1. What do I want?
  2. for the water not to feel greasy
  3. not to see the airport as i paddle
  4. or the trucks zipping down the highway
  5. or the cups floating, trailed by a shimmering ooze
  6. the tires washed up on the shore
  7. not to have to park in the parking deck
  8. to access the river
  9. to feel safe to dive in when its hot
  10. to feel strong and in unison
  11. at least briefly
  12. to listen to the gentle lapping
  13. a bird’s wings
  14. the rustle of wind
  15. to be able to hear these
  16. the paddle touching down
  17. beat
  18. beat
  19. beat


  1. What pulls me closer?
  2. Or, in the company of what do I feel myself alive?
  3. What asks me to be touched?
  4. Or, what, in proximity, speaks to me through an energy I don’t understand
  5. Or I do understand but can’t translate directly into words
  6. How can I feel not alone when words fail more and more
  7. How can I feel alone when words are unnecessary?
  8. How do I sense the pull?
  9. Where in my body does it sit?
  10. I am trained…
  11. Am I trained to register the feeling
  12. any feeling
  13. first in my mind and then to ask where it originated?
  14. what is this strange phenomenon that is not all rational
  15. how do i root it out or describe it or define it or explain it
  16. from whence did it come
  17. this out of balanceness
  18. this uncontrollable uninvitedness
  19. is this ok, is this right, is this accepted
  20. listening to hear through a lifetime of noise
  21. i know distraction
  22. and repulsion
  23. but i don’t know
  24. or maybe what i call it
  25. maybe it begins with
  26. curiosity
  27. ok
  28. i can start there


  1. Washing the dishes I thought of another word:
  2. enthusiasm
  3. I forgot the word later
  4. but remembered what i was doing when it came to me
  5. standing, repetitive motion, the water flowing from the tap
  6. thinking of washing dishes, and of clarity, reminded me of yesterday
  7. trying to meditate, for five minutes only
  8. the noise noise noise
  9. and then in the shower later
  10. the flow of water moving across my skin
  11. what about this? i whispered
  12. i could hear
  13. in the shower, washing dishes
  14. how i love to walk in a summer thunderstorm
  15. even though i tell myself that i shouldn’t
  16. when i stop to ask my body what she wants
  17. almost every time she says, immediately, without pause:
  18. i am thirsty
  19. i’ve always taken it literally and gotten a drink
  20. maybe it is not to have water
  21. but to feel water
  22. to be water
  23. to be in the flow
  24. to be carried
  25. to float


  1. I feel enthusiasm for colors
  2. for the Farrow & Ball paint sample card I picked up at the paint store yesterday
  3. Colour by Nature in collaboration with the Natural History Museum
  4. Dutch Orange, like the common marigold or the crest of a golden crested wren
  5. Verdigris Green, like copper or a long-tailed green parrot
  6. Ultra marine Blue like lapis lazuli or a small blue heath butterfly’s upper wing
  7. Lake Red, Rose Officinalus
  8. Taken from Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours from 1814, an official classification of colour in nature in a pre-photographic age
  9. treasured by scientists and artists it says
  10. yes, of course
  11. what else?
  12. eager enjoyment, interest, or approval
  13. the smell of ginger and garlic cooking together
  14. (if you were here you would see me pausing, searching for something else)
  15. i enjoyed the feeling of the wind today
  16. i ate some chocolate, but not with enthusiasm
  17. no
  18. i felt often peaceful
  19. well, still enough
  20. i will look again tomorrow


  1. I tried to pay attention today
  2. To look for enthusiasm
  3. And curiosity
  4. I ate a plum that had been in the refrigerator, so it was cold
  5. I wondered, if you really tasted every plum, would every plum taste this good?
  6. No – that was an extra delicious cold and juicy plum
  7. i went downstairs to stretch
  8. i lay down and stretched my arms over my head
  9. i wondered if my body always feels uncomfortable, like it is in the wrong place at the wrong time
    not doing something right or doing something wrong
    wanting to be somewhere else or not wanting to be where it is
  10. not always, i thought
  11. so as i stretched i followed every movement closely
  12. breathing into anything that felt
  13. talking gently to myself
  14. for those 10 minutes my body was at ease
  15. exactly where it was
  16. nothing right or wrong
  17. in time


  1. I woke up yesterday morning with a feeling in my stomach
  2. No
  3. I woke up yesterday morning and I wondered what I was feeling
  4. I tried to give it a name
  5. in one word
  6. Sad? Scared?
  7. Wait, I said. Why do you think you are sad or scared?
  8. What if there is no strong emotion, right now but, instead, a sensation
  9. What is the sensation?
  10. What is your body noticing about itself, how could you describe it?
  11. Then I thought about noticing sensation separate to attaching any emotion to it
    (i know that is what meditation is for, but this was my own body’s learning of a thing, not just my mind’s)
  12. This morning when I woke up my poison ivy was itching
  13. sensation
  14. a few minutes later, it had faded
  15. so now i am paying attention to emotion and sensation separately
  16. maybe it is part of my body coming back to life
  17. more to life
  18. feeling invited
  19. awake to sensation, curious


