Sunday, August 30, 2009

Drinne's Big Adventure

Before I start this story I think it's important to note that once upon a time, many years ago, my body forgot a few things, like how to hold a pen, or stand without assistance, and eventually for a short, terrifying time how to walk at all.

And when it slowly carefully relearned all the really obvious things which it had forgotten, it took the better part of two years to find all the little things that the brain had jettisoned or reconfigured in order to get things like Mobility back in the picture.

It's part of this story, "What I am Doing On My Summer Vacation."

I made choices, I went to the beach and negotiated a truce, and I have relearned how to ride a bike.

Which is not as simple as it should be.

And now I have a bike of my very own.

It was an adventure.

The Most Adventurous Red approves.

It started because of The Boy, who needed a bike ( because Boys need Bikes) went to the store with my Dearest Friend to repair his bike, (because Dearest Friends need Bikes too). I figured since my Dearest Friend's bike is unique and collapsable that the people who could service it would be people I could trust to advise me on the proper bicycle for the Boy. It would need to work in our environment by the House but it would also need to be able to do well here, by the beach in the far Northeast, where we punctuate our lives.

It did not take us long, the man who helped us loves bikes and people and speaks in sounds my ear associates with childhood. The bikes are just as fancy as my overly competitive, yuppified, sports minded area, but they are presented plainly, no fancy words, no branding, no "exclusive 10 point measuring systems". I was happier there. I trusted this person. The Boy doesn't ask for much so I tend to be careful when he does.

He asked if we could get the bike so that he could use it here. After some thought, I agreed. The Boy and His Bike were meant to be, matched by the Massachusetts Bike Man. It only took two bikes before we found the Right One.

The Boy brought His Girl with him on this trip. A new and possibly dangerous thing to do, and we learned that His Girl did not ride. Hmmn, this is not ideal - Girls also need Bikes.

Bikes are independence where we are, because the buses are disjointed inefficient money soaks that add obstacles rather than opportunities. Everyone, besides me, offered to teach her.

I could not- I was fairly sure I no longer knew how to ride a bike. But I encouraged her, and on hearing her concerns and the phantoms she threw up offered to try to ride a bike with her. She thought that seeing a grown up who could not ride easily try to relearn might help.

The other adults travelling with me and the Massachusetts Bike Man all reassured me that if I used to ride, I will remember no matter how many decades, but only my Dearest Friend was there when my body had forgotten, and some of the times over the years when I had to fight to keep what I had relearned. Some things are not the same after that. There was no guarantee for me.

When we got out of the car to buy his bike, I saw it. I walked around it. I took pictures of it. But I didn't think I would do anything about it.

It reminded me of Burning Man, of studying religious texts, of art school, of my first bike, of time travel. It reminded me of hope. The kind of hope where you look at something in the window and hope that someday you'll be rich/talented/old/good enough to be able to own it.
Pressed-nose -against-the-window-hope.

I put it on the mental shelf. There were no guarantees, I am too old to pine at windows and even if I were not, I am too realistic to hope without some basis in reality.

Then on the very first day The Boy's Bike had an epic failure of tubing and heat and needed to go back to the bike shop, which with great metaphoric symbolism is called "YesterYear".

There is a six month service plan. His Girl went with us for the repair.

I've never seen a repair done so fast without a planned pit crew. They wheeled it in and the owner called out "This just rolled out this morning - let's get it back out NOW!"

It was like magic. My favorite kind, where the magic is because of extreme competence. God, I love it when that happens.

I did show His Girl the Very Pretty Bicycle. I will love her forever because when she saw it she said, "It looks like it was made for you!"

That is not what most people who know me would think.

Lined up with all the other bikes, it called out to me full of things past and present and future. The others were talking with the crew up by the repair, and we asked the Massachusetts Bike Man if I could sit on it. It was our third visit to his shop. He pulled it out of the line up for me and I sat to see what would happen when I did.

