Navigating the Sacred and Mundane

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Slowing Down

It's been a busy time as nature slows down, turns inward. This season....I still consider myself a new wife, new mother, new stepmother, new householder. And I find myself pulling from very old files. Family life from the house where I grew as a child. Married life gathered from marriages that never worked. Holidays from Hallmark.

How did I end up like this?

You'd think twenty years of all kinds of therapy, meditation that allowed me to peer through windows of timelessness, and a yoga practice devoted to teachings of honoring the self within, would have set me straight.

But what fascinates me about my own life, my own mind, is the impulse toward repetition, how patterns love to reproduce across time. Indeed, how patterns adventure across years of new, redefined territory, look for an opening, then resume their play at the first chance.

Is it lack of discipline or is it perfect just the way it unfolds?

One thing about it, I get to really look closely at the patterns that shaped me as a child, those of my parents which I now enact in frighteningly similar daily ways. It's both endearing and horrifying in one instant. The grace here is that I find a place of love for my parents that I could have never known if I had gotten over it all, healed from it all, moved on completely. And in the horror I find compassion for myself and, by extension, them.

The result of those years of therapy and practice, though, is a particularly acute sensitivity to natural cycles -- and an accompanying form of illness that arises when I move against those rhythms.

In the last month I've had every variation of a cold and flu, several internal infections...the list goes on. Tonight I feel a weight on my chest, hard to breathe. And I get it.

I have Christmas hangover. I am suffering from my own willingness to live the way long-standing rules of culture prescribe. I cringe to write it, but it's true. I knew every word to The Sound of Music the other night on TV. My husband looked at me like who are you! On one hand I espouse all the perennial wisdom teachings, while on the other I try to be the good nuclear family person. Not that those have to be miles apart. But they are for me right now.

All those years of seeking were not easy and, amazingly, I find myself back where I started. But now with more curiousity. And with new maps and resources, information I didn't have as a child.

I used to be proud to assume a 'spiritual' identity, but tonight I find more humility in being honest with myself about what I don't know.

In the last few nights of this year, I'm growing quieter, less stubborn. Sick. Healing. Slowing down.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Solstice and Santa

My girl eats mashed potatoes ten feet away, in her own world. She pokes holes in the mound then scoops a handful and dumps it into her quarry. "Mama, wook." I turn to watch as she sucks milk off her fist. And like this, I am delivered, relieved; she lifts me into just this one moment. Because when I am not in this moment, I am two nights ago.

I sit two rows behind the mother at the funeral for a beloved fifteen-month-old baby. It is clearly night, decidedly dark out. At the church but we are in a boat, three hundred of us, the parents at the helm, catching the first crush of every bank of waves. The mother goes down every few minutes, black lacey veil ancient in the way it knows how to follow her down. Seconds later the wave hits me and I bend with her. Every racking sob, we all move as the current ripples from the core, from the altar to the balcony.

But what is it about death and the depths of suffering that simultaneously exposesthe brightest form of light?

Because at the place where I hold my breath against all out grief, I hear my child's voice next to the slow-pulled exchange of air, tight in the lungs. She says, I am here and you are my mother. Come home.

The father walks up to the pulpit, long braid down his back. He says, "My boy is gone. Every night for fifteen months I lay beside him to teach him bit by bit how to sleep alone. He finally learned it...but I haven't." And then his brother-in-law, long braid, too, walks slowly behind him. He lifts the silver shears and cuts off the father's braid. He turns and walks across the altar, placing the braid on top of the casket.

The mother goes down again; she is every mother, and I go with her, brought to that place where I realize the sensation of the tenderness of life. And this is the gift out here in the storm, so far out I can't see shore, can't remember the safety of land without the knowledge of the night sea.

So I look. I look into the recesses of loss and the gravity of love.

The mother stands and I can't believe it. She walks to the altar and bows her head to gather the energy to speak. She says, "Everyone says that having a baby rocks your world. I didn't know what that meant until I birthed this child. The morning after he was born a poem came to me, over and over I heard it in my mind. The day after he died the poem came to me, over and over in my mind. I want to share it with you."

The poem is about hearing a bird's call and how, once heard, one is never the same again. And one would not wish to forfeit that knowing, even though the bird will surely leave. And finally that we are the amazement of such a sound just by being at all.

