Witnessing the Eclipse

It's Monday evening in Portland, OR.

My solar-eclipse experience begins with a 6:55 a.m. text from an astrological friend: set your intention for today's eclipse so you can wisely use the energy. 

I think for a moment and text back: to love freely, lead with grace, and enjoy the journey. 

I drink a tall glass of water (which I'm trying to remember to do before I drink my coffee), go to the lobby to make the coffee (because it's free, freshly ground, locally roasted, and delicious!), walk Carly at the dog park across the street, do some free-flow writing, lose track of time, wake up Maddie and her girlfriend in a bit of a panic at 9:02, tell them, "It's time to see the eclipse!" 

I ride the elevator to the 16th floor where the solar-eclipse party is underway. 

The DJ plays smooth funk. Mimosa's, smoked salmon, and panini's are served. My neighbors are generous with smiles and "good mornings." 

Anticipation is in the air. 

I put on my eclipse paper glasses and take my first peek.  

A little black mark at the 2:00 position. "It's starting!" we squeal.

Every several minutes, we interrupt our conversation to sneak a glance. 

In not long, the sun looks like a bright peach that someone continues to nibble on.

The words let go drop into my mind and accompany each glance, as the black "bite" on the peach grows larger and larger, leaving a thinner and thinner yellow crescent.

I notice that with each glance and silently spoken mantra, my body feels more and more relaxed, like a slow, long exhale. 

Let go of judgment. Let go of needing to control. Let go of self-doubt. Let go of caring what others think.

Now the bitten peach looks like a super-thin, crescent, fingernail clipping. 

The sky shifts to a strange, murky color, though not as dark as I thought it would be. 

The air feels charged, like before a thunderstorm. 

We can't decide what's more amazing to look at - the sliver of sun, or downtown Portland set against this strange, surreal sky. 

The air is cool on my skin where before it was hot. 

The band plays their version of Jimi Hendrix's 'Kiss the Sky,' which my friends Mike and Lisa name this event.

(Right! I forgot to mention the 5-piece soul/funk band that plays between 2 sets of the DJ!)

Some of us dance. A third amazing place to look is into the faces of my happy, wonder-filled neighbors. 

Moments later, the sky begins to brighten again. 

Now, as I watch the peach slowly expand back into itself, the mantra that comes to me is open.

I think of a Rilke line from a poem that I came across recently: 

"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror."

I love the full-on openness this line invites us to consider.

But also, in being with my neighbors, I realize that I want to be more open with people. All people. Family. Friends. Aquaintances. Strangers. 

More open to connection -- to let others in, to be willing to be seen...

More open to give -- a smile, deep listening...

Usually the first person to leave a party, I'm among the last to leave today. I make an effort to remember names. I learn more about my neighbors -- including the couple that lives directly across the hall. (One partner will be hanging a bag of hair products on my door from his family's business. The other partner, I learn, is a part-time opera singer and part-time live speech transcriber. He's enjoying some downtime because the Obama's, Clinton's, and Bill Gates are on vacation. !!!)

Let go. Open. 

It was a beautiful, awe-filled, heart-centered day.

"We often find that we write things that we do not know that we knew."   
-Ira Progoff

With love,

Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:

writing prompt

Letting go

Grab a pen & notebook. Write the prompt at the top of the page.
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!

Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.

Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring.
Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...