I was a shadow of myself in class today…and I cried a little bit.  A couple of tears spilled down my cheeks during the closing hip stretches and meditation.  It wasn’t the release I was expecting, and I certainly don’t feel any euphoria.  Just this overwhelming urge to be by myself and let whatever it is come out of me.  What is it?  What are you, you annoying hip-tightening, chest constricting thing you!  I’m not used to this slow release business.  I’m more of an exorcism type of person.  Wrestle with it, turn into a psycho and just splatter it all over the walls.  But then again, I did that when I went home for Christmas.  My poor mum had to put up with days of unpredictable meltdowns.  I think she decided by the end that instead of trying to console me, she’d just join me.  We got the chocolates out, lined up all the classic tear-jerkers, Little Women, Billy Elliot, Finding Neverland, and eventually there came a morning where I woke up, went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and said, “mum, I don’t think I’m going to cry anymore”, and that was that.

So why now?  What’s left?  I guess with bereavement, the feeling of loss never really goes away.  And by that I don’t just mean Brendan, and Gary and Francis.  Young men taken too soon.  I mean relationships coming to an end, friendships breaking up, and stages of your life coming to a close too.  Powering on, always looking forward, never saying what you really feel.  I’m angry, I’m hurt, I’m – whatever it is that you feel at that time – doesn’t make it go away.  It just kind of clings onto you.  Nestles in somewhere nice and comfortable and out of sight.

Maybe we need that time to build up our defenses.  Gather strength.  Because one day a part of that nestling creature breaks off…a limb, an ear, I don’t know – something horrible and uncomfortable though, and suddenly this appendage is swimming around inside you and you know you have to get it out, but you don’t know how!  Cut me open, take it out!  You want to scream at someone, but that’s not how it works.  You have to break it down, digest it, tear it apart somehow and excrete it along with all the other daily waste.

This feeling doesn’t last all day.  I bee-lined to the exit, as usual, and took a detour by the local football field.  Picked up a drink and some weird vegetable thing and sat on the wall and just watched everything gently moving.  The sun on my back felt amazing, and I love watching the dog that looks like a polar bear, flopping about and coming up for a pat on the head.  In fact, animals always make me feel better….The ducks, the chickens, the dogs and cats, the geckos and their electronic vocals “EH-UR”, the lonely rabbit over the hill, even the cheeky monkeys and their destructive habits.  I think they remind me that we’re all the same – you and I and the young cows outside Raka Raka.  Living creatures that, in terms of the universe, and all those other wonders that Brian Cox presents with such passion, are only present for less than a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth…..of a billionth of a second.

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