In the early morning, I wake up before the sun rises. I drive through fields along the ribbon highway, rubber humming against the asphalt as the sun lifts itself up over the horizon, climbing with long thin legs over trees and houses and farms. This land is not my home. I have been other places that felt more so. Familiar, rooted.
At night, I walk to the field at the end of my street and climb the sliding hill. When the sky is clear and the stars are out, I lay down. I feel small. Tiny, insignificant.
Don’t tell me I am the sky. The voice is back and angry. I am not. I am not this wide and unyielding dome covering every aspect of my life, the weather. The birds are my soul flying in and out of tree branches. The clouds my sadness and the rain my tears. I am the earth, the trees, the lazy rivers, the crashing waves. I am not the sky. When I am clear the stars do not shine more brightly do they?
I am the choking seed in the mud. The debris from winter left in the corners by the fence. The nasty phone message. The broken heart. I am the last moment before she died.
I am the weather, not the sky.
Some days I am so overwhelmed. I know the rhetoric, the practice. Stay present. Don’t live in the past, don’t get lost dreaming of the future. I have no future, and the past is eating me. Not just her death, but the thousand other deaths I have lived in the past two years. I have asked for help and received it, but the work remains. I have not asked for help and received it. The why are you not over it yet accusations and you must have moved on by now and sign the papers because we are adults and I am no longer good enough for you. They dangle from me like bitter gems, pulling me deeper.
I get up. I watch the sunrise. I work. I cry. I laugh. I love. I cook. I clean. I am told from many corners I am not good enough. I go home. I watch the sunset. I sleep.
I am not the storm I want to be. I am a drizzling rain that falls like mist and never fills the dried up river bed. I am the husk, forgotten. I am the branch chewed up for mulch. I am spoiled milk left too long in the fridge. I am an egg left to rot. I am yesterday’s coffee thrown up. I am the other one, fucked, left behind, and blinded.
If I am the sky what would I be?
~ la fraser 2012
A few weeks ago, I shared a writing exercise inspired by Pema Chodron. She wrote “You are the sky, everything else is just weather” – a quote that stuck with me the moment I first read it. On Diving Deeper Writer’s Workshop I have the privilege of looking after the Writing as Spiritual Practice group.
This was the exercise:
Sit with this quote from Pema Chodron. What comes up as you contemplate her words? How is your sky today? What is the weather like? Do not think too much, let whatever needs to come up come up. Don’t edit what you write, just let the words flow from you.
… digging into my sky this evening