My EJC Responses,  Poetry

A Bold Move (Considering Sacred Spaces)

A Bold Move

She’s made her web across my window,
as if she knew looking out
and looking in
would make her world seem bigger.

It was a bold move, I think,
to build out in the open.

Her striped legs dance
across dew-sprinkled strands,
her body growing larger
as the heat of summer slips away.

She is the first sign
that things are changing.

I wish I could scoop her up
and take her with me,
let her spin an intricate design
in the corner of my new office.

But upsetting her home
would not make my house feel like one.

Old things in a new place often feel like
puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit.
They looked right before,
but now they aren’t quite
the right color or shape.

New spaces require new ways of being,
they offer up new corners for new thoughts.

Of course we pack up our memories,
smiles and old hurts in boxes we’ll open
on lonely, rainy nights.
But, we’ll give away things that no longer fit,
throw out broken fragments we’ve no use for.

In the garden, beneath the soil,
the bones of past pets
intertwine with crooked roots.
We cannot take them with us.

Some things, no matter how painful,
must be left behind.

Past her web I see nothing but green,
trees and grass that have protected us,
closed us in and off.

Our web is about to be cast further,
made transparent by proximity to others.
No longer the sound of frogs
or chickens in the early morning.
Instead, the din of traffic.

And our voices may sound different
against those painted walls.

But his hands will still brush my shoulder
in the same way, holding me together.
And my sacred spaces will be rebuilt
to fit the changes.

There will be new webs to lose myself in.
New spiders, fat with autumn,
heavy with anticipation,
peering in.

Photo: The European Cross Spider…a common sight in the Pacific Northwest. These little beauties begin showing up in August, tiny little specks in webs all over the garden and forest. But, they grow quickly as fall approaches. I noticed our first ones building webs between our porch planters. It was the first sign that autumn is just around the corner.

I’m currently packing up things for our move next week. And while I’m excited to be in a place with more space, it does mean moving closer to town, in a neighborhood with less green. It’s a bittersweet trade. But one thing I considered this morning, as I looked at the fattening spider outside my window, many of her kind will still grace the garden and the important things will remain.

Also, this is a chance to build things anew…spread out…be bold and spread our web across the window rather than hidden in the trees.

I am good at building a nest, and the prospect of turning this new house into a home that fits us now, is appealing. Shedding things that no longer fulfill our needs…it’s an opportunity to leave that weight behind, to put away the hardships and discord in our marriage, making a conscious choice to continue the journey.

Of course, we always bring our baggage with us, eh? I’m just looking forward to more storage space to stick it in and forget it.

If you are looking for a retreat prompt for today, try this..

Consider your sacred places. Focus of one thing in one place that symbolizes something important in your life.

For me, my sacred spaces include nature, my home, my writing space/office, and poetry. I tried to pull those things together in this poem…along with my apprehension and anticipation about moving, leaving behind spaces, and creating new ones. The garden spider was my focal point…mainly, because she was the thing I kept noticing as I gazed out the window for inspiration.

I know it may not seem all that erotic, and since this is an erotic journal challenge, you may be wondering why on earth I’m writing about spiders and webs and the stress of moving…but…my erotic self is all kinds of tied up in my sense of sacred space. When my space is uprooted and I don’t feel grounded, my erotic self is thrown in the water. To  keep it afloat – as it seems to have forgotten that it knows how to tread water – I’m casting it a life-vest: my ability to introspect my way back onto solid ground.

I envy those who carry their sacred space wholly inside themselves. For me, I feel most grounded when I have specific places of comfort to retreat to. It makes moving more stressful for me, as those places of comfort take time to create. But…there is also a sense of anticipation and creating them anew.

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