And so.

I run around buying a zillion gifts because. I force my family to go to the mall in the rain in the middle of a work day so that River can meet Santa for the first time because. Even though Santa may be on acid?!

Happy Solstice. The light is tipping the scales in outer space as we sleep tonight. Perhaps we will dream it home by morning.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Forty or Bust

Sitting at the café after a whirlwind week, an old couple shares the table next to me. Hearing aid protruding, he leans toward her, “Huh?” They must be late seventies. She enunciates clearly, “My love life is on the rocks since my son moved in with me.” She hangs her head and giggles. He starts in about all the people who have died, and they express awe for those who remain lucid till the end. She invites him to dinner, explaining that the other guests coming have this or that food restriction, some can’t eat tomatoes. He tells her to stop being so accommodating and calls she’s a martyr. She quips, “If they can’t eat it, fuck em.”

I choke over here, biting my lip. She laughs harder and draws circles with her finger to illustrate how he goes around the senior center flirting with all the women. Pause. She hopes there’s not ice on the highway. They talk about weather. He reaches, strokes her hand, “Let’s go sit in your car and talk.” She belts out a laugh, “But I have to go and make cookies!” Like a boy, “Just two minutes, I swear.”

Ah, good to be out of the house.

I spend my time counting calendar days, fishing for fertile windows like an old douser. Just now, a flash of memory – my father fly fishing in Wisconsin, rushing stream, hip boots and free hair, and how I admired that wildness from the shore.

These days I pass the TV, block the basketball game, “It’s time, we better do it now,” I remind Steve. Within the hour, usually the midnight hour, waiting, I fall asleep, gone to the night.

I took Clomid for five days last week so this week, calmer waters. Sidebar, though: out to eat the other night, Steve orders Mexican food for River. When it comes to the table I say that she might get sick if she eats his food – because I see that it’s too spicy. Five minutes later he says, “Are you on that medication?” I say no and ask why. Disgruntled, he says that it’s the only reason I would think our daughter would get sick from eating food he ordered. Huh???? Ok, whatever dude.

I said it was tricky territory.

In two weeks I turn forty. While I believe Oprah and all the fabulous women I know who attest to the lightness of being in this next decade, the one I see in the mirror is looking weary. I used to secretly stand in the doorway and watch my mother dress in the morning. Caught, she always slammed the door, ferocious hiding. I stand at that threshold still, only now it’s me just out of the shower, startled. But I don’t slam the door. I take a step closer to the mirror and take in all the details of aging. No more hiding, I want it straight.

Can I say just how pissed I am about the Blogger Beta thing? WTH? I tried to switch and it won’t let me without creating a whole new blog. I guess you have to be invited? Jesus! So in the meantime, I can’t comment and some of you can’t comment here. Aaaawwkk! Ok, so email please. If you know secrets, tell all….

Friday, December 15, 2006

Useful Darkness, Precious Light

These past few days, one degree of separation. You know that list that everyone talks about, the top stressors in life? Whenever I move through the transitions of home, work, relationship, loss – someone always reminds me, “Well, of course your stressed, what you’re going through is on the list of major stressors.” We expect to visit this territory every one in awhile, and then have plenty of time to process and integrate before the next visit.

Let’s just say it’s where I seem to find myself more often than not; during the times in between I vacation in normalcy and calm. It seems to be the way it is for so many of us. Sometimes as I walk down the street, I repeat to myself In these times… I don’t finish the sentence, I let it remain a fragment because that’s how the experience feels – hard to find a cohesive thread.

I hear through the vine that the one who dropped off the planet is back. Literally flat on her back. Something about a lost phone and the flu and forgetting to call. Uh huh. This is how it is. Important to check your sanity like a clock, keep the time straight in your head, because someone else may try to define what is real and make it real for you, too, which can result in serious discrepancies. Keep your compass close to the warmth of your own skin.

And then other calls inform of police, threats of murder, temporary institutionalization. We just laugh after exchanging facts. “Ok, so what else are you doing with your day, Starbucks?” We don’t even have to say, “How did we get here?” That’s covered in the tinge of hysteria in our laughter, and then it falls into a deeper pool of release, true laughter. Letting go to what is. Laughter from heartbreak, where you are so damn grateful for the Starbuck’s drive-thru because it has everything to do with continuance.

