Some nights, I wake in a sweat that turns to dread like blood changing blue to red when it touches air. It has subsided of late though it recurs in non-chartable intervals. It is, I believe, part of who I am. If there are things deeply frightening and disturbing, if there is pain and loss, if regrets about the past and anxieties about the future bubble up, it all reflects deeply human feelings, or so I tell myself. I ride the waves, knowing there is no choice in the matter. And I try not to criticize myself too harshly for this fear, or to internalize my confusion and sensitivities as weakness. I prefer to rationalize my insomnia with the belief that others, many in fact, suffer similar night fears, that they, too, suffer in their recognition that the world is difficult, perhaps not meant for our minds. But that’s not what I mean to write about. I write because of a quote by Charles Resnikoff:
“The fingers of your thoughts are molding your face ceaselessly.”
I remember being touched in a way that loosened all those tiny bones conjoining behind the skin of my face. I remember the feeling of release, the enlarging of my senses as my face relaxed and breathed into those bones. I remember being touched. At night when I wake, my jaw is clinched, the muscles in my neck taut. I imagine my face looks like a prune, pinched and wrinkled with tension. My lips are pursed and I can feel the small crevices around them growing deeper. My heart seizes with loss. Again loss. Racing over the dead who I loved, racing over the friends I have left, racing over the loves gone, racing over the security granted to me by education and profession that has floated away like a petal in the ocean. I think, too, of my beauty, now fading into intricate lines and sags, soft flesh and fatty places, into stiff muscle and dissolving bone. Loss circles over me, the moth tapping at my head, batting it’s wings over my face, creating a humming sound as it whirls near and away and returns again. Circles. Loss. Circles. I want to hold and soothe myself like a mother to her child. I say — “it is all fine. It is worse at this hour than in the daylight. Your life is good. You are safe. You are healthy. You are not alone.” But I don’t believe.
I remember being touched, and I take my fingertips to the top of my eyebrows and hold them there until heat rises. My fingers spread gently. The tiny bones move and relax. And I move to my temples and along the side of my face. Then below my eyes, pulling gently outward, touching lightly. And down my cheeks to my jaw where it meets my ears. I move the heat to the back of my neck. I pull my ears gently. Resetting my face, releasing it’s pain. It’s longing.
With shut eyes, I look into the infinity of darkness and see circles, but now they make sense and so do I.
Not really a Biography
I have always been inclined to move forward, roll the stone, down, and often up, hills. I've tried to write through it all. Everything on this blog is written by me.