I was disoriented.

It was frightening.

The edges of the parts of my brain that had been affected by the Great Forgetting fluttered frantically trying to make sure that the simple act of supporting a bike while sitting on it did not cause me and the bike to go tumbling down in the very public lot.

I told the Boy's Girl the truth, that I was shaky and having trouble keeping my balance, and I thanked the MBM and told him that I would practice riding back by the beach before I tried to ride around the parking lot. The one thing I was sure of is that I did not remember.

She told me she would learn if I would, because maybe then I would get that bike. I told her that I probably wouldn't be getting the bicycle, but it wasn't OK for me to feel the edges of Forgetting and just leave them there. Because if I leave it alone, the whole abyss lies under it and I won't know how deep it is. That is unacceptable. I cannot live like that.

I will not go gently.

So we would start from the beginning, together, me and the Boy's Girl.

We went back to the shipwright's house and had the first lesson.

First there were the parade of bikes to be tried. The Shipwright's House, like all the houses here collects bicycles. Tall ones, short ones, ancient ones, merely old ones and The Boy's Bike. The Boy and I are the same height now. We're both pretty tall with long legs, and his was the only one that fit. His bike is much more bike than I should be using. Oh well, nothing for that now. We found one for her.

At my insistance, we took our practice starts on the grass. My Perfectly Ordinary Husband demonstrated "push off" and then handed it to me and said "Ok - show me what you've got".

I admit, I'm not sure I would have tried going anywhere on my son's bike if it weren't for His Girl and the Very Pretty Bicycle. But I did try.

My son has a very nice bike. Much to my surprise, while all of the Forgetting Edges hovered around my balance center and my lungs, the act of pushing off helped me to find a new center, and I rode around the bush and remembered how to use a hand brake to stop.

It was only a little like remembering and nothing at all like learning. It was more like discovering. I discovered how I could ride a bike, even with the abyss underneath.

The Boy's Girl learned to ride the same day, within the hour.

I had forgotten how to breathe, but that happens a lot lately. I was able to use words and feelings and physical actions that helped The Boy's Girl be willing to take risks too. That and the inspiration of my shaky, wobbly, triumphant trip to and from the tennis courts, with occasional flashes of breathing.

I could ride a bike and not pass out. This was even bigger than riding in the first place!

My body, my brain and I have not all been on the same page for some time. We need a mediator, we need to readjust. We need to feed each other again and work towards something instead of trying to maintain equilibrium. We need measured successes, but with milestones we made ourselves.

We needed a bicycle. It's bigger on the inside than the out. I promise.

On the fourth trip, after the research, and the soul searching, and the permission to be selfish (I gave it to myself) I went back to the MBM and told him that I was going to get a bike, it didn't have to be the one I loved but it did have to be right. I trusted him. I would try what he thought was best for me and where I would be riding.

It ended up that the right bike was indeed the one I loved.

It's call the OM.

It makes me want to leave the porch. It makes me wonder if I'm good enough to ride on a wet road.

(No, not yet).

When the weather was clear I stopped the comfortable easy thing I was doing and took it out of the garage myself and went as far as I could.

I am learning.

I am willing to move.

I am learning to use a coaster break on a downhill slope.

I have learned how to apply heat to the bruises on the back of my left calf until I get it right.

I am finding a pace where I can ride and breathe and still enjoy movement and air and environment.

I have a plan for when my bike goes home to practice around my neighborhood.

I will have the prettiest bike on my block, confusing the hell out of the people who see me leave for work each day in my black suits.

If I get good enough, I can ride my bike to work wearing my black suits, and my dark sunglasses, carrying my technology in a shock proof case.

The check at the security gate should be fun.

I can ride a bike.

Take that Universe, I got something new back, even at this late date.

Bet you didn't see that coming.

(I certainly didn't).

But you're welcome to come along with us for the ride.

