Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Let go. Regulate consumption.

I'm still thinking about scale.

Today, who determines scale.

Kevin is really good at taking stands, positions, setting goals. If it weren't for me, I'm quite sure he would have lived out of a van for a period of time. He may have settled into a trailer, eventually built a tiny house, or crafted a shelter from cob. All fine options, but I am fond of indoor plumbing. We have on-going conversations about consumption, often within our semi-regular State of Our Unions. During various moments he will shed all spending. He's fine with eating at home. Clothing purchasing is anxiety-riddled (Sweatshops! Dyes! Labor rights! Nudity it is!). He mainly enjoys buying experiences-- concert tickets, toys for the garden, tickets to travel.

In this we absolutely agree. Experience is far richer than tangible stuff, whose role in our life shifts from excitement at acquiring to often burdensome clutter. We certainly prioritize consuming experiences. I enjoy plenty of what Kevin does, but often skew towards yoga classes, workshops, music lessons, and various skill shares.

For years, we lived within our means. Recent decisions-- purchasing a house, furthering education-- have shifted our small economy. We're fine and working to feel fine. We do look to increase our individual and collective financial literacy while practicing mindfulness in our financial decisions. While Kevin would happily undertake an experiment to only eat what we grow or some other stretch of our budgeting imagination, I prefer to move gradually. Rather than experiment with deprivation, I want to understand what certain comforts, services, and purchases mean to me. In this way, I can often better assess what serves and what to relinquish. Case in point, neither of us gets much from cable TV. Years ago we dropped that and have been very satisfied with TV viewing online, via Netflix, or from library rentals. We still watch more TV than either of us would like, but our viewing is considered. There's no mindless channel-surfing, which feels good to both of us.

While it's not terribly costly, I do think about my addiction to purchasing a toasted bagel and iced coffee most mornings. It's better consumed at a cafe, than prepared at home. At home I'm less comfortable. I look at the dishes I should wash, the floor I should sweep, the garden I should harvest and feel stressed, or at least distracted. At a cafe, chores are someone else's concern. I'm free to daydream, read, or write. I crave that half hour of uninterrupted peace. The fact that it tastes both savory and sweet is gravy.

I've considered actively working to create that haven at home, but in my fantasies it requires major home renovation-- more consumption.

I actively recognize the benefits of simplifying, streamlining, limiting. More and more, I find that this practice of mindfulness and release lures me in. I'm increasingly aware of my problematic behaviors-- darting away for a half hour in a cafe most mornings, spending too much time in front of screens, or on social media. And yet, the balance hasn't yet tipped in favor of me letting go. Well, more accurately, I've let go of plenty of what doesn't serve, but there are a few last hold-outs.

The motivation isn't purely resentment towards clutter, debt, or the political costs of consumption. It's also the allure of the space releasing creates. In that space I know there is creativity. There's writing my own stories in lieu of consuming someone else's, finding peace instead of a mild headache and vague guilt, there's always the unexpected emerging when I offer it my full attention.

This past week I read Judith Levine's, Not Buying It. Kevin & I had fairly different responses to this read. He felt like Levine was a little wishy-washy in her pursuit of not consuming. I certainly saw her telling of her year-long experiment in not buying anything past essentials nuanced. Perhaps I related more strongly to her perspective. While acknowledging the costs of consumption-- labor exploitation, environmental devastation, cluttered minds and homes, waste-- she also charted historic relationships to purchasing and owning. Obviously, we don't buy simply from need but we don't buy simply from weakness either. Desire, community, and culture all shape and are shaped by transactions. Ultimately, I began to view consumption as less of a personal process, less to do with will and discipline.

Let me back-up and find a clarifying comparison-- I often cringe when environmentalism is painted as a project of individual choice. If you buy a certain light-bulb and support eco-friendly companies, you're an environmentalist. Maybe. And those are fine behaviors. They often spur on more and more environmental consideration. A person who takes the above actions may be compelled to compost and recycle. Ultimately, the most effective way to support the environment, and all who depend upon it, is to push back at corporations. Industrial devastation is the hugest threat to the planet. No matter how many light-bulbs I buy, I can't counter the impact of industry. But I can find ways to push for more strenuous regulation, educate others, boycott, or take direct action.

