I’m standing quite quite still, because there’s a feeling that if I move this fragile thing I’m glimpsing from the corner of my spirit will disappear. I don’t know what it is, but it’s come out from hiding quite suddenly without warning and is standing in the wings like a young wild animal.
Before life became the ball of tangled yarn that is my familiar, I sporadically experienced panic attacks. They came and went a little like summer storms: sharp, sudden, violent but ultimately brief. In the midst of the panic it was almost impossible to imagine a state of being that did not include the drum of a heart beating wildly, that bitter metallic taste in the mouth and the feeling of riding a wave of fear so huge that it threatened to engulf me. But soon enough, it was over. And once gone, it became difficult to imagine why and how I could have felt that way. Thus is the nature of the panic attack.
Yesterday, I played the piano.
I’m still standing in the wonder of this, and I’m doing my best to simply experience it.
This afternoon, once the children were up showering I found the time to give in to the pull of it once more. All day, two things have happened to me. First, a nameless draw, a pull to go and sit at the piano, play and just be. There are no words associated with this either positive or negative. It just is. It hasn’t happened to me in years.. and years. Second, a very conscious, very wordy thought: what if I can’t play anymore? What if yesterday was a fluke? What if I scare it away?
I don’t know how to express the difficulty in overcoming that second voice. Sitting at the piano was easy enough. Playing happened. Not quite as fluidly as yesterday, but it happened. I was able to quiet the voice in little flashes.
And in those flashes, something quite wonderful happened. I think it’s called peace! (what do I know?… it was good!)
What struck me afterwards is that my life now is in many ways one big, long panic attack. Fear and Anxiety are two companions that I live with day to day. They don’t exclude Happiness or Joy, and I can honestly say now that they don’t make life intolerable (they did, a few years ago, but I’ve been working!!). But I don’t think any moment goes by without Fear or Anxiety lurking somewhere in the background.
Today, I was playing. A simple sonata by Beethoven, one of my favourite Preludes by Bach (F minor, BWV 881) [oh my, I even referenced music… good golly green giant!!!], a Nocturne by Chopin. I’m trying not to play pieces I “know” so that my brain doesn’t get in the way too much. New pieces are “allowed” to have mistakes. The Bach is an exception.
The pieces aren’t important in themselves. The point, today, is that as I was playing, I experienced some infinitesimally small moments devoid of fear and anxiety. Isn’t it funny that as I have typed this, the words themselves have lost their capital letters?
I’m living a funny old time today, yesterday. Change, positive change of a very profound nature seems possible. I have no idea what to make of it, and I am trying very hard to simply let it happen. That over-analytical mind of mine needs to keep quiet!!!
There’s something about my playing and the kids too… but that’s even more mysterious than what’s going on in my head, so I will have to keep listening, watching, experiencing until I find out more!
My words today are serendipity (Cafe Casey, thank you for yesterday!!), and epiphany… I’d love to share your serendipitous moments, your epiphanies…