real tears

Sometimes the flow just stops. Sometimes -especially after an intensely creative + public period of my life- I just need to draw the metaphorical curtains and refuel. Stare at my plants. Tidy my spaces. Cleanse the air. Remind myself who I am all over again.

I’ve been going to lots of doctors. Good news is, I’m not dying! (Yet). I am ok -even though I’m not ok. Certain body parts have refused to work as advertised but overall I am beginning to breathe more deeply and feel so grateful for what I have. I don’t have a tumor in my head -this is confirmed and that is cause for celebration in my life -a life which often feels so completely upside down and like the ground is falling out beneath my feet for long stretches of time repeatedly. That’s ok. It’s not ok, but it’s all I’ve got and so I will take it because it’s mine and I love the rest of it far too much.

My eye does continue to perpetually leak despite multitudes of visits to my GP, an ophthalmologist, ENT, and a CT scan of my head. It looks like I am always crying, which is also actually not far off, but crying is normal and beautiful and so I’m ok with it. I come from a family of criers. We are unashamed. Now I am on a crusade to teach the rest of the world that it’s ok to cry -which was a bit difficult at Christmas with my in-laws when I was beginning to come down with a stomach bug and so overall not feeling very great to begin with, when it was time for everyone else’s children to open gifts. (I say everyone else’s children because I don’t have any). So there we were spending a couple of hours handing out gifts and watching all of the children that are not mine open said gifts with their adorable reactions and sweet faces. At one point I wiped away tears from my leaky eye and my sister-in-law leaned over and asked if I was ok, which I thought was sweet of her, knowing what she knows (what everyone knows at this point) about my reproductive health. But it was so hard to convince her that at that moment I was not crying sad tears -and instead convince her that there is just this unexplained force in my eye that makes me cry (from one eye) randomly at inappropriate (or in this case, perhaps very appropriate) times. And also, if I had been crying, wasn’t that ok too?

It’s been a stressful lot of months. First I was too afraid to go to the doctor. I’m one of those. I don’t want the truth so I imagine every god awful disease I must have. I have imagined I was dying since April. Finally by January it was confirmed that this leaky eye (among other benign yet terrifying symptoms) is not terminal. But getting to that point was a lot. Especially because I’ve already been burnt out for a year. Or two. Or eight. Yes, me, I am burnt out. People think because I live on a farm and I’m a musician and make sweet smelling soaps and work with herbs that I am everlastingly joyful and serene, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the time I am completely neurotic which is WHY I do all of these things. For comfort. So I won’t go insane. It really does work most of the time, but sometimes life is just too much and there isn’t enough yoga or lemon balm or dirt or baths or candle gazing or plant hugging in the world that can relax me.

My aunt died last week. And as far as deaths go, hers was beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, she died from a cruel disease that took away so many of her faculties prematurely, and most of all took her life. So I’ve been doing a different kind of crying lately. The kind of crying you do when it’s the end of someone you loved. We’ve experienced this a lot in our family. We have become good at grieving, which so many people find to be sad, and I suppose that is still true. But part of grieving is loving and loving is never bad. Being sad is part of loving.

My favorite part about when someone dies is the presence it initiates. If you are truly present in the moments surrounding death the double doors of your heart will swing wide open. And when you are around a bunch of people whose double-heart-doors are open -shit is fucking beautiful. So much love. So many unsaid things said. Stories, memories, laughter, sobbing, hugs, affection, tenderness, nostalgia, care, tears -real honest tears not manufactured imitation eye leaking. I am at my best in this space. I come from a long line of undertakers. Death runs deep in my family.

My aunt gave us all a gift in the last week of her life. And the woman’s heart was so big it kept on beating for 25 minutes after her last breath. How could that alone not make you cry?

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