Consumption is very clearly related to environmental waste. Given that we live in times of unprecedented access, many people have the ability to accumulate in previously inconceivable ways. As Levine painted her portrait of consumption through the years I began to see that this generation in this region is not unexpectedly gluttonous-- there is just simply more access than ever before.

However, if we paid the real cost of goods, without industry subsidies, chances are, we would purchase more mindfully. If gas cost what it does in Europe, chances are, we would figure out another way to commute.   If stores weren't lined with disposable goods, collectively, we would be far less tempted to wastefully spend.

I'm feeling better about myself. Consumption isn't solely about discipline and will.

I concede that I find it near impossible to imagine that the US government would regulate rampant capitalism. Obviously not. It is their holy grail. But it helps me to understand my personal place in the whole. I'm not a shallow, weakly-willed minion. I am actively working to make good choices in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Back to scale. I've lived in places with empty shelves at the stores. While visiting Moscow, Russia, or studying for three months in Havana, Cuba, I certainly craved easy access-- convenience. But there was also something clarifying in making do with less. It felt akin to a fast or cleanse. No one would advocate fasting perpetually and unendingly. That becomes starvation. Similarly, cutting ourselves off from transactions is potentially problematic. But active limitation can press refresh on what's important and what can be gained in the space between ready access. We can stoke ingenuity or remember ourselves more fully.  

Some of us can will ourselves towards limited access but behavioral control.  For some, like me, it doesn't last.  The dam bursts and I wind up consuming more rampantly in response to the self-imposed deprivation.  However, understanding context, history, and myself, are slowly allowing me to supplement problematic shopping with mindful experience.  And still fighting the man.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Note to self: A bug bite does not foretell doom

Kevin is very zen about mosquito bites.  He attributes it to so many years of working hard, outdoors, and to his will.  He doesn't want to be driven inside so he perserveres when temperatures climb over 100 degrees.  He doesn't want to feel so affected so he's almost willed himself past an allergy to poison ivy.  He can be doused in it and not show a rash.  However, he comes home & I get a rash from doing his laundry.  The other night he laid in the hammock and watched a mosquito sting him.  He felt the sting and developed an initial welt, but eventually it faded and didn't itch.

I'm the opposite.  I've been told by Chinese herbalists, Acupuncturists, and Ayurvedic practitioners that I have a lot of "fire" & that symptoms manifest on my skin.  I'm so allergic to poison ivy that one time it went systemic-- in my blood stream.  I am a magnet for mosquitoes and welt immediately.  Bugs love to bite me.  I itch and moan.  When the temperature crawls to the mid 90s I feel like my brain is melting.

But I think there's something to Kevin's approach.  Years ago a friend saw a spider bite on my leg.  "You have that because you think so much.  You're a nervous type of person.  If you were calmer, the welt would be smaller or not at all."  You could roll your eyes and say he's nuts-- that our responses are strictly physical.  I felt like there was something there.  I am that type of person.  My mind is always going.  I do get nervous and anxious.  I do hype myself & almost always unnecessarily.  Perhaps if I did learn to control my mind, as the yogis instruct, my responses to these stimuli would be milder.

It's dusk as I write.  Just now, I went into the basement to collect laundry.  I walked to the yard to hang the clothes on the line.  As I emerged onto the grass I was struck by the cooler temperature.  I felt calm and content.  Something zapped my toe like electricity.  I looked down and saw some big, black and neon bug.  I don't know what it was, but it left an impression.  The feeling was so strong that I gasped.  Immediately I started moaning, "What now?  Was it a bee?  Now it will be hard to be on my feet!  My shoulder just healed!  What is going on?  Why me?"  (Seriously.  I thought, "why me?")

And then.  "It was a bug.  You were in its way, maybe you threatened its home, maybe it was just hungry.  Who knows what it was.  Don't go on WebMD.  You'll diagnose yourself with encephalitis.  Calm down.  Let the sting fade.  Hang the laundry."

So I did.  I continued walking to the lines and hung the laundry.  My toe throbbed and then ached.  I noticed the sensation subsiding.  I saw what may have been a mouse run under a garden bed.  I saw a chipmunk dart through the blueberries.  Butterflies and birds dive-bombed corn and potatoes and tomatoes.  The light was soft and the branches bobbed in response to breeze.  It's just life.  We get stung and injured and slowed because we just do.  It happens.  It happens to all forms of life.  Within our control is our response.  We can freak out and swell up and be stopped, or we can calm down.  Know that it's not personal.  There's no great intent to persecute.

