One of the most incredible experiences of the past nine months (Olive turned 9 months today!) has been watching my partner, the man I have loved for over a decade, become a father. Before my eyes I am watching someone I thought I knew in all ways transform into this new creation. An amazing part of long-term relationships is allowing yourself to still be surprised by someone you’ve lived and loved for a long time. It was wonderful today to take some time to appreciate all he does for our family, and how becoming a father is helping him become a truer version of his self.
I am so grateful to have a partner in this journey of parenting that is on the same page with me philosophically about how to raise Olive. It is an extension of how we work our relationship, I suppose — there are no short cuts, you do the work, it’s messy and doesn’t look perfect but you put your loved ones first and everything else radiates out from that. I am beginning to believe that the way to live life is to make a few select commitments, and arrange everything else to support those choices. Commit, deepen in to those things, and allow the rest of life be what helps you do that.
For me, those commitments, after 30 years of searching, are turning out to be: 1. my marriage 2. my role as a mother 3. my spiritual calling 4. my role as a healer. Everything else in my life, all my dear friendships, my dancing, writing, my family, my community, the specifics of where I live and work, are the pieces that make it possible for me to live into these commitments, to deepen into them to their fullest potential. It is hard for me to pare down like this, to prioritize, to choose what really matters and where I will put my focus. I want to widen out, live 50 lives in one, be a fox, be a mountain flower, be a pirate. But I have just this one life, and I have decided it would be better to live it well than live several lives poorly.
Of course today I am also thinking of my own father. Next month will be nine years without him, and I still miss him keenly. I read recently about a woman who, when going to sleep, will search back in her mind for some memory, some sliver of her past about her father, and will hold it in her mind for that moment with reverence. It hurts even to think of doing that. The other day I wrote his full name — Francis Edward Horan — and just that act alone seemed to have tremendous power. Later in the week, walking down the colorful, windy streets of San Francisco I spoke his name aloud to no one, like a prayer without purpose or particular request, that just lingers there, waiting for God to hear.
Robert Montgomery did this amazing neon piece that perfectly captures my feelings for my dad, today and every day: