finding a new home at nautilus teachings

 

have you
ever wished
you could just
run away,
pack a bag
change your name
sail away
just find a spot
claim it as your own
and not
let
any
one
person
inside?

for me,
staying was never an option
it was how fast could i run
how far could i go
and how much time did i have
before they found out i was gone
and as i turned around to pack
there were her sad brown eyes

everywhere i turned there she was
folded in the bed linens was her touch
turned down pages in books from her soft fingers
a multi colored blanket being knit with her love
scattered pieces of her were everywhere
i was super glued to her

i was her bandage
i was her handkerchief
i was her embrace
i was her smile
leaving home meant putting me last

i stayed.
i went to the college my dad picked
i married the man my mom chose
i lived in the town that rotted my soul
i was drowning with no savior in sight
and then came the words

you have Leukemia
you have 6 months to live
get your affairs in order
and prepare to die
my mom would leave me first

i was suffocating
she would never see my kids
she would not visit my white picket fenced home
she would not smile any more
half of me was dying
so i got pregnant
i gave her hope to live
while my dad said over and over
“your mom is not going to die…”
i had a son
my mom died 15 months later
and we never had our last conversation

the one she needed
the talk she begged me to come over for
but i was sick with fever
so i waited
2 days too long
and then she was gone

i divorced her pick
i married a beach bum bartender
i met on vacation
but i was still stuck in my hometown
because of baby daddy
how do i get out of here

i wanted to run
i planned the escape, but
my son was now my heart

i stayed
i stayed
we married
i had two more kids
and i never moved away
i lived within my paintings

and then we won lottery
we moved far south
and i took my son
life was going to be amazing?
halt right there…
reality was-
no sex, no love, no honesty
he was all
drugs, alcohol and numbness

my life spun out of control
he cross-dressed
he became an alcoholic
he became a drug addict
i became a pro at faking happiness

i went back home
to visit family
i walked the park
i remembered mom
and i ran as fast as i could back south

i bought a sailboat
opened a bookstore
raised my kids
and rehabbed him over and over
sheri was no where to be found

one more move
this time to florida
a new start
a fresh life
did i mention drugs, alcohol and cross dressing?

he was out of control
he stole my boat
he built a meth lab on my boat
i filed for divorce
i hired a bounty hunter

i kicked my son out
my daughter had sex
my baby girl attached to another family
i began to grow up
i lost the little girl and found my soul

colors surrounded me
memories engulfed me
i was prone to fits of anger
i spent hours cornered in tears
images began to flow from brush to canvas

my life unfolded in words
i found almost too hard to grasp
i found myself needing air
needing light and movement
i called upon mr. hawksbill and my fish friends

in my mind i was back home
i was swimming in Lords Park pool
with all my brilliantly colored fish friends
i was Fancy Finns the mermaid
my breathing became melodic

just like the tethered movements
of Mr. Hawksbills flippers
i was cradled in love
in warmth and my mothers arms
home – a place i never belonged

now reverberated out a feeling
that maybe,just maybe
home was my solace
home was where my colors blossomed
one phone call changed that thought

my father was on the other end
“when are you going to get a real job, Sher?”
“when are you going to do something with your life?”
“You cannot make money with a hobby.”
glub, glub, glub-i sank to the murky bottom

as my divorce progressed
my son found a job and was walking uphill now
my middle daughter did graduate H.S.
and my baby girl, was no longer attached to me
i felt tied to lies

for 45 years i did what other people wanted
they were the masters-i the puppet
how did i find my truths
where did i look
i stood at waters edge

face to the wind
tears streaming down my cheeks
“is my life over God? is this all i get?”
“how do i start over one more time?”
i walked clothed into the waves

fell into the current
and cried, “make me a fish so i can swim far far away”
instead, i washed ashore with sand in my mouth
clothes stuck to my body
and i belly giggled myself back to life

i had no home to go back to
my whole world was shattered
my kids to far from my grasp
my soon to be second ex was now in jail
my beautiful sailboat in port for me to board

or was it?
the boat was confiscated by the Key West police
Hazmat was called in to remove the meth lab
my dream of sailing the world now a million pieces
i turned back to the art of mosaic

i began to put the fragments of my life together
this time it was MY way
it was Sheri’s way or I could not survive
I pulled my kids back as much as i could
and dismembered my old life

section by section i sold off or gave away everything-
all that was left, was this marvelous blank canvas
i stepped back to view my “self”
when i turned around with a big grin
Holy Shit- there he was #three

fuck, fuck, fuck, he was cute and smart
and staring at barnacled ole’ me
he was my neighbor, he was a Dr. of Psychology
he was single, and if he was looking at me
he was certifiably crazy

was he my new home?
Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph why now, why me?
we fell into each other and made a home
two doors down from where my first 42 years ended
did i stay or did i go?

i never left home because i carried with me
the memory of my mother’s love and guidance
on the other hand i will never ever return
for the memories are too much to bare.
will i ever have a home?

i will forever flow like the tide
in and our of different homeports
always searching for who i am, where i belong
and what i am here for
always taking time for belly giggles

always painting my way out of corners
or writing my way out of the depth of sadness
for almost 42 years home was a hard lesson
today i breathe each new day in, smile
and thank God for lending me this life

this wonderful, color filled life
i have an Art Studio to teach out of,
i have lots of women who’s lives i touch every day
i have an amazing family, support and great love
am i home?
for now
the
answer
is
yes