Ten.Two Hundred & Thirty-Five

1. Up. 

2. Raindrops on windows. The sounds of life beginning again.

3. I make granola before I realize that we are out of both milk and yogurt and must think of what to make instead. I opt to make a pot of oats, sweetened with the last drops of maple syrup and small heaps of cinnamon. I know that no one will eat it but me and the tallest son. The other two choose toast and butter and a handful of blueberries.

4. Back in bed under the covers with a cup of coffee. Sabbath by Wayne Muller. "Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished."

5. I am conscious of my use of this word, "Sabbath." Worried that I am co-opting and simplifying a sacred word that is more than word. And yet I can't help but want to cover myself in it and all that it means. 

6. She brings sunflowers. Her thoughtfulness challenges me. I am glad to be with her, here, in this moment. I needed the connection. 

7. It feels as though the layers of wholeness I'd built up while away are beginning to thin. And this is bound to happen when you return before you're ready. When are we ever ready? I am craving more space and time to process and integrate and realizing that there is none. Maybe integration will occur during these periods of rest throughout my day. 

8. It is also hard to shift something while you're in it.

9. I think back to when Naomi Shihab Nye said to me, "And you're a poet right?" And how I said, "Well, I'm a writer." Next time someone asks me if I am a poet, I will say "yes" and really mean it.

10. It's just that I didn't realize how badly I'd been missing this.

Ten.Two Hundred & Thirty-Four

1. I can feel that I’ve sweat through my shirt.  

2. It’s only been 3.5 hours since I fell asleep and I feel like maybe I ought to take a shower. I need to get something for breakfast too. The sound of the rain coming down.

3. I don’t have my first cup of coffee until it’s time to leave. It’s hot and spilling over the sides. 

4. I’m too tired to tell them all that transpired over the last 4 days. I don’t have the words yet. I don’t know when I will. All I know is that my head feels full. 

5. Today feels like I’m just going through the motions. 

6. It’s still raining.  

7. Laundry and chicken tortilla soup in bed.  

8. All I know is that change is required.  

9. What I really want to do is sleep, not go to basketball practice.  

10. Another shower. Another glass of water. Sleepy time tea because of course now I am no longer tired.  

Ten.Two Hundred & Thirty-Four

1. Up before the alarm. Moving around with only the light of my phone, trying to not wake her.  

2. I’m winded by the time I get up the hill to the parking lot where the car is. I blame it on the wedges. 

3. Naomi Shihab Nye is sitting right beside me at breakfast. I want to be talking to her but find myself captivated by conversation with Lucas and Lisa. And they are radiating a tenderness that I find so very compelling.  

4. Palestine.  

5. I don’t know this name and I am not particularly excited to hear him talk until he starts reading haiku and it makes me think of the women in liberated lines and I’m tickled.

6. I’ve never paid attention to America Ferrera before but I will after today. 

7. David Whyte, with his black pants tucked messily into, his slouchy black boots sends us off with a poem. This one I record.

8. I hug Tibeyo because I think he might need it and because there are many others I would hug but I can’t find them and I need to go.  

9. The ride to San Francisco is easy. Traffic on 17, 85 and 101 is light. The sun is shining and I am crying. I’ve cried a little every day since I arrived. Getting here wasn’t easy. Being here wasn’t easy. Leaving is never easy.

10. It’s a good thing I meditated this morning. 

10.1 Airport sushi and an Ichiban. Prompt writing. An aisle seat in the back with another black woman named Alecia. He gives us each two bottles of wine and a snack box for free because he can and he wants to and sometimes that’s what brothers and sisters do for each other.  

10.2 Home.  

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Ten.Two Hundred & Thirty-Three

1. Up.  

2. She tells me that I’m the most elegant person she’s ever seen this early in the morning. I laugh. It’s really just the lighting in this space. Can’t have people walking around trying to be mindful if they’re being too vein.

3. The air this morning has more bite to it. 

4. At the end of breakfast I walk with threee white men to meditation with Sylvia Boorstein. The room itself is made up of meditators of all genders and ages and ethnicities.  

5. As I begin my intentional breath I begin to see purples and greens and then yellows before the space behind my eyes becomes blindingly white.   

6. Sylvie is from Toulouse and just now finding the power that comes from giving written voce to her story. 

7. Marilyn Nelson reading poetry is just ... it brings me to a place of wordlessness.  

8. Seth Godin.  

9. I warm my hand by the fire. It is strange to feel surrounded and yet alone, to be connected and yet feel so separate.  

10. I still am not sure how I got here or why I was selected but I have let these last few days change me, which means I am going to be changing my days.  

Ten.Two Hundred & Thirty-Three

1. Awake but afraid to disturb my roommate who happens to also be from Chicago and incredibly cool.  

2. What do city CFOs, educational consultants, radiologists, and writers have in common? 

3. What we all have in common is being human.  

4. I keep seeing Seth Godin in the dining hall. 

5. I manage to have a quiet moment in the amphitheater tucked away in the redwoods. I eat my apple. Listen to the sound of the stream.  

6. The amount of mental stimulation is exhausting. The conversations are weighty. Everyone is so captivating.  

7. I find myself spending a lot of time self-validating—reminding myself that I was chosen to be here for a reason even though in comparison my accomplishments seem so small.   

8. This tool for discernment is one to share.  

9. The stars. My god, the stars. I want to tell him that I’m feeling an immense sadness. A fear that this will not work out after all. That we’ve wasted so much energy and time —ours and other’s. That I want so badly to be here that the thought of it falling apart pains me.

10. I hear myself use this one phrase over and over. An elevator pitch I wrote some time ago. Watching is land is an interesting experience. I still don’t know if I belong in these rooms.