Archive for the ‘Erin’s Thoughts’ Category

Today it was the rain

Posted by Erin on 24th July 2010 in Erin's Thoughts

I woke up in the calm of her house feeling a deep gratitude for this friendship.  Later I tell her, “I love how we weather a storm together.  You’re the perfect travel partner for the tumultuous times in my life.”

The space to talk, to laugh, to be alone and then to come together in whatever staccato rhythm the needs falls in, to fall absolutely apart and then be whole a second later without reproach.  Taking those first shaky steps with a new confidence with a friend like this is a profound blessing.  To be able to remind each other of what is our best in us and call it out when it sinks under the torments again.

“I just feel nauseas again – why this minute?  what is it about right now that it would suddenly come over me?” I lament.  We’re eating breakfast.  Well, I’m trying to anyway.

“Free floating anxiety….”  she understands, has had it floating around her freely so badly at times in her life her body would sieze around it and take her words away. “Write – take your journal out and write, right now.”

It takes me a second to process that she’s being literal and instructive before I pull out my journal and give the feeling words.  Giving it a voice softens it in me and as I’m writing, at the breakfast table, in the middle of a conversation I remember that I used to need to write that badly all the time – catch every little thought in a net of words. It was how I prayed.  It was how I absorbed the glory and wonder of everything I could take in.  It wasn’t about waiting for a writing mood or a poetic thing to occur to me, it was the simple urge to describe the breakfast table while breakfast was being eaten. And I don’t mean I remembered in the form of a memory of me doing this in the past, but that my body re- membered – put the pieces back together in me.  The feeling of doing it and supporting myself in that way was right there in that moment, intact.

Something very clenched and strained in me took a deep breath and let go a little.

After I go home to my own space – a space cleared out and more able to accomodate more of the intensity of my passion.

Later we meet to go shopping for leotards and leggings and indulge our unquenchable delight for Aerial silks.  And my  thoughts on how we weather storms becomes literal.  We walk in between rain falls.  Stepping under awnings just as it begins to pour and wait there for the lull, crowding under an umbrella each sacrificing an arm to a lighter rain when we’re between resting stations. Tucking the umbrella away when the rain pauses.  But none of this throwing us off the thread of each other and our conversation.  We just take our cues for movement from the sky . Something about letting the rain set our pace soothes me.

later when we talk about the muscles I need to stretch in order to create certain shapes in the air she tells me about using my breath to time my stretching, being gentle and doing it all the time.

“just take every opportunity to sit in the position that stretches those muscles – all the time.”

and I think that each lean into a new position within myself is like that.  The tug, the resistance.  the feeling of limitation which is sometimes motivating, sometimes frustrating.  Letting each inhale be a pause, a slight letting up.  And each exhale a gentle, controlled push that is just at the edge of that melting when the tension loosens enough for you to get a little deeper. If you push too hard you’re just inviting tearing or cramping and stubbornness that may never yield into suppleness.  I could stretch a compact once or twice a day – or I could take every chance to sit slightly strangely in order to feel that tug and coax it into a stronger and longer muscle so that I can use it to make gorgeous and currently impossible configurations of my body.

the wavering of strong things

Posted by Erin on 23rd July 2010 in Erin's Thoughts

The air is sticky.  All day, just clinging to my skin.  My cats sprawl out in the coolest (which also means strangest) places they can find and I sit still and simply feel the weight.

Until Foxy rises and grins up at me, reaches her paw to my lap and smiles. I understand that it’s time to visit that weather.

Storms hang languidly in the clouds spitting fat drops of rain at the ground.  the sky turns shades of purple-gray and a  dying sun splashes it’s last light across it’s moody cheek like a slap.  Illuminating this building but not that one.  Unapologetically.

A rainbow appears, echoed by a fainter rainbow and intensifies.  Lightening streaks in a sky too bright to impress, it flashes like a tantrum rendered impotent by apathy. Still sharp and electric, but pointless.  A wind picks up, like it suddenly has somewhere to go.  Rain drips onto the envelope i have found in my bag to capture the words that come to me.  some of the letters melt.

I watch the rainbow dissolve and mourn.  It was so bright and vivid that I believed it was solid. but it’s vapor and light – tricks.  Thunder grumbles it’s discontent and we’re all in a mood that can’t get over itself…or make it happen.

the sky turns orangey/yellowy/rosey – a menacing not-quite color on one side and deeper and deeper indigo on the other side. Meeting in the middle in a dirty greyish/purple.  The tension makes my heart pound uncomfortably in my throat.  A haunting sense of heat makes my spine moist – and i shiver.

as I loose the light my eyes blink, the hue making familiar things look surreal.  Cicadas send up warning calls.  If i knew what they warned of i’d take cover – instead I sit in my door to watch.

