The little white line between these two pictures holds 10 years worth of life and death.
I remember taking this first picture, and who I took it for. I can see the (hope) fear in my eyes, frozen, like a deer caught in headlights, waiting for a response to tell me who I am, to validate my existence…to allow me to breathe again. My lungs pulled in air once I received the approval and justification I desperately craved.

It is so clear to me now… looking into that girl’s eyes, just how utterly lost and stuck I was.
I didn’t know that at the time.
No, I thought I had all the answers, and held all the cards…laying them out like so many little white lines.

There are pages upon pages that (could) will be filled with the stories of how I broke, and bled, and learned and remembered, and healed who I am- from the inside out, NOT the outside in.

But I can’t help but marvel at the physical proof of just how thoroughly we can metamorphose if we surrender, and do not turn away from the dark things… from death, from anger and fear, and from the truth that resentments exist- those we hold, and those that are held against us. We accept the shadow, and with it comes the understanding that it is possible to evolve, and grow and create. And to love.

I remember who I took the picture on the right for. I took it for me. I took it as a reminder that to be healed is to continue to heal. And practice. Every single day.

My eyes are not seeking. They are challenging, inviting, and accepting all in.

Come, take my hand…let’s walk together.

The Fifth Sense

Scent is memory. Scent is thousands of tiny snapshots that make up our lives, whether we are aware of it at the time or not.

I have been stealing myself to be brave enough to press “checkout” on a bottle of your perfume for days now.

It’s been months since you flew away, and it still doesn’t seem real to me.

Not in the sense of agonizing disbelief, or inconceivable pain…

Not like that.

Not like them.

You lived a gorgeous, lush life unto the very end. You taught me (without being aware of it, I’d wager) that a woman can walk through life with graceful strength, and an elegant mettle that would catch even the most philistine of busy bodies unawares.

You had an ethereal air about you…like gossamer woven through with pure adamant….one that I’ve been to terrified to claim.

Scent, holds memory…sometimes it is powerful enough that it can seem to contain an entire essence of a person.

And there it is.

Several days after finally clicking checkout, I stopped at the mailbox.

And there it was.

“Eternity” for me, was and is- you.

I held the small bottle in my hands, KNOWING that once opened, you would come flooding back to me.

Bracing myself, I uncapped the familiar bottle that was a permanent fixture on your dresser, and brought it slowly up to my nose.

I didn’t dare spray it… what if your scent unleashed the blinding pain that I was still waiting to experience? I would be trapped with it.

Scent holds memory.

Memory holds emotion.

Emotion is pain.

And.

Emotion is love.

The moment I inhaled my Grandmother’s scent, I was infused with her essence of strength and love. She was wrapped around me, bolstering me up, and for that brief moment, I knew that she was there with me.

Now, every night, I spray my pillow with her perfume, and am gathered into her graceful strength once more.

I have no doubt that I was divinely guided to do this. I needed SOMETHING to quell the panic and fear that has been rising as the days go by.

If we are willing, still, and quiet enough…spirit will always provide.

Xo,

Stacie

A Prayer

Great Mother Spirit,

I call upon you today to seek solace. To find refuge outside of time. Our day to day world is so laborious…I feel the clock ticking, and grow anxious as images of rusty copper gears, and whirring bearings cloud my view.

My body is sick, and my body is tired. Instead of fully giving over to rest, I stress and worry that the amount of time I have to rest isn’t enough….sabotaging my serenity from the start.

Take me to a place outside of time… where the only constant motion or sound is of a lazy river, gently flowing towards the ocean. Does the water worry when it will make it there? No, because water is simply meant to flow. It will greet the ocean with a soft kiss, perhaps not even noticing right away that the two have merged and become one.

Please help me to embrace and embody FLOW. To allow myself moments of reprieve and solitude, to listen to what my body tells me, and honor what it needs. Help me carve out a river inside myself, and in doing so, help me to know that all I need to do is flow towards your spirit and energy. I know you will always be there waiting for me, like the great oceans…but for now, please help me learn to softly river my way through.

And so it is.

Pisces Season

You have been circling my conscious for a while now, like a bird along a lake…widely swooping low, and then banking up towards the sky again… you have not touched down….unsure if you’ll briefly visit, or fly on. The surface of the water frantically dapples and glimmers…seemingly reaching out as if to say, “Wait! I am full of fathoms and hidden treasures, if only you’d come close enough to see ME…instead of how easily seemlessly I mirror your mettle.

-once an Empath.

Noon on Winter Solstice

Why don’t I feel it?

The slab of sorrow that is slowly poured over my body, and then cements into place like heavy concrete. Constricting my airway. Weighing on my heart. Holding me heavily in place. Rendering my intellect and imagination grey…there are no specks of sparkling silver in this sidewalk, unlike the ones of my childhood, where fisher price roller skates were strapped onto my shoes…little legs buoyed up by your cheers of encouragement.

I know grief. I know how my brain and my body should react. Hell, I even dramatized it here at the beginning of this page.