I know that not everything is within our control.  Injuries and diseases are on a continuum and certainly we can't always mitigate more serious ailments.  But I'm beginning to be a believer in the power to co-exist with my flying insect brethren.

I recently read an article about various cultural attitudes to natural disasters.  Obviously, people throughout the world are affected by wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, and other catastrophic events.  Their response is influenced by personal and cultural background.  I imagine these events, having not been victim to one, as aberrations.  How do these things happen?  Why?  What does it mean?  To a degree, those questions are worthwhile, particularly when the event was caused or intensified by human intervention, like with earthquakes occurring in response to fracking, or an uptick in hurricanes due to climate change.  Taking a longer, historic view, we also see these events simply happening from time to time.  Because forces beyond us have work to do.  Because, as part of the network of life, we are affected.

The author of this article had personally experienced natural disasters in the United States and Guatemala.  Her neighbors in the United States expressed outrage akin to mine, "why me?  Why did this happen?"  In Guatemala, there wasn't a sense that what happened was unnatural nor personal.  Her neighbors were Mayan Kakchiquel.  They rebuilt and moved on.  But they didn't feel that something wrong had occurred.  They live in the world.  The world is dynamic.  It's movements impact us.  We respond.  And we chose how we respond.

I'm working to calm my mind.  I don't want to feel so panicked by a bug bite or to note some overwhelming trend towards doom when it happens on the heels of a cold.  I want to be aware and work within my body and environment healthfully.  And to respond to larger forces with a sense of calm and presence.  I'm a small speck in a much bigger picture.  Bug's gotta do what a bug's gotta do.  Earth's gotta move as the earth's gotta move.  I'm happy to be given a place, for a time.

P.S. Kevin thinks it was a bee sting.  And he said that bee stings are great for your immune system.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In Pain

Last week I came down with some terrible summer cold.  At first, I didn't even realize I was unwell because I couldn't differentiate general malaise from the extreme heat from symptoms.  As I became aware that I had caught something, I slowed down and worked on healing.  Happily, I felt it lifting last Sunday.  I woke up with a stiff neck-- did I sleep funny?-- but felt energy creeping back.  I began planning to work in the garden & get back to a myriad of other projects that I'd neglected.

And then.  Sunday night.  The stiffness in my neck began tightening like a fist.  A general ache became active pain.  It was a challenge to lay down and a greater challenge to get back up.  I felt so limited, thwarted, disempowered.  I hoped that a good night sleep might soften whatever was clenching in my neck and shoulder.  Instead, I couldn't sleep well due to the pain and woke with even greater intensity.  I couldn't lean my head back (which happens when you change a shirt or brush your hair).  Any sudden movement was excruciating. It felt like something in my head or neck would potentially break apart.

It was too late to sub out my yoga classes so I taught only by verbal instruction.  Almost no demonstration and almost no assisting students.  I couldn't trust my own body to be responsive to theirs.  As always, the students were lovely and generous.  Several students demonstrated poses that I could not.

Both Kevin & a friend alternately rubbed the shoulder when they were home.  I thought about food that might help the muscles relax, but ultimately wanted food that comforted me emotionally.  I'm so grateful to be generally healthy.  I work hard to nourish my health and make use of mobility.  I was so eager to near full capacity again.  It felt so frustrating to once more be held back.

When I was still, I felt relief.

Recently, I've been watching my behaviors and assessing which serve & which limit.  I've also felt a growing urge to gather a bag and head to a cabin somewhere remote.  I want to just be.  I want to be where I can listen to wind and animals and water.  I don't want screens nor unnatural light.  I thought about this desire, which is gaining so much presence, and asked myself why my home doesn't offer what I'm currently seeking?  If I didn't live there, I think it would.  But the main obstacles are self-created: internet & TV.

I've recently felt pain in my thumbs, wrists, and shoulders that I know are related to playing solitaire, texting, and checking the internet on my IPhone.  I feel my energy drain if I watch TV-- now understand, Kevin and I can only see what is on a Netflix player on TV.  We don't have channels nor cable.  Our TV consumption is limited, but it's still too much.  I feel my attention being watered down by a Facebook compulsion.