  1. It might not be time for this
  2. That is also a choice
  3. And not
  4. My brain is making choices before I am aware
  5. Who is? Based on what? Where is the mycelium and where is the story?
  6. Choosing to heal, to be part of healing, to restore and be restored
  7. Noticing what changes when I choose not to hide from what feels tough
  8. (sometimes)
  9. Noticing patterns of avoiding, noticing what is at the core
  10. Watching the show of me, listening to the concert of me (me?)
  11. And choosing
  12. What now?
  13. Sometimes the program beats me to choosing
  14. Sometimes I am afraid to get it wrong
  15. (that is part of the program)
  16. Sometimes I made a choice a long time ago
  17. Or I don’t recognize the choice I’m making
  18. See #14 again. And again. And again.
  19. There’s a lot I don’t get to choose
  20. But ending at 20 is the choice I’m making now


  1. I said to Ajike that I wasn’t ready to go there
  2. but there i am going – she wrote desire
  3. warmer than wanting
  4. is attraction what calls to you from outside, or where you feel a charge, a magnetism
  5. that maybe is a signal from your insides, but in response to something external – two charges
  6. desire. Jennifer, are you using language as a way to hide?
  7. desire is not about definitions, philosophy
  8. hunger
  9. i often eat because i am uncomfortable, i want distraction or something doesn’t feel right
  10. that is not hunger, it is avoidance or self-soothing, or i eat because it is time to eat
  11. what sounds appealing? what are you hungry for?
  12. you can’t say a stable climate. that isn’t desire. that’s logic.
  13. i think this is true: to sit on a dock by a lake and feel the wind and it’s quiet and i feel safe being alone
  14. is that desire?
  15. i don’t know. i can think of things that bring pleasure and gratefulness.
  16. i like the smell of gardenias and i hope my figs are ripe soon. i will really really enjoy eating those.
  17. but i don’t desire them. i’m not hungry for them.
  18. there are some things i desire to be rid of
  19. i desire to have my piano fixed
  20. i’d like to finish reading my book
  21. or maybe i am mistaken
  22. maybe i am thinking desire needs to be reckless, impulsive, compulsive
  23. and maybe it’s not that at all
  24. maybe Ajike’s “calm steady sweetness” knows desire
  26. Of course I had to go to the etymology
  27. “the original sense perhaps being “await what the stars will bring,” from the phrase de sidere
  28. it also means to long for
  29. maybe it is the place where you feel a knowing of yourself, enough, to ask the stars for something, to imagine a something they might bring, to call it into being
  30. what would you call into being, if you could?
  31. i desire to play the piano
  32. i desire to work for clean water, a vibrant, lush world
  33. i desire to spend time in the flow of creativity, to use words to find something, to see something new
  34. i desire color and texture and flavor
  35. i desire warmth and water and wind
  36. i desire companionship and community where I live
  37. i desire to celebrate life with my children
  38. okay, stars, i will take my steps
  39. and watch what unfolds


  1. There is the door
  2. Looking just the same as it did when you stepped away
  3. But you are not the same
  4. For better or worse, in sickness or in health, richer or poorer
  5. There is the handle
  6. It just needs to be turned, the lights are on inside
  7. But what will you say
  8. How will you describe the storm, or the flight of birds or the winds
  9. When you don’t want to
  10. When what you want is to sit inside
  11. Put your thoughts back in order
  12. Remember what it feels like
  13. Unsure of something
  14. Maybe it isn’t time to be here, at this door
  15. You are carrying your bag
  16. You’ve been carrying your bag
  17. It contains almost everything you need
  18. Almost
  19. Hand out, turning
  20. Walking in


  1. What is necessary
  2. What is
  3. here
  4. Nothing is necessary
  5. Unless (unless?)
  6. there is, before that,
  7. A purpose, an idea, a direction
  8. Re-moving, giving action and motion
  9. Clarifying and choosing
  10. And through the body
  11. This arm, this leg
  12. Casting a spell, calling forward
  13. Seeing clearly what is needed
  14. And releasing, not holding tight, letting go
  15. The future here will have its own direction
  16. And provenance
  17. Though sometimes, often, always
  18. there is attraction
  19. a whisper – you can hear it –
  20. but in a language you haven’t yet learned to understand


  1. a place to sleep
  2. shelter
  3. a place to leave my bag – where i trust it will be there when I return
    (what is in my bag?)
    (what do i put in my bag)
  4. something i’m doing, something i’m there to do
  5. other people to help/helping me/to laugh with/to sing, dance, play music, explore with
  6. a toothbrush and soap
  7. a notebook
  8. shoes
  9. a place to cook / a place to gather to eat
  10. a blanket
  11. a book i haven’t read yet
  12. a towel
  13. with luck some warm water
  14. a way to connect with loved ones far away
  15. salt and coffee (or tea)


Let me tell you the story
of what I have loved in my life
Let me sing it
many times
so that when I forget
when memory begins to fail
you can sing it back
and remember for me
with me
after me