making medicine

My mother always told me that making medicine was a sacred act.

Ive been reading her books religiously, the ones she wrote, the notes she took from her beloved teachers, the notes she took from the ones she couldn't stand but knew they had a message for her, the travel books, the oh so personal ones she wrote, the ones hidden amongst the chose few herbal books to live in her work space, the ones she wanted to share with the world, the ones she never intended anyone to see, the ones i half close my eyes, and then weep, and then close and put away... all of them i have poured over, scouring, trying to soak it all in.

Again and again she wrote that when making medicine you need to be aware of the space that you hold, your intention, your love, your patience and the care for not only the ingredients but for the people who will take the medicine. The people you want to heal. For it is not only the medicine, but the love and kindness, the caring, the spirit you cultivate and infuse into the medicine that works the magic.
(She was not the only one i have heard say this, in my nutrition course there was so much talk about putting love into the food you prepare, and to slow down and not rush, for that intention with which you make the food, which is also our medicine, will transfer to those who eat it.)

I have been procrastinating making these things, these wonderful teas, tinctures, liqueurs, syrups and the like for the last few weeks.
I can see now why i was procrastinating.... i have been so worried about the bruises and the broken heart residing deep within me that i hardly ever let rear their painful heads. Because it hurts. I miss her terribly.
Making these medicines brings me so close to her.
There were so many of them that she started and then left unfinished. And i know it probably wasn't on purpose, but she was so fucking smart! half of me bets that she left these things unfinished knowing that i would have to finish them and then i would figure out the steps i could never remember, the measurements, the time, the details she kept stored in that complicated brain.

So i lit candles and changed my music and started talking to the medicines as i make them (in my head, lest my elder house-mate think i have absolutely lost my mind, which is highly probable anyway)

This might be one of the hardest things i have done to date. There is no one holding my hand, there is no one to let me talk it out to who will hold no judgement and then talk it all in a circle back to me. There is no one who can tell me it will be ok, that things are fine, and shes just gone for a short while.
There is just me and her shadow and the flitting memories


So this space we create when making medicines. it is a sacred space, there is human emotion, there is life, there is healing, there is the will to live and to prosper and to connect with the plants and their intense ability to heal the depths of our soul, our hearts, and our bodies... all infused into each drop of medicine made. 

It is with this, that i shall go check on my Solomon's Seal oil that i will later combine with a St. John'swort oil my mom made last year, a massage oil for tightening ligaments and tendons, muscle aches, arthritis, gout, burns, bruises, and lots of other like inflammation.


what do you see

when i look at you i sometimes catch a glimpse of the future, the lines on your forehead, the crinkles on either side of your eyes. The years look good, your skin a little more weathered from the wind and your eyes just as shining.
i sometimes wonder if you catch me gazing at you, a small smile on my face. i see love and wonder and so much passion. i see what i can only describe of as home, the most warm and comforting place i can imagine. i see a man who is radiant with so much life it shines out of his beard. i see intense care and tenderness, i see strength and control and loyalty to the end. i see a man whom i love and appreciate more and more with every passing day. i see a man who i trust with my life. i see someone who has their heart in the right place, and will do everything and anything for someone he loves, and will go to the utmost extremes for a stranger in need. i see someone i want to build a life with, someone whos arms are the ones i want around me at every opportunity, and whos eyes i hope to gaze into for a long time to come. i see a youthful love for life and adventure, daring and risk taking that will be there the rest of his life. i see someone who i love to pester, to play with, to tease and to love. i see the most attractive person i have ever met.
it is rare to come across someone who is honestly themselves and unapologetically so.

i sometimes want to ask you what you see when you look at me. in the morning light, in the soft glow of our candle lit dinners, across the console of your truck. what do your eyes capture that mine do not, do you see me through rose colored glasses? do you see me blemishes and scars and wildly a mess and all?


the mists

its been a long while since i sat at this computer with not a soul but the animals around and thought it a good idea to write.

there is never enough time and here i barely have any.

but that is what i wish to change. more time like this is exactly what the doctor ordered, just mind swirling, images and photos and wishes and dreams mixing, bits of the past and dreams of the future like moving through mist in the early morning light, you can make out shapes, but they shift and you are unsure of company except for what your gut tells you. noises muted and muffled, voices belonging to any or all or none but the imagination spinning out of control.

the misty mornings are always in a place where there are no neighboring lights, the voices are my loved ones, from far away, and all that i can be sure of is the overwhelming sense of that this is what is ahead of me. the shifting shapes are always different, the surroundings are not as important, it is this wave of heart wrenching warmth and love and abundance.

i know that moving through the mist will never take me to a place i do not want to be, perhaps instead it is just the path that is unclear and the ending has always been the same, but i was just too stupid to realize it.