It will be an adventure.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Coffee and the Beach

The Coffee Poppets and I went to the beach.

This is kind of a big deal.

I got this little arm holster thingie at Trivia Night and we've been using it to figure out how to take Poppets On Tour.

The Coffee Poppets were willing to give it a go.

The other bit that is kind of a big deal is that I'm not supposed to be out in the sun.

Bah to all that.

When we got to the boardwalk they asked to be let down.

We went to the second dog beach, there is the "old boardwalk" (The dog beach is where dogs are allowed here, there is a people beach too but there is really very little point in being there if you are vacationing with your dog.)

I have been coming here for the last 20 or so years with my Very Dearest Friend. Here in it's own way is more consistant than the many places I have lived during the same 20 years.

Sometimes when I think about the milestones in my life they are marked or punctuated by my time here.

One step, One year at a time.

When I first started coming here I was allowed to be in the sun.

We were not known enemies then.

Times of course have changed. But this year, I will cover up and don the armor and sit on the beach. It is the first part of the maneuver. I am looking for an armed truce between the Sun and I and then I can move on to the Sea.

I suppose it's best if one's epic battles are with large things. It makes them seem less petty that way.
When we got to the beach at a platfrom straight down from the boardwalk is a large open outdoor oven.

It is functional and only partially affected by the tragedy of the commons, but it is part of the scenery. I have seen it in use over the years but it does not seem to be in use now.

The Coffee Poppets wanted to check it out. I brought them down and we discussed various methods of making campground coffee or other types of coffe preparation in rustic conditions.

We then discussed great campground coffee that we have had. I had more than they have, but they were willing to play catch up if left on their own.

Poppets like boats.

Have you seen the opening graphic on

Of course human boats don't have hands. Well they do, but they are attached to humans. Sometimes the humans on a ship are called hands.

The Coffee Poppets took a little while to understand this.

They spend sometime looking for the hands.

Then we all continued to the beach.

When they hit sand they found someone who had spent a great deal more time on the beach than they were planning on.

The conferred for a bit, but I was not privy to their conversation.

I was working on my detente with the Sun.

The Poppets continued on their was to the Sea. It's not really the Sea, it's really a trapped bit of Ocean, or water in communication with Ocean but Sea sounds far more primal.

At least to me.

The Coffee Poppets explored more of the beach and took up the invitation of one of our hosts.

She likes to play ball by having her human throw the ball as far out as he can.

Then she swims out and collects the ball bringing it back and rolling around in the seaweed and generally celebrating the fact that she has fur and there is sand.

The Coffee Poppets weren't really sure about the ball part. The ball was considerably larger than they were and they weren't really sure that they could swim out to where a ball was anyway.

They did however try bodysurfing.

They decided it was too much like being a teabag.

So they dried out on a rock that was on the beach, mumbling a little something about not wanting to end up like the tiny blue man they had met.

Drying on the rock was pleasant and they decided that they did indeed like the Sun.

So do as I as matter of fact. When we are just dealing with light the Sun and I are great friends.

Like many relationships, it is sustained direct contact where we run into interpersonal problems.

After some time, we agreed that it was good all around. We had tried new things and while they were off on their adventures, the Sun and I found a comfort zone.

So although I must be careful about it, now I too can be at the beach.

That makes today significantly different than yesterday.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The First Cup of Vacation

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been reading lately that I need a vacation.

We are on vacation.

It's the kind of vacation where you change your location but not necessarily your chores, responsibilities or company.

You change your pace, you change all your colors.

You change the how you do things.

And see different things until you see with different eyes.

And hopefully with your different eyes you can find the pieces of yourself that you scattered about or ignored.

That's only when you let yourself relax into it. It doesn't work if you let the responsibility part overwhelm the change part.

I made some important decisions this year, because I need to recharge this time.
Decision the first: I took the train. Travelling in the car is stressful for me. I am not fond of cars, driving is not freedom for me. I am from a city where the transit system works and I am a child of an era where independence was expected. A bus pass is freedom - driving is responsibility.

