It’s hot outside, I feel young and old, change of clothes, change of identities, big ride, new crepes, welcome to the neighborhood, rise with the sun, the weight of expectations, an easter egg with a sweet surprise, five thousand tons of cacti, screaming in my head, at the Eastern Hotel, claustrophobic, happy and docile, laying claims based on enemies, calm like a sepia photograph, ripping pages out of my favorite Audre Lorde book, hidden treasures for later.

Five in the morning, groggy yet awake, shuffle to the bathroom where I sit on the toilet longer than usual spacing out to my thoughts, lay the mat I bought in Guatemala on the floor half on top of the permanent floor rug, cushions my feet bones that protrude and bruise and stab the floor, place the meditation cushion, position self cross-legged and eyes open and relax muscles and unclench jaw and take a few breaths, what does my body feel like, how is my mind, reflect back what is sensed and heard, a mind with nothing to learn with bones that fear no one will ever listen.

I’ve had this water bottle for eight years. Plastered with stickers it travels at my side, hand, bag, car, bike, plane. Replacing it sounds as bizarre as cutting my own hand off, as bizarre as losing my pinky finger which has lost feeling in half of it so it’s gone in some ways. I never go anywhere without it yet I’m always leaving it behind.

Washing dishes, sweeping floors, running to meetings, looking to what’s next before the current thing is even done, make lists, accomplished and productive, day well done, laundry to wash (if the washing machine works today), scrub oven that never cleans, clean the bathroom where my brain wonders, throw away old mail never opened, fix the rattling from my car axle, water garden and try not to kill my food, pass muster without betrayal.

Holidays make it so we only have to celebrate something or be something or act something once a year. A frenzy like the protected and deified weekends.

Bravado, eye-brow cocked, assuredness of a tiger walking behind, reminds me to never be afraid (of solitude), coming of age of profession of skill, teacher, student (revolving door), unlearning cultural patterns, learning ways of being, reciprocal identities, standing in difference, culture shock, culture jam, making jam, pesto with never any basil (try sorrel and spinach), singing in my car with the windows down, uncovering blemishes, make a quilt, write a book without ever taking a class, let my words seep out and over like molasses, mindless uncontrol, living in a world that belongs to others, I do not want to be tolerated.

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