Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Letter to the 2001 Me

An unedited gem from my 2011 journal - a letter to the me of May 2001:

Dear Jessica circa 2001,

Start meditating now. Go see Amma, get a hug. Begin to cultivate a spiritual practice, right away.

You're a new mom with a gorgeous, bald, four month old baby girl. Try to understand that getting laid off last month was one of the best things that could have happened to you. Don't rush to find a new job - use your unemployment insurance until it runs out.

Write. Write. Write.

You have so many undiscovered talents - if you dig for them, search for them, uncover them, you will not have to wait so long to own them. Better to own what is yours at 33 rather than struggle for the next decade.

Trust me.

Slow down. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Laugh with her. Take your time. Nurture yourself and her. She is going to be a handful, that one, and it is only going to get more and more challenging. Love her. Love yourself.

Stand up for yourself.
Slow down.
Enjoy what you have been given.
Want less.
Take care of your friends.

Jessica, you must spend time with your mother. Take the time afforded to you now that you have been laid off and spend time with your mom. Do things with her and Maya. Play in the garden, walk to the beach, go to the park.

Write love letters to Maya. Write love letters to yourself. Take writing classes. Learn to love a dirty house. Just take the time. Take up space, gather it like wildflowers. Hoard it. Revel in it. Enjoy this life in this moment because you can't even begin to fathom how it is going to change in the next ten years.

Lives and loves and dear friends will be gone. What you thought was indestructible will be destroyed. What you thought was impossible will be commonplace.

New lives will be born. New smiles and thoughts, different love, deeper love.

You must hold the space within and around you to breathe and recognize what is real and what is not. To honor what is transitory, which really is...everything.

So stop. Breathe. Love. Laugh. Rub your hand over that sweet bald head of Maya's because in ten years time it will be covered in golden ringlets she won't want you to touch and your hands will be full of other hands and things and even if you don't - can't - won't slow down you'll realize how easy things were now, then.


A Prayer for 2012

A Prayer for What Seems Impossible 2012:

May there be time and space
for contentment to grow.

For sweet, green tendrils of joy
to unravel
like fern fronds in spring.

Let contentment settle
like a seed in the soil.

Let it send its roots
into the Earth
deep enough to give it purchase.

Let the winds of disbelief
and cynicism
be not so strong.

Let not the rain of self-doubt
nor any fickle frost
cause us harm.

Let the warmth of hope
protect us
like a mother does a child

with guidance
and optimism.

- j woods 2011

Found This Poem

in my journal from this year - here is the draft, unedited.

i don't know
if you know this

but i want you
to love me

to hold me

like a monk
cradling his
sole possession

a begging bowl
of brass

all he relies upon
for food
for drink

the brass
rubbed to a shine

bright enough
to illuminate

the darkest hours
and last

as many lifetimes
as it needs to.

-j.woods 2011