A poem by my mother

Reflections

Had I been adequately prepared for your visit,

I would have…

Plucked the weeds from my garden

And replaced them with budding beauties,

Invited you to sit on a soft carpet of moss,

Shaded by growing greenery,

Planned a picnic of your favorite delicacies from distant lands.

 

I could not arrange an appropriate setting,

Yet you made yourself at home among weeds and unpainted boards.

You refused refreshment and placed my needs ahead of your own.

 

Like our Lord, you came to serve.

Long after sunglow, I’ll savor your sensitivity.

~Nancy J. Ressler

Image

photo credit: Grant MacDonald via photopin cc

Graduation

There was a day each year

when baby ducks were led

from the nest behind the school

through crowds of teachers, students, praise

 

Waddling over smooth, linoleum floors

through the lobby where the crowd

beheld the sacred, duckling footsteps to the door

 

They would leave the nest

smooth, round tables

long days of numbers and words

for dreams of water songs and wings

made real

 

 

© Angela Bigler 2013

Image

photo credit: stevehdc via photopin cc

Surrender

I should have bowed down

And surrendered

Every day

 

I should have told you

I could see you

Lovely

Like the wings of all those geese

Who flew away

When we could not

 

Our minds are different

Every nuance

Every chord

Like tight wound wire

Exposed

 

All the songs and visions

Overwhelm

The feelings come in swarms

Through skin and bone

And brain

All those nerves

Are reaching

For a breath

Within the flame

 

Without it

Where would words be?

Would summer be so deep and hot?

Electric

 

Can we live without ourselves?

Maybe, for a day

What then?

A quiet respite

In an angry, tired grave?

 

You have a light

Surrender

To the weight

Of all these

Prayers

 

Heavy

Till you bow down

Head to earth

And shed the blame

 

© Angela Bigler 2013

medium_5444277959

 

 

photo credit: chiaralily via photopin cc

Turtle Time

Image

Yesterday, my friend and I were out hiking around a nearby lake and she pointed out two bumps on a log in the shallow water. We rushed to a better vantage point and confirmed that it was two turtles, one big and one little. Their long necks were stretched out of their dark shells. We could not make out their expressions, but I imagine they were happy to be together warming in the sunlight.

Right now I feel like a turtle taking small steps in the writing of my book. This is a time of cautious reflection.  I, like the turtle, need my four feet on the ground. Inside my womb-like shell I can wade through the pages and ask myself the big questions. What is the goal of this book? What scenes matter most? What can be left behind? How do I balance the heart of what I have to share with an adventure that engages the reader?

What I know for certain is that it is a book about finding light in dark places. It is about our roots, the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It is about the magical point of light that can save you on the darkest journey. The kind of spark you see in lucid dreams. This tiny, spinning orb hums as it pulses and shines.  You reach out to touch it and it radiates through you as a warm, inner blanket.  I want to take you with me into this forest, transform and fire you with the elements and send you home polished and new. I want you to feel what it is like in the mysterious rabbit hole and guide you back to life.

I’ll venture back out when I’m done.

 

© Angela Bigler 2013

Image

 

photo credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via photopin cc

photo credit: wander.lust via photopin cc

 

A Wish for Marriage

Last March I was in Kauai, worshiping sunshine, ocean and coastlines with my husband. We did that thing where you date for 7 years, get married at the JP, have a wedding celebration the next year and go on your honeymoon the year after that.  So there we were, basking in the rewards of all our efforts. All those blessings we enjoyed were gained with sweat.

In the beginning, when the immediate pheromones are wearing off, the maniacal chemistry cools and allows you to return to things like sleep and food and laundry and yourself. And this is the worst because you recognize that the other person will now see you as you are and that means you have to hide or run or surrender. I liken the ravaging burn of surrender to that of re-entry, when the space shuttle is hurtling back into the atmosphere and it absolutely has to go through this fiery quake to get back down to earth.

Ack! That’s what it was like.  I was doing cartwheels in the atmosphere and now here’s the terrible fear of being seen and known and loved.  I was an exposed mess, my tiny ship in flames. You know he stayed, this man. He saw me and he stayed and we learned how to swim together. All those tides in all those different oceans, we kept going. I kept shedding layers as we went. It became safe to let this person share my raft.

I imagine that any relationship takes a course like that –  and care. You can’t just let it lay there, you must laugh and hug and talk and listen. Such a delicate respect.  I hope there soon comes a day when everyone who has done this work can celebrate and say, “Look at us, we’ve come this far and now we’ve gotten married. We’re sharing this commitment and this promise with you all!” I hope that everyone who bravely loves can swim along the coastline hand in hand regardless of their gender. Because really, a marriage is a sacred bond we cherish and to say we cannot share that based on gender is the blinding, selfish, hate that separates.

May we all have the right to fly to space with whom we choose, to re-enter and cool and swim and cry and float with our dear loves, and then have equal rights to marry and commit in a public, legal space.

Image

© Angela Bigler 2013

 

the leap between

On February 29, 2000, my mom leaped between worlds to a new place where I could not see. I drowned without warning, unable to swim as my roots were now tangled around me. To return to land, I took my own leap through cold time, dark embers, and hologram waves of the psyche. I since came around to myself, but recast. Death must be something like that, a luminous transformation where the soul is returned to the source but now changed.

The thing about the Leap Day loss is I have more comings than goings. Each August, we dine on her favorites, sweet corn on the cob and ripe peaches. All of us feel the heat and the storms. The lightning is common and deep.  The roots of the willow rise up to meet the lily, hydrangea and lilac. We are dressed up and singing like heaven or love when just born and celestial. Your heart, that is summer, her birthday. The day she arrived in this world.

When Leap Day does come it is rare and strange to see the occasion marked there on the wall. What else can I write in the square? Most years send the gift of detachment but here it is staring me back. Is there really a way to escape? Perhaps the void between the 28th and the 1st is the space the most real because I make that leap every day – every time I leap back to her darkness and light. Every time I leap back to myself.

© Angela Bigler 2012

Image

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/haniamir/2630466183/