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A note of thanks + where to find me now

Waking through a West Philadelphia neighborhood with the first annual Salt Trails Community Grief Processional in 2021
(Photo by iMatter Photography)

I have been absent from this space for so long, it seems now to serve only as a repository for poems and musings that belong to another life. A pre-pandemic life, or “The Before Times,” as I’ve taken to calling them, since my last post was written in January of 2020. That is not to say I am an altogether different person than the woman who bared her heart here, who invited you into her world of change, grief and love. Who relished capturing and sharing small moments of delight, wonder and joy. And who journeyed to Tanzania to pour herself, for a few weeks every other year, into the life that called her there.

I am she, still. And so much more. How could I not be having lived through the unfathomable, navigated days and weeks and months that none of us could have foreseen? I would like to think we have all been changed for the deeper, the fuller, the more socially aware and compassionate in the last few years — even as so many of us hold immeasurable loss and despite the avalanche of daily news that might suggest otherwise. But this isn’t a recounting of my own inner and out transformations, of how I’ve met these challenging, troubled and exhilarating times.

Last week, I was talking to a friend who asked about this site and whether she could still follow my writings here and though I doubt that much of my original audience has stuck around or that this will even make its way to you with the inevitable email preference updates and the ever-evolving blogosphere, I at least wanted to close this loop. And to thank you for your time and presence here.

This site will remain, as it is for me a marker of so many meaningful moments, a catalog of my poetry, and the one place where I consistently documented my time with my children in Arusha, who I hope to return to next year.

If you’d like to keep in touch or follow me as I make my way in this world as a tender of grief and joy and companion at life’s sacred thresholds, there are several ways to do so.

You can find my website for my work as a grief coach and death midwife, including individual and community offerings here, as well as follow me on Instagram and Facebook @thishallowedwilderness

You may join me at The Griefness, my blog on grief and loss, here.

To engage with Salt Trails, the interdisciplinary collective I co-founded in 2021 to honor grief through gatherings, rituals and art, visit us on Instagram or Facebook @saltrailsphilly

The vast majority of poems I’ve written in the last few years (including a fairly prolific collection penned early on in the pandemic) live at my personal Instagram account, @disarmingdarling

Wherever you are on your own journey, I wish you light upon the path, the nourishing gifts of love and kindness and expansion in the direction of what makes you feel most alive.

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Arriving and entering

Where can you be soft, she says,

to the jaw locked on snatched back

words, splintered bone of grief

to these eyes wanting water yet stung

with the wary wait, these shoulders —

a country of others’ sighs, dust

of wayside dreams.

Where can you be soft, she asks,

of these sharpened ears, match-struck

chest, this quaking world on edge.

If you let go, the body

will give, open

up, unraveled tongue

and waterfall spine, flow

of heat and truth.

Naming it isn’t necessary, what finds

the splayed throat, upturned heart.

Here you are safe, resting

in this motion. Here you are all

yours and all you can be  —

this poem, lines

on a mat facing home, a flower

in split stone.

 

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