Posted by: alegra22 | January 13, 2008

a shark filled peace

This morning was chaos.

Zaviera is what you might be tempted to call: Alegra Only Double Strength.

She howls when open doors are closed before she can scoot through them, throwing herself down on the ground, lifting her hands to the sky, open-mouthed, bone-deep offense that a door was closed in her face.

When she is about to get into mischief she either A) looks for an audience first (because what point is mischief without someone to share in the joke?) or B) moves with a ninja stealth that I am proud to point to and say, “yep, that is MY girl.”

So this morning Zaviera is climbing up the back of chairs, scooting beneath feet, howling at closed doors and Sol is throwing a tantrum…a Hit Mommy! kind of tantrum.

It is noise, noise, NOISE.

But in the middle of all of it, I realized:

I love this exhausting family chaos.

As I yanked Sol back into the corner, held his wrists and said, “Do not hit mommy, that is sore, it hurts mommy. Mommy doesn’t hit Sol. Daddy doesn’t hit Sol, Sol doesn’t hit mommy, Sol doesn’t hit daddy.” Instead of being overwhelmed by the battle of wills, the growth steps, I thought, “I love my children even when they are hellions. Yes, okay, one more…if we are blessed enough.”

Here is the strange thing about this year…it is slipping in beneath our skins like a quiet tide when we have been accustomed to it arriving in a shallow shorebreak, a crashing sort of creeping, not this gentle lapping.

We are used to rowing out with weary muscles and patched together fishing nets, the thump-thump of catching air as breakers hit us over and over until we reach the deep waters where we scan anxiously for shadows of fish, sustenance…we know it is there, we know it is coming but until we SEE it, feel its tug on our line there is that clenching in our jaw, rigidity in our spine.

Something has shifted.

We are not worrying or when we do, it is like falling down that last phantom step, our foot swiping through the air…we laugh and say, “oops, thought we had to step another step!” But instead it is just earth waiting for us. Nothing is exactly secure, but we are secure.

Dan and I were talking about this all through the day yesterday…that this year is a year of faith for us. A year of quitting trying to place limitations or predictions…because if the end of 2007 taught me anything it was ‘to expect the impossible’. To forget thinking I know the odds, that if I crunch the probability factor, I can determine what will or will not come to pass.

I have been dreaming of sharks alot lately and particular waters…waters that have been coming into my dreams for as long as I can remember dreaming, which is a long time since I am growing so long in the tooth these days. When I started surfing I began to understand the shark dreams.

Surfing for me is the ability to fly. It is the Being Awake In the Dream…being IN the big Adventure. The eden. A return to innocence and awe. It is joy that would be incomplete without the shadows of sharks beneath me, that raw ‘other world with teeth’ drifting beneath me…just as magical as the flicker-flash of beautiful fish, sea turtles, and stretching white sand beaches.

If my dreams are filled with gliding predators and their multiple rows of teeth, it forces me out of the water, out of this state of grace. It is fear with fins. Phantoms chasing me to shore and landlocking me…I throw them my wings and sit with an empty feeling on the shore, wishing, wishing, wishing…that I were the type of woman who can paddle out even with all of those dark moving shapes beneath me.

Other times I am able to stay in the water, to look down and let my toes dangle. I pet the sharks and catch a wave.

Lately, my dreams have been filled with glinting teeth but I have remained in the deep end, my heart pounding, floating above all that fear until it drifts on by.

This year, my wings will grow in proportion to the fin slicing through the water.

My paddling muscles will increase not from running away but from riding wave after wave after wave.

It is a shark-filled peace that I have this year.



  1. It’s obvious you have spent much time with Native Americans! Parrots and now Sharks, again perfect metaphors. I am absolutely scared of sharks. I’ve seen the research that sharks will only attack you if they feel threatened. Well, why would the ‘perfect predator’ feel threatened when your’e in it’s space?? If this manisfestation of fear is occuring in your dreams (I’m sure you already know this though) then it’s again your sub-consious telling you something is not right. What’s cool though, is that in your dreams you are staying out in the deep end and waiting for the sharks to move along. I guess it’s no coincidence that their aren’t many positve images of sharks in film…except for shark tale I guess.

    Our lives will always be filled with sharks (in different forms of course) knowing what was happening in your life during this time I am not surprised by your dreams…visions.

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