Or the song just now, how it can enter the bones from the café speaker: Yeah, yeah, God is great. Yeah, yeah, God is good. Yeah, yeah. What if god was one of us? Yeah, yeah. Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home. Trying to make his way home.

I tend to watch TV to balance it all out, and it really puts a damper on things if there are reruns when I’ve been waiting all day. Two nights ago my husband tells me to turn off the TV. I know something is wrong – he’s talking directly to me. “Prem, that great couple, the guy who teaches Tai Chi, their eighteen month old baby died suddenly last night.” I turn to the Christmas tree lights, cover my eyes so that the light blurs through crevices like stars, like when I was a kid, and I cry.

There is a limit for laughter and how it can bring medicine. It’s built in – when we can’t think one more thought, the one in us who is old and wise and seasoned walks from door to internal door, gently opening each to the night, and walking toward the chapel in the heart, repeats, “Let the water flow. Let the river run. Let this life and all that connect be washed clean by the salt of the land."

Blessings to the mother and father, buoyant, vivacious, who must burry themselves in pillows and arms and dark rooms. I can feel their pain. And it’s important to carry that weight. A half move later, a second ago, in one missed moment – it could be my child...or yours. And so we do what we can – we weave prayer and stitch remnants of the best in us on wings of thought and send it to them.

And so. I say that a lot. And so.

And so the day. Today. I’m getting over that flu and that infection and that outbreak and beware: Clomid is a monster in nice clothes. Around all the news of the week, it turns my impulses into a Doberman, and I am dragged this way and that, but I know how to dig in my heels and keep a tight hold on the leash. Mantras are good. Om Namah Shivaya.

I’m supposed to be painting a room, dealing with the crashed computer, editing my husband’s twenty-one page paper, transitioning a business, Christmas shopping, food shopping. And the carwash.

But now, just the music and the medicine of words.

Just a note about darkness. I'm not feeling dark. This is not sad. It's the end of December,and despite what we are led to believe about the joy and cheer of the season, it is also the time of natural darkness. We are pulled to the light - by the extension of darkness. This is how it is in nature. And we are natural. We are still natural. It's ok if you feel the pull into the quiet and into the dark. We are given a promise about the pending light. Soon the scale will tip and we will follow the sun, more and more light each day. But not now. It's good to follow the rhythm of nature so we know our true location.

Monday, December 11, 2006

One Breath

I just drove by a woman at a crosswalk and almost swerved off the road. She has no chin, no cheekbone that I can see in the split second passing. Eyes hang from something else, not bone. And I think: It’s not about looking good this time around.

She has a funky corduroy hat, with a black and white striped scarf looped around her neck to match. She is in the midst of a day and it’s clear: she wants to be here. You can tell in the stance, the way the head tilts just so, cocked in thought and full of purpose.

I’m caught sideways, looking at the blue house next door. I find myself in time and space with this landmark – it’s steady; it doesn’t move; and I slow myself against its hue.

Day three of Clomid and aside from blurred vision and the tricky, emotional riptide below the surface current, I keep paddling out of this cove – only so far each day – until in a week’s time I expect to be delivered to the big water, blue and moving, undulant and mysterious as ever. With bits of written material in my pocket, collected prayers from land, I go out alone. Even though I will meet my partner in the middle of an estuary, he is just one element to meet in many. The preparation is mine, navigating this dark place – Kali’s domain – is mine. And so. I hold the edge of the boat. Easy does it.

Haven’t heard from my sister yet. Her voice is alive on voicemail but an automated prompt tells me that this subscriber is not able to receive messages. Years ago I spent a lot of time learning about death and dying. I was a Hospice volunteer and learned much from the teachings and writings of Stephen Levine. His book Who Dies? opened the door that connects living with dying, dying with living. One breath.

My mother died suddenly when I was nineteen. For the following few years, still in the valley of that shadow, I suffered from unknown abdominal pain. I found myself unable to walk at times, and so I explored deeply into the nature of physical pain. Pain in the uncertain body.

A few surgeries later, I found the teacher of a lifetime. When I met her, without any recognition of my movements, I just about crawled in her lap and asked, “What is my name?” In the minutes of silence, years fell off my back. I could barely look and so I didn’t. I hung my head in waiting. And it was given. She gestured to her side, telling me to ask the swami what it meant. So I kneel next to the orange-robed man, serene silence around him, too. He whispers, “Love. It means love. Divine Love.”