I suppose I could call it up, summon it from the depths of 8 years ago…except if I’m honest with myself, I think I’ve already tried that.

And it didn’t work. It didn’t plant.

You are Perennial. Yes. That’s it, that’s the answer.

Your love is, and has always been everlasting.

Unfaltering, in every season and storm of my life. Your love and prayers for me thrived.

So much so, that not even death himself could wither your bloom.

Flynn gently plucked your picture off my altar today, and brought it into his room at nap time… simply saying “Nana”, and setting you beside his bed.

And so here I sit, in the quiet of his nap… thinking “this is the moment!” The tears and anguish will finally come flooding through after witnessing the pureness of my child’s understanding. Death and I are well acquainted, you see, so he would know exactly how to turn the taps on my watery heart so that the ashen dirge begins to flow.

But it doesn’t come. I breathe.

I look.

I wait.

And like Persephone, I feel your love as a soft spring breeze, and am warmed by your eternal light.

On the coldest day, and in the darkest, and longest night…your flower will forever abide in me.

Eight Years

I watched as the dawn softly blew it’s breath on the dark this morning…it was such a subtle, gentle shift…like the ripples that appear when I blow on too hot tea. It has become that way… this grief of missing you… quietly curling around me, but still enveloping wholly.

When did it change? I can’t begin to answer that question, and I smooth down the panic and guilt that swells at the prospect. I will not question it. Not anymore.

Eight years ago, your death irrevocably changed my life. For so long, I was lost in the pain and darkness of it…not able to comprehend even the IDEA of you being gone from this life. And then you appeared again… in little ways at first, and then in utterly magnificent ones.

Ever since, you have walked beside me in spirit, and guided me down a path I could never have imagined for myself, or withstood without your strength. On this day, and every day…. I remember. On this day, and every day…. you are with me. I love you, Beth. THANK YOU.

Ritual

Light a candle with intention. Let nature’s tendrils and vines brush against your face. Meet with a dear friend, and hold space for one another- exactly where, and as you are. Stand at the edge of the ocean, and allow your tears to mingle with the salty air….Step into a stone chapel, and lift your voice in Divine offering.

Ritual is all around us if we allow ourselves to receive it. This is medicine. This is healing.

This is my voice, these are my words, and my offering to the Mother… to Mary, and to Magdalene. She received it and gave me the gift of the ocean’s waves in return. (Click link below to listen.)

235-n-water-st.m4a

Blessed Be.

Witness

I had never witnessed the taking of a life before. A privilege, I know, in today’s world. I heard the machines before I saw them…and was drawn outside by my son, who at first only saw the monstrous vehicles as characters in his children’s books. 

We walked out to the end of the driveway, staying a safe distance back…and Flynn’s notion of what these machines were “supposed to” be for immediately left his head. He gripped my hand tight and watched with concern, as the machines continued to hack at it’s victim’s limbs. As they fell to the ground, we watched men robotically pick them up and throw them into a shredder, with no regard for the perfectly healthy, beautiful resiliency that they still had left within them… that life breath turned to dust within an instant. 


My little boy looked up at me and asked, “Mama?” that one word holding so many questions in his little mind. He wanted to know why. Why were they killing this life force, tearing it apart piece by piece. 


My answer to him was a silent kiss…a meaningless reassurance.  How could I explain to this untainted soul that these men were taking this life because they believed it was too close to our comfort and connectivity. They believed it was better for it to die, then to let the possibility of it someday “interrupting” or inconveniencing our lives.


Flynn still clutches my hand, but his other hand is now clutching his stomach…his little body unable to understand what is happening. I could feel his concern and discomfort flooding up my arm where our hands were connected. 


This life had lived in this place for close to 100 years. It remained a steadfast fixture as the world and people changed around it. How many generations had it watched come and go? How many families looked upon it daily? How many animals had it sheltered or fed with it’s abundance? 


And now all the limbs were shorn off, it’s body naked and exposed where it’s life force once spread tall and wide. 


I was at an execution that no one could stop- I could only look on in sadness and remorse…. guilt seeping in like I was a part of the destruction. 


I couldn’t watch the men finish. I didn’t want to see emptiness where a strong, long, life once stood. 


We went back into the house, and I distracted Flynn with a game of catch, but my mind was still outside…. and in detainment centers….and in jails…and on boats…and behind walls…and in every other place in the world where humans kill and destroy for the POSSIBILITY that the lives they are taking may threaten or inconvenience them at some point. 


I watched a tree die today. 



I watched because it was right outside my front door. As I write this from the safety of my home, I now realize that I have watched humanity die every day on the news, and social media, etc. Why has it been so much easier to walk away from it, or turn a blind eye and pretend it isn’t happening? NO MORE. 


Great Mother, please give me the strength to NOT look away, change the channel, or go inside. Give me the courage to stay…. and to intervene. 


Blessed Be. 

The Weaver’s Prayer

She sits by the fire with her eyes closed, lost in contemplation…allowing the strands of life to ebb and flow around her freely.

