The Subtleties of Being

Turning an airport delay into an opportunity to feel my feet on the ground and my butt on the seat and the breath in my lungs and the beat of my heart as I write and reflect and sit and listen, over and over, to my friend Hannah Epperson‘s beautiful song ‘Story (Amelia)’ from her new and absolutely amazing album UPSWEEP… and feel.
 
Fuckin’ feel.
 
Feel: the tips of my fingers on the keys… The way the air caresses my forearms and cheeks every time fellow journeyers breeze by on their way to somewhere… The fatigue at the backs of my eyes from my early AM flight and not-enough sleep… The flutter of excitement as I think about where I’m going, not just in a few hours’ time but tomorrow and the next day and all the days to follow. Because I’m here… not simply in this encasing of skin, but in the world.
 
I savor these subtleties of being today, for they were once so lost to me I forgot they’d ever existed. That I ever existed. That I was a human being, built to feel and yearn and desire and believe and strive and hope and hold onto and thrive. What They stripped me down to, literally, were a series of slow, dying wheezes of breath and a barely-there heartbeat. They almost put me to sleep forever.
 
These subtleties of being are my most profound reminders of my aliveness today. Of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Of who and what and why I am. Of what it means to be– to simply be, deeper than anything possibly captured by the written or spoken word. Of what I never was, despite all the things They once tricked me into believing about myself.
 
I’m now closing my eyes and feeling this beautiful, haunting song and taking Hannah’s words and bringing them into my own internal expanse of selfscape. I am feeling overwhelmed by gratitude in the midst of a lot of pain. I am feeling my heart against my ribs and this fire in my gut, this sacred fire, this fire of spirit They nearly extinguished.
 
Man, this life thing. These feelings. Every day, at least once, I’ll feel the urge to pinch myself to see if this is all just a dream… To ask, “Is this real? Are these really my hands? Is this really my consciousness? Am I really here?”
 
I am. I fuckin’ am. And you are, too. We are, together.
 
“When the walls caved in and the light shone through
There were spaces in between the things you thought you knew…”
–Story (Amelia)