No More Feelings

Given the current situation in the world, if you buy one of my two self-published books, I will donate the proceeds to Hope for College. Buy Learning to Breathe which focuses on mental health, and Twist, Weave, Untangle about my becoming a critical digital pedagogue.

I’m tired of talking about my feelings. I am grateful for colleagues who start every meeting asking how we’re all feeling, how we’re coping, but I am tired of answering. Tired of answering my mom, my dad, my in-laws, everyone. I appreciate the concern, but I am actually doing pretty fine. Better than most, ok with everything being broken, canceled, in limbo.

And then, I watched an isolation video of BNL singing Lovers in a Dangerous Time, and I was wrecked. This song was their first hit, off of their hard-to-find indie yellow sandwich cassette, and if you have to ask, then you don’t know, and I don’t want to hear from you. I remember seeing the video, cheaply shot, on MuchMusic, listening to the longing and loving and the standup bass and the piano and the harmonies.

Everything about this song, about BNL, brings me back to my mid-teens. And then the kids start dancing joyfully to the instrumental interlude, I just lost it. Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight; gotta kick at the darkness ’till it bleeds daylight.

I’ve been relistening to my old playlists, built from my mixed tapes from that era. They were my sad-teen mixed tapes, made for feeling sad, but also for chilling out. I listen to them now and I feel a strange mix of comfort, sadness, longing, and nostalgia. Mostly, I miss my friends from those days, or maybe I just miss the physical proximity, the intimacy of those times, those moments, sharing earbuds and listening to the songs on one our walkmans. Or performing them together in a cramped basement space. Or singing along with thousands of other at their shows.

I ate raspberries this morning, and I was brought back to standing in my childhood kitchen, after my mom had come back to the market during raspberries season, my favorite season because it was my favorite fruit. I didn’t even wash them, just scooped them directly out of the green trays, tasting the earthiness and bright flavor, knowing they had been picked locally that morning and driven in for the weekend crowd. My mom would buy flats of it to put into pies that we would freeze and then pull out during the winter when we needed to remember what summer tasted like. Now we can get raspberries year-round, but today, today I remembered rasberry season and being barefoot on a carpeted kitched floor, surrounded by bags filled with fresh bread, meat, veggies, and cheese.

I should be making a slide deck for another webinar training about our LMS, but my mind keeps going back to Barenaked Ladies and raspberry season and old friends that are closer to my hear right now than last week or last month. Trauma time, a portkey, but sometimes it doesn’t bring you back to trauma, it lets you momentarily escape it.