An Open Letter

An Open letter:

To my “hula hoop” with love (sorry for the “hula hoop” part)::
Dear JaMocha,
I want to write about you for class.  I’m getting my MFA in Writing Creative Nonfiction and I’ve have tried for days to write about you, tried to find the balance of language, but isn’t balance just so easy it’s hard because balance needs simply balance. You taught me that. You taught me lessons in rhythm, lessons in flow, in time, in femininity, and of course I’m not talking about you, and you know that.  I’m talking about your power, but I’m not talking about power because you are not powerful. You are just a toy, just a Wham-O trademarked “hula hoop,” though you are not the Wham-O Hula Hoop, and you are not the hula. I do suppose you could be some distant cousin to the hula-kahiko, somehow related to the dance that early Polynesians used to perform for their king because sometimes, you are my king. You are my sacred chief, and you are my morning ritual. I bring you o
ut to my driveway, I drag you out and spin you around, and sometimes, I’m only doing it because you look so good when you spin, and I am honored to honor you, and isn’t that power?

artBut sometimes, I have not been honored, sometimes, I have not been oh, so delighted to spin you around. Some days I curse you because you don’t understand death or ends. I scream at you, let my voice get raw, scream that there is an end, and I’ll figure out an end to your lack of beginnings and endings, but I never do, and I never will, and you’ll flip my force and bring force back to me, make the circle bigger and stronger, and let me throw myself in. 

I was in you when I prayed to the universe, to the gods, to Jesus, to anyone who would care. I prayed to you and you prayed with me and we prayed together, and we cried together and we came unhitched together, and I threw you into the air where you would spin and spin, but always come back to me and scoop me into your vortex, and I know I gave you power. You are nothing but irrigation tubing connected with a plastic insert, wrapped in pretty tape. I have made you, dear hoop, but you have made me. You made me with the force I put in you. I fling you, push you and it’s you who pushes back, back at my hips, my hands, my shins, pushing back on my back. Everything bruised with repetition and time, and I feel a since of pride because I think for a second there is no end, and I do get it, but just as quickly as it comes it fades. Open and close.

I couldn’t fit your robust 42’ inch diameter into the overhead. I couldn’t bring you to my brother’s funeral, couldn’t bring you to the church or the cemetery, but you didn’t need to go.  You were already there. You are my father and his grandson. You are the circle, and you are unbroken.

I will write about you dear hoop.


It’s Been Good to Be Back in the Hoop.


I had a nice hoop workout today. It is the third or fourth workout that I have had since I started crawling out of my wallowing hole. After my brother passed away, I allowed myself to wallow, bring the TV into the bedroom wallow, and I let myself be okay with being sad.  After a hefty number of days of wallowing, I am getting back to my set point. I heard on a TED talk that on average it takes a person three months to get back to their genetically set happiness point after a traumatic experience. Just a statistic, it’s true, but one I’ll hang on my hat on. It’s not so much that everything is all better, it is the fact that the smoke has cleared, and my path is coming back into view, and I’ve always liked how my path looks from inside a circle.  It’s been good to be back in the hoop.

Sometimes My Hoops Just Sit in the Corner


Sometimes My Hoops Just Sit in the Corner

General JaMocha is my go-to hoop, strong, and durable, a two-pound maroon circle with a strip of silver shimmer.  When he spins, he reflects light like medals on a maroon lapel. He is the general, being called to duty more times than any other hoop, seeing more battle than the rest. He’s been scraped up on pavements, nicked on cement, wrestled in the rain.  He’s skimmed every body of water, skidding across oceans, lakes, and rivers, leaned against patios, beds, curbs, and left too close to fires. JaMocha has been through it all, my Archangel, my guardian and keeper of all things I balance in life, but he is sitting in the corner. All my hoops are sitting there, leaning against the wall, waiting for me.  Any of them would be happy to get attention, and more than thrilled to give it, but I’m unready, unprepared to be reminded that the world is round, that the cosmos are round, that time and circle of life is real and moves with rotations like spinning tops on a kitchen linoleum. Maybe today I say, let it swing around me and soothe me like I know it will.