In quarantine, I practiced pull-ups until I injured my rotator, a muscle I didn’t even know by name until moving it felt like being pinched with a sharp, hot needle. Surprisingly, the treatment was not to let it rest but to reengage it in small increments, until that hot pinch is felt, the blood rushing there. The goal was to not limit my long-term movements in an effort to avoid that sharp short-term pain.
Writing is letting the ghosts in. A dog that drags you on its leash and takes you to meet yourself. Yes, the hot needle in the mind. The rush of blood before the healing. One year I wrote, ‘I forgive myself’ every day in my notebook to set a ghost free. Ignoring it had only limited my movements. Looking let it go.
‘Did you learn anything?’ My elementary school teacher wrote in white chalk beneath the word ‘Conclusion’ when teaching us how to write essays. When journaling, something about the self is always discovered. Yet, the discoveries feel like something you’d always known, something you carried deep inside you. It’s the same magic feeling of meeting someone you will love, that disorienting familiarity at first, are you sure we haven’t met before? It’s like coaxing yourself from the shadows into the light.