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Writing a Manifesto & On Being 56

I share a photo here of myself in my early 30's, just peeled back and real. And a few photos from yesterday, a day of soulful joy.

Began the day with my husband (bless him!) & I chasing the fickle sun for photos w/my latest clothing escapades (another post to come.) Our treasures, Abe & Sam, then spent the day with us, making & eating heavenly foods (mine minus the meat pictured) & with homemade pies from my mom in-love's (now not with us but soooo with us) magical recipes, and each of us writing individual manifestos of our lives as we now know them & reading them to one another & talking about them (sharing mine below) and playing basketball and just talking for HOURS.

Having this beating heart beat is the most awesome responsibility and gift and the most supreme joy to deeply share.

Here is my "manifesto," written in spontaneous, random, honest, sentences. It is not complete, yet is just what wanted to pour forward in this moment. I share with love for each of us and all the dear narratives we walk with:

I am 5 and I am 8 and 9 and 19 and 56. I am all my days and yet right now. I see a friend call and this makes me happy. I open the window so I can hear birds singing. I also close the window so I can hear my own thinking. Sometimes my body is too tired and I feel too jumbled to hear anything inside. I love Ben and Abe and Sam. A lot. And I feel compelled to love a lot of other people too. And I love myself. I lean into the mysterious and unseen. I want to see the dolphins when I kayak and I try to remember they are right under me and with me, still. It means everything to me to have connection. Deep connection. I love both words and wordlessness. I think it's brave to pick up a crayon or a pen, and sometimes to even get out of bed. I am suffering too. Sometimes people think I have it all together. Both are true at once. I am the sun and the moon. I love real conversations. I like the deep end of connection but I also like the shallow, which if real, isn't really so shallow. I feel loved with a good bowl of soup, salad, and bread. I believe our world's healing happens when we do our work toward wholeness in our own bellies, opening us up to be more generous and spill light out on to our blocks. Maybe most of all, my heart is soft. When I'm really rested, I look across the room and see you, any of you, and am quite affected. Who you are, moves me. And a spoonful of honey tastes particularly delicious to me.

XOX, With all my birthday heart, Rachel


Rachel Awes

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