Tag Archives: advocate self care

tending to and releasing the stories we carry

Good morning and good morning — it’s been a little while since I wrote a blog post in the dark. Last week, I had a visit from my father last week, followed by a short vacation with my sweetheart to a place where I spent about 24 hours on a beach (not consecutive, but still!)

My shoulders ache this morning and you’d think I didn’t just spend a bunch of time in warm ocean water, floating and floating, staring up at the sky. There was a day when most of what I did was to drift at the shoreline, just where water meets sand, and let the small schools of fish gather around and nibble at my legs. I felt so grateful to be gathered around by these my Pisces kindred, by these little minnow-y fish with their big yellow-stained eyes. I felt welcomed. I stood or drifted in the water and they circled and circled around my body, like I was something to be contained, or investigated. One or two of the fish would break away from the school and point themselves toward my face, as though they were looking right at me. I looked back, smiling, absolutely aware that they can’t read my expressions. Still, it felt like visitation. They took little nibbles and bites out of the backs of my calves and thighs, sometimes using their teeth enough that I yelped and squirmed away.

I let the salt water hold me. I let the waves crashing over the barrier wall effervesce the water that I floated through, bubbling all over my skin. I got doused and dunked. I swam toward nothing. Now and again, I imagined dropping all our stories into this good and blue water — all these stories of loss and despair and fury, the stories I have been listening to since the mid-90s, the stories of very precise and particular violences. Intimate violence is always precise and particular — intimate. I let the water scour the tender belly where the stories live. I let the water lift the stories up. I let the water take them.

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