An Exercise in Release

A list of things you could shout from the top of a mountain:

Hello mountains this is my voice

I feel like I haven’t heard it in a while

I am silly and I find joy in small things

Sometimes I make silly faces in mirrors

I hope no one ever catches me doing that

I am much younger than I feel

I am still trying to understand who I am and that’s okay

I am proud of small victories

Sometimes I worry I am an obnoxious person

I often feel alone when I’m with people

I don’t connect with people easily

I hate someone I’m supposed to love

I feel ashamed of needing to cry

I self isolate when I desperately need attention

I hate needing attention

I treat google like a therapist

I collect symptoms like stamps

I carry trauma in my muscles, it’s why I’m always sore

I desperately want to forgive the people that have hurt me

I desperately want to be angry at the people that have hurt me

I want to scream at the people who have hurt me

I want to tell them, “I am not impenetrable.”

“You have been burning me with your cigarette butts.”

“You have been stabbing me with your scalpel.”

“As if I am built from brick, as if it won’t leave a mark.”

here you can stop abruptly. feel slightly embarrassed by your emotional outburst. feel lighter because of your emotional outburst. it’s not so heavy anyway. stand up a little taller. really notice the ground beneath you. pretend you can feel the earth’s rotation. pretend you’re in a movie. pretend that everyone you’ve ever known are all standing at the base of the mountain and they want to tell you, “We only hurt you because we, too, never learned how to love. We squeezed too tight, we mistook fear for anger. But we did it so that you could learn in our place. Real life gets so much better from here.”

This isn’t an exact script, feel free to improvise. 

exit stage right


Look, I’ve been meaning to tell you something. YOU you. The you that lives in an entirely different kingdom than I do, but still shares your warmth with me without condition. Look at you, if you can. How have you never noticed the incandescent cloud that surrounds you, pulsing with your breath? What color is it right now? I don’t know because I can’t see you. But maybe it’s the shade of the ocean, depending on the ocean. Or maybe it’s the color of childhood bed sheets.

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but your kindness is physical. Proper noun. I know this because I’ve felt its touch on my skin when I am cold and I’ve felt it inside my lungs when I am struggling to breath. I’ve felt it sleep inside my pores from across continents. So, I know that it is real even if you don’t.

I guess what I’ve been meaning to tell you is

thank you.

with love,







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