The comfort of a sweatshirt
#90: Winding words in some kind of rhythm, a way of breaking in and breaking out
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
I could not in good conscience send a newsletter without this totally unrelated preface. As Russia invades Ukraine, we are once again provided with exclamatory evidence that our world-leaders are anything but — and that any political progress is far out of reach. In these moments, we see how little power we hold as individuals. What comes to mind too is a collective apathy, a feeling that’s born of perceived safety. But are any of us really safe if others are not? My main query is this: how do we come together, how do we feel more united? Because I do hope that togetherness might mean care and that more care might mean more safety.
I know that some of you have noticed my absence from your inbox, and I know that still others are just now realizing that I’ve been quiet.
Quietness – if at all relevant here – has surely been one of the grand themes of my life. When you’re a quiet person, people will ask you if everything is okay. I have no better answer than you do, so I say yes. Everything is…okay.
The truth is, banging out an email a week can be exciting, it can be a bore, it can be absolutely exhausting or invigorating. But it does at least always feel good to settle into a keyboard and type what is true to me.
My struggle – what I’ve been tugging at these couple weeks – is that when you write a newsletter, you get into this headspace of themes and stories and professionalism. But life does not feel quite professional, and what builds up inside of me is mostly incoherent. To liberate myself from these corporate expectations, I took a moment to write more freely. Maybe you will feel something too:
Sometimes, I really need the comfort of a sweatshirt. The way it hugs my skinny arms, each atom constricting just enough, as to say I’m better now.
I need the strange hotness of June time air, heavy and hung low around my chest. Outside of warmer weather, my heart beats out of rhythm. Do we accept discomfort so that we can self-soothe?
My sea-level dreaming has reached a breaking point — we’re taking bets on the over-under of my feelings. Will they reach the flood-line?
Only when the searching finally comes up dry can you let it all loose, let it all come. It’s only ever about the rhythm anyway. How many words can I beat out before the I cross the bridge again?
My songs lilt over these waters like a sweater gripping sand — you’ll never loose this every grain. Swimming through every thread, up and down and up and down until the final verse repeats the first and stands up on its head.
I need the grey nothing of February’s silt, soaking and sad in my socks. I accept the discomfort and I listen to my chest box. It finds traction. I need action enough.