Dear Divorce,

Your branding iron hovers over me as if there were only one way to give up hope. The lawyer has advised me who owes what. How we can expect to be judged. There are precedents for everything in the unwinding of yours from mine. I know there have been endless sons shuttled from half-home to half-home that won’t add up to anything … Read More

Running Filters

When Pete would trigger in me something big—often in that rushed and complicated time of handing off our child—I’d get lost for a while in the old spin, the suffocating stories, the righteous rage. Day by day, with great reverence for my tender heart, I’d reel myself back in with a practice that I call “running filters” through which I … Read More

You are Worthy of Gratitude, Deserving of Welcome

Remember when you met your child for the first time and marveled at the possibilities of who this new person would unfurl to become? You have the same opportunity right now, with yourself. Divorce is a death, and it is also a birth. The woman who brought you into your marriage has to give way to the woman who will … Read More

The Rage Diaries

When my friend Tom moved to Portland, he initiated himself into the city by writing stories that started with each letter of the alphabet. He’d wait until he stumbled upon something interesting that started with “A” and then write an essay about it. Then “B”, and so on. I copied this approach with a project of my own that I … Read More

Rage is Transportation

It’s so easy to decide that the feelings we have when moving through a divorce process are “wrong.” It’s also natural to try to bottle up and manage those “wrong” feelings as we attempt to steer toward our end-goal emotions. I wanted so badly to accept and feel grateful for my co-parent—and myself. But I found the paradox to be … Read More

Lean Into the Kiss

He kisses me. It has been one year, one month and three days since I have been kissed — following a marriage in which I was told my body was not worthy of touch, and my emotions were too, well, emotional to warrant attention. We are colleagues who happen to be stepping out into the night from a holiday work … Read More

Cherish the Last Trimester

I considered my son’s first three months in the world to be his fourth trimester. He was no longer inhabiting my body, yet he was still between worlds — and we were bound to each other in a sweet and private delirium that belonged entirely to us. In this way, the first three months of my breakup with Pete were … Read More

Algorithm

Gravity borrows her name from the bird who stopped trying. He said the poem was a hinge, that a bird fell into her womb from the well. There is no law that can convince me otherwise. Call in the scientists if you must and name their theories after themselves. Our entire lives, after all, are comprised of the world looking … Read More

Tell a New Story About an Old Pattern

Pete picks me up from the airport with our three-year-old son. He tells me they have just shared cookies—which my son has never in his life been allowed to eat due to a gluten sensitivity. Evidently, Pete has forgotten this primary piece of information. When we were married, this kind of mistake was symbolic to me. It represented the ways … Read More

Until One Day

When the heart is not yet ready, you can send the body in first. Make it strong. Let it be soft. Give it sleep and baths and forest. Let your heart be a passenger in this strange chariot, this powerful vessel you are becoming. Your circuitry of joy will stir from its slumber in its own time. Until one day, … Read More