I was snuggled in bed with my professor a few nights ago, perusing the suggested gifts for the impending Feast of the Cash Register™ (my thanks to Blue Witch, always, for that perfect moniker) when I noticed that Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook was among the suggestions. I mused to my professor, "Remember when Jamie Oliver was naked?" Without even taking a breath, my professor replied, "Sure, but I also remember when YOU were naked..." Which got me thinking. About a whole lot of things. It is December 13, 2013. There are some naked truths I feel I should share with you because I have been far more absent here than present and honestly, though I really do love to share stories and I believe we should all use our collective voices to co-create the incredible world in which we all wish to live, my own voice feels just a little less vibrant these days.
The air is thick and awful today over Salt Lake City and my day began with a barrage of tears. Rather than having anyone make any kinds of assumptions about the state of affairs with my professor, one way or another, I'll be naked and honest and tell you that like any relationship ours has its own challenges. We're different people, with hearts that were hurt in different ways. I actually appreciate that I am challenged by him, but I also really do know that I am truly loved by him. He sees all of me. The parts that are not pretty, are scaly and rough like the outside of an oyster shell and can cut deeply if pressed against too hard. There is a deep, committed, loving trust with this man that I have never experienced with any one else before and every day the roots of this relationship reach further into the earth and become much more entwined. It's the best way I know how to describe it. My professor and I plant real gardens together, tiny seeds of arugula and beets and heirloom carrots and tomatoes with hope that we'll be able to feed our family and many others. I feel like with each seed, we also plant some more love of our own, knowing we'll have to cultivate it and care for it gently to have it actually grow.
I have an inoperable blood clot that is hiding out deep in the recesses of my brain, as I mentioned before. It is causing some neurological difficulties for me. The worst of these is aphasia. Gah, the aphasia. I spend some whole days just searching for words. Words that I absolutely know, but that just dance there right in front of my face taunting me and I can't seem to grab them and actually say them. I mix up whole sentences and sound like a person who has been drinking just a tad too much bourbon. Drunk on love is what I claim. The days that are particularly bad, I also have trouble maintaining my balance (this is not the aphasia, just an additional oh so attractive symptom) and I crash into walls, fall down stairs, topple over displays, knock my head. During the last few months, I've been plagued by an additional neuropathy in my hands and feet. Prickling pins and needles, all the time, making walking and using my hands very painful. Of course, I'm working with my neurologist, my acupuncturist, my naturopath on all these small nuisances. Primarily, I'm doing my very best just to take care of me. Some days I just get up and realize that the best thing for me to do is to go back to bed. I hate going back to bed. That isn't the life I signed up for, but for some reason it seems to be the life I have right now. I am the first to admit that I am my own worst patient. I have little patience with any of this!
Life is about living, you know? Life is about taking big, delicious bites. It's about sharing your glitter and your love bubbles. It is about loving the stuffing out of those who you know best and even those whom you have just met. It is about making the world a better place than you found it. It is about showing up, even when it nearly kills you to do so. It is about standing up, shouting out, being present and participating. I want to fully participate in my own life.
So here are some more random things I believe you should know:
I wake up every morning and even before I get out of bed, I send all my love out into the world because I believe that it just might ripple a tiny little bit and perhaps might even make a little difference. Maybe. If you're following me on Twitter, you may have noticed. It even feels a little self-indulgent, I'll admit. Those 140 character love bubbles are sometimes the single best thing I do in a given day.
Despite the pins and needles, I have been walking the dogs five miles every day in an effort to truly put me in my body in a very real and physical way. I don't know if it is working, but it does seem to be helping my mental health. And the dogs really love it, so there's that. I am, if nothing else, always happy to make my dogs happy.
My professor may be spending the entire year in Korea next year and I will stay here in Salt Lake City with the dogs. The reason for the MAY in that sentence is because he may also have other opportunities and we're still sorting that out together. The TOGETHER part of that sentence is a beautiful thing.
I'm pretty certain I'm going back to Burning Man. My professor told me I was returning before I even knew that I was since when I left the playa this year I was certain that was the last time I'd ever go. The contingency is really just based upon the previous sentence and the timing of the variables involved.
LilSalty will be 9 in just a few weeks. I will be 50. We're celebrating our birthdays together and I'm taking him to Sundance. That small boy has truly become a very important part of my life and for that reason and many others, I'm pretty certain that this will be my last blog post. While I have absolutely loved writing (and still do love writing) my naked history in Sharpie here for the last ten years, it now feels like really living my naked life with my professor and LilSalty needs to happen without my Sharpie poised to capture it all.
As I said, I want and, more importantly, I really need to participate in my own life. Breathe it all in, breathe it all out, every single love breath, one at a time.
I love every single one of you.
I really and truly do.
Thank you for being exactly who you are and for being right here for me for all these many years.
May your lives be rich with love and goodness and, especially, glitter.
Stay naked. ♥