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May 27, 2012

The Skin You Are In

by Kristina Amelong

Back to the healing tool of my daily practice:
Contemplative Writing.

Today's Prompt: The Skin You Are In

Just today, I found myself talking about building the soul.

"Why do I feel as if I want to weep?"
"Grief can be so deep."

Even when my outer life is full of the deep red of tulips, the trill of red-winged blackbirds, the wet and cold of spring grass under my feet, I still feel such a deep grief.

"Hello?"
"Hello to you."
"Are you one of my souls?"

Just today, I heard the Tibetans think we have 3 to 5 souls. "Do you all live within me or are you that space between myself and the red-winged blackbirds amongst the marsh cattails? I do not know. Do you?"

Pause

"Whom I talking to?"

Seems my mother knew my brother was going to die, too. "What was she to do?" Seems she brought people into rooms with closed doors and consoled them with the story of it, "He knew he would die and he wants you to know he is fine," she would say.

"Exactly what does that mean? Did he have five souls? What is he now?"

One - A tin can kicking along a barren street?
Two - A kitten just learning the joys of a ball of red yarn?
Three - A blizzard atop of Mount Kilimanjaro?
Four - A shoe, purple, a high top?
Five - His sister's impulse to write?
Seems his body was so destroyed his organs couldn't even be donated,
not one of them. Seems he died a violent death.  Remember, it's okay,
he said.

"I'm glad to hear this, as I was just about to weep."

Just today, while doing yoga, the instructor placed his hands on me, both hands, right and left. I was sitting up, bent right leg over bent left leg. I was twisted; I was becoming a spiral. The yogi  lifted, supported, turned me more. My body merged into the expansion, into places I had never been before -- spaces within skin, muscle, beingness -- a new me. And, the voice, the feeling was -- can I just please die? can I just die now?

Laughing. Life isn't so serious. Now, joy.

Seems my presence doesn't end at my skin -- it flies with flocks of birds at sunset. It merges with raging rivers at snow-melt.

"Look up. Do you see color? It is everywhere. right now, as I write, as I read, my beingness swoops and turns and glides and lands and chirps and soars."

Mary Oliver says she knows one thing for sure – that in attentiveness we build our soul. I found this quote for the first time last night and all this time I thought I had just had a soul, was born with it. Little did I know I was building it like a Lego set -- yellow block on top of blue block on top of green block on top of red block -- a tower on a shag carpet. Watch out, here comes my baby brother to knock it over. Mommie!

My cousin, Cydney, cried two days ago while sharing with me her experience of my brother Jay's death as she ate my Aunts Ruth's lemon poppy seed cake. When I was a child I used to beg Aunt Ruth each holiday to always make sure that poppy seed cake would be there for the next holiday -- those black, tiny seeds suspended in sugar and flour, topped with wind-blown, snow-like frosting. Deep inside between the two round cake layers, a yellow layer of lemon ooze emerged. I love that cake. Yes, I love that cake -- even though I cannot eat it as I have Celiac Disease.

"There is really nothing else to say."

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