The question which prompted this piece:
Which aspects of life as it used to be, do you miss or yearn for?
I yearn for the play time.
Play time I did not feel in my frightened childhood.
Except for sometimes in summer when my cousin and I played hours long games of Secret Agents in his Ann Arbor basement.
Otherwise, it wasn’t until I got to college, The Experimental Theatre Wing, when I played.
I played while smashing raw meat on my chest while spouting Lady Macbeth, I played by staying up all night in character to find truth in subway cars, I played Truth or Dare in Central Park.
I felt the play time later with my own small messy children on mud days and swim days and art days.
Lately it’s been hard to find this time.
Lately there are big world agonies. Earthquakes. Wars. Pandemics.
And small world tragedies. Heartbreak. Hip Surgery. The deaths of old lovers.
I yearn for creative time when I made stuff worry free
Puppets, birthday cards, rituals.
Letting intuition flow to freedom.
Courageous generosity leading to wondrous connection
One deep temporary friendship at a time
Thirst that leads to swimming
Restless limbs that lead to dance
Or when in Italy when I spilled tea on a new white tee shirt by accident
And poured more tea on it, then dirt, then paint, then glued on too large cardboard glasses
Turned it into the mask of an old lady, grinning into her crone power.
I lay in bed so sad this morning, searching for a happy song until I found one.
It helped me jiggle and sing my way to standing.
I hope today
Excessive yawning leads to a nap instead of a third cup of espresso.
A lonely afternoon leads to a cuddle fest of blankets, books and small dogs.
Easily, naturally, the breaths will flow in and out.
And I don’t question the initiation of breath or fear the ending.
No push, no shove, just wiggles,
Micro adjustments to the now.
So, presence becomes more present
I pray that my imaginary life, lived moment by unanticipated moment becomes more gently real.
If we could be this way (again?) (anew?) together,
Could we finger paint a new landscape to heal the broken forest where climate change has burned down the trees?
Could we weave our maypole ribbons in between our different shades of arms, so that paradox becomes a curious rainbow not a battle ground?
What if we could be this way (more innocent?) (more present?)
Play a little more,
Following our instinctual hearts to their conclusion,
Into pools of glimmering love.
What if we could splash through puddles together
And see the unexpected colors in each other’s eyes?
What if rather than harboring resentment for slings and arrows,
We could melt our troubles into metaphors and throw poems at each other,
Instead of rocks?
What if laughter comes spontaneously because at our core
We are funny people?
What if today I made a cardboard serpent instead of an argument against myself?
What if Shechinah’s wisdom is the first answer I hear when
Asking, “what is the next right action?”
What if instead of mourning my age, weight, health, lack of wealth, accolades today,
I celebrated the vigor of my vast ability to be inspired?
What if I spread my arms wide across the kitchen to dance
No old woman here,
Just a lucky birthday girl who gets to share her ice cream
The other lost children
In this desert
On my 65th Birthday.