That Dang Exhale

“An Exhale” is one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written (so I’ve reblogged it a few times now). I go back and read it often, remembering the gravel road, the tinkle of the dog’s collar, and the rush of relief and grief that hit me all at once. I remember Little Foot’s little voice and the feeling of his small hand in mine.

Today and to me, this story still holds up (which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing). There have been too many senseless last exhales for so many who didn’t deserve it. It’s painful and overwhelming to think about.

If you need it, when I’m feeling crushed by…well…*gestures broadly at everything*, and I actually remember to do it, I place one hand over my heart and one on my belly. I pull in a breath as deep as it will go, hold it for 3…2…1…and then exhale slowly and thoughtfully. It helps for a second at least. Maybe it will help you, too.

I love you,
Jess

A Donkumentary

Three years ago, I posted an essay called, “An Exhale.” That story went on to be published in two nonfiction anthologies which can be found here and here —publications for which I’m not only proud, but grateful to have had the opportunity to share with others the potential catastrophe that hurricanes can bring: not just environmentally but emotionally and mentally as well.

Fast forward to today and I’m spending my morning dragging things inside, tieing others down, and cutting down heavy branches that look like they might be vulnerable in the hurricane-force winds that are headed this way from Laura. Although when I think of it, isn’t everything vulnerable in hurricane-force winds? Isn’t everything and everyone vulnerable all the time? I read once somewhere that you’ll walk past, on average, 16 murderers in your lifetime.

I also think that in the state of the world, we haven’t had…

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Softness

I’m sitting in my spot---the one in the far, left nook of the couch by the window that looks out towards the donkey’s barn and pasture---as my coffee cools and the night is swelling into its final, heavy moments before the prick of dawn. I spent the fifteen or so minutes before this trying to... Continue Reading →

Roots

It’s a chilly afternoon and I’ve finally decided to clear the weeds and old roots from the garden in order to prepare for a new, spring crop. My fall garden was a bust: I didn’t do enough research on planting in sticky, gumbo soil and we had a bizarre, hard freeze in mid-November which killed... Continue Reading →

Worlds in Worlds in Worlds

In addition to doing my part to rescue donkeys, I am also a yoga instructor. In fact, several years ago, I quit my cush job in oil and gas to chase a dream of teaching yoga full-time. So far, it’s worked out, although I often wonder if the corporate Grim-Reaper will come knocking one day... Continue Reading →

Cold Coffee and Gray Skies: A Morning Meditation on Togetherness

I relaxed my back against the coolness of the wrought-iron chair in which I’d been sitting and leaning forward for the past half-hour while pulling my smudged glasses from my face. On the desk in front of me, I closed the large, three-ring binder that is packed full of printouts of guided meditations that I... Continue Reading →

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