maine (the simplicity of this title urges me to write this extra blurb ... blurb)

Friday, September 17, 2010 | |

We went to Maine. A vacation to Maine. Camping, in Maine, for 6 days.

Really, I don't know what I was thinking. Ok, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking I was gonna do this because I had heard how beautiful Maine is (it's true), and I was thinking I'm gonna do this camping thing because I know how much Rob loves nature (he does).

And all that amazing feel good stuff got in the way of me remembering that ... I AM PETRIFIED OF THE WOODS.

No really, stop placating me. I'm not being dramatic, I'm not 'working myself up for nothing', I'

Some people actually don't like camping, novel idea to some I know. (I kept thinking all week, damn white people, really?! : stuff white people like: camping).

So let's put this out there ... I STILL don't like camping. I'm not converted, I didn't come to God out in the wilderness, I am still not messing with dark woods at night.

But I feel really filled up inside to be able to be a part of this:

and this:

and especially this:

After 7 years of being with Rob, I saw new sides of him. Sides I know I wouldn't have seen if I didn't take some time to put myself in new places beside him.

I'm learning every day (especially now with the acceptance of my weak heart) that I stifle way too much in order to be there for others, or rise above (or stuff down) my own feelings to make room for the nurturing of others' lives.

But this trip was different. It was, rather, the acceptance and vocalization of my own fears and feelings surrounding this new adventure (and what it stirred up in me) that allowed me to make room for what I knew deserved to be experienced by the person I share my life with.

I am starting to realize that I didn't have to stifle myself by keeping in my own worries or apprehensions (or any other feeling that may arise, ever) in order for someone else to feel what they need to feel.

Because really ... my feeling needs to be heard too. And sometimes it will interfere with your shit (let's keep it real). And that feel-good feeling you had may be diluted or re-shaped to make room for the stuff I want to share as well. And this is life. And you (my friends, family, world) will learn how to accept a new me. An ever changing me.

A Nikki that you will be surprised by, saddened by, elated by.

Because I'm sort of tired of letting the show be all about you. I shine way too damn bright to have it any other way.

fall in, stand out, stay up

Sunday, September 5, 2010 | |

Cattle are strong. Stronger than me. And I feel that when my energy is encapsulated by their own.

Just encountering one cow's energy is like pushing, pushing, pushing ... an energy that urges you to push back. A cow will test your strength. And you will bow to it out of reverence for their own awe-inspiring tonicity.

But I stand taller next to them.

And I claim my own space. And in doing so I fall in beside their energy. It feels like touching my hand to their heart, with an ease that suggests it's only fear that separated us, that separates anything, all along.

I have a weak heart. And I stand tall.

rudraksha ... straight to the heart

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If I put my heart into a photo ...

I can illuminate more of my struggles, my worries, my aspirations and joys. This photo reminds me of the way I see my heart as a muscle. The ventricles and valves and blood surging and pumping and seeking higher ... yet always cycling back through my body as one full circuited system.

I am cursed with a weak heart. I am blessed with a weak heart.

See, because I know that it is all connected. The physical symptoms and signs all tied back to, representing, expressing the pieces of me all yall can't see. The way I struggle to catch my breath right after my heart begins racing. Or the way my heart flip-flops inside my chest like a fish out of water. And I'm weak.

I'm weak because my heart melts when I pass someone who grips the bottom of their t-shirt like that's the closest thing they have to comfort. And my heart aches when I see how even children flinch at the sound of sirens or screeching tires ... or strokes of strong hands. I'm weak because I feel it too.

I'm weak because I know the most vulnerable parts of myself. And even though I struggle tough with showing them, I tap into them when I'm alone ... and sometimes I even sit in it. And the weakness makes me crumble.

I'm weak because I don't know how to stop feeling for the one person who burned me with the fire of 10,000 blaring suns. And I'm weak because I care. I'm weak because I cry for him, even when I know it's wasted tears.

And I'm weak because my heart is heavy, I feel that every day. Weak because I still keep giving, even when I am empty. I am weak because giving silence is easier than giving fear.


And so when my body aligned with my emotions, sharing in the weakness of it all ... I know that I did something right, because truth was revealed.

And truth came from understanding that only when it all lines up, the destruction of it all, can I truly be in touch with the enormity of my scars.

forgotten harvest, new life emerges

Friday, August 27, 2010 | |

“Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.”

The cycle of life continues. And we all knew the feast of veggies couldn't last forever. We grew them, cared for them, and then we ate them. And lately ... we've been neglecting life on the roof deck.

The past week or two has been full of life elsewhere, however. I have circled around myself, again, for my 26th year in time. And family, friends (that are family), and lovers (that are friends and family) showered me with so much sincere compassion.

