Let's raise our glasses tonight
to something unusual, something we normally avoid thinking about at all costs.
Let's toast our tea, herbal or Long Island to rot.
I say we drink to the mistakes,
to the failures both minuscule and grand:
the business that went belly up
the career that never was
the one that got away
the one that broke our hearts
the friend that totally violated the code
the dream deferred
the love cut short
the achy places we try not to touch
for fear that they will reawaken and it will never be right.
All the things for which we lament, "It will never be the same"
Let's honor them properly, my dears.
If we can move past the shock and hurt of life's little (or not so little) decompositions
and into the grieving
and through that hard spot to the point at which we gain perspective
we can get to the gifts
gifts that are so much like the brightest coral toadstool living because something fell
I don't know about you but I can get so s.t.u.c.k in the shock and hurt that it feels like quicksand
and I just replay the initial loss, telling the story on repeat.
Getting to the grief, to the healing and wellness takes quite a bit of bravery:
I've been practicing for decades now.
Haven't we all?
It doesn't matter how good we are at it, or in what time we come to understanding.
We show up.
We put in work.
Let's root our compassion in what we lost like so many little fungi growing up to the light from their dark damp place.
We can be bright for the darkness of others.
We can be of service because we stood in the gaping maw of our own fear and
found it comfortable enough to explore
if even for just a few minutes hours days or years.
The key is in the knowledge that life is cycles
and if a body can watch and participate in all of the brilliant and crushing places
the soul housed therein can grow bigger with each passing moon.
With these things in mind and prayers for their realization in my fingers
I crafted a half-belt, a corset belt
finished with two cast brass rings,
resplendent in fungi and birch bark
lined in gold (like shiny gold!) pigskin
and colored with acrylic, dye and antique
meticulously and with great big heart.
The edges are organically scalloped, the metals mixed: brass and nickel rivets both intermarry
with the rings and the hand-stitched royal blue edge work.
This belt will fit a waist 29 or more inches around.
May it serve always as a reminder that the magic is in the murk oftentimes:
we have to uncover it with our courageous and diligent hearts.
HERE is where it rests for now.