You had to wait for a license and be able to afford a car - a bus pass took you all the way from Ancient Egypt to Post Modern before third grade.

So the train took away a great deal of the stress.

Decision the second: A long vacation. The problems with a "quick trip" or a multiple stop trip - there is no unwinding, you are always preparing to go to the next place - the extended family, the vacation spot, home. Day 1 travel, Day 2 recover from travel, Day 3 relax, Day 4 anticipate leaving, Day 5 travel.

Ridiculous - Silly Humans thinking that is anything like a vacation.

12 days - with no long drives. Much better.

And I am back in the real Northeast, with my Dearest Friend and My Perfectly Normal Husband. The Boy and His Girl, and The Girl of the House.

And some Poppets.

How does this go? I packed quickly due a change in circumstances that said "If you really want enough time you need to be on a train in three hours" and I told those circumstances "Damn Straight!" and in packing surveyed the Poppets to ask who would like to come to Massachusetts with us. To my surprise the Coffee Poppets said that they would like to go.

I didn't know they travelled.

They do now. Winter and the Most Adventurous Red are with me too, but the Coffee Poppets have understood the nature of this very necessary vacation best. They saw the change in light, they assessed the situation and determined that yes, it was a very good place to relax and do the things they liked to do in a slightly different way. And you might well remember that they are quite opinionated about what should be done. They were very pleased that the local establishment provided the necessary tools with a great deal of local flavor.

Organic? Of course! Free Trade? Of course!

Unpretentious Name? Excellent - very different from home - no need to put on airs here. It will do.

They took the beans to the grinder.

They wondered why we do not have purples in our packaging at home. They came up with a theory that salespeople were afraid that we might not recognize coffee beans if the bags aren't coffee colored and determined that they thought the purple was cheery.

Coffee should be cheery. And Mandatory.

The grinder was the same manufacturer as the one at home but quite different in form and function.

How wonderful! We can learn a new grinder! What a great vacation.

This grinder is far more Poppet Friendly than the one at home. There is a balcony to watch the beans on their transformation to become coffee.

It's like when Humans get to watch a hibachi chef prepare their meals.

There is pleasure in watching the process.

The coffee maker is much different than the one at home. It is larger.

Here in Massachusetts we use a reusable gold filter. Others humans drink coffee here - so I do not drink alone.

They make a note to try harder to find a gold filter for home.

This machine is also more Poppet friendly and they measure themselves against their favorite kind of ruler.

They are five and a half cups tall.

The selection of mug is terribly important for taste and temperature.

It affects the coffee.

Sometimes containers are as important as content.

The cups and creamers are an amalgam of people and places literally over one hundred years. The house we are in is the house of a shipwright, the wood from a beloved ship involving the member of the Very Dearest Friend's family. The house was built by an Auntie.

Probably the cups are not the age of the house, but they do span the decades and have an appropriately rustic feel.

The Highly Caffeinated Coffee Poppet finds a mug that is reminiscent of the china at home that we use for High Tea. However like the house itself it is somewhat softer, older and gentler.

Still this is not the right mug for the first cup of Vacation Coffee

This one is promising, it looks very peaceful.

Vacation mornings should be peaceful.

A vacation mug should hold coffee for a long period of lingering over breakfast conversation with one's Very Dearest Friend.

Yes this will do.

It's vacation, use half and half instead of skim.

Look local Peach Bread!

They discus the possibility of having Peach Bread at the Poppet Cafe.

In order to determine that we should actually examine the Peach Bread.

It seems like it might like to be toasted, very, very, lightly.

OK .


Start your Vacation.

Peach Bread is excellent when lightly toasted.
The light here is different.

It has a brighter, bluer quality.

Today we will do familiar things differently.

Tomorrow we will do new things comfortably.

