Happy 100 Days: 57

To get a hug is to give a hug, right? In the interest of sowing a few happy seeds in the community garden, I made a late-night, earnest commitment to hug at least one somebody every day. This will be a breeze when I have a night with Bug. Hell, I can gorge on a few dozen hugs when Giovanni comes around. On a normal day, though, this will require a little extra attention. My fellow metro commuters may not take kindly to an uninvited squeeze. Also, I am apparently not the same gauze-draped sylph of my youth, opening my bejeweled arms to every new acquaintance upon introduction. I no longer expose my vital organs to folks until I have given them a good sniff.
A hug a day. Yes. I went to bed satisfied with the quest.
Daybreak chased the promise right out of the ol’ noggin. I woke early and raced off to volunteer at a manual work day at Bug’s school. I dug post holes for the new jungle gym and lugged wheelbarrows of gravel with complete strangers. After we had stashed the shovels back in the shed, one of the other moms said goodbye, pulling me into a spontaneous hug. Oh yeah! I was going to do that! What cozy niceness, that smile unfurling down my spine. In that little meeting of our arms and tummies, a fellow volunteer became a potential friend.
Also, I had kept my promise without even trying!
I managed for two more days to give a few squeezes. Then the commitment wandered off again. Working life has a way of elbowing aside the mammal hunger for closeness. Who hugs, anyway? I mean, in the quotidian clip of commute-office-meeting-supermarket-commute again single parenthood, who does such a thing? Nobody hugs. At least, nobody hugs me, and I don’t seem to remember how to manifest that spontaneous warmth the way my fellow digger did at the work site.
Tonight, I had a chance to give a hug (and get one in return. . . How lovely that would be!) to a friend. I blew it, neglecting to recall the commitment or its desire until I was already aboard the metro and well on my way home.
I may have missed my chance, but I can’t abide breaking my promises. I got to the house, dumped my stuff, and hugged the dog instead. I threw in a deep under-the-collar neck scratch for good measure. I dug in there until her leg started pedaling and I knew the dopamine was surging. She even groaned a little. It was super fluffy sweet.
This was not quite what I was aiming for, but a dog-cuddle will do in a pinch. The goal tomorrow: a grownup hug with a human. I can’t wait to find out who will make me smile!


Happy 100 Days: 59

Ten unnecessary but welcome accessories to spruce up the fall wardrobe:

  1. A post hole digger
  2. A spontaneous hug from a new acquaintance
  3. Blistered palms and sore shoulders
  4. Purple earplugs and a mid-day nap
  5. A condo with peeling linoleum and lots of promise
  6. A green silk trench coat and a bagful of gold dubloons
  7. A sash tied from behind by capable hands
  8. Enchiladas hot from the oven
  9. Doing da butt (all night long)
  10. A salt water gargle song with a good man before bed



Found Music

He says, “Tell me something you believe in.”
I stretch my neck and glare at the treetops. “I used to believe in the healing power of walks.”
He does not let me get away with this.
“Come on.”
After an interlude of mild hysteria, the insect chorus finds its pulse. The breath inside the night soothes the places in my belly where worry has left bruises.
“I believe,” I say, “in the wide open sky.” I cannot look at him.
I believe in hiding in plain sight.
Also, I believe in the mind’s resilience. I believe in speaking truths despite doubt and speaking questions when compliance would be more expedient. I believe in care. In tending to the body’s needs first. I believe that people are doing their best, even when the evidence suggests otherwise.
I believe in reincarnation.
Sometimes I believe the heart can take the lead.
I believe in language and its ability to re-write what is real. In releasing memory. In surrendering hope. I believe that inhabiting the here and now is the only path to serenity.
I believe in seeking out the beautiful. In moving towards conflict. In stepping away from the familiar, if only to know the wide-open terror of true limitlessness.
I believe in fasting.
In speaking to the future self when the present one comes up short.
I believe naps, hugs, and vegetables are better medicine than medicine. I believe that touch usually beats another conversation.
I believe that everything I believe is fleeting. That everything I hold dear matters far too much to me and not nearly enough to anyone else.
I believe in letting go.
I believe in belonging to the world but being owned by no one. I believe in claiming the world but possessing nothing.
I press my belly to his and listen to the trees. “I believe in cicadas,” I say.
“They couldn’t care less whether you believe in them or not,” he says.
For the moment, I believe in love.
The moment opens like wings.