Friday, September 23, 2016

Seasons and how the body talks

I just listened to a podcast (twice) about seasons.  It's worth a listen.

He starts by talking about how we're disconnected from the natural rhythm of light and lightlessness, seasons -- all of the natural world's limitations.  When it's dark, we flip the light switch.  When it's hot, we blast the AC.  We can have it all without too much disruption.

So when there is no light or we do feel cold or it is not the season for peaches, we feel a sense of outrage or injustice (and go to Whole Foods and buy some winter peaches from South America).

Emotionally this is true, also.  I expect  >>pleasantness<<  as a general state.  Not necessary ease, but --- yeah, probably ease -- or at least inconveniences that I can quickly resolve.

Even though the more I live, the more I see how mythical this "norm" is -- my friend's 9 day old's battling with open heart surgery right this minute -- and rationally disregard it, deep down, I still cling to that expectation.

I don't want to feel uncomfortable.
I don't want to be off balance.
I don't want to stand with one season ended (abruptly) and another not yet given shape.
I don't want darkness without the switch to the overhead light.

But here I am.

Last September I unexpectedly plunged into sadness about school starting, and the gloom hung on for a long time.  For weeks I fought it -- This is just normal rhythm -- kids go to school.  Shake it off and move on.  They grow up.  Your job is to let them go -- get over it.  And even with my "pep talks" (judgment), I couldn't sleep, my back ached, my stomach hurt -- low grade discomfort for "no good reason."  Bell talks about how when we don't let ourselves feel, transitions lodge their losses in our bodies, and the grief (whether we think it's "valid" or not) comes out one way or another.

My body is doing a lot of talking right now.  Not just the insatiable craving for bowls of comfort-food-cereal every night:

-This morning Eden found my keys in the lock of the front door where they'd hung all night for anyone who might want to come in
-I forgot Maeve's school lunch -- twice, though it was packed
-I drove Silas and walked him in to an art class that actually starts in October
-Many craigstlist guffaws including driving all the way to a person's house who was selling something entirely different than I'd thought.
- I parked my car several times and left it running (and it's not a silent prius)
-Not even worth going into the mixed up texts I sent to a poor college student who was (and I do say was) a possible babysitter
on and on...

And my dreams have been wild.  Many take place in my childhood neighborhood.  In a matter of seconds I am 14, 20, a newlywed, a mother.  Ben's mother, who died six years ago, has made two appearances.  I've dreamt entire movies full of strangers.

Though I have -- thank God -- good friends and company here who are softening the transition, apparently a large part of my brain is preoccupied and reckoning with identity and all that's in between: the liminal space, once again.

 I wrote about the liminal on the plane ride here and was surprised to find Bell address it also.

liminal: occupying a position at, or on both sides of, of a boundary or threshold.

Yesterday our natural season changed from summer to autumn.  Here in CA, nothing visible happened, as I know nothing visible happened in DC either, or much of anywhere.  But the season shifted nonetheless, and imperceptibly, the physical world will follow until we're squarely in fall.  I'm hoping for the courage to stay standing with feet on both sides of the threshold until both seasons come into focus.

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