Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wolf Moon

On some days my frustration with work, love, music or writing creates as much blockage in my heart as the scars in my urethra. Like the tube out of my belly into a plastic bag strapped to my leg, I can usually divert the energy by focusing elsewhere, shifting my mood, returning to productivity.

Last night, it felt like all the areas of my life were stagnant and rotting, my insides held together by a carcass of fowl flesh that might not survive to the light of day. Bone weary and soul in pain, crying out with actual tears, the spirit escaped me to move one foot in front of the other.

Parts of three essays were begun and abandoned. Small tasks that normally revive and provide feelings of accomplishment loomed too large to undertake. Each pile on my desk was too thick with complications to sift. Exhausted without even having done much in the day, I collapsed into a struggled sleep.

Early this morning, still shrouded in darkness, I awake to scribble one word after another, like footsteps out of bed toward my door to get my life going again. Less worried about coherence than movement, I push this pen as if the ink can relieve the worry that my life is leading nowhere, overwhelmed by the flurry of others passing me by.

I would like to blame this malaise on the full moon, the wolf moon, that is apparently behind the storm clouds these last two nights. Separated from the pack, I howl with frustration and loneliness, fully cognizant of being loved and held by family and friends, but yearning to physically feel arms enfolding me in comfort.

For now, it is my path to walk alone, my own meadow to hunt and forage.

The day before, doggedly alone, I pushed mile after snowy mile through a storm towards Boston and back for a meeting with the doctor who will perform the surgery this spring that will free my body. A simple flow of pee, so taken for granted by most of us standing at the urinal, will be restored. The flow of sacred sexual vitality will be unplugged and released.

Back on the slopes with my Skatter Monkeys and able to walk a mile or more without finding exhaustion, energetic and excited most days to work and play, the reality of hospital and recuperation slammed into me in the parking lot at the entry as hard as any one of those skidding cars I had avoided on the highway. Soon I will come through those doors feeling fine and leave with numbed slow steps and a second catheter temporarily re-installed.

No matter how clear the picture, it is hard to see this as a step forward.

Since undergoing my New Warrior Training three and a half years ago, the Hero’s Journey which separated me from the comfort of my family unit (no matter how uncomfortable it was), I have been watching for the little boy within. I think the effort to play music these days is finding the voice and honoring that spirit, being playful and harmonic in the way that childhood—no matter the age—reminds us.

When I was that little boy, even as he pushed so hard and expected me to carry such heavy loads, my father drew many portraits of us on dreadful Sunday afternoons for whoever of us was picked to pose. Some of those I have framed and sitting out on the bookcase I built to display the few things I had remaining and brought with me to my cave.

Rummaging past last night, I bumped the case and one crashed to the floor, splintering glass like the broken mirror in my breakaway song. I have set it now more safely on the wall, framed in the broken glass, accompanied by the gift of strength from the one who teaches me now about both unconditional and daily love.

In the face of the boy is the concentration and wonder I know so well. Deep in contemplation, he witnesses, observes, tries to make sense of it all before him. The mystery of life is just there, bewildering, but he is calm, full of inner strength and unbeknownst to others (except maybe his mother) joy to be expressed in music and words.

I know too well the sad story of this boy and how he tried to leap into life so confident and eager, embracing a wife and children before taking many steps of his own. Raised to accept challenge and responsibility, to lead boldly where others might hesitate, his heart fully exposed and strong enough, he always pushed forward where prudence might have better cautioned restraint and patience.

Today, I hold that little boy who howled so loudly in the night, enfold my own arms gently and lovingly around him. Slowly, even as snowflakes settle downwards in the gray dark dawn, the light returns and he is comforted. The glass can be replaced, the heart remains intact.

It is time for me to go to work.

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