A Refugee

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Through out this journey I have sought refuge in many places.

In my mind with my abundant imagination and day dreams through fantasy intertwined with the tangled reality that is our existence.

With family and friends home and away.  Familiar places like our building to have a cigar either with company or alone.  A girls night out or a relaxing alone on the couch watching mindless entertainment or feeling the rush or the next episode of my favorite TV series or catching that latest flick out on DVD with the hubs after the boy is in bed.

I have learned that music is medicine and I can transform myself and use it to heal, soothe and revel in.  Also it can remind me of the awful times we have endured and used music and I am transported back there with just a few notes and suddenly I am surrounded by that time and place.  Or it’s happiness can fill me with such joyous memories of times gone by and the people places and things of music then become my music now and it’s restless pursuit is used as I dance and shake and shimee to the trans beat of some bass heavy pop or rock it slow to the raw and dirty blues that ache just like I do.  It all depends on my mood and my all around desires at that time.

I have used books as an escape.  Drifting away into a steamy erotic novel.  That heat fueling my own necessity.  The characters coming to life page by page in my mind leaving me breathless, heart racing, cheeks warmed and my lip often bitten and a smile left on my face as the scene ends and I am ready for more!  Poetry flowing from those same raw lips like wine from a bottle poured ever so gently as not to bruise it on it’s way into the glass.  Sipped and appreciated and savored with pure delight as the words resonate and hum verse by verse.  I prefer to read it aloud as to hear it and lend my voice to the rhythm of the words and feel the cadence of my tongue as they come out of my mouth rhyme by rhyme or by sonnet or sentence.  The classics are the fire of my being and the light of my thoughts.  (But nothing really can beat Mr. Grey!)

Finding ways and the time to let my mind loose.  To let the feelings I am allowed and need to feel, spill out as they sit just below the surface.  The amount of energy it takes to keep those feelings and emotions in is tremendous.  It’s strenuous and taxing and sometimes it physically hurts.

And often times before the music is turned on or myself with a book for that matter, I seek refuge in cleansing.  In the shower.  A simple shower can do wonders when you take it for what it’s worth and to me it’s worth millions.  It’s the one place I can be alone.  (If I am not washing Adler with me)   If it’s only for mere moments to minutes or when I can actually take the time and allow myself to truly relax it is under that steady stream of warmth that flows from the shower head.

I turn it on, lay the bath mat on the floor and wait a moment as it warms up and remove my clothes letting them fall onto the floor in a pile.  The last article falls and I am naked.  In more ways than one.  My skin awoken by the coolness as I step into the shower.  My feet and hands touch first and I turn letting the water hit my back.  I hold my breath for a moment.  A deep long cleaning breath let out as I tip my head back letting the water cascade over my hair and down my face and body.  The warmth is so welcoming.  An invitation to my imagination as the water soothes and nourishes me.  I take the shampoo and wash my hair.  Sometimes I do it a couple times.  Then the conditioner and I let it set while I wash my body.  For those that know me well, I love soap.  I have a collection of many different scents.  I prefer the all natural soaps that smell of patchouli, frankincense or lavender.  I like to smell them as I swirl them around in my hands.  Inhaling their decadence and feeling the silkiness of the bubbles of soap along my skin as I hold the bar in my hand.  Cleansing from the outside in.  Washing form top to bottom and from the bottom to the top.  Letting the aroma sink into my skin and letting my mind ease as I wash.  Bending and stretching and moving my body around in the water.  Rinsing and watching the suds go down the drain.  As it does I try to let any negative emotions go with it.  Tipping my head back once more to rinse the conditioner and to let it run all over my head and face and the back of my neck.  Hoping to release some tension as it flows over me.

And if the emotion is too much for me to bare, I use this time to cry.  To let it out.  Let the tears mix with the soapy water and flow down my cheeks as they intermingle with the water.  I let it happen.  I let it go.  Feeling free from the restraint of the everyday and the pressure to keep it in.  I let it go.  Using the water as a catalyst for my emotions.  The warmth mixed with the pure truth of the situation and the reality that is a disease ridden now and the pain ridden past all forced to stay away until I can deal with it.  Because it’s always there.  A rage boiling, bubbling just below the surface ready to burst open or explode like an erupting volcano and the tears sometimes just can no longer stay inside.  My eyes burn with them.  The salty tears hit my lips and I put my face under the water to wash them away.  I have had one moment of a full on slide down the wall to a seated position kind of cry on the floor of the shower and it helped.  The weight of ALL things happening hits like a cyclone and you cannot get out of the way.  So you just go with it.  Your body can’t take it anymore and you become boneless and weak and tired and so it comes out.  I let it out.  The soap cleanses my body and the shampoo cleans my hair and the time and the moments spent under that stream of water cleanses my soul and my spirit.  Its a small revolution of relaxation from a mere steady stream of warm water taken for granted by most but fully appreciated by me.

As the mother of a child with cancer you find many coping mechanisms and this one, as menial as it sounds, it can work wonders in a pinch.   It has become a refuge of sorts for me.  A place to take me away or bring me back.  I have become a shower refugee.

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