The wind is blowing, only as it does when stripping out the heat and heaviness of of a 50 degree day.
Today was that day. Epically hot, as thought the air itself was on fire. I couldn’t stop getting flashbacks of childhood winters spent driving anywhere, stuck in the car, windows up, heat full-on.
I felt like I was suffocating.
Then, and now, the two moments reflecting one another with their vice grip around my heart.
Both moments so overwhelming, as though my emotions had spilled over and slithered their way past my ribs, so quick to coil themselves tightly around the curves my chest.
Just like the heat—unbearable, sickening, except there isn’t a quick fix with fires of the heart. There’s no instant tonic, no God-like breeze blowing through my bones, to cool the burn marks left by my latest internal fire.
I miss my Mom.
I miss her all the time, but more just after she’s been here…I can still feel her here, keep turning to speak to her, keep expecting to see her perched in her little favorite spot on my deck.
I tried to get rid of the evidence—stripped the bed straight away, washed all the towels, put everything back in it’s usual place—I tried desperately to eliminate all the little heart breakers that would later trigger the memory that my Mom wouldn’t again be here for another full year, but none of that made an ounce of difference anyways.
I couldn’t wash her out. Not out of my apartment, not out of my heart.
Mamma’s imprinted everywhere—at the Ugg Boot stand, Norton Street Grocers, at Gelbison’s Pizza, the markets, the beach, sparkles of her are draped by the washing line, layered through the grass in my back yard. She’s scattered along the bath to Bronte, in the pool there, she’s scattered through the sand.
I miss her and I can’t get away from it this time.
As my partner Jesse put it, if you want to get out babe, you’re going to have to go through.
Like so many moments in life, like losing someone, like the ending of a relationship, like moving countries, like losing a job, saying goodbye to my Mom, and knowing that I won’t see her for another full year is one of those moments that I just need to move through to get through.
There isn’t any point resisting or denying the emptiness or the sulkiness or the sadness that I feel—it won’t make it go away, instead, it will only add to the fire—feelings in hiding are waaaay more poisonous than ones aired out in the open, and what you resist only persists, so it’s better to face the flames full on rather than dance and jump and skirt around them, avoiding the inevitable hot coal walk.
There is no pacification, no soothing really, no where to run and nothing to do to numb this feeling spreading through my chest and infiltrating every single part of me trying to pretend that I’m totally okay right now… nothing else to do but accept and feel.
I have to feel it to release it.
You have to feel “it,” whatever it is for you—whatever pain you’ve been running from, whatever you’ve been avoiding facing, whatever it is you’ve been turning your back on, well you gotta’ strap on your fire gear and walk straight through it if you want it to pass through.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s fiery, and it burns, and it stings, and the emotional heaviness feels like it’s too much, but, the only way out is through.
Gotta’ feel it to release it!!
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta
Photo by Jesse Desenberg—Miss you Mammacita!!!
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012. How I Raise My Dying Son.