Some Sort of Coping Mechanism

Author’s note: I am beyond tired and stressed and anxious and sad. I found out an hour ago a student at MU died tonight (the second student death this semester). I am Unhappy. I want to smash glass against concrete and then curl into a ball and cry. So I’ve tried to create a space to try to hold onto the capital-I Important dream-like memories sitting in my brain. Thought Stream is exactly that: a stream of consciousness style blog post. Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed or sad or whatever, it’s nice to just dump your brain out.  Here is my first post of this sort; let me know what you think.

1. Singing and dancing to New Slang by The Shins with my brother. We were waiting for our Mac n Cheese to finishing cooking and the entire kitchen was filled with sunlight and we were the only two home. I was coming out of what I called my “funk” and remember feeling so, so blissfully happy. (When I was in high school, I didn’t realize I had anxiety and depression. I thought that’s just how people felt.) I remember that feeling like coming up for air and my brother laughing and both of us trying to out-goof the other. I remember typing a quick post on Tumblr about it, it was so monumental.

2. The moment the sun cut through the clouds at the Columbia River Gorge during sunrise. All of us students, tired and bleary with sleep, writing so frantically that our frozen fingers hurt. I remember actually gasping. I thought nothing would top seeing Yosemite from Glacier Point, but then sunbeams wiggled their ways through the overcast morning and scattered themselves across the river. I want to find my notebook from that summer and reread every little detail. I miss that city and that campus and those people and the endless, endless writing. Now, I couldn’t tell you the names of everyone there with me, nor could I walk you through a day at camp. But I remember these special moments so distinctly it’s as if they happened 20 minutes ago. Discovering trails tucked into campus backwoods. The sound of someone’s voice cracking when he crossed the word “she” in a poem he had written. The boy who played piano for two hours in our common room, bringing us out of our corners like moths to a candle.

3. Coming around the corner of the school building during a gust of crazy Ohio wind and feeling my feet nearly lift off the ground. Kids I had barely spoken to or gotten to know linking arms with me and helping to get me to the playground. All of us, kindergarten-sized sunflowers with way more growing left in us that we could ever guess, knotted together and trudging across the blacktop. What a sight we must have been. My daisy chain scattered when we hit the playground, and I fell back into shyness. But I still can’t forget that feeling of having other humans to tether you at the exact moment you think you might be yanked out of orbit.

4. Crying silently (hopefully) while sitting at a desk in the third floor stacks of Ellis Library because I thought I was never going to feel happy ever again. I was wrong.

5. Laying on my stomach in a field of clovers behind both the small and the big playground with my closest friends laying next to me. Chins resting on our folded hands, watching bees. Following them, soft and quiet as our new white sneakers would  let us, from bud to blossom to bloom. Their fuzzy bodies, their legs capped with small specks of collected pollen, their wings fluttering. My heart, skipping and happy with the work of the bees. Running back to the school doors when the recess whistle blew, all our our footsteps sounding like wild horses over dirt and gravel and wood chips and concrete. Feeling like I understood what it was like to be a smiling, crying, breathing, participating cog in the world — to be alive.

Life gets really, really hard sometimes.
Try this out and let me know when you post so I can read it too.
I love you. Listen to this song. Everything is going to be okay.

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6 thoughts on “Some Sort of Coping Mechanism

  1. Man life can be very tough sometimes.. Sending hugs and prayers your way. I’ll have a go at doing the same too. Sometimes it’s just good to get how you are feeling out into the open.

  2. Did you try to dance to the music you love, alone, just by yourself? No witnesses, just you. I am talking about body movements which will express your feelings to the music; not a regular dance expected from you – just like writing a poem, but through your body movements. If it is an aggressive song you can tell yourself “Now I am a fire” and just dance like the fire, or maybe water – thundering waterfall; anything. Try to dance like all four elements – fire, water, air, and earth. Also imagining what an animal you want to personify during the dance feels great. Try it; it is a very freeing experience. Take care.

  3. hi!
    I’ll definitely do a post on this.
    this post is inspiring.
    and really, the one last paragraph, that comes just when I need that the most. thank you, really. I don’t know, I love you, too. Everything is going to be okay. thanks again.

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