The boy is humming. It means he’s happily absorbed in an activity (as I type, setting up a Risk game to his liking). I don’t want to leave this warm, well lit, not-so-quietly joyful room, but I’m finding it hard to concentrate against the tune of the Arran Boat Song and the clicking jumble of plastic men. I need to concentrate, to bring the pieces of myself back together again, but it also feels important that I do that here, connected to my family.

We’re finishing up almost two weeks of family visits here and there. A good-ish time has been had by most. It required the protective distilling of emotion, each dangerous brew stored in its own canopic jar and entombed for the duration. Thus a certain dull peace was maintained, flavored with lightly sardonic quips and observations. Humor is a deeply ingrained family value.

There were consequences. Most nights I woke in a panic, particularly in that first week, the 2 a.m. bursts of fear, the slow calming back to sleep. A certain nervous quivering is within me now. Surely I’ve done something terrible. Irreparable. This is not a feeling one wants to cozy up to. It emerges in the unguarded moments.

Perhaps that last session of Rosen Method bodywork, the Monday before our first guest arrived, was poorly timed. The point of the work is to free my body and emotions, to make connections between the dusty points of the past and present, knowing what is released takes time to process. In this second session, deep emotion and extracts of body memory were uncorked and poured, but my glass was too small to contain them. And so I lapped up the bittersweet excess. I got out those dusty jars. I extracted the feelings and hid them away, knowing what I had left behind.

Here’s to 2017, to the resurrection of emotion, to the authenticity of self, to the ability to be without hiding away. Here’s to humming and writing and love in all its battered forms. May your year and mine be just bright enough.


Image of canopic jars.


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