Landslides

“My Island,” mixed media collage, 6″ x 7″


My, has it been over two weeks since I last posted here? I thought about writing last week and then this last weekend — and both times I got cold feet. I had that feeling I used to get as a high school student when the longer I was quiet in class, the harder it was to speak. I used to get red blotches on my neck just thinking about raising my hand to answer a question. But I digress a bit. I don’t have red blotches this time; I just feel a little shy.

I created the above piece today when reflecting on where I’ve been these past two weeks. I do feel like I’ve been on an island — a little island of grief. And just when I think I’m ready to leave my island, I slip off the edge and fall. I am still so curious how grief can come like a sudden landslide. I can feel fairly steady and then I’m flat on my face and sludging through mud. The little things seem to cause my fall. Last week when playing cards with my partner, I felt the loss of my dad so keenly I couldn’t breathe. With cards fanned out in my hands, my body suddenly remembered the marathon games of “manipulation” I played with my dad. I didn’t expect this memory to surface, and there I was falling again.

This Jane Kenyon poem reminds me of the the little things that can create mountains–or landslides–of emotion.

What Came to Me

I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.
It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.
I grieved for you then
as I never had before.

Try this:
Think of the physical details of your life–household objects, jewelry, trinkets, stones, clothing, dishes, etc. Choose one you are energetically drawn to and write for 15 minutes about this object. What feelings does this object conjure for you? What big idea, feeling, or event does this small object carry for you? Allow yourself to feel whatever emerges as fully and deeply as you wish. And remember to breathe. Breath will calm you and reconnect you to your heart center.

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About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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