I was so upset. I ran outside and kicked the dirt. How was a girl in the midst of death and dying supposed to carry love? I wanted something gritty, intense, hip.

But I took it. A few years later I walked into a courtroom in Boulder, CO to legalize the change, and faced a white-haired judge. Expecting a critical eye, instead, the friendliest voice said, “I think everyone should have the freedom to be called by their true name. Just take care of it, my dear.” And so I walked out and continued on and drove into the future decades with the sentiment of love. Love in the suffering.

Nothing changes with all that changes. Some people follow precepts where the awareness of the presence of death becomes a meditation. Others practice devotion and through love they die a bit each day. Many people live with addicts and are forced into dying and the preparation of dying. Some of us try to juggle the disposition of death from all angles.

Every night around midnight I check to see if River is still breathing. Face down on the pillow, or so I imagine as I wait for my eyes to adjust in the dark. I place my hand on her back and for a second I open that door (does every mother?) and stand prepared. And then I release my next breath with hers. We are alive. We are still here.

And now, just now, awake from her nap, she has me straighten the arms of her mommy and daddy dolls. “Huggies,” she says. I move limbs in place and we make cooing sounds, hugs and kisses and love all around.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Night Rain

I'm not a list person. I like to write them, but then I look up and watch the clouds pass overhead. No matter what direction I walk, I end up going in a circle. That’s how it’s always been. As you can imagine, all those years of schooling were unpleasant as ever – trying to walk a straight line, move from point A to B, map it all out ahead, tidy agenda. Even in moments when that begins to go well, I throw myself and my plans to the ground and let it all unravel. Like a seed spouting in slow motion, I love to watch how order undoes itself, agrees to chaotic movement until, suddenly, it catches the wave of nature and assumes a circle.

Water down a drain, layered spirals. My thought patterns, layered spirals. This lends to much angst when there is much to do – holidays and such. Much easier to follow lines on a list.

But now, joy. The sweetness of release – and I’ve only run five blocks away. To think that at 7:30pm I would be watching the rain punctuate slick asphalt – joyful release. I left them climbing the stairs, whimpering limbs echoing upward. It’s taken a long time to walk out, to leave, to forge new space, rather than nursing, tucking into the nest, weaving syllables to sleep.

At dinner, few words. Steve says, “I got you one of your presents today.” Glancing up for half a second, “Was that before or after I screamed at you on the street?” Slow rise of the head, hesitant smile in the eyes, “After.”

Looking past my reflection in the glass, cars pass, rain trickles, and I am still haunted by visions of a man negotiating his death in the Oregon back country. James Kim. Flashes of skin on snow, breath catching more each hour, light fading behind trees. Did he take off his clothes and walk into that creek? It plays in the background as I walk up the dairy aisle at the grocery store.

And today, my sister and I check in a few times by phone. “Have you heard from her today? Me either. Call if you find out anything.” “Ok,” she says. “Ok, I say.”

Like this, we navigate a sad territory. Like this for twenty years. Alcohol has ravaged more than one woman in my family, and many more down the line. In the background as I walk through frozen foods, she’s on the floor, her phone within reach but a million miles from her grasp. This is how it goes. I get a call for help one day. For two or three or four days following, I wait. Every time the phone rings, I prepare to hear the worst. And often I am the one she reaches moments before blackout.

The night of her fiftieth birthday, I found her hanging by fingertips from the edge of a cliff. For hours I said, “Are you still there?” She stammered, “Still, always.” Into that night, “Are you still with me?” She eeks, “Huh.” Deep around the darkest corner, “I can’t hear you breathing, show me a sign.” And then, just the sound of snot against the receiver.

Usually, with the hand that isn’t holding the phone, I race on-line for emergency phone numbers, nearby hospitals, mapquesting bits of information to find the location of her hotel. If I don’t do this, I page through People Magazine. I have to have a handhold, sturdy and trite.

Some people are born in monasteries, teachers and prayers in place. Some of us – most of us – are thrown to the dogs. Just past the first screen, we may have access to the same place behind closed eyes. And maybe the trees that hold us as children, the ones that protect us from the raging adults, are related by roots to the trees that shade the courtyard at the temple.

