love life

there is a lot of love in my life right now. some moments i look around and all i see and feel is love, everywhere.

i just spent the weekend in the house with the babies and autumn and sam, while all around us it rained and the mosquitos came out and minnesota was being very beautiful. sam made us a feast, taught us an italian card game, and was as always just a fascinating man to be around – he makes me feel better about men altogether. autumn blows my mind, the smartest most on point mama i have ever known. i am so grateful for her friendship and sistership.

it was siobhan’s birthday, and she is Four now, and was in a state of exclamation and clarity the whole weekend. she is a delightful gorgeous self-directed child who loves puddles, creating and reading books about her own life. she shrieked with joy to receive new ballet slippers after wearing her last pair out – not dancing, but just as the right shoe to wear around the house. she says no easily and loves to be a goofy middle sister. she entertains, she is developing her coy side.

finn is five going on sixty and he is full of wonder and connection to the natural world. he made friends with a toad he named hopleg, and a turtle with a long tale who finn talked with about the importance of getting across the road. his imagination paired with his love of facts makes him excellent company. he likes to be the first one to my bed in the morning, which sometimes means a 5:30 wake up call – he likes the alone time to discuss his dreams and the day to come. he is a bit obsessive over angry birds, but can be assuaged somewhat with creating angry bird art or looking at real birds. his emotional presence is humbling, he feels everything and hides nothing and it’s inspiring and makes me want to build a house around him where only kind people can enter whenever he goes out in the world.

mairead is sixteen months old, smells sweet, is a quick and skilled dancer doing diaper drops when the beat comes in…and she’s just a fantastic person. she giggles, screams in joy, knows exactly what she wants and will not be fooled. she understands there is humor in troublemaking and often moves her fastest when she realizes she can create a major mess. she has deep conversations with bran the dog, has no patience for dresses. and when she is ready to snuggle there is nothing so magical as her soft weight and warmth, her skilled way of tucking her head under an adult chin.

going away from them gets harder and harder, but in the best way. i don’t want to miss the new words they learn, the moment of clicking through from putting letters together to reading, or learning to swim. they are so much fun and they love me easily, without attachment or expectation.

it is also gemini season, many of my dearly beloveds are celebrating. i am not an easy person to be friends with – i travel a lot and barely keep my schedule together, i forget important things, i like to be alone. so i deeply appreciate those people who stay through it all and keep loving me and holding me close. gemini seem to have a special ability to do this with almost no guilting.

my friend janine at harvard, radical mama, one of the sharpest thinkers and most precise poets i know; my love dani, blogging pieces we need on women and reproductive health for the nation and being the place where bullshit must stop and surrender; brilliant education scholar and writer and soon-to-be mama adriana; prolific musician daddy joshua gabriel. there are so many in my life, so i generally experience this as a second birthday season, with gratitude.

and then today is my first anniversary with lynnee denise. we began our conversation, our love scholarship, last year on this day. she reached out to me in response to this post, and i saw a picture and leaned in.

i mean, have you seen her?

and from our first exchanges it has been a significant journey, with both of us in mutual wow, humbled by how much we needed to grow to face each other. and we grow, reflect, learn. we don’t coast, we fly as the result of realizing again and again we have wings and jumping off of ever higher heights. i am a better human because of her, more connected to myself, to the life i am meant to live, to what freedom i have to choose my life. i know the capacity i have to create and change and give.

that post that caught her heart begins with this poem:

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
as few human or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft
my voice so tender
my need of god
absolutely clear.
–Hafiz

and i just wanted to offer here that i think all of the love i am experiencing now is a result of my beautiful loneliness, the time i have spent in my life cultivating my love for myself, and my love of all that is divine in the world outside of romance.

that loneliness wavers in and out of aloneness, the experience of being satisfied with your own existence in the world, not as a reflection, but as a miracle in real time. my osho deck says ‘aloneness is the presence of oneself. aloneness is very positive. it is a presence, overflowing presence. you are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.’

that aloneness has deepened my presence as an aunt, as a friend, and raised the standards of what i would receive and could offer as a lover. all of this abundant love in my life springs up from within, something in me opens to the presence of god-is-change all around me. i can rest in it, open in it, set the right boundaries and invite that which is not love to move along, i can be more honest, be more present, be humbled by all that is beyond my reach, be humbled by all that i can touch and how precious it is.

my life is green everywhere. love is what comes when i let myself blossom.

3 Responses to “love life”


  1. 1 dwillis

    This is an incredibly powerful post and it made me tear up three times:
    First, because I am so moved by the way you write about your family. Those of us who follow your writing have a stake in watching your nieces and nephew grow and thrive because you make them come alive to us here in this space. Reading about them reconnects me to my own family and the children in my life every time. Second, because you see and value Team Gemini as we are and in a way that cuts through all the negative and shallow stereotypes about us. We see you, too, Virgo sis. And third, because your writing about loneliness and love is just… yes. Somehow you flesh out Hafiz’s words and point out the beauty in a life lesson that’s difficult but necessary to grapple with. In gratitude for this offering <3

  2. 2 Joshua Gabriel

    So great to read your thoughts about the children. Aloneness – yes! Thank you for clarifying my own thoughts about aloneness.

  3. 3 Aleia

    These words make me fall deeper in love with my own life.

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