Wander Willow

to map the making of one who dreams too much

Morning in the sacred valley

I am sitting in pisac valley surrounded by sacred mountains who’s names I have yet to learn. I am smoking a cigarette in the early morning, listening to the waking of the birds. The purple corn stalks are still this morning, despite the cool breeze across my legs.
I have been on the road for a month now, and have lived through so many different experiences. And seen so many parts of myself bloom and wilt and seed themselves all over again, returning to the mystery of the wild. All of it, every person, place and moment I encounter is cut from the selfsame cloth of love. All showing me how to soften, the Value of focus and feeling alike. Some moments I have met with grace, and others with old fear brimming again. But all of it is gift, and where I am moving I touch all I can, giving back my own gifts and feeling them held. This is newness, somehow seen through barriers of language and custom alike, I remain apart, encircled and handheld by other lives waking, by other minds dreaming, all of us burning in a flame of encounter, of all us quenched by the waters of recognition.

The yellow flowers in my tea are melting, and outside the window women begin to pour out the sounds of healing songs. In two days, I sit in ceremony under the full face of the moon.

I miss the home I have made, but know it alive and yet changing day after day. As I rode the tiny path up the side of the Andes I exploded with a laughter only a child can know. How funny to feel so much a woman and still with these moments of pink babe new.

Wonder, I think is the best medicine I know.
Fear I believe is learned, as we grow…
Well on this road I made and I meet
Wonder welcomes us home.

I share the two words that hold the key to a life full and felt with depth, or at least that’s what is working for me, as I wander and I see. May they aid you to in whatever way you need:

Remain open.

Sending love to you all. There’s so much to say. I’ll be writing more in the coming days.

Something is strange. I don’t know why I’m here. I feel placid and flat in this beautiful country where I feel suddenly safe and the earth is so alive. To live a good life here is to relax, for me it is not so. I don’t find a place to engage. Almost like I am looking for hard work, wanting a trigger. No deep relationship means no complex unsurfacing. I remember when I felt love Change. It went from simple air spreading and moving in and out at every turn to bring rain: not whole and falling but living full in a single drop. Love became in me selective. Selective and cultiavted, crafted out of patience and the diligence of sight. This small surface area came with a bottom I still have not seen and in all honesty I don’t quite believe in. And I am grateful for this. In the clarity of home, this carful deep need feeds and nourishes, prayed for and falling in all the right places, touching roots alive. And here I am roots bound for flight, wings extended and I don’t kno what I’m looking at. It might not be the piece of the puzzle you thought you’d see, but it’s still part of it. Keep learning to see. Already my seeing is challenged. I am grateful and puzzled : in this year of deep dark engagement with the past and building bright and honest home I’ve forgotten loneliness. Here she is. Met on the road again. I might have passed her by, but on this warm full moon night, half drunk on local sangria and strumming a guitar and slack lining under coconut trees, I pick her up. She is a passenger on my journey. And we have a long road ahead.

When the leaving is hard

“When the leaving is hard but you go now, and you feel what you drag across the floor.”

I am sitting in my softly lit Parkdale nook, listening to the Tallest Man on Earth, who is somehow inexplicably pouring out the language I am living and feeling in my own body.

In the days before leaving, the need for order becomes obvious, as structure is slipping through my fingers. I didn’t know how valuable it’s been to live repetitive days, visiting the same coffee shops, taking the same street car and even coming to recognize the tellers at my bank. All of these faces now spell familiar words, and these places make a home for me among them.

I always manage to lay love in places so fully as I am leaving.

I find myself spun around somehow, confused and frantic as I turn away from all I’ve built as home.

But not quite all. There’s what’s inside that’s built up knowing, and that’s the golden stuff that’s coming with me. These vague sentences might wash over you, holding nothing you recognize. But some of you who read this might feel that tug  in the body I am speaking of- that long grown field inside you that clears itself and opens up when the leaving takes ahold.

I have heard that boats need weight to float on water. There is even a word for this: bast. A boat needs substantial bast in order to float lightly atop a taught surface of ocean. How funny, that heaviness can lighten the burden of leaving.  All life long, I have searched to be weightless, thinking this to be free. But now I am starting to see, it’s not always quite so. And so I feel what I drag across the floor, and I cherish every ounce of it.

I don’t know if this heaviness will bring buoyancy in the uncertain waters to come. But I’ll soon find out. And I’ll be sure to let you know.

Before Departure

In two weeks, I am leaving for South America. This has got to be the most terrifying choice I have ever made. I’ll be bringing something with me. And I’ll be leaving lots behind. I’ll be following two things: my intuition and my intellect and I will bring back something real.

Leonard Cohen said once in the Infamous Blue Raincoat:
“I hear you are living for nothing now. I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.”

Well, this is my record. If not one reads it, no matter. It is written, and it is kept.

I can’t believe I am going. I am going. I am loosening my grip on the context that’s held me in place. Again. As wanderers tend to do too often.  But its incredibly different this time. Why fight the patterns? They are not the same when they return, though it may appear they are. The way A sunset and sunrise can look similar without a compass.

Identity is so much what we share with those around us, who are hopefully those we love. My hands are opening and what is shared is dropping in the cold ground of home. I hope it will sleep in deep slumber, and sprout as seed as I’m roaming. When I return, there will be growing that’s dreaming in all those places I left.

Who am I kidding? There is no way of knowing what’s in store ahead. And no use in holding so much of what’s behind. I let go. I fly. Because here’s the thing, in life the rough draft is the final product.

So here is the process, because as far as I can tell, that’s the heart of all there is.