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Surface tension

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The words coming out of my mouth

  These days I wear a mask. I don't wear a mask all of the time, only when I am indoors or unavoidably up close with people who I don't usually interact with.  I wear one when I am ordering things, or buying things or attempting to enjoy some form of public entertainment.  I cannot rely on reading others lips. My lips are hidden. We ask each other to repeat.  We move our eyes or our whole heads to try and enunciate more clearly.  I say fewer words, more carefully chosen words behind the mask. Sometimes that is helpful, sometimes that just causes more confusion. I walked into the woods. I did not need a mask.  I only saw a few other people and they were distanced. Masks were unnecessary. After so much talking and not talking and avoiding talking out loud I am forced to examine when I speak and when I choose not to. This is not a bad thing since I can be an insufferable chatter box, just a new thing for my brain to adjust itself to. When I am not standing around in a mask, I am c

Different Stages of your ability.

“Your whole life you are really writing one book, which is an attempt to grasp the consciousness of your time and place– a single book written from different stages of your ability.” --Nadine Gordimer

Out on the line.

 I have been so lucky in so many ways. I have only experienced tiny specks of physical and emotional pain in my life. Luckily that pain has been either episodic or limited and I have been able to manage it with drugs, or crying or writing or wine or chips....or something. This summer, a decade of holding my head the wrong way, typing, scrolling, stressing and driving all ganged up on my neck and said...we are holding you hostage until you address this.  However, when it first started, the pain didn't explain it just attacked. And attacked. No position relieved it. No drug touched it. It went on and on. I could not sleep. I could not hold a book or type. I drove with difficulty. Swimming in the ocean gave me enough pleasure that I temporarily forgot it.  I couldn't drink to forget it though or massage it enough. It just kept going.   I tackled the pain like I tackle everything, blindly and in a chaotically forceful way. This pain refused to be massaged away. It turns out this pa

Daymare

As I slept, I dreamt that I found shelter inside a house.  I was "escaping" impending lightening. However, the lightening found me. It struck the house and I stood inside the house and watched the roof be lifted right off.  I stood there, not afraid, thinking, wow, I have never seen a house's roof come off while I stood inside it (or outside it for that matter). I was strangely not terrified.  I was observing this fairly exciting event as a passive onlooker even though I stood in middle of that wrecked house. Mentally I knew that a roof being ripped off a house by bad weather is not good, but I did not feel stressed. When I woke up, I was gripped by fear.  The residue of that dream and others that had already faded remained and kept me pinned to the sheets. My subconscious is working overtime. It is patiently painting a picture for me in my dreams and gripping my heart when I am awake forcing me to remember seeing the sky through a roofless house.

The Naked Eye

It cannot be seen by the naked eye.  So, we have to trust the experts--the people who have devoted their careers to seeing these things for us.  This weather that approaches, the coming storm, the looming march of an invisible force bears down on us, they forecast for us. There is something very scary about trusting that much.  We do it sometimes--when we fall in love, or meet our children.  Letting go of so much of what we know of ourselves takes a lot of..something. As our lives change in ways we never quite imagined, even after watching all those movies about pandemics, we lean into our shelters.  Shelters that are not always safe for some of us and wait for the storm to pass.

Breakthrough

I had a breakthrough. The breakthrough had me. I broke. I let myself shatter. I tried everything to protect myself from breakage. I created lots of padding around myself. I distanced myself from sharp objects. But all the while, the thawing continued. The breaking point came closer. The hairline fracture ruptured and two, three, four pieces fell away. After the break, the heat of the sun. The sun I could not feel before. The warmth of my friends, my family reaching across the shards to gather me in their arms.