October 6, 2012

Honesty is the Best Poetry.

Truth: I have been trying to write this piece for weeks now.

I started it in a blur of inspiration and then other things pulled me away and I saved it in drafts, having returned to it every day, for the past five with an overwhelming feeling of stuck.

Just this moment, this very moment, has the creative spark begun to crackle.

Suddenly, the words are flowing and despite the fact that my love is talking to me, measuring my desk and my office, to see if it’s a enough space to put together a dining table for (Canadian) Thanksgiving which we are hosting in two days, I can’t stop writing.

Here is when my wave of inspiration washed over me:

I took my dog into the backyard (after asking him to wait while I finished editing this…oh no, just five more minutes, while I edit that…oh, buddy, can you hold on, and I promise in two minutes, we’ll go out); the raindrops had started to fall gently from the sky…a surprise to me, as I didn’t hear them through the open windows in the house.

Winston began to run back and forth in the yard…now, this isn’t a an unusual occurence…in fact, it happens most days. What makes this moment so different from any other is that the rain was coming down, harder now…and there he was running, back and forth, galloping even, in the rain.

He hates rain.

He hates anything that comes from above; raindrops, water over his head when I give him a bath and of course, those unfortunate one-of moments, when a treat bag falls off the top of the fridge and hits him in the head.

But rain…he despises rain; it can take ten minutes (to half an hour) to convince him to get off of the front porch, when it’s raining out. No amount of coaxing with treats and a giant umbrella can get him moving.

So there he was, running back and forth, in the rain—and I can almost feel him smiling in the dark, as he danced around—and I hear this sound and I realize it’s me, laughing, loudly, as I watch this expression of pure joy and movement and breath and glee.

I am laughing.

The sound of me laughing, out loud, into the night air and around me I can feel the trees and the plants and the moon basking in this sound.

And it reminded me of this sign I saw once, not long ago, written in the grass between two highways.

It said:


My heart just about burst open and I wanted to find the person who put it together and hug them for all eternity. Because, let’s be honest…telling the truth is hard.

Sometimes, telling the truth is so hard that we even hide it from ourselves.

In my moment of laughter, when I could feel everything around me respond to the sound that was moving out of my body, I recognized how little I have heard myself laugh, for I don’t know how long.

I could see the truth of myself and how laughter and relaxing and taking it slow are all things that seemed to have dropped off of my radar.

I could feel (although this I already know this to be true) how our bodies become storage containers for our secrets; we shove our truths down, collecting them in our hips or gathering them as tension around our necks; we build a wall of busy around us, making more time for everything else and less time for the things (and people) that really matter to the most.

And because busy is loud and crass (and sometimes, makes us feel really important), it’s easy to believe that busy is telling us the truth.

We’re busy, so that’s good, right?

Confession: I’ve been living in a busy bubble for some time now. Nothing makes me feel happier (and safer) then looking at my jam-packed schedule, full of teaching opportunities and workshops and hours upon hours of editing, add in time to practice yoga and time to write and time to keep the house clean and time for all those little odds and ends that somehow appear…and suddenly, time is gone (snap!) just like that.

And lately, I’ve been more of a yes-woman than a no-woman.

Some days, I wake up at 4:45 in the morning and don’t crawl into bed until eleven or twelve at night; with all the talk about Fifty Shades of Grey, you would think that maybe it would keep me awake—alas, I’ve been trying to read the book for weeks but can’t stay awake for a longer than a paragraph or two (and even then I’m convinced I’m reading the same thing over and over again).

I’m not sure if it’s the world around me that has picked up in speed or if it’s just me and my recent big-mug-of-earl-grey-tea-a-day habit (okay, maybe two) that keeps me vibrating at a rapid pace.

I am moving fast and I am busy…and in the midst of this frenzy, I have disconnected from the world around me.

I have allowed my truths to pile up, unexamined and abandoned, blocking the corners of my heart, keeping me from actually feeling anything.

I can teach a class and spread love and stack precious, beautiful bones and encourage breath and hold space; but when it comes to my own love and my own bones and my own breath and my own heart, it’s like we are strangers, passing each other in the night; while I can find compassion and truth in the context of a class, once I leave that sacred space, my mind starts spinning in circles.

So, what is the truth of my busy?

Yes, everything has to get done—and I love, love that I get to do so many of the things that I love to do…but what’s up with the speed?

Why I am so busy being busy that I leave my love and my friends and my family and myself as the last things on my to-do list?

Part of living a life that allows you to exist within your passion is that you get to include everything you love within it.


Being busy is good; allowing busy to become the thing that distracts you from everything else, however, not so good.

If I am honest with myself, I can see that my busy has become a distraction from the troubles in my heart; in my relationships, in how I relate to the world.

Busy has become my defense against difficult feelings that are hidden, deep down inside, that are now pushing their way to the surface.

Busy is my safety net, allowing me to distance myself from the people I love most, living so lightly within these relationships that my feet are barely on the ground.

Busy has taken over, tucking me under her wing, keeping me safe until I am ready to face myself again.

Busy has done her very best, to hide the truth of exhaustion that has settled into my soul.

If I keep moving, the world keeps moving.

Truth: I don’t know what happens if I stop moving.

Hey, honesty—I see you; truth…I see you too.

I see you and I acknowledge you and I know that it’s time to slow down.

Maybe even to the point of stillness…yes, definitely to the point of stillness…so that I can tune into your melody and listen, truly listen, to the messages you have for me.

I know that the beating of my heart in my chest is asking me to stop and listen.

Like elephant I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.

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