Ch.219 I Feel Too Full of Feelings

Ch.219 I Feel Too Full of Feelings

Sept. 2023

          Do you remember the phrase from a John Denver ballad (“Annie’s Song): “You fill up my senses”?

          I don’t know why, but so far this morning I have had the feeling that my senses are full, meaning I am especially sensitive to sights, sounds, touches, smells, tastes. Every sensation immediately links with my emotions, so watching my cat Blackie checking for cars on our walk fills me with fear; seeing six little sunflowers sprouting from the last sunflower of the season makes me laugh with joy; waving hello to the driver of the car passing by makes me feel communally bonded to a total stranger; and even a momentary thought of Pat produces tears.

 Writing helps me get through days like this, keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.

I began today reading the novel “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro, the author of “Remains of the Day.” Klara is an AF – an Artificial Friend –of a sickly and possibly dying girl named Josie. Klara senses all the nuances of her humans’ feelings, how Josie or her mother may simultaneously feel happy, angry, and a little sad. Through Klara, the author paints a picture of a family wounded by tragedy, past and (possibly) future. I don’t know how it will end. I do know that Ishiguro is a master of the dramatic pause, followed by silence. This might not have been the best day for me to read Klara. I felt dread creeping into my body, that “this is not going to end well” feeling like in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

By then my old collie Levi had awakened and joined me on the couch. We sat for a while and then I fed him. After that, we went for a walk with Blackie the cat, to the bridge over the little stream named Big Creek. When Blackie joins us, I walk slowly so he can keep up, or, more accurately, he can keep behind but not too far. Blackie needs continuing reassurance that all is well. He checks behind him about every thirty seconds to ensure that nothing evil is following him. Today I felt his fear better than in the past. It is ancient, the terror of a predator about to become prey. He and I were greatly relieved when we reached the safety of our home. We congratulated each other on our mutual courage, though, as if we were soldiers who had survived another scouting foray behind enemy lines.

          As for my grief, I’m acting like Blackie, checking behind me to see if it’s catching up with me. I know if I glance at Pat’s picture I will cry because I just did glance and I did cry. The problem is that when I am full of feelings, I am like a dam already filled to capacity. One more rainstorm, and I will overflow and flood the land.

          What a mixed blessing, to feel undefended against pain and love.