I can’t say where the best teachings reside. Except that this old homeless man who always says, “Thank you Ma’am, I keep you in my prayers, uh huh,” just walked by outside, his paper bags soaked in the rain. I want to run after him, but I don’t know if it’s to bring him home with me and give him a warm room, or to drop my umbrella and follow him down the street.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Embracing the Journey

I hear those sobs and I am taken back twenty-five years. The sound of suffering that reaches all the way back, all the way down, across a lifetime. “I feel so invisible, it’s all I can do to not completely disappear.” I pull over on the side of the road and listen. It’s hard to be quiet when all the impulses for protection and justice rage through the veins.

Family. The place where we must often stay and watch, witness the enactments without moving or speaking or making it our own, personal business. Family. Where every move the other makes does affect us deeply, because the blood that rages is shared blood. And the seed of their patterns, though they may play out differently, are born from the same womb.

When they fall, we fall. When they rise, we rise. No matter how you work it, frontier psychological thinking aside, we are in a line of people and we are in the middle of an ancient story. We don’t even know where we are in the story – sometimes we are just caught in acting out the part. It may not even be our part to play, but leftovers from someone behind us in the line who chose not to play out their role. Then we meet someone and marry. The stories entwine, we have children, and before we know it the story is multi-dimensional, in a kaleidoscope weave, changing color every half-turn.

I have wanted to make a call or write an email to one person for at least twenty years now. All that comes to say is, “What the hell!” In the end I refrain. I don’t want to cause more harm and don’t want my anger to backfire and hurt the one I love. So I idle and wait and try to find useful ways to help her endure.

When does witnessing turn to complicity? If he hit her it would suddenly be so clear, so easy, so justifiable. What about soul murder, slowly across so many years that it might look subtle to some, yet burns glaringly to me?

All I end up saying on the side of the road that’s worthy at all is, “My door is open, always open. When you are ready, if you decide, come.”

I wonder if in old age I will finally allow myself to be totally honest, and be just fine to watch the fallout. It may be more gratifying to watch that kind of falling than the kind that results from accommodating a person’s choice to not deal with their own life.

If there is one thing in this life that I try to embrace: Deal with your stuff! It might just change the course of history. It might just give the next one in line half a chance.

I think of Odysseus. Not sure why. Just that I can’t imagine him cursing his voyage, the trials and tribulations. I can’t see him saying, “Jesus Christ, not Scylla and Charibdus!” Life then was meant to be a journey, it was meant to kick your ass, and we were meant to be deeply lost because that was part of the process. I imagine the absence of shame about personal shortcomings, which probably left more room for strokes of courage to face up to the challenges of being human.

But now. Jeez. Now we seem to be so overtaken with isolation and shame about having feelings at all. Or some people I know….and I have to admit that after all the new-age processing guck I have been through, I still, too, have shame for feeling vulnerable – as if we are supposed to sail through life in a logical, linear way, moving toward some attainable pinnacle ahead in full sight. Where did our ideas about this life come from anyway?

Why would we be willing to ruin a life, a family, simply to preserve an idea about who we are? Why not be open to throwing it all to the wind if it could save us and those we love? Why not seek out the opportunities to be taken to our knees, if that might be the thing to liberate us from ourselves and from the historic family trance?

This is why I love Rumi and have been known to carry his poetry on my body. Sometimes, through some stages of the voyage, we have to carry the ruthless poems close to our breast, on the body, clutching, to make it through. But not unscathed. Didn’t everyone read the classics in high school?

We are supposed to be taken apart.

I turn now and look out this café window to find a young woman laughing. Her head is draped with a muslin scarf, her arms covered in tattoos, repetitive images of fetuses at different stages in the womb. Large gestures, she laughs with three other women – all of them undone, and unabashed about it. They don’t even try to hide it. We exchange a small smile and nod, this woman and I, and I know she is onto something – and she knows that I see it. And that’s all. A completely sane and easy-to-miss moment about the real task of the journey. What we’re really doing here. God, what a relief.

We are all in get up. Who knows what we really look like beneath all the garb. I think we have faces of angels…if we would but allow it to show. In all the interesting imperfection, an aliveness that becomes a guiding map. The hidden treasure.

