I am a visual learner. And I almost always have a mental image that represents my current emotional state. I've talked before about seeing myself in a dugout canoe, alone, paddling hopelessly for shore.
And the panic and thrashing that ensued when the canoe went down, ten years ago now.
In fact, that was one of the first posts I wrote when I started this blog a couple of years ago.
I shared this poem by Philip Booth, and it remains one of my favorite things.
Lie back, daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's-float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.
It just seems to be that time of year, when a lot of us are on the long thrash.
It's like that for me, anyway.
I get distracted, I start to panic, and then I remember.
You've been here before.
You know how it works.
The sea will hold you.