The sun was setting after I had driven over 10 hours, sobbing my way through the hills and jungled greenery surrounding Spencer, the music mysteriously elegiac as I envisioned my recently departed friends--the old imp Warren and way-too-young-to-die fellow artist, activist and mom, Sophia. My own private memorial service on wheels--car loaded to the gills with plants and boxes full of geodes, bath items, photos--a rather senseless collection, wedged with great precision into a compact car. I worried about tire-wear from extra weight. I worried about my spouse left to pack the house and direct our first-ever professional mover help. I worried that I would fail at my new job. I worried I would crash the car on some non-descript verge in Missouri, not find decent coffee in Hannibal, be ostracized from Lincoln friendship for being a populist, hippie, feminsist buddhist, miss my kids so badly I would piss them off with constant texts In short, I worried....and wept.
|"Little Sweets" Series from Royal Art Lodge|
In anticipating a move from my home in Bloomington my study gears ground nearly to a halt last year. If I never finished my PhD, I wouldn't have to move, right? Such maneuverings are guaranteed to bring the trickster out of hiding.
So in the lull of my refusal to face the future, we traveled to Canada, visited friends who emigrated to Nova Scotia, got their immigration attorney's name and I job searched after all, even short of my PhD (ABD is close enough, right?). I don't know how it happened (well, I do...but I don't) but I am now working a job I thought I'd never do again in a land as far from the ocean as "binders full of women" is from feminist respect.
As a child, I was pretty sure Lincoln, Nebraska was a non-place--a refuge from the Grandparent's family farm in Hebron, sure--but a viable choice for making a big life move? pshaw. However, one glance at a Big Juicy Job and a light response email saying only "why not?" from my mate when I sent the posting to him...and here I am. Stars aligned, interviews extended, budgets stretched, rental homes redistributed and WHAT? I live in NEBRASKA?
I am still terrified. It is the little stuff--what lane become a turn lane suddenly, where the best deal on produce is, which Asian market has the tamarind, and who the heck is a decent doctor--these are the things that keep me wound tight as a newbies violin string. I have lost 15 pounds. I cry every Saturday and revel in the rest of each Sunday. I am making a new life in a new place. The trickster is giggling like a 4 year old saying "booby."
There is no such thing as planning ahead--not with the quirks of this trickster world. Sure we do it...we'd be bored otherwise, and it does keep the cream on hand for the coffee. Now if I could just remember to pick up the coffee.
Ah what we have dear sweet friends, is not the coffee klatch but the tricksters match. Our thoughts bouncing from satellites, our hearts beating in synch even as they fade from flesh. The mystery of love and care is that it is invisible. I cannot hold love in my hands; it cannot be traced or stapled or even hugged. But it can ride those acts--the cry into the posting wind of social media, the smile across a room, the thought wafting through at just the right moment, a preschooler's art arrives in the mailbox and the weight of my sisters' belief in me is held in a necklace talisman that warms my skin on the days I need a boost.
A child of many moves, I learned early that family loyalty and care can stretch across a continent, that communities can mushroom forth from the hidden networks of our subterranean commitments, that one can easily perch at kitchen table after a 20 year absence and murmur caring inquiries as if 20 years had been but a blink. Because it is. Just yesterday my mate mentioned reading about a climate-provoked "die off" on this planet that lasted FIVE MILLION YEARS. Five million years of the poles being the only viable place for sentient life. And that was just a breath, one inhalation of Gaia's pulse.
If the breathing beings of our planet can migrate to the poles for 5 million years, I guess that 600 miles is not so far to stretch my love. Someday I will know where all the turn lanes are, and I'll have a doctor and even a friend or two. But I bet I still forget to pick up the coffee. And someone 600 miles away will smile.
|Time by Kristi Soojung Fernandez Kim, friend from Louisiana|
Now envision your heart again with its entwined tendrils and imagine all the invisible lines of care and love between you and those around you. Maybe these weavings form a dreamcatcher across the lands and oceans. Maybe they merge with the geometry of magnetic fields. Maybe they chirrup like bird flight through an ether composed of breath.....
Breathe in and feel love. Travel your map lines of connection in and out. Breathe in and feel what it is to be connected, invisibly and yet irrevocably. Indeed, what does it feel like? What swells the love? What tugs at it? Rest in the waxing and waning of breath, the lines secure, the map of love radiating from your heart.