I want relief and I need to create it.  I've been watching these behaviors and know that I need to reach a tipping point where my desire for full attention, ease, and energy outweighs my addictions to these screens.

However, when my shoulder clenched up and I could only sit, I didn't want to hold a book.  I didn't want anything but what felt familiar and comforting.

I look forward to healthy behaviors feeling familiar and comforting.

By and large I think I have them.  But we all have areas where we fall short of our goal.  These are the areas I'm currently finding.

A dear Aunt saw me cautiously inhabiting my body, protecting it from sudden touch or movement, and she said, "That's tension."  I nodded in affirmation and she said, "No.  Everything is related to your mental and emotional self.  There's tension and your body is expressing it."

I sat with that assessment and explored these areas of tension.  The tension between living in ways that truly serve me versus the ways I'm accustomed to.  The tension of self-doubt, discipline, while working to not be quite so rigid.  Where I find stress and where I find opportunity.  Yup, there's tension.  There always is.  But sometimes it gets out of hand and takes a vice grip on your shoulder.

And asks you to sit still.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

White anti-racist ally who wants more from other whites

As a white, anti-racist ally, I'm troubled & angered by the response to Trayvon Martin's murder.

Trayvon Martin was the victim.  Criminalizing him in public discourse and during the trial of his murderer is akin to blaming a rape victim.  

When Black people are victim to crime, their aggressors are not prosecuted as vigorously as when white or light-skinned people are victim.

Yes, Zimmerman is of Latino-descent.  Many white people seem to think that his identity blurs the racial aspects of this encounter.  He is a light-skinned man who saw a Black youth as criminal.  It doesn't matter that he wasn't "pure-bred" caucasian.  Viewing young Black men as only criminal isn't exclusive to the white gaze.  Its prevalence is unacceptable.

I was raised in a homogenous, largely white, largely upper-middle class community.  I remember being 18, interning with Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and being mentored by a Black woman in her 40s.  When my internship concluded, she hugged me.  I remember her and I remember that moment.  It was the first time I had developed a close enough relationship with a Black person that we hugged.  I was deeply troubled by my own lack of exposure to other people, communities, and experiences.

Since that time I've had the privilege to develop close friendships and relationships with people of a multitude of backgrounds.  I've been told by Black friends that my ignorance was deeply painful to them.  I was simply unaware of their reality.  Race wasn't part of my day to day experience, because whiteness is considered baseline "normal" in the region where I was raised and largely lived.  I'm grateful to these friends for patiently explaining their reality to me and answering my questions when this was not their responsibility.  It is my responsibility.  It is each of our responsibilities to investigate, listen, and be attentive to various experiences.  Why?  Because it betters us.  

I still have significant work to do to be attentive towards institutional racism, interpersonal racism, and the latent prejudices I carry.  My family is only a few generations away from being slave holders.  I remember acute racism from my grandparents in Georgia.  I think about reconciling these experiences.  I'm certainly not responsible for any actions other than my own, but I am positioned to understand the context in which I live. The access and privilege I receive, unearned, has to be redistributed towards larger swaths of the population around me.  In this way I can once more find scale.  White skin makes me worth no more than anyone else.  

I strenuously urge other white folks to listen to people of color.  Listen to their experiences.  Read.  Learn.  Don't cling so tightly to what you feel you have, deserve, earned.  Did you really?  What does that mean about you?  

I got into a seven sister's college because I was raised in an environment that prepared me for that education and I had parents who could pay the tuition.  I didn't deserve that education more than anyone else.  And that doesn't mean that I'm a terrible person.  It means that I used that education to the best of my ability, and I know the world would be a better place is we were operating from a level playing field.  If I didn't get into that college, I would still have been able to live and breathe.  

Don't let the world be a place of "us and them."  Don't allow swaths of the world's population to strike you as fearsome.  Don't let the world be a place of such tumult.  Breathe deeply, find your own humanity (underneath your resume and degrees and zip-code) and LISTEN.  Listen the way you wanted to be heard about deeply traumatic experiences.  Listen the way you needed to be heard about struggles that made you feel alone and isolated.  Listen, and be compassionate.  If the person talking to you is angry, let them be.  Understand anger as a valid response to injustice.  Let people feel.  Let yourself feel.  Let the process of making space for one another deepen both of your humanity.

