Monday, January 7, 2013

endings and beginnings

"That juicer is your enemy. It has been working against you for years. Throw it out."

I imagine a grapefruit, run through, its tart sweetness stinging the back of my throat and then like warmth, it spreads through me. I see my children pushing kale and lemons and apples through and giggling and licking their fingers. Frozen berries run through to make non-sugared sorbet and nut butters and she interrupts me to tell me that there is no fiber there. Nothing but a sugar high, then the eventual crash.

I want to explain that I do not simply love juicing, rather I am in love with my Omega juicer, the sleek chrome body, the sexy low hum of its motor, the fresh smooth energy oozing out of the mouth, like sex and health. I drink her down, and feel sexy and strong and able. I let go of my idea of what is healthy and let her show me packages of almond cheese and what sodium looks like in salt form. She tells me to buy egg whites and eat lean meat and turkey burgers. My grandmother ate turkey burgers with a big slice of vidalia onion for lunch, and weighed everything on a little white plastic scale. The dietitian tells me not write down calories, but I cannot help myself. I need to know.  If I write all the rest of it down, I want to know if I am taking out more than I am putting in. I'm ready to shed this belly, the love handles, the pouch of flesh that protects my solar plexus and sacral chakras. Sometimes that pouch feels more metaphysical than physical, so I keep trying to release whatever it is that is blocking my old flat belly from emerging from this fat cocoon, and then watch what I'm eating.

I've become one of those high maintenance eaters whom I once mocked in my years at natural food stores. No wheat, no soy, no dairy, no sugar. No. No. No. I just want to slink away when people ask me what to bring to my house, or what I can eat. I really want no attention. This high maintenance shit doesn't endear one to people. It's sounds impossibly fussy. I hate that I have become a person with such limiting dietary restrictions, not because I particularly mind eating no wheat, soy, dairy or sugar, but because it is contrary to who I thought I was--laid back and easy going. I roll with the gluten-rich foods, and eat with bravado and lust and the beautiful gratitude that comes with moaning and talking through bites about deliciousness and richness and I shouldn't, but okay one more.

I turned thirty-nine on Friday. Like I said, this year and this age feels meaty. Steak-like with a big t-bone that I can suck the marrow out of, even though I cannot eat marrow anymore. I remember my mother being thirty-nine. From fifteen and defiant, thirty-nine looked liberating. My mother said to me when she was thirty-nine, "I just don't feel like being the mother anymore." And I whispered, "I don't feel like being the kid."

Her thirty-nineth year involved the second year of separation from my father, her career working in AIDS social work filling her life up, going out to gay clubs and learning to play chess. She put a basket of condoms in the middle of our coffee table so that we were always protected, even though we weren't having sex. But our friends came and took them, and that was some kind of comfort for her. And when the shit was getting hard for us, she sent us to a woman who channeled Edgar Cayce. The channels voice grew deep and gnarled, and she told our little group of hippie teenagers that the Pacific Ocean would swallow California, taking her into her mother sea belly, the crystals casting strange ripples on her surface and the Atlantic Ocean would devour Florida, belching disco balls and thong bikinis. Back then, I wondered about these hungry seas swallowing states and how this was helping me with my "parent" problem.

I unintentionally keep doing these intention setting rituals. Well, the first was intentional. I bought a workbook, and filled it out. The release ceremony on Lucia's birthday began this search for the energy I'm bringing it, and I visioned and journeying and wrote down ideas. Then I went to a lady party a few weekends ago. She asked us about our intentions, and burned our releases. I solidified more of what I was releasing, and more of what I wanted to bring in. Then yesterday, I did a Sankalpa Retreat. It was my birthday present to myself, and yet, I had no real idea why I signed up.

Yesterday morning, I sat in meditation, and choose some oracle cards, and Kali came to me. "Endings and Beginnings." It read. "The old must be released, so the new can come in." The entire day was yoga and movement and visioning and meditation. In fact, the whole day, we were supposed to remain in a mindful, almost half meditative state, never quite coming out of meditation. I had already visioned, already released. But in a real live circle of women, we yogaed and danced in the infinity symbol. We drew our intentions with crayons on a pearly piece of paper. I kept seeing angels, a sacred heart and Mother Teresa, and prayer. Deep, profound prayer, a turning over of will. I saw healing work being done through me,and healing myself. I heard, "Love yourself as you love your children. Unconditionally without expectation, without need. Just mother you." Something shifted in me. I wrote what I wanted to release on a piece of paper:

Any resentments holding me back from doing the highest good.

And I let that be there alone on the sheet for a few moments. I watched it. I released specific resentments on the 22nd of December. I released things that now feel gone. It was a powerful ceremony. I didn't release enough, so I went on, and every nook and cranny of that small slip of paper was filled with stuff to release:



I knelt before the fire, and asked to have these things gone from me. I watched it burn, and I felt a lightness of being. Then we danced, just danced. And I am so self-conscious about my body, but I bounced and brought my hands over my head, and wiped away the tears of joy before anyone could see. It felt so good to just be strange and unself-conscious in a room full of people. I kept swatting that ridiculous voice down that said, "Your belly is too fat for you to have this much fun."

And in the end, there were three rituals in all, like the three knots in a witch's spell, even though I'm not a witch and this is not a spell. I thought about tying those knots in the universe, setting my intentions for thirty-nine, letting go of my attachment to juicing and my ideas of what health is, and my attachment to what thirty-nine is, and my attachment to attachments.

By the knot of one, the spells begun!
By the knot of two, it cometh true!
By the knot of three, so mote it be!


  1. Happy Birthday, Angie (and to your sister too). I hope the 39th year is good to you and yours. Sending much love. xo


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