I’m mad, no furious, and assured and feeling like medusa – even though I look like a conservative republican in my fabulous flower-print blouse. The rule this morning: if you feel like shit, wear something nice.

Are we not all on a rip-roaring journey? And doesn’t it make a world of difference when the one we love remembers to buy us a birthday present? That warm, unrequested cup of tea given freely? Even when we are in the belly of the dragon, it’s good to feel seen and loved.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sleep in the Mother Zone

Strange how illness enters. One moment I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, ten minutes later I realize I have a sore throat. Thirty minutes pass and I struggle to swallow. At 2am when my husband comes to bed, I sit up to rub Valerian on my feet. He says something random and all I think about it sleep. I’m not getting it.

What is it about men? My husband works very hard, it’s true. Even so, he makes sure he gets his sleep. That’s enough to piss me off. Since River was born, my body has been an extension of hers – or hers mine – not sure, just that in between waking and sleeping (at any hour), she is on my body. If I so much as turn in the other direction, she protests. Sometimes I say, “Oh my god, girl, let your mama rest here, just for ten seconds.” Meanwhile, the sounds of sleep next to us, my husband dreams while I skull the space for a spot to pull over and stop driving. Little hands in my face, twirling my hair (ouch!), fingers like feathers across my lip – which makes any sane person profane in seconds.

I come home in the middle of the day to find him napping upstairs (the gal!). Hate that I resent it, but what can I say? He tells me this weekend that he has so much work to do, and when I return late afternoon from the park, he walks downstairs, happily rested, “Wow, I slept that entire time! I should get started on my work now.” Right. So I head to the kitchen to start dinner. Whatever.

Did I mention that I have an eighteen year-old stepdaughter? That’s all I’ll say – you can take it from there. Just think daycare and college planning in the same breath. I’m the one that figures both. I think of my mother; as I pace in the kitchen, bitter wife-person that I can be, and, shocker, I think – drinking, good choice.

Only it’s been done. Way overdone. So I just go to Peet’s. It’s not like a ritual. It is my cult ritual, tear down anything that stands in my way, ritual. Pretty tame, right? That and Grey’s Anatomy.

She sleeps now out back. I look around – must be something for me to do. Yes, plenty. But illness has that way of making me lay down. Lay down the body. Lay down the habit of sitting up.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Anointing the Cobra

The flute coaxes. It dances. From behind closed eyes, all I can do is sit and wait. I see a cobra curled inside a circular box. But that’s not me, just a moment from memory, across oceans, when a man with thick coal lining his eyes stares at me through a window. I want to listen to the poetry of Tagore recited by my teacher, but I can’t help it – I turn, I glance over, wander out that window to the flute. And there, this androgynous creature is dancing the snake out, calling it to unwrap itself, to emerge and enter the sun-filled day.

Now I’m in bed, progesterone pellets crushed under my tongue. Prayers for conception.

Pregnant silence except for this song, and I long for a sign. A sign for anything because it feels so good to be aligned with all the elements that simply function in accordance.

Tonight, Roman chamomile for the bottom of the feet. Valerian, too.

James Hillman says that we do not finally become someone, but that we grow into an image that is present at birth. Like the acorn that grows into the majestic oak, we too have a map, a blueprint, and an intricate architecture of the final trajectory, implanted in the soul. And so we find ourselves drawn again and again to the same seemingly random themes, those same five steps we, in one way or another, circle again and again.

We satisfy and fulfill that course and yet, often, we do not see the pattern or experience the meaning in the impulse itself. For me – pilgrimage. Even in a sad urban block of trendy shops, I find a way to weave from sidewalk to alcove to roasting coffee beans. In that walk, epiphanies and change. I feel it in the smallest of turns.

All over town, like a hound, this voice whispers, “He sent them out two by two, to anoint and heal.” I swat the fly a hundred times but no matter. Lavender, frankincense, rose, jasmine, myrrh. What do you want?! I shout. As if I don’t know.

The acorn would not tell the budding Oak to go away. How silly. It simply assumes its natural form.

Someone told me the other day that more women were burned at the stake in Salem than were killed in the holocaust. For working with plants and remedies, a massacre.

Folded arms, I lean to the side, and I cannot find anything more to say. The flute pulls me to sleep and I want to go. Last night, fitful dreams about the oils. Tonight, I will spoon the snake.