I remember lying in bed as a girl attempting to feel my blood as it moved through my arteries and veins. About 10 years old, I was certain that there should be no reason that I could not feel this in the same way that I felt the wind tickle my skin or an ice cube melt on my tongue.
It was my blood in my body after all.
So I would lie in bed, attempting to become as sensitive and as aware as possible. I wanted to deepen my self understanding, to shift away from intellectualized concepts and into ~ quite literally ~ a flesh and blood, embodied experience of myself. I wanted to know myself entirely through sensation.
And then I became a teenager. My body became a source of endless shame. I wanted to hide it, change it, escape it.
And then I became an adult, riddled with responsibilities and identities and all their associated signifiers and stresses. My life became condensed to a circuit of mental strategy, endlessly looping, calculating what it takes to achieve goals, pay bills, finish tasks, wrap-up to-do lists.
In January, my husband and I moved into my childhood home, the place I was brought to as 10 day old baby after spending the first part of my life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
Living in this house again has brought me back to my senses. Nearly every inch of this place ~ not to mention its yard and the surrounding neighborhood ~ is filled with exacting smells, sounds, terrain that pull me like a vacuum through a vortex backward in time to the potent sensory experience that was my childhood.
It is literally a homecoming. I feel what I have forgotten: The potent experience that is living in and from my body with all its physical sensations.
Being in your body is a powerful and and tender thing.
Being disconnected from your body is a powerful and disastrous thing.
Reconnecting to your senses, feeling your body, living from your bones, from your heart, from your lungs is an act of innocent bravery.
It is also a radical act of revolution and transformation.
It is spring.
Can you feel it?