I prepared today to do my writing. I started with Yoga (for at least 5 minutes) because I am involved in this worldwide effort to do Yoga and Write at least 800 words a day. The pose many of us are doing is Savasana, the Corpse pose, and holding it for at least 15 minutes.
I tried the pose yesterday and was successful except at some point I forgot what I was doing. I mean, the focus on my breath and my intention left and I floated around in thought about my theater work and when the timer went off I was sort of dazed and confused rather than in the state of bliss I had expected.
“Better intention, tomorrow,” I told myself so I reviewed the guidelines for Savasana and headed back into my yoga space/spare room with my timer and a wet cloth to cover my eyes and remind me, "This is a part of a larger aim then yourself, Julie. This is important, this is about community" yet with each step into this space in the name of community and creativity and meeting whatever that was waiting for me I felt a heaviness in my feet, in my shoulders.
The heaviness actually started this morning, before it had a name or a reason.
I was awakened by a deliciously and maddenly bright sun light which wouldn't have been there if the thought less tree trimmers had done like they were told and left my shade tree a shade tree instead of turning it into a skeleton with leaves. It is too hot in Bakersfield in Summer to get rid of any leaves. Anywhere.
I was less angry than I was sad and I couldn’t name why. I just knew I felt different and weird.
It felt different than I expected and as I went about my day I felt my motivation flag. I facilitated a phenomenal experience for a group of people who wrote poetry from all ends of the country in what I called a Writer's Play Date: I actually realized a dream in that Playdate with multiple generations coming together to write. When the children there read their poetry and my son helped me with my chimes, I cried.
When I mentioned my son's name and my friend's husband came to mind, the man who has the same name as my son, I cried again as I mentioned the connection.
I noticed a blister on my foot from my new favorite sandals. I burned my finger when I took a delectable chicken garlic pizza from the oven. I pulled my hand away, "Ouch!" and I paused. Breathless.
"He will never feel that again. He will never feel."
For that wobbly ache I felt early in the day may have had its beginning in the death of a long-ago friend. Another friend, lost, to suicide. I have had far too many childhood friends day to suicide. Three in the year following high school graduation and who knows how many in the interim.
At my desk, today, and during my quiet time, today, I remember his long eye lashes, his smiling eyes, from childhood, and his adult facebook comments and happy birthdays. Other than that, I felt a roar in my gut that I didn't know him more and realized in that burn on my finger that it is a blessing to feel the burn.
My children and I spent part of this afternoon at a friend's pool and I felt cold and then hot and then cold in the choices I made. When the savasana is more than a pose, there are no more choices. It is as simple as that: no more choices, no more hots and colds, no more yeses and no, no no. There is no more. No more. NO more.
I didn't expect my first 800 word post would sound like this.
I wanted it to sound inspiring and hopeful and make people oooh and ahhh me and retweet my wisdom but now? I wonder how much that stuff matters and ironically, it is that stuff that matters.
The last evidence of my childhood friend's life is his plea on facebook for work. He was looking for work, anything at all. He left his phone number even, to call - which it looks like some people did, but it wasn't enough.
A plea for worth equals, in this case, something of a benediction.
Where is the wholeness in here?
I feel an echo in my question. Where is the wholeness in here?
I have had some serious suicidal thoughts a couple times in my life. Once I was so deeply depressed that I couldn't imagine being worth the effort of suicide. I could barely speak at that time. I felt my voice was an affront to God. I stayed silent, moving my eyes to look at the window felt like too much of an effort, making a plan to kill myself seemed far too complex for me. I thought of it, but when opening my eyes was challenging, any large effort like suicide was out of the question.
My friends now and perhaps my friends then would find this version of me hard to fathom. Julie, positivity squared. “She couldn't have been that depressed.” Yes. I was.
Several years later I was so depressed again that I had to leave my house one morning, grab my two preschool aged children and leave my house because I "got" that I could use the medicine in my house the same way some people used hand guns. I could take those pain medicines I stocked from prescriptions that sat unused and put them to use in taking away my pain on a more permanent basis.
I stayed away from home for hours. Hyperventilating, silent. I remember I was in a group at a church at the time and I went there for sanctuary. No one knew, though. I couldn't speak what was true. None of them knew.
None of them knew. I didn't, couldn't, wouldn't speak the horror. How ironic is that? I went to a church for sanctuary yet none of the humans there, none of God’s people knew or questioned or wondered or saw in my eyes my hopeless breathlessness.
Later that day, I called my sister and my mom who came to babysit me for a week or so. I live more than a hundred miles from any of my family members, more like 200 for my siblings and more than 500 miles from my parents. First my sister came to see me, on reconnaissance, and then my mom, for the hardcore fight. I recognized this and said to Sue, "You are on reconnaissance" and my Mom, when she arrived, cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned.
I needed talk and reassurance and hugs and reassurance and my beloved Mom, bless her heart, hid her fear for my life in cleaning my house.
I dumped all the pain medicines down the toilet.
Eventually the fog lifted and I retraced the sadness with gratitude and exercise and creativity and different friendships.
My friend, not so lucky.
He will never have a blister on his foot or a burned hand or taste garlic chicken pizza or write 800 words.
I allow the tears to come.