Farting: Enough of this emotional talk – here’s one for some of the boys

(Spoiler: It’s still about feelings)

I’m farting and drinking wine.

I appreciate the fact that I know my own gaseous smell and – this is a big confession – I actually kind of enjoy the scent. I think I like it because I recognize its familiarity, because it’s mine, because it’s comforting.

But, I also feel privileged to breathe in the bodily smells of others  – whether from sweat or desire or hotboxing – of those whom I have made myself romantically vulnerable to (i.e., the men I have loved, “loved,” or those whose roots have in some way intertwined with mine). Those ruddy, dusty, sincere smells without the Old Spice, or sometimes because of the Old Spice, have literally raised every pore and emotion in my being.

It’s sharing that intimacy and exposedness on the most basic level. Of knowing and loving and appreciating someone in a moment when there is no control, when there is no filter.

So thank you for that, boys.

Thank you for your farts.

My Wedding and/or Funeral Recipe

One long, open bar – (best with Bulleit, Oregon microbrews, PBR, and a selection of fine wines)

One fiddle player

Two memory cards full of candid photographs

A handful of beauty

A pinch of sarcasm

A lot of truth – seasoned to taste

Something read or played that means something (anything) to everybody

A few dozen flowers – but only ones that represent random meanings

Use sincerity and humor as needed (i.e., like butter in the Midwest)

Enough sugar for a transparent coating

Sprinkled generously with open hearts

Mix it all up – however you want and however it moves you – because no matter how it connects this time, it will produce love. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for nine months. Let sit for 30 plus years.

Feeds as many as needed. Best served with an array of sauces (hot and sweet) on the side.

Healing, Blind Dates, and More on Dogs

Recently, while undertaking physical therapy for a menu of persistent ailments, I felt the sacredness of healing. And healing – I am just beginning to realize – is surprisingly linked to sharing.

On a blind date at Deschutes Brewery many years ago, I was introduced to the beginnings of this concept. The engineer I met with appeared in biking shoes – a bit of a surprise to me and my less than stellar biking capabilities, but by no means a deal breaker- and we sipped the seamless Deschutes Brewery beers while easily grasping at preliminary conversation topics (work, interests, trying to find commonalities connecting our initial spirits). Before our food arrived, we noticed the locally-famous macaroni and cheese that we had both considered, and rejected, at the table next to us. The family at the table noticed us discussing their desired dish, and they offered us a bite.

“Sharing is caring,” the mother said as we stuck our forks into the spicy thickness. It was a mantra that the parents often repeated to their children, and this moment served as an opportunity to reiterate the lesson. Luckily for my date and I, it also bonded us in first experiences and shared tastes, and served as a heartfelt catch phrase we used during our short-termed relationship.

Sharing is caring.

And caring is healing.

In the safe, open space at physical therapy, there is breath for movement. People and their stories enter, sit, exert, and exit the ….well, the sanctuary.

The sanctuary allows people safety. Safety to share their stories, insecurities, unredeemed plans, and exponential hopes. Clients share how they got there, the challenges in their lives, how they feel, and what they think. Most practitioners actually do the same.

Sharing energy, stories, joys, and disappointments while exercising muscles and stretching spines allow us to heal…and not just physically.

Ok, this is where the dogs come in.

After a week of house sitting the very, very old and sweet golden retriever, I notice that I am talking out loud an awful lot to her (and thankfully not just to myself anymore).

I ask her rhetorical questions (“should we go for a walk”), I verbally lean into my insecurities with her (“I must have sounded like an idiot to him”), and I share with her who I really am before I even notice who that is (“I want to just….”). The very, very old and sweet golden retriever allows me space – which is kindness – so I can unexpectedly be honest with myself. She is the sweetest confessional.

I share with her because I know she cares about me. She stays up for me at night, she wags her tail when I say her name, and she rolls over for an exposed belly-rub whenever I pet her. It doesn’t matter that I get home late sometimes, that I spell her name wrong, and that I don’t always want to reach out to her. But, when I share with her, she is always there to care back.

And the way she shares her love – her always-simple-to-the-essence-love  –  is healing. I share with her, and she cares back with a swinging tail. And it heals me.

Because sharing is caring. And caring is healing. For everyone involved.

Pausing

It’s that moment – that moment in the 11-minute song that you don’t realize is 11 minutes long. You expected the song to have ended twice already – but it’s still going.

Themes, emotions, and stories are built into the initial threads of the song’s vying purposes. You feel underlying rhythms and beats gaining momentum – the grasping fairy tales and throbbing truths and easy loves and regretted choices and shifting perspectives and bitter appreciation and communal pasts and predicted memories and unexplained dreams and cornered moments and unrealized faith and authentic curves and heartfelt jolts and resisting compassion and disappointing hopes and scripted failures and ungraceful plots and beautiful seductions and anticipated thoughts and feared potential and willful contradictions and forced ideas and limited realizations and undiluted awareness and

Then the drummer, the guitarist, the singer – they all stop. They allow space, they admit patience, they pause. They let the stillness echo. They let it rest. They let it vibrate.

I am in that pause. That moment of breath.

I am where you think the song is over, but, really, it is beginning again. It will incorporate the previous meaningful threads into a new rhythm. A deeper rhythm, and, perhaps, a steadier one: forgiving everything and forgetting nothing.

(See Wolf Parade, Kissing the Beehive)