Recently I’ve been thinking about the mythological Phoenix, the majestic creature resembling a giant bird who, when she is ready to die, bursts into flame to be born again from her own ashes. It is a powerful mythology that has endured for a very long time across different cultures, representing life, death, rebirth, change, healing, endings, and new beginnings.
It is mid-August. The weather is hot, the wind rustles with dry leaves, a hint of autumn in the air. The sun is flecked with pieces of flint, ready to spark. My skin burns easily. My life is fraught with changes, choices, decisions. Paper. Rock. Scissors. My soul is parchment. My mind is a lit match.
Since May, time has been blurry, as it becomes sometimes when my world is suddenly thrown into confusion. My time is not my own. There are others to care for, others who need more help than I can give, and my heart is filled with the pain of those, all I cannot help, all I cannot save.
And then there are words. Words unspoken, silent language, the syllables and sounds of all that is left unsaid. I’m sorry. I keep things to myself. I’ve always been that way. I want to share joy, not sorrow. I sublimate my pain. Darkness is my evil twin, my shadow, my constant companion. And then there are words. They escape like lightning during the blackest storm, like chaotic stars illuminating the night sky, bursting from the center of me. I’m not sorry. I can’t keep things to myself. I’ve always been that way.
“There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” (Cohen)
The last few months have both initiated and necessitated some important changes in my life. One of the most important things I have done for myself in response was to begin doing yoga again. For me, that is one of the most important ways that I can care for myself. It is a simple thing, but it is amazing how often over the last several years I have neglected to find the time to spend doing something for myself, for the sole benefit of myself.
Yoga is one of the things that I’ve discovered helps me in a multitude of ways by not only strengthening and balancing my body, but also my mind. I’ve also been rereading Stephen Cope’s, “Yoga and the Quest for the true self,” which I find to be an excellent book linking the practice of yoga with philosophy, spirituality, and psychology.
When I first began doing yoga again, I knew that it would be challenging because I hadn’t been “on the mat” in several years. When I broke down crying while releasing all the tension and stress I had been holding in my body, I knew that I was ready to accept the challenge. And I’m really happy to say that since then, yoga has become an important part of my life again.
Last month, I finally published “Persephone’s Affliction” !!! It is nothing short of miraculous to me that I was able to get it together, and it felt like a huge accomplishment, one of the lights during a very dark time. “Persephone’s Affliction” was a book of poems that had transformed greatly over the last few years, finally ending up as a chapbook with accompanying illustrations. It is a beautiful book, and I’m so proud of the final outcome.
Upon publishing the book, I had offered it as a direct purchase, and it was such a gift to be able to put together packages for people who ordered the book. So much love went into putting it all together, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the publication, and I’m so grateful for those who ushered the book into the world in this way. The book is now in full distribution and very soon, “Persephone’s Affliction” will be available through amazon, barnes and noble, and elsewhere!
Now that I have finished and published “Persephone’s Affliction,” I have been free to work on other projects that have been waiting in the wings. I’m always trying to push myself a little further in my work, so I have begun a new batch of stories that are leading me to places I haven’t really explored yet. It’s exciting, and I’m really looking forward into delving even deeper with these new stories.
Time is always an issue for me, but it seems it has been even more of an issue lately, so I decided to take a break from social media in favor of posting on my website. I need more time to myself, to nurture myself and my family, and to nurture my new creative projects. By converting my facebook profile to an author page, I feel like I’ve created a more manageable space for myself on the site for now, without disappearing completely.
Another change on the horizon is that at the end of August, we will be moving to a new place! This will be a welcome and much needed change, and my children and I are very excited about it. There is some stress involved with the move, but mostly we are looking forward to decorating, setting the place up, and settling in by the beginning of September.
It is mid-August. I’m bursting into flame.
I’ve been thinking about change, about life and death and rebirth, and phoenixes, rising from the ashes, beginning again, anew.
Wish me luck! x