Monday, September 15, 2008

DW: The Tsunami of No Possibilities

I was having breakfast on Sunday with my cousins Lori and Bonnie. This was a rare treat and not something we get to do very often

We were speaking of the feeling of "dread" and Lori said, "yes, it's the tsunami of no possibilities, isn't it?" I thought that was such an accurate description of the terrible feeling that can envelop us at certain moments. I had it briefly the other day and it felt just like I did when I knew that I was getting an F in geometry, for the third time in a row.

Emotion is the body's response to the mind. I think of that often when I find myself reeling or spiraling. It happens much less often than it used to, but when it does visit, it leaves me feeling like water can run through my body without stopping in my bladder, like there is no warm bed to climb into for refuge, or a favorite food that will quell my hunger. Clearly, it is the mind that shepherds us into such desolate places.

The day before we went out for breakfast we were celebrating my aunt Pearl's 85th birthday. Family has always been a mixed bag for me, ie, always grappling with the "wanna stay/wanna go" kind of thing. I'm not sure why, but my nervous system just suffers a major assault when I come into contact with certain family members. My petals fold, I completely withdraw, and I'm at the bottom of the pool not hearing anything but the sound of my breath struggling to stay submerged for as long as possible. All I could think of is how enormously grateful I am for my life. My struggles are nothing compared to the drama that has engulfed so many of my relatives. There isn't the need to elaborate--suffice it to say that I was in a room that contained a DSM for every day of the week.

See the complex thing here is that for so long, as a child and adolescent, I wanted nothing more than to live in Queens with my life centered around my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My world (as I imagined it) would have gone something like this: 12:00 pm, pick-up my aunt Pearl and go to Alexander's. Drop her off, take my aunt Annie to Waldbaum's. Drop her off, stop at my cousin Karyn's on 108th Street and have dinner, watch TV, and talk about my life--and at least three times a week. It's sort of my version of what I imagine living in Brooklyn was like where everyone revolved around everyone else's lives. Now I just have my own life to revolve around and sometimes it feels weird and un-natural when I think of my genetic predisposition.

It's Monday, and I'm glad to be back to my life and my new kitchen. I can't wait to put away my crushed tomatoes, pasta, rice, and grains into the 80 inch pantry. Much better than chauffeuring the aunts around Queens Boulevard.

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