I’ll be a rainbow and lightening in the same sky

out of focus and sharp  at the same time

beauty and power on display while

it rains

my mistakes can make dirt into fertile soil

Now that my ways make you recoil

I’ll make a miracle – just  watch me uncoil

despite the pain

Posted by Erin on 23rd July 2010 in Erin's Thoughts


Posted by Erin on 23rd July 2010 in Erin's Thoughts

my body is saying what my words strain around.

The knots in my words choke me.  those knots are strangling my love. In the air the silks embrace me and those tangles hold me up.  I can rise up. And I can let go.

In the space inside my head my exahaustion becomes a torturous dismantling of every stable thing i have built from within myself. In the air, it is what forces me to add a sensuality, a pausing, a laboured breath. A last minute grasp of what supports me before I hit ground.

In the air I know my arms are strong, they will lift me up.  They will hold me there.

In my heart my fear seizes my pulse like it intends to take back life from me. In the air, each last moment before release exhilarates me.   And my body gets used to a ground that is uncertain, a movement that is unusual, a trust that must be earned by letting go before it feels exactly safe.

In my heart, fear make my clinging desperate.

In the air they compel me to let go.

A solstice poem climbed out of my guts

Posted by Erin on 19th December 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

came the time to go down
and die
smothered by dark
and lie
there completely unmoving

Light Light Light
all my seasons are named
for you

Light Light Light
I’ll be hollow and wait
for you


Posted by Erin on 3rd December 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

He has his shoes and coat on, standing in front of the door.

Bag full and slung over his shoulder and late for work.

But suddenly I am pouring out a new pride. I have triumphed.

As I recant the gleaming details he sets his bag back on the floor,

Relaxes his knees

And listens.

They speak.

Posted by Erin on 3rd October 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

I woke feeling wild. Unrestrained in an environment I belong to.  So I roamed.

I wore a cone shaped hat and a mustard-yellow, velvet jacket and let the long ends of my hair stick out from under my scarf like straw.  A glance in the mirror told me I looked like the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz.  Though, not to be just silly, you see.  But to conjure.  To arouse mischief.  A glamor that had happened when I wasn’t intending – that cheeky element of magic that wants what it wants.  It’s a true power of Autumn, not only owned by Halloween, not being the simple child’s play it seems.  So, I would be the fool today and step out with my carelessness falling through the holes in my pockets.

“I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries”
Theodore Isaac Rubin (found at 78 Notes to Self)

A fool can have a conversation with anything about anything.  The literal world is a useless place to a fool.  Ridiculous and wonderful things are profoundly true.  The misted, humid haze whispering secrets to the dip of grass around a tree is really a window to unreality – If you’re not afraid of a little madness… a fool is not.

And, for a fool, it is fully permissible to talk aloud to oneself: “Why is it that I can overflow with sensations when I am here in London, taking in more and more and more and just get bigger to handle it all.  Then I go to Toronto where I am suddenly overwhelmed and clogged up?  I don’t understand who I am in that world!”

It was the Trees who answered me.  “You are not overwhelmed.  It is because to you that place feels dead that you suffer.

So tinglingly true, once it came to me in that way.  Dead without the nourishment of decay, even.  Not transformatively dead, even.  Not even forbiddenly tantalizing and disgusting, undersides-of-life dead, even.

It could have sounded so final and hopeless but somehow a grin found it’s way to my lips.  Those words may be solid but so were the rocks on the river bottom, selfishly forcing the water to thrash and swirl around them.  And yet, the water made a good time of it just the same.  More than a good time, there were mad tinges of ecstasy.  And eventually, even a rock could be worn down or moved.  And it didn’t matter anyway, since water knows a secret or two about forging ahead, making rocks irrelevant or by manipulating a rock’s contrariness to the water’s own purpose.  A secret or two I could uncover myself.

So I come home as a bit more than a fool though not entirely wise.  Just smart enough to understand the message for me when I stumbled upon this glory of a poem found existing profoundly here (a place worth the visit).

(A Gathering Of Spirits)

by Paula Gunn Allen

Because we live in the browning season
the heavy air blocking our breath,

and in this time when living

is only survival, we doubt the voices

that come shadowed on the air,

that weave within our brains

certain thoughts, a motion that is soft,

imperceptible, a twilight rain,

soft feather’s fall, a small body

dropping into its nest, rustling, murmuring,

settling in for the night.

