21

The water was choppy and colder than I was used to, but on this triple-digit day there was no debate.

“It’s too hot”

“Right!?” He was faced-down on his towel, but the beads of sweat on his back agreed.

“I’m going in.”

I stood up, brushed the sand from my palms and pranced my completely naked, out-of-shape ass in front of everyone on the nude beach and walked.

As my body floated with the current, my belly and me had a moment. I laced my fingertips across my navel and exhaled with determination to get back into stripper shape. Fine – as close to stripper shape as a middle-aged broad can get.

“You just have to get all the way in, then it’s awesome!” I was thirteen again, bragging about how I had the balls to brave the cold (it only took the afternoon to submerge myself completely).

Once I was swimming, my eyes surveyed the people along the shore. It didn’t matter that my body wasn’t perfect. That a crowd of strangers saw my cellulite and buddha belly in motion. I was comfortable in my skin. I wasn’t happy with my body at the moment – but holy fuck – I was happy.

A swell lifted my body – and the water mirrored my breath – sighing with me in the realization of just how far I’ve come.

Christine Macdonald

Soon

When your lashes unlace to greet the light. Your body uncoils, unwrapping your flesh from her thread-count comfort. You discover reassurance. It’s close to normal, this sacred breadth you’ve reclaimed as your own. You stretch, allowing your lungs to expand and release within the space of familiar. What’s old is slowly new again.

You are singular but not small.

When brushing past a stranger in a crowded room, their fragrance leaves a familiar trace – something happens. You inhale detailed Technicolor memories – setting the dragon free from slaughter. There’s no use in sleighing the visions of who you were with them. You unleash the reality, welcoming their face, their hands on your body, their taste on your tongue. Falling among the trace of tears that struggle to emerge are fragments of your smile.

You are longing, but embrace living.

When driving home isn’t met with worry. Anxiety falls into the lap of acceptance. There is no one on the other side of the door. Your phone is silent. You curl up to the empty space, making peace with alone.

And a song is just a song.

Soon.

Soon you will find the familiar reflection. Your smile, unorchestrated without agenda. Free-falling within the space of your heart, you find yourself. Your laugh laces her fingers with acceptance and time.

When you slip under the covers. Your eyes slowly drift. Your thoughts aren’t far behind. They whisper. Soon. Soon. Soon.

Christine Macdonald

Universe, you little bitch

These past few days have been a real meat grinder of fun. We all have ’em. Those moments in life where we feel…just…content…enough….and we allow ourselves space to slowly exhale. We maybe even release our seatbelt for a bit and settle into the idea that things are finally looking up. Then. As usual. Shit. Fan. Fun.

There’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves. Although, I’ve become quite a master of my own agony, knowing all too well the tantalizing fragrance of despair when rolling around in my own pain.

When you suffer from clinical depression (and welcome to the fun house, if you do!), walking the tightrope of disappointment and sorrow without a safety net is like trying to ice skate on glass; but we always lace up. It’s a real blast and pretty hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

The more breaths I take on this planet, the clearer my view on how much the universe is a fickle bitch. She means well, but really – do we need another lesson? Apparently.

I recently had the opportunity to meet one of my creative heroes, Jared Leto. We talked about how we handle the clean up of the blades when our fans are consistently getting pelted with shit. His point of view was luminous. It lit a fire deep inside my bones, reminding me that life owes us nothing and fuck if we can’t make the lows work for us.

Paraphrasing:

“It seems so many of us are taught to feel that obstacles are a bad thing. I think they’re exactly what we need to push us through and reach even higher. When I grab my guitar and start strumming, most times I have no idea where I’m going. I just play.

When you’re writing and feel like your stuck, just keep showing up. Every day. You can’t have those breakthrough highs without going through the lows.”

Not only was our conversation a game-changer in terms of my personal creative dreams, the message that Jared so profoundly shared with me bled over into all areas of my life.

The next time Dame Universe decides to headbutt me into next Tuesday, I’m gonna do three things: allow myself to feel it, remember my strength, and spank her on the ass to say thanks.

“A trap is only a trap if you don’t know about it. If you know about it, it’s a challenge.”
            ― China Miéville, King Rat

Christine Macdonald