The word encourages a letting down, a deep down sigh of gratitude. Reprieve: a break from everything that weighs the mind, the body – and stops the soul from being heard.  My soul appears to be in a wait and see mode, not quite believing that her time has come.  Surely the outer clamor is about to pounce again – demand again participation in the worldly dance. 

For days and days I have  been responding to the requirements of the New York exhibit – being the one expected to pull all the artists of the family into a cohesive whole  for the sake of the Walter Anderson legacy exhibit. Walter Anderson would have long since escaped – loaded his skiff and met the sunrise enroute to Horn Island.  Answering emails and practicing various forms of friendly persuasion with family members would have been too alien a concept  to consider.  I am so like him in my tendency to insulate – to keep myself to myself and live in attendance to interior directives.  Yet I am far more easily pulled away and deafened by the outer appeal.

Being a mother from an early age, I learned to sense the needs and heed the cries of others even as my own needs languished and my cries became a background noise that I could ignore. Actually,  the insistent sound could never be denied for long. Even as I met the needs of child – and others who attached themselves to my susceptible heart – the dancer danced a secret, yet  increasingly desperate prelude to the dance she longed to dance.

My heart continues to be susceptible, even to gallery owners in New York. A peculiar ability to see all sides of any situation – almost to know the unvoiced truth behind the obvious agenda of the other person – compells me to do what I can to ease the way, to calm the clamor – imagined or actual.  Yet I take on the role of emissary or peace-maker even as stress accumulates and creates havoc in my own neglected system.

I have a cold, a gift from my baby grandson. Little love germs traveled from him to his nan – eagerly settling in to gestate until, fully-fledged, they manifested as the virus no one wants but me. I am just ill enough that everything out there is muted by my physical symptoms. Dear little symptoms – quietly coaxing me to yield, I accept you; you remind me of my need to breathe – to take a breather and be mindful of the miraculous flow.  I pause now – fingertips in humming stillness on the keys –  and feel the gentle rise and fall – the movement of my breathing body. Every part of me is real and present and at peace. So be it…


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2 Responses to “Reprieve”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Love to you, dear Leif, with your cold. Yield. Rest. If I weren’t a continent away, I would bring you a vat of chicken soup. Accept my virtual wish for you to have it–with a bay leaf.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I accept your love – and your virtual wish. Chicken soup with a bay leaf sounds like Mama. I’ve been thinking of her – talking to her – straight from the heart. And you… Thinking of you in these latter days of July… Possibilities abound…

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