I am in my mother’s body. Her big pink belly. I look down at myself through my mother’s eyes. I feel the warm pink belly between her hands like a taut balloon. I hold the belly, the belly I am in and not in. I feel my mother’s joy. I am her and she is me. I am inside her. The warm tight pink belly is full with a magical crystalline fluid and although I know I grow in there, I prefer much more to float up into my mother’s eyes, her arms, her heart. I can move freely inside of her for the time being, unrestricted, unconfined. I move with her as she moves but I don’t feel the moving. I only feel the bright warm weightless space inside. I know she knows I’m in here. I know she feels me. I know we know each other. I know we know each other in the most intimate connected way that two people can know each other. I know we exist in a space timeless limitless boundless. I know we share a space that is beyond the physical space, a space I have not yet entered through her. I know she feels the space inside her that we share, where we meet. Where I am her and she is me. I know we are inside of each other.
There are miles of paper dolls connected hand to hand, feet to feet, stretched out like an infinity mirror, forward in time, back in time. They are all the expressions of me, of who I am, of who I was, of who I am becoming. I slide along the paper doll continuum, moving in and out of the various versions of myself, slipping easily into the 5 year old, 15 years old, 20 year old versions of myself. Energy like the tail of a comet moves back and forth along the continuum of me. I slide forward into the future me, feeling the full rush of energy between all the versions of me, connecting them, linking them, as one continuous part of me. It’s as if I am nothing but a streak of light across the sky, a sun beam, a shooting star.
My future self infuses my current self and makes sense of my past self. All of it condensed into a single story line, a single streak of light. I look forward and back at reflections of me, of who I was, of who I am becoming and there is growth and there is change, but mostly there is just still movement, a movement that is not moving. Mostly it’s just like the space I inhabit inside my mother when she is pregnant with me.
So then she pushes me out into the world. Outside of her. Into the world. I can no longer move freely, no longer inhabit her eyes, her hands, her heart. I have my own eyes and hands and heart now. I’m not sure how they work. Don’t really like to move them. It’s all so heavy and cumbersome and stiff. It hurts to move in this way. It pains me to breathe, to turn my head, to open and clench my fist. She pushed me out of her. She pushed me out of her into the world.
I draw down a heavy blanket of numbness to cover up the feeling. I wrap around me a cloak of dull feeling. There is burning inside but the outside is covered like the colorful plastic covers surrounding electric wires. I am covered. I am separate.
And then I am lying on my back on an air mattress in the tower of my house, somewhere between 16 and 17 years later. I am warm and tingling from the rum swimming inside of me. I am lying on my back and he pushes himself inside of me and we are no longer two people. We are one person. I am inside of him and he is inside of me. I can move freely again. I can leave myself and go inside of him. I can feel his heart as if it is my own. I can see with his eyes, feel with his hands. I am connected. I am part of someone again. I am connected to someone in the most intimate connected way again.
And then I am aware. I am aware that I can go inside of you. I can go inside any of you and see what you are seeing, feel what you are feeling, think what you are thinking. I can feel your blood and flesh as my own. But mostly I can connect to you in the most intimate and connected way that two people can connect.
And then she dies. Like a balloon popping, mom dies and all that’s left is the air. All that’s left is the limitless space, the still movement, the vast emptiness where we are both existing in the tail of the comet, the heat of the sunbeam, the sparkle of the shooting star. I am no longer inside of her but somehow we are in the same space again. And she’s not inside of me but somehow we are in the same space. Am I am physical and she is not physical but somehow we are in the same space.
And then I begin touching people. I touch them and try to heal them. And they say they feel warmth in my hands. They call me a healer. They say ‘thank you for healing me.’ They bring me flowers. They send me notes. They say, ‘how do you do that?’ And what can I say? How could I possibly explain? Well you see…
First I was inside her and I could feel her and she could feel me and we were in this space like a private space, that space that connects all of us, and then she pushed me out into the world and I was cast out of the space and I couldn’t get back to the space, and then he was inside of me and I felt the space again and then she died and the space expanded and she became everything, and then I knew if I put my hands on people that I could go back to the space. And you see, this is how I ended up here with you, in your eyes, in your hands, in your heart, knowing what you need, how you feel, who you are. This is how I know you. Can you understand that?
I drop down into my hands. I dissolve into light. I travel out of my hands into you, like the breath, slipping in undetected. I close my eyes, I find the space that is you inside of you. The breath inside the breath. I move easily and freely. I know who you are. You cover your face, embarrassed. How can she see so much? How can she know so much? How does she do it? You say, “You know how to touch me.”
I know that I know how to touch you. It’s what I know. It’s who I am. I would not be me if I didn’t know how to touch you. I feel you, ya know.
People say that: “I feel ya.” What they mean to say is, “I’ve felt what you’ve felt at one time. I know how you feel.”
But I mean it differently. I feel you. I feel you as real as I felt myself through my mother’s hands as she touched her big warm pink belly. I feel what you feel.
We’ve been inside each other all along.