Coffee Poppets apparently travel well and make excellent vacation companions.

I will work on seeing with different eyes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Color Is Your Rage

I seemed to have missed a memo somewhere.

It's the one where you work to secure the future and stability of a number of people that aren't you, and in the process you make the mistake of committing competence.

Obviously, this proves my ultimate and innate evil.

I must be stopped.

Since I obviously cannot be stopped by normal means, the only fair action is to create laws that don't exist and convince people I am violating them. In actuality I would be violating them, if they did indeed exist.

It's necessary.

On being confronted publicly with such perfidy, having the poor grace to point out that these laws do not exist, or no one would actually be able to complete the work that matched my job description the truth did indeed out! I should not be doing my job! It's all clear now.

Of course the simple act of the gentleman in question cashing his checks for the next five years will be due to my doing the job he has deemed I should not do. The job that may go away while I was securing his, because I was securing his. Let us not let logic get in the way of desire.

He desires my acts to be illegal. If he says it strongly enough, surely it will be.

The anger of course is because I know things. How dare I, I'm wearing the wrong color and not allowed to know things. He ought to know since he wears the same color. You can see how that makes him right.

The color we wear is green. The color of my rage is striped.

I will need to settle back down into gray.


Apparently there is nothing more threatening in the world than Me. Knowing things.


I have no intention of dumbing down.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today I Shall Be Brave

Because yesterday I was not.

And I wasn't brave for a large series of previous yesterdays.

And there are consequences for that.

I can only accept being afraid for so long and then when I look at the bottom where you are either broken or in denial, I tend to get very, very, angry.

But I am still afraid, and I will go there anyway.

Mostly because if I wait until I am not afraid, I may find that I am already broken.

And I will not tolerate that.

So I WILL go tonight, and find the light peeking out in between the scary, scary people and see if I can be there without self immolating.

It's never God that smites you with lightening when you go to services, it's your own internal combustion engine powered by whatever you power it with. Tiger, tiger Burning Bright.

So tonight will be Facing Consequences 1/Spontaneous Combustion 0.

The Odds however, are split between quietly sneaking out early vs being seen.

I have spent the better part of the year practicing invisibility. Now it's time to stop.

Even if I'm not ready. Especially if I'm not ready.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Connecticon 2009 - A Folk Tale

Once upon a time there was a young woman who started a magazine and spent a great deal of time at conventions. She was a business person who loved words and art. Then years passed and the magazine became suspended in time and the young woman was then known for hosting staged events, because she loved fabric and words and humor. And then her worlds collapsed a bit, and then a bit more, and the world that the conventions were in was not one of her worlds anymore.

And the young woman was no longer young, but she was asked by explorers to work as a guide and chaperone through that world. Like Hunter in Neverwhere but without the personal agenda, she took them through the doors that they wanted opened, protected them when they needed it, and threw them loose when she felt they did not need her anymore. She taught them they ways of the roads, they would be hunters themselves now.

Then someone asked her to guide a ghost. The challenge was too much to pass up and so the doors opened again and this time there were Poppets.

You cannot lie to a Poppet. So what happens when a Poppet asks and you aren't sure of the answer?

You open the door together and see what there is to be seen.

You see the drive and talent and ambition of someone who knows the roads and has the business sense - and a love of words and humor and art.

You see the work of hands and objects walking the fine lines between craft and trend and mystery.

You find the energy that made you walk the path before bottled and packaged with the slight hints of irony.

You find the sustenance that used to be smuggled in only for those in the know, but now are the hallmark of the fen.

You find fun with cardboard boxes.

Interaction with shadows of Id.

Opportunities to see the world in a dot.

The ability to share cynicism with Cthulu.

Cross marketing opportunities for the Poppet Cafe.

And that indeed, is what they did.

When it is over, the Poppet stares at her. They've walked the roads together. A hiccup in time that leaped a decade unwrinkles in front of them. Looking out the Poppet asks again:

"Who are you when you are not the Hunter and you are not the Host?"

