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greek: return home, pain. nostalgia

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greek: return home, pain. nostalgia
this is a feeling that happens in your solar plexus – high in your stomach and low in your ribs. you do not know how to describe it when you first feel it, alone in your room at three thirty-two in the morning. it feels like homesickness, but that can't be it.
the next time you feel it, the sun is rising over the tops of houses and your eyes are burning. you do not know if it is from crying or from lack of sleep. there is ink all over your bedspread. your chest aches and aches. you whisper into the cool morning air, "i want to go home." the birds start to sing.
the sixth time this feeling settles into your bones, you lose yourself to it. the next morning, you remember nothing of the day before. the hole it leaves is gaping.
the twenty-first time it happens, you call your therapist. you whisper miserably into the phone, "i want to go home, but i am home. i don't know how to make this feeling stop." she tells you to self-soothe and ground yourself. you stare into the light of your lamp until you can't see anything but white.
the thirtieth time it happens, you pick up your ukulele and sing.
the forty-fourth time it happens, you realize that you are very, very alone.
the sixty-fifth time, you cry until your bones feel like they are cracking apart. the sixty-sixth time, you hold so still that your mother checks your pulse.
the seventy-eighth time, you call your best friend. you talk to her until the world feels lighter.
the seventy-ninth time, you realize it is loneliness.
the eightieth time, you decide that maybe it's not.
the eighty-second time, you think, "maybe it's because i'm never grounded. maybe if i could stop my ribcage from flying away with my heart every time my brain felt heavy, then i wouldn't be so sad."
the eighty-third time, you hold onto the stuffed animal you've had since you were two. you tell him about everything inside of you. he makes you feel like a little kid again.
the eighty-fifth time, you realize that maybe you just miss what home used to be. maybe you just miss sanctuary.
the eighty-seventh time, you burrow into a pile of pillows and tell stories to yourself.
the ninetieth time, you open your arms to the feeling. you hold it close and tell it about all the beauty that there is in the world. you both cry dewdrop tears.
the ninety-fourth time, you name the feeling nostalgia.
the ninety-fifth time, you realize it needs a better name.
the hundredth time, you build yourself a sanctuary.




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