I learn something new about my family every time we have dinner. The question of nature vs. nurture is always buzzing around my head anytime i'm with home because growing up I always felt like I was the fly in their ointment, But with age I have had the pleasure of being able to see how not only am I their genetic copy but how deep the connective tissue is that ties us together.
This year has been a series of brutally challenging lessons for me. I lost two people who I felt were the building blocks of my life. People I loved with every cell of my body.
I've struggled with accepting this. I am at my core a little hermit crab when it comes to the people and things I love, I just want to grab them and pull them into my shell and keep them there with me forever.
The struggle has been real and after this burning man I felt like that fire engine haired girl in Run Lola Run...like i'd been sprinting my entire life against an invisible clock...and STILL arrived one second to late.
So a couple mornings ago....I had a mildly serious, completely terrifying panic attack. This is something I've only recently discovered...where it feels like i'm in a clock work orange chair with my eyes taped open watching on repeat a slide show of my fears about the future ...all while the room is simultaneously folding into itself, turning into a smaller and smaller oragami crane...the air draining from the room and making my face look like Arnold S at the end of Total Recall.
So what does one do in these times of worry and woe? DUH! Breathe and call your mom. So I poured my body into a train and got into my mothers bed so I watch antiques roadshow with her and argue about what the hypothetical cost of a tiffany's lamp shade from 1920 would be.
And why am I writing this this? Trust me, I don't want to. But because I'm hoping that if their are others that get this feeling...that they know they're not alone. To offer up some very humble thoughts around loss and change. Life, regardless of who you are, how much you learn, what you have, and what you don't have...is challenging. I assume at some point the struggle to find purpose and meaning with why our consciousness was paired with this particular body in this particular time, is a universal one.
I only know one thing. If you are lucky enough to have family, big or small, go to them when things feel upside down. Because people come and go, but your families love (as challenging as they maybe) is forever.
Anyway, my uncle Robby was in DC because my father and him live in MIami and Irma had forced them to flee back up north and hide out in D.C. with my mother. I recorded this story as I record all my family stories, with my cell phone in the middle of the dining room table just listening to the tennis match like stories that fly around the air. I have nothing but endless gratitude for them. I have a shell I can always go two, when I feel naked and alone in this world. I am a lucky little crab.
Music: Golden Earring: Twilight Zone (extended remix)
Beatles: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Edited: Emily Brodtman www.emilybrodtman.com