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In My Bones

Surrounded by emptiness, always, surrounded, bounded, filled with emptiness. I used to feel empty all the time. So I filled up with booze and chicken wings.

“Empty” means something so different now. Empty is full. I know that sounds like NewSpeak, and it’s hard to explain, but emptiness feels more like space, spaciousness, room to move, not this gnawing ravenous maw of need, but this open, wide, wide mind, wild mind, empty of thought, empty of preconception, empty of need — not a nihilistic empty but an emptiness that allows, allows for space, allows for fresh thoughts, allows for a new connection to every fresh moment. Huh. Guess these teachings are really beginning to sink in, take root, push up shoots.

Shoots — gardening. We talked about gardening. Planting seeds, growing radishes, small miracles. The other day someone said that when they spent a year here in south Florida and then went back to New York, they found themselves feeling like they’d missed something, finally realizing that what they’d missed was winter.

Me, I don’t miss winter. I’ve been back to Toronto in February twice in the past few years and it was bloody cold and thoroughly unpleasant, no thank you very much, my blood has thinned now, and I don’t miss winter.

But what I do find myself missing — in both senses of the word, actually — is spring. Well, not literally. It’s still spring when I get back to Canada each year at the beginning of May. But what I do miss out on is the rhythm of the planting season. I realize that when I’m not there for the end of winter and early spring, I don’t know/feel what’s happening with the weather, with the ground, the soil. How much snow cover did that flower bed get? Was there enough snow to keep the roses alive? Was there a thaw in January and then a cold snap that killed off the tulips? Were there crocuses in February? Did they come up where I planted them or did the squirrels move the bulbs? I don’t know these things anymore.

I didn’t know that I used to know/feel these things, instinctively, in my bones, like the cold gets into my bones on those icy-crisp days on the ski slopes. I didn’t know I had a knowing in my bones.


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