The Dawn

Dawn from the Park Trades Center Kalamazoo, Michigan

A January dawn from the Park Trades Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The solution to vanquishing trauma comes not through confronting it directly, but by working with its reflection…

~ Peter Levine, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma

One week not so long ago, in a place near and dear…


Driving home, I take deep breaths. Tears come steadily. I’m on the verge of toppling but do not want to fall apart. Seeing the panic for what it is, a sensation temporarily coursing through my body, I pray aloud my intention: to release this electric tension. And I envision a plan to calm down at the house. Within the hour, these efforts move me through the crisis…


Lying in bed is no good, I know. But I manage not to be completely useless, writing several emails and in my journal. Also there are children’s books to clip out images for the book-art project. I show up at meetings during the week, so I’m not too far gone. Nonetheless, returning to the bedroom with the dogs always brings relief…


Done with the bedroom retreat, I wash away the week with a salt bath, reflecting on the day I drove home and did not fall apart. Until that occasion, I routinely braced myself for what seemed inevitable: a physical-emotional chain reaction.  The first stage is being stuck in the spot where I stand and the moment that sets off the relay, much like the stopped watch encased in the floorboard of my art studio. But for once I did not freeze in the face of crisis.


The reflection about driving home unveils a baby step on my healing journey.  Falling apart is not inevitable, although I have lived with that anticipation for a long time. The occasion marks a shift from beliefs and habits that no longer serve me toward ones that do. What seemed impossible glows with hope, as does the dawn before the sun…

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3 Responses to The Dawn

  1. Ally says:

    Mel Dear,
    Your writings and sharing are a delight to read and good food for heart and head.
    Kiss from Ally-

  2. Ally says:

    PS: ….. interesssting – the book title….. reminds me of our conversations over the waters….. x

  3. Yes the synchrinicities alight :-). And the exhange is treasured. Happy inspiring day!

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