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In the Moment. 2/20/2023
There are moments, days, months, and even years, I am still trying to wrap my head and heart around. When I say, “wrap”, I am almost always referring to the action of coming into understanding. Understanding is how I settle with life happenings (both internally and externally), particularly those happenings that are unsettling, and destabilizing. But, there’s a lot I am often unable to make sense of and, so I push less to understand and try just to accept, and make peace.
As I type this in real time, thinking of how best to string together each of the thought threads that brings me to the page this time, I am attempting to recall my first knowings/feelings/witnessings of peace. Simultaneously, I feel the question, “how do you say ‘peace’, without using the word?” nudging at me.
My first inklings of peace bring me back to memories of morning bath time with my father, or waking up in the wee hours and seeing my mother, through the front screen door, sitting on the porch in her own halo of stillness. In more recent years, I recall peace as a feeling, a calm, or togetherness, where my heart, and my mind are moving in sync. Peace has come to mean and feel like a kind of harmony. And in harmony there is soft and loud, sometimes even abrupt, rough and chaotic. But somehow, all the pieces blend, and arrange in such a way that allows them to flow, both together, and apart.
Last night, during a small gathering at a friend’s art space, I had a moment of peace. I was in conversation with a fellow writer and I reflected out loud the fact that, it hasn’t been until recent years that I have come to regard my capacity to write, and to feel, in the ways that I do, as a gift. I have taken for granted the ability to, as one friend says, “alchemize emotion”, and put language to feeling, or put feeling to language. In the moment, while having this conversation, I thought about the times in my life when I could not make peace with myself because I could not articulate, or express my feelings. I recalled moments when I have felt almost breathless, gasping for air, because I was feeling more than my mind, and body, could wrap itself around. These are the moments when my heart is speaking a language my mind can’t comprehend. Writing, for me, is one of the ways I transcribe what my heart is speaking, or what my body is feeling. Wording — reading, writing, listening —is how I find my breath.
These thoughts in the moment, led me to write down some questions:
Where do we find language, when we cannot find it in ourselves?
How do we breathe, the kind of breath that releases tension, and aches, anger, heartache, mourning, and pain; the kind of breath that offers comfort, relief and rest?
How do we access and care for these the pieces, or parts of ourselves that need to feel held, or feel light or, even, feel bliss?
How do you make peace?
Supporting literature (aka. more fruit): Find Peace. Keep Peace.
“there are days when finding the words is the only way i can find my breath. this is to say, that sometimes, the artist creates, or the writer writes in hopes that what is created will help to serve as a kind of peace, a kind of joy, a kind of ground, a kind of air, a kind of light. — ẹniafẹ isis