest day of the year
filled with so much light

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