These chords, memories, and connections fly around her beneath closed eyelids, where only she can see them. There…the thick translucent blue of the umbilical chord where her life started. Where she was destined for a path of the unknown and of inner strength.

A slim but mighty silver thread flashes by and grabs hold….her chosen family, not of blood, but of love. The silver thread forever embroidering her life force with another’s- her sister, and soul friend. More strands come into view now… the emerald green of true love, the joyous blue of motherhood, all beginning to intertwine into beautiful patterns and textures.

This woman is the keeper of many chords….not just her own. She holds the red thread of life in her hands and has stitched countless people back together through her service in medicine. That red thread has given life back to those in need…she is a healer.

With her eyes closed she can see a thickly braided chord of moss green and vivid purple… soul mates who were brought together because of her tapestry. Stitch by stitch, her threads have impacted the world. She has created literal beauty in her knitting and quilts, but the real magic of her life is in the power to create NEW threads, and know when to let go of the ones that have frayed. A tear rolls down her cheek and she sees it for the first time….a spool of Golden thread…just for her.

This thread is not often seen… it only exists in certain people… those who have walked through darkness and have come out on the other side to create anew. She breathes deeply, threads her needle and opens her eyes to begin. After all…. she is a WEAVER.

On Embodiment

All of my life, I have struggled to accept my personal appearance. I have never thought that I was skinny enough, or my skin was clear enough, or that my stomach was flat enough etc.

How many times have you looked at pictures of yourself from 10+ years ago and think, “WHY DID I THINK I WASN’T (insert positive adjective here) THEN?! Why did I waste so much of my time and energy picking apart my body??” It seems that only upon reflection MANY years later, that I can see what others had perhaps seen back then.

And therein lies the problem. I am still judging and comparing my body to other women- my 10 years younger self included.

I have always looked at my body from the outside in… appearance first, and health concerns second. This way of thinking had to change when I got sober. I knew that I had to pay attention to what my body was telling me, or I was going to die. Thankfully, (after ignoring that niggle in my chest for far too long) I listened to my inner voice and started a journey towards sobriety. As I type this though… I’m realizing that even then- I may have been paying more attention to what my mind was telling me, instead of truly taking cues from my physical body. Being an alcoholic, I had lots of practice regarding detachment- getting so skilled at it, that in the end I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I lived in a dark world inside my head, and my job each day was to drown out and numb that darkness as quickly and for as long as possible.

Once I had some sobriety under my belt, I understood that I had completely neglected myself, so I started down the long path of reintroducing myself to my physical body. Years passed, and I became an open channel. I felt called to be a conduit to heal others, and worked to receive my Reiki Masters Certification. I was regularly assessing, healing, and focusing on other people’s physical forms, while STILL completely ignoring mine. Was I sober? YES. Was I able to ease people’s emotional/physical pain? YES. Was I using my own hands to do this? YES! But STILL, I ignored my own vessel…. Until.

Until my husband and I decided we were ready to add to our family. In order to have Flynn, I had to go thru fertility procedures and blood tests etc. in rapid fire succession. Very quickly, I was forced to pay attention to my body, and had to make the health of it my top priority.

When I got pregnant, something that I can literally only describe as magical happened. I LOVED how I looked pregnant. I can remember staring at myself in the mirror with a huge bump thinking, THIS is what your body was made for. THIS is your true form. I truly felt divinely held while pregnant, and will always cherish that feeling.

As with all life lessons- this one includes a good dose of irony. Here I was, REALLY loving my body on the outside, but in horrendous pain and discomfort on the inside. Because of Hypertension and Preeclampsia, my pregnancy was definitely not the smooth sail that I expected it to be.

But looking back at that time now, I am so grateful to my body for being strong enough to hold me up and safely carry Flynn for nine months. I am proud of what I was able to endure for a week in the hospital before Flynn came into the world.

And then our new life took over, and everything was about Flynn, as it should have been. I experienced the two weekish postpartum glow, lost most of my pregnancy weight, and jumped back into my busy life.

And then when Flynn was about 5 months old, every woman’s good friend GRAVITY came to call. Everything, and I mean everything… dropped. I felt so alienated and lost in my body. And so… I ignored it. I focused all of my energy on Flynn, my husband, and even on my face and hair. I shut out everything from the neck down.

And so I sit here… contemplating all of this, and trying to release the pressure I have put on myself to “fix” it.

I am writing this post to hold space for myself, and for any other mother, (or otherwise for that matter) who feels disconnected from herself. I am sharing this as a permanent reminder of the hardships I have put my body through, and more importantly, the gifts it has given me.

While speaking with a very wise woman, I told her that I felt like I completely lost my body. She took in my pain and said…. “No you didn’t. You can never lose your body. It is sitting right there with you now. It is supporting you right now. All you have to do is be open to receiving it.”

I am FAR from being physically comfortable in my postpartum body, but I have started to have gratitude for the work it has done for 33 years. I will learn how to lovingly make healthy changes so that hopefully soon, I will like what I see in mirror. In the meantime, I will thank my body each night for carrying me through the day…just as it is.