She thinks for a bit, and tells the truth.

"I'm not sure I know. Maybe we need more doors."

And thus unsettled, they move forward.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What the Body Remembers

There's nothing that can disrupt a week or two like an emergency root canal.

On the whole I have a very good life. It does not seem like any type of extreme life to me, perhaps because I live it.

When it's time to listen to the stories of others, who lived lives that haunt their every move, I have always felt that my stories are little. They are nothing. They were survivable and I have survived.

The one thing I have noticed is that the tellers of their own tales, the haunted ones, share a common ingredient. A lack of being loved.

I have never had that happen to me. So perhaps I feel like their stories have more weight than mine. I have never suffered the need to be loved by someone who withholds love from me, or lived with someone legally required to love me who did not. It never occurs to me that perhaps, the act of surviving is not quite the free pass it seems like in my head.

Along with the lack of love theory, I acquired the idea that telling the stories of things you survived was a method of trying to get acceptance, love, community, connection. But I saw that it was a circle. The people who told the stories found others with similar stories and the idea that those stories were the norm sets in. The drama begins in the new community, because they've normalized it - just this time with love.

A terrible cycle, especially when people do not know how to let themselves be loved. Epic, mythic, tragedies played out on smaller stages than Euripedes, but just as painful. Brains trapped in patterns, bodies waiting for pain.

And I do know that the body remembers.

Bodies, apparently when acting with minimal assistance from the brain have difficulty understanding time.

Which is why with all the stories of this week gone by I will tell the story of my needing a root canal. It should be a little story but in so many ways it is not.

I am horribly dental phobic, the honest to goodness form, odontophobia. This is not "Oh I hate the dentist", or "The sound of the drill makes my skin crawl" This is crying at the shot of the animated dental tools in "Finding Nemo" and trying to hide it from the family and friends I went to see the movie with. Lets not even talk about the scene towards the end with the "bad girl and the dentist". It is shaking uncontrollably when the scent of the material they use for filling wafts down the hall in an office building when I'm there for a business meeting elsewhere in the building.

I do not hate dentists. I feel terribly sorry for them as I shake, or blubber or hear my voice crack. I can handle the sound of a drill in the woodshop or the manicurist. The pitch of a dental drill is different. I can tell, someone in my sound engineering class thought it would be cute . . . I would just like to remind that person that I remember. Poor dentists who did nothing to me to deserve this. I have survived much worse than going to the dentist . . . . and yet. . . . .

Most fears are things that are self feeding - the fight or flight response kicks in. You are sure it is justified and if there is no personal or social cost you do little to change it. Afraid of spiders? Scream a bit, some one will fix it. People may joke, but no one will really make you get over it unless you see spiders that aren't there.

Many fears or anxiety reactions are justified - PTSD, recovery from abuse, recovery from injury. Sometimes you are concerned it will happen again or you haven't found a way to prevent it, the fear of living through something again comes with thought processes, sometimes separated in time. Sometimes you feel like you are experiencing the stressor in the NOW. Even though it's not there. That is PTSD.

My dental phobia unfortunately is not that. I have been through flavors of all of that. At this age I can recognize when the past threatens to overwrite the present. Knowing that is happening is the battle. Controlling it so it cannot is what wins the war.

I am loved in my life, but I will not lie. I'm a veteran of the war.

I won the goddamned war.

So I have no patience with myself for not controlling this. I have passed on dental work that would have allowed me a better chance to pursue a career, I have allowed pain to increase to the point where I have needed to be hospitalized rather than go to the dentist. I am banned from bringing my own offspring to the dentist because

1. I do not want what I know is an irrational fear to infect my children.

2. No one should see me like that. It's beyond embarrassing, it's truly shameful.

When I was in the thick of battle, what I would not do for myself, I did for others. I fought the fears enough for some cosmetic dentistry in order to not have my teeth count against me in hiring when I had to support my children.

