The wheel is turning
and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go
and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back
and you can’t stand still
This morning, I took out my tarot deck and pulled a card, it was the Wheel of Fortune. A perfect card for today, as the wheel of the year turns, people are born and people pass away, and life will never be the same.
Yesterday, someone very close to me died, after a battle with cancer. He was young and joyful. He had a way of sticking to a person’s heart. Lots of people who haven’t seen Paul in years are mourning him, remembering the fun times they had with this sweet soul. He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend whom I feel so honored to know. My heart is heavy with loss.
I met Paul at Green Mountain College, where we were both freshmen. We took a lot of classes together over four years of college, including a block course on the Hudson River that solidified our friendship through adventures from the Adirondacks down to New York City. My (to be) husband and Paul loved to play guitar together, and I had the pleasure of hearing their music and singing along with them. Paul always encouraged me to sing, something I am quite shy about. One of our favorites was, “Mississippi Halfstep.” I have so many great memories of Paul, including the Halloween when he dressed up as a pirate, complete with a bottle or rum.
Josh and Paul and I went to many Phish shows together. Paul and I had a ridiculous interpretive dance we would do to the song, “Theme From the Bottom.” The highpoint of the dance is the line, “but keep what’s important, and know who’s your friend,” at which point we would gather up all our friends in a giant group hug. At one Phish show in Indiana, I remember Paul lighting off fireworks while I hid behind a car, nervous, but also loving it. In Indiana, Josh took this picture, which we call, “Paul Hartnett, guitar god.” Later on, when Birch was born, Paul and Birch developed a close bond. Just this morning, Birch asked me whether Paul was an adult or a kid. “He was an adult,” I responded, to which Birch replied, “No. Paul told me that he was a kid.”
Today is Bliss’s 2nd birthday. Bliss is my dream baby. He was born at home, born into water, into his parents loving arms. My labor and delivery of Bliss was a testament to the power and strength of women everywhere, something that is all too often covered up in this culture. Women’s bodies are amazing and powerful. They are strong and nurturing, and they can bring life into the world. I wish that all women could know this: their personal power and how it resides in love.
Bliss has an incredible laugh, and he blesses us with that laughter many times every day. In the last few weeks he has started talking up a storm, experimenting with the potty, and insisting “no me!” when I try to help him get out of his car seat. He is independent and confident, but he also knows the value of a good cuddle. Bliss is determined to do everything his older brother, Birch, does and is happiest when the four of us are home together.
In Waldorf education, the first 6 years of a child’s life are considered “dreamtime,” when they are slowly awakening to the world. It is such a treasure to watch this new little being in his awakening process.
I am confounded by how a heart can hold so much sorrow and joy simultaneous. I guess it is part of the wonder of being human.