The word "Bipolar" can saw through a sentence and leave the end dangling from a bloody stump. It doesn't have to be all bad though. Outside the shadowy context of mental illness, the word also connotes polar opposites, as in the Earth's magnetic poles, the twin serpents of the caduceus, and the double helix formation of DNA. 

In a mythological sense, "bipolar" was an essential part of the beginning of life. When Mother Eve bit the apple of knowledge, perhaps she hadn't been duped by a serpent (who perhaps was a symbol of her rapid ability to shed her old skin.) Maybe she was like, "Well, here we go." With the weighty sense of an eternally significant choice, maybe she tore a chunk of the sweet fruit flesh with her teeth, the veil was instantly lifted, and her mind blasted open to the possibilities. 

She set into motion nothing less than the cycle of life and death. Without her creatrix force, maybe we'd still be wandering around in ignorance, shells of humans without the possibility to "sin", procreate, die, get dirty, and get clean again.

That's one of the reasons I still love Eve and her story. Even though it was written by dudes, shat on and twisted up by the patriarchy, we still found a way to make it right and whole. 

I spent a lot of my life trying to pull that veil back over my eyes. I didn't want to see all the things. It was a way of not fully living. Everyone does it to a certain degree.

Once I decided to look behind that curtain, just like for Eve, it was a point of no return. Once I had chosen to see, I couldn't unsee. Beyond the first veil, there was a closet door, a cement block wall, and other clever barriers I'd built to protect myself. 

Since the first breakthrough, I've purposely chosen to chisel away and sometimes explode the obstacles. Most of the time the obstacles are lies I've been believing about myself. With each step, I approach a truer version of myself, and therefore the divine. Yirah.

I don't want to let myself down. When my soul gets back home and Mother Eve is waiting, I want her smile in the grand cosmic mirror to say, "Sach Indra Kaur, your thunderous success in seeking truth resonated even here in the heavens."

My Heart

Watching my son
Walk away from the house, 
A sweet treat in his hand
For a friend in need,

I had to readjust my glasses.
Instead of a 10-year-old
With a floppy backpack,
I saw an older man,

His grandfather
And an armful of produce
For frail neighbors
Or aging friends 

Who are you? I asked.
He kept walking
To deliver his gift
But called over his shoulder with a warm grin:

I am kind and strong.

Not Crying

I am working on a piece about Grief. 

When I saw the call for submissions, I set down my mug and my phone. I twisted my hair into a bun and started typing. I knew I was supposed to answer this call.

I know grief in many forms. I name it when it arrives and that reminds me not to swallow it. It will find a place to bloom inside you. Instead, I let it wrap me in a hazy gray bubble where my heart is protected for a time. It walks beside me.

I was startled last week when I got some great news over the phone. I hadn't realized how much I had been worrying (expecting grief) about this until I cried in relief. My son was standing with me and we hugged. 

He said, "Wow, you're really good at not crying."

I dropped my shoulders and tilted my head with a smile because it was a funny thing to say. He was right. I wasn't letting myself cry. I was in that just-about-to-cry state. 

Since then, I have been just-about-to-cry several times a day. 

Naming grief and greeting it when it arrives isn't enough. I must also let it speak and listen to it. Give it time to be felt and understood.

This is a step on the path to wholeness.

A poem about words

My plan is working. My word for the year FLOW is meant to focus my energies on creating. I'm incubating a novel. That is where I spend most of my time.

To support that process I've been working through The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  The final words in the book are a poem that begin with “I wish I could take language…”

Here’s my poem/prayer borrowing her idea:

I can barely see you with my eyes
I have to look with my heart to find you

I wish my words could flip all your switches
Smash those barriers
Rip off the bandaids
And open your airways

I wish my words could light your fire
Kick over trash cans
Break the glass
And allow you to feel

I wish my words could erase the question marks
Replace them with periods
And parentheses that hold complete breaths
And fucking exclamation points

I wish my words could soften your heart
Heal your blindness
Recover all your pieces
And let you realize your true strength

Until then, I'll keep writing
And find you with my heart

2019 Word for the Year

I'm still living Ignite from 2017 and Yirah from 2018. They are part of me forever.

There were several contenders for next year's word. Two favorites that didn't make the cut were STORY and ENTHUSIASM.

The word STORY makes me feel cozy, cared for, and heard. It means speaking, connecting, writing, and listening. 

We have a huge role in creating our life stories. Wshape the stories of our past by choosing the lens through which to view them, whether or not we share them, and how.

It also means living in a highly intentional way and giving all of myself --honestly and without fear-- to relationships, parenting, and creative pursuits. This will make my story the richest and most fulfilling it can be. 

Stories can literally heal people. They educate, validate, comfort, and stretch us into new fields of view. But the word STORY doesn't push me enough.

ENTHUSIASM comes from the Greek "filled with God". I found this linguistic treasure while reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. The etymology of this word is a secret gift and I'll definitely return to it. It felt close, but not quite right.

My word for 2019 appeared in my freewriting again and again. 

The word FLOW feels big to me because I cannot define the edges of it. In keeping with YIRAH from last year, it helps me step into a larger space. 

It reminds me to show up so that I can be in the flow on a regular basis. 

It's the word I need to carry me through all my creative endeavors for the year. When I stray off course and lose inspiration, it will draw me back to the heart of things.

I'll lift my hand until I feel the current rushing, throw out a tether and let myself be carried somewhere mystical. Lots of somewheres - all connected by a thread of seeking truth.