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My Own Family - Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 @ 10:31 am
I still think of Newfoundland. The rock bluffs and the squalls of wind and rain. My hair plastered to my head, and stormwater running down my neck. The windswept lean of the tuckamore. The ruckus ocean and the deafening roar of the landwash.
There was a moment last week in which I felt myself surface for a moment, out from under the fog of stress and suffering that has become my normal state at work. I set myself as unavailable and took my bicycle out to run errands. First across the bridge for my third rabies booster, a sudden rainshower like fallen dew on my rosy face. Then to back across the bridge to the clinic for a COVID test, the nurse expressing genuine surprise that it was my first test as she withdrew the wand from the tube. My cough light but insistent, likely nothing but again who knows.
Cycling around town, through the sodden leaves on the roads and the intermittent showers from the sky, I was happy. The cool wind on my face. The quiet mid-day traffic. I felt light and free.
I know that climbing has helped bring me back. I had been sagging down into somewhere dim and dank. Sad, tired, anxious. One day I turned to Russell, “Will you come climbing with me tomorrow?”
I immediately felt better. The sounds of the climbing gym, the rainy cycle across the city to get there. My aching muscles and sore fingertips. But then, after climbing consistently for several weeks, I begin to feel growth. I feel strong and nimble and confident in myself. There are different types of therapy, and this place fixes something inside of me.
I need to do something about work. I have elaborate fantasies about quitting. At the same time, I so badly want to figure it all out first, so that I'm not running away from something just because it's a bit tough. But it's been tough for a long time now. At what point will things change? Is there a way in which I can make things change?
I go into the forest and leave the main trails. I walk across the soft forest floor in search of mushrooms, golden chanterelles that push through the moss and fallen leaves. I crouch down with my knife and cut one free, bring it up to my nose to take in its sweet smell.
I know that my true self is still here, buried may it be under detritus and shrub. Sweet and intricate. The harsh elements around me, pushing against me with relentless force.
I know that I've been holding things too tightly around me.
I just need to let go.