30 January 2010

Perhaps I Need Pyschic Sunscreen

I hate my therapists sometimes. Yes, I had more than one. And I do not mean physical therapists or massage therapists. I mean psychologists and such. Overall, they have been helpful, let me admit. But the price was higher than the fees actually paid. This is what I am noticing this morning.

After reading yesterday's paper on this wickedly cold morning (1 degree Fahrenheit for the record) I glanced up at the TV and saw that "Clash of The Titans" was coming on. All I needed was that title to remember, vividly, the little boy who is now my grown son, who loved that movie.

Instantly, his face and voice and demeanor came to mind, a sweetness of youth and naivete and eagerness that children bring to everything. His complete pleasure and thrill in that movie, which is about mythic Greek gods whose adventures appeal to a certain age, is something I cannot and would not forget. And yet, to remember it is to feel something more like heartbreak than happiness.

That simply seeing a title can do this to me, or seeing a picture like those above my keyboard, or smelling the wet dirt after snow melts or catching my father's face in the morning mirror, can reduce me to a puddle is all the fault of my therapists.

They told me, taught me, to be in touch with my emotions, not to bottle things up and stuff like that. Now, I cannot stop them. They are present constantly, inconveniently, embarrassingly, disturbingly, almost daily.

To live so open to feelings is like walking about naked in the sun. You get burned easily, anywhere, and often. The world radiates power and meaning, you see, because almost anything can touch you. Every day has its moments when I can feel the surge of memory, hope, dismay, longing, anger and sorrow. Sometimes, just inhaling brings a rush of aliveness, a jolt of pure being. Sometimes it brings a heavy sadness that fills my lungs like water.

It is like having a sunburn, when even a slight touch can set off waves of sensation too intense to bear. Right now, I am angry at my therapists. I do not wish to undo what they have done. I just wish they had given me some psychic sunscreen in return.


Revwilly said...

You are more alive than most people. Sunscreen is messy.

Have you ever seen this site?

Denny Davidoff said...

Fred, I love this post. I mostly love how easy it is to make me cry over memories. I love you.