Self Portrait: Psychology of a confined space / by Christina Rosalie

Like a flock of birds, I sometimes feel myself alighting into the slumbering weight of my body, just as the morning light first falls across the windowsill. Abruptly, I am there again, in our bed with my arm pressed up against his back, sleep heavy, and tingling. Trailing the gossamer of dreams, it takes a moment or two for my mind to slip back into this place of soft flesh and muscle, this body. Then I stumble towards the shower.

Every morning there are a few moments of disconnect: where my mind and body stagger towards each other like drunken lovers, in blurry recognition. The bifurcated pieces of me come back together under the shower’s steady spray. I linger there, in that tile enclosed space; often it is the only time I have unaccompanied, uninterrupted, with just my sore shins, bare skin, and slick hair. These first moments are almost a prayer, a meditation, an act of worship, bowing a the temple where body and mind intersect. It’s here, of course, that I have my best ideas. The most perfect, raw lines of poetry arise in my mind unexpected. Dreams come back to me in shreds, each piece jaggedly sewn to the next like the fabric of an old quilt. And then eventually the day creeps in. I hear noises from the kitchen below: the clatter of dishes being unloaded from the dishwasher, Bean announcing he wants more milk, DH making espresso, and almost immediately lists start to crowd in.

But for those first moments of waking, it feels like I’m teetering on the brink between two worlds, my face soaking up water and my mind wringing out dreams.

* More confined space self portraits.