I smashed my thumb in the car door the night before Thanksgiving. The emotional intensity of the event was unexpected—I have spent the last couple of weeks in a state of personal upheaval and had found myself most often feeling quite numb, not yet going through the motions of true change. The immediacy of pain, of dizziness, of bruise, of swell hit me as the shock of a hard rain does, the kind of rain in which the water soaks all the way through the clothes and the skin and to, as they say, the bone, and the sensation of such wetness is both uncomfortable and cathartic. Everything changes when a part of you is injured, altered. The landscape of a body begins to require more thought, the process of a day more consideration, every movement creating an awareness of the shape of what can and cannot be done this way or that way and how—functionality is flawed, or at least in fluctuation, and I take on the change like a personality trait the way I take on a head cold in the same way, this is me, this is my life now.
I am, right now, in a very real sense rupturing. I do not mean my thumb—as I write this it is back to itself again, still bruised and still tender but once again mine. My life lately is splitting, because my marriage is, and I can say that in this space because it is mine and these words are real to me in a time when I am living both out of space and time. I am wide open these days, I am being seen, I am finally accessing/returning to myself. This week has been the longest one and by the way I am measuring it is not yet over. I am seeking discomfort as well as catharsis. I am seeking breath without choking in hard, sudden rain.
The process of writing, too, of course, can produce an effect similar to the emotional experience of smashing a thumb in the car door: unexpected discoveries that hit, and sometimes bruise, and shock and create a stir of discomfort and also allow for release. I felt this release last month when we held our first virtual writing workshop, a generative practice in creativity and exploration. The writing I did that night released something within me that I had been tucking for too long into the back of a drawer. I wrote of an ending and of snow and I wrote of my dream-wolf and the ways in which it keeps haunting me even when I am awake and I wrote, I wrote, I wrote freely for the first time in too long. We cannot wait to offer more workshops such as these—our next will be in January; we will have further information for you soon.
Our contributor conversation this month will be with me! It's always a delight to collaborate with Emma in different ways, and responding to her thoughtful interview questions was so fun. If you're interested in reading about my thoughts on punctuation, my obsession with disappearing women, and the ways in which I am learning the distinctions between my writer and editor selves, our conversation will be available on December 15th.
Love and Light,
Founder and Editor, The Champagne Room