Monday, October 05, 2015

Recycling Grief

"If that younger self inside you is the only one who responds to grief, then you end up doing what I call "recycling grief," because that younger self doesn't have the capacity to handle it." 
-Francis Weller, interview in October 2015 issue of The Sun

I don't have much to say about this yet. I am still mapping it all out, and figuring out what will resist mapping. But something is shifting in me, deep inside. After I read these lines by Weller, I realized another piece of it - the grief my inner child self has carried for so long - ostensibly for my mother and father, who died when I was so young - is slowly transferring to my adult self. 

It is a delicate procedure, a handling of an egg without a shell. Slick and delicate membrane of feeling and all that I couldn't feel when I was younger. Raw sadness without labels or names. Yesterday, on a walk through the Wingra creek portion of he Arboretum, I felt the lowlands marshy-ness, the high oak hill. I knew all of this is natural, suddenly, with full feeling. A relief. I can have this grief in the world, for the world - not just about my loss, but about all loss.

It's hard to describe, but ascribing my specific sadnesses to the larger current moment helps me both feel more specifically and directly, and also with fewer labels. I can just feel. And that feels amazing.

No more recycling grief. Feeling a fresh sadness now, so what comes from before can move through and on. I don't expect less sadness in the future because of this. But perhaps clearer sadness, less muddled by story and yet with better insight into past and present.

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