Siobhan sent a poem over our email chain. She's in the gradschool cohort we all got blessed with. Our cohort, C, has its roots as the first cohort for In Depth Psych Counseling or so the legend goes, and since Pacifica is built on myth and soul and story I like that detail the best. We are Ants--that's the medicine card we pulled our first session when some second year's came and got us and then led us out to the grass to have a little gnostic earth ceremony. Ants: power of patience, persistence, working on behalf of the whole.
Standing on the little sundeck today against all the fat, full greens of the canyon it was that poem that came to me, the first line: Leave the dishes. It is a poem by Louise Erdrich called Advice to Myself and it came when all us Ants were emailing about self and soul care. I thought of it because after a week of school work new job work new job work study read quit teaching/work--well to be standing on the sun deck this afternoon about to sit and luxuriate and do nothing felt, for just that final second before sitting down, the tiniest bit indulgent. Because the house is dirty, the dishes are piled up, the fridge needs cleaned out. But I thought of that poem and sat down. Way, wayyy down.
I am blissed out and quenched back up on my self and nice and relaxed now. Full of California southsky sun. Grateful in ways I can't speak because there are no words for the steady sobs of goodbye I shared with Chika or Loan, the tears of gratitude on the faces of Mayra or Yun. My students who taught me more than they will ever know. Dancing with the grls in HB last night for Annie's birthday. Derynne about to move. Me starting work, for myself. And, maybe most of all, this other thing quietly going on. How settled: I am dating, and not losing my self.
Which makes me see in my mind Krissy and I, also on the lawn at Pacifica. Practicing empathetic listening with one another. This was in October. Not so far south sun. I had told her about my time living in Ocean Pines with mom right before I came to California. How I did nothing but wait tables and go out every night to have fun. I told her how different that had been from the excruciating work at Chesapeake College being a Counselor. The guilt I still had over this. It's a large package I gave her to hold. Her response was dead on--how I learned at the beach when I lived with mom really strong boundaries for myself. When Krisssy said that I remembered: my motto back then was if it doesn't add joy I will cut it out. I really did live that way, too. With that much dedication to joy and having fun.
And so no effort is wasted. That time at Ocean Pines I learned to carve out, and trust, my truest, brightest self.
Today I'm just sorta reveling... She's really guiding my way.