I am the old woman

I find I am the old woman
with a loosening of my hands
I sense and recognize the rocks there in each
I’ve been slowly plucking my collection free
from my swollen knobby rock worn pockets
I intimately attend to why each was
gathered, stored, held, and on occasion hurled
closing my eyes,
I feel the where and the why
from which they came
some I understand
some are still lost to me
but they are from my pockets my collections
one by one as I am able
I lay them down in a quieted silence
I step forward
making room to release more behind me
as my lined path becomes evident

on an occasion I still catch myself hurling

just yesterday
her name not even known
I threw one at a “primadona”
when she stepped away 
she would not know it was me
when she felt its blunt thud
but the person who stood by me
watched my arm with its force
perhaps they now are afraid
I have a stone for them as well
I can not get my stone back
I cannot erase the view
or the minds re-call
this time though I instantly recognized
my unexpected hurl for what it was
not soon enough to catch myself
before my fingers released
so now instead I gently look at the internal need
from which my action sprang
awe, my heaved stone
had nothing to do with the “primadona” primadona-ing
and everything to do with my own insecurity
about being labeled “man hater”
I gave a lecture on 1970s feminist art movement
oh I was feeling unsettled, less than,
i have been working hard on not having relational hurts
transfer as gender generic land mines
working so hard to let relational hurts be
just what they are and
between only those which they lay between
so in my hypersensitivity to a phrase such as “man hater”
I heaved a stone simply to say
dang it feel better kathy for at the least
you’re better than her and her “primadona-ing”

I would like to see feel recognize the propulsion
for my stone collecting and throwing
before I collect before I throw
I don’t want to collect or throw, hurl or even toss
my collection and hurling is a kind of unliving
so as in my art
where sensitivity and working with not against
my materials is important, a type of inward listening
I move toward being sensitive to and
working with the material and identity of soul,
and gently I bend and set down another stone
with hopes to not pick it up again
I really am the old woman
with a loosening of my hands
I still sense and recognize the rocks there in each
and slowly I lay one down
living a little more deeply, listening and awakened

and i see that the name he’d written
there in the sand by my bared feet is my own
it is still whispered
living even in the breath of the wind
my Beloved


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Research interests
The moment
Consequential head scratching
Correlation between writing, making and academic proclivities