Everything is foreplay. Everything is lovemaking.

484646_10151699760053746_349872626_nApril Showers…
(a fiery month of insights, memories & outrage)

4/4/16
I lost my diamond earring yesterday. I’ve worn the pair for more than 30 years. In the shower. In the ocean. Over seas. Over night. Dancing. At my wedding. At yours. During labor. During loss. During lovemaking. In the garden. In the woods… It’s so amazing how something so small can topple something so large as identity… If the diamond is found, what a delight. If it isn’t, what a meditation. Equally profound.

4/5/16
In your darkest hour. When you’re all alone. What brings you comfort?

4/6/16
This cold, gray, snowy afternoon in April. Then I made a cup of tea. Everything is better.

4/8/16
Donald Trump is the best candidate. He represents our Nation. Transparently. The money. The privilege. The backs of others. In short, our lesser natures. No longer hidden. Behind political correctness.

Which wolf will we feed?

4/9/16
seeking belly laughs

4/12/16
I find myself softening more and more into generalities, which leads to increasing ease, and also anxiety–about further aging–separating me from the specificity upon which so many lives depend… like road signs, and names, and numbers, and dates… Which releases and opens me into the light… of the One.

4/13/16
Spring, 1994, my first in Vermont, snow covered. I arrive back from a professional development day to the posting of a flyer outside my classroom: “Sign of Spring: Ben Boyd sees Robin.” I’m charmed. I hadn’t thought much about spring when I lived by the sea. But two of my young students, 4th grade boys, are so inspired by its return that a newspaper is born with this as its headline.  Later, the principal pulls me aside–in the auditorium—turned cafeteria—where we eat “ family style”—hundreds of us. He motions for me to take a seat beside him at the edge of the stage next to long tables where my students holler over their lunchboxes. A flyer is in his hand. I smile. Have you seen this, he asks.I nod enthusiastically. “It was hanging outside the main office. Next time make sure you check spelling and grammar before something like this gets plastered around the school.” I flush. I bristle. I looked toward my students. I remind him that I was away at a conference, one to which he sent me–without asking. I tell him that I am not inclined to squelch such initiative in young writers. He accuses me of being “overly emotional.” I accuse him of being “unprofessional.” He leaves angry. I leave riled. For this reason, I am  encouraged by the return of Robins each spring.

4/15/16
Off to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception this weekend–the Mother Church of the Diocese of Albany–after the rally  and march for Bernie (ie. the people.) Meanwhile, Bernie is at the Vatican.

4/18/16
Abortion. Immigration. Inequities.
All in a Sunday morning.
In the most surprising of places.
The Homily.

4/22/16
I served on the organizing committee for the first-ever Earth Day Fair in Cape May County, New Jersey. A few days before the event, I miscarried, and a week later, after leading the Beach Sweep with Clean Ocean Action, I put out my resume to dozens of schools across the state of Vermont. 23 years have passed, but the preciousness & fragility of life (human & planet) continue to pulse–inside me–forever shaped by this week in 1993.

4/23/16
I used to think that being a feminist (ie. wanting equal rights) meant that I had to do everything a man did. At 20, I insist my father teach me how to change my oil, my tires, my air filter & my spark plugs. I won’t let a guy hold the door or the luggage for me. I work a hundred hours a week. Then I meet Casey. Not only comfortable with my autonomy, but finds it attractive; while I adore the nurturer in him. Last night, I went to bed thinking about all the ways he tends to our house, particularly the land, almost exclusively. I felt deep appreciation. Then I thought of my women friends–the ones who chop wood or drive tractors or install electrical work while I barely lift a paintbrush. What kind of feminist are you, I chide. My answer came at 5 am this morning… I’m me. The one who likes to read and write and organize and plan and research and inspire and design & maintain systems. Feminism means I get to be who I am. And he gets to be who he is. (Everything else is up for grabs.)

4/24/16
The shining moment of my emerging feminism occurred in my best friend’s backyard beside her above ground pool with the built in deck. We were 17. Was it just the two of us? My highschool sweetheart swung by before work to deliver the bracelet he had designed for me at Patricia Jackson’s off the Cape May mall. My name was fashioned in gold–Kel–with the L in the shape of a lightning bolt. (Lightning was what he called me.) Though increasingly modest as I came of age, mainly as a screen for imperfection, I stood up to say hello without covering up. Before he departed, he suggested I do so. “Why?” I asked, looking out at the grassy sounds of the Cape Island Preserve as far as the eye could see. He pointed toward the only visible neighbor’s house, a football field away. I laughed. Not a soul in sight. He took offense. We fought. He stormed away. I untied my bikini top and stepped out of my bottoms, as he got into his car, hoping no one else would see.

4/25/16
I remember the first boy with whom I explored my emerging sexuality. He was a family friend. Ours was a platonic relationship. Rampant with flirtation. Of mostly the sibling nature. Mental sparring. I must have been about 5 foot tall and 90 pounds, when my body began to change. He looked at me in my shorts one day, and said, “Look at those thunder thighs.” After that, he just called me, “Thunder.” A year later, I covered my thighs in front of my boyfriend, who said, “You’re not Thunder, you’re “Lighting.”

4/26/16
A good daughter was one who didn’t.
A good wife was one who did.
A good girlfriend must never seem like a wife, except in the way that always belonged to them.
The men.
The fathers.
The priests.
The boyfriends.
The brothers.
The husbands.
Although we might have been the ones to initiate sex in our relationships, it was they who laid claim to it. The magazines. The talk shows. The soap operas. The films.
We starred in their fantasies.
In a never-ending, best-supporting role.

4/30/16
The eve of the 1st of May, the flowering of Beltane: Vermont, Motherhood, a Woman’s Circle–my reorientation–to the Feminine… “I tell my husband that foreplay begins at 8 am,” a wise woman says from across the fire. Twenty years have passed, and still I remember how those words stirred in me–a new mother– awakening in the garden, at twilight, in a circle of women, gathered under a rising moon. Now, on the eve of Beltane, at the crest of Menopause, I say: Everything is foreplay. Everything is lovemaking.

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