Cheryl Strayed, as columnist Dear Sugar, wrote a bright, insightful reply to a query about jealousy and privilege.  Her response speaks specifically to class privilege, but is applicable to white privilege too:
"Privilege has a way of fucking with our heads the same way a lack of it does... You’ve been given a tremendous amount of things that you did not earn or deserve, but rather that you received for the sole reason that you happen to be born into a family who had the money...  I believe our early experiences and beliefs about our place in the world inform who we think we are and what we deserve and by what means it should be given to us."

Trayvon may have been any number of things, but bottom line, he was human.  Zimmerman is too, and given that he lives, he needs to be held accountable.  All lives matter and we need to demonstrate that to one another.  Making space for another doesn't cede your own.

Unfuck your head.  Be human.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Live in scale

I'm starting to think that limitations are sacred.

I said that to a friend yesterday & she responded, "that's why we bind in yoga."

I have smart friends.

There are tons of things I want.  I want no financial limits.  I want to travel wherever without worry about budget or allotted vacation time... or sometimes even potential safety risks.  I want things to go "my way" (whatever that is).  I want my metabolism to be faster.  I want to need less sleep.

I'm pretty clueless about what I need.  Usually after the fact, I can recognize something that I originally interpreted as restrictive as ultimately useful.  I see that by waiting, budgeting, working towards whatever my want may have been, helped me better respect and utilize its realization.

Beyond that, why should I get whatever I want?

I have had the huge fortune and privilege to travel extensively.  I've seen that most of the world does not share my access.  There are financial barriers as well as border impediments.

Whenever I travel I learn about different ways to craft one's life.  I often see innovative partnerships with the environment, such as rain barrels, clothes lines, intricately formed and spatially-efficient gardens, community collaborations, and collectives.  These efforts are crafted intentionally, sometimes out of necessity and other times out of a desire to live in scale with one's environment.

It's such an important reminder.  Most of the world's human population does not receive what they want.  Unfortunately, too many don't even receive what they need.  Not only humans, but animals by and large live in scale.  They eat seasonally or what they can access (often around human interference).  Plants absorb the nutrients and resources that they can reach.  All living things are contained in some way, hemmed in.

I remember saying to a friend years ago that when I had extra money I felt my resolve towards projects I deemed worthy waver.  I would feel comfortable and a bit softer.  When my resources were smaller, I felt more motivated and also more connected to other people and living beings.

I think of that now.  I've been feeling certain limitations recently.  Restrictions pressing against what I want.  I'm beginning to be grateful for these perceived boundaries.  Why should I have everything I want?  I don't think that would make me a better person.  I don't think that would increase my capacity for compassion.  I don't think it would add to my sense of solidarity and affinity with others, especially those disenfranchised, with whom I hope to align.  I don't think I would pay as close attention to some of the governing factors in the lives of animals nor plants.

I'm bound.  I'm bound into a network of living beings and resources.  I want to stay within that web, which by definition has boundaries, perimeters, limits.  They are sacred.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Viking Gods & Revolutionary Priests: Travel-sparked learning

The other day I readied to purchase flights to Guatemala for the retreats I'm leading this winter.  Kevin said, "why don't we stick around a bit?  Travel some the two of us?"  "Hmm..." I responded, "Belize?  El Salvador?  Elsewhere in Guatemala?  Mexico?  Honduras?"  "El Salvador," he answered decisively.

OK then.  Tickets are temporarily postponed.  Lonely Planet is ordered.  I'm excited to learn more about another corner of the world.

The first thing that came to mind is Liberation Theology.  Kevin worked with the Catholic Worker in Norfolk, VA as a teenager.  The beliefs and actions were highly influential to this young activist.  I'm increasingly interested in faith as the galvanizing force in social justice.  I feel like so much of my own social justice work stems from my evolving beliefs.  Liberation Theology is linked to beliefs of groups like the Catholic Worker.  It compelled many members of the Catholic Church to fight alongside the poor and disenfranchised in El Salvador and elsewhere in Latin America.  I've always been curious about this belief system, but also about it's history in the region.  I reached out to some friends I thought might be better versed in this field and they've sent me suggested readings.  I'm so excited to learn more about this movement where it was so influential.

