The shadows of attachment

Sometimes it feels as if a certain tenderness in the body, or a shiver, is trying to tell me that I’m there, that life is really happening. We spend a lot of our time awash in feelings and forces that exceed us, since we aren’t the authors of our lives, we are just their caretakers. Sometimes in a sentimental mood I wish: if only we could all feel the same feelings, be moved by the same currents of feeling, cry the same tears, mourn the same deaths, the same losses. Such a commonality of feeling will never exist, I know. People are different: so different. So separate.

At least we have in common that we are separate from each other, alienated, desensitized, in need of each other. We get vulnerable when we’re too far from each other, or too close. But at least we can talk about it, can think about what life means now, can write about it. Maybe writing is less like speaking and more like holding. Maybe I’m writing because I love people, I want to trust people again. Or because I’m stuck, because I’m trying to get unstuck. To find the good ways of being held, not the bad ones. I don’t need any more hugs right now, after seven years of holding babies and toddlers. But I’d like to touch other people’s brains.

I’ve been uprooted and detached and I’m trying to reattach but I need to figure out how. How do you come home when you’ve lost your home? How do you raise children when you are trans or genderqueer? How do you find hope when you’ve gotten used to the darkness of bad times? In my head these questions all have answers, but they’re the kind of answers you can’t quite say; they can only appear here in silhouette, in the shadows that your life casts on the page. Life is a scrapbook. This is my scrapbook.

I’m usually more guarded about who I show my vulnerability to. Please don’t make me sad I wrote this.

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