twinkling lights of a fire and lights strung up on the porch, a dogs tail wagging furiously, munching of grass from big warm fuzzy animals, that much i know, the wind moves through pines transporting you to the tops of the trees, where watching the weather move through is a gift and the excitement in the air is also nourishing end energizing.

i have been waiting for the mists to rise and fall on this view for so long and the uncertainty to become a little more real. i have been reaching for it for so long, only able to grasp it by pouring over photographs of landscapes i have yet to inhabit. i can feel it getting closer, the yearning for it is sometimes unbearable, and then i sit with some hot tea and let my eyes gobble up images of what may be.... and gently drift into daydreams, the mist swirling behind my eyelids


this limbo

Out of the glass door i can see a tiny fragment of a plant. It is bathed in the unnatural light of a solar garden luminary.
The sight is so familiar and so strange. there are clouds in the sky and no stars. there is no light except for the man made kind.

Sometimes this is what we see. Sometimes there is no light except what we decide is there. There is no moon, there are no guiding lights. There is no illumination from the last rays of the sun filtered through thick clouds. It is only a murky darkness, the kind that you get lost in. The kind of darkness that has lead travelers astray for centuries.

Sometimes we are in this every thickened and oppressive darkness, and the only thing left to do is to search it for a few rays of human made light... a few stray beautiful,  shining, glowing lights amoungst the oppressive darkness.

This is place i do not like to stay long. it hurts, it becomes difficult to breath, all the shit, all the hurt, the pain, the "done me wrongs" of your life come flooding back.

And these little beautiful floating fairies of light and beauty become all the more valuable. The moments of closeness with someone you love. The soft brush of the face of an animal. The new flower blooming... The knowing that everything happens for a reason and sometimes those reasons seem completely stupid and worthless, but that in the end it looks like a winding and meandering stream slowing joining with other beautiful winding steams, combining their stories and futures and pasts to become a stunning picture of growth and time and knowledge gained. These are the moments when you can step back and see where you might be headed, what incredible and breathtaking views you have seen, and might see tomorrow, never the same and always more beautiful than the last.

How is it that the only thing i want to share with you is the experience, the observations, the views... No matter how many times i have seen them they will always be different when i see them with you. You came into my life when i didnt think i needed anyone. You came into my life when i thought i knew what my future would be, and you turned it upside down. The view was so different when i stood with you and looked at my world from a different point of view. It needed not be a one of disappointment and resignation. It was ok to reach for what i wanted.

Do you know what I want? Do you really? It is to be be able to walk the day and not think of tomorrow because this one is so beautiful. It is to be caught up in what is to come, and then to be startled back to the beauty of the day. It is to crawl into bed, and be pulled in close , your head resting in my hair, to not even be able to distinguish your words when you mumble, asleep, "loveyou". it is to wake up every morning and to not want to get out of bed because what more could i want with the sun, or the rain, and the sky and the clouds, and that tree, and this dog, and that purring kitten, and my love with your arms draped around me, and then to realize that the day is only going to get better from there.

Sometimes the garden is the most perfect comparison. You plant these seeds, you think so hard and long about what you want to grow, what you want to grow next to each other, how wild can your imagination go? I my garden that I planted this year, I was gifted space, the magical and elusive gift of space. So my dream... which that it has been, I have spent many a night ,with visions of spiraling vines and fruit and vegetable laden plants growing larger than life. In my dreams it is much like the secret garden. Of that movie I remember only a few things, I remember the intense and overwhelming swellings of grief, of loss and utter despair. I also remember the most beautiful garden, nearly overgrown, yet clearly kept and beautiful, full of flowers. And that is what I dream of, a place to put down ones sorrow, a place to bury what needs to be left behind, and a place where the flowers can take that sadness and turn it into utter beauty. And here we are at the beginning of the season, when you plant seeds, so so so many seeds, you can almost smell the flowers as you plant the seeds, and then you step away, you step back from the garden and ll you see is barren ground, sometimes cracking and dry, no life, just blank. Nothing. Maybe tears and sweat have dropped into the soil, empty beds of imaginary flowers. The only thing you can do is wait. You wait and wait and wait. it becomes an obsession. Finally they start to emerge. The weeds grow wild. and when you pull them out it again is an empty wasteland. at some point you look away. And when you look back, all your hard work, the sweat, the tears, they have grown and what emerges is the most beautful and wild garden of them all. It needs tending and care. love and a firm touch, but it will grow for you in ways you only dreamed it would.

And this place of uncertainly, of barren wasteland with little paths and divots in the ground where i planted the seeds.... this is where my life is. I planted all these seeds, and then at some point, now i look away for a minute... and hopefully everything shoots upward. I can only hope and cross my fingers and water the garden.

I will crawl into bed and be grateful for what i have, I will smile softly to myself as he falls sleep with a heavy arm draped over me, breathing heavily into to my hair scented of ponies and hay and dreams.