I feel everything so keenly and bluntly today. A grade A example of a seemingly bipolar being, sensing each moment pointedly and on each end of the spectrum. Some fill me with what feels like a hot cup of tea, filled with surprising lemon tartness and smooth honey and warmth and safety, making it difficult to breathe in a way where everything seems to skip a beat- some are ragged and painful and sharp around the edges, making it difficult to breathe and not in the lovely way where everything seems to skip a beat.

Yesterday I experienced what felt like potentially one of the most bewitched and astonishing days. I walked in a soft haze, feeling warm in the cold and electric. I saw things a bit differently than I have in a very long time and felt a fascinating, terrifying peace. The smallest things felt like the biggest and I wanted to say everything and nothing at all.

I sat with my family at dinner at a lodge in Snoqualmie dining on rare steak and creamy Risotto, sipping on Syrah that gives me hives and flushed cheeks. Table lit by dim crimson candles listening to an account of my mother’s sixty first year of life; full of unexpected surprises and painted with pictures of joys not found even in her wildest dreams. She shared of the difficult introspection experienced throughout the past twelve months and I saw her so clearly in all of her humanness and fear and undeniable beauty. Her ability to maintain and grow constantly gives me something to strive toward. As I watch her cross through another year, I ponder what will happen to me as I enter twenty seven.

I cried myself to sleep, after such a day, thinking about the deaths and tragedies that fill the mealy pages of our papers, the glossy streams on our screens, and the darkly luminous waves emitted from televisions. I fall behind on what’s going on in our world, our country, our state- just by tuning out for one day and what happens comes crashing down around me. I cried through church this morning, first lightly when my friend Kenneth stood in front of us- baring his heart and his promise to see. Then less controllably upon a time of reflection, remembering to open my eyes and to see, to remember that there is a beyond, and that I am so beyond lucky.

Lucky to be here from the womb of a refugee, sitting next to a mother who loves me beyond comprehension. Lucky to feel the halcyon breeze, lifted above the Puget Sound with a warm pulse and cold hands. Lucky to exist unafraid and for being, making my way through each of my nine lives. Lucky to feel so abundantly and thoroughly, whether it pains or exhilarates. Lucky to feel everything in serrated fragments, both the stunningly good and throttling bad. Lucky to feel the substance of approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit through my denim on the rocks of Ruston. Lucky to walk down the sunshine dappled streets of the North Slope, Staralfur through my headphones and chestnut shells ground beneath my weight. Lucky to sit across my best friends at the bar next door, taking in their gorgeous faces and arguing and loving and shivering from the bite of the breeze. Lucky to hear my laugh reverberate against the walls of their home, my second home and a place to feel safe.

Maybe it would be simpler, easier- to feel less. To fall less. To see less. To question less. But I wonder in these moments of spiralling, fascinating bewilderment: what would I lose?

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