Love and Play as Therapy

Friends have cooked dinner in honor of my husband’s birthday. I take my currently vulnerable self, resolving (uselessly, it turns out) to smile and laugh in honor of my husband. I realize within minutes of arriving that my resolve will not be enough. We sit at their kitchen table, and they baptize us in love, literally—a parade of gourmet foods and some very special wine, conversation, and homemade caramel chocolate cheesecake. Oh, and with their tears for me. Pure awesomeness. How often do we go there, into the raw emotion that might exist between us as human beings, into full expression of the love and empathy we often genuinely feel for one another?

Eventually, perhaps an hour before midnight, they turn the music up a little, maybe a lot, and coax us onto our feet, and we dance, as we often have, in their living room, which just happens to be hardwood, and which I love under my bare feet. For a couple of hours we play. We move and sing, laugh, embrace, and, in my case, every time my husband holds me close, cry some more. I feel alive, even though I no longer do much of anything past 10 pm, and even though it’s been many months since I’ve felt enough joy to dance.

I have blisters the size of dimes under my two big toes this morning. But I have skin on the rest of me again.

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