I didn’t tell of the warmth, did I? His warmth that mingled with my own in some preserved landscape deep inside of me.

That was days ago. One week if I am to be precise. I remember it all like a dream, the way memory can trick us into disbelieving any deeply felt experience. (Did I call out for him. Did he hold his hand out to me, his palm blushing with color. Did I hold back the moan I felt rising.)

My father only touched to hurt; I’d never wanted my mother’s, having been programmed to view her holding as dangerous and by necessity, covert. With P it felt like the most natural feeling in the world, like I belonged there with him.

I was completely and utterly at ease, like the very best mothers. They are not perfect, Winnicott discerned, just perfectly at ease in their environments. Living, flowing, adapting to what the days bring.

To have been loved in the midst of such ease. To have been gathered and fed and held in some ordinary, divine rhythm, in the landscape that begets being; sometimes I think I’ll drown in my own wanting, my own seeking for just such a beginning. But time is passing like water through a sieve. I cannot go back.

I feel another moan in my throat, even now. Even alone here writing as the last of the leaves fall in yet another perfect rhythm. What if I let P hear me this way. Hear me without the cloak, the decency of words. Hear me aching pure in a proper dirge.

I know he would listen with his whole heart, though he isn’t necessarily mourning as I am; he knows me through the richness of these sorrows; he loves me for them.

I’m already thinking about touching again, but it will only ever be our hands. P told me that in no uncertain terms, and I feel a deep respect for him and his boundaries, protective even. I can adapt to what is possible now between us. For as much as I am thrown back to my past, to the mind and heart of a little girl, I am a woman with a woman’s body and breath and energy.

This is all that is possible now.

I wonder about the next time. What the light will be like and if the air between us will settle with some grace. I’ve imagined him deeply settled into his own body, relaxed and sure and at peace.

I can’t imagine being touched that way, yet I feel sure that we will find our way to such a place, such an experience.


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