Because we live in the hard-edged season,
where plastic brittle and gleaming shines

and in this space that is cornered and angled,

we do not notice wet, moist, the significant

drops falling in perfect spheres

that are the certain measures of our minds;

almost invisible, those tears,

soft as dew, fragile, that cling to leaves,

petals, roots, gentle and sure,

every morning.

We are the women of daylight; of clocks and steel
foundries, of drugstores and streetlights,

of superhighways that slice our days in two.

Wrapped around in glass and steel we ride

our lives; behind dark glasses we hide our eyes,

our thoughts, shaded, seem obscure, smoke

fills our minds, whisky husks our songs,

polyester cuts our bodies from our breath,

our feet from the welcoming stones of earth.

Our dreams are pale memories of themselves,

and nagging doubt is the false measure of our days.

Even so, the spirit voices are singing,
their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.

Their feet touch the cement, the asphalt

delighting, still they weave dreams upon our

shadowed skulls, if we could listen.

If we could hear.

Let’s go then. Let’s find them. Let’s
listen for the water, the careful gleaming drops

that glisten on the leaves, the flowers. Let’s

ride the midnight, the early dawn. Feel the wind

striding through our hair. Let’s dance

the dance of feathers, the dance of birds.


Posted by Erin on 1st October 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

Yesterday I woke up crowded.  My entire sense of myself scrunched up in the space between my temples.  A searing, too-bright, too-hot, too-dense space.  Dense in the way the heat of the sun can crowd the vastness of the desert.

The couch too small, the street and it’s noise too close, the constant proximity and interaction with people – meaningful or otherwise too much.  I was desperate to drain, instead I felt like a bathtub clogged, the dirty water filling the tub as I  take a shower.  And no where any space to stretch out my soul.  No where any space to breathe.

My head all pressure and my body normally so sensitive, a semi-permeable membrane of transition between my inner realms and the Earth’s physical realms was dead, numb, the absence of my familiar sense of vastness.  I curled my body up as small is it would go around the waves of nausea as I rode the subway.  Trying to shut it all out and open inside, feeling only barred from myself and thrust into the oppressive over-exposure of the big city.

The dullness, the throbbing pressure finally overcame any sense of being in class and I excused myself after the first break feeling a desperate, almost frantic need to go home.

I made a cacoon of myself and my sweaters, curled up tight in my seat.  Some sleep came.  But so did a violent, physical ill – suddenly and forcefully half way through the two-hour bus ride – all down the front of my dress and eventually into the plastic garbage bags that hang on the side of the bus at each set of seats.  A certain portion of relief came immediately after that.  But the deepest, wildest placest in me were roaring.

Home.  I captured the comfort of my bed, delving into it so deeply it was more than physical.  I slept immediately and woke to space.  Sweet space. I  lingered.  Rose up to the day wrapping it around me like a shawl.  The autumn-ness of the day soothing the places of my soul that were still shaky, and bruised. I walked through the calmness of the day.  Savoring the taste of cool air, the sounds of birds, the wordlessness in my heart. The sheer roominess of it all.  And with all effortlessness the draining finally came.  Always in the form of tears.  My heart, like a rain cloud, ready to burst – did.  And just like anticipated rain, it cooled, and refreshed, and cleansed the accumulation of dust and clutter.   The near panic of overload floating up to the surface to be fully felt and with it a very clear plea.



Posted by Erin on 17th September 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

Monday was my first day of school.  School is in a foreign land.  Urban and overwhelming. I prepare myself with a steadily – paced transition on a Greyhound bus, the rhythm of momentum under me, carrying me forward smoothly.  No skipping ahead, no hurrying, no control.  The time allows me to slip out of one skin and stay un-contained for a time.  A time to be undeclared.  A time to be free-associated, not associated.  A time to carelessly wander around in myself.
And then, before the bus dips into the intensity of too many people, too close together, I can slip into a skin that can take it on and find it exciting.

And then again, in reverse.  Time enough for all that I have purchased with my attention and activity to slip off like a heavy bag slips off a tired shoulder.  Time for emptying out – to be undeclared.  Time to be free – associated, not associated.  Time to carelessly wander and time to not wander at all in myself.  And then, before the bus returns to my familiarity, I slip into the life I chose purposely out of all enticing options, and kiss my waiting husband and come home.

Posted by Erin on 1st September 2009 in Erin's Thoughts

Sometime yesterday a painting mysteriously appeared hung on the fence outside my window.  Today, it’s still there and it makes me entirely happy as i sit at my table and contemplate things.