With Feeling

Here is a list. It’s not a complete list, because if I do the rest of my life correctly, I should be able to add to it. But in the meantime, here are some of my favorite feelings/sensations to remind me (and you, if you need it) of the highlights of being alive.

  • Being at a live performance of any kind, reveling in the intimate connection between you and the performer(s), and you and the audience. Singing or speaking along. Feeling simultaneously bigger and smaller than yourself in a crowd of so many people and hearing words that seem like they’re being echoed just for you.
  • Someone sending you a text or calling you when they see or hear something that reminds them of you.
  • The rush of adrenaline from a jog.
  • Watching a movie with a friend who knows all the lines (just like you do).
  • Laughing until you wheeze.
  • Looking up at the stars at 2AM.
  • The sensation of someone’s head resting lazily on your shoulder.
  • The safe descent of a plane or brake of a train announcing your arrival in a brand new place.
  • That “mind-reading” thing between you and a sibling or friend where you say the same thing at the same time.
  • Seeing your name in print for something you created.
  • Running full-on with an idea that won’t quit, the kind that you can’t wait for the world to see.
  • A hug from mom.
  • Handwritten letters from friends.
  • Breathing in warm, breezy spring air while driving on the highway with the windows down and listening to music that makes you cry.
  • Your dog or cat kissing your nose.
  • Cuddling a stuffed animal you’ve had since you were a kid.
  • Gramma’s cookie recipe, that still tastes like the way her kitchen used to smell even after she’s long gone and you make cookies with your mother and think of her.
  • Breathing in.
  • Breathing out.
  • Heartbeats. Yours and maybe someone else’s, pounding in your ears, reminding you that you exist here, just as much as the stars or the moon exist, and you are just as beautiful.
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