one year of grieving alana

Saturday, a year ago, after a massive grief ritual at the third emergent strategy immersion, I got the news that Alana had transitioned.

The anniversary date is today, now, both yesterday and today. Everything is memorable in such an unfair situation; the details matter forever. The details are what we have when loved ones die young, unfolding what we were given, each memory, each communication. We want to open and examine every inch of time together, to know everything.

Alana is hilarious, competitive, loyal, humble, fierce, indulgent, loving, beloved, unapologetic and excellent at words. She is all of these things (and many I didn’t get to learn about), still and forever.

Its a new moon, time for a ritual. I’ve been living my life more ferociously since she died, more in touch with what change can do. Alana left such clear instructions: don’t take it too seriously. don’t waste it. the fear is a good sign. drink in pleasure. practice pleasure as if your life depends on it.

She gave me more than I ever got to give her.

This moon I’m writing down what I most want, and planting seeds of futures to live into through the barriers of my fear and into pleasure.

And also, I’m asking for mercy, an expanding mercy for all who grieve Alana. With lit candles. I hope that for today the universe has enough and doesn’t need to take anyone else into her mouth.

I imagine a place for you where you’re in motion, and smiling, and right by Mac. Its the deepest darkness. The thinnest veil. The next adventure. The way you are gone and still felt, here but unable to touch the loneliness, a teacher still.

We won’t forget. And today, we have spent a year in tender memory.


this past two weeks I was mostly offline getting some new tastes of myself, getting current, writing a new book. I went to a quiet hot spring to write for the first week and then got to teach on the school of embodied leadership team, the generative somatics intensive boot camp.

this all felt like a microdose of my coming sabbatical. I was offline, deeply in my body, exploring trust and healing and connection. I want to report out some of the sensations:

how when I lost signal, I put the phone away and didn’t think of it again – how it felt like I could breathe deeper, instantly.

moving up a belt in intimacy practices.

sore hands from writing in a bathtub, writing by hand, in the dark hours of early morning.

the first moments in writing a book when I really, really understand what I have in my mind and hands.

the surprise of turtle love.

paranoia/fame – standing in a room where I was half naked, in a private moment, being recognized (in sweet ways) and/but just wanting to be anonymous.

the heart expansion of seeing people I love whole, and becoming more of themselves.

meeting people in their most alive moment.

the delight of letting my resilience be seen in a vulnerable way in public. a rare mutual healing space moment when, as Rita Moreno said yesterday, “I love being seen.”

meeting Rita Moreno and not needing to take a photo, just getting to recognize in her another brick in the foundation of my power femme heart.

letting in appreciation without getting overwhelmed or anxious.

a public mutual lovefest with Marcus K. White.

the way Rose at Imperial Spa got inside my shoulder and pushed a demon out.

the way my heart is reaching ahead of me for home.

gratitude for memes. I missed them.