B showed up in the morning hours of a sunny Friday with some of my favorite little people the DAY BEFORE HER OWN BIRTHDAY to give me my celebration gift. Han hosted me for a day of thrifting and soul love in the city that has my heart. Tibbs & Jade surprised me with a mid-week dinner, freely flowing conversation and laughs, and one of the most endearing birthday cards I've ever received. My parents and sista frien took us out for an evening of drinks (virgin Pina Coladas!), filling foods, sweet treats, and reminders of my blessings for such an understanding and uplifting family. K and Jas hosted us at their home for an easy Sunday in the back yard with grilled veggie burgers and frolicking in the grass (no, really). K handcrafted a gorgeous necklace that just SCREAMED "nik.cole". She even included a bead from some of her grandmother's vintage jewelry.

Hello sweet mother glory, what a celebration of ME! I say it often, but I am so blessed to have you all. Telling and reminding all yall never gets old.

And my love ... oh my love. He has held my soul in the palm of his hand and whispered strings of musical and creative encouragement. And it all feels so overwhelming ...

like I knew my 26th cycle marked a new (and never touched before) swirling of experience sprinkled with an ambition, a new illumination for what I want to fill my year with. And so for fear of over-sharing and tainting this pureness I've been holding in my core, protected and prized, for the past few days I'll just give you a piece of my day. That way, you can use your own eyes and not my words to guide your understanding ...


Saturday, August 7, 2010 | |

"One thing that never ceases to amaze me, along with the growth of vegetation from the earth and of hair from the head, is the growth of understanding."

We sliced ventilation flaps in the greenhouse after Rob first built the structure. We knew we needed circulation, room for air to flow in and out. Space and freedom and a portal to the "outside world".

As the season progressed, we realized we needed bigger flaps. We made larger holes, opened the greenhouse door for longer periods of time, allowing more air to circulate, inviting new visitors to come inside.

Eventually, the entire top half of the greenhouse was exposed, larger flaps cut into the bottom section.

And vines and flowers and budding veggies reached and crawled to those flaps. The stems and stalks of plants, sturdy yet unguided, sprawled outwards. Growing with intrigue, moving upwards and sideways, not knowing their next direction of growth, but stretching and occupying and filling out every square inch opened to them.

And when I think about making my own air flaps in my soul, I see how I, without intention or motive or thought, have grown out of any crack in my defenses I have afforded myself. I have twisted and climbed and snaked my way through the tiniest of open spaces.

I have closed my eyes momentarily only to open them and see pieces of my insides dangling from my sleeve yet attached firmly to their roots ... and wow, that's beautiful. The parts of me that I let grow without guidance or training or boundary or purpose. The parts of me that found their way out, reaching for air and light and

And then there you are. The onlooker, the gazer, the "stop and smell the flower" sniffer. The "look how beautiful this thing is" exclaimer. The encourager, the silent smiler, the "I want to grow one too" realizer.

And all the little pieces dangling from my sleeve shine brighter. They stand crooked and twisted yet sturdy. They keep growing without intent, but beaming with energy. Bursting with unbridled eagerness to fill out more space and time. They find new cracks to pry open. They encourage new seeds to be planted. And they dig deeper and feel healthier in the rain.

So, make some new air flaps. See what starts growing, without you even knowing.

water ways and wind falls

Thursday, July 8, 2010 | |

"Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war."

I've been working on opening my second chakra, the sacral chakra.

The sacral chakra's spiritual lessons include honoring relationships and learning to "let go". It is also the chakra of emotions. When it is unblocked, this chakra allows for the free flow of emotional, sensual, and creative energy throughout your body.

The element for the second chakra is water, and is associated with the liquids of the body. Water flows, moves and changes. A balanced second chakra allows us to do that also.

In an effort to balance my sacral chakra, I have been spending a lot of time around and in water.

This has taken a LOT of patience and practice (I'm talkin years worth, my people). And when I went in the ocean a few weekends ago, it was the first time I felt a part of rather than separate from a large, unknown entity. I was telling RMH going into the waves was like playing double dutch (picture me moving my hands in the circle rotation of the ropes as they criss cross, feeling the movement, the rhythm, the flow). And so, I became slower, more aware, more understanding ... and then I jumped in.

If you could have only seen me smile.

I was swimming under and over and through the waves. I was feeling like my body was weightless, but present. I was so happy.

I'm learning. I let go. I stripped myself of fears. I didn't question my body. And I trusted the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself, something unknown.

And so, I let go of you too. Not "you" as the person or "you" as a connection. I let go of "you" as an expectation. "You" as an idea I created in my own mind to be something other than what you really are. I let go of the thought of "you".

And while that may hurt you, you as a person with feelings, at first. I hope you'll see that my expectations of you, weren't good for either of us anyway.

Feel free to change, transform, glide into something new. Water is beautiful like that.

carrot head/tomato face

Friday, June 25, 2010 | |

"There ain't no answer.
There ain't going to be an answer.
There never has been an answer.
That's the answer."

Gertrude Stein

I've been holding babies.

B's baby, Jethro

My cousin's baby, Harper

Bret's baby, Owen (I'm an aunt!)

I've been nourishing plant (life).

I've been putting carrots in my hair and tomatoes on my face. Life is here (now).