A Story Trapped in Amber

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.” ~ Roger Ebert

“We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

“Anyone can buy a car or a night on the town. Most of us shell our days like peanuts. One in a thousand can look at the world with amazement. I don’t mean gawking at the Chrysler Building. I’m talking about the wing of a dragonfly. The tale of the shoeshine. Walking through an unsullied hour with an unsullied heart.” ~ Amor Towles

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ~ Philip Pullman

Sunny Sunday morning. Mellow. I made the coffee perfect. The cat is slipping in and out, Cheshire-like, first logey, then asleep; like a yo yo. I’d better feed her anyway, in spite of her not being conscious enough to adamantly suggest that I do so.

The deed is done. I haven’t a lot on my mind, compared to usual. I think ten hours sleep could account for that. It’s chop wood, carry water today – which literally translates to a trip to the laundromat, which means a fresh breakfast burrito from LotaBurger. Yum. Those things are excellent and inexpensive. The little things. This evening I will be dogsitting with my favorite (though crazy) dog. Her mom is going to see Ringo Starr at the Santa Fe Opera House. Lucky her. I’d love to see Ringo, but I have others I rather see first, and none of them too soon. Anyway . . . the quote from Mr. Pullman has me intrigued. I agree with him fully, and have said that very thing for decades. Why does it intrigue me today? What is different about the way the thought hits me? Because of the book on trauma I am writing, the idea of story value comes in here. Good stories are good medicine. So how does that fit in with PTSD? Right off the bat I can see, for the first time, trauma as a frozen story, a tall tale in the literal sense, that became encased in a kind of syntactical amber as a defense against something that was so overwhelming that it was well over the limits of the defense mechanisms available. I choose syntax as the encasing agent because words so easily fail to describe the nightmare and torment of PTSD. As the original story is effectively unaccessible all ya get is a story about a story, and that secondhand story is translingual at best. No words, no words. But all that is best poured into my Inner Cauldron, to simmer and reduce, to enhance the magic that most certainly lies at the core of trauma. Maybe think of the metaphorical amber as a kind of spell cast by circumstances on a cosmic scale. Now think of the dual meaning of the word “spell”. You can spell a word or you can cast a spell. Then – PTSD is a layered shell, like Russian dolls: one layer of syntax, one of adrenaline and cortisol, one of immutable muscle tension, one of magic, and one of dark wonder. Very dark. But I feel good this morning, with an easy day ahead. The concept offered above is kind of exciting for me to consider. My latest panic attack, just last week, was pretty much mine to bear alone, because nobody except a therapist understands just how real this condition is, and how much IT FRIGGIN HURTS. Pardon the caps and boldface text. Sometimes it really pisses me off. Ciao.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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