Fingers stained with ink from a fountain pen that leaks but that cannot be replaced because the ink stains are part of the magic.
Candles on stones carried from the sea on both coasts. The one rock found on the beach that day, all twenty pounds of it. Hugged across the chest and carried on the long walk home, until arms and shoulders ached. Even though they said it couldn’t be taken on the plane, that this was silly. And how it was clear that this flat stone would be one of the ways the ocean could be made real in the desert, and that it would hold space for the fire of ritual again and again.
Words scrawled on a page that was blank just moments ago.
Starting with the unknowing.
The way the wax felt when it spilled all over your hand, and it burned and then became solid and then was rubbed into skin until you smelled like the flame itself.
The way a year carries us, whether we want it to or not, from one life into the next.
The way that it is an undeniable fact that a sleeping dog nestled against you on the couch can make all things feel just that much more right.
The ways of love far away, and love up close and love in absence and presence and silence and groundwater and freely shared and never again. Just the ways of love, in it’s holy fire and gentle touch and brutal tear down. And how when you lay your head on her chest at night and let sleep take you, it feels like life – in her wild and crazy ways – blurs mystery and purpose into something you’ll never be able to define and really, would never want to – even if you could.
The way the wine tastes, when you’ve not had it for a while, like when you kiss someone after many months or years and your mouth still remembers exactly how they taste, as if no time at all had passed.
The way you can still remember how they taste, as if no time at all has passed.
The way candle light makes the room close in and get small and how that same darkness makes everything infinite.
The turning of the seasons, the completion of a cycle. The blessing of the year that is coming to close and the looking forward into the one that will begin.
The hard won autonomy of self, and how the real and true apologies – the ones that are necessary and deserved and must be said – begin to come easier and more freely and from deep within the moment you refuse to ever again apologize for the truth of yourself or your body or your wild and untamable spirit. The way that agency, claimed and uncompromising, leaves space to be wrong and to be humble and to open wide to whatever may come.
Chocolate, and all that it heals.
Texts from children. Filled with silly emoji and misspellings and goodnight kisses and requests to pleasepleaseplease try on Halloween costumes this weekend. How they are close even when they are not.
The music. The way it allows you to honor what has been. How it weaves the spaces between grief and gratitude into something new and beautiful. How the melody becomes it’s own language and holds the lineage of a lifetime of stories in a way that words cannot. The way that some songs then, become hymn and bring reverence, regardless of the time that has passed.
The solitude. The blessed, blessed solitude. How even when you fight against it, the moment of surrender to the sweet alone is the truest exhale. And the way it leaves space for the missing, and for the knowledge of how important that missing is.
The shower that waits. The heat of it and the way it will wash away the day. The way the steam and the flickering flame will turn everything to softness and heat.
Beginnings and endings and the sweetest of in-betweens.
The things you know to be true. They are few, and even more significant for their rarity.
The knowing, the one that you have learned to trust, even when there is nothing to be done. Just the knowing itself and how it is important, without anything more to be said or done.
How we take all the moments and shape them into our lives. How there is nothing to do, in the end, but bless all that brings us here, to this right now. To the candles and the melody and the words and the love and the loss and the solitude and the sweetness and the truth.
How it is that these small things – the endless, seemingly insignificant infinities -all roll up into each other to become the big things, the true things, the every things.
What are the moments that make up your day and night? Where has this year carried you? What is at the center of your knowing? Do you find comfort and truth in the unknowing? Does music hold the lineage of your stories as it does mine?
Tell me, please, of your small things and large things and everythings. I am listening.