That's when I learned that no matter how much you dislike unnecessary medication, medication helps. But the dentist proscribes A LOT of valium so I can get in the door.

For a consult.

With a dentist I like and and am grateful to.

I take the meds, I bring in years of experienced meditation. I recite the Warrior's Koan. I play tricks on myself. I have friends make loud music mixes for me of new music and play them in my sound engineering headphones instead of the regulars ones.

And I can do it. Keeping still while terrified so that you don't upset the very nice men and women trying to fix you requires intense concentration and deliberate muscle control. But it costs, my body is spent physically afterwards if I do it without the valium (and sometimes I do, because sometimes I have to.) Like I just got off the Tour de France but never trained for it.

I know why. It's "direct experience." I have a little monolouge I recite when I meet the dentist or the hygenist to warn them that I'm very sorry that I'm a weak crazy lady who can't make the fear stop:

-This is what happened
-These are all the things that make me know it can never happen again
-You're a very nice person and I'm so sorry that I'm about to make you feel bad
-These are the physical reactions that I might have - I will try to warn you if I can first
-These are the things I will do to try not to do those things if they are OK with you and don't get in your way.

I am the most clinically exact phobic they usually meet. They are not surprised by the phobia, or the physicallity of it, they are surprised at how much I do to manage it when they can see for themselves how severe it is.

But this time, I wasn't prepared for a simple thing. Before I could launch into my careful clinical monologue, the endodondist looked at the chart and asked, "What happened?"

So I started to describe the symptoms ( and the admission that I've been walking around with a cracked open tooth for 6 months) and he stopped me.

"No, what happened that caused the phobia?" and I told him, slightly shocked, because it moved me off my script. And he asked specific questions, and I answered and he looked at me.

"No, you're really not going to get over it. It's OK. We'll do what we need to, your body is just not going to forget."

No one had ever asked me first.

I have always offered it up apologetically, in shorthand.

How very off-putting.

So he told me to explain what I used to get through and I showed him the chime balls I used to keep from gripping down and the sound engineering headphones that encase me in the loud music that protects me from the auditory triggers and finally I showed him my newest strategy and introduced him to the Poppets to ask if I could have the Impeccable Doctor Brown take a picture with the Xray.

He not only placed the Doctor for me, he asked if I'd like to have them stay out for the procedure. Like a focal point.

I was amused, I was friendly, I was anesthetized, and I said yes.

But my hands shook too hard to move the poppets myself. Knowing and being known was not enough.

Even now, with magic words, powerful potions and ritual components, my body would not forget.

And secretly, even knowing that no one expects me to do more than I have done, I do not forgive myself for that. Because in the face of nothing but kindness and compassion, in my bones I am still threatened and there is nothing they or I can do.

The books and stories and miracle TV shows, where someone asks the question for the first time, or the memory is suddenly revealed, is the stuff that dreams are made of. Sometimes the dreams are true and just the act of uncovering solves things.

But sometimes the body remembers without you and you cannot reason your way out. And for some the body's remembrance drives the reason out.

The only thing I can do is work through and try not to judge myself.

But it needs to be said. If you can survive everything else and be mostly OK, it doesn't mean everything is all right.

If you come back from a real war, your family needs to know your body will remember, your government needs to admit it sent your body someplace for it to learn.

The abused, the injured, the victimized, those who have survived both the little and the large things that imprint themselves. Sometimes their bodies will remember and mocking them or bullying them to go on does no good.

But knowing it helps.

And I suspect, that being loved while you know it helps more.

It's a little thing in the world really, my body just won't let go. I try to keep in mind, not the bigger things I have moved past, but this little thing that stays when I read/hear about others. It helps keep me humble and reminds me not to judge too harshly.

But I am still ashamed my hands shook.

I am going back for the follow up treatment today