Posted in Uncategorized

Weeping Day

Welcome to my…

Kelly & Lila

“…When we can no longer think, reason or manage our way out of the crisis we find ourselves in – then what we are left with is instinct…”
~Sharon Blackie

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The wide expanse of Wednesday has long been my precious writing day.

Enter the 2016 election cycle.

I weep now as much as I write, now more than ever, except for once, when I was home alone, in the eighth grade, on a Sunday afternoon, and the television played Born Free.

But that was a flood of grief at once, and this has been leaking for weeks, even before 11/9, ever since the tape–the one that reminded me what it is to be a woman in the United States.

I am heartbroken.

It may be that the President Elect reminds me too much of my paternal figure. (Charismatic. Entitled.) It may be that he reminds me of all the…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Healing the heart of the past

The legacy of the heart…

Two Owls Calling

Many ancient impressions live on in the genes we inherited from our parents and ancestors. These, too, need to be made conscious, lest they manifest as disease or as seemingly inexplicable urges to behave in certain ways or to pursue certain ideas.
(The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Healing with Food, Breath, and Sound;
Maya Tiwari)

My Aunt Trish, in her twenties, just after her mother died of heart disease. My Aunt Trish, in her twenties, just after her mother died of heart disease.

50 is a plateau from which I survey my past and future, following which I enter my “fifties”–the decade (or shortly thereafter) that took a chunk of my relatives–including my mother, her parents, her brother, and just this past week: one of her baby sisters.

Given the overlapping of generations common to large Irish Catholic families, my Aunt Trish and I were teenagers together. When I was in Junior High, we traveled to Disney World and…

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Posted in Lanscape of Loss, My Bonnie

my mother’s table

The house is silent.
The children asleep.
The kitchen empty.

The light above the stove welcomes me home,
even here, in this new house, still a stranger.

My mother’s bedroom
with the man who was first my classmate
is upstairs, with dark sheets,
overlooking the bay.

The kitchen counters, the floors, even the table
are empty
of crumbs
tonight
Whispering to me
at 19
and later at 27
and before at 13 and 11
and even now at 52
in my own hushed and tidied kitchen
sixteen years after we slept in the space where her table stood
on the night she took her last breaths…

All is well.
Rest easy.
She is sober.
Today.

Posted in My Bonnie, Voices

a motherless mother’s chant…

(a guest post from a beloved)

bb9ca5041163ba25e5969b03511ad796I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I have him.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother .
Because I had them.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I have her.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I am.

~Lauren Salasin Czaplicki

Posted in My Bonnie, Voices

September 1st

(a guest post from a beloved)

“September is bittersweet for me…

There was a time I literally cried my eyes out when September came because it meant my summer friends were leaving…
Nights hanging out at the arcade came to a close along with most of the stores.
My street, which had been a constant party, was emptying.
School was starting, and I dreaded it.

As I got older, I began to love September–the cooler days, empty beaches & restaurants.
Parking spots!

Then it happened…

She was taken from me in September, just like my summer friends, just like the crowded streets, the dock parties, the fun.

The pain of September returned.

My mother was gone at what was supposed to be my most ” fun” summer, ever, at the shore–my 21st .

While all my friends did Ladies Nights and Monday Nights at the Princeton, I sat by her bedside.
Slept in her bed beside her,
bathed and changed her.
Read her the crossword puzzle every day.

September came and by the 7th night we knew she was leaving us.

I lay in her bed all night, surrounded by all my siblings and their babies on air mattresses covering her living room floor.
I chose to stay awake all night and stroke her hair and sing her the same lullabies she sang to me as a little girl…
Telling her to let go…
We would be ok…

I left her bedside early that morning to get the coffee started, while everyone else was still asleep, and as I did, she took her last breath.

September would never be the same.

I long to love September as all the locals do, but l just can’t.
The sounds, sights and the cool air just bring me back…

Back to saying goodbye to my friends as a child,
and back to saying good bye to my closest friend, my confidante.

The feeling is always the same on September 1st.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this now–16 years later. I guess seeing all these posts of how lovely September is and wanting so badly to join in…

Maybe by sharing there will be some sort of release.”

~Bonnie Salasin Brown
September 1, 2016

Posted in Markers, Poetry

Holy Week Meditations

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Good Friday.

The world is crying. With rain.
Time shrunk into single themes.
Shame time. Guilt time. Loss time. Hate.
Folded onto itself, like the press of an accordion.
Each fear, for instance, experienced at once.
Each ache.
All the ways we are wrong.
No room for breath.
Breath.
Expanding the folds of time.
Releasing me.
Into we.
With the rain.

On Crucifixion Day, I think of therapists–all those who make sacred the pain of others. Of social workers–who advocate for those who suffer. Of activists–who champion the cause. Of teachers–who point the way through. Of artists–who awaken the soul of hope. Of politicians–who define the course of a nation.

By Easter Eve, I found my mind, petal soft–the gift of a day of meditation with Tara Brach. By Easter morning, there is a personality Resurrection. Petals crushed by grasping.

I missed Easter once before–in 2007–during a training. I wasn’t nearly as sad this time (my kids are older now), but I did mourn the absence of ritual until I realized that I had been delivered an even better Easter Basket:

Deep presence… my rich chocolate bunny;
Beginning again (and again)–my egg hunt;
Tara’s jokes–color-full jelly beans;
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health–the basket;
300 students–the grass of consciousness;
Tara Brach‘s Loving Presence weekend–received.