The shower tells me to slow down. It’s the end of the night. It’s time to calm my soul, dress it for sleeping. But I can feel my body still longs in desire for anything that tells me, “you’ve done enough today.” Earlier today I didn’t finish editing that image. The animation is still in the same state it was last week, as are those two emails that are sitting in the drafts folder. I didn’t start on any of the three illustrations I have due soon. I took a nap midday, before I even had lunch. And forgot about half the other things that are on my list of to-dos and to-dreams.
My hands are scratching at the walls that contain me, my skin. It’s so limited to its own time and space. Joined with the warm droplets that are supposed to soothe, but only excite irritation.
My hands don’t stop. I circle in the shower, feeling everything, everything tearing apart, doom imminent, knocking at the door.
My eyes dart around thinking about everything that I didn’t do that day. In every corner of the stall, associating with each crevice my eyes can find, a different disappointment for the day. All the dreams I wanted to start on, the assignments, tasks, and small self-imposed habits that today were proven that they are indeed not anywhere close to habits.
My hands don’t stop, my eyes don’t stop and my breathing joins in. Anxious, it is breathinbreathingbreathing. Beating to the rhythm of hopes, dreams, pressures, expectations, and fears. Shame and guilt arise in a chest that already feels like it’s drowning. And drowning is not where you wanna be at right before sleeping. And you want to sleep because tomorrow will be an early start. And you can’t stop it. Stop your hands, your eyes, your breathing.
You stop. For a second your breath stops, holding itself saying: “I’m done. I’m exhausted, tired, done.” And then it lets the breath seep out, with it your whole body slips into that air. You leave with exasperation in the flow of air through your lips, and you come back in with relief.
You didn’t accomplish everything you wanted today. But you breathed, and you walked and lived. It’s all in that breath, that gives up, it lets go, and everything opens up.
Your eyes relax, and the eyebrows that were before lifted, finally rest on the knowledge of safety. Your hands stops scratching and decides instead to lay by the side of your thighs. Your breathing is breath, and it is stroke, and it is freedom, and acceptance.
It is there. You’re there. Your skin is your freedom, and your body your temple.