Unbreakable, or Riding the Crocodile

Today I collapsed after work for half hour–a deep-sleep nap–before heading out to East Charlotte for Aviva’s play, listening to U2′s Vertigo album at full blast.

She was disappointed only to have a few lines, especially after having a much bigger role in the last play she did.

Pearl alternated between my lap and Greg’s the whole time, sitting on the rugged green blanket he keeps on the passenger seat of his car for Bobo. He and I whispered throughout the show, unable to stop telling each other things. Pearl kept shushing us. Let the tables turn.

Early this morning, I wrote in my notebook. What is the difference between intuition, projection, and wishful thinking?

Today I read these Buddha words: “There is no inside, there is no outside, and no in-between.” All I could say in response was, “Dude.”

Greg leaned over and whispered, “We are unbreakable.”

“Us?” I asked. Or–and then I gestured around the field filled with at least three generations of fellow play-watchers. “Yes,” he said.

And also never not broken, I told him, referring to Akhilandeshvari, the Always Broken Goddess. She “derives her power from being broken.”

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

“We got unstuck,” I told him. He nodded his understanding of what I meant.

Later, as I said goodbye to him in the girls, seat-buckled in their booster seats, Greg told them, too: “Unbreakable.”

“Our love,” I added. Aviva rolled her eyes. Pearl gave me ten thousand kisses.

Some habits I still repeat over and over–like my weakness for cloves or changing outfits six times or nagging my girls to hang up the wet towels or trying to “keep the peace” instead of letting the peace keep me.

I am also learning how to be really honest about what I need. I am slowly learning I can keep loving myself even when I’m messy and imperfect. I can accept things–and people, including myself–as they are. This must be where compassion thrives.

At least I hope so. I know it takes time. And lots of practice. Sometimes, I just want to skip the last five minutes of the run and go out to breakfast instead. Take a detour, a short-cut. Full stop, all or nothing. Inside or outside, with no in-between. Another old habit.

How many times this past year did I lie broken in a pile on my bedroom floor, grieving routines that while far from toxic, perhaps derived from a fear of my own brokenness and the power–and wholeness–that surrendering to it would unleash?

We sat on the blanket whispering while hobbits and goblins pranced around the outdoor stage. It occurred to me how we must have looked–as if nothing had changed. The love is unbreakable.

This week, as I spoke with a friend about matters confidential, I told her I always want to crawl into her lap. “You and are, we are like–what’s that DNA thing?” she asked. “A double helix,” I answered. Wound around each other, with space between.

For so long, I intuited some severing. Projected our future. I wished for something “big and unexpected” to happen–always sure to add a prayer that it wouldn’t be tragic and spitting over my left shoulder for good measure.

Unquenchable and restless, I rattled for space. There were times last fall and winter when I felt like no expanse would be big enough for my energy, my rage, my sadness, my hunger, my love, my spirit. Now, I am beginning to land. To feel that there is enough room for me in this life. To reach my arms out around myself, painting a circle of space around my body on the very air I move through.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

This keeps thing whole. Unbreakable and never not broken. There is power in stillness and there is power in movement, no inside, no outside, and no in-between. All of this defies thought. Dude.

“Where’s my moon?” Pearl asks, referring to the small crystal I gave her in a small silk drawstring bag.

“It’s on my night table, Pearlie,” I tell her. She seems satisfied by this.

I run up behind Aviva and grab the hug she denied me earlier.

Akhila rides her fear on the back of a crocodile, her world spinning. She refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water.

I take my fears down to the river, get on the back of the crocodile, and navigate the waves.

And finally, just here, alone with the gentle, cool night air. The air that moves in, to fill the spaces where my body, my words have been.

3 thoughts on “Unbreakable, or Riding the Crocodile

  1. Vicki says:

    Here where i live it is HOT! In fact the weather predictors are saying we could get to 120 in the next few days. Our air conditioner is broken so for the last week i have spent many hours right next to the window air conditioner in my room working on my computer. I decided to go through all of my bookmarks a housecleaning if you will. There yours was, a Bullseye-Baby post from a mother’s day, a tender poem which had touched me then and touches me even more now. Yes truly things do remain the same and we do have to forget “our perfect offering” because there is a crack in everything and that is how the light gets in.

    I read that since I last visited you, your blog was not public and now it is again. May I say that i am so glad that i didn’t clean up my bookmarks when you were private and I am so thankful that you are sharing you marvelous gift for words publicly again.

    I immediately was drawn to the “I am enough” button on your sidebar because that is my mantra in life. I preach it to anyone who will listen, I even try to teach it to my teenagers, i hope someday they will understand. I am going to go there and partake of your words again. I am always amazed as puzzle pieces fit together in life. I wrote this http://vjjinaz2.blogspot.com/2011/06/enough.html on June 15th.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.



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