I sat and held my teacher's hand...my chorus teacher from high school. Somewhere in between giving fatherly advice (make sure your daughter is learning plenty of keyboard in college!) and my asking after his health, we both teared up. I told him how much he meant to me and my life, and that I adore music because of him. Not the same music as then,of course, but I have an abiding love of music that he fostered. That's powerful.
I belong to music itself and makers of music.
Surrounded by people I barely recognized, faces thinly familiar as if they had floated in on a dream, I was nervous. Who would these people be now? Twenty-five years after high school. In 1986 no one could have foreseen the paths taken and not taken, the growth and changes that awaited us, and how unbelievably cool it would be to be 43 years old. (well, 44 for some!) So cool that no one wafted onto the dance floor, far too few Prince songs were played for my taste (I mean, really, they only played "1999" and only played it ONCE). Yet, I sensed a kindred among those folks, since we had lived and moved through something powerful, together, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes on the outer edge, in and out of circles,trying to find it and fit it....And I found some really lovely people at the end of those 25 years, and none of us carried labels like nerd or jock or prep.
I belong to those who won't dance, and who still end their sentences in prepositions.
On my deck, a huge container of wool, yarn, and two hubcaps. Me on deck too, losing myself in colors and texture, playfully and joyfully experimenting. I had to make do a bit to fit the wool around the hubcap and felt it on there. Later found me knitting a cozy for the second hubcap. You can see them both here: http://www.kentuckyarts.org/
I belong to artists, makers, tinkerers, and the creative force of the universe.
At home, after a vacation, I picked up my copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves and perform the book-throw method of insight. Upon throwing the book, I encountered page 184: "Exile as Boon", and I quote,
"If you have attempted to fit whatever mold and failed to do so,you are probably lucky. You may be an exile of some sort, but you have sheltered your soul. There is an odd phenomenon that occurs when one keeps trying to fit and fails. Even though the outcast is driven away, she is at the same time driven right into the arms of her psychic and true kin....It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for awhile and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.It is never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never."
This whole chapter ended up deeply speaking to me, especially when she wrote about being a duck and being raised by mice people. They don't eat each others' food and think the other smells funny...and what if you had to pretend you were a mouse when you were really a duck? Just before reading that, I was in a situation where a friend felt the need to remind me how to act like a "mouse". But I'm a DUCK!, I protested (metaphorically speaking). Not that ducks and mice cannot relate to one another. Yet, it was a gift to be given that reminder....I got to stand up for my duck-ness, and deeply recognize some differences I have with that group of people, and keep the message that I don't have to try so hard to belong where I just don't belong. What a relief!
I belong to my tribe, that tribe of soul-gorgeous, deep, passionate, creative, loving strong women who I have been blessed with in my life, and who continue to influence and inspire me.
Children wafting in and out of my day, requests for tickling, the adorable, heart-stopping chatter of a two-year-old, siblings screaming way too loud over who plays a piano key, can't really remember all of it but the holiness of growing children, even as I muck it up sometimes and other times truly shine.
I belong to mothers.