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last night at womens circle i was handed the talking stick. i usually KNOW what i will say. i have it all in my head, ready to be said in a pretty way. this time, for the first time, i didn’t. i had no pre ordained river of thoughts. i just sat for a moment in silence. i didn’t know what words were in me. i heard the pitter patter of rain falling on the roof. the drops before the rain.

i said:
i feel like something really big is about to happen.
i sat with that stick until the flood of words and forgiveness came.

like the drops before the rain.

…i am learning FORGIVENESS.
my friend donna asked me what easter was to me.
i hadn’t thought about it. i wasn’t the christian type. so i asked her what it meant to her, and she said:
and it sounded so enticing, that forgiveness thing, that i drank it in. it walked around inside me. it began to seep into old wounds, and new ones too.

i am learning to forgive my friends. even if i think they aren’t doing their path “right”. even if they might screw up. the right path and the screwups – these are only my own perception. here’s a thought – even though it doesn’t make sense to me, maybe they are doing exactly what they need to do.
i am learning to forgive my lover for the past. and i am learning forgiveness for the things i have built up inside my head. i am learning forgiveness of the rough patches of sea our relationSHIP sailed through.
and the big one – the forgiveness tree of all forgiveness acorns – i am learning to forgive myself. i can be so CRITICAL of myself in the past – who i was when i was a child, a teen, a young woman – even me ten minutes ago. sometimes i beat myself up – WHY didn’t i know things then? WHY didn’t i do things differently? sometimes i feel NAUSEOUS about the past and nothing having it “all together” back then. it only feels *safe* in the present and in the future – not in the past. i love myself, but i am learning to love myself unconditionally. without conditions. i am knowing that whatever i did, wherever i was, i was and am doing the VERY best i can and could do. and that i’ve never done anything wrong.
there is something very healing in this. so much hope and love and forgiveness.
it feels freeing.

i have never done anything wrong.

i have always done the very best i could. and it was perfectly what i wanted for this journey of mine.

i sat with that stick for a while longer. the words sung in the air. we all breathed together.
i passed my stick on, to my womansister. she shared a story of new friends and eagles. of a woman making a decision, and knowing that no.matter.what, it was all perfect. there were no wrong choices. knowing that it would be perfect either way.

what a relief to hear these words.

and so the talking stick moved on. releasing truths with us, into the night.

this morning there is clay stains on my hand from the sculptures of mothers we made together, drinking in chai, eating french bread and eggplant dip, laughing deeply, speaking softly into the gentle darkness that held us, as tenderly as a mother would her child.


i set these words free,
like a small bird in flight across an autumn sky,
or a lone orange leaf twirling.