This is one of my favorite aspects of travel-- immersive learning.  In Vietnam, I had a huge stack of novels and histories by Vietnamese authors, as well as works by those who lived in Vietnam and were affected by such a lush, rich space.  I can't wait to return, and look forward to reading Thich Nhat Hanh and others influenced by Vietnamese Buddhism & Animism.  In Argentina & Cuba I read memoirs of Che Guevara, histories, short stories, and epic poems.  Gauguin took on new depth after visiting Panama.  Travel is an opportunity to learn deeply.

I've also found that host community members are often grateful when they see a visitor reading and learning more about their host environment.  I'm preparing a yoga retreat in Iceland & becoming better versed in the rich literary history of this island.  There are Viking epics and novels and poems that are referenced in daily conversation.  It seems to me that an experience would be limited if those sweeping landscapes weren't partly back-drops to these age-old stories.  I can't wait to become better versed in this canon.

Out of respect for other humans, for spaces, and experiences, I want to learn world histories, stories, songs, and graphic depictions.  There's only so much any of us can digest in any moment, but that's why I'm thankful for building in annual international travel.  Every trip, another opportunity.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monsoon season

The world feels soggy.

I don't dig complaining about the weather.  Natural systems do what they need to do & generally, we're best served by just gratefully acknowledging.  So I'm working to trust that all this rain is necessary and that a humid, sticky world is the one in which I should currently live.

The garden is a bonanza.  The mosquitoes might take over the world.  There is endless green.

My hands stick to the staircase railings.  I've repeatedly cleaned the floor and yet it still feels gummy.  My clothes won't dry on the indoor rack & we've elected to not own a dryer.

Everything smells musty.

So here I sit, saturated.  The storms have kept me home more than usual.  For that, I'm grateful.  I've felt tired and have at times been genuinely soothed by the relentless, pounding rain.  The ground is so inundated that there have been flash flood warnings for days.  When I have had to drive, a few times I've been caught in sudden storms.  My visibility disappeared while sheets of rain flooded the windshield.  Road lanes became lakes.  It was scary.

Now I'm cautious.  Having been caught twice now I've stayed home a few times.  The storms are so localized that I've seen them impact greatly one neighborhood while a zip-code away stays dry.

It's as though South Jersey has been transplanted to the Caribbean, or Southeast Asia.

What are the rituals in monsoon season?  I remember my semester in Cuba.  I could set my watch by the afternoon aguaceros.  I'd dash into a cafe and wait while the sidewalks steamed.  When I'm my best self I rush indoor plants out to the nutritious rain and often pause and allow myself to receive the same.

I've emptied rain barrels and drained out the greywater.  I want to feel fresh but instead I feel steamy, sweaty, and always slightly unclean.

I invite in the wind.  I invite in the thunder.  I invite in movement.  I invite in what is needed.  I invite in my own soggy impatience.  I invite in grey skies and thick clouds and heaviness.  I invite in.  I receive.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The time when I was known

There is night and
it weights thickly
and it protects us from
light and exposure and
it lands around us
defining our

There is us, within the
car, hands warm around cups of
latte mixed with hot
chocolate and sweet liquid mixed
with cold, crisp night.
The blurred edge between black
sky, headlights, your profile (driving),
my hands warm, my breath visible, the
radio playing defining
the edge of our

There is freedom to drive to
go to be in the safety of
our chosen sound, of
our exploratory conversation (our
stories), of sweetness on our
tongues, possibility on
our lips, the knowledge that
tonight will end, this
will pass, we will
move on and no longer be
young, and warm, and cold,
and curious and slowly
defining this space
between us

There is now a memory of
driving fast down open
roads with Elvis Costello singing to
(just) us, hot, sweet liquid down my
throat, your body just breaths
away from mine, and comfort
(deep) comfort because the night
is around us
the cold is around us
but between my hands I touch

There is a sense that it's endless that
night that space that feeling of being
fast and free and warm and cold and
protected and near that
it exists in some parallel universe that
I could somehow reach out to it
again, the quiet intimacy of being
known for the first time of
being held against
a frigid night
of knowing where I end where
you begin