The Gift Of Not Knowing Much At All.

1). Okay, so guys - I know so very, very few things. This week I had a tough conversation with a super good friend. It was tough because it was awkward, not because we were being bitches. And it was awkward because being human fucking beings is just damn awkward a lot of the time, and for girls who are used to tight girlfriend-relationships fading to black after a period of time, we were in uncharted territory. So we talked about some stuff and we both felt unsettled. Then we hung up and later I drove to the restaurant. As I got close, I got nailed in the back of the head with some deep and obvious shit: If you are going to be friends with her, simply be her friend. Be present. Do not ask her to be anyone other than who she is, ever. You picked her because you love her. And if you're going to keep picking her, you need to pick all of her. When you don't have the cosmic and bodily energy to show up in a real and still and present way, do not show up at all; stay home and replenish yourself so you can show up the right way next time. The right way embodies loving presence. Do it. Be it.

When I talked to my girl today, when we were finally really getting somewhere together, I told her that our thing had made me remember what a student of life I am. I'm still learning how to be a proper friend, you guys. It's pretty remedial stuff, isn't it? Or is it not? I don't know which it is. But I do know that it was a damn relief to really see and hear how basic this lesson is - the lesson of genuine presence - and how much work I have ahead of me to truly embody it. I know so very little, but I am a desperate student, craving and begging for lessons.

And, friends, hear this: we gotta stay open for all of it - the reminders of novice status, the uncomfortable conversations, and the sparkling nuggets of opportunity that show up, intact, when we simply say: I'm new to all of this good stuff. Thanks for helping me learn.

Because it's a pretty fucking sweet gift for someone to give us, no? The gift of real growth? I will unwrap that shit forever.

2). I rolled around on my living room floor tonight with two happy, tired, amped-up kids. They were sticking their feet in my face. They licked me (I HATED IT). One kid had one arm pinned and the other had the other arm pinned and they were both trying desperately to expose my armpits so they could tickle me. They were laughing to the point of tears. I was snorting. Then my daughter nose-planted and switched from laugh-crying to hurt-crying. I checked for blood and potential brokenness, and when I found neither, I helped her giggle again. Then they went and brushed their teeth and climbed willingly into bed.

Our whole day was like this (with less licking). It was officially dreamy. You guys, I'm learning how to be silly. And my kids fucking love it. Instead of getting annoyed, I'm learning to choose ridiculous. Instead of eventually reprimanding them for violating bad-language rules (it's clearly absurd for me to be enforcing rules about swearing and saying poop too many times, what with my well-established penchant for cursing [though I do not, by some miracle, curse in front of my kids ([but I don't judge you if you do and WHAT THE FUCK WITH ALL OF THESE ABSOLUTELY MISUSED PARENTHESES)]]), I'm simply joining them in their innocent silliness. It's kind of a revelation. I feel a little self-conscious, but keep reminding myself that I've wiped their asses and picked hard snot out of their noses so they're really the ones who should consider embarrassment.

Going straight for silly is loosening all of us right up. They're more at ease, I'm more present with them because I'm not being distracted by my self-created aggravation, and (SHOCKER!) they're doing what I want them to do more often than they're not because who wants to listen to an asshole, really? Their persistence and patience has paid off. I'm impressed.

3). I can feel myself packing up for something. I kind of feel like a fern when a fern is in the fiddlehead stage: clearly becoming something else; delicious right now if prepared properly (boil your fiddleheads!); and, when all is said and done, a sturdy, easy-breezy weed that looks pretty in the wind and adds a general sense of comfort to the landscape around it.

Wow. I guess I want to be a fern. (This is not an invitation to start giving me fern-themed gifts, please and thank you.)

For awhile now I've been embarrassed by how completely drawn I am to a spiritual way of living. I've had a hard time mixing that desire with all of my obvious (and less obvious) flaws. Can I swear like I do and still be virtuous? Can I eat carnitas and drink espresso like a junkie and still be in the club? And most importantly, can I fuck up over and over and over again and still claim to be on the path? I really think the answer is yes, to all of it.

This feeling in my belly, the one that's telling me it's time to hunker down and get serious - it's freaking me out a little bit because I know it's the kind of knowing I can't ignore. It's the Heavens. It's the Universe. It's my soul's divine intuition. It's not me and so I know I must listen.

I don't want to become a saccharin, false-positive, guru-hunting spiritual seeker. I don't want to preach. I don't want to claim arrival. And so I guess I don't have a clear idea about how to pursue the kind of spiritual living I know is possible - the kind that allows #2 up there to be natural and easy - while maintaining the raw, excitable, passionate, curse-prone parts of me that I'm learning to appreciate and enjoy.

As I typed that last sentence it occurred to me, loudly, that there will be no clarity beyond this: embody it. Don't think about how to be present, be present. Don't overthink it. Be it.

Oh, and HA: I just looked up at the pink trim in my studio. A year or so ago I wrote on the wood, with gold Sharpie,

"Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it."
-Epictetus

Well, then. I guess that's that.

4). Does anyone know when the new season of Homeland comes out? After all of this learning and thinking I could really use some binge-watch-worthy television.

Love, love, love you,
*E