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You Are Here
You are standing knee-deep in an icy stream. The water is fast and sharp. It slides through your calves and wets your bones, inching up your shins and into your femur. Where are you in your own body? Are you between your eyes right now? Or are you in the soles of your feet, feeling the rocks crease your flesh? Are you in your chest and stomach, learning how to breathe?
The answer is “yes.” But more particularly, right now you are in a little strand of leg hair flailing in the current. The force of the stream stretches and pulls you away from the follicle that roots you in the mighty leg. Perhaps you think about it and realize that you feel this immense pressure not just because the water is rushing but because your roots are resisting. Perhaps you begin to inch away from the roots, letting the current drag you all the way to the very tip of your strand of hair. You think maybe you’ll be safer out there, far away from the restrictive follicle. But the closer to the tip you get, the more dizzyingly the choppy water tosses you about and the harder it becomes to make your way back towards the roots of the hair, where you’ll feel the pull and the pressure but at least know which way is up.
You are back at the very root of the hair, almost beneath the skin. You hear the windy rushing of the blood just above you. It’s a little warmer here. Suddenly the water doesn’t bother you so much. Maybe you start to realize that you aren’t just in your hair. You’re also in your skin and your veins and in the organs they encircle. You can make it up your spine and into your throat and nose and eyes where the water can’t touch you. And you can do it without abandoning that little strand of leg hair - but not without being willing to leave it.
Maybe things up in your head aren’t so warm and still. Maybe they’re pressuring you, waggling you. Maybe you’re grasping ten different things in each hand and there are too many to keep a solid grip on. But if you can find one thing - your stem, your strand - and hold on tightly, you can repeat that whole climb.
Where are you now? Are you in the soft black flesh of the earth? Are you in the stampeding waves of the stream? Are you in the aorta of the gushing heart of Zeus? You hear the windy rushing of the swirling clouds above you.