Shabbat in 11 Parts

1. Sleep. Chalupa sleeps for six hours last night, then another 90 minutes. Mani gets up with her and I sleep for three more hours after that. When I wake, it is 8:30am. I instinctively quickly scan my consciousness to identify my kids’ whereabouts (their dad’s), then make my way into the kitchen where I hear about the morning’s adventures (we have a mouse, the neighbor’s cat is stalking our puppy, pee, poop, play, nap, repeat). I reheat the coffee then make another pot, lingering at the kitchen table until late morning. I write in my journal and the words came pouring out. Later, I talk to Mani about the journaling. I recognize the impulse, always, to jump to conclusions too quickly rather than letting things unfold in time.

2. I journal in fits and starts, but my dream life is off the hook on a continuous basis. This morning, I know it’s time to start writing them down again, to make room to listen to my subconscious and see what it’s showing me. Trusting that this has everything to do with growing as a person, recognizing how easy it can be to live and work on autopilot or in reaction to things. The groundedness and return to feeling connected to myself that comes with journal writing is unlike any other kind of writing for me. For my eyes only, with no intention of sharing. This is where I get to listen to my own wisdom. This is where I get to not know. This is where I get to remember that I am capable, and whole.

3. Lunch. Leftover filling from a chicken burrito. A cold, rainy day. I close the windows, read a little, take Chalupa outside at least two times, then get back in bed at 2:00pm for a nap.

4. At 3:00pm, I hear Mani and Chalupa going outside. I surrender to another 45 minutes in bed. Such deep sleep. Naps may be the only sleep I get without epic dreaming, and the utter darkness of mind comes as a relief.

5. My nephew has a free hour and comes over to meet his new canine cousin. They hit if off immediately and it’s sweet to have him here. He’ll be 16 in two months. How is this possible?

6. My sister, niece, and brother-in-law stop by to pick him up for some dinner plans they have. My sister calls from the driveway, saying they didn’t have time to visit. He talks her into coming inside, and the whole family falls all over the puppy. Watching my brother-in-law hold her, I had such a flashback to when all of our kids were littles. The whole time thing is crazy.

7. Mani and I make our respective dinners. She tells me about a documentary she’s watching, and we talk about how our physical health and the environment are so inextricably linked. It’s disheartening, how we’ve lost this connection in a culture driven by profit, food fads, and big pharma.

8. I make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and a salad. After I finish eating, I bring my laptop into the living room and read the newest pieces in my One Story: Ten Facets group. The writing fills me with gratitude. The privilege of witnessing people’s lives and reading their innermost thoughts and stories never gets old.

9. Now it’s 6:50pm. I can hear Chalupa snoring in her bed — all that visiting tired her out. Mani’s watching “The Human Longevity Film,” the documentary she’d been telling me about earlier. Outside is wet, good for the flowers. The soil, the sky, the air we breathe, the earth itself is us. We are it. The fact that we forget this so much of the time saddens me and also feels like an invitation home.

10. When I feel myself straining for answers, as if there is surely a “right” next step, it’s a signal to stop. To stop and get really quiet, to remember how it feels to be all the way here. Getting tangled in questions about purpose and form is often a form of avoidance for me, and when I make room to really pause, I realize there is nothing to avoid. Like a puppy or a child, perhaps wisdom can sense when we’re fearful — and is much more likely to approach and give us kisses when we’re calm.

11. A deep breath. The light changing so subtly and gradually, it’s almost impossible to discern. But soon enough, it will be dark outside. We’ll sleep once more, than start all over again.


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